This week there are two particular events about which I want to remind you. The first is tonight when another session of the series “Christian Biography” will be presented. Dr. David Chapman, Professor of English at Samford University, will share some thoughts and insights on C. S. Lewis’ spiritual journey from atheism to Christianity. Lewis, an esteemed author, academic and theologian, among other things, stated on one occasion, ”I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” This quote characterizes a spiritual journey of great progress and immense depth. Join your church family for this time of study and discussion
Then on Sunday following the worship service, we will gather in Drennen Hall for “Brunch on the Grounds” and some good fun playing Bingo. Bring your favorite brunch food to share with your church family and enjoy the fellowship around the table.
This is an unusual calendar year in that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday both occur on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. On the day we take extra care to express our love to the special people in our lives by giving cards, flowers, candy and other gifts, we also begin the season of Lent and our journey to Holy Week and Easter and the greatest expression of love ever.
Each day during Lent, a devotional thought and an idea for action will be emailed to you. Hopefully, this will help each of us shed some of the superfluous activities we participate in and focus on the truly important things that bring wholeness and meaning to life for us and for those with whom we journey. Join your church family for the Ash Wednesday service at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary and let us be renewed as we journey together.
Our minds turn to several special dates and observances during the month of February. It is the month during which we honor and celebrate Black History, observe Presidents Day, celebrate Valentine’s Day, and most years celebrate Fat Tuesday, observe Ash Wednesday and begin a Lenten Journey.
This Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m., we will enjoy a Mardi Gras-themed Jazz Vespers in Drennen Hall. Jazz Vespers is always an enjoyable event with good music, food and fellowship. Make plans to be present and bring a friend for this special event this Sunday evening.
This Wednesday evening, we have a wonderful guest speaker with us for the next session in the Christian Biography series. Dr. Carol Ann Vaughan Cross will share with us some of her work researching Martha Foster Crawford. Through this series, I have been reminded that while some of these individuals may be well known and perhaps achieved great notoriety in their own right, each one lived their life and made their own spiritual journey just as you and I do; one step at a time, day by day, with a mixture of success and short comings. Hopefully, the challenges and the common experiences we share will strengthen our faith and be an encouragement for faithful living. This session will immediately follow the weekly fellowship supper and prayer time.
I look forward to our time together on Wednesday.
The welcomed sunshine and warmer temperatures seemed to lift everyone’s spirits this past Sunday. Perhaps being able to return to the Sanctuary after worshipping for two consecutive Sundays in Drennen Hall due to the extremely cold temperatures also brightened our outlook. Hopefully, we well be in the Sanctuary for worship again this Sunday as the forecast, at least currently, is for moderate temperatures this weekend. Wherever we gather for worship, we can be assured of God’s presence and the love and warmth of that presence which we experience through the fellowship we share with one another.
Tonight at 6:15 p.m. will be our Quarterly Church Business Meeting. Come and share in the Fellowship Meal and Prayer Time at 5:30 p.m. and participate in the Business Meeting that follows.
The many challenges before us provide opportunities to stretch our faith, believing that to faithfully follow Christ means looking beyond what can be accomplished in our own strength. It means trusting that as we are faithful to follow, God will be faithful to guide and accomplish His purpose in and through us. What a privilege to see God’s work in our lives and in the world.
Due to the extremely low temperatures and the inability to heat the building adequately, Wednesday evening activities are canceled for this evening, January 17.
January weather continues to keep us guessing about the next weather event. Last Sunday, we again gathered in Drennen Hall since the temperature there was more conducive to a positive worship experience than the Sanctuary. The weather forecast for this week shows some bitterly cold weather mid-week, but by Sunday it will feel like a heat wave by comparison as temperatures climb into the sixties allowing us to return to the Sanctuary for worship. As I’ve mentioned in previous emails, the problem we are facing related to heating the building is the failure of the natural gas steam boiler, the main component of the building heating system. This repair/replacement is costly, approximately $75,000, and because it is built with the specific needs and requirements of our building, the lead time is six to eight weeks. Portable heating units are now in use providing heat to some portions of the building; however, these units are not sufficient during extremely low temperatures. Updates will be shared as available regarding progress on the boiler replacement. Some of you have already made additional gifts to help with the costs of major repair. Everyone able to participate by making a special offering to this cause is encouraged to do so. (Simply click here and designate the Building Restoration fund). Until this repair is made, we will continue to be flexible and worship in the Sanctuary when temperatures permit.
Thank you all for the wonderful spirit with which this problem has been faced and for those who have helped make the transition and set-up in Drennen Hall go smoothly.
I enjoy our journey together,
Those in attendance for worship last Sunday are well aware that cold temperatures were felt both outside and inside the church building. A major failure in the building heating system necessitated moving the worship service to Drennen Hall last Sunday. Although in a different location than a typical Sunday service, the same warm and loving spirit was evident and experienced by those present for Sunday worship. Many in attendance commented on how meaningful the worship experience was to them. The main heating system will be out of service for several weeks; however, auxiliary heating units will be in place for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday services allowing those gatherings to take place in the usual locations. More information concerning the heating system will be forthcoming in the next week. Since there is little we can do at this point to hasten the repair, hopefully, we can put it out of our minds and focus on the real reasons we gather at our various times each week. Our hope is to always be the presence of Christ in this community and beyond in and through our worship, study, ministry, missions and fellowship. May we be faithful in our efforts to be the people God has called us to be.