“But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make a defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet, do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16
“We need to be able to deal with doubt lovingly, helpfully, and especially without ever scolding or shaming anyone for doubting. We must allow people to be who they are and then be able to meet them where they are.” – Dallas Willard, The Allure of Gentleness
Four years ago, I shared a message in our October Spire that I am re-sharing with you below. I feel led to share it again for three reasons. First, I praise God that my friend is alive and well, serving God and supporting missionaries. Second, I wish to honor the memory of all who fought courageously against breast cancer and lived with it until they couldn’t anymore, including my aunt, Julina, who died at the age of 55. Third, I would like to celebrate all who are still in this fight, the family and friends who support them, including our sister in Christ, Teresa, who inspires me and many of us to fight the good fight not just against cancer but to keep the faith in God through Christ who empowers us to keep on keeping and to share the good news with those who are longing for hope and healing in their lives.
Here’s the original message I share in our October 2015 Spire:
Four days ago, I received a call from a dear friend who lives in Illinois. The first five words she spoke were, “Carl, I have bad news.” I paused and waited for her to explain. Her voice was raspy – my friend was not her usual, cheerful, bubbly self. When her voice started to break, I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying except for the word, “cancer.” It is never easy to hear this news. Especially for this dear friend who I had the privilege to introduce to Jesus over 20 years ago.
I met my friend in one of my evening walks around the soccer field of Central Philippine University. In our brief conversation that started with aerobics she eventually asked me to lead a Bible study at her boarding house. I said “Yes.” The rest is history. By God’s grace and power, my friend and her sister eventually made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I was blessed to see the radical change in their lives and their humility in responding to skeptics including their parents. Years later, they too became disciples of Jesus and active members in our church. My friend went through tough times but she exuded a joy that flowed from a close relationship with her Lord in prayer and study of God’s word.
I would not have been able to share my faith in Christ with her without the help of the Holy Spirit and the years of training and discipleship I had received from my home church, the University Church in CPU. Yes, my theological education was a great help, but my seminary training was set on the solid foundation of years of teaching and learning in my home and church. At a very young age I learned that everyone who has Jesus as their Savior and Lord is a missionary. And the purpose of all learning in church is to equip us to teach and make disciples not only of people like us but of all nations. We go and share our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit - with prayer and faith in God’s power - to use our words to and lives to speak to those who are seeking God.
The joy of knowing God and doing God’s will is multiplied when we lead people to Christ. When we are faithful in doing our mission then our worship is not only a personal celebration of God’s faithfulness to us – it’s so much bigger than our personal experiences, wider than our family and friendship circles -- it becomes a community celebration of people coming home to God all over the world. But we always begin somewhere close to home, “with tenderness and reverence, and a clear conscience,” as the Apostle Peter, reminds us. By God’s grace, I was able to do this for my friend over twenty years ago. And with our shared hope in Jesus Christ, I will be able to encourage and remind her that she is not alone as her faith is stretched by the challenges of living with cancer. It is not her cancer that will have the last word – rather, it is the Living Word, Jesus Christ.”
My hope and prayer for our church family is that we grow as disciples of Jesus, who sends us to be missionaries right here in the corner of Jackson and Centre streets. When someone new comes to join us for worship let us take the time to welcome and get to know our guests in the name of Christ. Let us pray for opportunities and be intentional in reaching out to families in our neighborhoods, especially those with young children and young adults, in friendship and be open for God’s guidance when doors open for us to share the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ. As Dr. Alistair Brown urged as in the Annual Session this year: “The greatest act of love is to testify about that love to others.” Amen!
God bless us all as we begin a new season of ministry and discern together what God is doing in our midst that we can actively participate in.
Yours and Christ's,
Main Theme: Leading Children and Families to Jesus
Leading Children and Families to Jesus to do God's Mission
Opening Exercises: 9am
Sunday School Classes: 9:15am-->
Morning Worship Service: 10:30am
Church Council Meeting – Will be held on Thursday, October 17th @ 7pm. in the Adult SS Classroom. All are invited to attend.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10am. to 2 pm. * Please contact Pastor for appointments at other hours as necessary.
If there is an EMERGENCY in your family or you know of a need please call at any time:
- Pastor Carla (610-659-0314)or Parsonage (856-579-4767)
- Heidi Louis, Moderator (856-371-8791)
- Pat Moore (856-430-0685)
Meet on Sunday, October 6th @ 7:30am at the Piston Diner. Any questions, please call Don @ 856-845-3959
: Will meet on October 9th, at 7pm. Please see Judy Sanderson for location.
Will be held on Thursday, October 17th @ 7pm. in the Adult SS Classroom. All are invited to attend.
We are updating the Birthday/Anniversary List at Central Baptist Church. We would love to know your Birthday Month and Day (no year needed), as well as your Anniversary Date! Also please remember to include your children’s birthdays. And if you would prefer not to provide this information that is absolutely fine too! If you have already sent in your information, many thanks!
In order to help you keep up with recent announcements and the focus of our Worship Service, on any Sunday that you are unable to attend church, please feel free to contact any of us to send you a copy of the bulletin and any inserts that might have been included. Joan Moyer, Chair, Email: email@example.com, or Corann Okorodudu, V. Chair: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Fall Gathering for CBC kids, teens, teachers and parents will be happening on Saturday, October 26, 2019, 5:30pm. @ FERRELL FARM, the Bowe Family Farm. For more information, please contact Pastor Carla no later than October14 th. We hope you can join us!
We need to start collecting for the Thanksgiving Holiday as the food bank will begin to give out holiday meals starting the end of October.
Please see or call Libby Sellen if you would like to donate a turkey. Libby’s phone number is #856-845-0833.
The Greater Woodbury Cooperative Ministries Food Bank, located at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on the corner of South Barber and Evergreen Avenues, is collecting food and household goods. Please donate food and/or non-perishables to the Food Bank, and they will joyfully take them. If you are able to purchase extra while out shopping, please bring to the Food Bank, from 9:30am to 11:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or please put them in the box in the Narthex. ** Also, remember that you can make a monetary donation to the Food Bank, and they will purchase the much needed food.
PRAYER REQUESTS- Please do not hesitate to call with any requests for prayer. Contact Diane Bradley or the church office to start the Prayer Chain.
Mark your calendars: We will be meeting on the following dates in the Lower Fellowship Hall. We hope you can join us!
Thursday October 3rd, Thursday, October 17th, October 31st at 5pm.
Just a reminder that we still collect donations for the church’s lawn and leaf care. Anyone willing to donate, should notate on their envelope or check the designation. Thank you for your continued care of our church building and lawn.
CHURCH MOUSE STRESSES NEED TO STRESS LESS
You may (or may not) remember three months ago when I wrote about my need to reduce stress and invited you to join me in that process. (Or, perhaps, in your effort to reduce stress, you decided that you needed to ignore the advice of all rodents!)
The two areas that I covered were: getting organized and living in the present. You are probably wondering (or maybe not) how I’m doing with reducing the stress in my life. I am pleased to say that I am making some headway, especially with getting organized, trying to put things back in their place so I won’t have to go hunting for them.
This month I’d like to share three more ideas to help us reduce stress.
- Help others. A lot of stress occurs when we get too wrapped up in ourselves. Small, everyday situations get blown up into earth-shattering events. The solution: look outside of yourself and help others. You’ll get so involved in helping them that most of your own problems will seem insignificant or vanish, or at least appear in a more realistic light. Think about it: if you volunteer time to help a chemotherapy patient, your ‘bad hair days’ start to look like a pretty minor problem.
- Laugh. If you can find humor in a problem, the problem is half-solved. Think of stand-up comedians. All they talk about are problems, theirs or someone else’s; and they stand up tall and say, “Hey, I’m bigger than these problems – and to prove it, I’ll make jokes about them!”
Whenever you’re faced with something difficult, search for the cosmic humor in it. Laughter distances you from problems so that you can get needed perspective.
- Let others do their own thing. You are not the general manager of the universe, so relax. Things don’t have to be done your way. Celebrate the differences in others and in the ways they do things. It would be very boring if the whole world did things only your way!
And there you have it. Certainly not terribly original, or earth shattering; however, if you stop and think about it, we expend a lot of mental, emotional, and spiritual energy on things that drain, rather than renew us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to spread some sunshine and write a note to someone. It may be just the thing that someone needs.
Chubby (your church-mouse-in-residence)
Below I share excerpts from my sermon on September 22, “The Lord’s Table,” based on the two books written by David E. Fitch, namely, “Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines that Shape the Church for Mission, and its shorter version, Seven Practices for the Church on Mission.
The Lord’s Table is about presence. It is about eating, but ultimately, it’s a practice that shapes a group of people to be present to God’s presence in Christ around the table. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper that was started by Jesus himself, we are able to connect to other people around the table who are committed to Jesus as Lord and Savior. This is the closest fellowship we have to Christ, where we can recognize and receive the forgiveness from his broken body into our lives, the healing and the reconciliation, the renewal of all things through the cup of the new covenant relationship we have with God the Father through the Spirit…Around this table God’s kingly rule over the whole world is expressed through Jesus Christ. As subjects to this King, we submit to Christ’s presence and to one another in love and humility, as modeled to us by our Host, Jesus Christ. This close circle of Jesus’ friends points to a future new world coming…In this space we submit all our divisions and personal agendas to Christ’s presence. “Most people think that the Lord’s Table is practiced only on Sunday by committed Christians. But the life of the early church reveals multiple spaces where the table is practiced. These spaces can be summarized in terms of three circles: the close circle, the dotted circle, and the half circle. “
Close Circle (as opposed to closed): Christ is the host. We carefully discern our relationship to God in Christ before we dare approach it. Are we in full submission to Christ? Is there any enmity between me and someone else around the table? Because of this discernment, this is the circle of the closest fellowship and unity with one another. But the table doesn’t end in the close circle. It extends into our neighborhood, where the Christian becomes the host.
Dotted Circle: Christians are the hosts. It starts with Christians forming a circle of those submitted to Christ’s presence, yet there are openings in the circle, where the strangers are welcomed in. So the circle is …dotted. Christ’s special presence is extended into the neighborhood.
Half Circle: Christians are the guests.“The table however does not stop with the dotted circles of our neighborhoods. The table extends further through the half circle in our world, where the hurting and marginalized people live. Into these circles Christians go, imitating Christ as he enters the homes of the outcast, the publicans and the sinners. We are no longer hosts but guests…we give up control, in our weakness we submit to Christ’s presence among us and allow him to work.”
Dulcet Guitar Duo