You are WANTED – Yes YOU are NEEDED!
Because… WE are doing it AGAIN!
The 11th Day of CHRISTMAS!
On Dec. 11th at the Marina Civic Center!
Last December we did this and it was awesome. The attendance was great as the community came to hear the true message of the season through fun songs and interactive moments with audience participation.
AN EASY WAY TO BE A PART OF THIS YEAR’S EVENT
Next week we hope to have a CD containing all of the songs we plan to do. You can listen to the songs and learn the melody. The CD walks you through each song with your part highlighted! Nice! Easy! (For you techies… we also have the music and mp3’s online so you can put it on your smartphone or have around the house!)
We will have 1 rehearsal on October 28th to attend with the Choir & 1 rehearsal at the Civic Center on Monday, Dec. 10!!! This plan worked so well last year ~ so we’re doing it again! (You are invited to join us on Wednesday nights at 6pm for choir rehearsal if you like. I know you would enjoy it and we’d love to see you!)
So come on and join us! Get in on the joy of allowing God to use your voice & your presence as a witness as we share JESUS at The 11th Day of Christmas! ~ Doug
Many times history turns on seemingly insignificant decisions. In hindsight, these decisions evolve into determination, which eventually becomes resolve. Less than a year ago, St. Andrew Baptist Church made a decision that we pray will grow into a resolve to follow God that strengthens our entire church.
St. Andrew Baptist Church, led by the Holy Spirit, voted unanimously to form a building team to develop a plan to accomplish several things. Update the Worship Center including renovations to the Ladies’ and Men’s Restrooms, develop space now used for staff offices into new Senior Adult classroom space, develop a gathering space for worshippers before and after services and create a new and updated exterior entrance appearance to the Worship Center. There are a number of other parts included in the charge to the building team from the church, however, these things are the primary parts of the puzzle that will allow us to accomplish the other items.
The decision made by the church was affirmed in a recent Quarterly Church Business Meeting when a recommendation to enter into a contract with COSCO & ASSOCIATES, Inc. was approved. The Building 4 Generations To Come Building Team has a meeting scheduled later this month to begin the process of diligently working to accomplish as many of the directives of the church as we can as quickly and efficiently as possible with COSCO, our design/build partner.
Recent building projects have improved spaces for our preschoolers, children and youth. Now, it is time that we meet some pressing needs of our senior adults. The good news is that as we address the needs of our senior adults, we will also provide more space for our younger and middle aged adults. The decision to develop a plan to address these needs began by the church less than a year ago, is progressing even though you haven’t seen a nail or heard a hammer on our property. The B4GTC Building Team has been meeting and working in preparation of bringing a design/build partner on board. The team developed a Scope of Work from the charge of the church and began other preliminary tasks in preparation for the “next steps.”
In coming days, I will be working to keep you updated on the process that will move your decision towards a firm determination to move ahead with the next steps. Eventually our determination will grow into a strong resolve to move forward with the plans that we feel God has laid on our hearts so that we might reach future generations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
B4GTC Building Team member Terry Morris reminded me of a fitting scripture used by Dr. Randall Perry during the 100th anniversary of St. Andrew Baptist Church. Hebrews 10:23-25, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25. Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. How appropriate that God led him to verses that describe ways that empower us to Exalt Christ, Meet Needs, and Reach The World.
The B4GTC Building Team covets your prayers as they meet with COSCO in the coming days. Would you pray that God will give us wisdom, discernment, vision, strength, endurance and unity? Danny Pate, Team leader, reminds us that Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
Building Team Members are: Danny Pate, Team Leader;
Timothy Barnard; Bethany Boggs; Lauren Hahn; Bruce Kuhnel; Terry Morris; John Skaggs; Christy Wortman; Dr. Michael Claunch, and Bro. Rick Mitchell.
The aspect of discipleship is such an important part of who we are as the church. Though I can’t recall their name, I remember reading one author’s thoughts on discipleship and the church. It went something like this;
“The church is only as good as it’s disciples, which makes complete sense because that is what the church is, a group of disciples of Christ who come together to worship, evangelize, disciple others, fellowship, and do ministry together. It does not matter how good the praise, preaching, programs, or property are….If the disciples are not moving in the direction of radical obedience to the Word of God, the church will not be as good as it could and should be.”
What direction are you moving? Would others look at your life and consider you to be a radical follower of Jesus Christ? Jesus was clear on this point during His earthly ministry. Take a look at Luke 14:27; “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Discipleship is a mandate for followers of Christ.
There are often people who claim to follow Jesus who may or may not attend church regularly. They may or may not read God’s Word, obey God’s Word, pray to God, or serve God. They may or may not be true disciples of Christ!
But disciples of Christ are fully committed to obeying Jesus in every aspect of life. They are connected to God through His Word, through prayer, through serving Him. Do you see it? Jesus is not to be part of our life, He is our life….our whole life! For disciples of Christ, glorifying God is our highest purpose. This can’t be done outside of full submission and obedience to His Word.
Church, let’s be disciples!
Fall Retreat is coming on fast! We are planning a great weekend for all of our youth! November 10-12, at Camp Vineyard in Troy Alabama. This event is pivotal because we don’t have another big retreat until D-Now in February 2019. This is also the first big event we have with the new youth that have moved up. I have seen God use Fall Retreat to lead youth to a deeper faith and build a strong unity in the youth group. Youth will grow closer together as we dive into God’s Word. That is why Fall Retreat is so important. Yes, we have many events to choose from. Sometimes the list can seem endless. However, I can promise you that there is nothing quite like Fall Retreat.
Parents, registration is now open. The cost of the weekend in $100 and that covers everything! You can sign up in the gym, by emailing me or call the church office and speak with Lauren. Retreat Packets will be available soon.
Church Family, with that in mind, I would like for you to join me in praying for our Youth Fall Retreat in November. Here are a few requests: 1. Pray for the leadership and adults who will be teaching, driving, cooking, and everything else that ends with an “ing.” Fall Retreat would not happen without them. They are here to not just help but to pour their lives into our students. 2. Pray for the youth that will be on the retreat. God has placed them on this trip for a reason. Pray that we will have a lot of youth who will go on this event. Many youth have invited their friends who have not come to faith in Jesus and they are praying for their friends to meet Him there. 3. Give a scholarship to help a student go on this retreat. Anything you give is helpful!
A weekend can change everything! Do you believe that? Will you pray like that? -Bro. Mark
The “World” is after our kids!
As families and as a church family, let’s be proactive in telling them NO!
When I first started in Kid’s Ministry, and we taught the Bible verse “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. Genesis 1:27,” I never considered that the “world” would be teaching our kids differently concerning gender issues.
But the “world” is teaching our kids an alternate view and we must be proactive concerning gender issues. One Sunday, I asked a boy and a girl to stand on either side of me and simply said this is an example of God’s creation. To my right is a male…a boy. To my left is a female…a girl. Did God say anywhere in the Bible, that if we wanted to be something different than what God created us to be, we could? Thankfully our kids answered resoundingly “No!” But for every time they get to hear this truth taught at home and at church, they are hearing an alternate worldview multiple times from the culture they live in. So both at home and at church we have to be proactive in this! As parents, in addition to teaching it, you can put some protective measures in place. A great place to begin is screening TV shows. The LGBT group is targeting children’s programing specifically. At one time certain sources might have seemed safe such as Cartoon Network and Disney. But now, literally all secular children’s programing is subject to scrutiny. Our children are a precious gift, let’s treasure the opportunity to raise them to have a biblical worldview of God’s design for relationships, marriage and sex.
Let’s equip our kids with truth and tell the “World” NO!
We want to partner with you to give our kids a biblical worldview in all areas. We can do this
through the KZ every Sunday morning and through Book 66 every Wednesday at 6:00.
Many of you are closing in on your first month of “back to school” schedule! Whether its daycare, preschool, public school, private school or homeschool, the beginning of a new year brings about some concerns about the challenges of raising our kids. One of the most powerful tools God equips parents with to address these concerns is PRAYER! I came across an article by Dr. Joshua Straub that discussed ways to pray for your kids while they’re at school each day of the week. This is a thumbnail sketch of what he shared.
Monday: Pray your child would have a love of learning. Pray he/she would have wisdom, insight, and understanding.
Tuesday: Pray for God to surround your child with friends, mentors, and loved ones who champion and encourage their worth, strengths, and gifts.
Wednesday: Pray your child will be honest, hard working, patient, faithful, empathetic, and kind.
Thursday: Pray your child has the courage to do the right thing and would walk confidently in God’s love for them.
Friday: Pray your child’s heart would belong completely to God.
I would encourage you to check out the website (https://226parenting.com) and read the entire article, “8 Weekly Prayers to Pray for Your Kids While They’re at School”. Dr. Straub closes the article with this; “Dear Lord, I pray for a belly laugh today for my children. Teach them the value of having fun and laughing hard. And Lord, do the same for me.”
PRAISE AND PRAYER Begins October 7th
We began PRAYER FIRST as a series of Monday night prayer meetings in preparation for the first building project our church would undertake with me as your pastor. Ridding ourselves of the Portable Buildings being used for Preschoolers and Youth and building a new Student Center and Kid Zone Building was a tremendous challenge in 2008. We knew we needed to start with PRAYER FIRST.
After God granted success, and the new buildings were all completed and occupied, we continued PRAYER FIRST on the first Sunday night (or the closest Sunday possible) to continue to give prayer a first priority in our church.
The staff and I, and many others, still believe that we must give prayer a first priority, because Jesus told us, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Since praise and thanksgiving are parts of the biblical pattern for prayer, we have decided to add a brief time of musical praise and worship at the beginning of our prayer time each month, starting Sunday night, October 7, at 6:30 p.m.
We are also going to change locations. We have been meeting in the Worship Center, but the pews make it awkward for us to pray in small groups, which we often do. Therefore, we are going to move to the Fellowship Hall where we can sit around the round tables, an easy setting for small groups.
We are calling the new gathering PRAISE AND PRAYER. Discipleship classes end at 6:15 p.m. We will have coffee and water in Fellowship Hall from 6:15 to 6:30, and promptly at 6:30 we will start a brief time of praise in song together and then quickly move into prayer. Our target for dismissal will be 7:00.
If you have been faithful to PRAYER FIRST, I hope you will join us for PRAISE AND PRAYER. If PRAYER FIRST was not a priority, I hope PRAISE AND PRAYER will become one. Join us in Fellowship Hall, Sunday, October 7, 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.
The Shepherd Loves the Sheep,
Over the years I have asked parents (and myself) questions such as: How do you see your child 10 years from now? 15 years? 20? What characteristics do you hope are evident in your child’s life at that future age?
Most say (me, too) that they hope to see their child as a faithful follower of Christ, kind, loving, a good person and citizen, successful, happy. It appears that these aspirations for our children are pretty universal among parents.
Here’s the BIG question: how do we, as parents, encourage that transformation from that tiny bundle we bring home from the hospital to an adult who walks faithfully with the Lord? We wish it could be a simple 3 step process with a money back guarantee! According to research, it is not so much a process but a parents’ authentic walk with Christ being lived out before their children in the home and in the church! Soooooo where do we start? When do we start? How do we start?
Actually, we can begin to pray for our children to come to salvation and to grow in knowledge and love of God even before they are born! Scripture teaches us that He created us and knows us in our mother’s womb so when we pray as parents, He is already intimately acquainted with our child’s ways (Psalm 139). Laying a spiritual foundation can begin early by exposing our children to the Word of God at home and at church from babyhood forward and applying those biblical principles in the normal activities of life (Deuteronomy 6:5-8). If you’re like me that sounds exciting and terrifying at the same time! How can we build on this? We pray and ask God to help us see those opportunities to sow seeds of truth into our children. Good news! God is faithful to do this! As much as we love our children and desire them to walk with Christ, He loves them even more and desires a relationship with them! I confess Rick and I needed help along the way to know how and when and what and sometimes the encouragement just to keep on. I’m so grateful that our church comes alongside parents to provide opportunities to encourage spiritual growth in children of all ages! Stay tuned for info on upcoming opportunities that will help you grow in your own walk and help you build your children’s spiritual foundation (Watch for info on Facebook, SABC website, and next month’s Lighthouse!).
Summer Monday Night of Praise ~ “HymnSing!” was such a blessing! Thanks to all who came out! Thanks to Lynn Briley for his help in building the service, for Choir and The Chapel Class for participating in the survey of favorite hymns, for our amazing custodial staff who set the room up in a concert in the round format (which was really cool), to Derek Boggs for the IT work and the audio prep and ops, Malissa Fariss for her work with preparing the notebooks, IPads, and Order of Worship and Zac Barnard for moving over 200 hymnals to the Fellowship Hall. Thanks also to our gifted instrumentalists for the night, Lynn Briley, Yasha Brown, Sandy Rosengren, Cliff Webb and Tim Lloyd, for leading us with their talents. Special thanks to the John Vickers family for their part in the program! God bless you all for your efforts! The night was amazing and God was magnified, lifted high and praised through it all!
Summer Monday Night of Praise # 2 is coming July 30th! You don’t want to miss this special evening! We are calling it ~ “Behold Our God!” It will feature 6-7 songs by The Celebration Choir, 3 stand-alone Orchestra pieces, 2 duets, 2 solos, a Southern Gospel song by a men’s quartet, and a surprising creative beginning. This night will truly be unforgettable. Plan to attend and bring a friend!
One of our SABC soloists, TERRY BARTON, will be singing on July 30th! Terry has recently recorded a CD. Please read the following from him as he describes how he’d wish for God to use it:
“I am pleased to announce my first CD ‘Grace and Mercy’ is now available. It has 10 of my favorite songs including: ‘I Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy,’ ‘Jesus Is Worthy,’ and everyone’s favorite, ‘Mary Did You Know!’ They will be available Sunday mornings after church service in the foyer or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will just need your name and mailing address! These CDs are FREE! If you care to give a love offering, it will be appreciated!”
Hope to see you Monday, July 30th for “Behold Our God” at 6pm in the Worship Center.
Fifteen years is how long Bro. Doug White has served the Lord and us as the Minister of Music and Worship here at St. Andrew Baptist Church! Bro. Doug and Sheila have made an incredible contribution to the spiritual life and ministry of our church, for which we should all be very grateful, to the Lord and to them.
Bro. Doug has a heart for the Lord and for worship. He believes what he sings, and he sings what he believes. He is a man who is capable of putting on a big show (we will talk about that in a moment), but worship for Bro. Doug is never a show. It is the expression of his heart and soul to the Lord he loves and adores.
Bro. Doug has a heart for the lost. He delights in the sharing of the gospel and communicates a genuine caring for those without Christ. Sharing his testimony, inviting the unchurched on Sunday or one of our other events, making sure the gospel is shared as a part of every presentation are things Doug has done faithfully across all of his years of service.
Bro. Doug has a heart for missions. Doug has gone on mission to Brazil, to Ghana, with Bro. Mark and the teens to Mexico, as well as to Baltimore and ministering in our own Center of Hope. In addition to our Team Mission Trips, Doug has gone on several personal mission trips both in country and abroad.
I mentioned that Bro. Doug is capable of putting on a show, and don´t we all know it! The Panama City Passion Play is known throughout the Southeastern part of our country, and people travel many miles to attend. Although hundreds work as part of this production every year, the Passion Play is certainly “Doug´s Baby!” He gave birth to it after coming to St. Andrew, and he has nurtured it across the years. Strangers who go to the Panama City Passion Play who have attended Broadway Musicals say that the Passion Play is better! But Doug is not content to just produce “a good show.” He makes certain the gospel is clear in every script and presented plainly at every presentation of the play. Only the Lord knows how many have come to faith, how many have had faith re-kindled in their lives, how many have been drawn to a closer walk with Christ because of the way Bro.Doug has led us to present the life, death, resurrection, and message of Christ so clearly in the Passion Play.
You can probably think of other contributions to our church Bro. Doug has made. They are too many to write in this article, but you will have the opportunity to tell what you have seen and know. On Monday night, July 30th, following our Summer Monday Night of Praise, we will have a fellowship honoring Bro. Doug, Sheila, and their family. For two weeks prior to this, we will be receiving a love offering in which each of us will be able to express our great appreciation for Bro. Doug´s long and fruitful service to the Kingdom of God and to St. Andrew Baptist Church. Please bring your “Doug” stories and some finger foods to the fellowship. Buddy will provide the cake, and we will all have a grand time celebrating the ministry of this wonderful man of God.
The Shepherd Loves the Sheep,
Sheep who Shepherd: