October 19, 2023
The Greatest Grand Gesture
Luke 21:4 “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Recently a well-know and very successful pop star stated that none of her suitors have made a “crazy” grand gesture to get her attention. That was a disappointment to her.
In reflection, some of us have a true, genuine desire to make a “grand gesture” for God. To do something that will gain His attention and help us to rise above the world in His eyes.
In our passage Jesus has a different perspective. He and His disciples were in the temple courts where He was sharing the good news.
The religious leaders of His day felt that in this public setting it was a good time to confront Jesus because of His heretical views and teachings.
Jesus masterfully addressed each issue that the religious leaders brought up in a way that disarmed the leaders as the people in the temple courts hung on every word.
Then the scripture says that “Jesus looked up.” An amazing characteristic about Jesus is that He is observant. He sees and notices everything. He is not surprised but always vigilant about these teaching opportunities for His disciples and the crowds.
Thirteen wooden boxes with trumpet-shaped bronze funnels to guide the coins into the box were placed under the colonnades of the Court of the Women. This area was the actual Treasury. The sound these coins made against the metal would have indicated how much people offered to the Temple.
Jesus saw the people giving their gifts to the temple treasury. What struck Him was the wealthy giving their gifts and the noise it would have made.
Knowing human nature some did it for show. For those few, it was a “grand gesture” to get attention and possibly, in their minds, to rise above others in the eyes of God.
But notice the true “grand gesture” that caught Jesus’ eye. He “saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. Truly I tell you, he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.’”
His statement certainly raised some eyebrows among the disciples. Their idea of a “grand gesture” was something more material or having to do with power and the wealthy as they gave large sums to God. This poor widow had neither.
Jesus was teaching His disciples, and us, to have a different perspective, a different approach. He said, “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Jesus did not condemn those who gave generously to kingdom work with the right motive. Rather, He is teaching a different perspective. He is showing what a true “grand gesture” looks like to the Father.
The poor widow gave till it hurt the most. She gave out of her poverty, in fact, she gave it all. She was so appreciative of God’s blessings and provision, even in meager sustenance that she gave all to give Him respect and glory. Now, that is the greatest “grand gesture!’
That begs the question, what does our “grand gesture” look like to the Father? He continues to “look.”
I’m convicted by Jesus’ words, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
Title: Hold On – Perseverance in Faith
Text: Hebrew 10:19-25
Cliff Yoder from Benevilla will be speaking for a few minutes, this Sunday during worship, about who is Benevilla and how they can serve you.
Cliff grew up in northern Indiana on five acres where his family raised chickens. He has worked in various industries, including owning his own Street Sweeping business, operating an Ostrich ranch and being on staff at CCV. He says he has lived a blessed life and God has used him in a lot of different positions and situations. Currently, Cliff is the Donor Relations Manager at Benevilla.
Proposed 2024 Budget Q&A Meeting
This Sunday, October 22 immediately following worship, members of the Finance and Personnel Teams will be in Room 113 to answer any questions you may have about the Proposed 2024 Budget.
Pastor Appreciation Month
A message from the Deacons……..
The month of October has long been designated as Pastor Appreciation Month, and we want to honor Pastor Kennedy and Debbie for the way they faithfully minister with and to us, week in and week out.
You are encouraged to participate in this recognition by bringing greeting cards which will be presented to them on Sunday, November 5, at the conclusion of the worship service.
For the next two Sundays, October 22 and 29, baskets will be in both lobbies for you to drop off your cards. After the 29th, all cards will be collected and placed in a receptable for a special presentation on November 5.
Thank you for helping us honor our pastor in this way!
Deacon Council Chairperson
Elizabeth Flanigan, our very efficient Executive Ministry Assistant, has given notice of her plan to leave us soon to be able to assist her husband in their rapidly expanding family business. She and Patrick are enjoying God’s blessings upon their business of hauling rock and gravel to various locations throughout the Valley and surrounding areas. Her last day here will be Thursday, November 2.
Elizabeth began her work in our church office in August 2019, and since then has excelled in every aspect of her work, taking on more and more responsibility. Her organizational skills and efficiency have been exceptional and have helped us move forward in utilizing technology to its fullest extent for staying in touch with our members, as well as the many, many other duties too numerous to mention here.
Elizabeth will definitely be missed in our church office, but we are happy for her and Patrick as they acknowledge and celebrate God’s blessings upon their new business.
Please be in prayer for our Personnel Team as they begin the process of evaluating the needs for covering the duties which have been covered by Elizabeth.
Wednesday, October 25 at 4:00pm is an important Church Conference. We will be discussing and voting on the Proposed 2024 Budget and two Bylaw changes. Church members, please make sure to be in attendance so that we have a quorum.
Thursday, October 26
Movie: “Jesus Revolution” -- In the 1970s, Greg Laurie and a sea of young people descend on sunny Southern California to redefine truth through all means of liberation. Inadvertently, Laurie meets a charismatic street preacher and a pastor who open the doors to a church to a stream of wandering youth. What unfolds is a counterculture movement that becomes the greatest spiritual awakening in American history.
Lunch at 12:30pm by reservation. The cost is $5.00 per person. The last day to sign up for lunch is this coming Sunday.
The movie begins at 1:00pm. Popcorn and water will be served.
Lord’s Supper Service
On Sunday, November 5 we will be focusing on the Lord’s Supper. Through song, prayer, the elements, the written and spoken word, we will “remember” and celebrate the suffering and resurrected Lord. Please spend time seeking God’s heart and word to prepare to experience Him during this special time of worship.
At the end of the service, we will be taking a Benevolent Offering. Ushers will be at all exit doors to accept your offering.
Men’s Fellowship Breakfast
Our next Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is Tuesday, November 7 at 8:00am. Come enjoy the best homecooked breakfast in SCW! Dr. Glenn Saul will be sharing his journey with us. Cost is $4.00 per guy. So that we have enough food, please make sure to sign up on Sunday.
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. Each year they collect shoeboxes filled with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The boxes are delivered to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way.
This year we have two options for you – (1) Go shopping, pack a box and include $10.00 for shipping OR (2) go online from the comfort of your home and pack a box for $25.00 (includes shipping).
Here’s the scoop on each option:
If you wish to shop and pack a box then make sure you stop by the CLC on Sunday and pick up a shoebox from a Missions Team member. Completed boxes need to be returned to the church no later than Sunday, November 5. You’ll need to include a check made out to Samaritan’s Purse for $10.00 to cover shipping.
If you wish to go online to pack a box for $25.00, click here and follow the instructions. If you need detailed step-by-step instructions, check either lobby on Sunday or stop by the church office.
Thanksgiving/Missions Awareness Banquet
Our Annual Thanksgiving/Missions Awareness Banquet will be on Wednesday, November 15 at 5:00pm. Tickets are on sale for $16.00 per person. Personal Touch Catering will provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
This will be a wonderful time to kick off the holiday season and focus on fellowship and gratefulness. Please make every effort to attend. We have a few tickets available for those who desire to attend, but financially are not able to this year. Please call the church office for more information.
Dr. Bruce Ford is our speaker for the evening. Bruce is the Senior Pastor at First Southern Baptist Church Phoenix and is passionate about reaching people with the good news of the gospel and the hope we have in Jesus.
Susan Krause will provide special music. Susan is Phil & Dorothy Schwab’s daughter and is a member of Central Christian Church in Phoenix. Susan found her love for music around the age of 12 while singing songs from a hymnal during church. She has enjoyed singing in bands, choirs and worship teams. Singing harmonies is one of her favorite things.
Just 1 Thing
The Just 1 Thing item for the month of October is individual juices. All donations go to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
I wanted to say thank you so much for all the prayers being sent my way. I have felt them as the Lord has strengthened me in this new college atmosphere. The first month at GCU has been amazing! I have gotten involved in many ministries, met other missionary kids like me and found people who love the Lord like I do. The Lord has blessed me with three amazing roommates. They all love Jesus, love to be active, and we have had so much fun rock climbing, going to chapel, and camping. While it has been a hard transition missing my family back in Thailand, I have gotten to call them multiple times. I am increasingly so thankful for all the people in American supporting, checking in with me, and praying for me as I am here. Thank you again for all your support and prayers. I pray you all are well and the Lord be with you! – Jillian Miller
September 21, 2023
Thought to Ponder
“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge ways of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” Saint Augustine
“ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:20-21
Pray for those whose hearts are darkened that they may see the light. Live your life so that you might be the light to the darkened. Take a look at yourself and be in awe that you are created in His image.
Today we are mailing letters out to all church members regarding two proposed Bylaw changes which will be voted on at the Quarterly Church Conference in October. Please review these proposed changes and call the office with any questions.
If you are a member and do not receive the letter by Wednesday, September 27, please feel free to stop by the office for a copy.
The Lord has blessed our church family with many who have joined over the last three and a half years. In our preparation for our Vision 2025 effort, we conducted a churchwide survey and held a townhall brainstorming evening to get a sense of where our church membership felt God was leading us. These were fruitful for the Vision Team as they moved forward in the planning process.
We feel it is important to hear what God has been telling our new members and those who were here in the Spring of 2019, as we look to adjust our Vision for the last two years of our Vision 2025 effort. To that end, we would like each church member to complete a survey this coming Sunday, September 24, which will give us insight into the wants and needs of our congregation.
Then, to give even greater insight, we will host a special churchwide dinner and “Brainstorming for the Future” evening on Sunday, October 15. Each attendee will have opportunity to share what God has laid upon their heart about FBCSCW’s ministry path and vision ahead. That night will also be a time of reflecting on what God has done these last three years during our Vision 2025 endeavors. More details about this evening are coming soon.
Please participate, pray, and share what God has shown you.
State Missions Offering
During September, we have been focusing on the Arizona State Mission Offering. The theme this year is “Open Your Eyes.” With nearly 8 million people calling Arizona their home, the needs are great. By giving money to this offering you are helping reach people with the gospel and ministering to their needs through Christian Challenge, disaster relief, Hispanic ministries, planting and revitalizing churches, student ministries and ministers in crisis.
Our Church Goal is $4,888.88. You have generously given $3,265 through Sunday, September 17.
Thursday, September 28
Movie: “Sparks: The Ken Sparks Story”
Lunch at 12:30pm by reservation. The cost is $5.00 per person. The last day to sign up for lunch is this coming Sunday.
The movie begins at 1:00pm. Popcorn and water will be served.
This movie portrays the life of NCAA football coach Ken Sparks, who for 46 years devoted his life, despite the sacrifices it demanded of him, to coaching the game of football in such a way that made him a legend.
Stitches of Love
Our sewing ministry, Stitches of Love, will begin meeting again on Monday, October 2 from 9:30-11:30am (and continue every Monday throughout the month of April). The quilts, receiving blankets and burp clothes this ministry makes are donated to the Pregnancy Center and Foster Care of the Arizona Baptist Children’s Services in Phoenix throughout the year. If you’d like more information, please contact Debbie Roberts.
Men’s Fellowship Breakfast
Our next Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is Tuesday, October 2 at 8:00am. Come enjoy the best homecooked breakfast in SCW! Chuck Morrison will be sharing his journey with us. Cost is $4.00 per guy. So that we have enough food, please make sure to sign up on Sunday.
Our next six-week Grief Group is starting Thursday, October 5 and will be led by Dr. Ron Hornecker, our Minister of Counseling. The group will meet from 1:00 to 2:30pm each week through October 9. If you would like more information, please contact Dr. Hornecker at (623) 928-3796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Fall Bible Study Kick-Off Luncheon
Women, make plans to come to the Fall Bible Study Kick-Off Luncheon on Saturday, October 7 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. The event is free, but we are asking each of you to bring a salad to share.
Susan Krause will provide Special Music. Susan has been singing since she was 12 in bands, choirs and worship teams. Singing harmonies is one of her favorite things.
Our speaker, Shelia jones is a pastor’s wife, Bible teacher and mentor. She has been teaching the Word and encouraging people into an intimate relationship of prayer with the Savior for four decades. She says, “because of Jesus, we can live as mighty warriors in His Kingdom until He calls us home.” There’s no better motivation to life.”
Invite your friends and sign up in either lobby on Sunday.
Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study begins Thursday, October 12 and will meet from 10:00-11:30am each week through November 16. Our study this Fall is “Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life” by Jennifer Rothschild. Bev Finley will be leading and books will be available for $15.00 each (books are not required).
Amos is often called a prophet of doom. And when you begin to read his prophecy, it doesn’t take long to realize that nickname fits. On the surface, his prophecy doesn’t sound like a happy formula for the good life. However, every condemnation he gives serves as an invitation, a cry for us to “seek God and live” (Amos 5:4).
During this six-week study, learn how God's sovereign care prompts us to care for others—displaying true righteousness, not just religious ritual. Uncover the connection between the God life and the good life as you open the invitations to live assured, faithful, chosen, humble, justly, prayerful, and hopeful.
Men’s Bible Study
Men’s Bible Study begins Thursday, October 12 and will meet from 10:00-11:30am each week through November 16. Our study this Fall is “Elisha... A Life of Faith.” Dr. Kennedy will be leading the study.
Elisha, whose name means "God is salvation," was the successor of Elijah in the office of the prophet in Israel. He was called to follow Elijah in 1 Kings 19:19, and he spent the next several years as the prophet’s student, until Elijah was taken into heaven. At that time, Elisha began his ministry, which lasted about 60 years, spanning the reigns of Kings Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Joash.
As we study the life of Elisha, we will learn valuable lessons from the prophet’s humility, his obvious love for the people of Israel, and his faithfulness in a lifelong ministry. We will learn what it takes to be obedient to God’s call and follow Him eagerly and faithfully. Elisha clearly believed God and trusted Him. He sought after God, and through him God worked powerfully. God can do powerful things through us…as we learn to follow Him.
Come and join this special study and learn how to enrich your life through obedience.
We are a praying church! If you need prayer and would like for our Prayer Chain to pray for you, please email your request to email@example.com or call our Prayer Chain Coordinator, Ginny Denton, at 623-584-6007.
If you are a church member and would like to receive these requests via email so you can pray, then please contact Elizabeth Flanigan in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-584-5738.
Just 1 Thing
The Just 1 Thing item for the month of September is Cereal (bagged, boxed or individual). All donations go to St. Mary’s Food Bank.
I would like to thank everyone for the cards, prayers and words of sympathy regarding the passing of Dean Finley. I felt comforted and supported by my church family. – Beverly Finley
August 17, 2023
My mom told me that when I was young that I was very persistent. I remember numerous times. as a young preschooler trying to get my mom’s attention, I would continually and persistently tug on her skirt until finally she would answer me. She knew I wasn’t going away so she might as well give me her attention so she could get back to her project or conversation.
In some sense that is what I see in this parable. Jesus is telling a story that was all too familiar in that day…and ours as well. It was about an unrighteous judge and a persistent widow who only wanted justice against her adversary and the judge couldn’t care less.
The unrighteous judge finally gave in. It was not for some noble reason, rather he wanted her off his back. She was an inconvenience and bothersome. The scripture also states that the judge thought she might “eventually come and attack” him.
Jesus shared some lessons from this story. First, He said “Listen.” Second, He said that God would “bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night. Third, He said, “I tell you; he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”
God approves of being persistent in crying out to Him for justice to be given. Do not tire interceding or petitioning the Lord. Unlike the unrighteous judge, God, who is righteous, wants the very best for His followers. So be bold and live out the calling He has given you. Be persistent, stand strong and do not give up. Why? Because Jesus says, “I tell you.” He is the Son of God, Savior of the world, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He is the way, the truth, and the life. Be victorious conquerors. Stay the course.
Maui Disaster Relief
Dr. David Johnson, Executive Director for Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists sent the following info earlier this week:
Undoubtedly you have heard of the tragedy in Maui from the wildfires that have devastated the island. Dozens of people have died, and thousands have been displaced and are in desperate need. The good news is that Southern Baptists are already on the ground helping. Despite losing one of our churches in Lahaina, another church on the island is offering shelter and assistance through Hawaii Disaster Relief. Like our own Disaster Relief ministry in Arizona, this organization of volunteers will be there along with many others for the long haul.
While there are many fund-raising efforts underway to help the people of Hawaii, you can be assured that every dollar given to Disaster Relief goes directly to help those in need. Southern Baptists take care of all the administrative costs through the Cooperative Program so all the funds that are given can be used for relief efforts. In addition to helping with the physical needs of the people affected by this disaster, you are also making it possible for people to experience the love of God and hear the good news about Jesus.
If you would be willing to give to this ministry, click on this link https://www.hpbaptist.net/give/. If you prefer, you can write a check to FBCSCW on Sunday with “Maui Disaster Relief” in the memo and we will send the money in for you.
Fall Dinner Fellowship Groups
Dinner Fellowship Groups exist so members can engage and get to know each other better, while enjoying a meal together (breakfast, lunch or dinner).
Sign-ups for our Fall Dinner Fellowship Groups conclude this Sunday, August 20. Make sure to stop by either lobby on Sunday morning to sign up. Fall Groups will meet from September 1 through January 31, 2024.
When you sign-up for a group, here is what you can expect:
You will be assigned to a group of six to eight.
You will enjoy meals with church members at a member’s home (potluck), or a restaurant (Dutch-treat).
Each group will be assigned a facilitator to keep plans and dates on track.
You will be able to choose the day and time that works best for you.
You will be able to choose from various group types: couples, single women, single men, or no preference.
Small Group Topical Studies
Sign-ups for our next round of Small Group Topical Studies begins this Sunday. The studies will meet from 4:00 to 5:00pm for six weeks starting Wednesday, September 13, ending Wednesday, October 18.
Here are the studies you may choose from:
The Baptist Faith and Message: What We Believe Facilitator: Dr. Kirby Kennedy
Baptists are a people of deep beliefs and cherished doctrines. Throughout our history we have been a confessional people, adopting statements of faith as a witness to our beliefs and a pledge of our faithfulness to the doctrines revealed in Holy Scripture.
The church and believers of every age have been called upon to define and defend its beliefs. During the six weeks you will study the core doctrines Baptists hold dear in a clear, practical and concise way.
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way (Ladies, only please) Facilitator: TBD
What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful? Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard or shatter us completely. During this six-week study by Lysa TerKeurst, you’ll learn that our disappointment can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God.
Tell Someone: Sharing the Good News Facilitator: Rev. Steve Murray
A six-session study on evangelism from Greg Laurie, one of the nation’s most prominent pastors and evangelists.
This study helps group members identify people and places already in their daily routines, encouraging and empowering them to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Evangelism shouldn’t be an artificial religious sales pitch. We shouldn’t be afraid of burning bridges with people we know and love. Instead, we should build bridges with our stories to connect people to the heart of the Savior.
Discovery: Who We Are and What We Do Facilitators: Nancy and David Jakes
This class is offered to all members, new and existing, and those who have been attending our church, but have not yet joined. Multiple topics will be covered, including an overview of Baptist doctrines and beliefs, as well as the organizational structure and ministries of the Southern Baptist and Arizona Baptist Conventions. The organizational structure within our own church is also reviewed, and opportunities to become involved in service and ministry are presented.
AUGUST MOVIE MATINEE — Movie: The Investigator
Thursday, August 24
Lunch at 12:30pm — Movie Begins at 1:00pm
The last day to sign up for lunch is Sunday, August 20.
The death of the apparent suspect in a drug bust forces police sergeant James Buanacore out of the job he loves and into retirement.
Depressed and angry and questioning his faith, James isolates himself until his brother encourages him to take a job as a criminal justice teacher and baseball coach at a Christian high school.
With his cop mentality challenging his students, James struggles through challenging experiences. Close to quitting his job, a student challenges him to begin the investigation that will change his life, and those of his students, forever
Lord’s Supper Service
On Sunday, August 27 during our morning worship, we will spend the entire service reflecting on the Lord’s Supper. Please being to prepare your hearts for this meaningful worship service.
At the end of the service, we will be taking a benevolent offering.
Ice Cream Social and Hymn Sing Join us on August 27 at 5:00pm for an old fashioned Hymn Sing and Ice Cream Social. Call the office if you are willing to make homemade ice cream to bring and share.
Men’s Fellowship Breakfast
Our next Men’s Fellowship Breakfast is Tuesday, September 5 at 8:00am. Come enjoy the best homecooked breakfast in SCW! Ken Flash will be sharing his journey with us. Cost is $4.00 per guy. So that we have enough food, please make sure to sign up on Sunday.
Partners on Mission
Our next Partners on Mission and Potluck Dinner is Wednesday, September 6 at 4:00pm. The theme for the potluck dinner is “End of Summer Picnic.” Sign-ups for fried chicken, baked beans, salads and desserts begin this Sunday.
Our speaker for the evening is Dr. David Johnson, Executive Director at the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists. He will be speaking about the upcoming State Missions Offering and how it will be used.
Women’s Fellowship Lunch
On Monday, September 11 at 12 noon, all women are invited to the Women’s Fellowship Lunch. Please bring your lunch and come prepared to fellowship!
Just 1 Thing
The Just 1 Thing item for the month of August is Dried Peas, Beans and Pasta. Donations can be dropped off in the Donation Room here at church. All donations support St. Mary’s Food Bank.
Memorial Service for Dean Finley
Dean Finley’s Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 2 at 10:30am at the First Baptist Church of Springfield, Missouri (525 South Avenue).
Family visitation will be Friday, September 1 from 4 to 6pm in the First Baptist Chapel.
Please be in prayer for Beverly and the family during this time.
Sunday Morning Transportation Needs
One of our church members has recently moved to Solstice Senior Living here in SCW. Starting in mid-September, they would like to attend Sunday morning Bible Study and Worship but they need a ride.
If you would be able to provide transportation, please call the church office for more information.
Thank You Notes Received
Dear Church Family – It is with much thankfulness to the Best Church Family, from my family that I thank you from the depths of my heart. The cards, the meals, flowers, fixins for breakfast, desserts, etc. etc. I thank you; your love and compassion show the LOVE OF JESUS. Gratefully – Karen Lackey
The FBCSCW Missions Team would like to Thank everyone who donated little boys' clothes to New Life Pregnancy Center. You came through with bags and bags of clothes and they will be put to good use.
Dear Kirby & FBC Sun City West, Thank you for your hospitality and worship on June 25. Thank you also for your generous giving to Mission:Dignity! We truly appreciate your love and compassion for your brothers & sisters in Christ. Praying for you! Aaron Meraz, Director Mission:Dignity
Dear First Baptist Sun City West, It was a total unexpected blessing to receive scholarship money from your church. Thank you so much, it helps more than you know. God Bless You! From - Jillian Miller
Have a great weekend!