News & Announcements | August 8, 2021
Contra Costa County Mask Mandate
In order to slow the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, all people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings in public indoor settings in in Contra Costa County until further notice, beginning August 3, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.
We ask that worshippers bring and wear a face-covering during the service. Let us make doing so a visible witness of our love and concern for those in our group who are more vulnerable.
In English words which end in “-ology” usually mean the study of something.
For example zoology is literally the study of living things, archeology is the study of ancient things, psychology is the study of the mind, sociology is the study of society, and pathology the study of death, and so on.
What then of theology - the study of God?
How do we learn to separate superstition, paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and the fantasies of Hollywood from what He is really like? You do know He is not like any of those - right? Our present-day society will probably deflect and take umbrage at my use of a masculine pronoun for the Deity - but Jesus referred to God as his “father”, so I’ll just go with his opinion.
I think most christians come to theology by osmosis. There is a gradual “seeping in” of knowledge based on Sunday School stories and hymns and sermons and lectures over many years. The experiences and testimonies of other christians get layered and deposited on our own and gradually a personal body of knowledge about God is built up in our minds like the sediment at the bottom of the ocean.
What most don’t seem to realize is that we can short-circuit all of that and get to direct and intimate knowledge of the mind and will of God. We just have to acknowledge the path of study He has laid out for us. It’s right there in 2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” [KJV emphasis mine]
In other words, Paul says that Jesus is the professor with all the answers! If we want to know what God is really like we need look no further than the life, teachings and character of Jesus!
It’s interesting to hear what the “professor" has to say on the subject. Here’s one example taken from John 4:24
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” [RSV emphasis mine]
Interestingly, the King James translation, and others based on it, make a rare error by inserting an indefinite article “God is a spirit…” which is not there in Greek. It doesn’t alter the truth but it does obscure an essential part of it. It literally means that if you were to try to look up the definition of “spirit” in any reference text, you should find only one word - “God”.
Now of course there are “spirits”, including evil ones, but they are all pale shadows and imitations or corruptions of the true spirit, which is the very essence of God. That is why John the disciple whom Jesus loved tells us to “test” the spirits: 1 John 4:1-3
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” [NIV].
So if we are to worship in spirit and in truth how do we get the right spirit in us to do so?
Easy! Jesus gives us his spirit! [Pause to let jaw drop and say “wow”!]
His spirit then lives in us, making true worship not only possible, but enlightening in our quest for Truth.
If this is making your brain hurt, don’t worry - just aim to be like Jesus.
John Gowans had it exactly right:
“To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me
In every word and deed, this is my aim, my creed.
To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me
His spirit helping me, like him I’ll be.”
May your spirit and His be indistinguishable!
Blessings on you and yours,
Grasp the Hour
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. –Colossians 3:17
Life is a celebration. Don’t postpone it. Grasp the hour! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I came across a list of possibilities to make your day a brighter one:
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Write a love letter.
Share a treasure.
Encourage someone with a kind word.
Keep a promise.
Give to a needy cause.
Forgive an enemy.
Apologize if you were wrong.
Try to understand.
Read your Bible.
Pray for your family.
Examine your demands on others.
Appreciate a friend.
Be kind, be gentle.
Laugh a little.
Laugh a little more.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
By Jim Burns
This Week's Schedule
9:30 am - Combined Sunday School - In-Person, VBS Bible Classroom
11:00 am - Worship Service - In-Person and Facebook
6:00 pm - Men's Bible Study - In Fireside Room
10:00 am - CAMEO: Trash to Treasure: Major Willdonna Rich
Send praise reports and prayer requests or concerns to Marion Black.
- Pray for the Jones family as they are on vacation.
- Pray for those with health and housing concerns.
- Pray for all the children who made commitments to follow Jesus at VBS.
Upcoming Events: August
6-8 - Walmart Stuff the Bus Campaign - Martinez Location
13 - Western Youth Institute (online)
14 - Back to School Event & Boy Scouts' Yard Sale (see flyer attached)
16 - Registration for Divisional Youth Retreat DUE
20 - Western Youth Institute (online)
27 - Western Youth Institute (online)
28 - Divisional Band & Songsters Rehearsal
Launch of YouthForce
My name is Steve, and I am working with Major Ann to create a youth group that will be meeting once a month on the 1st Friday. I am sending this message to invite you to a Facebook group so that you can stay up to date with news and activities as we move forward. Please accept the invitation if you wish for yourself or your child to be a participant in these activities. You may need to request to join the group.
Our next meeting will be on September 3rd. Stay tuned for the next fun activity all aimed at good kid fun and fellowship.
We will also be looking for a few chaperones to help out! So, if you are interested in any of the upcoming activities, just let us know. You can respond to the events on the Facebook group and let us know if you plan to attend.
You may have already received an invitation or accepted it. Thank you, hope to see you or your wonderful kids at the YouthForce.
WYI Lite (Western Youth Institute)
Get your youth group or group of friends together and join us for WYI Lite!
Teens & Young Adults across the USA Western Territory
WYI Lite is a series of 4 FREE virtual services. Each service will feature a message, worship, small group questions, and activities for your group to do together. Our scripture for the week is based on 1 John 1:5-9. One of our priorities at WYI is cultivating community so we strongly encourage groups to meet together for each service when safe and possible.
6:00pm (PST) on the Saynetwork Facebook page. Corps Officers will also be sent a link to download all services & activities directly.
Each Friday in August (August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th)
SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS:
- Colonel Kelly Igleheart (Chief Secretary of the USA Western Territory)
- Lt. Colonel Lisa Smith (Territorial Program Secretary of the USA Western Territory)
- Captains Emmanuel & Jennifer Masango (Territorial Youth & Candidates Secretaries of the USA Western Territory)
Back to School Giveaway
We will also have a collection bin at Walmart in Martinez. Feel free to bring supplies down or order online from our registry: https://www.walmart.com/registry/registryforgood/6dee4d89-c65d-4559-be76-a5b7f9cf807c/view.
If you would like to assist with the packing and distribution of the supplies, please let Major Ann know.
Save the Date: Senior Luncheon
The Del Oro Divisional Senior Luncheon will be Friday, September 10th, at the Concord Corps. Registration and activities start at 10:00 am, lunch will be at 11:30 am, and the event will end approximately at 1:00 pm.
The cost is $10 per person and the deadline to send in our registration is Monday, August 30th. Please let Major Ann Jones if you would like to attend.
The theme is, Mary Poppin’s “Jolly Holiday.” We encourage wearing costumes or attire to go along with the theme.
Divisional Youth Retreat: RESET - September 3-5
After enduring 2020 and adapting to 2021, we feel it is a perfect time to help our teens reset by encouraging them to “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past because God is doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 42:18-19). Our team is preparing an exciting weekend with fun activities, but most importantly opportunities for the youth to ask questions, pray, find answers, and draw closer to God and know that he makes a way through our wilderness.
- Cabins will be assigned in the order in which completed registration forms are received. (So, let's get our registration forms in early or on time!)
- Delegates and chaperones must complete the delegate form.
- If teens are soldiers, please have them bring your uniform for Sunday worship.
- Registration is DUE by August 16 (Late submissions may not receive t-shirts.)
- Cost $75 (The total cost is $150 per delegate, but the church will subsidize half of it.)
Stay connected on our social media through http://linktree.com/deloroyouth leading up to event, as we reveal guest speakers, guest worship leaders and much more!
Registration forms can be downloaded using this link. Please complete form and hand to Cindy at the office. She will give them to Major Ann upon her return from vacation. She will also be one of the chaperones for the weekend:
Captain Javier Castro
Divisional Youth & Candidates Secretary
& California State Capital Liaison