Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Before I share our weekly sermon preview with you, I want to say a brief word about all that is going on regarding the corona virus that is so drastically impacting our lives.
The presence of this virus (and its rapid spread and sweeping effects) is only adding to what has proven to be a very interesting last several years in our world, to say the least! There have been colossal, and seemingly unprecedented, disruptions in every area of life. Most disturbingly, we’ve witnessed these enormous shifts in the arena of basic human morality and decency. We have seen shocking developments and declensions (and occurring with such speed!) that we could have never anticipated.
And now, as if all of this were not enough, we are dealing with a threat (whether simply perceived and somewhat overblown, or terrifyingly real) that has essentially called a halt to our normal everyday lives and routines. So, what shall we do?
Let me encourage each of us to do what believers in our Sovereign Lord and Savior have always done in times like these:
Let us rest in the perfect faithfulness and love of our Father in Heaven!
Let us rejoice even in our afflictions and tribulations!
Let us fear no evil, for He is always with us!
Let us continue to worship and serve Him who is the King and Lord of all!
Let us pray without ceasing!
Let us reckon the sufferings of this present world as nothing in comparison to the glory that will be ours in the presence of our Lord!
Let us embrace and enjoy His peace, that far surpasses all human comprehension!
And let us love one another as He has loved us, and freely given Himself upon the cross for our redemption!
May our Lord use these uncertain and tumultuous days to make our faith stronger and deeper. And may our lives be further purified and made worthy of the Holy Name we bear!
Before leaving this subject, let me commend to you a very helpful word from Dr. John Piper. The link to his post is below, and I pray it will richly bless and encourage you today.
On Sunday, as we gather before our Triune God, our sermon will come from Hebrews 2:10. While this is only one verse of Scripture, like so many others we have seen along the way, it is filled to the brim with truths about our Lord and the salvation He has won for us.
As you meditate upon this passage, allow me to suggest that you especially focus upon these words that appear in the verse (based on the ESV): “ fitting,” “ founder,” and the phrase “ perfect through suffering.”
I eagerly look forward to our gathering together in the presence of our Savior, and I love you all so very much, and never, ever, cease praying for you!
Some Important News from the Session
Before I go, I want to tell you about a very important action that your Session has recently taken.
As you know, there is a debate within the broader Evangelical Church over the issue of ‘same sex attraction,’ and, more specifically, over whether a celibate believer in Christ may identify as a ‘gay Christian.’ This issue has also been at the epicenter of much recent controversy within the PCA, and is officially under investigation by a specially appointed Study Committee on Sexuality formed last summer by our General Assembly.
Over the last several months, your Session has spoken openly to you about our serious concerns regarding this matter. We have taken the position that such an identification is not only unwarranted and inappropriate, but also strikes at the very heart of our understanding of the Biblical teaching on human sexuality, marriage, temptation, and sin. It also has massive implications for our Doctrine of Christ’s Humanity. Fundamentally, it is both a matter of Scriptural interpretation and Scriptural authority. You might recall that we have sought to explain and defend our positon from Scripture in recent Sunday School classes.
As we await the conclusions of the Study Committee (which may be presented at the General Assembly this June), your Session has made the decision to officially adopt a theological and pastoral statement produced by one of our sister PCA congregations, Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. And just in case you’re not familiar with this Church, Briarwood (pastored at the time by Rev. Frank Barker) served as the ‘flagship’ Church when the PCA was first established by theological conservatives in 1973.
Last summer, the Session of Briarwood Church authored what they have called ‘ The Briarwood Statement: A Theological Ministry Statement on Homosexuality with 10 Affirmations and Denials.’ As stated, the purpose for the production and adoption of this document is,
“ to serve as both a clear theological statement of truth amidst the unnecessarily confusing language prevalent in our culture and, at the same time, a practical ministry tool that communicates truth in love.”
Your Session is in full agreement with the contents and purpose of this Statement. Furthermore, with the blessing and encouragement of the Briarwood Session, the Session of CPC has formally adopted it as our own position.
We join with our brother Elders at Briarwood in these 10 affirmations and denials, and we pray that by embracing them as our own we can stand with others in our denomination who share similar concerns and theological positions.
Below you will find a link to this Statement, and we would encourage you to read over it carefully and prayerfully. Then, on Sunday April 5, the Session of CPC will be conducting a special one-day Adult Sunday School class where we will discuss this Statement and seek to answer your questions.
In the meantime, please join us in fervent prayer for our Church and for the PCA. We believe that we have arrived at a most critical turning point in the history of our denomination, and we need both courage and clarity as we seek to stand upon those Biblical truths which we have always held and proclaimed.
These are upcoming events and activities over the next few days at Christ Presbyterian Church.
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:
I Sing The Almighty Power of God – Hymn 119, vs 1-3
My Help, My God (based on Psalm 42)
Precious Lamb of God (There is a Redeemer)
Holy, Holy, Holy – Hymn 100, all 4 verses
Resources for Further Study:
Pastor Mike has posted a list of books on a variety of theological topics that you might find useful. Check out the list by clicking here. You can also find this list from the About Us menu on the web site home page.
Transportation for Ms. Terry:
We are so thankful for all of you who have volunteered to bring Ms. Jean Terry to worship each week while the Terrys are out of town.
Please sign up on our list HERE.
Contact Kim Fohrell if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, March 17 at 10:00 AM the Senior Fellows will pick up Bags of Blessings supplies at SAM’s on South Parkway. Carpools will leave church at 9:15 AM.
On Monday, March 23 at 2:00 PM the Senior Fellows will attend the IMAX presentation “Winter Skies” at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. For more information, contact Jack Loose at 256-881-8953 or email@example.com.
Women’s bible studies and monthly fellowship lunches are on-going. Check the church website for dates and times.
There will be a wedding shower for Lauren Tepool on Sunday, April 26th from 2-4pm at the home of Sarah Burgess.
As you know, we have chosen July 13-16 for our VBS week this year. The theme is Olympics! It will be a wonderful time learning about Christ. I am planning to send out my volunteer need list the first of March. Please start praying about what you would like to volunteer with. I need as many as 40 volunteers to make this happen. I cannot wait to see all the people God raises to work with us this year!
The men are meeting at Panera at Bridge Street on Tuesdays at 6 AM to study Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuing each Sunday at 5:30pm , the Career/Singles group will meet at the Daughtry’s house at 5726 Jones Valley Dr, 35802. Email them to get involved.
Youth Bible Study for Middle and High School that was scheduled for March 15 from 4:30-6:15 PM is cancelled.
One more time this school year! If you have missed the opportunity in the past this is your chance! THIS COMING SUNDAY we will signup the people to help! Bring the item to CHURCH on SUNDAY MORNING, MARCH 22. They will be brought to campus for the large group meeting on Monday evening. Vinnie Athey shared with the Senior Fellows on Tuesday morning how important this fellowship time before and after the meeting is to the life of the students and the ministry there. We can help!
Judi Fikes will be in the narthex standing with the logo sign THIS COMING SUNDAY to sign up… Items will be listed.
Second Sunday Lunches:
Second Sunday Lunches are suspended until the virus outbreak is contained.
Have you noticed the beautiful flowers in the narthex and sanctuary? The Flower Guild places the flowers weekly. If you would like to assist in that ministry, please contact Donna Henry or Virdia Jastrebski.
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Ramona Edwards, Pat Galecki, Bill Dent, Jacky Haynes, Steve Terry, John Baxter, Bill Cowley, Larrabee Kirkland, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, and Nolan Osmer.
Expecting: Please pray for the Brackins, expecting in March; the Elliotts, expecting in May; the Libertos, expecting in August; the Elys, expecting in September.
Ministries: Please pray for the following missionaries and ministries: Seth and Jessica Lewis (Ireland); Steve and Rita Williams (New Zealand); Noah and Karleigh Stephens (Thailand); Vinnie and Molly Athey (RUF at UAH); RUF at Alabama A&M; Ken and Angie Burnett (FCA); Franky and Alaina Garcia (church plant in Canada); Dieter Paulson (church plant in Scottsboro, AL); The Huntsville Pregnancy Resource Center.
general inquiries: email@example.com
benevolence needs: firstname.lastname@example.org
counsel and ministry needs: email@example.com
men’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
women’s ministry: email@example.com
children’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
youth ministry: email@example.com
senior fellows: firstname.lastname@example.org
288 Old Highway 431
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763