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January 26, 2023

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Devotional Thought

About the Father’s Business

Luke 2:41-51

Focal Verse: Luke 2:45 “When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.”

I will never forget the question my wife asked after she returned from running errands.  I was reorganizing our garage. Sarah was about six and a half and Laura was three years old.  I was in charge of watching them while Debbie was out. I figured they were playing in the house and safe, so I became engaged in my garage project.

Debbie had gone into the house and found Sarah playing by herself. She then came out to the garage and asked in a panicked voice, “Where is Laura?” That is never a good question.  It’s not like asking, “Where are the car keys?” or “Where is the TV control?” 

With this look of “Oh my. I am in big trouble. I have lost my youngest daughter,” I responded, “I left them in the house to play.” That was not the answer she was looking for.

I immediately went to search for Laura.  We looked in every room, closet, back yard…everywhere. My wife was not happy to say the least and inside I was beginning to have shortness of breath. The next step was to go door-to-door in our neighborhood to see if anyone had seen her.

There was a still, small voice inside of me that said, “Check Laura’s closet again.” So, I went upstairs to her room.  As I looked in the closet it looked the same until I noticed that the lid of her Little Tikes toy box was slightly ajar.  I removed the lid and inside was my 3-year-old daughter sound asleep.  She had crawled into the toy box to play and fell asleep. I was so relieved…and so in trouble.

I can imagine, to some degree, the panicked feeling of Mary and Joseph when they realized that Jesus was not with any of his friends or their families as they were traveling back home to Nazareth from Passover in Jerusalem. The scripture says that after three days they found Jesus in the Temple courts and she said to Jesus, “Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

I know that feeling but they searched for three days, not 30 minutes. While there was a communication gap between Jesus and his parents it shows that Mary and Joseph loved Jesus. It also makes the point that Jesus’ focus was to “be about my Father’s business.”  Jesus stayed behind after the Passover to listen and ask questions of the teachers at the temple. It is profound that the scripture states, “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”

The main priority for Jesus, even at the age of 12, was to be about the Father’s business.  This should be our main priority as well.  No matter what we must make that relationship and His desires our desires. Would you commit to be “about your Father’s business” in this season of life?

Father, please guide me to be more like You and to make Your desires my desires. Help me to sincerely change my priorities so they are Yours. Amen.

Pastor Kirby

Joy for the Journey Sunday Sermon

Title: The Call for the Journey

Text: Philippians 1:12-18

Focus: Paul realized that his current circumstances weren’t as important as what he did with them. That truth is true for us today. Come Sunday and see how we can make that a reality.

Dinner Fellowship Groups Coming this February!

What is a “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

It is a new ministry which encourages informal monthly fellowship breakfasts, lunches or dinners between members who may not have opportunities to engage and get to know each other through other church activities.

 

How is the “Dinner Fellowship Group” organized?

 

Members who sign up for this exciting time are assigned to groups of six, seven or eight to have fellowship together around the table.

 

The meals can be at a member’s home or at a restaurant. If at a home, it is a potluck.  If at a restaurant, it is Dutch-treat.  Each group is independent and will make their own plans. 

 

In addition, each group will be assigned a facilitator to keep plans and dates on track.

 

How long will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” last? 

 

Each group will meet monthly through May, starting in February.

 

When will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” begin? 

 

Our goal is to begin this ministry in February.

 

How do I sign up for the “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

Please sign up in the lobby or call the church office (623-584-5738) by the end of January to sign up.  The first week in February, we will make group assignments and begin this wonderful FELLOWSHIP opportunity.

 

Make plans to sign up and enjoy getting to know your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Small Group Topical Studies

Our next six-week session of Small Group Topical Studies begins Wednesday, February 15 (ends Wednesday, March 22) from 4:00 to 5:00pm.  You have six groups to choose from:

  • Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado (Facilitator: Caroll Swinney)

  • Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny by Tony Evans (Facilitator: Carroll Yoder)

  • The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer (Facilitator: Diana Brager)

  • Four View of the End Times by Timothy Paul Jones (Facilitator: Dr. Bob Marti)

  • Discovery:  Who We Are and What We Do (Facilitators: Nancy and David Jakes)

  • Deacon Training: Partners in Ministry & Growth by Dr. Jim Henry (Facilitator: Dr. Kennedy)

Sunday’s bulletin will provide detailed descriptions of each study, as well as the February Upbeat which you’ll be receiving in the mail soon.

Grief Group

A new six-week Grief Group is starting next Thursday, February 2 and will meet from 1:00-2:30pm each week.  The intent of the group is to provide support and encouragement for those who have experienced the death of a loved one or who are experiencing another type of significant loss. For more info, contact Dr. Hornecker at 623-628-3796 or rlhornecker@outlook.com.

Men’s Fellowship Breakfast

On Tuesday, February 7 at 8:00am, all men are invited to our Men’s Fellowship Breakfast.  Case Bos will be speaking.  You’ll also enjoy a home-cooked hot breakfast and great fellowship all for $4.  Sign up in the lobby this Sunday.

Partners on Mission

Make plans to join us on Wednesday, February 8 at 4:00pm for our next Partners on Mission.  New Life Pregnancy Center will be here to share with us about their ministry and how the new laws have affected them.

This month’s potluck dinner is Chili and Cornbread.  So pull out your crockpots and find your cornbread recipes. You can sign up on Sunday in both lobbies.  The Missions Team will provide the salad.

Women’s Fellowship Lunch

On Monday, February 13 at 12Noon, all women are invited to bring their own lunch and come to the church to enjoy fellowship with each other.

If you have questions, please contact Elsie Hall.

Watchman Prayer Relaunch

The Watchman Prayer Ministry is relaunched each year to allow individuals to sign up again, change their times and to allow for new members to sign up. It is not spoken about a lot, but it is the driving force of our church’s ministry and yearning for revival and spiritual awakening.  Sign-ups for the new year begin Sunday, February 19.

Based on the need for revival and spiritual awakening in our nation and the ministries of our church, this ministry challenges our members in this season of our lives to unite in intercessory prayer.

This is an on-going ministry for our church in which the individual will commit to one hour of prayer each week for the next year. This ministry is done at the comfort of your home, and we provide you with all the tools you need to pray successfully for an hour.

If it becomes necessary for you to change your hours or withdraw, arrangements can be made. 

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter” (Matthew 26:40). That question could very easily be asked of us. 

What will your answer be?  Let’s join and be a Praying church not just a church that prays. In unity in prayer we can make a difference.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

As of Sunday, January 22, we have received $20,880.22 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  It’s not too late to give. Our church goal this year is $22,222.22.

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

During the month of February, please bring canned soup for St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 19, 2023

FBCSCW E-Blast

Devotional Thought

Hope is the Key

 

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David” Luke 1:68-69.

Zechariah sang a song of praise to the Almighty because His salvation and His Hope had come. John the Baptist’s father was celebrating the realization that God’s Hope had appeared.

It has been said that man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but, only one second without hope.  Hope is the Key.  Hope is sufficient to strengthen, empower and guide us through the challenges of life.  That hope was expressed in two dear saints of God in the early writings of Luke who have touched many.

The hope of Simeon:

Luke 2:28-34

“28 Simeon took him (Jesus) in his arms and praised God, saying:

29 ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
   you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
   and the glory of your people Israel.’

33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too. ‘” Foreshadowing of what was to come.

The hope of Anna:

Luke 2:36-38

“36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

     

Simeon and Anna longed and experienced the Hope of the world which came through the incarnation of Jesus Christ on that beautiful night so many years ago. It was clearly seen by those who were walking with the Father and looking for His salvation. God’s plan of salvation had come to pass. 

No matter how dark days get, remember that you have the Hope of the world. Do not be anxious. God’s plan will always work out. His plans never fail. Be a part of His plans.

Father, help me to be strengthened, empowered, and guided by the Hope that comes from You, and always the Hope of Christ. Amen.

Pastor Kirby

Joy for the Journey Sermon Series Continues

Life is a journey that has many ups and downs, curves and straight-aways. While most of it is different for each of us there are some commonalities. We live and we die. The question is how do we respond and handle everything in-between?  Paul’s response was to live it with JOY!

Title: A Love that Produces Joy

Text: Phil. 1:7-11

Central Focus: The joy that Paul speaks of in this book comes from the heart of one whose love has deepened and broadened. Join us as we discover the characteristics of love that brings joy.

Men’s Bible Study

Men, join us this morning at 10:00am as we start our eight-week study of ELIJAH: Adventures of the Prophet of God. Dr. Kennedy will lead you through lessons from Elijah’s life which will help you in your life and in your service to the Father.

 

Women’s Bible Study

Women, join us this morning at 10:00am as we start our seven-week study called Take Courage:  A Study of Haggai.  Bev Finley will lead the study.  Books are available for purchase for $12.00 but are not required. 

 

Healing for Hurting Hearts Support Group

Women, if you need a safe, confidential place to share and heal in a non-judgmental way, then Healing for Hurting Hearts is the group for you.  The next meeting is Friday, January 20 at 10:00am at Sharon La Rose’s home (17408 N Conquistador Drive, SCW).

Quarterly Church Conference

Our Quarterly Church Conference is Wednesday, January 25 at 4:00pm.  Please make plans to attend.  This Sunday, Church Conference Packets will be available for pick up in both lobbies.

Movie Matinee

Make plans to join us for the first Movie Matinee of 2023 on Thursday, January 26.

Lunch from Chick-fil-A is $5.00 per person and will be served at 12:30pm.  To reserve lunch, please sign up in the lobby or call the church office by 4:00pm Monday, January 23.

The movie starts at 1:00pm and is free.  Freshly popped popcorn and water will be served. 

This month’s movie is “Hidden in Silence”  and is based on a true story. During WWII, while Jews are sent to ghettos, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska (called Fusia in the movie) helps 13 Jews to save their life while raising her little sister.

Dinner Fellowship Groups Coming this February!

What is a “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

It is a new ministry which encourages informal monthly fellowship breakfasts, lunches or dinners between members who may not have opportunities to engage and get to know each other through other church activities.

 

How is the “Dinner Fellowship Group” organized?

 

Members who sign up for this exciting time are assigned to groups of six, seven or eight to have fellowship together around the table.

 

The meals can be at a member’s home or at a restaurant. If at a home, it is a potluck.  If at a restaurant, it is Dutch-treat.  Each group is independent and will make their own plans. 

 

In addition, each group will be assigned a facilitator to keep plans and dates on track.

 

How long will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” last? 

 

Each group will meet monthly through May, starting in February.

 

When will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” begin? 

 

Our goal is to begin this ministry in February 2023.

 

How do I sign up for the “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

Please sign up in the lobby or call the church office (623-584-5738) by the end of January to sign up.  The first week in February, we will make the group assignments and begin this wonderful FELLOWSHIP opportunity.

 

Make plans to sign up and enjoy getting to know your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Grief Group

A new six-week Grief Group is starting Thursday, February 2 and will meet from 1:00-2:30pm each week.  The intent of the group is to provide support and encouragement for those who have experienced the death of a loved one or who are experiencing another type of significant loss. For more info, contact Dr. Hornecker at 623-628-3796 or rlhornecker@outlook.com.

Men’s Fellowship Breakfast

On Tuesday, February 7 at 8:00am, all men are invited to our Men’s Fellowship Breakfast.  Joel McElreath will be sharing more of his missionary experiences with us.  You’ll also enjoy a home-cooked hot breakfast and great fellowship.  Sign up in the lobby this Sunday.

Partners on Mission

Make plans to join us on Wednesday, February 8 at 4:00pm for our next Partners on Mission.  New Life Pregnancy Center will be here to share with us about their ministry and how the new laws have affected them.

This month’s dinner is potluck dinner Chili and Cornbread.  So pull out your crockpots and find your cornbread recipes. You can start signing up for what you’ll bring this Sunday in both lobbies.  The Missions Team will provide the salad.

Watchman Prayer Relaunch

The Watchman Prayer Ministry is relaunched each year to allow individuals to sign up again, change their times and to allow for new members to sign up. It is not spoken about a lot, but it is the driving force of our church’s ministry and yearning for revival and spiritual awakening.  Sign ups for the new year begin Sunday, February 19.

The Watchman Prayer Ministry is a practical prayer ministry which has been used by hundreds of churches involving tens of thousands of individuals. Based on the need for revival and spiritual awakening, this ministry challenges our members in this season of our lives to unite in intercessory prayer.

This is an on-going ministry for our church in which the individual will commit to one hour of prayer each week for the next year (some take more than one hour). This ministry is done at the comfort of your home, and we provide you with all the tools you need to pray successfully for an hour.

If it becomes necessary for you to change your hours or withdraw, arrangements can be made.  The key is for as many of our members to unite each week interceding for God to move mightily in our broken nation and world.

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter” (Matthew 26:40). That question could very easily be asked of us.  What will your answer be?  Let’s join and be a Praying church not just a church that prays. In unity in prayer we can make a difference.

 

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

As of Sunday, January 15, we have received $20,870.22 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  It’s not too late to give. Our church goal this year is $22,222.22.

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

During the month of January, let’s help restock St. Mary’s Food Bank by bringing any non-perishable food items you wish.  Examples are:  Peanut Butter and Jelly, Canned Veggies or Fruit, Pasta, Canned Meat, Packaged Side Dishes, Cereal, Crackers, Chips or Cookies.

Gone Home to be with the Lord

Long time church member, Ann Tichenor went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, January 18.  Please be in pray for her family during this time.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 12, 2023

FBCSCW E-Blast

Joy for the Journey – A New Sermon Series from Paul’s Letter to the Church at Philippi – Starts this Sunday!

Life is a journey that has many ups and downs, curves and straight-aways. While most of it is different for each of us there are some commonalities. We live and we die. The question is how do we respond and handle everything in-between?  Paul’s response was to live it with JOY! In this sermon series we will strive to discover what Paul means for this season in our lives.  So, tune in and prepare for these 15 powerful lessons on living a life of JOY!

 

Lord’s Supper

This Sunday, we will enjoy the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper during the 10:30am worship service.  We look forward to this sacred time of remembering around the Lord’s Memorial table.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

As of Sunday, January 8, we have received $20,657.22 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  It’s not too late to give. Our church goal this year is $22,222.22.

A New Bible Reading Plan for 2023

For 2023, we would like to challenge you to read the Book of Luke. Luke has 24 chapters and there is so much in each chapter for us to discover through an intentional reading schedule. Each month, beginning in January, read two chapters in Luke and let God speak boldly to you.

Again this year Dr. Kennedy will seek to provide, in our weekly Eblast, at least two devotionals from the chapters assigned in Luke for that month.  The first devotional is further down in this E-blast. We look forward to this time of our church body reading God’s word together and considering how to apply His word to our lives personally.

 

Men’s Bible Study

Men, join us for eight-weeks of ELIJAH: Adventures of the Prophet of God starting next Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Dr. Kennedy will lead you through lessons from Elijah’s life which will help you in your life and in your service to the Father.  Sign-ups continue this Sunday.

Elijah was not a super saint.  Being called by God to a unique ministry did not exempt him from incredible stress, crippling fear and being immobilized by depression.  He was like us in that we have seasons of stress, fear and discouragement.  It was through his dependance on the resources he found in his relationship with God that enabled him to be successful.  Those same resources are available as you strive to do the Lord’s work.

 

Women’s Bible Study

Women, join us for a seven-week Bible Study starting next  Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Our study this session is Take Courage:  A Study of Haggai.  Bev Finley will lead the study.  Books will be available for purchase for $12.00 but are not required.  Sign-ups continue this Sunday.

Do you ever feel like the happy ending of your story is a million miles away?  Then you know how the Jewish people felt when they returned to their wrecked land after exile and began rebuilding the temple.  Author Jennifer Rothschild will walk us through a study of Haggai to help us see beyond our current circumstance to a future hope.

 

Healing for Hurting Hearts Support Group

Women, if you need a safe, confidential place to share and heal in a non-judgmental way, then Healing for Hurting Hearts is the group for you.  The next meeting is at Sharon La Rose’s home (17408 N Conquistador Drive, SCW) at 10:00am on Friday, January 20.

Movie Matinee

Make plans to join us for the first Movie Matinee of 2023 on Thursday, January 26.

Lunch from Chick-fil-A is $5.00 per person and will be served at 12:30pm.  To reserve lunch, please sign up in the lobby.

The movie starts at 1:00pm and is free.  Freshly popped popcorn and water will be served. 

This month’s movie is “Hidden in Silence”  and is based on a true story. During WWII, while Jews are sent to ghettos, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska (called Fusia in the movie) helps 13 Jews to save their life while raising her little sister.

Dinner Fellowship Groups Coming this February!

What is a “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

It is a new ministry which encourages informal monthly fellowship dinners between members who may not have opportunities to engage and get to know each other through other church activities.

 

How is the “Dinner Fellowship Group” organized?

 

Members who sign up for this exciting time are assigned to groups of six, seven or eight to have dinner and fellowship together around the table.

 

The dinners can be at a member’s home or at a restaurant.  If at a home, it is a potluck.  If at a restaurant, it is Dutch-treat.  Each group is independent and will make their own plans. 

 

In addition, each group will be assigned a facilitator to keep plans and dates on track.

 

How long will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” last? 

 

Each group will meet monthly through May, starting in February.

 When will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” begin? 

Our goal is to begin this ministry by February 2023.

 

How do I sign up for the “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

Please sign up in the lobby on Sunday or call the church office (623-584-5738) by the end of January to sign up.  The first week in February, we will make the group assignments and begin this wonderful FELLOWSHIP opportunity.

Make plans to sign up and enjoy getting to know your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Devotional Thought

Knowing the Truth - Luke 1:1-4

“… just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus…” Luke 1:2-3.

A few months ago, I shared an illustration I had heard from my mom and dad.  I shared the story of my older brother, at the age of four, baptizing his teddy bear in the bathtub. He said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the rest of them.” 

My sister heard the sermon that Sunday and she shared with me afterwards that is not how that event happened. She was probably around 10 at the time and an eyewitness. The kitchen was very close to the bathroom. That bathroom only had a shower in it.

She said they kept hearing commotion in the bathroom. They went to see what it was and saw my brother baptizing his teddy bear in the commode saying, “I baptize you, my brother, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost” then “kersplash.” 

I decided to message my brother to get his take as the one baptizing. He voice-messaged me and said that mom did hear him in the bathroom and came to see what was going on. He continued, “mom saw me bent over the commode baptizing my teddy bear multiple times saying, ‘I baptize you in the name of Jesus, God and all the rest of ‘em’ -  kerplunk.” 

You can see variations between each account. My account came from oral transmission. My sister’s was from an eyewitness account. My brother was the one experiencing the event. My desire was to get to the truth of the event so that it can be told and retold over the years and is the truth not an embellishment.

That is what Luke was desiring to do with his writing. Luke was a physician and the only Gentile to write any part of the New Testament. He was the author of the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. He does not name himself in either of his books, but Paul mentions him by name in three epistles.

Both Luke and Acts are addressed to the same person, Theophilus (Luke 1:3Acts 1:1). Luke was a close friend of Paul, who referred to him as “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). Perhaps Luke’s interest in medicine is the reason his gospel gives such a high profile to Jesus’ acts of healing in his writings.

Luke was an excellent source of historically accurate information. His writing relied on the memories and experiences of others, his witnesses didn’t have to think back too far, and what they recounted was memorable indeed.

He stated how important knowing the truth was, “…from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning….”

Knowing the truth is critical in all areas of life.  But, no more important than in a person’s spiritual life.  Luke has taken the task of writing an orderly account of the life of Jesus, His many encounters and teachings during His early ministry.

As you begin this year’s reading of the book of Luke, make the commitment to search for the truth of God’s word and how His word applies to you in every area of your life.  You can trust Luke and his writing. God’s Spirit oversaw all that was written. Now, hear what God is saying to you. Listen and respond to His truth for you.

Pastor Kirby

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

During the month of January, let’s help restock St. Mary’s Food Bank by bringing any non-perishable food items you wish.  Examples are:  Peanut Butter and Jelly, Canned Veggies or Fruit, Pasta, Canned Meat, Packaged Side Dishes, Cereal, Crackers, Chips or Cookies.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 5, 2023

FBCSCW E-Blast

Devotional Thought

Scripture of Truth

“…but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince) …” Daniel 10:21.

What better way to begin a New Year than to reaffirm our belief in the truth of God’s Word? At a time when non-Christian belief systems are growing fast and gaining in popularity, many need to be reminded that the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and His purposes to people. Some may ask, “Why Should I believe the Bible?” First, scripture itself confirms the divine source of God’s word: “All scripture is God-breathed…” (II Tim. 3:16). God’s message was given through people and for people, focusing on God as the source of all truth, and the incarnate Son of God as the embodiment of truth (John 14:6) and as God’s instrument in salvation (John 3:16).

Second, the Bible provides the only rationale for our existence. Only God can give and sustain life. Only He can bring meaning and wholeness to human life marred by sin and suffering.

The Bible records God’s acts within the framework of history, often confirmed by secular history and archeology. Finally, I can believe the Bible because I have experienced so many of its promises: salvation, guidance, answered prayer, and God’s peace.

My prayer is that you will take hold of God’s word this year and in particular read and study the Book of Luke – two chapters a month – and learn of God’s glorious riches and truth. Then apply it to your life.

Father, Thank You for providing the Bible as our guidebook. Thank You for those whose faithfulness and sacrifice over the course of time remained faithful to share it. Help me to never take your word for granted but to embrace, internalize and live it out. Amen.

Pastor Kirby

PS: Thank each of you so much for the prayers, words of encouragement and acts of generosity during this special Christmas season.  We were deeply touched and blessed. What a blessing each of you are to Debbie and me. Thank you.

Sunday’s Sermon – A Charge to the Deacons and the Church

Title: What Should Result from the Ordination of Deacons

Text: Acts 6:1-7

Central Focus: There were critical needs met after the first deacons were elected. A major conflict was settled; the apostles were freed to focus on their primary task; and the number of believers were greatly multiplied. Does that still relate to deacon ministry today?

Included in our 10:30am worship service will be the ordination of three of our new deacons: Frank Bush, Phil McKenna, and Larry Super. This is a special time in our church life and in our time of worship. This may be your first experience witnessing the ordination during worship and if so, you are in for a wonderful time.  Pray for God’s mighty movement during this time of honoring God.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Thank you for your generosity, as of Sunday, January 1, we have received $20,005.22 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  Our church goal this year is $22,222.22.

A New Bible Reading Plan for 2023

For 2023, we would like to challenge you to read the Book of Luke. Luke has 24 chapters and there is so much in each chapter for us to discover through an intentional reading schedule. Each month, beginning in January, read two chapters in Luke and let God speak boldly to you.

Again this year Dr. Kennedy will seek to provide, in our weekly Eblast, at least two devotionals from the chapters assigned in Luke for that month. We look forward to this time of our church body reading God’s word together and considering how to apply His word to our lives personally.

Women’s Fellowship Lunch and Cookie Exchange

On Monday, January 9 at 12Noon, all women are invited to the Women’s Fellowship Lunch.  Bring your own lunch and enjoy great fellowship.  Kim Williams will share her testimony with us as well.

At this gathering, we will also have a Cookie Exchange.  Please bring two dozen cookies, your cookie recipe, and an extra container to take your new cookies home in.

If you have questions, please contact Elsie Hall.

Partners on Mission

Next Wednesday, January 11 at 4:00pm, make plans to attend Partners on Mission and enjoy a Potluck Dinner.  Mathew Mueller, Lead Pastor at Valley Life Church in North Peoria, will be speaking about his church and their ministries.  Valley Life Church is one of the new church plants we will start supporting in 2023.

This Sunday is the last day to sign up for the Potluck Dinner.

Joy for the Journey – A New Sermon Series from Paul’s Letter to the Church at Philippi – Starts Sunday, January 15

Life is a journey that has many ups and downs, curves and straight-aways. While most of it is different for each of us there are some commonalities. We live and we die. The question is how do we respond and handle everything in-between?  Paul’s response was to live it with JOY!

In this sermon series we will strive to discover what Paul means for this season in our lives.  So, tune in and prepare for these 15 powerful lessons on living a life of JOY!

Lord’s Supper

On Sunday, January 15, we will enjoy the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper during the 10:30am worship service.  We look forward to this sacred time of remembering around the Lord’s Memorial table.

 

Security Training

Security Team Members (and any others who are interested in being a part of the Security Team), please make plans to attend Security Training with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Counter-Terrorism Team on Thursday, January 12 starting at 9:00am. 

If you are planning to attend, please call the church office by 12Noon today to sign up.  The Sheriff’s Office needs to know how many are coming so they can prepare and have the resources and personnel available.

 

Men’s Bible Study

Men, join us for eight-weeks of ELIJAH: Adventures of the Prophet of God starting on Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Dr. Kennedy will lead you through lessons from Elijah’s life which will help you in your life and in your service to the Father.  Sign-ups continue this Sunday.

Elijah was not a super saint.  Being called by God to a unique ministry did not exempt him from incredible stress, crippling fear and being immobilized by depression.  He was like us in that we have seasons of stress, fear and discouragement.  It was through his dependance on the resources he found in his relationship with God that enabled him to be successful.  Those same resources are available as you strive to do the Lord’s work.

 

Women’s Bible Study

Women, join us for a seven-week Bible Study starting on Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Our study this session is Take Courage:  A Study of Haggai.  The study will be led by Bev Finley.  Books will be available for purchase for $12.00 but are not required.  Sign-ups continue this Sunday.

Do you ever feel like the happy ending of your story is a million miles away?  Then you know how the Jewish people felt when they returned to their wrecked land after exile and began rebuilding the temple.  Author Jennifer Rothschild will walk us through a study of Haggai to help us see beyond our current circumstance to a future hope.

 

Healing for Hurting Hearts Support Group

Women, if you need a safe, confidential place to share and heal in a non-judgmental way, then Healing for Hurting Hearts is the group for you.  The next meeting is at Sharon La Rose’s home (17408 N Conquistador Drive, SCW) at 10:00am on Friday, January 20.

Movie Matinee

Make plans to join us for the first Movie Matinee of 2023 on Thursday, January 26.

Lunch from Chick-fil-A is $5.00 per person and will be served at 12:30pm.  To reserve lunch, please sign up in the lobby starting this Sunday.

The movie starts at 1:00pm and is free.  Freshly popped popcorn and water will be served. 

This month’s movie is “Hidden in Silence”  and is based on a true story. During WWII, while Jews are sent to ghettos, Catholic teenager Stefania Podgorska (called Fusia in the movie) helps 13 Jews to save their life while raising her little sister.

Dinner Fellowship Groups Coming this February!

What is a “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

It is a new ministry which encourages informal monthly fellowship dinners between members who may not have opportunities to engage and get to know each other through other church activities.

 

How is the “Dinner Fellowship Group” organized?

 

Members who sign up for this exciting time are assigned to groups of six, seven or eight to have dinner and fellowship together around the table.

 

The dinners can be at a member’s home or at a restaurant.  If at a home, it is a potluck.  If at a restaurant, it is Dutch-treat.  Each group is independent and will make their own plans. 

 

In addition, each group will be assigned a facilitator to keep plans and dates on track.

 

How long will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” last? 

 

Each group will meet monthly for the remainder of 2023.

 

When will the “Dinner Fellowship Group” begin? 

 

Our goal is to begin this ministry by February 2023.

 

How do I sign up for the “Dinner Fellowship Group?”

 

Please call the church office (623-584-5738) or email (office@fbcscw.org) by the end of January to sign up.  The first week in February, we will make the group assignments and begin this wonderful FELLOWSHIP opportunity.

 

Make plans to sign up and enjoy getting to know your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Parking Lot Drivers Needed

A couple in our church has donated a four-seat golf cart to our church.  We will begin using the golf cart next year to transport those who need assistance from their cars in the parking lot to the church entrance. 

If you are interested in being involved in this ministry of driving and helping those in need, please call the church office.

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

During the month of January, let’s help restock St. Mary’s Food Bank by bringing any non-perishable food items you wish.  Examples are:  Peanut Butter and Jelly, Canned Veggies or Fruit, Pasta, Canned Meat, Packaged Side Dishes, Cereal, Crackers, Chips or Cookies.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 29, 2022

FBCSCW E-Blast

Devotional Thought

Recommitment for a New Journey

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods…we too will serve the Lord, because he is our God” (Joshua 24:15;16a; 16c).

Change was in the air. Joshua was appointed to lead the Israelites to take the Land of Canaan that God had promised His people. For 20 years he had successfully led the battles and the distribution of the land as God had commanded. He had run the course and finished the race that God had set out for him.  After all the years of struggle, leadership, stress, and war he was now ready for the peace of meeting God.

The first 13 verses in this last chapter contain Joshua’s address to the gathered nation. In reflecting upon God’s faithfulness, Joshua summarized the work of God among His people which is recorded between Genesis 11 and Joshua 22.

Joshua highlights Abraham’s flight from “beyond the Euphrates” (Josh. 24:1–4), Israel’s residence in and exodus from Egypt (Josh. 24:5–10), and the Israelites coming into the Promised Land (Josh 24:11–13).

Joshua wanted to emphasize to the nation God’s sovereignty in history and God’s faithfulness to His people. He wanted them to understand that if God has been sovereignly directing history in the past, and has been faithful to His people, so will God oversee all things and provide for Israel in the future. It is noteworthy that Joshua specifically mentions that God brought Abraham from idolatry into a relationship with Himself.

One of the most well-known passages in the book of Joshua is Joshua 24:13–15. In his encouragement to live in holiness Joshua famously challenged the people, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15). He was encouraging the people to avoid hypocrisy.  He exhorts the people to fully follow God if He is God, or to clearly reject God if they are convinced that there are better gods to follow.

After the people express their desire to follow God Joshua declares, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God” (Josh. 24:19). It appears Joshua’s intent here is not to say that the nation cannot follow God; rather, he is likely emphasizing the need of the people’s justification, which would only come through faith in the Promised Messiah. In this passage, it seems that Joshua is pointing toward the First Advent of Christ.

The people were insistent in Joshua 24:21 when they said, “No, we will serve the Lord.” They were sincere and Joshua 24:31 states, “Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel.”

This should be an inspiration to each of us no matter the season of our lives. Joshua died at the age of 110. He was active and faithful to the end.  The Israelites regardless of age were reminded about God’s faithfulness throughout history. They recommitted themselves to God for this next phase of their history and leadership.

Have you experienced God’s faithfulness in your life like the Israelites had?  If so, this should encourage you to recommit to be faithful and obedient to the Lord as you begin this new journey. 

We do not know what 2023 will bring. We can control our desire and heart to be faithful to the One who had been faithful to us no matter what.

As you begin this new year, spend time with God. Ask Him to reveal His desire for you this New Year and commit to live it out passionately. As Joshua reminds us “…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

May God Bless you in 2023!!

Pastor Kirby

Sunday’s Sermon

One of our retired missionaries, Rev. Joel McElreath, will be preaching this Sunday, January 1 as we continue our focus on International Missions and the Lottie Moon Missions Offering. 

Joel and his wife Carolyn were missionaries to Italy for 25 years and Israel (Jerusalem) for 25 years. Fifty years of missionary service and the proclamation of the gospel and meeting needs. What a privilege it is to have Joel speaking and the McElreath’s in our church family.

Also, on Sunday we will have a Guest Organist, Steve Schlesing. Steve is Alma’s son and has been playing the organ for many years.  He is presently the Director of Music and Organist at Lutheran Church of The Master in Troy, Michigan.  He has played at Organ Stop Pizza in Phoenix, has entertained baseball fans at Tiger Stadium and was the house organist for the Fox Theatre in Detroit.  Steve was the winner of the First Annual Liberace Talent Search Contest and performed with Liberace on stage and on television.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Thank you for your generosity, as of Sunday, December 25, we have received $15,815.22 for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.  Our church goal this year is $22,222.22.

End of Year Giving

All end-of-year donations (check, cash and e-giving) must be postmarked by this Saturday, December 31 in order to receive tax credit for the year 2022.

The office is closing at 12:00pm today and will be closed for the remainder of the week.  If you have questions, please call Carol Woods in the office before 12:00pm or call her on her cell (805) 598-7392.

 

New Year’s Office Hours

The church office will be closed on the following days for New Year’s:

  • Thursday, December 29 – closing at 12 Noon

  • Friday, December 30

  • Monday, January 2

A New Bible Reading Plan for 2023

For 2023, we would like to challenge you to read the Book of Luke. Luke has 24 chapters and there is so much in each chapter for us to discover through an intentional reading schedule. Each month, beginning in January, read two chapters in Luke and let God speak boldly to you.

Again this year Dr. Kennedy will seek to provide, in our weekly Eblast, at least two devotionals from the chapters assigned in Luke for that month. We look forward to this time of our church body reading God’s word together and considering how to apply His word to our lives personally.

Men’s Breakfast

2023 is fast approaching and Men -- you’ll be kicking off the New Year with breakfast on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 8:00am.  The cost is $4.00 per person.  You’ll enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast and great fellowship.  Bob Renberg, former Executive Director at Alpine Ranch in Washington state, will be the speaker.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN-UP.  Please call the office by 11:00am if you are planning to come but haven’t previously signed up.

Come Help Take Down Christmas Decorations

The Decorating Team will be taking down the Christmas Decorations on Thursday, January 5 starting at 8:30am.  Everyone is invited to come help with this project.

Worship Service on January 8 Includes Deacon Ordination

Included in our 10:30am worship service will be the ordination of three of our new deacons: Frank Bush, Phil McKenna, and Larry Super. This is a special time in our church life and in our time of worship. This may be your first experience witnessing the ordination during worship and if so, you are in for a wonderful time.  Pray for God’s mighty movement during this time of honoring God.

Women’s Fellowship Lunch and Cookie Exchange

Women – mark your calendars!  On Monday, January 9 at 12Noon, you are invited to the Women’s Fellowship Lunch.  Bring your own lunch and enjoy great fellowship.  Kim Williams will share her testimony with us as well.

At this gathering, we will also have a Cookie Exchange.  Please bring two dozen cookies, your cookie recipe, and an extra container to take your new cookies home in.

If you have questions, please contact Elsie Hall.

Partners on Mission

On Wednesday, January 11 at 4:00pm, make plans to attend Partners on Mission and enjoy a Potluck Dinner.  Mathew Mueller, Lead Pastor at Valley Life Church in North Peoria, will be speaking about his church and their ministries.  Valley Life Church is one of the new church plants we will start supporting in 2023.

Sign-ups for the Potluck Dinner continue this Sunday.

Lord’s Supper for January

This month we will enjoy the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday, January 15 during the 10:30am worship service.  We look forward to this sacred time of remembering around the Lord’s Memorial table.

 

Security Training

Security Team Members (and any others who are interested), please make plans to attend Security Training with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Counter-Terrorism Team on Thursday, January 12 starting at 9:00am. 

If you are planning on attending, please call the church office or Case Bos by 12Noon on Thursday, January 5 to sign up.  The Sheriff’s Office needs to know how many are coming so they can prepare and have the resources and personnel available.

Men’s Bible Study

Men, join us for eight-weeks of ELIJAH: Adventures of the Prophet of God starting on Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Dr. Kennedy will lead you through lessons from Elijah’s life which will help you in your life and in your service to the Father.  Sign-ups begin this Sunday.

Elijah was not a super saint.  Being called by God to a unique ministry did not exempt him from incredible stress, crippling fear and being immobilized by depression.  He was like us in that we have seasons of stress, fear and discouragement.  It was through his dependance on the resources he found in his relationship with God that enabled him to be successful.  Those same resources are available as you strive to do the Lord’s work.

 

Women’s Bible Study

Women, join us for a six-week Bible Study starting on Thursday, January 19 at 10:00am.  Our study this session is Take Courage:  A Study of Haggai.  The study will be led by Bev Finley.  Books will be available for purchase for $12.00 but are not required.  Sign-ups begin this Sunday.

Do you ever feel like the happy ending of your story is a million miles away?  Then you know how the Jewish people felt when they returned to their wrecked land after exile and began rebuilding the temple.  Author Jennifer Rothschild will walk us through a study of Haggai to help us see beyond our current circumstance to a future hope.

 

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

During the month of January, let’s help restock St. Mary’s Food Bank by bringing any non-perishable food items you wish.  Examples are:  Peanut Butter and Jelly, Canned Veggies or Fruit, Pasta, Canned Meat, Packaged Side Dishes, Cereal, Crackers, Chips or Cookies.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

December 21, 2022

FBCSCW E-Blast

Devotional Thought

Good Tidings of Great Joy

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” Luke 2:10.

*Christmas

May the wonderous truths of Christmas

            Come alive upon the earth

In this joyful celebration

            Of the Savior’s blessed birth.

 

As we pay homage to the Baby

            That in a manger lay;

Let us not forget the rugged cross

            Where the Man was placed that day.

 

May we recall it was for us

            He died, who knew no sin;

Who brought good tidings of great joy

            To fill the hearts of men.

 

May the glory of God’s presence

            Within our hearts, instill

The marvel of His own great love

            Throughout the world in peace, good will.

*Written and published by Bessie L. Kennedy, December 1987

Father, Thank You for Your unconditional love which made salvation possible for each person. Thank You for saving me through Christ, for whose birth we celebrate. Amen.

Merry Christmas, Church Family,

Pastor Kirby and Debbie.

Powerful Musical Message, Choir

Thank you so much, Sanctuary Choir, for your powerful message this past Sunday afternoon.  I have heard so many comments and testimonials of God moving in the lives of our members and guests that night.  I want to thank all involved from our narrator to the instrumentalists, soloists, sound booth team, kitchen and decorating teams and others who put so much time and effort to make this presentation and the fellowship afterwards so meaningful.  Thank you, Nancy Jakes, for planning, preparing and directing this touching presentation in celebration of our Lord’s Birthday.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

This Saturday at 4:00pm please join us for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. This will allow those attending to enjoy this special service and be able to get home prior to dark and/or attend family/friend Christmas Eve celebrations in the evening. The eve before Christmas is a time for reflection, celebration, excitement, and gratitude. This service of Light will be filled with beautiful carols of the season, the fellowship of the saints, and the scripture encouragement as we celebrate the First Advent of the King, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

 

We invite you to attend and invite your family, friends, and neighbors to this special service of Hope and Light. 

If you are unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed on our website.  Go to www.fbcscw.org, click on “Resources” in the top menu bar, then click on “Special Events.”

Special Christmas Day Worship Service

Our celebration of Jesus’ birth will continue Sunday morning, December 25 at 10:30am.  Join us at our Special Christmas Worship Service celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.

As a reminder -  we will not be having Bible Study on Christmas Day.

Sunday’s Sermon – Christmas Day

Title: The Virgin Birth and the New Birth

Text: Luke 1:26-37

Central Focus: Jesus Christ did not arise out of the continuity of human history, but God came to the rescue by creating a “New Person.”  In a related way, one becomes a Christian by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the new birth. The same God who can create by a virgin birth can intervene in human life with a new birth. The same Holy Spirit operates in both realms.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Every year, Southern Baptist churches collect an offering to send and support missionaries to be steadfastly present among those who have never heard the gospel.

Because of your generosity in 2021, the IMB was able to support 3,650 missionaries; 592,408 heard the gospel for the first time; 1176,945 people came to know Christ; 93 new people groups were engaged; and 22,744 new churches were planted. 

100% of your gifts go to enable gospel transformation among the unreached. 

Our church goal is $22,222.22.  As of Sunday, December 18, we have received $13,355.22 for the Lottie Moon offering. 

End of Year Giving

All end-of-year donations (check, cash and e-giving) must be postmarked by Saturday, December 31 in order to receive tax credit for the year 2022.

The office is closing at 12Noon on Thursday, December 29, and will be closed for the remainder of the week.  If you have questions, please call Carol Woods in the office during office hours or call her on her cell (805) 598-7392.

 

Christmas/New Year’s Office Hours

The church office will be closed on the following days during the week of Christmas and New Year’s:

  • Thursday, December 22 and Friday, December 23

  • Monday, December 26

  • Thursday, December 29 – closing at 12 Noon

  • Friday, December 30

  • Monday, January 2

Prayer Meetings

There will be no Pastor’s Prayer meeting on Christmas day. 

In addition, every Tuesday at 10:45am we gather to pray for our church, the nation, the world, those needing salvation, our missionaries and more.  We will be taking a Christmas break and not meeting on Tuesday, December 27.

Make plans to join us in the new year!  The Pastor’s Prayer meeting will return on Jan. 1st at 8:30am.  Our first Churchwide Tuesday Prayer Meeting in 2023 will be January 3 at 10:45am.

A New Bible Reading Plan for 2023

Thank you for taking the time and opportunity to read the Book of Joshua in 2022.  Two chapters a month is not taxing but does keep our focus.  I hope that the devotions on each chapter through the year were helpful and encouraging.

For 2023, I would like to challenge you to read the Book of Luke. Luke has 24 chapters as well and there is so much in each chapter for us to discover through an intentional reading schedule. Each month, beginning in January, read two chapters in Luke and let God speak boldly to you.

Again, this year I will seek to provide, in our weekly Eblast, at least two devotionals from the chapters assigned in Luke for that month. I will look forward to this time of our church body reading God’s word together and considering how to apply His word to our lives personally.

Love in Action through “Just One Thing”

With inflation rising it is more difficult for people to make ends meet. St. Mary’s Food Bank helps so many in our area and around the state. Do all you can to help this amazing ministry. During the month of December, you are encouraged to bring Mac N Cheese and Packaged Side Dishes.

Parking Lot Drivers Needed

A couple in our church has donated a four-seat golf cart to our church.  We will begin using the golf cart next year to transport those who need assistance from their cars in the parking lot to the church entrance.  If you are interested in being involved in this ministry of driving and helping those in need, please call the church office.

 

Men’s Breakfast

2023 is fast approaching and Men -- you’ll be kicking off the New Year with breakfast on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, at 8:00am.  The cost is $4.00 per person.  You’ll enjoy a delicious home-cooked breakfast and great fellowship.  Bob Renberg, former Executive Director at Alpine Ranch in Washington state, will be the speaker.

Sign-ups continue this Sunday.  The last day to sign up is by 11:00am on Thursday, December 29. 

 

Worship Service on January 8 Includes Deacon Ordination

Included in our 10:30am worship service will be the ordination of three of our new deacons: Frank Bush, Phil McKenna, and Larry Super. This is a special time in our church life and in our time of worship. This may be your first experience witnessing the ordination during worship and if so, you are in for a wonderful time.  Pray for God’s mighty movement during this time of honoring God.

Women’s Fellowship Lunch and Cookie Exchange

Women – mark your calendars!  On Monday, January 9 at 12Noon, you are invited to the Women’s Fellowship Lunch.  Bring your own lunch and enjoy great fellowship.  Kim Williams will share her testimony with us as well.

At this gathering, we will also have a Cookie Exchange.  Please bring two dozen cookies, your cookie recipe, and an extra container to take your new cookies home in.

If you have questions, please contact Elsie Hall.

Partners on Mission

On Wednesday, January 11 at 4:00pm, make plans to attend Partners on Mission and enjoy a Potluck Dinner.  Mathew Mueller, Lead Pastor at Valley Life Church in North Peoria, will be speaking about his church and their ministries.  Valley Life Church is one of the new church plants we will start supporting in 2023.

Sign-ups for the Potluck Dinner begin this Sunday.

Security Training

Security Team Members (and any others who are interested), please make plans to attend Security Training with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Counter-Terrorism Team on Thursday, January 12 starting at 9:00am. 

If you are planning on attending, please call the church office or Case Bos by 12Noon on Thursday, January 5 to sign up.  The Sheriff’s Office needs to know how many are coming so they can prepare and have the resources and personnel available.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

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