Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Our summer preaching series on ‘The Parables of Jesus’ will come to an end this Lord’s Day as we complete our look at ‘The Parable of the Good Samaritan’ in Luke 10:25-37.
Popular expositions of this parable seem to take a common path, arriving at a similar conclusion. It is often assumed that the point of this blessed story is purely an ethical one. That is, the parable is told by Jesus in order to show us that the Gospel is about loving whoever is in our pathway, especially the needy.
In the hands of more progressive interpreters, the parable is then singularly applied to all types of perceived social maladies, from racism, income inequality, mistreatment of the marginalized and the oppressed, to discrimination in all its forms, and the like. The Gospel, then, is reduced to love, our love for the weak, the needy, and the vulnerable. In the words of the lawyer in the parable, one “inherits eternal life” by loving oppressed people.
However, such an approach to this parable is unfounded and misses the point completely. While all would agree that love is central to the Gospel, the popular interpretation of the parable only tells part of the story, and it gets the Good News totally wrong!
If we take the time to read the parable very carefully, and with the immediate context and the rest of Scripture in view, we see that Jesus is not at all suggesting that the essence of the Gospel is loving others. To the contrary, Jesus is demonstrating the absolute impossibly of earning one’s own redemption by the practice of love!
This parable, then, destroys a popular assumption about love. Namely, that the love which God requires is easy to supply!
However, as we carefully trace this story to its conclusion on Sunday, we will discover another truth being taught by our Lord. It is one that will surprise us, alarm us, and render us helpless before our Father’s sovereign grace. But it will also shine the light on something truly amazing!!
Fall Ministries Begin on September 8
As you know, next week, September 8, is a big day as it marks the beginning of our fall ministries.
Our fall semester of Sunday School will begin that day at 9:15 AM, and there will be classes for all ages.
We will also resume our Second Sunday Fellowship Lunch after worship on that day (see the announcement from Denise Brown below).
Then, we will be starting a new Preaching Series that will last for 5 weeks, and will coincide with our Adult Sunday School class.
While I will write more about this next Friday, let me say that we are going to take 5 Sundays to address, from Scripture, some of the significant challenges that the Church, and our denomination, are presently facing.
You might recall that last year during our Adult Sunday School hour, the Session conducted a discussion-oriented class on the issue of sexuality from a Biblical perspective. This was in response to the controversy that has recently erupted in the PCA over the matter of same-sex attraction. Since then, some significant and very alarming things have happened in our denomination, such that there is clearly a division among us and our 1600 Churches.
In prayerfully considering how we as a local body of Christ should respond to the rapidly changing theological landscape in the PCA, the Session has asked me to prepare a series of sermons that will both inform and equip our congregation regarding these issues.
This five-part sermon series will be entitled, ‘Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: The Image of God in Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.’ From the pages of God’s inspired Word, we are going to discover the Scripture’s teaching on what it means to be a human being created in God’s image. And we will be specifically interpreting and applying this teaching to the Scripture’s grand storyline of creation, the fall, redemption in Christ, and the consummation.
Then, within this Biblical framework, we will address the issues that are currently threatening the health and unity of the PCA, including, 1) God’s design and purpose for our bodies, 2) how the fall has corrupted God’s image, 3) the nature of sin and temptation, 4) how our redemption in Christ begins to restore the damaged image of God, and 5) how the image of God is perfected in heaven.
Please pray for us as we prepare these messages, and as your Session seeks to shepherd the Lord’s Church through the tumultuous days that are upon us. While it is a time for appropriate alarm and prudent preparations, it is also a season to rejoice that God is surely at work, and that His Truth shall prevail.
I love you all so very much!
September 3, 9 AM – Senior Fellows Breakfast
September 3, 11:15 AM – Senior Fellows Team B Downtown Rescue Mission feeding
September 3, 6 PM – Women’s Evening Bible Study
September 4, 10 AM – Women’s Morning Bible Study
September 5, 11:30 AM – Women’s Potluck Lunch at Timbers Edge Clubhouse
September 8, 9 AM – Sunday School resumes
September 8, 12 PM – Second Sunday Fellowship Lunch
September 8, 4:30 PM – Middle and High School Youth Study
September 10, 9 AM – Mother’s Morning Bible Study
September 13, 11:15 AM – Senior Fellows Team A Downtown Rescue Mission feeding
September 14, 7 AM – Senior Fellows Work Day at PCA MNA Disaster Relief Warehouse, Rome, GA
September 18, 6 PM – Deacons Meeting
September 20, 6 PM – Marriage Enrichment Evening and Dinner
September 21, 8 AM – Church Work Day
Order of Worship:
You can access this week’s Order of Worship by clicking here
If you’d like to sing the songs with your family beforehand, the songs for this week are:
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name – Hymn 296, vs 1,3,6
How Deep the Father’s Love For Us
Come Ye Souls By Sin Afflicted
All Things New
All regularly scheduled studies and events resume next week. Sunday School for all ages resumes on September 8 at 9:15 AM.
Children’s Ministry Notes:
Parents, please register your infant to 12th grader for CPC programming emails/database updates. Click HERE to complete the form for each child.
For anyone who would like to volunteer in our baby nursery, our Fall semester sign-up is now live. Please click HERE and sign up for a couple of dates for the fall and winter months. Older teens are welcome to serve as well!
I am in need of two new childcare workers on Tuesday mornings for the moms’ study at 9 am. Time commitment is weekly for 2 hrs (9 to 11 am). Please email Ashley if you are interested in this part-time job!
Sunday school starts back on September 8th at 9:15. I am working on ordering supplies and recruiting teachers. I still need teachers for the 1st/2nd grade class and the 3rd/4th/5th. We can work out a rotating system if you don’t want to teach full-time. I encourage you to pray about this and serve our precious children in this way. These classes are a joy!
Save the date for the Reformation Celebration on Sunday, October 27th. More details to come, but contact Amy Drown if you’d like to be involved in the planning.
Our fall semester of Sunday School will begin on September 8, at 9:15 AM.
- Our Middle School Sunday School Class (grades 6-8) will meet downstairs at the Church house and will be taught by Graham and Sarah Burgess.
- Our High School Class (grades 9-12) will meet upstairs at the Church house and will be taught by Glen Doughty.
Sunday Night Fellowship and Bible Study
On every-other Sunday Night, beginning August 25 from 4:30-6:30 PM, our Middle and High School students will meet at the Church for a time of fellowship and Bible study.
The nightly schedule will go as follows:
- 4:30-5:00 PM–Joint fellowship and fun time in the fellowship hall
- 5:00-6:00 PM–Separate Bible Studies:
Middle School Bible Study (grades 6-8) led by Pastor Mike and Matthew Elliott
High School Bible Study (grades 9-12) led by Ken Burnett
- 6:00-6:15 PM–Joint snack and fellowship time in fellowship hall (parents may pick up their students from 6:15-6:30 PM).
Check the church calendar and bulletin for Youth Group dates. Visitors are welcome. If you should have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Pastor Mike or Ken Burnett.
Congratulations to the Bryant family, who welcomed a healthy Anna Leigh on Monday. Mom and baby are doing well. Praise the Lord for this wonderful blessing! To take them a meal, click HERE.
Second Sunday Lunches:
Marriage Evening Conference:
Dear CPC Congregation, You are invited to join us for a Marriage Evening Conference on Friday, September 20th! Our evening will include several large group seminars as well as an optional dinner for those interested. Our hope is that the evening will be a time of fellowship with others as well as refreshment for you personally and in your marriage. Registration for the event opens on August 1st and concludes August 31st.
Speaker: Our speaker is Pastor Nate Shurden. He is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. While in seminary, Nate served at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson in Christian education ministry and as Assistant Editor for reformation21, the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Upon graduation, Nate was called to be Minister of Discipleship and Young Adults at FPC Jackson where he served for three years. In 2010, Nate accepted a call to Franklin, TN to help plant Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. Nate is married to Christy, and they have four young children.
Dinner: We would invite you to join us for dinner! Catered by Carrabbas, we will begin serving around 5:45 and conclude our meal around 6:45. There is no cost for the sessions of the conference. However, for those attending dinner, a $10 per person donation is appreciated in order to mitigate some of the costs of the food. Given the limited amount of space, we are currently reserving the dinner portion of the event for members of Christ Presbyterian Church. Please feel free to invite friends and family to join you for the sessions starting at 7pm!
Christ Presbyterian Church
Friday September 20th, 2019
Dinner: 5:45 – 6:45**
Session One: 7:00 – 7:45*
Coffee Break: 7:45 – 8:00
Session Two: 8:00 – 8:45
*No cost for the sessions
**A donation of $10 for the dinner is appreciated
Childcare: There will not be any childcare provided at the church during the event. However, if childcare is an obstacle for your attendance, please indicate as such on the RSVP in the registration link provided in this email and we will contact you for assistance.
How Do I Sign Up? To sign up online, please follow the link provided here to register for the event! Please click here. We will also have a sign-up form each Sunday morning during the month of August in the foyer.
Questions: Do you have questions? Please feel free to email Matthew Elliott at matthew@christpreshamptoncove.
Women’s Fellowship Opportunities:
The women will continue their “First Thursday” monthly luncheons beginning September 4th. They start at 11:30 am at Timbers’ Edge Clubhouse. Other dates this semester are 10/3, 11/7, and 10/5.
Our quarterly potluck is on Thursday, October 17th, at 6 pm at the home of Carol Calvert. Anyone is welcome – bring a dish to share if you are able! Or drop in last minute for fellowship.
The Christmas Brunch for the weekly bible studies is December 4th.
The annual Ladies’ Christmas Dinner is Tuesday, December 10th, at 6 pm at Huntsville Country Club.
Mark your calendars for these fellowship opportunities. Contact Denise Scrip for any questions.
Fall Women’s Bible Studies:
The women are kicking off their fall bible studies with a brunch on Wednesday, 8/28, at 11:30 am at the home of Carol Calvert. If you are interested in attending a fall bible study, please join us.
Two women’s groups will begin meeting on Tuesday nights (6-7:30 pm) starting September 3 and Wednesday mornings starting September 4 (10-11:30 am). We will be doing the Jen Wilkens’ video study “First Peter (A Living Hope in Christ). “It can be ordered from Lifeway.com. Sign up in the Narthex.
A Moms’ Group will begin studying Melissa Kruger’s book “Contentment” beginning Tuesday, September 10th at 9 AM. Childcare will be provided.
Hope you will consider joining us in the Fall.
Church Work Day:
Church Work Day will be at 8 AM, Saturday, September 21. We will do landscaping, window/mirror washing and other clean up and improvement jobs. We need lots of helpers (men, women, youth) and some tools. A sign up for both will be in the narthex. A lite breakfast will be served. Don’t miss this opportunity to help beautify our church and enjoy great fellowship.
On Tuesday, September 3 at 9 AM the Senior Fellows will enjoy breakfast followed by a special devotional. We will look at Demon Possession/Influence versus Mental Illness in light of all the awful happenings (like mass shootings) in our country today. Pastor Mike and Counselor Matthew will lead/moderate this session. Wives and guests are welcome to attend. Also both Senior Fellows teams will serve at the Downtown Rescue Mission. Team B will serve on Tuesday, September 3. Team A will serve on Friday, September 13. Each team will meet at 11:15 AM and start feeding at 11:30 AM. Carpools will leave the church at 10:30. On Saturday, September 14 the Senior Fellows will help at the disaster relief warehouse in Rome, GA. Jobs may include building a tool work bench, replacing termite damaged trim, and other needed items. We will depart the Church at 7 AM, and return home 5 PM.
New Member’s and Inquirer’s Class:
The next class will be held Sunday September 29, from 2-6 PM with dinner following. It is for all who are interested in Church membership at CPC. Taking the class does not obligate you to join, but is required for membership. Sign up in the Narthex.
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Jose Luis Rodriguez, Linda Baxter, John Baxter, Bill Cowley, Larrabee Kirkland, Chris Smotherman, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, Ramona Edwards, and Nolan Osmer.
Expecting: Please pray for the Thoms, expecting in November.
Ministries: Please pray for the following missionaries and ministries: Seth and Jessica Lewis (Ireland); Steve and Rita Williams (New Zealand); Vinnie and Molly Athey (RUF at UAH); RUF at Alabama A&M; Ken and Angie Burnett (FCA).
general inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
benevolence needs: email@example.com
counsel and ministry needs: firstname.lastname@example.org
men’s ministry: email@example.com
women’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
children’s ministry: email@example.com
youth ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
senior fellows: email@example.com
288 Old Highway 431
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763