This week, plans are being made for how we will honor or remember our mothers and those significant individuals who providing us motherly nurturing. Most of us are able to celebrate Mother’s Day with our spirits being warmed and uplifted when thinking of that special person that sacrificed so much for us whether they are living or whether they have already passed from this life. For others, though, the day will be a painful reminder of a loss for which the grief is still very real. Still others grieve over the desire to be a mother to no avail. I believe we should always honor, remember and celebrate our mothers and motherhood itself while simultaneously remembering those, especially among our church family, who will find this day difficult. This Mother’s Day, as you send your mother a card or remember her in some other way, consider also sending a card, speaking a word of encouragement, or offering a prayer to, or for, someone that you know really needs to hear it. Doing so could make this a Mother’s Day that will always stand apart.
This Wednesday, Dr. Roxburgh continues the series entitled, “Rethinking.” This session will be “Rethinking Communion” focusing on how Baptists and other Christian groups have understood this ordinance, or sacrament, through the years. Join us for Fellowship Supper at 5:30 p.m. followed by Prayer Time and Dr. Roxburgh’s study.
The fiscal year for Southside Baptist Church ended March 31. A regular church business meeting will take place this evening, at which time an incoming class of deacons, church officers, committee chairs and educational leadership will be elected. These recommendations will be coming from the Deacon Nominating Committee and the Committee on Committees. The regular agenda items of reports from committees will also be presented summarizing the last quarter and year, but focusing most on plans for the coming weeks and months. Make plans to be present for the fellowship supper and to hear the reports from the committees and from the church staff.
Do you ever need a little nudge to move toward something you have considered? I think we all do, especially if it means venturing beyond our comfort zone. An idea of going somewhere or trying something new comes into our minds and we give considerable time in thinking about it, but we are unable to move in that direction until a friend, family member, or neighbor offers a word of invitation or affirmation. We might even say that the word we hear from them is “heaven sent.”
I offer this as a reminder that all around you there are people who need a nudge to connect with a family of faith. It only takes a word of invitation for someone to join you in Bible study, worship and fellowship with your church family. Each of us has the opportunity to be a conduit of God’s love and concern for others by sharing what we experience every day. Take a moment and think about the people you value in your family, neighborhood and workplace who might need a word of encouragement or even a nudge to help them experience the life God desires for them. Their life and your life will be enriched in the process.v
If you read the April issue of the Southside Columns, or observe the posters in numerous locations around the building, our focus for study and involvement during Eastertide, social issues and social justice, is very apparent. Looking to scripture and the life of Jesus to inform, motivate and guide us in our response to our neighbors and the world in which we live by addressing systems of injustice and oppression is at the forefront of Jesus’ call to follow him.
The Sunday School lessons for this month fit well and support the efforts of understanding our responsibility in addressing cultural norms that perpetuate these problems. The unit of study looks at the life of an easy-to-like leader in the early Church named Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement. Barnabas was one who worked to spread the gospel in both his preaching/teaching and in his kindness and compassion towards others. Barnabas gave his resources to meet the needs of others, he interceded and advocated for the acceptance of others, such as Paul and John Mark, when their intent or devotion was called into question, and he was a partner in ministry with the Apostle Paul when God led them to realize that the gospel was for everyone including Gentiles.
I hope you’ll participate in these opportunities to study scripture and pray that God would open our eyes to areas of involvement to which we are called.
Palm Sunday: the day we remember and celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and express our love and devotion with loud hosannas. It is a day filled with excitement and anticipation, although, paradoxically there is the heaviness of knowing the betrayal, humiliation, pain and suffering in his crucifixion and death in the days we call Holy week. We know the narrative and that the events of the Holy Week are not the end but the doorway through which we have hope for today, tomorrow and eternity because of the Resurrection. Yes, Palm Sunday is a day to celebrate by singing and shouting Hosanna! Let us celebrate the hope we have in Jesus the Christ every day and especially this Sunday as we gather to worship.
Tonight, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Christian Biography series as he shares thoughts on the life of theologian Karl Barth. Join us for supper, prayer and another session in this informative and interesting series.
I am looking forward to the first day of Spring that occurs next week. Although there will certainly be some cool days to come, warmer days and signs of new life and hope abound with the changing of the season. The blustery, cool winds of March will hopefully give way to the mild and pleasant days we long for. A number of very significant events will transpire over the next few weeks for us as well. These events have a great deal to do with our faith journey and the life of Southside Baptist Church.
A week from this Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week leading up to Easter and a wonderful celebration of the Resurrection. Please take a moment and review the many opportunities to gather and worship with your church family and friends that you invite.
The month of March is also the last month in the church fiscal year. Therefore, a new class of deacons and officers will be nominated and elected by the church in the next business meeting. If you would like to nominate someone to serve as a deacon, please pick up one of the nomination forms at the entrance to the church building, and after completing it, return it to the church office.
The end of the fiscal year is also the time when we look back over all aspects of the church’s ministries, programming, financing and staffing. Please be praying for those who will be completing various leadership roles and those who will be stepping into new ones. Pray also for all who will be working diligently with the church staff to determine the best ways to use all of our resources to pursue the mission of Southside Baptist Church.
I look forward to seeing those able to attend the mid-week gathering tonight at which time we will hear from a group of students from UNC-Chapel Hill. They are spending their Spring Break on an education and service trip to Birmingham. Let’s give them a warm Southside welcome this evening.
Daily consideration of the many opportunities for growth, service and worship during our Lenten journey is an integral part of our personal discipleship. Hopefully, the “call to action” that is emailed to you daily is a helpful reminder of opportunities as well as a prompt to stop and reflect on what you see in daily events, situations and circumstances. And hopefully it also serves as a reminder to take action when you are moved to do so. Praying to see and to respond compassionately to the world in which we live moves us closer to being the people God has called us to be. Spend a few minutes as you start each day asking God to help you see and respond to those who need to experience the love, kindness, encouragement and hope the presence of Christ brings.
Tonight, Dr. Roxburgh continues the Christian Biography series as we hear about the life of theologian Jürgen Moltmann after our Fellowship Supper at 5:30 pm followed by a brief time of prayer.