I encourage you to participate in the prayer retreat this Friday evening and/or Saturday morning. Dr Norfleete Day will be leading this retreat which is themed around prayer as conversation with God. Our spiritual vitality, and especially our prayer life, often suffers when the busyness of our daily routine crowds out the very things that bring real meaning, peace, stability and joy to our lives. Occasionally, we need to stop, rest and push aside all of those voices shouting for our attention so that we can hear and respond to the “one voice” that really matters. Please make an extra effort to attend this retreat. I am confident it will be meaningful to you and a blessing to our church family. Details for the retreat are in the piece below written by Marilyn Shepard, Christian Growth Committee Chairperson. Please RSVP by calling the Church Office (933-8381), or emailing Shannon Martin, Church Assistant.
I also encourage you to attend Bible Study and Worship this Sunday as we celebrate World Communion Sunday. Christian churches around the world will celebrate Holy Communion this Sunday bearing witness of the love and grace of God made evident through the sacrifice of his son Jesus the Christ. Observing this globally on the same day is a testimony to the unity we have with all other Christians; A unity made possible by the love and power of the one victorious over death that binds us together as one. Be a part of this wonderful celebration this Sunday.
Good things are happening in and through Southside Baptist Church! I believe there is a renewed sense of hope and determination that we as a church family, under God’s guidance, will grow stronger and have a greater ministry in this community and beyond. Each week there are opportunities to worship, learn, serve and fellowship with our church family, with friends that you invite and with those individuals that on their own find their way to Southside Baptist Church. Extending a warm hand of Christian friendship, speaking words of grace and peace, and being moved to loving acts of service is exactly what we are called to do. Living our faith daily is to see every individual we meet as a beloved creation of God; not one to be diminished or deemed as less than but one that God loves just as much as God loves you and me. There are several special events planned in the coming weeks which provide outstanding opportunities to be instruments of God’s grace and love. I hope you will pray that we will be more sensitive to the needs of those we encounter and that we will allow the Spirit of Christ to direct us in all of our efforts.
The Southside Baptist Church building is the hub for many organizations, meetings and ministry efforts every week, but that statement is especially true this week. Those of us present each weekday find ourselves somewhat immersed in all that transpires on any given day and sometimes we fail to recognize that those present only on Wednesday evening or Sunday may be unaware of the many ways you and your church are touching lives in this community and beyond. In addition to the various meetings and ministry efforts that appear in the weekly calendar of events, this week a number of other church and community events are scheduled. These include: Providing dinner and overnight hosts for the families in Family Promise, the UAB Choir holding their fall semester retreat in Drennen Hall and the Sanctuary Friday evening, and the Cajun Zydeco Association having their monthly dance in the gymnasium. Simultaneous to these events, our own Ms. Yong Kim, will be preparing and cooking enough food for 250 meals which she and volunteers will serve to the homeless in Linn Park Saturday morning. All of these publicized events are in addition to the many people that find their way to the doors of the building each week to seek help in dealing with a crisis in their life. Many volunteers with a sense of calling, a desire to enrich the lives of those in this community and possessing sensitivity to meet the basic physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are necessary for this and all other efforts to take place. Maybe you are one that has this within you, but you have not found that place to connect. Look around, there is a place for everyone. Thank You to all the dedicated volunteers that labor hour after hour and shoulder much of the responsibility. Hopefully, these words will be encouragement to you, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the appropriate time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” (Gal. 6:9-10a)
A week that begins with a holiday, like this week, usually discombobulates those of us that find the rhythm of our routine important. There is a feeling of playing “catch-up” the rest of the week, or at least until our internal calendar adjusts to the deviation from a normal Monday. The good news, though, is that a change in routine prompts, or even requires, consideration of what gets priority throughout the week. We have to ask ourselves the question: “What will I focus on the balance of the week?” I know there are many tasks and responsibilities screaming for your attention, but I encourage you to keep at or near the top of your priority list those that relate to your physical, spiritual and emotional health.
It is already Wednesday, but our usual weekly schedule is up and running as indicated in the calendar of events below. There are a couple of additions to the calendar to note.
Thursday evening, at 6:30 p.m., immediately following the Contemplative Worship Service, a new small group study will begin. This six-week study is entitled “The Way of Transforming Discipleship,” Christian Growth Committee Chairperson, Marilyn Shepard, provided a summary description of the study in the paragraphs below.
Sunday, at 12:15 p.m., a “Welcome Back Luncheon” is scheduled for college students. This luncheon is an opportunity to show the hospitality we hope is always evident at Southside Baptist by communicating to these students that our church family is loving, encouraging, and supportive.
Men’s Bible Study – September 8, 12:00 Noon
Welcome Back Luncheon for Students – September 11 at 12:15 p.m.
Class for Newcomers to Southside Baptist Church – Beginning September 18.
Southside Center for the Arts & Humanities event – Bobby Horton and Friends – An American Celebration. September 23.
by Marilyn Shepard
Fall is just around the corner, bringing with it back to school, football, AND new Small Group and Sunday School study opportunities!
I hope you can join us on Thursday, September 8, as we begin a five-week small group study session called Transforming Discipleship. During these meetings, we will take time to remember who we are and to think about the intentional development of our convictions, attitudes and actions that shape our Christ following life. We will learn about the term koinonia which means a sharing life; and we will discuss the idea that fellowship is a powerful word that means more than just a brief greeting on Sunday but a desire to share our personal lives, our relational lives, our economic lives and our common lives with each other.
This class is designed to include group participation with short weekly readings and questions to be answered (in writing) before each class. After reading the lessons, it seems like they will flow well following the Contemplative Service because they have a similar
format. The lessons work best if participants are able to make that five week commitment to participate. The sessions will begin after the Contemplative Service ends; around 6:15 p.m.
On September 30 and October 1, Norfleet Day will be at Southside to lead us in a prayer retreat. More information will be available later.
And finally, we are beginning a new session in our Sunday School material. For the month of September, we will be talking about Hope in the Lord. Class topics include:
Example: Are we providing examples that lead to changed lives?
Endurance: Are we teaching endurance through encouragement?
Holiness: Do we define holiness by looking at ourselves in a mirror?
Hope: Does hope mean expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless?
Classes start at 9:30 a.m. and provide another opportunity to get to know your church family as we take time to study and grow together.
Schools, kindergarten through college, began a new academic year recently; a reality surely to be evermore obvious in days to come as the airwaves and our calendars are filled with school-related activities and, of course, football. The beginning of a school year is always exciting, and for many it evokes more than a little anxiety; perhaps experienced as much by the parents and teachers as the students. But, it is reality, a necessary part of life, and every year it is a new adventure of learning, growing and responding to each day. It is obvious, to most individuals that the experience of school and learning is more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. Acquiring knowledge is certainly an integral component, but equally important is developing the ability to reason and apply what has been learned, to interact with peers, and to understanding more about ourselves.
Simultaneous to the academic year beginning in schools, a renewed emphasis is also placed on Christian Growth and Discipleship in the church. Opportunities for spiritual growth through Bible study, worship, missions, service, and fellowship are offered and highlighted so that everyone who chooses can engage at some level. These programs and events help us make application of knowledge gained from scripture in our personal life and as we relate to others. Unfortunately, engagement in some aspect of spiritual development is often the first dropped when calendars become too full, and yet, to live the life we are created to live necessitates growth, development and understanding.
The spiritual freedom we have in Christ is a gift and blessing to be cherished and exercised. In the days ahead, let us acknowledge with grateful hearts the grace we have received. Let us pray for each other and for continued guidance and discernment. Let us act with renewed commitment to discover, learn and grow as God guides us and transforms us into the followers of Christ we are called to be.