After a couple of weeks considering Jesus' celebrated sermon found in Matthew 5 and a special and wonderful service dedicating our new hymnal, we turn our attention to the apostle Paul's instruction to the church at Corinth to build their faith on none other than Jesus Christ. While this instruction may seem as obvious as the powerfully bright sun on a cloudless day, it was an important reminder for those earliest of all Christians and for us too. Throughout the story of Christianity, many have become sidetracked with a devout attention to the tradition of the faith, rather than to the founder of our faith. This Sunday, we will illustrate how the content of faith can get in the way of the essence of faith. It will be a challenging, but necessary lesson as we seek to live kindly and thoughtfully as faithful followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century.
On Wednesday, February 22, a team of college students from Georgetown College is coming to teach our children and youth. They will have activities and discussion as they help our students understand a biblical understanding of missions. Also, Andrew Noe, the director of Faithways Academy, will meet with parents of youth to talk about a great opportunity during the summer for youth to learn more about theology, church history and Christian service. Check out more about Faithways Academy here: faithways.georgetowncollege.edu
Rev. Lauren McDuffie will be our guest preacher on Feb. 26. She serves as the Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Morehead, Kentucky. Born in North Carolina and raised in Memphis, Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University, and was ordained by Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2014. As a student, Lauren served in ministry with several congregations and non-profits, and has since spent time as a chaplain at hospitals in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Memphis, Tennessee, before coming to First Baptist last September.
In appreciation of the teachers and staff at Squires Elementary School, Central is planning a day to provide lunch and goodie bags to all who work at the school. If you are interested in helping with lunch, please talk with Diane Montgomery or contact the church office. We also are asking for donations for the goodie bags. Please bring items from the list below and place in the box outside the church office by Febuary 22. Mints/Gum Full Size Candy Bars Post-It Notes Highlighter Markers Nice Ink Pens Sharpie Markers, any color Small Bottles of Lotion Small Bottles of Hand Sanitizer Small cans of soda Individual Tissue Packs Instant Water Flavoring Packets
This week we continue our attention on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. This time our focus narrows to the conclusion of Jesus’ famous litany of blessings with a call to action. Spiritual knowledge is important, but without a sincere movement to action, all the deep insights gained through prayer, study and reflection might appear exclusively selfish and ultimately will not substantially changes ourselves and certainly not the world around us. Join us this Sunday as we push ourselves into taking the tangible and necessary steps to be agents of salt and light in Jesus’ name.
Our "Preparation" in this Sunday’s worship bulletin alerts us to a powerful observation by Kurt Vonnegut. He writes, “For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!” Sunday, we begin a two-part focus on Jesus’ best known sermon. Aaron will offer a creative reading and singing of Matthew 5:1-12 and the sermon will help us see and participate in Jesus’ vision for personal joy and communal fulfillment. Join us!
A christmas tree covered in white ornaments of strange symbols, the Advent practice of making Chrismons can be a means of meditation and sharing our faith story.
As we begin the new church year and celebrate the First Sunday of Advent, I invite you to be a part of an exciting and helpful resource to take a deeper journey with your knowledge and experience of the Bible. The goal is to provide resources to make Bible reading more "insightful, practical and transformative." Each course features 3-6 video lectures from 5-7 minutes in length. The presenters are from a rich ecumenical community of modern and moderate scholarship mostly from Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist and Presbyterian traditions.
In response to many in our congregation who were seeking a "word" at the end of a long and tumultuous election season, our church staff planned a service of hope, songs and prayers on Wednesday evening, November 9th. The following is a pledge I presented at this service.