In Christ Alone
Aug 14, 2016~ Pastor Andy Rice
Summer Memory Verse: Colossians 1:15-20
June: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.
July: 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
August: 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR:
At Faith Church we believe in and practice what is often referred to as “Believer’s Baptism.” Baptism is one of two “ordinances”, or commands, that Jesus gave to his Church (the second is the Lord’s Supper, which we celebrate together monthly). In Matthew 28:19 Jesus helps us see that making disciples includes this practice of baptism – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This is not an option for followers of Jesus Christ, but a clear command. In other words, being baptized and practicing baptism is not a matter of preference, but a matter of obedience.
But baptism is far from an empty ritual or spiritual experience that we replicate today by mere rote obedience! The practice of baptism is absolutely loaded with symbolism and significance. The clear standard of the New Testament was that baptism would only be for those who profess and demonstrate repentance of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus for salvation (hence the use of the term “Believer’s Baptism”). By our immersion in water we are publicly identifying with and confessing faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf. By the use of water we are symbolizing the washing and cleansing from sin that Jesus’ death and resurrection secures for those who trust in him. By having a common practice for all believers in Jesus Christ we are identifying ourselves with the people of God. Baptism, then, is a wonderfully symbolic gift to the Church – a way for us to unite together and publicly demonstrate to others our shared faith in Jesus Christ.
So why all this talk about baptism? First, it’s a needed reminder of an important aspect of our faith. Unfortunately we haven’t needed a baptism in a few years, but how wonderful it would be if we needed to have a baptism every few months in order to provide an opportunity for new believers to publicly demonstrate their faith in Jesus Christ? Indeed, we long for that day! In the mean time we will faithfully proclaim the gospel and trust the Lord for the results.
The second reason we bring this to your attention is to make you aware that we are planning to have a baptism during our worship service on Sunday, September 18. In preparation for that baptism there will be a Baptism Class held after the service this Sunday, August 28. This short class is the necessary first step for anyone who would like to be baptized in September, but the class is also open to anyone interested in finding out more. Baptism is for anyone within our church family who has professed genuine faith in Jesus but has not yet been baptized as a believer in Jesus Christ. It’s quite possible that there are some among us, for a variety of reasons, who have not yet followed Jesus obediently in the waters of baptism, so this is your chance. We’re not trying to prod you or guilt trip you, but we simply want to ask these important questions: Are you a believer in Jesus Christ? Have you, since you professed faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized? If not, what are you waiting for? The words of Ananias to the Apostle Paul recorded in Acts 22:16 ring true: “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”
If you are interested in being baptized or if you’re not sure if you are interested and just want to learn more about it, please speak to me and plan to attend our Baptism Class after the worship service this Sunday. If you’re interested but can’t make it to the class this Sunday, we’d be happy to schedule a time that works for you.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
THIS WEEK AT FAITH:
Servant's Heart Food Pantry
Prayer Group in the Prayer Room
Sunday Worship Gathering
|Wednesday, 7:00pm (August 31)
||Monthly Elders Meeting
This Week's Sermon Text: Colossians 2:1-7
SUMMER TEACHERS NEEDED:
Don't forget to check out the sign-up sheet for the remaining weeks of the summer! We're still in need of some teachers and nursery workers in our children's ministry this summer. If you're one of our regular volunteers please consider signing up!
Have you made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ? Have you subsequently followed the Lord Jesus in the waters of baptism? If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you have never been baptized since becoming a believer then you need to know that we are planning a baptism for September 18. In preparation for that we'll be offering a baptism class after the worship service on Sunday, August 28. The class is required for anyone who wants to get baptized in September, but it is also open to anyone - even if you're not yet sure about baptism. If you have any questions please speak to Pastor Andy.
PRAYER GATHERINGS: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, Sunday AM
Please consider joining us as we gather together in prayer for the life of our church. These times begin by a brief devotional from the Word, followed by a time of praying for the needs of our church family. These gatherings happen on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, along with every Sunday morning at 9:30am (with prayer primarily focused on the worship service). It is a great joy to gather as God's people and unite our hearts in prayer - join us!
MEN'S GATHERING: 1st Wednesday of the Month!
Since March the men of Faith Church have been gathering on the 1st Wednesday of the Month for an opportunity to be in conversation, in the Word, and in prayer. (Please take a moment to read about this new opportunity here, which describes it in much more detail.) All men are invited to join us on the first Wednesday of the month as we ground ourselves in the Word and commit ourselves to growing in godliness. The next gathering will be Wednesday, September 7. We'll be continuing in our look at the life of David.
FOOD PANTRY/FARMERS MARKET PICK-UP: Thursdays
As with the past several summers, we're looking for help throughout the summer on Thursdays picking up fresh fruits and vegetables for our food pantry from the local farmer's market. Help is needed every Thursday from about 6:45-8:30pm, picking up at Cedar Park in Melrose at 7:00pm, then delivering the bins of vegetables to the church and helping to sort through them and lay them out for the Friday morning pantry. The bins are sometimes heavy and a vehicle with space for several bins of vegetables is necessary. If you're able to help in the coming few weeks please contact Joan Dean (781-662-6481, email@example.com); soon there is a sign-up sheet for the remaining Thursdays over the rest of the summer.
OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD COLLECTION:
Did you know that at our Annual Operation Christmas Child Carnival Night we pack nearly 60 shoeboxes for needy children? To prepare, we need your help. Each month through November, we will collect items to be packed in shoeboxes on Carnival Night. In August, we are asking for SCHOOL SUPPLIES and TOYS! Notepads, markers, pencils, crayons, etc., and don't forget toys - we need LOTS of toys: cars, dolls, yo-yo's, balls, etc., or anything that fits in a shoebox! If everybody participates, we should have enough for every shoebox! There is a box in the back of the sanctuary for you to drop-off your items of OCC.
SUNDAY SCOOPS GIVEAWAY: September 18
On Sunday afternoon, September 18, from 3-5pm, our church is once again reaching out to our community by expressing our gratitude for their continual support of our church and food pantry. During the afternoon on that Sunday we'll be giving away FREE ice cream sundaes to any and all! In order to do this, and in order to give people an opportunity to get to know who we are, we need your help! First and foremost, save the date and plan to attend to enjoy free ice cream! We'll also need help with promoting and publicizing this event, with setting up/tearing down, and with serving. In the coming weeks look for an insert in your bulletin and a sign-up at the back of the sanctuary. If you have questions please speak to Pastor Andy.
We received a request for help from a local resident whose mother is in a local nursing home. The request is as follows: Part time help wanted. Seeking female companion for my elderly mother. She lives at the Greenwood Nursing home in Wakefield and suffers from dementia and mental Illness. I am looking for someone to take her out once or twice a week for short drives, visits to a park, reading Scripture together, etc. Pay is approximately $15/hour. If interested, please contact Bob (617-529-0107).
COMMUNITY GROUP GATHERING:
Our next Community Group Gathering will be Sunday, September 25. T
his is open to anyone interested in pursuing biblical fellowship together. This group will continue to gather at least twice each month for planned gatherings, on the first Friday of the month and the third Sunday of the month, beginning October 7. If you would like to know more about Community Groups, please speak to Pastor Andy (you can also read a brief overview here
PRACTICAL WAYS YOU CAN SERVE:
Over the past few weeks in our Weekly Update notes we've been highlighting a total of 15 practical ways you can serve - 10 ways in our church and 5 ways to serve in our community. If you missed any of those notes, you can read up on them here
. Our goal in providing these suggestions is to connect willing hearts to current needs. If you have any questions about ways you can use your gifts to build up the body of Christ, please do not hesitate to contact us!
FINANCIAL UPDATE FROM THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:
The following is a financial update from the Finance Committee that highlights our collections to date and compares them to the amount needed in order to fulfill our 2016 budget. As you can see below, our collections are well below our budgeted need, which would lead to a significant shortfall at the end of the year.
| Budgeted Collections as of July 17
||Actual Collections as of July 17
Please join us in praying for God to continue to provide for the ministry of Faith Church. If you have additional questions about the budget or collections, please speak to Carolyn Smith. Thank you for your faithfulness and support of Faith Church. "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)
PARSONAGE RELOCATION FUND:
At our Annual Meeting in January, the membership authorized the future purchase of a home in Melrose to replace our existing parsonage in Lynn. More details about this process that were distributed at a previous meeting are available here
. This authorization does not mean that a purchase is imminent, but simply that we are prepared if an opportunity arises. We are continuing to ask people to join us in praying for this particular need, and more information about that can be found here
. We also want to make people aware of our Parsonage Relocation Fund
, the goal of which is to offset the cost of purchasing a home in Melrose. A recent update about this fund and our progress in pursuing a home in Melrose was emailed to the congregation. If you'd like more information, please speak to Pastor Andy.
Our Moms Together ministry continues with two monthly opportunities for gathering. The first opportunity is a daytime playdate for moms and their children that will meet on the second Tuesday of the month at the church, which is open to any moms who can make it, so feel free to invite a friend! The second opportunity is meant to include moms who aren't available during the day and to be a "moms night out." These will be monthly gatherings on either a Friday or Saturday to do something fun together. Mark your calendars for these new opportunities to gather for encouragement and fellowship. If you have any questions please speak to Carrie Rice. Stay tuned for the summer schedule!
SAVE THE DATE
Baptism Class: August 28
Men's Wednesday Gathering: September 7
Community Dinner: September 16
Baptism Service: September 18
Sunday Scoops Giveaway: September 18
Interested in a copy of the message from Sunday? Email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see that you get a copy. Past sermons are available at www.faithchurchac.org/sermons.
In Christ Alone
Aug 14, 2016~ Pastor Andy Rice