Church Family Newsletter | April 15, 2022
For those of you who follow Facebook, you will recognize some of these images which I shared to our Concord Corps Family Facebook Page. These are from the artist's Salt & Gold's collection. All of her work, I believe, is very moving.
She has an interesting testimony. (I don't know her name because it is not published anywhere.) She did not grow up in a Christian home but heard about Jesus when she was invited to her friend's church at the age of 11. She was so moved by the whole experience - the message heard and the love felt - that she accepted Jesus into her heart that day. Later her family took her to a Catholic Church. Although she initially didn't feel comfortable there, she now calls it her home. The recent loss of her job has allowed her to focus on her art which has been thriving in recent days.
I love hearing testimonies like this. The events of Holy Week may have happened over 2,000 years ago, but the miracle of Jesus' resurrection is still evident today. God is in the transformation business! Jesus gave His life for the world.
I invite you to attend the Good Friday Service tonight at 6:00 PM as we reflect on "the day Jesus died". Bread and broth to follow.
And of course, we invite you to return on Sunday, for the Resurrection Celebration. SonRise Service starts at 8:30 AM. It will be outside, so make sure you are bundled up. We will have breakfast in between the SonRise Service and the Easter Worship Service at 11:00 AM. There will be an Easter Egg Hunt for children 12 and under following the service.
Who moved the stone?
I have always been troubled by what many people call “blind faith” but which is in reality no better than superstition or intellectual laziness. I firmly believe that the God I worship is not a God of confusion but the one who energetically wants us to understand as much of His glory and majesty as our human intellects will allow. I have many passages of scripture to back up this belief but let me share just a few:
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord…” Isaiah 1:18
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
Paul was exasperated by the Corinthians’ unwillingness to delve deeply into investigating his spiritual teaching:
“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” 1 Corinthians 3:2 NIV
So we should not be timid in exploring and testing the premises which underlie our faith — such exploration will only strengthen our beliefs and our ability to communicate them rationally to others.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV
I was privileged to grow up in a Christian family, so many of my beliefs originally came to me by osmosis from those around me until I attended university. Then the environment was very different and we were encouraged to “question everything.” (It was the 60’s!) I did.
If my church experience was to be more than just a comfortable social club with great music and fellowship, I needed to look at the very heart of my beliefs and particularly the resurrection of Jesus.
The resurrection is the “sine qua non” ("without this, nothing”) of Christianity, and though my heart wanted to believe, I needed my head to be in agreement. My education in science, mathematics, and logic gave me the tools of the scientific method, but this was not the kind of thing where you could (ethically) set up an experiment and repeat it and record results! I needed wisdom for a different approach, so I took the quote above from James 1:5 to heart and asked God for guidance.
The result was spectacular.
By “coincidence” — I no longer believe in “coincidences” of this sort, but rather “divine appointments” — two books came to my notice. Both were written by agnostics who set out to dis-prove the supernatural events of that first Easter morning, but after presenting and examining the factual evidence available to them, they became firmly convinced that the biblical recounting must be true. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously had Sherlock Holmes say, “Once you eliminate the impossible, then whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” The method of proof they use is the same standard we use in a courtroom: the evidence presented must convince you beyond a reasonable doubt of the verdict.
I won’t re-present the arguments here since time and space preclude me from doing so, but I do recommend the books to you as they are still in print, reasonably priced, and available on Amazon! They are:
“Who Moved The Stone?” by Frank Morrison (a pseudonym of Albert Henry Ross)
“Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis
The arguments and evidence they present are compelling far beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact, you will end up wondering why everyone is not convinced! You will certainly want to rush out and tell all your friends and neighbors. I am sure that the ending of “Who moved the stone?” will leave you tingling and you will wholeheartedly agree with Job: “I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand on the earth.” Job 19:25 NIV
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
This Week's Schedule
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Zoom
- 7:00 PM - Songster Practice - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Musicians' Devotions & Prayer - Chapel
- 8:15 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: BINGO - Hybrid
- 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM - Del Oro Brass & Chorus Rehearsals - Suisun Kroc
- 4:00 - 7:00 PM - Divisional Young Adult Fellowship - Petaluma Corps (rsvp required)
Exterior Painting Project
Call for Donations
International Prayer Focus
CANADA & BERMUDA TERRITORY
God's continual guidance through change in our Mobilize 2.0 initiative - that our territory would be "inspired for mission" and "positioned for growth".
A fresh moving of the Holy Spirit and deepening of spiritual hunger among Salvationists throughout Canada & Bermuda.
Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd and Colonel Evie Diaz as they give leadership to the territory.
All aspects of the relocation of the College for Officer Training from Winnipeg to Toronto over the next year.
Wisdom for those developing a new officer training model.
Individuals considering God's calling on their lives - that they would step out in faith and obedience.
Vancouver Harbour Light building project and expanding ministries.
"Illuminate" and other human trafficking response initiatives across the territory.
Indigenous "Celebration of Culture" to be held in August 2022.
Impacts of the pandemic upon, and resilience of, individuals and ministry units as they navigate ever-changing realities.
Identification of new opportunities for mission and lived-out discipleship.
National Prayer Focus: Cadets & Candidates
Dear Salvationist Friends:
I bring you an urgent message. We still do not have the number of Candidates for the upcoming Session in the Fall. We need to be even more persistent in our prayers to our Great and Faithful God.
I read something on Facebook the other day, that I would like to share.
"God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver."
That is why I come to you for this month of April in this unique way: By Session*: Praying this prayer, or your version of it:
Lord, You see our need, will You meet it? We need 50 Cadets in each of our four Training Colleges in order for us to maintain our service to You and the populace of this Nation and World. 'Fifty or more for '24' as my friend Rick put it last week. Lord lay a mighty calling on Your choices. We give you praise and we worship You today and all of our tomorrows. Amen and Amen!
April 1 Hold Fast, Crusader, Soldiers of the Cross
April 2 Steadfast, Valiant, Overcomers
April 3 Liberty, Companions of Christ, Heralds of Good News
April 4 Fearless, Visionaries, God's Fellow Workers
April 5 Challengers, Disciples of Jesus, Witnesses for Jesus
April 6 Warriors, Joyful Evangelist, Heralds of Good News
April 7 Kings Messengers, Proclaimers of Salvation, Prayer Warriors
April 8 Peacemakers, God's Soldiers, Ambassadors of Holiness
April 9 Standard Bearers, God's Messengers, Friends of Christ
April 10 Ambassadors, Heralds of Hope, Lightbringers
April 11 The Intercessors, Servants of God, Blood and Fire
April 12 The Shepherds, Proclaimers of the Resurrection
April 13 Soul Winners, Crusaders of the Truth, Followers of Christ
April 14 Sword Bearers, Proclaimers of the Gospel, Forward
April 15 Faithful, Messengers of Peace, Believers
April 16 Courageous, Disciples of Christ, Crossbearers
April 17 Pioneers, Messengers of Joy
April 18 Great Hearts, Heralds of Grace, Builders of the Kingdom
April 19 Soldiers of Christ, Guardians of the Truth
April 20 Servants of Christ, Messengers of hope, Bridgebuilders
April 21 Heroes of the Faith, Witnesses for Jesus
April 22 Proclaimers of the Faith, Ambassadors for Christ
April 23 Witnesses of the Faith, Joyful Intercessors
April 24 Defenders of the Faith, Messengers of the Gospel
April 25 Messengers of the Faith, Followers of Jesus
April 26 The Evangelist, Messengers of God's Love
April 27 Undaunted, Heralds of Jesus
April 28 Victorious, Messengers of Compassion
April 29 Crusaders for Christ, Messengers of the Kingdom, Preparers of the Way
April 30 Faithful Intercessors, Messengers of Light, Messengers of Grace
William Booth once said, "Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depends upon your prayer".
May God bless each of you abundantly.
Under the Blood and Fire, I am,
Major Ray Patrick
Note: A "session" is what each group of cadets is called. A cadet is a person in training to be an officer or pastor in The Salvation Army - similar to a seminary student. They receive their session name when they enter the College for Officers Training and they carry this name throughout their years of service.
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.
Save the Dates
Young Adult Fellowship
Date: April 23, 2022
Time: 4:00-7:00 PM
Location: Petaluma Corps
The Youth Department would like to share with you that “Mi Casa Su Casa" (my house is your house). This will be a time for young adults to come together to fellowship, relax, and connect with other young adults from all over the division. Dinner will be provided by the Youth Department.
To make sure we have enough food, please RSVP by April 20th using this google form link https://forms.gle/r796eBQcTP6gZx4e7. The google form can be accessed through Del Oro Youth’s social media pages as well.
Del Oro Women's Retreat
Dates: May 13-15, 2022
Location: William Jessup University
Cost: $75 which includes housing, food, materials, and a t-shirt
- Refreshing Zest (Psalm 51:10) - Renew your spiritual walk by exploring ways to reconnect with Christ through daily bible study, devotions, and prayer. Top it off with a little me-time treat by making your own body scrub to take home with you.
- Come Zest Your Life Up (2 Cor 5:17) - As women we never have time for ourselves so "It's time for YOU to come and relax!" Come pamper yourself and learn how to make facials, hand scrubs, and do your own manicure. It's ME TIME!
- Capture Your Zest (Luke 2:19) - Capture the zest in your Life in a Box! Learn how to create and personalize an exploding scrapbook box. It's perfect for capturing your memorable moments, photos of family, friends, or milestones.
- Easy Peasy Leon Squeezy (John 10:10b) - Lemon juice can change a food's texture and flavor to fit a variety of needs. Come learn what additives God provides that can change the flavor and texture of your life.
- Managing Grief of All Kinds with Hope (1 Thess 4:13) - Life includes loss of many kinds ... HELP! Because grief follows loss - and what help is there for that?! Knowing about grief is helpful. Knowing the good shepherd - the guide through the valley of shadows - who is the best help and our hope. Grief is the bridge we cross over from what was to what is now. What is needed to cross that bridge? Come to this workshop for ideas from a retired hospice nurse with 36 years of facilitating bereavement and a follower of a Good Shepherd.
- A Wooden Spoon Has No Rest When Stirring with a Little Zest (Romans 15:5) - Learn how to paint a lemon on a wooden spoon with acrylic paint layers. Add floral decorations and ribbons as embellishments.
- Living a Life of Zestful Joy (Romans 15:13) - Come! Be inspired! Discover your creative side! Experiences shared joy while creating a beautiful piece of jewelry.
- Cooking with Mony (Psalm 34:8) - If you want to try a Cambodian dish, I highly recommend this dish. It is earthy and flavorful! I use golden herb paste in this recipe. This golden paste consists of lemongrass, affair lime leaves, galangal root, garlic, turmeric, and chilis which is optional) grilled on a stick.
- Is God in Your Finances? (Proverbs 21:21) - Come take a journey through scripture that shows us how God views finances. We will examine ourselves through God's lens with the intent to finish with not only understanding God's perspective to being empowered through His word to take action.
Workshop choices are due by April 8th. Registration is due April 13th.
See Major AnnMarguerite Jones or Major Willdonna Rich if you would like to attend.
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.