The last couple of weeks have been very comfortable in our building now that the new cooling system is installed and functioning as promised. This repair, though costly, was necessary considering the time of year that the old system failed and in light of all the activities that transpire here on days other than Sunday. At the last Deacons Meeting, this repair and how to fund the $151,700 unexpected expense, were discussed and a recommendation to receive a special offering designated for this repair was approved. A few church members and friends of Southside Baptist Church have already made gifts to this special cause. Currently, gifts totaling $65,150 have been received, for which everyone is grateful; however, it would be wonderful if gifts totaling the full amount of the repair were received. Hopefully, you will prayerfully consider the possibility of making a special gift to this designated offering. Whether your gift be small or great, your gift will reduce the longterm impact on reserve funds preserving those for future ministries. I will update you all as other gifts are received.
Ascension Day is this Thursday and marks forty days since we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. The Bible study Wednesday evening will focus on that forty day period and the appearances of the risen Christ to the Disciples. In the Contemplative service on Thursday evening, the time of prayer and meditation will center on the words of Jesus to his disciples just before his ascension as recorded in the first chapter of Acts. These texts of the risen Christ appearing to his disciples and of his ascension are very challenging and will surely prompt some very good discussion.
I look forward to seeing you when we gather next.
Tuesday evening several of our church members participated in a community event at Vulcan Park. “A Taste of Five Points,” celebrating the 130th anniversary of Five Points South, featured displays by local retail businesses, delicious samples provided by the wonderful restaurants located in the neighborhood and a display by Southside Baptist Church. Those attending had a great time, and it was a wonderful opportunity to interact with our neighbors and to communicate the desire of our church to be a more active participant in our community. In the coming weeks, there will be more opportunities for you to be involved in community service and outreach efforts. One of those, “Clean and Clear Five Points,” is this coming Saturday morning. This service opportunity, organized by the Five Points Alliance, brings together local businesses, student organizations from UAB and local churches and synagogues to make our community cleaner and safer. Join us in this effort on Saturday morning and enjoy some great fellowship with fellow church members and our neighbors.
Those present for worship the last two Sundays are well aware that we have been dealing with a major building issue. The old cooling system reached the end of its service life, but, thankfully, it got us through Easter Sunday before failing. We have been fortunate to experience some milder temperatures over the last couple of weeks making the weekday and Sunday activities a little more comfortable; however, for those in the building everyday it is a matter of enduring this situation. Everyone has been very patient, though, perhaps realizing the scope of this project. We are nearing the completion of this repair, but we will be without cooling one more Sunday. The contractor feels confident that by Wednesday of next week the cooling system will be operational and we can return to a more manageable routine. Efforts have been made to communicate to everyone that replacing this equipment comes at a significant cost of just over $150,000. This was communicated to the Deacons, Trustees and to church membership at the Quarterly Business Conference at which a decision was made to make the repair and to use certain unrestricted funds to cover this cost unless special/designated gifts were received. Several members and friends have expressed a desire to help cover a portion of this cost and made gifts accordingly. Perhaps you would like to do so as well. I will be happy to try and answer any questions you have concerning this project or a special gift to help with this unplanned major expense. This too is a part of sharpening the tool that will enable us to become better equipped to worship the God of love, mercy and grace and to serve this community and beyond through the power and presence of Christ.
I look forward to seeing you this evening as we spend time in fellowship around the table, offer prayers and hear Dr. Roxburgh present some thoughts related to Baptist Spirituality.
The Quarterly Church Business Meeting is scheduled for this evening and will immediately follow the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time which begin at 5:30 p.m. Tonight we will hear reports from standing committees, staff members and a report from the Deacons. The report from the Deacons will also include recommendations for election of deacons, trustees, other officers and Board appointments. Your participation is encouraged as we elect leaders for another year. Plans for the summer months will also be presented, including a recommendation on repairing/replacing a portion of the building cooling system as we enter the warmer months. Every member’s presence and input is important and has great value to fulfill our mission in the Southside community and beyond.
I hope to see you this evening.
Here we are in Holy Week with only a few days until we gather for the Maundy Thursday Service and the Good Friday Service. You received by email (if not, sign up here) a description of these two services as well as the Easter Service which will be a wonderful celebration of our Lord’s resurrection. I want to mention and give some details on one other special opportunity for you to gather, study and celebrate the risen Christ. Following the weekly Gathering, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. in Drennen Hall, all classes are encouraged to remain for the Sunday School hour. During this time, one of our newer members, Dr. Stuart Collier, will lead the Bible Study. Stuart has a wide variety of life and career experiences from which to draw and use in his teaching, writing and ministry. Stuart has served as a Hospice Chaplain, Hospital Chaplin, College Professor and Pastor as well as serving in the U. S. Army Special Forces. Join your Church family for this time of study and fellowship as we hear from Stuart.
This is a most important week for Christians. Though we live in the reality of the resurrection of Jesus the Christ everyday, moving through Holy Week with our attention focused on the events that transpired in Jerusalem the last days of Jesus’ earthly life help us understand the great weight upon Jesus. Through his death, Jesus bore our sins away, not because he had to but because of his unconditional and sacrificial love for us. So great and wonderful is his love. Thanks be to God!
I enjoy our journey together,
Last Saturday, some of our Southside Baptist Church members participated in “Clean and Clear 5 Points,” a service project organized and promoted by REV Birmingham and the Five Points Alliance. The group of 25-30 volunteers consisted of members from local churches, merchants, residents of the neighborhood, friends from surrounding communities and UAB students. This project is a very small part of the concerted effort to improve the 5 Points and surrounding neighborhoods by making it more inviting and safer for all who live, work, attend school and worship in the community, as well as for those who frequent the various businesses. Those who participated had the opportunity to talk with other volunteers and hear their perspectives on a variety of issues. Though we were tired, and some muscle soreness followed, it was a great way to spend part of a Saturday. There will be more opportunities like this in the future. If you would like to know more about 5 Points and the efforts mentioned above you can read this Birmingham News article.