Church Family Newsletter | January 21, 2022
Our whole family has been in quarantine this past week. I realize that some other families are facing the same issues with the newest variant of the Covid-10 virus. Know that you've been in our thoughts as we pray for your recovery. Thank goodness the symptoms for most of us are not severe and we hope that we will be able to see you all again this Sunday.
As I sit here typing, I would like to say how grateful Gwyn and I are of our church leadership for continuing with last Sunday's service without us and without the aid of any other active officer. The meeting went a little differently with videos and a small group discussion guide, but I pray that it was still just as meaningful and the worship and fellowship just as rich as when we gather together from week to week. Your demeanor was calming and gave clear direction. Thank you for that.
I also want to say how grateful we are for our staff and volunteers. We already had a scaled-down crew for the week, but they continued running the pantry and serving our community with grace and patience. When concerned about their well-being, they said that there was no need to fret - everything was under control.
This week I've been reminded once again how relationships are important. We need each other! Sure we may be able to manage things on our own for a while, but it certainly is better knowing that you are not alone.
Great partnerships in the Bible were Moses and Aaron, David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, Jesus and Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. They had each other - meaning they looked out for each other, took care of each other, and carried each other's burdens.
Take the time to reflect on the people in your life look out for you and your best interests. Tell them how much they are appreciated.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:11, NIV)
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." (1 Peter 4:8-10, NIV)
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
Question of the day — was Jesus an introvert or an extrovert?
Given that he hung around with large crowds and seemed to enjoy teaching them, and that he was very much the center of attention wherever he went, it would appear at first glance that he had extrovert tendencies. But if you read scripture carefully you will note that after all these large-group encounters, Jesus retreats to solitude to decompress and recharge (not that it stopped the crowds following him!).
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.” (Matthew 14:13, NIV)
I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to find just how often Jesus snuck away from his disciples so that he could be alone with the Father, but I’ll just say it happened so much that it stuck in the minds of the gospel writers and they feel compelled to mention it.
This, of course, is very typically introverted behavior, and as your humble correspondent is definitely of that ilk I sympathize with the emotional pressures our Lord felt dealing with these throngs of people day after day.
The question then arises, what drove Jesus back into the stress of dealing with crowds day after day? I would suggest it was his passion for people.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36, NIV)
Jesus no doubt had in mind the plea of Moses to God after the Israelites had been freed from slavery in Egypt a thousand years before,
“May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Numbers 27:16,17 NIV)
Isn’t it interesting to note that the one appointed to be the shepherd in both cases was named Yeshua - translated as “Joshua” in the Old Testament, “Jesus” in the New Testament?
Jesus himself explained his purposes in his dialogue with the famously vertically challenged tax collector Zacchaeus:
“...For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10 NIV)
This passion for people which defined Jesus’ ministry is (and should be) also a defining characteristic of his followers.
Whether it is a small group of women in a church who informally band together to be a force for welfare among the congregation, or two friends of mine, both Majors in The Salvation Army — I won’t embarrass them by saying their names, but LW and KAS, you know who you are! — who cannot rest while there are needs unmet in their community.
These Jesus-followers feel compelled to return to the hopeless, heedless, and careless crowds. They run food banks, they visit the sick and dying, they comfort the bereaved, and they coordinate relief services, all with the main objective of allowing Jesus to be identified as the source of their love.
For these Jesus-followers being an introvert won't stop them, COVID won't stop them, the weather won't stop them, family demands won't stop them, lack of resources won’t stop them — they are relentless and fearless in the pursuit of their passion for people.
Seeing sheep without a shepherd demands action. Without a shepherd, the sheep are in mortal danger. So Jesus-followers take responsibility, step up and lead.
Their given names today may not be “Yeshua," but they still go and do everything in His name and in His Power.
“Except I am moved with compassion
How dwelleth Thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed, burning love is my need,
I know I can find this in Thee”
— Albert Orsborn (1886-1967) SASB #626
Blessings on you and yours,
This Week's Schedule
- 9:30 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Small Classroom
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Library
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Meeting - Prayer Room (in the Courtyard)
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Hybrid, Streaming on Concord Corps Family Facebook Page and In-Person
- 12:15 PM - Singing Company Practice - Chapel
- 1:15 PM - Jr. Band Practice & Music Electives - Chapel
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Hybrid, Zoom & In-Person
- 7:00 PM - Songsters Practice - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Feng Shoe by Major Willdonna Rich - TBD
When: Every Sunday at 10:00 AM
Where: Prayer Room
We are going to relaunch the Sunday morning Prayer Meeting now that we have Pamela Johnson taking the lead. Prayer is such a crucial part of our faith and there is definitely power in prayer. This will be an opportunity to pray over the fellowship's concerns, a time of intercessory prayer, and a designated time to ask the Lord to fill our worship time with His presence. Please join her for this time.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." (Ephesians 6:18, NIV)
"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer." (Psalm 17:6, NIV)
Bible Reading Plan & Devotional
Women's Bible Study
Tuesday nights at 6:00 PM - Hybrid (Zoom & In Person)
Printed copies of the material will be distributed so that you don't have to worry about printing off the study and readings each week. We will be exploring the splendor of creation and the significance of God's work in the lives of flawed yet faithful men and women. And while it tells of fascinating people experiencing transformational events, Genesis continually points us back to their God and ours, the Creator.
Territorial Holiness Retreat
Theme: Holy Living - "Set Apart" (John 3:15)
Dates: February 4-6, 2022
Location: VIRTUAL RETREAT (It is now being held virtually due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the very contagious spread of the new variant.)
A good time of worship and study of the Word together. Commissioner Mark Tillsley will be leading the Bible studies.
Proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test required.
Registration deadline is January 22, 2022. No registration fee is required.
Register here: https://events.usawest.org/
This will be our annual kick-off for this event. The young people will serve the luncheon and there will be live entertainment from the Jazz Combo, Night Pond, consisting of music students from Diablo Valley College.
What a wonderful way to celebrate fellowship and friendship! We hope to have your support!
If you don't want to stay for the meal, but would like to contribute to the fund. We will kindly accept any and all donations.
Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for children (0-11)
RSVP by February 9.
Corps Cadet Rally
"To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God." (Micah 6:8)
When: February 19, 2022
Location: Suisun Kroc Center, 586 E. Wigeon Way, Suisun City, CA 94585
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Registration at 9:30 AM)
Cost: $10 includes lunch and activities
This day will be filled with music, games, certificates, workshops, food, and God's Word. Delegates will safely rotate and enjoy the amenities at the Kroc Center. (CDC guidelines will be implemented.)
Registration is due by February 10. Let Major AnnMaguerite Jones know if you want to go. Delegate forms must be signed ahead of time.
Women's Day Retreat
"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." (Titus 2:11-12)
New Date: March 12, 2022
Time: 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Concord Corps
Cost: $10 per person and includes lunch (craft workshops may require a fee)
We are hosting our very own women's day retreat! Please feel free to invite your friend, a neighbor, and family. They don't have to attend our church or any church for that matter. The program includes an Over the Top Hat Fashion Show and a homemade Hat Contest. Prizes awarded!
There will also be an accessory and clothing exchange. Bring gently used and in good-condition items to swap with someone else's items. You can get 1 item for every item you bring in. Maximum of 10 items. After that, you can purchase additional items for $1 each.
RSVP with Major AnnMarguerite Jones by March 7th:
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.