Advent begins this Sunday, December 3, and it is also the beginning of the Christian Year. Advent is a time of celebrating and waiting, of remembering and anticipating. It is a time of great tension in experiencing the “already” and anticipating the “not yet” that is promised. It is a time for spiritual renewal and of growing deeper and stronger in our faith. Each Sunday is an opportunity to experience the presence of Christ as we worship together and each weekday an opportunity to experience the presence of Christ in our neighborhood, community, work or play.
On Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m., we gather in Memorial Chapel for a time of prayer and meditation, followed by Holy Communion. During Advent, the meditation and prayer focus each week will use the text for the upcoming Sunday. Hopefully this will further enhance our experience of Advent.
This Wednesday, we resume the weekly mid-week schedule for Fellowship Supper, Prayer and Bible Study. Dr. Roxburgh will continue the study on Peter as he presents a study entitled, “Failure and Forgiveness.” I hope to see you there for a great time of fellowship and study.
What will you do this Thanksgiving Day?
Will you be traveling to see family or friends?
Is there a tradition to which your family always adheres on this holiday?
Wherever you are and whatever you do tomorrow, take some time to give thanks for all your blessings. Find a few minutes and take an inventory of all the wondrous sights, sounds and fragrances surrounding you in this wonderful creation God has brought into existence. Look for the good things evident in events and in relationships. Speak words of thanks and appreciation to your family and friends for being present and enriching your life through their love and kind deeds. And above all, give thanks to God for the love, mercy and grace that we experience through Jesus the Christ and the constant and abiding presence of Christ that brings meaning, purpose and joy to our lives.
I hope you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!
This Wednesday evening is one of those very special times our church family gets to gather around the table, give thanks and share a traditional Thanksgiving meal together. Breaking bread with family and friends is always special and, at times, extraordinary. I hope you will share in this time of fellowship and that you will invite your friends to join you.
After the meal we will have a time of prayer and share some thoughts on Thanksgiving. We will also be assembling hygiene kits for those who don’t have homes and family to be with this holiday season. Then on Thursday evening at 5:30 pm, we will gather in Memorial Chapel (2nd floor across from the church office) for a time of reflection and meditation on Psalm 100. This service ends with the celebration of Holy Communion.
In both gatherings, the table is central to all that transpires and, in both, we have the opportunity to express to God, the giver of all that is good, our gratitude for innumerable blessings. The physical needs that are met, the health we enjoy, the family and friends with which we are blessed all have deeper meaning and bring greater joy when we celebrate and give thanks for the tie that binds us together as followers of Jesus the Christ.
Join your church family and feast on the table from God’s bountiful creation, and feast at the table provided by our Savior and Lord who promised that whenever we gather in His name, He is present with us. That is surely reason to give thanks!
We enjoyed a wonderful Fall Festival at Southside Baptist Church last Sunday. Thank you to all who helped to make it such a great event. The food was delicious and the games and activities were a hit, keeping a number of festival-goers engaged and entertained until the middle of the afternoon. It is always good to see our church family having fun together and enjoying each other’s company. On some level, I believe, it pleases God too.
This Wednesday evening we will depart from the recent study series as I share some thoughts of reflection on my recent trip to Morocco. I hope I can convey to you the depth of meaning I received from some of the experiences and interactions I had with individuals there.
Please join us for this weekly time of fellowship, prayer and reflection.
It is good to be home and see family and friends as well as to enjoy many of the conveniences here that I so often take for granted. The trip to Morocco was enlightening and challenging on several levels as it provided insight into a culture that is different for sure, but a people who received us with great hospitality and kindness. I look forward to sharing with you some “Musings on Morocco” next Wednesday evening, November 1.
Due to a number of our key leaders being out of town and others fending off seasonal illnesses, the normal Church Business Conference is being postponed until November 8, 2017. For tomorrow evenings program, Ms. Heaslett and Dr. Banks will lead the Wednesday group in a Hymn Sing following the prayer time. Make plans to be present for this time of fellowship.
Also, our Fall Festival including a covered-dish lunch and games for children is scheduled for this Sunday following worship. Details about the event are included below. This is a wonderful time to invite a friend or neighbor to enjoy this special event with you and your church family.
My time in Morocco is coming to an end soon. The trip has been an inspiring and humbling experience. On our trek of some 1,000 miles throughout the middle and southern part of Morocco, I met people from various cities and villages, visited many of the historic sites, observed the natural sites of God’s creation, listened to missionaries tell of their work in urban and very rural areas. I’ve also had the opportunity, in route from place to place, to discuss what was seen, heard and experienced by those on the trip with me: my oldest brother Fred, my youngest brother Mark, and our uncle, Robert. It has been a rich experience of travel and of deepening family ties. Such travel has the potential to open one’s eyes to a world teaming with people who all have more in common with one another than the differences that seem to always garner the most attention.
In his folksy philosophizing, Mark Twain in “Innocents Abroad” wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Thank you for this time away and the opportunity to see the wonder of God at work in the world. I look forward to sharing with you some of my reflections on this wonderful trip.
I enjoy our journey together,
The opportunity to travel to Morocco, taking in the sights and sounds in route, in Fes and in the surrounding areas, has already been an adventure. Thank you for your prayers as I continue this journey and learn more about the history and the many fascinating aspects of this beautiful and complex country. I look forward to sharing with you about this time away, and in the meantime, will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
I enjoy our journey together,