Church Family Newsletter | May 27, 2022
Last weekend was a lot of fun hanging out with the Corps Cadets (teens in our discipleship program). In reading certain Bible passages together, they had the opportunity to share with each other the main point of the texts and to see how that would apply to their lives today.
One of the requirements of their course is to write down their reflections on a monthly report and send them to our Divisional Headquarters Youth Department. I was encouraged to read how they have committed to practicing or implementing the truths in their relationships with family, friends, future spouses, our society as a whole, and the communities in which they live.
Let's continue to pray for our young people as they grow in the knowledge, grace, and wisdom by studying God's Word. Included in this newsletter is a summary of one of our young people's reflections.
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
No Tree, No Fruit
It is my privilege to live on the edge of one of the most fertile deserts in the world — the Central Valley of California.
The amazing transformation from desert to productive agriculture is only possible because of the diversion of life-giving water from the rivers and delta sourced in the Sierra Nevada (“Snowy Mountains”) to irrigate the land. We are currently in the midst of extreme drought and would gladly exchange some days of warm sunshine with those of you who live in colder and wetter climes!
Although our town is gradually succumbing to seemingly inevitable urbanization, it is still literally only a two-minute drive if I want to be in the heart of fruit orchards and nut trees. Many of our local farms feature “U-pick-em” access, allowing customers to enter the properties and literally pick the fruit directly from the trees. The farmers only charge for the weight of fruit in the basket and don’t take into account the amount of fruit in the stomach — that’s just reckoned as a cost of doing business! People drive tens of miles around to take home the freshest apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, pomegranates, and strawberries, all at the lowest prices but causing major traffic jams parking on the sides of our little two-lane roads! But it is certainly worth the effort!
I am also privileged to have a vineyard as my backyard and it is a constant source of wonder to watch the explosive growth of the grapevines in the Spring — at some times an inch a day! — the abundant, bountiful harvest as Autumn arrives and the severe pruning in the shorter, colder days of Winter. And then the cycle repeats again with the seasons! Every year the yield from the vines increases and the revenue raised from the sale of grapes and olives helps defray the costs of living in such a beautiful area.
This brings to mind that some of the most vivid illustrations Jesus used to instruct his followers used the metaphor of fruit and fruit trees.
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 NIV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-4 NIV
Every preacher worth his or her salt has proclaimed and expounded — maybe even expanded — on what Christian fruit looks like:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
But like grapes bought in the grocery store which may still look like they are growing on a branch, I can guarantee that that branch will never again produce a single grape. It could if it were still attached to the grapevine and properly pruned, but being detached irrevocably ends its fruit-producing life. What did you do with the stems from the last bunch of grapes you consumed?
I can mentally see Jesus slapping his head and saying “duh!”
There is a lot of “faux fruit” in our world. I often hear people say things like, “I am law-abiding”, “I try to live a good life”, “I give to charity”, “I am better than those so-called Christians”, or “I always try to do the right thing”, and all that may in fact be true, but erroneously they believe that somehow qualifies them for heavenly applause. This is another one of Satan’s deceptions. Listen carefully to what Jesus says:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5-6 NIV
I am sure that no one reading this intends to have a future as spiritual firewood, but we must be aware that it takes conscious, continuous, intentional effort and constant checking to ensure that we are still connected to the true vine. When we do, constant and improving fruit production is the result.
So let us resolve to make the effort to be connected and fruitful on a daily and hourly basis.
Remember: “no tree, no fruit!”
Be fruitful (and multiply)!
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
Corps Cadet Reflection
Corps Cadets is a discipleship and leadership program created by The Salvation Army that engages youth in their spiritual growth and personal relationships with Jesus Christ and empowers them with tools, tips, and techniques for serving God and growing into the leaders of tomorrow.
In response to the lessons we've had this year, Emily McKaigg shares the following:
I learned a lot in this session. I think that the lessons that stuck with me the most were the ones on ethics, justice, and tolerance. Ethics taught me about making decisions with God’s Word as a guideline; our decisions had to be Christlike ones. With justice, I learned that when I see something unjust, I can’t just pray, I need to act on that prayer. I can do that by speaking out, learning about it to break the stigma, and so much more. And with tolerance, I learned that loving people is the most important thing. And with that, I can’t just love people to their face, it also has to be behind their backs too. I can’t be nice to their face and then talk about how they are an abomination or that God doesn’t like them behind their backs. That isn’t Christlike. Overall, I learned that in all of my decisions, I need to think about what God would do in that situation.
Texas Shooting Response
After the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday morning, The Salvation Army responded to a request for assistance and deployed a mobile kitchen and disaster response team from San Antonio, about eighty-five miles away, to serve first responders and the community.
Throughout the evening and overnight, first responders and law enforcement received sandwiches, snacks, coffee, and Gatorade from The Salvation Army mobile kitchen positioned at the Incident Command Post established at the school. The team will be serving three meals on Wednesday.
“This tragedy has impacted so many people in the area. Even before we arrived in Uvalde, I had the opportunity to pray with someone affected by the shooting,” said Major Carolyn Webb, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army response. “We were buying supplies at a grocery store and another shopper offered to help with our heavy load. As soon as they learned that we were with The Salvation Army and headed to Uvalde, they explained that a close friend had lost their child in the shooting. We prayed together right there in the store.”
A Family Resource Center has been set up at the Civic Center on Main Street in Uvalde, specifically for the families affected by the shooting. Three Salvation Army Officers, from San Antonio and San Angelo, will serve as Emotional and Spiritual Care Specialists at the center, and will be available to listen, support, and pray with family members. Canines 4 Christ, a newly fostered partner organization, will provide six teams including therapy dogs and trained ESC specialists as additional support. The mobile kitchen team will continue to serve first responders at the Incident Command Post.
The Salvation Army team is coordinating closely with local and state emergency management as well as other community organizations and businesses. “Everyone has been incredibly supportive in this community. We are all working together to help; providing food, comfort, and a listening ear,” said Webb. “Please keep this community in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with the heartache of this tragedy and travel the long road to healing. The Salvation Army will remain in Uvalde as long as we are needed.”
For the latest disaster response information, go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
To donate by mail:
The Salvation Army - Disaster Relief
PO BOX 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
Please be sure to write on the check the name of the disaster relief effort you wish to support.
To donate by phone:
To donate items:
Please fill out our in-kind donation form at salvationarmygive.org
Practical Ways to Care for Teens Who Are Struggling with ADD/ADHD
Continuing in our series, today we are looking at students who struggle with ADD/ADHD.
ADHD makes it difficult for kids to focus on their schoolwork and everyday tasks, to pay attention, and sit still. It’s often harder for them to control themselves than other kids their age. ADHD can take the form of two kinds of behaviors; inattentive and impulsive.
Impulsive behaviors can include fidgeting, struggling to sit still, constantly talking or interrupting, and being impatient. Inattentive behaviors might look like making careless mistakes, being easily distracted, having a hard time following instructions, and forgetting or losing things often.
Practical Ways to Help Teenagers with ADD/ADHD:
1. Provide Fidget Toys
- Have a box with a mixture of fidget toys available somewhere in your space that students know about.
- Being able to hold/play with a fidget toy can help students focus.
2. Encourage Peer Relationships
- It’s oftentimes harder for students with ADD/ADHD to make and/or keep friends.
- These students can also be more subject to bullying or bully others.
- Encourage extracurricular activities, participation in games, and events.
3. Self-Regulation Ideas
- Give time frames for when things are going to begin/end
- Ex: When playing video games before service, give adequate time to let them know it’s going to be time to stop playing.
- Cool-Off Space
- Have a place in your building or facility where a student can go if they need to calm down or take a breath.
- Allow the student to stand or walk in the back of the room during the lesson.
4. Check in with and resource your volunteers
- These students often require some extra grace, see how you can help your volunteers navigate that.
- If the student is a talker, give them the job of reading the small group questions, coming up with an ice breaker question for the group, etc.
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Rehearsal & Singing Company Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:00 AM - Senior Soldiership Classes
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Time - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Celebration Luncheon - Fireside Room
- 1:00 PM - Youth Music Rehearsals - Chapel
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Zoom
- Band and Songsters are on summer hiatus.
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Trip to San Francisco
- Encore participants traveling down for Territorial Encore and Commissioning Events.
- Pray for Cadet Cody Trimmer who will be receiving his AA in Ministry.
- Pray for our young people who will be participating in Encore and the Celebration of Youth Meeting.
- Major Willdonna Rich will be leading the Sunday Worship Service.
- Pray for Lt. Cody Trimmer as he will be ordained and given his first ministry appointment.
To view the meeting, click this link just before the meeting starts on Sunday, June 5th, at 3:00 PM.
Pics of the Week
Graduates and promotees recognized
Fun in the sun
CAMEO in the City
Songsters bless us before summer plans take people different ways
As you know, General and Commissioner Peddle will be visiting San Francisco on June 17, 2022. Here is some information for your planning.
South San Francisco Conference Center
255 S. Airport Blvd
South San Francisco, CA 94090
Details facility information can be found at: https://ssfconf.com/. There are no vaccination or COVID testing requirements at this time. There is plenty of parking at the venue, and the parking lots of the adjoining hotels may be used as well.
1:30 PM - Open at Venue for Officers Councils
2:30 PM - Officers Councils Session
4:30 PM - Sound Check for Meeting Participants (Please be early!)
4:45 PM - Plated Dinner Served for Officers only
5:30 PM - Doors Open at Venue for Public Meeting
6:00 PM - Prelude
6:30 PM - Public Meeting
8:30 PM - Event Concludes
Other things to know:
- We will be providing transportation for the men in our Transitional Living Program ONLY. We have decided that it will be too difficult and too costly to provide a bus as we had originally thought. All other participants are making their own way there.
- Tickets are not required for this event.
- All officers are expected to attend the Officers Councils and everyone (soldiers, employees, Advisory Organizations members, community members, etc.) is welcome to attend the public meeting at 6:30 PM.
- Please be reminded that there is no childcare for this event. All children must be under the immediate care and supervision of their parents or another assigned guardian.
- There’s not enough room at the venue for folks to "hang out" and wait for the Public Meeting. The Tanforan Mall is not too far from the venue, and maybe this is a good opportunity for folks to do a little sightseeing in San Francisco while they wait for the Public Meeting.
- There will be translations available in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Receivers will be available at the back of the hall at the translation tables.
- We will be livestreaming the Public Meeting. The link for that is https://youtu.be/Fqe64e8aNTc.
SA Justice Webinar
TITLE: Proactively transforming our world by reaching out to foster kids and kinship care providers. A mighty impact at no cost.
DESCRIPTION: In this webinar, we will chat through the global strategic plan for foster care engagement and learn about how we can be the answer to a broken system in ways that we are already actively doing in our communities. This will be a step-by-step guide on how to interact with foster care and kinship care providers with a bit of info about the Brave empowerment program sprinkled in. Spoiler alert: no matter what you are doing in your community, you are already engaging with the majority of the plan already. Join us to hear more.
PRESENTER: Captain Lisa Barnes has been a Salvation Army Officer for 14 years, and has served in San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, and Las Vegas. In her youth, she was a kid lost in the foster care system which consisted of between 30-40 different foster and group homes. Lisa attributes her success in ministry, and family to those at The Salvation Army in Gresham, Oregon, Salinas, California, and to influencing people throughout the Golden State Division in her teen years that showed her that life could be different than she could ever expect.
Now Lisa refers to herself as “Foster Care Alumni” and in addition to her appointment as Divisional Secretary over Southern Nevada, she is also The Salvation Army’s coach for anyone who would like to host a Brave event. Brave is an empowerment program for girls 12-18 and in foster care or other vulnerable situations.
Lisa has also written a Global Strategic Plan for Foster Care Engagement which she believes can be the catalyst for the Army’s next wave of intentional global impact, and it is something that every corps or service center can participate in - with no financial investment, no new programs, no changes to buildings or property… except for a box of donuts and the time spent making connections in our communities.
(The webinar will be recorded and posted on sajustice.us/webinars/afterward – but we would much rather you join us in person on the 22nd 😊)
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.