I have recently run across a wonderful little book titled I am a Church Member by Thom S. Rainer. The book essentially lays out in simple and practical detail what it means to be good member of the church. One of the topics is about what it means to be a member of the church. I intend to steal shamelessly from this book and share some of the insights that Rainer gives us over the next few weeks. The first thing for us to consider is our attitude about membership. Many of us are members of various organizations. Some belong to a country club, some to a union, some to a fraternal organization, and so on and so forth. The primary thing that most of us think about are the perqs and privileges that come from such membership. We just pay our dues and expect the benefits to just roll in because we are now entitled to them. Sadly, many people view their membership in the church with the exact same attitude. To them, their membership in the church is about receiving and being served, instead of giving and serving. They believe they have rights and entitlements instead of responsibilities and sacrifices. In short, they have a non-biblical view of membership in the church. They believe because of their membership in the church and because they pay their tithes and offerings, they are entitled to a “never-ending list of privileges and expectations, instead of an unconditional cheerful gift to God (p. 11).”
Be honest with yourself. Have you ever considered your membership in the church in this way, even just a bit? I know I have. If you have ever uttered a phrase that says something about what you “get” from church, you may well have crossed the line. I think it is helpful for us to consider such matters from time to time and try to re-discover biblical concepts that should direct our lives, especially in the church. Since being members of this church in particular is important to all of us, next week I will continue what I have started here and will touch on just what is the biblical concept of membership in the church.
We welcome into our parish family Anne &
David Brauner. The Brauners started worshiping with us this summer but have been connected to this place for many years. Anne’s parents were members here years ago. It is a blessing to have them both with us following the Way, the Truth, and the Life…our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bell Tower Erection
We received word this week that our bell tower is scheduled to arrive next Wednesday, September 5. Dave Steel Company expects to be here about 10:00 a.m. on that day. Most of the work of installing the tower will happen on that day. I know that several of you have said you want to be here to watch the tower go up. When the tower arrives, I will send out an email and also post on our website and Facebook Page that it is here. So be sure to check those sources so you know when to come out. I can’t be positive but I would imagine that the tower will begin going up about an hour after it arrives. I will, of course, have pictures and a video of the event up on the website and Facebook by the end of the day. We will also try to go “Live” on Facebook so you can watch from wherever you are if you cannot be here.
New Organist & Choirmaster
Last week, I let you know that I have retained Brian Weber as our new organist and choirmaster. He begins playing for us this coming Sunday. Be certain to welcome him into this parish family and we look forward to his musical talents and ministry among us!
Classical Scholars Back in School
On Monday morning this week, Classical Scholars started their new school year here at All Saints Church. It was my privilege to address the parents at the open house this past Sunday evening (the picture above), welcoming them to our church family through Classical Scholars. There are 110 students enrolled this year and we look forward to a very lively school year! Classes meet Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Here is a picture of the students and their parents in the parish hall for the open house.
First Friday Youth
Our young people will gather next Friday, September 7, at 6:00 p.m. here at the church. Along with their usual fellowship with each other, they will involve themselves in a special project to support Kairos Prison Ministries. Parents, please encourage your youngsters to invite a friend for a good time and also to engage in the work of the Gospel here at All Saints.
We need all hands on deck for our parish workday on Saturday, September 8, beginning at 9:00 a.m. We will invest some “sweat equity” in our building program by removing all the siding on the front wall of the church in order to prepare for the rock façade and architectural panels that will be erected there. We also have plenty of other things to do to help spruce up our building and grounds as all of our fall activities begin. See you then.
One of the favorite things about coming to All Saints Church is that we always eat together! And the best way we do that is with our fellowship lunches after our 11:00 a.m. Holy Communion on Sundays. The lunches return on Sunday, September 9. A schedule has been posted for the different teams on the bulletin board by the kitchen. Please sign-up for a team if you have not already done so. See my wife Kathy if you have any questions. Thank you very much for filling our bellies around here!
Preparing for Tuesday Book Study
For those of you who will be joining us for Tuesday Book Study this year, please read the first 5 chapters of the Cost of Discipleship before our first class on September 18. And please be sure to read the Memoir of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life at the beginning of the book. His life story is an important component in understanding this book.
Cynthia set up an Instagram account for the church so, if that is the social media platform you like to use, we can be found @allsaintsmillsriver. If you follow us there, you will always be updated on the latest pictures of the happenings around here.
That is about it for this week. Be sure to check out the remainder of the announcements below and also the “Looking Ahead” and “This Week in the Parish” sections to see what is coming up so you don’t miss anything happening here in the parish. I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend and I will see you in church on Sunday.
This Week in the Parish
Sunday, September 2, Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity
· 8:30 a.m., Holy Communion
· 11:00 a.m., Holy Communion
· No Fellowship Lunch this week
Monday, September 3, Labor Day
· Office Closed
Wednesday, September 5
· 10:00 a.m., Bell Tower arrives
· 6:00 p.m., Holy Communion
· 7:00 p.m., Choir Practice
Friday, September 7
· 6:00 pm., First Friday Youth
Saturday, September 8
· 9:00 a.m., Parish Work & Demo Day
Sun., Sept. 9
· 9:45 a.m., Youth Sunday School returns
· 12:15 p.m., Fellowship Lunches resume
Wed., Sept. 12
· 7:00 p.m., Bible Study returns
Sun., Sept. 16
· 9:45 a.m., Adult Sunday School returns
Tues., Sept. 18
· 11:00 a.m., Book Study returns
Sat., Sept. 29
· 10:00 a.m., Blessing of the Animals
Fri., Oct. 5
· 5:00 p.m., Fall Fish Fry
Sun., Oct. 7
· 11:00 a.m., Cynthia’s Setting Apart as Deaconess
Sat., Oct. 13
· 9:00 a.m., Annual Craft Market
Sharing is Caring!
· Our Craft Market 2018 ad will go out on Facebook Sunday morning. If you have a Facebook page, please click the “share” option and help us advertise the LASSES biggest fundraiser of the year to your family and friends on Facebook.
Craft Market 2018
· Tables are going fast! If you know someone who would like a table, please get a registration form from Barbara Conner or Cynthia Hensley today. The date for this year’s event is Saturday, October 13. If you are a crafter, artist, knitter, etc. and would like to donate a few items to our All Saints Crafter’s Guild table, please see Kathy Willis.
Youth Sunday School
· Our Youth Sunday School will return next Sunday, September 9 at 9:45 a.m. Our focus this fall will be on understanding prayer and establishing a prayer life.
· Western Carolina Rescue Mission is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
Wednesday Bible Study
· The Gospel of St. Matthew will be our book to study this fall. This is the most “Jewish” of our four Gospels. Come out and see why. Class reconvenes on September 12.
Tuesday Book Study
· Our book study this fall will use Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship. We have sold all the copies we have. You can easily buy a copy on Amazon. See Cynthia if you need some help ordering. Class will start on Tuesday, September 18.