I, like most everyone else, have been thinking about and praying for our neighbors in Louisiana dealing with the devastating flooding. The stories and photos convey an unbelievable situation facing these residents the magnitude of which I do not believe we can fully understand. Several of our members have relatives living in the area severely affected by this disaster and others have close friends there who are dealing with life altering losses. Many of you have asked what we can do to help offer some relief to these victims. I am including below a piece posted by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Included in this piece is information about relief efforts currently underway that are coordinated through CBF. When we gather for our mid-week Fellowship Supper, Prayer and Bible Study, we will again offer prayers for the victims and discuss some of these relief efforts. Please make plans to be a part of this time of prayer and study.
LOUISIANA FLOOD RELIEF
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is requesting monetary donations as well as receiving volunteer teams to respond to the devastating flooding in southern Louisiana. CBF is working in partnership with CBF churches in the region, including Broadmoor Baptist Church and University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, as well as CBF of Louisiana and CBF of Mississippi to make evaluations, assess needs and determine ways to provide aid. While supplies are currently not needed, volunteer teams are being requested.
To provide monetary support for CBF’s relief efforts in Louisiana, give online here, or you may mail a check payable to “CBF” with Acct. 17006 in the memo line to:
Cooperative Baptist Church
P.O. Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
For additional information, contact CBF U.S. Disaster Response Director Alan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.270.0772.
Each month, we feature one of the nonprofits housed in Southside’s building to help you better get to know those who share our space. Meet the Professional Association of Social Workers in HIV & AIDS (PASWHA)!
PASWHA (http://www.paswha.org/) was incorporated as a nonprofit on October 15, 2010, with a mission to energize and support social workers and other professionals providing social work services to impact Hepatitis C, HIV, and AIDS infections through education, research, policy/advocacy, networking, and professional development.
Since its formation, the organization has sought to establish itself as an integral component in the professional lives of social workers in the HIV/AIDS field. Organizationally, it has formed an active board, with the resource of an Advisory Committee focused on professional development and education, research, policy and advocacy. The foundation of the organization is its membership both national and
international. For its members, PASWHA has created a website that includes a Members’ Only area with job information, news, and resources. PASHWA hosts networking events at the annual National Conference on HIV and AIDS, and offers continuing education opportunities through a series of Webinars. Hundreds of individuals have participated in past PASWHA Webinars. Topics for the Webinars have included healthcare reform and trauma in the context of HIV.
The Southside Choir has taken Wednesday nights off during the months of June and July. We have rehearsed earlier on Sunday mornings for the upcoming week. Wednesday rehearsals will resume on August 3rd at 7:00 p.m. If anyone is interested in singing with us, please contact Tim Banks or myself by calling the church office at 205.933.8381. We would love to talk to you! Music is a wonderful ministry and Southside continues a great tradition in that ministry.
As always, thank you for your support of music at Southside.
Organist/Director of Music
One of the many fascinating aspects of ministering in our community is the diversity of the individuals living, working, attending school, or just passing through. Truthfully, there are many times that the diversity pushes the limits of my comfort zone because of the varied needs or requests that come our way. I would be hard pressed to find two days in succession, or perhaps two days in a week, that are the same. However, I consider the opportunities experienced here on weekends and weekdays to be a blessing. The opportunity to see and hear what people are facing and how they see the world, understand life and process their faith helps all of us better understand humankind. We can see the benefit of praying and making application of St Francis’ Instrument of Peace prayer.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where
there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is
injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is darkness,
light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console; to be understood as
to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in
giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we
are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born
again to eternal life.
Scripture tells us that all are created and loved by the same Creator, the One True and Living God. This truth we hold is reinforced by our belief in the incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ. Jesus made it clear in his teachings that we are to love and respect all people, even those we consider our enemies. It is encouraging and inspiring to see the congregational efforts to be the presence of Christ through the gracious and hospitable way that guests are greeted and welcomed in worship and in all of the weekday activities at SSBC; however, we are also told to go and to be salt and light in the world in which we live. I am troubled by all of the divisive hate speech, absence of civility and decency we see and hear in the public forum. Change and improvement begins with each of us to help us move toward a more loving people who seek justice and love mercy.
Students, teachers and administrators return to school this week to begin a new academic year, and similarly, we, too, begin anew with opportunities for education, worship, missions, service and fellowship at Southside Baptist Church. Thinking of the opportunities to nurture relationships, deepen our understanding of our faith and how that faith intersects with all parts of our individual lives creates an excitement and enthusiasm that lifts our spirit. It is especially evident when we begin anew after a respite or vacation. There are a number of new opportunities that you will hear about in the coming weeks, but in the mean time, we resume our Wednesday schedule of the weekly fellowship meal, prayer and Bible study. This week, Dr. Roxburgh will lead a Bible study and discussion on The Missional Church using the book of Acts as the text. Following the Bible study, the Sanctuary Choir will rehearse in the Martinson Choir room. Sarah Heaslett and Dr. Banks are making an appeal to all of those singers in our congregation to join them for this time of preparation for Sunday Worship.
The Contemplative Worship Service is conducted each Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. This service is structured around the reading of Scripture and prayer. It is a wonderful way to spend a half hour near the end of the work week affording the opportunity to put all of the demands of our life out of mind, while we focus on the truly important matters.
Join us Wednesday as we begin anew, refreshed and renewed, eager to engage again.
A wonderful time of worship and fellowship was experienced at Southside last Sunday completing a month with many special opportunities. A Bible study entitled “A More Caring Congregation, Practicing Personal and Corporate Radical Hospitality” during the Sunday School hour each week, guest preachers, and events to deepen relationships in our church family were all a part of programming for the month.This past Sunday, the worship service included the baptism of Morgan Thomas, an outstanding homily from guest preacher and former staff member Kristofer Roberts, and wonderful music, all followed by a delicious covered-dish luncheon in Drennen Hall. The fellowship around the table and Southside’s hospitality were very evident by the conversations and laughter that filled the room. Thank you to everyone that worked to make the day such a success. A special thank you to Buddy Robbins for decorating the tables with beautiful arrangements of live flowers, to Peggy Gentry, Robert Blackshear and Paul Huie for setting up Drennen Hall, and to many others that helped with last minute set-up and clean-up following lunch. There was a wonderful, loving spirit seen among all of those present. It was a glorious Lord’s day.
Wednesday evening, we resume the Fellowship Meal and Prayer Time; however, Bible Study will not begin until August 10 since the Quarterly Church Business Conference will be held this Wednesday. Make plans to be present for the meal and the Business Meeting as we hear reports and plans for the coming weeks and months.
Many in our church family have enjoyed the special opportunities to deepen and strengthen our relationships in recent weeks. The times of fellowship, recreation, education and worship are significant for growth in our faith and in knowing and caring for one another. This week, there are more opportunities available. Sunday morning, we conclude a five-week study during the Sunday School hour entitled, “Becoming a More Caring Congregation.” Those participating have benefited from the combining of several Sunday School classes for this time of study. In worship this week, we welcome back to Southside Baptist Church guest preacher Kristofer Roberts. Kris served our Director of Christian Education in 2015. We welcome and look forward to Kris being with us this Sunday. Following worship, a church-wide covered dish luncheon will be held in Drennen Hall. This is a wonderful time to invite a friend and introduce them to your church family and afford them the opportunity to experience Southside’s radical hospitality.
I look forward to seeing you at our Contemplative Worship service Thursday and on Sunday for Bible Study, Worship and a wonderful time of fellowship at the covered dish luncheon.