Church Family Newsletter | April 10, 2022
This last week, I splurged and treated my daughters and myself to the Broadway Musical "Wicked" as it was showing in Sacramento. I saw this for the first time a few years ago and knew that I wanted my girls to experience it.
I don't want to give the story away as some may be looking forward to seeing it someday. Or you may even have the book - like I do - and plan to read it someday. However, its tagline says "the untold true story of the Witches of Oz".
It really is a mesmerizing plot, giving you a totally different perspective as to what really happens in the land of Oz. The "bad guys" and "good guys" are not as you remember in the classic story "The Wizard of Oz". And you feel as though you walk away with a totally new understanding of what must have been the truth all along - with a new love or dislike (hate would be such a strong word) of certain characters. And you may begin to empathize with certain characters that you may have never before. (Have I piqued your interest?)
As we begin Holy Week, take the opportunity to read through the Gospels and read the real-time narrative of the events that took place during the final week of Jesus' time on earth from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday:
Palm Sunday - Luke 19:28-44
Monday: Jesus Cleanses the Temple - Mark 11:12-19
Tuesday: Jesus Teaches at the Temple - Luke 21:1-38 and Luke 22:1-2
Wednesday: Jesus Anointed for Burial - Mark 14:3-11 and Matthew 26:14-16
Thursday: The Last Supper - John 16:16-33 and Matthew 26:17-75
Good Friday - Matthew 27:1-61
Holy Saturday - Luke 23:5-56 and Matthew 27:62-66
Resurrection Sunday - Matthew 28:1-15 and Luke 24:1-53
Can you feel the emotions of the disciples? Do you see why He was faced with such scrutiny? How would you have reacted knowing what you knew about Jesus and His teachings? Knowing what you know now, do you understand why Jesus did what He did? Do you have a different perspective being on "this side" of His-story?
As Jim says often in our services, "We've read the end of the story. We know what is to come! We win!" Thank God - literally!
May you draw closer to Him this week as we remember what He has done for us. And may we commit to living our lives in honor of Him.
Special thanks to Christian, Ryan, Brunell, Verena, Riley, Liam, Emily, Kaylynn, Morgan, and Evan for helping us pass out the flyers in the neighborhood. We had the opportunity to speak to individuals as well. Let's pray that some of them will come next Sunday.
I suspect that many of you, like me, have some interminable background task that gets some attention from time to time. For me, it is cataloging the thousands of photographs spinning merrily away on my hard drive or in the cloud! I was reminded of this the other day when looking for a photograph in my collection.
At the time of passing of loved ones, we inevitably come across photographs that are frozen recollections of events in a family and the lives of individuals. It is fascinating to be able to put names to faces and dates to events and beyond frustrating when the photograph is not accompanied by the “who, when, where, and why” behind the picture. In days of yore, i.e. before smartphone cameras and digital storage, our forbears would often write these details on the back of the physical print of the picture, but now it takes time and effort to add this metadata to each image, but not doing so may rob those who come after us of important details of our lives.
The thought that prompted all this nostalgia comes from a verse from Joshua:
“When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land” Joshua 4:21-22, KJV.
The standard way of commemorating an important event before the advent of photography, and is often still used today, was to build a monument — usually out of stones. The Scottish word for such a monumental pile of stones has passed into English as a “cairn”.
I was searching my online collection of photographs for one of the “Stolpersteine” or “Stumbling Stones” we encountered during a tour of Germany some years ago. More than 45,000 of these stones are solidly rooted across cities in Europe, including 916 places in Germany alone, where large strides have been taken to memorialize Jewish life, history, and culture. Each Stolperstein commemorates a victim of the Holocaust at that person’s last known address. The plaque includes the victim’s name, date of birth, deportation date, and death date, if known. In Berlin, more than 5,000 Stolpersteine have been carefully implanted in the city’s sidewalks and streets, serving as a constant reminder of the many valuable lives lost tragically during the Holocaust. A quick Google search will give you much detail which would just derail my train of thought here.
In the Bible, a distinction is always made between “rocks” and “stones”. Rocks always imply permanence, faithfulness, and steadfastness, while stones are objects to be used by men for some purpose. Beginning in the Old Testament in the midst of a series of laws regulating the treatment of others, we find this admonition:
“Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD” Leviticus 19:4, KJV.
Obviously, putting a rock or brick in front of a blind person is cruel and evil, but the New Testament takes the practical rule and turns it into a spiritual metaphor. After Peter rebuked Jesus, denying the crucifixion would take place, Jesus said,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” Matthew 16:23, NIV.
Peter, under the influence of Satan, was trying to distract Jesus from what He had come to do. He was trying to make Jesus “stumble” in His path to the crucifixion.
But most of the time, a “stumbling block” refers to something or someone who keeps another from a relationship with God. If you really want to get Jesus riled up, consider his words in Matthew’s gospel:
“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” Matthew 18:5-7, NIV
In the Kingdom perspective, it would be better to drown than lead a child into sin. Stumbling blocks also arise when the path is a little more ambiguous. The mature Christian life allows some freedoms that seem contrary to an obedient, disciplined faith. The Corinthians were much concerned about eating meat sacrificed to idols. Modern issues include drinking alcohol in moderation or political activities. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:
“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak” 1 Corinthians 8:9, NIV.
Note that our liberty is not worth another’s walk with God. If something God allows would lead another to sin, we need to avoid it.
This leads me to my last stone, the “corner” stone or what today we call a “foundation” stone.
Building a structure always requires a point of reference from which measurements can be made. If everyone in a project is using a different point of reference chaos ensues, but when measurements are taken from the cornerstone an architectural wonder can result. As Paul told the Ephesians:
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” Ephesians 2:19-22, NIV.
“…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 2:5, NIV.
So let us purpose to be, through the power of the Holy Spirit, living stones, building up the body of Christ, taking measurement and direction from our cornerstone, and being careful and diligent never to become a stumbling stone. Let our lives be a living monument to the grace of God.
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: Faberge Eggs - Hybrid
FRIDAY (Office Closed for Regular Business)
- 12:00 PM - Territorial Good Friday Message (see info below)
- 6:00 PM - Good Friday Service - Bread & Broth to follow
- 8:30 AM - SonRise Service - Rose Garden
- NOTE: Bring fresh flowers/bouquet for service
- 9:30 AM - Breakfast - Fireside Room
- NOTE: The corps will provide biscuits and gravy, sausage, and eggs. If you would like to bring fruit, juice, or anything else to enhance the meal, that would be welcomed.
- 10:00 AM - All Youth Activity & Lesson - Fireside Room
- 10:00 AM - Prayer Time - Prayer Room
- 10:30 AM - Prelude Begins
- 11:00 AM - Easter Worship Service
- 12:15 PM - Refreshments & Easter Egg Hunt for Kids 12 & under
Cameo Trip: Rosie the Riveter Museum
Divisional Encore - Concord's Winners
Exterior Painting Project
Call for Donations
International Prayer Focus
Lt. Colonels Gracia and Lydia Matondo
Our command presents these themes or subjects for prayer:
To thank God for:
- Obtaining a permanent visa for the Reinforcement Officers (projects & ETO)
- Acceptance of 12 candidates for the next Officers Training Session 2022-2024
Ask God in prayer:
- On the permanent visa for other reinforcement officers: Training Principal and Education Officer to the Training College (from the UK), and Financial Secretary and Command Home League Secretary (from India)
Peace and tranquillity for this year that the country is preparing for the general elections in August
The harsh consequences of the pandemic on the lives of the population (financial, psychological, and emotional)
The growth and development of The Salvation Army within the country
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.