Church Family Newsletter | March 12, 2022
We were at our Officers' Councils (Pastors' Retreat) for Spring Training. It was a pretty intense week of learning but we certainly had special moments to fellowship with our comrades across the division.
Then coming home to host our first annual - yes, Major Willdonna! ... our first - Women's Day Retreat was exciting! We were definitely blessed by our planning committee, special guests, workshop leaders, meeting leaders, and support team (kitchen crew and more).
But now as I try to write this little message, I don't think I have the energy to say much more except for this (my FitBit says I did 19,606 steps today) ... I'm grateful for all of it!
"Work and play with enthusiasm" was one of the core principles from our previous appointment amongst the staff. I can say that this was accomplished.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)
Called and Equipped
Mark Twain famously wrote, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes,” and because history is the record of human nature sometimes those rhymes extend over many thousands of years.
See if the following description of world events rings a bell.
The leader of a large and powerful nation sends his armies south to encircle and invade his smaller neighbor. The leader of the smaller country makes a heroic stand inspiring his people to resist against seemingly overwhelming odds. The forces of the invaders become totally bogged down and unable to achieve their objectives despite besieging the capital city. As a result, the invaders are demoralized and dispirited. Despite suffering their own losses and much of their population fleeing for safety, the smaller nation becomes a rallying point for the forces of good versus evil.
Russia versus Ukraine in 2022 A.D.?
Assyria versus Judea in 2800 B.C.!
Although we do not yet know how the Russia/Ukraine conflict plays out or is finally resolved, we do know and can learn from the earlier one. The deciding factor in that conflict was the availability and willingness of God’s volunteer, Isaiah, to be true to his mission and trust in God’s power to save his nation.
My description of Isaiah as God’s volunteer comes from his own description of a vision he had while studying scripture:
“…I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices, the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it, he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:1-8, NIV)
“Here am I, send me!” When he volunteered Isaiah had no idea the world-shaking events he would be part of, but he had seen God and realized that he did not need any personal power to be God’s agent — God’s power was available through him.
Contrast that with the leader of another nation that had been held captive by a superior world power and whom God wished to free as an example to the rest of the world.
Now we’re talking about Egypt and Israel in 3300 B.C. Interestingly God chooses a leader — Moses — and gives him incontrovertible proof of God’s power — the “burning-but-not-burnt” bush. God wants Moses to go and speak to the rulers of Egypt. Here is the fascinating exchange:
“Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.
The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous — it had become as white as snow. “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
(Exodus 4:1-13, NIV, emphasis mine)
In contrast to Isaiah, Moses’ reply was, “Here am I, send him.” If you read on, you will discover that God did someone else — Moses’ brother Aaron — to do the talking, but Moses still had to accompany him to tell him what to say! God wanted Moses totally convinced that his (Moses’) frailties and inadequacies were not an impediment to God’s plan and power.
Our weaknesses are not a surprise to God. He has already taken them into account. After all, as God reminded Moses, he made us and understands our capabilities better than we do. His glory is enhanced when his power is displayed through us, in spite of our inadequacies.
When God offers us an opportunity to be his agent we do well to remember our humanity and fragility have already been factored into the mission and we will be equipped with his power despite the seemingly overwhelming odds arrayed against us.
There is a reason why everyone supports David rather than Goliath!
Let’s stop making excuses and just let God show up and show off!
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Library
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Meeting - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - In-Person Worship Service - Streaming on Concord Corps Family FB Page
- 12:15 PM - Refreshments and Fellowship - Fireside Room
- 12:45 PM - Singing Company Practice - Chapel
- 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: Hymn Stories & Sing-Along - Hybrid, Zoom & In-Person
- 11:00 AM - Delegates leave for Divisional Youth Retreat - Camp Del Oro
NEXT SUNDAY: March 20th
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Rehearsal
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Library
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Meeting - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - In-Person Worship Service
- No Youth Music Rehearsals
- 3:00 PM - DYR Delegates Arrive from Camp Del Oro
Fashioned By His Grace Women's Retreat
International Prayer Focus
Territorial Leaders: Colonels Wilson and Nara Strasse
- The Salvation Army Centenary Congress in Brazil with the visit of General Brian Peddle and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle
- Leadership at all levels;
- Spiritual revival
- Development of Youth Work
- Strategic Planning: Growth and Development of Corps, Development of Social Projects, strategies for self-sustainability and management
- Implementation of the Governance System
- Physical and spiritual health and safety of Officers, Soldiers, employees, and their families in view of the increase in cases of the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus in Brazil.
- For the return to face-to-face activities in our Corps and Outposts, and in our Social Units as the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is attenuating.
New Way to Support Ukraine Relief
Fundraise for good has added a Ukraine option. Click “become a fundraiser” via the link below and you can set up your own fundraiser or create a team to fundraise. That way you can track how much you and your friends have raised. The money will go directly to Ukraine relief.
Text UKRAINE to 52000 to make a $10 donation
***All monies given in the above ways go directly to our Ukraine crisis response!
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
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
There will be workshops, fun activities, inspirational worship, and fellowship. They are even putting on a Prom! So start getting your outfit together!
Registration is due April 13th.
See Major AnnMarguerite Jones or Major Willdonna Rich if you would like to attend.
Visit of International Leaders
Our international leaders, General Brian and Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, will be visiting San Francisco on June 17, 2022. Here is some information to help you begin planning for this event:
Location: We will gather at the South San Francisco Conference Center (255 S. Airport Blvd., South San Francisco, CA 94080) https://ssfconf.com/. There is plenty of free parking available. Please note the venue has a vaccination or proof of negative test required for entry. More details will be shared on this later, but you can find specifics at https://ssfconf.com/covid-19/.
- 6:00 PM - Prelude
- 6:30 PM - Public Meeting
A few things to know…
- There will NOT be childcare for this event. Any children coming to the Public Meeting must be under the care of their parents, guardians, or other adults during the program.
- Majors Gwyn and AnnMarguerite Jones will be starting Junior Soldier, Adherent, and Senior Soldier Classes soon. If you prayerfully decide to be enrolled, you have the option of being enrolled by the General at this public meeting.
- Our Junior Praise Team has been asked to participate.
- If you would like to be part of the United Band and/or Songsters for the meeting, please let Major Ann know.
Divisional Music Groups
In the General's Public Meeting, both of these musical groups will participate. United rehearsals between the Golden State and Del Oro Divisions will be held on March 26, April 23, and May 21 at the:
Suisun Kroc Center
586 E. Wigeon Way
Suisun City, CA 94585
The schedule is:
- 9:30 AM - United Chorus
- 11:00 AM - Lunch (provided)
- 11:45 AM - United Band
- 1:15 PM - Dismissal
Please RSVP to Daniel Prince, Del Oro Divisional Music & Worship Arts Director, (Daniel.Prince@usw.salvationarmy.org) so that he knows how many will be participating.
He created a Dropbox link for anyone who would like to familiarize themselves with the music: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0t8y3idkc1nef9h/AADvTaFmrvQ6M31EyocmtT1ra?dl=0.
What a great opportunity to share in music together!
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.