Church Family Newsletter | September 23, 2022
It is impossible for each of us to be involved in every single activity. However, it is my prayer that you will find something that you are excited about. I would love for your to participate and bring a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker with you.
We don't want to just do an event for the sake of doing an event. We pray that each event is designed with a purpose - to be a witness to the world of a loving Savior and to show the way of hope.
If anything, pray. Pray for all the preparation that takes place behind the scenes. Pray for the volunteers. Pray for the staff. Pray for us, the officers, and our family. Pray for health and strength. Pray for the participants, clients, and/or beneficiaries. Pray for our neighbors. Pray for our partners and guests.
God bless you!
One of the very sad realities of the media we consume — print, online, social, entertainment — is that very many complex subjects get lumped together into one simplistic category. I suspect that this is partly true because it is easier to get an audience to “buy in” to a simplistic emotional term, than to expend the effort to explain the underlying complexities.
The word “hate” is a good example of this today.
It appears that many people today have become accustomed to deciding that if someone doesn’t agree with their opinion then that person must “hate” them.
Or, if the position being disagreed with is widely held, then they are buying into “hate”. Obviously this is not (necessarily) true since it most often is nothing more than a valid difference of opinion, but it is much more emotionally satisfying to “slam” them — another emotional term that’s out of control — than to engage in a cool, rational, discussion of facts. Media outlets have much to answer for.
The major problem with this, especially as regards the word “hate”, is that genuine differences of opinion are then reduced to the lowest common denominator of the dictionary (or Wikipedia) definition:
“Hatred is an intense negative emotional response towards certain people, things or ideas, usually related to opposition or revulsion toward something. Hatred is often associated with intense feelings of anger, contempt, and disgust. Hatred is sometimes seen as the opposite of love.” Wikipedia
I bring this up because a friend of mine was troubled by the words of Jesus recorded in Luke’s gospel:
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 NIV
Whoah! Is Jesus preaching hate? Is he contradicting his own teaching on the commandments found in Matthew’s gospel?
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Matthew 15:3-6
We know the answer must be a resounding “no”, Jesus is all about love (see John 3:16 in any translation). So how do we reconcile these two passages and avoid inconsistency?
The source of the apparent contradiction lies, as is so often the case, in the translation from Greek to English. The Greek word used to record Jesus’ teaching is “μισέω (miseó)” which is a word with multiple meanings depending on the context in which it appears. Certainly “hate” is one possible translation, which is why it appears in so many translations, but that doesn’t make sense in the sentence as used by Jesus. Here it takes on the meaning “to be willing to disregard” in the sense that there is a higher priority and loyalty involved. There is no ill-feeling or malignant intention implied or intended.
What Jesus is saying is that devotion to him must be our highest loyalty and must even supersede any and all other obligations and affections. If necessary this must be to the extent of giving up the natural bonds of family or even self-preservation in order to be his true follower.
In context Jesus is telling us that he wishes us to separate ourselves from the world, even if ultimately that has to include family. If the choice is between our love for Jesus and anything else, Jesus must always be the winner!
Jesus similarly teaches this exclusive separation in Matthew 10:35-37 NIV
For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
The Greek verb used for “to turn against” is “διχάζω (dichazō)”, which in itself carries no emotional connotation, but simply means “to cut in two” or “separate”. Jesus recognizes that there will be affections and obligations that may interfere with our devotion to him, and he says we need to be willing to cut those ties if necessary. We certainly can be separate from this world without the emotional antagonism implied by “hate”.
Jesus never sugarcoats what it means to be one of his followers. You are either wholly with Him, or you are wholly against Him. There never is, or ever can be, negotiating, middle ground or fence sitting.
Ironically it turns out that to “hate” in the context in which Jesus was speaking actually means to devote ourselves completely to the purest form of “love”!
As the hymn writer Frances R. Havergal wrote:
“Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.” SASB #623 v6
As usual, whenever you come across an apparent contradiction in Scripture, dig in!
A little detective work will inevitably reveal richer hidden meanings!
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
Annual Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
WHY DO WE HAVE THIS SPECIAL SUNDAY?
What is modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT)? The Salvation Army is deeply committed to responding to modern slavery and human trafficking. We have a theological and historical mandate. We believe prayer is foundational and a unique way The Salvation Army responds toward a world free from exploitation. Modern slavery arises as a result of economic, social, cultural, and legal conditions that create a state of vulnerability in which enslaved people find themselves. Today, more than 40 million men, women, and children worldwide are impacted by modern slavery and human trafficking. Among these, more than 15 million are in forced marriages, more than 24 million are in forced labor situations and about 30 percent of those exploited are children.
HOW IS THE SALVATION ARMY RESPONDING GLOBALLY?
We are actively responding to modern slavery and human trafficking in 108 countries through our eight focus action areas: Prayer, Prevention, Participation, Protection, Prosecution, Partnership, Policy, and Proof. Every territory/country has a contact person dedicated to growing the work in these areas and we invite you to join the response. In 2021, we served and journeyed with 9,795 survivors.
CORPORATE ALLY COMMITMENT PRAYER
See the prayer posted below the music video.
International Prayer Focus
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. This week we will pray for:
NEW ZEALAND, FIJI, TONGA, AND SOMOA TERRITORY
Territorial leaders: Commissioners Mark and Julie Campbell
We Thank God
- That at the end of the year 15 Cadets will be commissioned as Lieutenants from NZ, Fiji, and Tonga.
We Ask God
- To open our eyes and hearts to new opportunities throughout the Territory to “Care for People, Transform Lives, and Reform Society through God in Christ by the Holy Spirit’s power.”
- In April 2023 we will be celebrating 140 years of service and ministry in New Zealand
- That despite COVID people are continuing to connect with corps and centers including those who are committing to soldiership and adherancy.
- Currently undergoing a pilot of a new Local Mission Delivery model in one division. Please pray for all those involved in this new model of mission and leadership. Pray for the release of those on the frontline for greater mission impact and for our structures to effectively resource the work on the frontline.
- For Corps and centers as they re-imagine church in a post-COVID world.
- Celebrating that in 2023 The Salvation Army will have been in Fiji for 50 Years.
- Smooth preparation for the 50th celebrations.
- For the communities in Fiji as they re-establish themselves following a challenging season of COVID.
- For the land gifted to The Salvation Army by the King of Tonga for our work in Vava’u which will include buildings for the corps and a pre-school center.
- For continued resilience of the people of Tonga as they recover and rebuild after the volcanic eruption and tsunami that devastated the island in January this year.
- For increased mission opportunities through the Alcohol and Drug program.
- For the purchase of land in Apia to accommodate the growing congregation and ministries in the region.
- For the expanding work in the Alcohol and Drug field and ministry to women who have experienced domestic violence.
- For wisdom in developing the new land for the greatest mission impact.
Mosquito Fire Response
Good afternoon Del Oro, I wanted to keep you updated on the Mosquito Fire. It has burned 76,000 acres. No surprise, the rain helped. Thank God!!! Most evacuations have been lifted. We have gone from feeding at 3 shelters the past 12 days to 1 shelter as of this afternoon. The remaining shelter is the Sierra College in Rocklin. The Stockton Crew is feeding there. Thank you to our first Incident Management Team members Capt. Tim Danielson and Major Randy Hartt who helped set a strong foundation for our new team to build off of.
Our Incident Management Team today is Capt. Harry Kim as Logistics Chief, Capt. Josh Dulay as Operations Chief, Amy Mefford, and Lt. Sara Ray as Finance and Admin Chief, and I as the Incident Commander. While the operation is winding down, the Local Assistance Center (the survivors' one-stop shop to receive immediate financial assistance) opens tomorrow. We will be providing gift cards to grocery stores for all evacuees to replenish their fridges and pantries after all their food went bad. We will continue to feed until the end of the week or until shelter numbers drop to low levels.
To see the response visually and for the updates you see here, check out: https://arcg.is/00KjO8.
Our impact so far:
We served all evacuees at the only 3 open shelters
And administered emotional/spiritual care to 826 people.
Community Partners we could not do this response without:
El Dorado Hills Rotary
South Placer Rotary
Upper Room Dining Hall
Solis Collison Center
Js West Propane
El Dorado Food Bank
Raley’s / Bel Air / Nob Hill
Red Hawk Casino
Old Town Kitchen
El Dorado Food Bank
Chick Fil A
To donate and current news about where the fire is and the details about our operation, check out this link:
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Classroom 2
- 10:00 AM - Adult Sunday School - Library
- 10:15 AM - Time of Prayer - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Fellowship Time - Fireside Room
- 12:30 PM - Youth Music Practice - Chapel
MONDAY - THURSDAY
- 9 AM-12 PM & 1-4 PM - Christmas Assistance Sign-Ups - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - ROOTED Small Discipleship Group - Hybrid
- 7:00 PM - Songsters Practice - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: The Lord is My Shepherd - Zoom Only
- 2-7 PM - Set Up and Prep for Fall Craft Fair
- 9 AM - 2 PM - Fall Craft Fair
Click here to learn about specific volunteer opportunities, requirements, and expectations.
If you would like to help with the interviews, please click here to get to the shifts.
Staff Band Concert
NOTE: Friday night, the Staff Band would like to invite the Concord Senior Band to dinner at 7:00 PM at ButterCup. Further details will be emailed to members directly. It will be a time of fellowship followed by a joint practice at 8:00 PM back at the corps.
Trunk or Treat Community Outreach Event
Please contact Major Willdonna if you would like to sign-up: mailto:email@example.com.
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.
Fall & Winter CAMEO Program
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.