Hymn Sing and Moments of Meditation

A special program of fellowship and worship is planned for tonight. We will gather in Drennen Hall at 5:30 p.m. for the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time, followed by a much requested hymn sing. This is the last of our regular Wednesday evening gatherings until new programs are launched in August. I hope you will be present as we sing some of our favorite hymns and hear from a few individuals about why a certain hymn is their favorite.

At the Contemplative service on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., the focus of the music, meditation and prayer will be Ephesians 3:14-21, the text selected for worship this Sunday. Join us for this time of quiet reflection during which efforts are made to clear our minds of all the clutter of a busy workday and week and all the random thoughts and anxiety-producing memories, so that we may sit quietly and attentively listen with our hearts and minds as the Spirit of Christ speaks to us.

I look forward to seeing you at either or both of these opportunities.

Hymn Sing and Moments of Meditation

In the Moment

Rob Bell, in his book, “How To Be Here.” reminds us that life is precious, it is a gift, and God has given life to each person to use that life for good. Bell cites Jesus’ teaching on prayer and what it says to us about how we live each moment of each day.

“Jesus taught his disciples a prayer that begins,
Our father, who’s in heaven . . .
. . . which is another way of saying,
Begin your prayers—begin your day—by acknowledging that your life is a gift and this gift flows from a source. This source is responsible for the air in your lungs, the blood that courses through your veins, and the vitality that surges through you and everything around you.
. . . which is another way of saying,
Begin whatever you’re doing by remembering that you are here and you have been given a gift.”

I ruminated on these words thinking about how easily hours and days slip by while preparing for that
“one day when.”
One day when…
I get to a better station in life
I get settled in my career
I get married
We get the kids through school
Work becomes a little more manageable
Whether you have spoken these words or not, you know what is being conveyed. Life and true living is experienced in the moment between what is behind you and what you plan to do. Failing to recognize this fact is to treat with little real respect or value the gift God has given you and the dynamic nature of that gift! Yes, God has made provisions for us to live eternally with him, but God has also given you life to live and to experience His presence in each moment. Resist always living in the past or obsessively planning for the future and embrace the fact that you are here and you have been given a precious gift!

Wednesday Evening
Dr. Roxburgh will lead a session on “Spirituality and Suffering” this evening following our Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time. Come and enjoy fellowship around the table sharing a meal together and enjoying good conversation with one another.

In the Moment

We’ve Got (the) Spirit, Yes We Do!

Worship this past Sunday was deeply meaningful and inspiring to members and guests as it included the ordination of two new Deacons and the celebration of Holy Communion all on Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. It was a special day for all of our church family. I was reminded as I watched members and guests come forward to offer words of encouragement and blessing to Annah and Cleve, the two ordained, that though far from perfect, we have come a long way in affirming that the love, mercy and grace of God is available to all; uniting and binding us together as nothing else can.

In those moments of the Deacon Ordination and Holy Communion, the focus of each person conveyed in expressions and actions gave evidence that the issues that normally divide us were far from anyone’s mind. There was no concern about the race, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education or even political affiliation of all gathered for worship. At least for those moments together, we were not only one in Christ in word, we were living it. What a great testimony to Jesus the Christ who is our Redeemer and Lord. Now, our mission is to take the knowledge and experience of God’s grace outside the walls of our building and into the community! You will read below of several opportunities this week and in weeks to come through which you can let others see the love of Christ in you.

Tonight, we have another in the series on spirituality in our and other faith traditions. Dr. Lisa Battaglia will present tonight on the topic of Buddhist Spirituality. Dr. Battaglia is Associate Professor of Religion at Samford University where she teaches world religions. Join us at 5:30pm for Fellowship Supper followed by Prayer and this presentation by Dr. Battaglia.

If you need a few quiet moments to clear all the clutter in your mind from a busy work week, join us for the Contemplative Service on Thursday evening at 5:30pm. It is a quiet service with scripture, prayer and meditation that concludes with Communion.

We’ve Got (the) Spirit, Yes We Do!

Community Engagement

On a Tuesday evening, May 16th, several of our churScreen Shot 2017-06-04 at 3.44.38 PMch members participated in a community event at Vulcan Park. “A Taste of Five Points,” celebrating the 130th anniversary of Five Points South, featured booths by local retail businesses, delicious samples provided by the world-renowned restaurants located in the neighborhood and a display by Southside Baptist Church where we spoke to many of the event guests as gave them informational materials about our inclusive community of grace. 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.

The following Saturday, we participated in “Clean and Clear Five Points.” This quarterly service opportunity, organized by the Five Points Alliance, brings together local businesses, student organizations from UAB, residents and local churches and synagogues to make our community cleaner and safer.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 3.46.09 PM

In the coming weeks, there will be more opportunities for you to be involved in community service and outreach efforts. We look forward to sharing in this time of service and fellowship together. Get involved!

Community Engagement

Upcoming Events & Birthdays

6/1 Men’s Lunch and Bible Study – 12pm
6/4 Pentecost Sunday and Deacon Ordination – 11am
6/6 Birmingham Area Sacred Harp Singers – 6pm
6/15 Men’s Lunch and Bible Study – 12pm
6/18 Father’s Day
6/19 Deacon’s Meeting – 6pm

Birthdays
Kendrick McMillan  6/9
Kevin Pruitt  6/11
Tim Blanton  6/15
Donna Wilson  6/16
Chris Fisher  6/16
Rufie Lewis  6/16
Rusty Bennett  6/19
Clara Taylor  6/19
Jerry Huie 6/20
Mark Richards 6/21
Kellie Vosteen 6/26
Robert Blackshear 6/27
Tom Neil 6/28
Joe Fuller 6/29
Brent Thompson 6/29

Upcoming Events & Birthdays

The Power of Word and Action

Sunday, June 4, 2017, fifty days after Easter, is the Day of Pentecost. It was on Pentecost that the Church was born. Many miraculous events took place on the Day of Pentecost when an unlikely group of average people became world changers gifted to fulfill their calling. The acts of the Apostles chronicled in the book of Acts were accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit that was heard and seen that day when it was manifested as the sound of a mighty rushing wind and as tongues of fire. It was a dramatic and spectacular entry of this promised gift; a gift that remains and will remain until the end of this age. It is this powerful presence that dwells in the hearts and lives of each and every believer to be our companion, teacher, guide and comforter.

Thinking about this wonderful day in the life of the Church, I was reminded of a passage by George Fox, 17th century founder and leader of the Quakers. This brief passage, which Richard Foster included in his book, “Devotional Classics” comes from one of over 3,000 letters Fox wrote to individuals and groups encouraging them to listen to, rely upon, and be guided by the Holy Spirit in all things.

My little children in the Lord God Almighty, this is my joy that you all be ordered and guided by the mighty power of God. Know that Voice that speaks, the sound of the words, and the power of them. Therefore, walk in the power of the Truth that the name of the Lord God may be glorified among you, his renown may be seen in you and among you, and all the world may be astonished, and the Lord admired in ordering of his people who are guided by his Wisdom. – George Fox [Letter 79]

Almost 1,700 years after the Day of Pentecost, Fox urged fellow Christians to yield to the Spirit’s guidance and become the instrument that God created them to be. And now, almost 2,000 years after God gave the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are reminded and we celebrate that the very same spirit is within us today granting us the privilege and responsibility to be the presence of Christ wherever we may be.

If we are guided by the Spirit of Christ and interact with those we encounter as our neighbors, valuing them as God’s children and seeing each of them as worthy of God’s love, mercy and grace, then the words of Fox will surely be borne out,

Therefore, walk in the power of the Truth that the name of the Lord God may be glorified among you.

May it be so.

The Power of Word and Action

Meet Your New Deacons!

Welcome our two newest members to the Board of Deacons. Annah Kelley and Cleve Kinney will be ordained on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and will be part of the 2019 Deacon class. For a complete list of our current Deacons, it is printed on the back of your weekly bulletin.

Annah Lauren Kelley has been a member of Southside Baptist Church for thirty of her thirty-five years. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended The Altamont School before continuing on to Sewanee: the University of the South (BA in Spanish with Anthropology and Religion minors) and the University of Miami (MA in Int’l Administration focusing on nonprofits) to complete her studies. A few years ago, she returned home from career stints in Montgomery and Atlanta and now runs a digital outreach agency working with nonprofits and other small businesses.

Cleve Kinney has been a member of Southside Baptist his entire life. He was baptized in this Sanctuary at the age of 12 by Dr. Buchanan. Cleve holds a Ph.D. degree in Anatomy, with an emphasis in Neuroanatomy, and an M.D. degree as well; he has been practicing Geriatric Psychiatry at UAB for the past twenty-seven years. Currently he is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Meet Your New Deacons!