Church Family Newsletter | November 13, 2021
Callings & Destinations
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” [Romans 8:28-30 NIV]
There is a wonderfully illustrative apocryphal story about the great sculptor, Michelangelo.
One day at the stone quarry he selected a huge block of marble which had been broken out of the surrounding rock by the quarrymen. It was rough-hewn and coarse with many jagged edges and imperfections. In short it was just an unpromising lump of rock with no inherent beauty to recommend it.
Michelangelo ordered that the huge slab be sent to his workshop with a label saying “reserved for David”.
When asked what this meant he said, “David is inside there, I just have to release him by removing all the imperfections that have him trapped inside”. And indeed the massive statue of David which Michelangelo “released” is today celebrated as one of the most sublime works of art ever produced by a human being!
The artwork was in the mind of the sculptor before he selected the material - that is he “foreknew” what it was he wanted to produce. The marble could have been cut up to make tiles for a floor, or the balustrade of a stairway, but the sculptor “called” it for a different purpose and “predestined” it for his workshop where he would work on it until it “conformed to the image” of David he had in his mind.
Paul in his letter to the church in Rome points out that God already has in mind (“foreknows”) what He wants his creation to look like. He wants faithful reproductions of His Son.
In many ways He could achieved this by using angels as his raw material, but as Hebrews 2:16 tells us His glory is enhanced by choosing fallen mankind — warts and all — as the basis of His new creation. In His workshop of life He hacks and hews, files and smooths, removing imperfections and ugliness until we emerge from the process as replicas of Jesus himself.
Perhaps this is the picture John had in mind when he wrote: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” [1 John 3:2-3 NIV]
Or as another Saint John [Gowans] wrote, “To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me…” [SASB #328]
Let’s not be concerned when God uses the circumstances of life to refine our characters, rather let’s praise and adore Him for His love in reshaping us into the image of Jesus which will be glorious beyond imagining.
Or as Charles Wesley so eloquently put it:
“Finish then Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in Thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in Heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise” [SASB #262 v3]
Blessings on you and yours,
If someone could have recorded and played back the whole scenario, one would find it very entertaining! We certainly had a lot of laughs along the way, even way there was some frustration and confusion as to what was supposed to happen next.
There were a few things that stood out for me during this particular exercise:
- The activities in the room are supposed to happen in a linear fashion. This means you have to gather clues to solve one of the puzzles which unlock a literal padlock giving you the pieces of the next clue. Each clue and solved puzzle ultimately leads to the escape. You cannot skip steps. No shortcuts!
- Everyone has a different perspective on seeing a problem or challenge. In turn, everyone can also provide a creative way to get to the solution. Each person's opinion mattered. I know it is corny but "teamwork makes the dream work"!
- It is much more fun doing a room with friends, family, or coworkers. We were just a bunch of silly people together. Our Game Master even came into the room to help us out. (I honestly think he wanted to be part of the action. LOL!) It would've been sad, lonely, and difficult to do alone. It was also fun celebrating the win together.
If you have never done an escape room, check out Groupon. You can find good deals. You have to try it at least once.
I wonder what lessons you can glean from your experience?
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
We encourage you to come and pray before Sunday's Holiness and Worship Service. Pray over the requests that have been shared during the week. Pray for those seeking the Lord. Pray for those who are lost. So many things to pray for ...
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them,” Matthew 18:19-20.
This Week's Schedule
9:30 AM - Praise Team Rehearsal - Chapel
10:00 AM - Prayer Room Opens - Side Room of the Courtyard
10:00 AM - Corps Cadets & Sunday School - Classrooms 2 & 3
11:00 AM - Worship Service - In-Person and Facebook
12:15 PM - Singing Company
1:00 PM - Junior Band & Music Electives
MONDAY: RED KETTLE CAMPAIGN STARTS
Pray for our bell ringers, drivers, and donors.
1:00 PM - Interviewing residents at Silvercrest in El Sobrante for Angel Tree Program#
#If you would like to assist Major Ann, she will be happy to take you along.
6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Hybrid
7:00 PM - Songsters Rehearsal - Chapel
8:00 PM - Senior Band Rehearsal - Chapel
10:00 AM - CAMEO: Forever Thankful with Connie Haltermann
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Thanksgiving Food Giveaway - El Sobrante
FRIDAY: Normal Food Pantry Services Closed
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Thanksgiving Food Giveaway - Concord
9:30 AM - 1:00 PM - Del Oro Brass & Chorus Rehearsal - Suisun Kroc
Upcoming Events & Notices
Last year, we were unable to have our Corps Thanksgiving Luncheon. But this is a new year, and we plan on hosting it on Sunday, November 21st, after the Sunday Worship Service. However, we know that not everyone may feel comfortable staying. Please make your reservation in the link below or sign the sheet in the Chapel Foyer so that we know how many place settings to prepare. Plus, if you are able to bring a dish to share, please sign-up on the paper list in the Chapel Foyer.
RSVP HERE https://form.jotform.com/212996209285163
We will be providing 50 meals to veterans and their families that are staying in local hotels or shelters. Mike O'Reilly will be heading up that service project. If you would like to drop off raw goods or ingredients to prepare the meal or help with the preparation, please let him know.
HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE
Traditionally, the corps and community have provided frozen turkeys to be distributed to the families requesting assistance for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yet, due to the concerns of a supply shortage and storage complications, we will provide grocery gift cards instead. We still need your help. Please see the flyer below for details.
Upcoming Concert: Invite Your Friends & Family!
New Advent Resource
Christmas is coming, and if you’re longing for a simple, unhurried approach to the season, you’re in luck ...
Get on the list now for The Light Will Come: A 28-Day Advent Journey for Families. Let it be a gift to your family this year to slow down and make room, as a family, for Jesus, the King, to come. ✨
➡️ Get the free guide and follow a simple day-by-day plan to more wonder, mystery, and excitement this Christmas. You’ll get a printed guide sent to your door, while supplies last!
Sign-up today at http://www.caringmagazine.org/advent.
Future Officers' Fellowship Weekend
The Future Officers’ Fellowship retreat is a time for individuals considering full-time ministry as officers in The Salvation Army to come away for the weekend to prepare their heart, mind, and soul for this calling.
This will be a valuable time together as God speaks and confirms in their hearts His calling on their lives. The schedule will include opportunities for classes, interaction with CFOT staff and cadets, and time for discovering what officership looks like.
The FOF Weekend event registration will be open October 13- December 1, 2021! Please read through for key details.
Dates: February 11-13, 2022 (Check-in starting at 4 pm; and on Sunday the 13th, we will be done after lunch.)
Location: College for Officer Training at Crestmont (CFOT). Lodging will be at CFOT.
- Senior Soldier (or on course to become a Sr. Soldier)
- Age: At least 18 years of age (by September 6th) to early 50’s (age of eligibility for officership).
- Regularly attends and participates in corps programs
- Strongly considering future officership
- Endorsed by their corps officer and division
Registration Fee: $40 per person (paid by the delegate at registration) on events.usawest.org
Limited spots: We only have 95 delegate spots for FOF 2022.
Please talk to Major Gwyn or AnnMarguerite Jones if you are interested in attending before registering.