Church Family Newsletter | August 12, 2022
We started off our time together with this video (which I have used before as a sermon illustration). I made the comparison of how our lives may be off course, but with the help of the Holy Spirit (aka the wolves), we can find ourselves realigned with God's will for our lives. After reconnecting with the Holy Spirit, we will find restoration in our relationships which includes the removal of the baggage and unhealthy habits in our lives. This allows us to rejoice - even when we are suffering - in our faith that God is in control of everything.
I don't know what you are going through right now, but remember, God is with you always. He will help you navigate the twists and turns of life.
Please pray for those who are unwell and who have various prayer requests that have been mentioned in our email Prayer Chain.
Equity vs Equality
As I laid out in a previous column, every few years businesses and institutions feel compelled to implement the latest popular theme for productivity, management style, or political correctness.
The most recent of these pressures has been to form departments whose mission is to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to participate, that all shades of opinion and belief are represented and no particular group is unfairly favored or discriminated against. Usually, these departments, teams, or task forces gather under the umbrella title of “DEI", standing for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity. Last time we looked at “Inclusivity”, this time I’d like to look at what the Bible says about “Equity”.
Although Equity and Equality are bandied about in everyday speech as if they are the same concept, in fact, they are quite different (although obviously related). Last time I gave a high-level summary in the internet style of “TL;DR” meaning: “too long, didn’t read” - so here is the salient TL;DR for this column:
Every single human being, without exception or qualification, has potential, purpose, and a plan in God’s economy. He decides what that is, we don’t!
Once again, I can make such a statement boldly because there are many scriptures to back it up. For example:
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 NIV
A quick Google search will show that the concept of “equity” looms large in the writings of King David!
Our society is hung up on “equality”, which means that each individual or group is given exactly the same resources, usually in the hope that this will result in equal outcomes for everyone. While well-meaning, this approach tends to move everyone towards the lowest common denominator of their potential without taking into account each individual’s strengths, capabilities or potential. If this approach worked as intended then we would provide the same resources to everyone so that they could play basketball at the same level as Michael Jordan or Steph Curry. As a vertically challenged, uncoordinated, non-athlete, I am a testament that such an attempt at equality is doomed to failure!
Sometimes a distinction is made between equality of opportunity as opposed to equality of outcomes, and in my basketball example above that would mean that I would have the same opportunities and facilities to practice and play as Jordan or Curry. Unfortunately, in my case, the end result would be unchanged, because my body is not built for basketball, no matter how much I might wish it was!
This brings us to the enhanced concept of equity, which is God’s way of dealing with us.
In God’s equity plan we actually do end up with equality of outcomes — neatly expressed in the first question of The Shorter Westminster Catechism:
“Q: What is man’s chief end? A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Thus God’s desire for all of us in creation is for us to show His glory while we live, and then enjoy eternity in His presence. But we know that God did not create us as homogenized puppets mechanically executing His will. Rather, He determined that it was worth the risk and trade-off to let us have free will and then choose to conform our will to His.
So where does equity come in?
Even though we are created in the image of God, we are each unique in our humanity. God does not want us to be frustrated by our inabilities or disabilities or capabilities, so in His equity, He provides resources tailored to each individual which will allow that individual to glorify Him and spend eternity with Him. It is equity that is specific, reckless, lavish, and boundless!
How then does this concept of God’s equity — providing every person with tailored capabilities to show His glory — play into our lives?
May I suggest we begin with humility:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Romans 12:3 NIV
While it would be wrong to devalue our own worth, in the same way, we should never denigrate the value of another who is the recipient of God’s equity.
I would also suggest that part of the genius in God’s planning is that sometimes He uses us to be the resource that another believer needs to achieve his/her full potential.
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me
Matthew 25:40 NIV
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10 NIV
The whole idea of equity is to provide the tools, training, and resources necessary to succeed in a planned task. If we are to incorporate equity into our worship then we have to be attuned to what is holding our brothers or sisters back from fulfilling their heavenly destiny. In business, we often used to say that “managers carry water so people can work!”. Our worship should surely become a “living sacrifice”.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 NIV
So as we seek to serve and worship, let us endeavor to incorporate “equity” as viewed from God’s perspective into our living, preferring that over mere “equality” which might look and feel good, but is not as effective as God’s equity!
Next time we will investigate the concept of “diversity”.
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
International Prayer Focus
I am pleased to forward you the Prayer Focus requests for July 2022. This initiative of turning our thoughts and prayers towards the same part of the world at some point in the same week is a beautiful way to unite us as a global Army family and I thank you for the commitment that you each give to this.
INDIA SOUTH EASTERN TERRITORY
Territorial leaders: Commissioner John Kumar and Mani Kumari Dasari
- Junior Home League Rallies taking place 6th to 9th August
- Territorial Review on 17th to 24th August
- General Visit in January 2023
- The spiritual growth of the Territory
- Approval of NEW THQ Building
- Extension work (Church Growth)
This Week's Schedule
- 9:15 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Time of Prayer - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:30 PM - Fellowship Time - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 7:00 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- Women's Bible Study, Songsters, and Youth Music Programs will resume shortly.
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Tour of Suisun Kroc Center - In-Person
- Specific details will be emailed to members.
- 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM - Boy Scouts' Rummage Sale - Upper Parking Lot
- 9:30 AM - Del Oro Chorus Rehearsal - Suisun Kroc Center
- 11:00 AM - Del Oro Brass Rehearsal - Suisun Kroc Center
- 12:30 PM - United Sections Lunch - Suisun Kroc Center
We will have our Farewell Reception for university-bound Aaron Sullivan after the service. If you would like to donate any cards, gift cards, quarters for his laundry, or any other items for his move, please bring them at this time.
- Aug 27 - YouthForce Swim Party at Slouses' Home (Details on YouthForce Facebook Page)
- Sept 10 - Divisional Music Rehearsals (Suisun Kroc Center)
- Sept 17 - Divisional Community Care Rally (Concord Corps)
- Sept 23-25 - Craft Weekend & Young Adult Retreat (Camp Del Oro)
- Sept 26-30 - Christmas Assistance Sign-Ups (Concord Corps)
- Oct 1 - Helping Handbags Luncheon Fundraiser (TBD)
- Oct 7-9 - Western Territory Staff Band Ministry Weekend (Concord Corps)
- Oct 20 - Divisional Senior Day - DHQ
- Oct 22 - Divisional Music Rehearsals (Suisun Kroc Center)
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.
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.
Western Music Institute Recap
WMI Top Students Recognized
Del Oro was well represented in the WMI Pin Awards!
Soprano - Shannon Johnson & Timeria Murphy
Bass - John Mrema
Cornet - Rhys Jones
Alto Horn - Kaylynn Jones
Percussion - Ryan Johnson
Praise & Worship - Abbigail Hartt
Dance - Lia Louangamath
Drama - Meghan Mendez & Olivia Mauk
Rhys Jones was also awarded the Stillwell Award and the Concord Corps won the Crestmont Award.
Well done to all our delegates!