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News and Notes

by Bennie Hill

BennieHillPORTLAND CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI BANQUET…will be on Saturday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wildwood Country Club at 5000 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky.  Alumni, watch for mailer or contact PCS for more information at (502) 429-3727 or email www.portlandchristian.org

Denham Springs Church of Christ (Louisiana) Mike Abbott (3/10/17).

We are still living in a FEMA trailer which we were happy to get.  Most of our congregation is still waiting to get back in their homes, though a few are moving back in homes that are livable but not finished.  Our church buildings are also still under construction.  Other than updating the bathrooms, our main building is being restored as it was.  Our fellowship hall is being converted into classrooms due to the loss of the old parsonage which we had converted into classrooms and a church office.  The old parsonage was going to be too expensive to restore (walls, sub-flooring, and update (electrical wiring, plumbing).  While we have been meeting at the building for Sunday morning worship, we have not been able to hold S.S., Sunday and Wednesday Bible studies which has hurt.  Hopefully we will be back up and running normally by the end of April.  But again God has used the flood for some positives.

Our congregation has reached out to one another and to outsiders like never before.  We have received $250,000 from churches of Christ all over the country.  We have been able to use about half of those funds to help people in and out of our church with purchasing installation and dry-wall for their flooded homes.  We gave $20,000 to three elderly, mixed income members who did not have flood insurance.  With the help of Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team, and numerous church of Christ congregations, we helped 200 plus households with cleaning supplies, food boxes, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, plastic storage totes, used and new furniture and appliances.  The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team brought in a mobile kitchen which prepared and feed around 200 people, each weekday, for a couple of months.  IDES, the International Disaster Emergency Services, provided 20 12′ by 8′ sheds for flood victims to store whatever household items they could recover. These sheds proved to be very helpful.  With the other half of that $250,000, we are using to restore and remodel our church buildings.  Lord willing, we are planning in the near future to build a small multiple purpose building to replace the old parsonage.

WHY IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE IMPORT?     (Paul Prather is pastor of Bethesda Church near Mount Sterling and weekly writer for the Lexington Hearld-Leader Newspaper)

Christianity is a team sport.  Permit me a humble analogy. You might see yourself as a terrific baseball pitcher. But if you only throw baseballs in your backyard at a plywood cutout, you won’t progress. You’re not even really playing baseball.  To discover the full extent of your abilities, to understand the true game, you need a catcher, a coach, infielders and outfielders — and even someone standing in the batter’s box ready to swat your best fastball right back at you.

Same with being a Christian. You can’t do it well by yourself.  Communion is among our faith’s central sacraments, a ritual that celebrates Christians as members of a spiritual, God-ordained community. We’re many individuals who, joined together with Jesus and each other, form one great cosmic body. It’s in our spiritual DNA that we rely on one another; no one stands alone.   Attendance is commanded. The writer of Hebrews, for instance, warns us never to forsake assembling together with our brothers and sisters.   (Heb. 10:24,25)

It’s not all about you. We’re sent to church to serve others as much as we’re sent there to be served. Believe it or not, you possess gifts and talents your brothers and sisters need. If you’re not present, you’re denying them benefits God intended them to enjoy.  Your fellow parishioners, including your pastor, will make you mad, hurt your feelings and get on your last nerve. This is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Finding ourselves offended and disappointed let’s see just how shallow and petty we are. It sands down our rough edges. We discover that, we’re no better than all those other hymn-warbling yahoos!

Also, watching God work miracles through the smelly, imperfect, hypocritical men and women who make up a congregation reveals to us the unfathomable depths of God’s grace and love. It renews our faith. We realize he can use anybody — even us.  Your fellow Christians will reveal aspects of the Lord you’ve never seen. As we get to know our fellow pilgrims, as we hear them tell and retell their sordid stories while they’re bumbling along, we find they’ve experienced God in ways we haven’t. They’ve seen revelations we’ve never imagined. Over time, all these very different visions merge into a greater portrait of him than we’d ever otherwise behold.

Your fellow churchgoers will inspire and comfort you. Sure, some Christians will let you down, because they’re human and that’s what humans do. But you’ll also find disciples who’ll sit beside you in court when your kid’s up on drug charges, and who’ll hold your hand when your spouse is lying in a coffin, and who’ll bring you soup when you’re sick with the flu. When everything’s going wrong, they’ll assure you it’s going to be OK in the end, because they — and God — have your back.

To the extent you honor your church, you honor Christ. “In as much as you’ve done it to the least of these my brothers and sisters,” Jesus said, “you’ve done it unto me.” When you dishonor or ignore his church, you’re dishonoring or ignoring him.  You’ll get plenty of laughs. You’ll sing and pray, sure. You’ll snore. You’ll grow fidgety. But as much as anything, you’ll experience joy — and mirth. Each church is a microcosm of the human comedy. When you’re not cussing about it, the sheer surreal madness of it just leaves you clutching your rib cage, shaking with laughter, tears of gratitude streaming down your cheeks.

 

Woodland Bible Camp, Inc.

2017 Camp Schedule

Spring Clean Youth Retreat                                               

May 5-7 (Fri. 6 p.m. – Sun. 11:30 a.m.)

Grades 8-First Year of College

Directors: Jeff Adams

Contact Jeff at 812-987-6006 or jeffreywadams58@gmail.com

 

Senior Week                                                                                                                         June 11-17

Ages: Grades 9-12 & First Two Years of College/Age 20

Directors: Justin Adams & Jon Adams

Contact Justin at jadams85@gmail.com

 

Junior Week                                                                                                                      June 18-24

Ages: Grades 3-5

Directors: Jerry Carmichael & Jeff Adams

Contact Jerry at 812-648-3043 or jcarmichael143@att.net

 

Intermediate Week                                                                                                       

June 25-July 1

Ages: Grades 6-8

Directors: Eddie Olberding, Will Nethery, David Pound

Contact Eddie at 812-836-2338

 

Music Week                                                                                      

July 16 – 24 Sunday – Monday

The final performance will be at Sellersburg Church of Christ, the evening of July 24. Parents should pick-up their children there.

Grades: 9 – 12 & First Two Years of College/Age 20

Directors: Joan Marsh, Ginna Marsh & James Embree

Contact Joan at 859-234-3386 or email at sjmarshus@yahoo.com

 

Senior Citizens Week                                        

September 11-15 (Monday 1 p.m. to Friday noon)

Directors: Senior Citizens Week Planning Committee

Contact Rex & Marcia Prather (502-458-8199) or email rexandmarciaprather@peoplepc.com

 

Annual Meeting       September 12 Tuesday at 6 p.m. during SCW

Contact David Pound at 317-298-4730 or poundhouse@aol.com

 

Fall Retreat                                                                         

Sept. 29-Oct. 1(Fri. 6 p.m. – Sun. 1 p.m.)

Ages: Grades 8-12 & College 1st Year/Age 20

Directors: Jeff Adams

Contact Jeff at 812-987-6006 or email at jeffreywadams58@gmail.com

 

HEADING TO THE PHILIPPINES are Steve Clark and Larry Miles on March 30thThey plan to arrive on Friday on the island of Cebu in the Philippines.  Their destination will be the island of Mindanao.   There, they are expected to be greeted by Cyrus Gesulga and Edgardo Parangan, and the preacher at Dipolog Church of Christ.  For the next two weeks they will be driving many miles, visiting many churches, meeting old and new Christian brother and sisters, and sharing messages of encouragement.    Remember them in their travels.




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33