The first Sunday of Advent was wonderful and will surely heighten our anticipation and expectation of this season. Hope for the world and for each person seen evident in scripture, prayers, hymns, choral responses, and visible in the lighting of the Candle of Hope are reminders of God’s presence in all events and circumstances of life. I encourage you to savor the experiences of Advent through worship, reading and meditating on scripture, fellowship and by giving and serving. Live these days with intentionality, eyes wide open, with a sense of wonder, amazement, joy and gratitude that this season embodies. Let us celebrate: the birth of Jesus the Christ, the hope in Him for the future, and the love and grace that is ours through him for today.
I look forward to participating together in the events of Advent expressing our faith together.
– Tim Kelley
How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? However you choose to celebrate, I hope your plans include some time for reflection and prayers of thanksgiving to God for your many blessings. There are also opportunities for you to bless others and to corporately express your thanks as a community of thankful people of faith.
Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m., volunteers will share in a Thanksgiving celebration as food for thanksgiving meals, including a turkey, is distributed to Food Bank clients. It would be wonderful to have some extra volunteers to help tomorrow morning. Then at noon, the Five Points Community Thanksgiving Service will be held at Baptist Church of the Covenant. I hope you will attend as we worship with the many faith communities in the Southside neighborhood.
I look forward to sharing with you in these special gatherings,
A wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and celebration is planned for our Wednesday evening Fellowship Supper, Prayer and Bible Study beginning at 5:30 p.m. Come, bring a friend and enjoy this time with your church family as we consider our manifold blessings and reflect upon the ways that we demonstrate our heartfelt gratitude for what God has done in our lives.
Making known our gratitude is easily crowded out of our daily lives when demands, responsibilities, expectations (of others and those of our own) and over commitment to various tasks fill every waking moment. Be intentional, give thanks, and look for God’s goodness and activity in your life and in the world around you.
There is no time like the present to pause and offer a prayer of praise and thanksgiving because every day is a perfect day to give thanks to God.
All Saints Sunday was inspiring and spiritually uplifting as we reflected on “the great cloud of witnesses that surround us.” Christian leaders who through the centuries contributed to the formation of our faith with little regard for their personal well-being, as long as the truth of God’s love, mercy and grace was proclaimed and perpetuated, were celebrated. We remembered those prominent figures in history, but we also remembered and honored those who through the years helped mold and shape our personal faith by imparting religious knowledge and by living a faithful Christian life that inspired us and served as an example for us. We do give thanks to God for all the Saints.
This Wednesday evening following Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time, a special recognition of Veterans of U.S. Armed Services is planned. It you have any memorabilia you would like to share from your time in the service or to honor someone who died serving, bring it for our display table. This recognition and show of appreciation to our Veterans will include comments by some of the individuals recognized before leading us into a presentation by Dr. Roxburgh.
I look forward to seeing you Wednesday,
Sunday was a beautiful day with clear skies, brilliant sunshine and a wonderful experience of worship at Southside Baptist Church; however, the day was marred by heaviness of heart and spirit stemming from the despicable act of violence that occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The kind of hatred that fills the heart and mind of an individual leading that person to commit such an act is incomprehensible to us, yet we know that time after time evil is manifested through people bent on doing harm, even unto death, of innocent men, women and children because of who they are. I hope you will join me in praying for the larger Jewish Community, and, participate in the vigil outside Temple Beth-El tonight. For more information, you can read this email from Temple Beth-El.
In addition, on behalf of the church ministerial staff, thank you for the gifts of appreciation presented to each of us at the beginning of the worship service Sunday. It truly is a privilege for each of us to serve along side each other and our church family as we all do our very best to be the presence of Christ in this community.
Reports from areas affected so severely by hurricane Michael indicate that recovery will be slow and difficult. Sunday evening at the Fall Gathering of the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
, Terri Byrd, State Coordinator for Alabama CBF, shared comments and requests from her communication with pastors serving churches in these areas. Their requests are:
- Pray for them
- Help with the efforts through donations.
- If possible, send teams to help in the in the recovery efforts.
Most of us have friends or relatives affected by this devastating storm and we look for the best ways to relieve some of the burden they are experiencing. One way to help, in addition to prayer, is to participate through Southside Baptist Church by contributing to our Disaster Relief Fund or by making donations of personal hygiene items which will be delivered to the storm victims. I hope you will prayerfully consider how you might participate.
Our Quarterly Church Business Conference is scheduled for this evening at 6:00 p.m. immediately following our Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time. This meeting will include reports from the church leadership concerning programming, ministries and administration. Join your church family as we hear these reports and make plans for the coming months.
I look forward to seeing you at these times of fellowship,
Worship last Sunday had a different feel with the pipe organ out of service for repairs; however, Ms. Heaslett, Dr. Banks, the wonderful Sanctuary choir, guest pianist Cheryl Simonetti and vocalist Rickey Powell provided music that lifted our spirits and provided a sample of what would later bless us in Jazz Vespers. Thank you also to all the musicians and volunteers that helped with Jazz Vespers set-up, food and clean-up. It was an outstanding day.
This evening, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Bible Study series on the Parables of Jesus found in Luke’s gospel. This follows the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time beginning at 5:30 p.m. These sessions have been outstanding. Dr. Roxburgh’s thoughtful and thorough presentation has elicited some great questions and interesting insights through the discussion that follows.
Although our lives and daily routines haven’t been greatly affected by hurricane Michael, many of our friends, relatives and neighbors in the hardest hit areas are still struggling to recover from the tremendous losses experienced last week. Some are dealing with the loss of lives of family members and friends, others are trying to assess what is left and how to pick up the pieces and rebuild or move on. Please join me in praying for them and for the volunteers helping in the recovery efforts. There are also numerous organizations through which you can make donations to provide food, clothing and shelter or you can contribute through the church and designate your gift as “disaster relief.” May we each respond to these needs as the Spirit of Christ prompts us.
I look forward to seeing you at these times of fellowship,