A look at mission efforts of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is the focus of our program tonight immediately following the weekly Fellowship Supper and a time of prayer. Your tithes and offerings to Southside Baptist Church and to the CBF Offering for Global Missions help support the field personnel and provide necessary resources to carry out these mission efforts. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly will be held in Birmingham this year from June 19-21. During the General Assembly, mission partnerships and new mission and minstry initiatives will be presented. We hope a number of our SSBC members will be able to attend the CBF General Assembly worship service on Wednesday, June 19; transportation from the SSBC to the Civic Center will be provide for those interested (you must be registered first to attend). More details on CBF and on the upcoming General Assembly are planned for our mid-week gathering.
You are also invited and reminded that this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. we will have our last Contemplative/Communion service until July 11, 2019, at which time we will resume the weekly schedule. Join us for a time of prayer, reflection and communion this Thursday.
On Sunday, we have the honor and privilege of participating in ordaining a new deacon to our deacon body. Tom Somers will be ordained after being elected in April to serve a three-year term. An ordination service is a very special service for the one being ordained and the church which ordains them. In this service, the one being called out to serve is affirmed by members of the church through words and pledges of support and affirmation. We look forward to this important event in the life of SSBC.
The Reflections devotion for today cited the apostle Peter’s transforming experience while at the home of Simon the tanner. Peter had a most unusual vision while there, as recorded in Acts Chapter 10, through which God communicated to Peter the truth of God’s love for all people. In his vision: He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. (Acts 10: 11-16)
I thought about Peter’s vision and how the devotional writer for today addressed how shortsighted and wrong our prejudices and biases can be. Holding on to such rigid and dogmatic beliefs and positions leads us to focus more on the letter of the law rather than the Spirit of the law, pushing away others who need to experience the love and grace of God. Our faith journey is dynamic and our knowledge of God and of spiritual things a continual process. We do not reach a pinnacle of knowing all; rather, we discover more and more of who God is through the experience of God’s love, mercy and grace. I hope and pray that we all continue to learn together and challenge one another in our corporate journey of “Building an Inclusive Community of Grace in our community and beyond.
Tonight, Dr. Roxburgh continues the study entitled, “Paul’s Letters.” Make plans to be a part of the study series, and join us at 5:30 pm for Fellowship Supper and prayer.
Several important annual processes are underway and you have an opportunity to take part. The first is the nomination and election of deacons to serve for the coming year. Nomination forms are available in various locations around the church building. Please fill out the form and turn it in to Deacon Chairperson, Chris Fisher, Vice-Chairperson, Marilyn Shepard, or the church office, if you would like to nominate someone to serve as deacon. It is also the time of the year to elect church officers and committee chairs and co-chairs for the standing church committees. The nominating committee will meet and prayerfully consider those who have expressed interest in serving in various capacities as well as contacting others who may have gifts and talents that when used in leadership will make us stronger and more effective as we all work together. Please prayerfully consider your place of service through our family of faith.
Please remember the Wednesday evening and Thursday opportunities for meeting and growing in faith and depth of understanding of our calling to be the presence of Christ in this community. A list of all the weekday events are in the calendar below to which you are invited and encouraged to attend.
I look forward to seeing you at these gatherings and on Sunday when we meet for Fellowship, Bible Study and Worship.
This past Sunday was a wonderful day at Southside. It was a full day with Bible Study, Worship, and a wonderful organ concert in the afternoon to celebrate the dedication of the Southside pipe organ fifty years ago. Several former Southside Baptist members were present, and once again, I was reminded of how shared experiences link our lives with others and shape our faith as we journey through life whether together or apart. A special thank you to Ms. Sarah Heaslett for initiating and securing Huw Lewis to play for this concert, and to all others who volunteered their time in helping with the concert and the reception. Thank you to Rusty Bennett, Henry Hobson, Paul Huie, Nancy Cook, Annah Kelley, Faye Lambert, Bonnie Lessman, Chris McClendon, Kay Thompson and Brenda Tidwell, it was an outstanding event.
Several members from Southside will attend a community forum tonight. Dr. Neal Berte, president emeritus of Birmingham Southern College, will facilitate a discussion on Payday Lending practices and the current legislative efforts to limit the exorbitant interest rates these businesses currently charge. I encourage you to attend if possible. This is an issue that particularly impacts the poor in our state and as a matter of faith, we need to be informed and involved. This discussion will take place at 7:00 p.m. at Canterbury United Methodist Church, 350 Overbrook Road, Mountain Brook, Al 35213. Lest the threat of additional heavy rain today dissuade you from attending, a parking deck with covered access to the building is available.
I look forward to seeing those able to attend this special opportunity. For those unable to attend this forum, I hope you will be present for Fellowship Supper, Prayer Time, and a continuation of the study series, “Baptist Identity,” led by Dr. Roxburgh on Wednesday evening.
Celebrating good things in life, especially significant events or milestones in our life or the life of an organization, is tremendously important. The occasion of celebration allows us to collectively capture some of the thoughts, feelings, values and commitments of a particular time in life. This Sunday is one of those occasions in the life of Southside Baptist Church. An organ concert is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on February 17, 2019 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Southside Pipe Organ, given by the late Mr. and Mrs. Frank P. Samford in 1968 as a part of the remodeled and refurbished sanctuary.
This excerpt comes from the 1968 Service of Dedication program:
We, the congregation, express appreciation to Mr. and Mrs. Samford for the most recent evidence of their generosity. The Samford Organ for years to come will call us to the worship of our Savior, and its music, sometimes thrilling, sometimes majestic, sometimes meditative will assist us in singing with the hymn writer, ‘O praise Him! O praise Him! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
The Southside Organ has been used in more than 4,000 worship services, not including the many special services of revivals, funerals and weddings during which hundreds of thousands of individuals have lifted voices to worship God with heart and voice. I hope you will be present for this significant event and celebration, and that we too can be reminded of the great and wonderful things that God has done, is doing now, and will do in the future.
Every week there are many opportunities for members and friends to serve others through ministries that touch individuals directly and personally. Often, we think of those ministries that fulfill basic physical needs as tangible ways we serve. Receiving and packing food boxes on Monday mornings, distributing the food to clients on Tuesday mornings or sorting and serving clients in the Clothes Closet are some of the ways to serve, but there are many others important ways, too.
Serving others also means being present and extending radical hospitality to every person that comes into the church building. Welcoming with warm hospitality those who come in off the street to the fellowship time before Sunday School, those that visit our Bible Study on Sunday or Wednesday, or those that find their way to the worship service is just as important a part of our overall ministry as any other.
Welcoming, befriending, listening and taking action are all a part of who we are called to be. Take a moment to think about how you welcome others and engage in opportunities to be the presence of Christ by using your gifts to bless others. The place of belonging, the warmth of fellowship, and the bond we share in Christ may be exactly what brings hope to those you welcome and serve.
The weekly Wednesday evening activities begin this evening at 5:30 p.m. with Fellowship supper and a time of prayer followed by the second session of a study series entitled “Baptist Identity” presented by Dr. Roxburgh. Over the next several weeks, the Missions and Ministry Committee is focusing on some of our community ministries, especially the Food Bank and Clothes Closet. The cold weather of the winter months make life extremely difficult for individuals with less than sufficient food, clothing and shelter. Often, more of the resources typically used for food and clothing are used for heating costs. Our mission of being the presence of Christ in our community includes the direct services of our Food Bank and Clothes Closet through which individuals and families receive food and clothing. There is always need for individual-serving food items to put in the snack packs for homeless individuals as well as canned food items to put the boxes distributed each week to the Food Bank clients. A collection bin for the food items mentioned above and those on the shopping list below will be located in Drennen Hall and the Narthex. You may also make a monetary donation designated for local missions food drive, if you prefer. One of the most pressings needs now is for volunteers to help with the sorting and sizing of clothes in the Clothes Closet. Additionally, if you are available to come volunteer for a few hours, please contact the church office.