Church Family Newsletter | August 19, 2022
You may or may not realize that Gwyn does most of the cooking at home. He likes to get into the office early after first dropping Evan off at school. And then I will come in after dropping Morgan off at school. With him getting in earlier, he then leaves sooner than me to pick up the kids from school and then gets an early start on dinner prep at home.
With Gwyn away at the All California Men's Retreat this weekend, I've had to do both transportation and dinner duties. I was proud of myself in that first of all, I remembered to pick my children up from school on time! (You parents out there - Can I get an "Amen!"?) I even managed to do a couple of car-related tasks - fill up the van with gas and get air in my tires. I also squeezed in a quick run to Safeway and Costco between picking up Evan and Morgan from school before heading home to unload the groceries and get dinner cooked. I was on a roll ... so I thought.
I assembled my Hawaiian sandwiches with meat, turkey, two kinds of cheese, and mayo, and topped them with melted butter and garlic salt. I prepared the salad and washed the grapes as a garnish after placing the rolls in the oven. I was feeling good. So good that I even decided to start cleaning out the refrigerator. (What was I thinking?!) Soon I noticed a burnt smell - my Hawaiian rolls!!! (As you can see in the enclosed picture, the tops were not golden brown but burnt to a crisp!)
As I sliced off the thin burnt layer, I was able to scrape out the dregs of the butter mixture and slather it all over the newly trimmed rolls. (You know it is coming ...) I found myself reflecting on the burnt rolls and came up with these life applications:
- It was okay. The rolls were still delicious with a soft, warm inside and a melted cheese layer. It doesn't matter what our "exterior" looks like. We are all the same on the inside.
- God can make something good out of what we've done.
- Be alert! Don't get sidetracked from the "main thing". Stay focused. Don't have too many things going on at the same time. (Multi-tasking is not always the best way.)
- God will help stretch your resources. There will always be just enough.
Maybe you can think of more.
I don't know what your week has been like. Frantic and hectic. Or calm and peaceful. I'm just glad that I was able to salvage our meal and that we lived to start a new day.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23
Every day we see that God again is merciful to us. They “never come to an end,” in fact, and every morning “they are new” because God’s faithfulness is great. His steadfast love will never cease, nor will His mercies for us.
Thank God for his daily mercies!
For the past two columns, I have looked at what the scripture has to say about the “buzzwords” surrounding the drive to be more inclusive and equitable in dealing with people inside and outside of the church as well as the population in general. We have looked at inclusivity and equity and concluded that scripture endorses these qualities when applied within the boundaries of God’s revealed plan for mankind. So now it is time to turn to diversity.
The secular world would have us believe that diversity is one of the great virtues and greatest values in putting together any organization. Scripture both agrees and disagrees — strongly, in both cases!
I encourage you to engage in a bible search for diversity using one of the many online tools available. If searching the King James translation, you should also include “divers” (not the scuba diving kind!) since the modern spelling of “diverse” came later.
What you will discover is that the Old Testament has rules against putting dissimilar things together, especially when there is a risk of one harming the other:
“‘Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.’” Leviticus 19:19 NIV
I will let you discover the (many) other rules along the same lines, but in general, they seem to be aimed at maintaining safety, integrity, and purity, especially at the expense of convenience and profit.
This idea of purity was also applied to the people, priests, and sacrifices of the Jewish nation. It is obvious that if God wanted an example of His dealings with the human race, they needed to be, and remain, different from the races and cultures surrounding them. The great danger was always that the polytheistic, idolatrous, and sinful practices of the neighboring tribes would pollute and obscure the standard of God’s law.
When we get to the gospel writers we discover that diversity is now generally applied to physical ailments:
News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various [diverse] diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Matthew 4:24 NIV
An astounding thing about that passage is that it took place in Syria (not Judea), and the context of the Greek says that Jesus healed them all! This would include diseases that the Jewish authorities would deem making Him “unclean”. So, we see the diversity of Jesus’ concern for human suffering applying to “all shapes and sizes, types and conditions”! This was one of the factors that led to the condemnation and ultimate murder of Christ by the religious authorities.
Later in the New Testament, the writings of the Holy Spirit to the Church through Paul address both the purity of morality as well as pointing out the essential and advantage to the body of Christ of a diverse population, especially with regard to Spiritual Gifts. I encourage you to re-read 1 Corinthians 12 in its entirety, but these verses are representative:
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 NIV
Paul then goes on to point out that this diversity is not only good but essential, to the efficient and effective functioning of the body of Christ. A deficiency in one area will lead to impairment and inadequacy for the whole organism.
So, the view from 30,000' for believers about how to think about diversity from the scriptures seems to be this:
1) avoid “diversity” that would lead to harm, pollution, or the adoption of sin;
2) embrace the “diversity” of the love of Jesus for all people no matter the extent or depth of their sinfulness knowing that He can, and is willing to, cleanse of all sin;
3) build up and exercise the diversity of gifts within the church so that the Body of Christ will be healthy, energetic, and efficient in proclaiming the gospel to every living being.
For the view from 5’, please examine the individual scripture as guided by the Holy Spirit!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
CAMEO's Tour of the Suisun Kroc Center
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, Commissioner Colleen Riley, thank you for the commitment that you each give to this.
Territorial leaders: Commissioners Man-hee and Stephanie Chang
- For the ability to quickly respond to the rapidly changing social environment for missions.
- For effective management and utilization of human and material resources for sustainability.
- To improve the empathy of members of the organization for reform and renewal for the next generation.
- For restructuring and refocusing of Social Services in compliance with the Army identity and social needs.
- For effective property development and investment for the future.
We thank God for the grace that will work in our prayers together.
May the Lord bless you.
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Time of Prayer - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:30 PM - Aaron's "See You Later!" Reception - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 7:00 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- Women's Bible Study, Songsters, and Youth Music Programs will resume shortly.
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Exploding Box - Paper Craft - Hybrid
- Major Ann can mail you a kit if you are unable to meet in person, but you must inform her ASAP so that there is time to get it to you.
- 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM - YouthForce Pool Party - Bob & Verena's House
- The address will be shared with you directly. Please bring a side dish to share. The meat will be provided.
NEXT SUNDAY (August 28)
There will be a Corps Council Meeting after the service to discuss the Corps Review materials. Lunch will be provided.
- Sept 10 - Divisional Music Rehearsals (Suisun Kroc Center)
- Sept 17 - Divisional Community Care Rally (Concord Corps)
- Sept 23-25 - Craft Weekend & Young Adult Retreat (Camp Del Oro)
- Sept 26-30 - Christmas Assistance Sign-Ups (Concord Corps)
- Oct 1 - Helping Handbags Luncheon Fundraiser (TBD)
- Oct 7-9 - Western Territory Staff Band Ministry Weekend (Concord Corps)
- Oct 20 - Divisional Senior Day - DHQ
- Oct 22 - Divisional Music Rehearsals (Suisun Kroc Center)
"Ohana" Divisional Community Care Ministries Rally
The theme "ohana" means family. And that is what we are!
Registration is due August 31, but if you know you would like to go, please let Major Ann know as soon as possible.
Young Adult Retreat
The cost for the full weekend is $65.00 per person but for those who are interested in attending for just a day (Saturday), the cost is $30.00 per person for ages 18-30 years old. Please be aware that there will be no children (aside from infants who are nursing) or pets allowed at this event.
Registration is due September 19.
Anti-Human Trafficking Training
Human Trafficking is a crime impacting more than 20 million people worldwide. Knowing this alarming statistic, it is important that your Corps are empowered to identify and support victims of human trafficking. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) HOPE Anti-Trafficking Program serves Northern California, San Joaquin to the Oregon border, 30 counties in total. In this training, you will learn about human trafficking, and most importantly how to respond to and serve survivors.
About our Trainer:
Rodger Freeman has over 25 years of experience in training audiences of various sizes on issues regarding human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. He has trained agencies in northern California on how to successfully identify victims of human trafficking, screening methods, and trauma-informed techniques for working with victims. In addition to facilitating trainings to law enforcement, medical providers, and social service employees, Rodger also directly worked with survivors as a victim advocate for both a non-profit and a university for over 25 years.
Event Location, Date & Time:
3755 N. Freeway Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95834
September 22, 9:00am – 11:00am
Who can come? Anyone in your Corps that is providing direct support to clients, volunteers, and congregation members.
RSVP to either in-person or live streaming: https://forms.office.com/r/6kxTa0tN7r
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.