JANUARY 16, 2019

Rejoice

We rejoice with the angels over a new birth. Jonathan Burrell, a resident at His Way, was baptized Wednesday, January 9th Please welcome and encourage him.

Those in the Hospital

Ø Vickie Binford, niece of Gerry Binford, is in Huntsville Hospital, NICU, after suffering a stroke.

Ø Anna Brown, wife of Charlie, in Huntsville Hospital, ICU.

Ø James Brown will be having open heart surgery tomorrow at Huntsville Hospital.

Ø Jamie Burns is recuperating at home after having surgery Monday, January 14th.

Ø Will Mills is recuperating at home after being struck by a car Monday night, January 14th. He was treated and released from the hospital with cuts and a badly bruised leg. Please pray for him and his dad, Randy.

Ø Alice Payne (former member), is in Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital (formerly HealthSouth), Room 208. Cards may be sent to her at 1611 Beirne, Huntsville, AL 35801. 

Prayer Requests

Ø James and Okhui Brown: “Please keep James in your prayer. Next Tuesday he has a heart catheterization at Huntsville Hospital.” (Update: James will be having open heart surgery tomorrow at Huntsville Hospital.)

Ø Jan Burns: “Jamie will be having surgery early Monday morning. Please pray for a routine, uneventful surgery and a quick recovery.” (Update: Jamie is recuperating at home. “Surgery went well, better than the surgeon expected.”)

Ø Stacey Condron: “Pray for my friend, Pino’s mom, Carol, who is in the hospital with upper respiratory problems. Pray for her release and recovery.” (Update: “Carol is out of the hospital, doing better and on the road to recovery. Pino says thank you for the prayers.”)

Ø Jerell Cromartie came forward Sunday morning (January 13th) asking us to pray for him to be the spiritual leader/husband for Keon.

Ø Claudia Ford: “Prayers for our dad, Doyal, for good outcome when he goes to Vanderbilt this week.”

Ø Chip and Laura Jones: “Asking for prayers for recovery from surgery for Christy Harrison. She’s Suzie Hea’s daughter (past member).”

Ø Asher Keeton: “Pray for me and my team for our tournament. P. S. I love all of you!”

Ø Porters: “Randy Bastin, a friend of the Porters, has had complications after a major surgery. Please pray for him and his family.” (Update: “The card we turned in was for Randy Bastin, uncle of Catherine Riggins. He is in the Cleveland Clinic and has had complications from surgery. He is in ICU on a ventilator and the family is requesting prayers.”)

Ø Caleb Simmons: “Pray for Jim Norville and David Nance as they are in El Salvador and their travel back. Pray for Mom and Dad and their health.”

Ø David Walls: “Thank the church for prayers for my mother. Thank you.J

Ø Jonah Wright: “Please pray that my cousin’s dad has a good time in school.”

Ø Our Shut-ins: Cindy Anderson, Jamie Cole, Margie Gough, James Hall, Martha Jones, Sally Mans, Ted & Rosalie Moore, Johnny Powell, Louis Teague, and Bill & Sherill Townsley.

Ø Mothers-To-Be: Jordan Gibbs (4/15)

Sympathy

Our sympathy is extended to:

 The Ed Smith Family in the passing of Ed’s aunt, Alva M. Williams. Cards may be sent to Ed’s mother, Ruth H. Smith, 6430 Lockhart Drive, Jacksonville, FL  32209.

Casey, Tracey, and Nicole Thompson (former members), whose mother, Dorothy Thompson, passed away Tuesday night, January 15th. Please send cards to The Family of Dorothy Thompson, 3114 Leftwich Street, Huntsville, Alabama 35810.

Adam Reid and his family in the passing of his nephew, Michael Horton.

Congratulations

Our congratulations to:

Ø Nathan and Deborah Brown, who are the proud grandparents of a girl. Rose Ann Haney, daughter of Nick and Mary Haney, was born Wednesday, January 9th, weighing 6 pounds 4 ounces. Big brother, Roy, is happy to have his baby sister home.

Ø Mike and Kathleen Lowery, who are the proud grandparents of a girl. Stella Fae was born Sunday morning, January 13th, weighing 7 pounds and 10 ounces Stella’s parents, Caleb and Erin, and her big brother, Walker, are excited about her arrival.

Thank You

Dear Central Family,

Thank you for your constant prayers thru our brain issues with Jamie…The beautiful basket was so appreciated during her hospital stay!            Debbie, Frankie, and Jamie Cole

Family Vacation Retreat – January 18th – 21st

There will be a meeting on Thursday, January 17th, at 7:00 p.m. at Central for all those going. Trip information will be discussed and needed forms will be filled out. Note that Lake Ozark, MO is further away than Panama City Beach, hence, we will need to leave earlier than before in order to make it on time. You will need to be at the building at 6:00 AM, Friday, January 18, so we can leave at 6:30 AM. If you have any questions, interested in going, or interested in helping someone to go that is financially unable, please contact D’Mitri Lewis (904-887-4006).

 HUGS Meets This Sunday, January 20th

HUGS, a ministry for our 3 years old through kindergarten, will meet during our morning assembly this Sunday, January 20th.

The Weighted Blanket Ministry

The Weighted Blanket Ministry will have two January work sessions: 

Ø Saturday January 19th 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

Ø Monday January 28th 1:15 PM-4:00 PM

We'd love to have you join us for any part of those times to measure, cut, sew, and help fill the blankets for Agape foster children. Contact Terri Apgar (603-714-8642) or Della Simmons (256-288-5572).

Wednesday Nights “Ask Me Anything” Series

Part 2: January 23 through February 27

´ The “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) series is intended to facilitate open, respectful, and non-judgmental communications on various topics where there may be different understandings in how to apply the word of God.

´ The desire is that all attendees be challenged to weigh carefully what the Scriptures say on any given topic, while also giving grace in the areas where interpretation of the Scriptures may be less certain.

´ In each session, moderators will guide the class through discussion of six categories of questions and observations that the congregation provided in December 2018 and are generally expressed as provided.

´ Ground rules for discussion will be established on the first session on Jan 23.

´ Due to time constraints in the six sessions, questions provided in the survey but not addressed here will be addressed at a later time and/or in other venues.

´ Please carefully read through each session’s questions and come prepared to discuss based on Scripture.

Agenda for AMA Gatherings

Date

Topic

1/23

What about Culture, Community and Outreach?

1/30

The Christian View of Modern Government and Politics

2/6

How does Central Approach Congregational Leadership?

2/13

How do we View Expression by Women in our Gatherings?

2/20

How does Central and the Church of Christ fit into the World?

2/27

Moral Living as Christians

January 23 What about Culture, Community, and Outreach?

Ø  How should Central treat the various holidays that our culture recognizes to include: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Halloween?

Ø  How does Central serve the community in the way we are commanded in Matthew 25:44-46 (Other than our partnership with His Way)?

January 30 The Christian View of Modern Government and Politics

Ø  What does the Bible say about a Christian's response to government, especially corrupt governments or government officials?

Ø  What is a Christian to do with his vote in our "current" (last 20 years) political society? 

Ø  How can I support/advocate the compassion and benevolence of Christ toward all (even those with whom I disagree morally) when no party seems to represent God's values? 

Ø  How can we rise above and still be active within the right afforded us by our government? 

Ø  How do we as Christians respond to the incidence of (seemingly) unjustified violence against minorities (e.g., African-Americans, Latinos, foreigners) by white police officers and people of authority? What does the Bible have to say about racism?

February 6 How does Central Approach Congregational Leadership?

Ø  Why do we have just three elders?

Ø  When do we select new elders?  What triggers this?  What should we be doing?

Ø  How are we selecting other leaders?

February 13 How do we View Expression by Women in our Gatherings?

Ø  Where do women fit into the public expression in our assemblies?

Ø  Why does Central differentiate in womens participation based on different assembling groups (congregation, class, LIFE talk, etc.)?

Ø  Did the 1st Century church make these distinctions?  Are these distinctions supported by scripture?

Ø  Why is it ok for women to be able to speak up in 9am-10am service but not have a voice in the 10am - 12pm service?  If the concern is teaching or authority over a man, why are women allowed to share in 9am service? Are they not just "teaching" through what they share even though they don't "lead" by sitting in front of everyone? If the concern is "assembly" vs "class" time, how does the church decide what these services are called? Did the 1st century church have "class" time that made it ok for women to speak up? What about the female prophets?

Ø  At what age are women/girls no longer allowed to pray/read scripture/lead a song in a group that has men/boys present?

February 20 How does Central and the Church of Christ fit into the World?

Ø  What does Central view as the role of the church? 

Ø  What is the purpose of our gatherings?

February 27 Moral Living as Christians

Ø  Is it wrong for Christians to have opposite gender roommates/housemates?

Ø  Is it wrong for my girlfriend/boyfriend to live in the same house if we don't sleep together?

Ø  Is playing the lottery a sin? What about online gambling and slots machines?

Ø  Why does the Church choose to avoid discussing the topic of sex and adultery (two topics) given the appropriate settings?

Ø  Can I date and marry an unbeliever or someone of a different faith or denomination?  Is this being "unequally yoked" (2 Cor. 6:14)?

Meal Preparations for Friday Night Live

The sign-up list to prepare meals for the college ministry at their Friday Night Lives is posted in the fellowship hall outside of the kitchen area. LIFE Talks or individuals, please sign up. Thanks. If you have any questions, contact Carla Campbell (256) 882-6449 or (256) 665-4458.

From the Elders

As many of you know, Sunday (January 6th) we had combined classes in which the elders began a two-part series that addresses foundational matters. We completed the second part of it Sunday morning (January 13th). The topics were:

·          Foundational Beliefs We Cannot Compromise. These are ten beliefs we cannot compromise and remain faithful to the will of God as found in the Scriptures.

·    Foundational Biblical Body-Life Principles we uphold. These are eleven Biblical principles that are foundational to the body-life of a local church; principles which we are called to uphold in the governing and functioning of this congregation. 

We are most appreciative of those who took part in these classes and the interest shown during the comments and questions times. We are reminded of the need for taking care of the foundations in Psalms 11:3. “. . . if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Everyone knows if the foundation crumbles, eventually the whole building tumbles. Thus, it is important to the spiritual health and unity of this church that we take time to review our foundational beliefs as we begin Our Spiritual Journey, 2019. We encourage each member of this congregation to become familiar with these two documents. If you did not get a copy in one of the classes, copies are available on a table at the east exit and the exit into the kitchen area. If you have comments and/or questions, please talk to one of the elders.

Today during our assembly, the elders will give an overview of Our Journey, including the “roadmap” and the stops along the way. As we go along, we want to study together, pray together, work together and grow together in faith and unity. We solicit your prayers and fasting, if your health permits.

We are looking forward to a great day next Sunday (January 20), as we get Our Journey underway.  As noted previously, Our Journey begins by exploring the subject, “Upward, My Personal Walk with God.” The key (or memory) verse for the week is James 4:8, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” The key word is “relationship.” Keep these on your mind and heart throughout the week. 

For this opening session we have a guest speaker, Earl Lavender. Earl is a former missionary to Italy and has preached and taught many years. He is known for his Biblical understanding and his devotion to spiritual development. This is a subject he is familiar with, having given much study and soul searching in this area. He will be speaking to:

·         A combined class (teens and up) in the gymatorium at the regular class time (9:00 AM).

·         Our Sunday assembly.

·         Bonus: Sunday evening (January 20th) from 5:30 to 7:30 we will have one of our Family Gatherings at which Earl will have an open forum. He will have a question and answer session, share personal insights and provide some instruction and equipping that will help us as we continue to explore the topic, “My Personal Walk with God.” This forum is open to all. We urge our ministry leaders/teachers to take advantage of this opportunity. Eat before you come or bring you own food and eat during the forum. Water and lemonade will be provided.

We urge you to join with us as we open our minds and heart to having a deepening relationship to study together, pray together, work together and grow together over the next several months. Pray that we can truly be God’s presence in our time, and may all of this be to the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Please use the cards in your bulletin to provide a focus for the week and to invite others.                                                  The elders,

Chip, Ed, Richard

Mission Report from The Denisov Family in Tomsk, Russia

Hello dear friends!

Greetings from cold and snowy Siberia!

The fall was unusually warm and nice in Tomsk but winter here starts in November, and so far we’ve had a very snowy and rather cold winter. But it’s very warm in our church office. I spent a lot of time there at the end of the year, improving it to make it cozy and comfortable for Sunday school, teenage and college ministries. My carpentry skills turned out to be very useful there. Our office has changed a lot for the past 9 months. It encourages a lot to see so many kids and teenagers each Sunday in the office. I see how these ministries have grown since we got the place.

I mentioned before that the theme of the year is spiritual maturity. So, after church birthday, all this time was devoted to spiritual growth. We spend a lot of time teaching about it to our house church leaders and ministers so that they would encourage people in their house churches to come to maturity, because spiritual maturity, unlike physical maturity, doesn’t come naturally, it requires decisions, devotion and effort. We also thought about vision for church that would include all our ministries and all people in church, that would serve the goal of spiritual growth.

In November we had women’s conference, the theme was “Wonderfully made: the love of a woman”. It was a special weekend filled with fellowship, lessons, discussions. Natasha was one of the teachers at this retreat. It was a challenging and, at the same time, encouraging experience for her.  

There was also a retreat for men in November. It’s when a small group of men get together for two days, spend this time in prayer, worship, confession, and a lot of prayer for each other. It’s time when we get to know each other better, which works not only for closer relationship among brothers but also strengthens our church.

At the end of December, as usual, we had a Christmas party for the church and guests. This year we had it at the office. It was a joyful time and good opportunity to invite non-Christian friends and relatives.

I continue teaching different Bible lessons in 3 groups, there’re two couples that I’ve been counseling lately. I also study the Bible with two non-Christian people. Every week I meet I have a number of individual studies with people from church. I also meet with house church leaders and ministers. Sometimes I am invited to teach at the college group meeting. Lately I have also spent a lot of time dealing with different issues in church not connected with teaching.

At the end of October, Natasha was invited to teach English, part-time. Her students are mainly software engineers. Although she likes teaching, it was a kind of a challenge to go back to regular work.

Right now we’re enjoying nine-day-long New Year holidays. It’s a special family time for us.

Good news – yesterday after general meeting there was a baptism. We have a new brother - Andrei Davidov, who was invited to church by another new Christian.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, friends!

Vasya, Natasha, Sasha, Andrei and Misha Denisov

Upcoming Teen Events

Ø February 15-17 Senior High Teens—sign up for Winterfest NOW with a $20 non-refundable deposit.

Servants Needed

To everyone who helped with Communion Preparation this past year, THANK YOU!

The sign-up list for 2019 is posted in the kitchen. This is one of those behind the scenes acts-of-service that is appreciated by everyone. Questions – contact Jim Phillips 256-417-8202.

Ladies Bible Class

Tuesday Ladies' class will begin Spring Session on January 22 at 10:15. We will open with a special class, Travels in Greece: highlights from Paul's Second Missionary Journey. After that the class will focus on the Conversations of Jesus.

Directory Update

Martha Jones’ new address is Alive Hospice Care, 1629 Williams Dr., Rm. 222, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. 

January Team Servants

Ushers—James Ryans’ Team

Counting—Larry Rice’s Team

FLC Set Up—Steve Lowery’s Team

ACTIVITIES

Jan

18-21

College and 11th and 12th Graders – Family Vacation Retreat (See article.)

 

19

Weighted Blanket Ministry (9:00am-noon)

 

20

Combined Class – Great Journey Together (9:00 am)

 

 

HUGS (during assembly)

 

 

Open Forum with Earl Lavender (5:30-7:30 pm See article: “From the Elders”)

 

25

College – Game Night at The Binfords (6:30 pm)

 

27

Teen Time (5:30-7:30 pm)

 

28

Weighted Blanket Ministry (1:15 pm-4:00 pm)

 

 

A&M Door Knocking (6:30 pm)

 

 

UAH Mixer (7:30 pm)

Feb

1

College – Friday Night Live (6:30 pm)

 

3

Teen Time (5:30-7:30 pm)

 

8-10

Marriage Retreat (See article.)

 

10

Teen Time (5:30-7:30 pm)

 

15

College – Friday Night Live (6:30 pm)

Men To Serve Sunday, January 20

Communion Thoughts: Rondell Crittenden

Serving: Jim Blue, Mathew Wright, James Palmer, Lee Strickland, Daniel Goad, Ronald Graham, Matthew McCauley, Jim Phillips

Prayer: Tim Johnson

 

Fulfilling God Vision for His People at the Central Church of Christ

Our Journey 2019

First Stop, Spiritual Growth Realm – Upward

January –March 2019 (10 Weeks)

Christian Characteristics and Driving Scriptures

Wk 1 (Jan 20) – Introduction and overview: My personal walk with God (Give out Sunday card S2 and Wed. card W1)

Combined classes – Guest speaker, Earl Lavender

            *Reminder: Be noble; listen and verify. (Acts 17:11)

Ø  Key word:  Relationship

Ø  Memory verse:  James 4:8

ü  Guiding Scriptures:  Hebrews 10:22; James 4:6-8

Wk 2 (Jan 27) – Knowing the God I serve (Give out Sun. card S3 and Wed. W2)

Ø  Key words: Loving and just

Ø  Memory verse: Mark 12:30

·  Creator of all and sovereign over all

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Gen. 1:1; 1:27; Psalms 24:1; Luke 16:13; Acts 4:24; Acts 17:24-28; 2 Peter 3:8

·   Ultimate accountability to Him

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Gen. 2:15- 17; Psalms 51:4:5; Acts 17:29-31, Rom. 14:12

·   A God who is loving (agape) and just

ü  Guiding Scriptures: John 3:16-21; Acts 17:30-31

Wk 3 (Feb 3) – My reverence and respect for who He is (Give out Sunday card S4 and Wed. W3)

Ø  Key word: Humility

Ø  Memory verse: Matt. 5:3

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Psalms 51: 1-17; Matt. 11:29

Wk 4 (Feb 10) – My adoration and gratitude for what God has done for me (Give out Sunday card S5 and Wed. W4)

Ø  Key word: Gratitude

Ø  Memory verse: Rom. 8:3

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Psalms 9:11; Luke 17:11-19; John 15:9-11; Acts 4:23-31; Rom. 5:6-11; Phil. 4:8-9; 1 Cor. 10:10, 1 Thess. 1:6, Heb. 13:15; 1 Pet. 2:9

Wk 5 (Feb 17) – My abiding with the Holy Spirit

Combined classes – Guest Speaker

*Reminder: Be noble; listen and verify (Acts 17:11)

Ø  Key word: Holy Spirit

Ø  Memory verse: 2 Cor. 1:21-22

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Acts 2:38; Acts 5:1-4; Rom 8:6, 9; 1 Cor. 6:19; 1 Cor. 12:3; Gal. 4:6; Gal. 5:16, 22, 25; Eph. 4:3, 30; 1 Thess. 5:19

Wk 6 (Feb 24) – My submission to Christ

Ø  Key words: Lord and Savior

Ø  Memory verse: John 20:28-29

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Matt. 28:18; Luke 2:11; John 4:42; John 2:22-27; Rom. 1:1-7; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 3:10; Titus 2:11-14; Eph. 4:4-6

Wk 7 (Mar 3) – Intimacy with God

Ø  Key word: Intimacy

Ø  Memory verse: Matt. 22:37

Basic disciplines

·  Diligent study of the will of God, the Scriptures, to know the will of God

ü  Guiding Scriptures:  Matt. 4:4; Rom. 12:2; Acts 17:11; Heb. 10:22-23; 2 Tim. 2:15

·   Meditation

What is it, and why is it important? What’s the difference between Biblical meditation, Eastern religious meditation and the popular usage of the word today?

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Psalm 1; Psalms 119:97-104

·   Prayer

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Matt. 6:5-14; Matt. 26:39-41; Acts 13:3; 2 Cor. 1:8-11

·   Fasting

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Matthew 6:16-18; Matt. 9:15; Acts 13:2-3; Acts 13:2

Wk 8 (Mar 10) – Purity of heart

Ø  Key word: Purity

Ø  Memory verse:

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Matt. 5:8; Heb. 12:14-16; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:22-24; Phil. 1:9-11; Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 4:3; Heb. 13:4

Wk 9 (Mar 17) – My worship, a living sacrifice (Key words: my life, my worship)

Ø  Key word: Spirit and truth

Ø  Memory verse: John 23-24

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Matt. 4:1; John 4:21-26; Rom. 12:1

Wk 10 (Mar24) – The Overseers and Shepherds reflect

Ø  Key word: Godly

Ø  Memory verse: Acts 20:28

ü  Guiding Scriptures: Heb. 13:7; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Tim. 4:16