In God’s love, there is hope.

We experienced a wonderful day Sunday both in the hour of Bible Study and in the Worship Service. Dr. Henry Hobson delivered an outstanding homily on perhaps the most familiar verse in the Bible, John 3:16. Henry reminded us of the unconditional and sacrificial love of God for all people; a message we all need to hear and believe with a depth of understanding that brings an indescribable sense of security and wholeness. God’s love realized and experienced transforms our self-image and profoundly affects relationships in family and among friends and acquaintances. Knowing fully that God loves us unconditionally enables us to value and love others with the intent of doing so fully. In God’s love, there is hope as John wrote in 1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Please take note of some special events this week:
On Wednesday, a group is making a neighborhood outing for lunch and then a visit to the Vulcan Museum. Please call or email the church office to reserve a place if you plan to attend. Cost for lunch and museum admission is $15.00. Then, Thursday, the Men’s Bible study meets at noon in room 140. This is the second session of a new study series on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. A light lunch is provided for a $5.00. Later in the afternoon Thursday, everyone is encouraged to gather in Memorial Chapel at 5:30 p.m. for a service of prayer and Holy Communion.
Advertisements
In God’s love, there is hope.

Welcome to the Pulpit, Dr. Hobson!

Wednesday evening activities, Fellowship supper, Prayer, and Bible Study will not meet during July; however, there are some other events that I hope you will attend. Thursday at noon, the Men’s Bible Study, led by Charlie Waldrep, resumes after a brief respite and starts a new series of sessions on Paul’s letter to the Colossians. At 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, a service of prayer, meditation, and communion will be held in Memorial Chapel. Those who meet for this service each week find the quiet, reflective atmosphere of this service to be an important part of our weekly times of prayer and worship. Please give consideration to attending this opportunity to rest in God’s presence and be nurtured by the Spirit of Christ.

This Sunday, we welcome to the pulpit Dr. Henry Hobson. Dr. Hobson is one of our own having been a member of Southside Baptist Church for 15 years. He attended and received degrees from Samford University, Bachelor of Science; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Theology; The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky, Doctor of Ministry; Residency in Clinical Pastoral Education, Baptist Health System, Birmingham. He served in the pastorate for 22 years and as a hospital and hospice chaplain for the last 23 years. He is currently a chaplain with Alacare Home Health and Hospice. Dr. Hobson is a native of Birmingham and has two daughters and three grandchildren. We look forward to hearing Dr. Hobson and will do so prayerfully.

Welcome to the Pulpit, Dr. Hobson!

4th of July Fellowship

Our schedule of weekly activities will be a little different in July. There will be no weekly Wednesday evening Fellowship Supper and Bible Study; however, since this Wednesday is July 4th, a special event, “Fellowship and Fireworks,” is scheduled to take place at 8:00 p.m. on the 10th Court lawn to celebrate Independence Day. The fireworks display, “Thunder on the Mountain,” will begin around 9:00 p.m. Make plans enjoy this time of celebration and fellowship with your church family and invite a friend or neighbor to join you. To make this a genuine summer fellowship, we will have plenty of watermelon for everyone to enjoy.

Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m., the weekly Communion Service held in Memorial Chapel resumes. This brief service of quiet reflection, scripture reading, meditation and prayer followed by Holy Communion provides the opportunity to pull away from the noise and stress of our daily lives and center our minds and spirits on God’s nurturing presence.

4th of July Fellowship

Hymn Sing Tonight & Fun Times in July!

The Fellowship Supper, Prayer Time and Hymn Sing tonight will be the last of our regular midweek activities until we resume on August 1. July will not be without opportunities for fellowship, study and worship, though. Below is a list of planned events for July in addition to the regularly scheduled activities occurring each Sunday:
  • July 4, 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.  Fellowship and Fireworks on 10th Court lawn
  • July 5, 5:30 p.m.  Communion Service in Memorial Chapel (scheduled for each Thursday beginning July 5)
  • July 12, 12:00 p.m. Men’s Bible Study, Rm 140 (meets weekly beginning July 12)
  • July 18, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lunch at The Club and visit recently renovated Vulcan Park & Museum
  • July 26, 6:30 p.m. – Church-wide Ice Cream Fellowship and Game Night in Drennen Hall
A change in our normal routine is often good for us in that we have chances for special times of recreation and fellowship with church family and friends. I hope you will plan to participate in these special events and that you will bring family and friends and introduce them to your church family. More details on all of these events will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.
Hymn Sing Tonight & Fun Times in July!

How would we treat Jesus?

The theme of the 2018 Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly, which I attended last week in Dallas, was “celebrating the Church locally and globally.” We heard a number of testimonies from leaders in churches tell of how God is at work in the Church locally and how through partnerships with others, ministering globally. These local church congregations from various parts of the country looked beyond the usual ways of addressing needs in their communities and found creative ways to take the love of God, “the Gospel,” into their neighborhoods.

One featured speaker, Dr. Wade Bibb, pastor of Central Baptist Church Bearden in Knoxville, TN, spoke of how spiritually energizing and exciting it has been for their church to be guided by the Spirit of Christ into new ways of ministry. Bibb said, “we’ve been flexing the muscle that we have in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. We’ve been flexing the muscle to sustain power. We’ve been flexing the muscle to hang on to the past. We have been flexing the muscle and substituting the mystery for the controllable.” We might expand the “controllable” to include the comfortable, personal preference, the way we have always done it, or what requires the least effort and has the least resistance. I cannot think of a time in scripture that Jesus took such a path. He challenged the status quo encouraging his followers then, and his followers today, to be transformed and to experience a paradigm shift in understanding life and the implications of God’s love for the whole of creation. We are called to follow Him and in faith courageously respond to all manner of ills particularly those promoting an ideology that God’s has greater love of one, or one group, than another.

We, as individual Christians and as a church are called to be God’s people, following Jesus to the edge of cultural norms where the marginalized exist. We are called to compassionately care for all of God’s children, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or nationality. A fact Jesus made very clear in the Matthew 25: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

As I consider the plight of the immigrants seeking refuge and entry into the United States, I am reminded of this quote by Sir Thomas Browne, “By compassion we make others’ misery our own.” In this and all situations where individuals are in distress, misery and losing hope, where there is oppression and injustice, prejudice and bigotry, I urge you to listen to the Spirit of Christ to convey and interpret, apart from your personal opinions, how you should respond and how you should pray for and speak to those in positions of leadership to respond with love and mercy. How we respond to “the least of these” is how we respond to Jesus the Christ.

How would we treat Jesus?

Exciting Summer Events

Heading into the Summer break, the weekly calendar of events for the months of June and July have been altered slightly. These changes impact primarily Wednesday and Thursday schedules and are included in the weekly calendar; however, I want to list them here since some special events are coming up:

• Wednesday evenings remain as usual through the month of June, with the exception of choir rehearsal being moved from Wednesday evening to Sunday at 10:15 a.m. for June and July. In July, we will not have the weekly Fellowship Supper and Bible Study.

• The Communion Service on Thursday evenings in Memorial Chapel will have a break in June and will resume July 5 at 5:30 p.m.

• There are several special events in June and July offering wonderful opportunities for great fellowship and involvement in our community such as:

◦ June 9, 5:00 p.m.– Central Alabama Pride Parade in the Lakeview District – Those who participated last year found it to be a wonderful time of fellowship and a great time to take part in a fun community event while promoting our mission of “Building an Inclusive Community of Grace.” Details about this event are listed below.

◦ July 4, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.— Fellowship and Fireworks on the 10th court lawn. We will gather for some watermelon and other refreshments as we celebrate Independence Day and watch  the Thunder on the Mountain fireworks show.

◦ July 18, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.– Lunch at “The Club” and a visit to the newly renovated Vulcan Park and Museum. More details on this event to come.

◦ July 26, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – Ice Cream Fellowship and game night following the Communion Service.

There are other special events yet to be confirmed, and Information about them will be forth coming. I hope and pray that these special opportunities for fellowship, study, worship and outreach to our community will deepen our commitment to one another, enriching our lives and communicating the love of God to our community and beyond.

Exciting Summer Events

Welcoming Changes

The last few days of May usher in a period when most individuals and families find time to break away from the usual routine for a week or two and rest, relax and perhaps travel. This time of year is a time of transition, too. High school graduates are anticipating the beginning of a new chapter in life as they enter college or enter the work force. College graduates are looking for a position in their field, or perhaps they plan to enter graduate school furthering their education in preparation for a particular profession. Families find this to be a good time to move to a new community or city, especially if they have school age children. So, while this time of year is a time to rest and relax for some, others are fully engaged and getting things in order for their next steps in life. Every year during this period, we have the privilege of meeting a number of individuals who choose to join us for worship as they settle in our community. I hope we all see the tremendous opportunity of practicing radical hospitality by being the presence of Christ to those who come our way and to those we meet in our neighborhoods who are looking for a place to belong and a place to experience community.

This Wednesday evening, we will talk more about these opportunities in the second session of “Thinking about Our Mission: Building an Inclusive Community of Grace.” I hope you will be present for the Fellowship Supper and Prayer beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Welcoming Changes