October is designated Stewardship Emphasis month. Each week, special attention regarding how we view and use our time, talents and financial resources will be addressed through the Sunday School curriculum, stewardship testimonies during the worship service, and through comments in the weekly updates. We’ve even added a new, convenient way for you to give of your financial resources. God has blessed us immensely, and we are given the opportunity to honor and serve God through the use of our lives and our resources. Please consider the opportunities before us and let us be found faithful both individually and as a family of faith.
Parables from Luke’s gospel, the theme of Dr. Roxburgh’s Bible study series, continues tonight at 6:00 p.m. following the weekly Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time. Dr. Roxburgh allows ample time for questions and discussion following his presentation during which interesting comments are invariably made.
On Thursday, the Men’s Bible Study, led by Charlie Waldrep meets at noon in Room 140. This study has grown in number over the last several months providing a good representation from the church, community, and friends of members. At 5:30 p.m., we meet for the Communion Service in Memorial Chapel. This gathering is a brief service of contemplative worship that concludes with Holy Communion. All are invited to these times of study and worship.
Two special events are scheduled for this Sunday afternoon. Jazz Vespers at 6:00 p.m. in Drennen Hall will be a wonderful time of fellowship as church members and friends from the community gather for this worship celebration. Cheryl Simonetti and the Jazz Vespers Band always make this a great event. Additionally, Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. is the annual Magic City AIDS Walk at Avondale Brewery. Details on both of these events are included below.
The Smyth and Helwys Bible Study curriculum for October presents a study series entitled, “James: Practical Faith.” These lessons prompt many thoughts and lead to great discussions about the relationship between faith and action. Our faith in God’s love, mercy and grace evidenced in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, and our actions, attitudes and behavior regarding others are inextricably linked. One theologian stated, “The whole being of any Christian is faith and love … Faith brings the man to God, love brings him to men.” That theologian was Martin Luther, a key figure in the Protestant Reformation, who many have seen as emphasizing one’s faith so much that the importance of Christian acts of service are diminished. However, Martin Luther did understand and readily embrace that faith and works are inseparable.
At the entrance to St. Vincent’s Hospital is a plaque that bears the words from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, “Christ’s love compels us” (5:14a). Through our church ministries and organizations in our community there are many opportunities to live out your faith as Christ’s love compels you. Take a moment to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to God and ask that the Spirit of Christ will guide you to opportunities of sharing the love of God as you give expressions of your faith through acts of loving kindness.
This Wednesday evening, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Christian Biography series with a presentation on John Calvin. This particular session is “John Calvin: Church and Sacraments.” I hope you will be present at 5:30 p.m. for the Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time followed immediately Dr. Roxburgh’s presentation.
The “Soul Food Sunday and Cornbread Cook-Off” Dinner on the Grounds Sunday was a wonderfully successful and enjoyable event. The winners of the Cornbread Cook-Off were awarded commemorative aprons. Congratulations to Hope Shen for Best-Tasting Cornbread and to Chris McClendon for Best Presentation! Thank you to all who participated, and a special thank you to our Congregational Council and others who helped with decorations, serving and clean-up. Those included Stuart Collier, Nancy Cook, Molly Easter, Chris Fisher, Paul Huie, Abbey Nelson, Rebekah Nelson, Timothy Nelson, Zarien Morris, Touré Pruitt, Brenda Tidwell and Kay Thompson.
This Wednesday, Dr. Roxburgh continues the series “Christian Biography” presenting the third session on John Calvin entitled, “Theologian of Grace.” I hope to see you present for Fellowship Supper and Prayer Time prior to this time of study. Thursday, there are two opportunities for study, fellowship and worship. Charlie Waldrep leads the Men’s Bible Study at noon where about twelve men gather for lunch, study and fellowship. All men are invited to come and take part in this study. Then at 5:30 p.m., all who are able and desire to do so gather in Memorial Chapel on the 2nd floor for a service of prayer and meditation followed by Holy Communion. This short service provides an opportunity to slow down, focus on scripture and allow the Spirit of Christ to refresh our spirits and feed our souls.
The opportunities for growth are not just about study and worship, though. There are several opportunities each week to become involved through serving. In addition to volunteering in the Food Bank, Clothes Closet and Conversational English class, there are several direct service ministries that we as a church family support. One of those, Family Promise which shelters homeless families, will have their annual auction on Thursday, September 20 at 6:30 pm at St. Stephens Episcopal Church (more details below). Brenda Tidwell will have tickets this Wednesday night: $40 in advance and $50 at the door. Additionally, you can also help support this ministry by volunteering when we host the families overnight for one week. Our week will be September 16-23. Please contact Chris Fisher or Brenda Tidwell for more information on how you can be a part of serving these families.
We look forward to seeing you at these events!
This week, the first full week of September, has much in store here at Southside Baptist Church. These events and activities offer a number of opportunities for worship, study, fellowship and service, so please take notice of the calendar of events included below and participate as your schedule permits. I do want to highlight the special “Dinner on the Grounds” this coming Sunday at 12:15 p.m. The Congregational Council gave it the name of “Soul Food Sunday and Cornbread Cook-off,” indicating that special recognition will be given to an extraordinary cook. Dinner on the Grounds is always an enjoyable and often entertaining event: one that is ideal to invite family, friends and neighbors to attend with you so that they may experience the warm and loving spirit of your church family.
Calendar of Events
Wednesday, September 5
|5:00 P.M. Open for Prayers
5:00 P.M. Conversational English
5:30 P.M. Fellowship Supper
6:00 P.M. Prayer
6:15 P.M. Christian Biography: John Calvin: Pastor and Preacher
6:15 P.M. Students and Young Professionals group
7:00 P.M. Choir Rehearsal
Thursday, September 6
|12:00 P.M. Men’s Lunch and Bible Study
5:30 P.M. Communion Service
Friday, September 7
6:30 P.M. AA Meeting
Sunday, September 9
9:30 A.M. Sunday School
10:30 A.M. Parish Nursing
11:00 A.M. Worship – “Pathway of Prayer: Daily Bread” | Matthew 6:11 | Dr. Ken Roxburgh
12:15 P.M. Visitor Hospitality
12:30 P.M. Dinner on the Grounds – Soul Food Sunday and Cornbread Cook-off
Summer vacation is over, schools are in session and our routine is reestablished, all signaling that it is time to fine tune our focus and efforts on the important matters before us. We celebrate this holiday weekend, Labor Day, and the rhythm of life returns. Whether consciously or not, we engage more deliberately and seriously in issues that affect our lives and the lives of others.
At the deacons meeting last week, the deacons discussed how considering their verse for the year, Micah 6:8, could influence the way they relate to others and even respond to issues in all areas of life.
The verse says,
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you but
to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Consider how dramatically different the world in which we live would be if everyone professing to be a Christian would filter our words and actions through this simple verse. We would all draw nearer to understanding and living out the words of Jesus to love others as He has loved us as well.
I hope that we all will think about these words directing us to do justice, love kindness, to walk humbly with God, and to love others as God has loved us. The days ahead will then take on a deeper and richer meaning as we live to honor God and to bless others.
The Wednesday study series, “Christian Biography,” continues this evening with a presentation by Dr. Roxburgh on the life of missionary Jim Elliot. Elliot, an evangelical missionary, and four other missionaries were killed in 1956 by the Huaorani people, an indigenous people in Ecuador. Elliot’s story is moving, and the commitment, dedication and passion of Elliot, his wife Elisabeth and members of his mission team have inspired many through the years. Join us this evening for Fellowship Supper and Prayer, followed by this presentation.
There are a number of service opportunities and needs in our community and among our church family. Please take time to look at the calendar of events and also pick up one of our ministry brochures to see where you fit in and are led to serve in our corporate efforts to be the presence of Christ in this community and beyond.
This is the first week of a new school term for students, teachers and administrators. We acknowledged this in worship Sunday by setting aside time to pray especially for them this school year and by “Blessing the Backpacks” of the students, pledging our prayers for them today and everyday. Please remember our promise to them to pray for them as they learn; pray also for the teachers and administrators as they guide these precious lives.
Every Sunday in our worship service we welcome all who gather with us to worship, guests and members alike. Until this past Sunday, that included only those gathered in the Sanctuary, but now with the aid of technology, we are able to live-stream our services! This additional capability will enable individuals to view the worship service even if in another location. This gives you the opportunity to invite friends and family to worship with you even if they are unable to be present physically. To access the live-stream feed, see the instructions on our website.
An opportunity for you to connect with other Southside members and friends begins this Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at The Filling Station in Crestwood. This will be the first gathering of a book club and we will be reading and discussing Evicted by Matthew Desmond. This is a great chance to gather for fellowship and study outside of our church building.
This coming Sunday, I will begin a class for newcomers immediately following worship. We will spend the next three Sundays taking a look at Southside’s history, Southside’s Mission, and we’ll explore opportunities for individuals to connect. I am looking forward to this new class and an opportunity to get to know those participating better. Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a part.