The Red Cross will be at Meadowbrook Christian Church on Wed., Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, between 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Blood supplies need to be constantly replenished, especially during holidays. To make an appointment, go to RedCrossBlood.org and choose sponsor code: meadowbrookchristian, or call 1-800-733-2767. All Covid-19 precautions will be strictly enforced.
Mission of God Our sermon series will be taking an in-depth look at the Mission of God. We will see that God has had a plan every step along the way, and he has a continuing plan for us today. We will work through God’s Mission in the Old Testament, His mission in calling the church, His mission for the church, and His mission accomplished in Christ.
Zoom in with Zack
I love this time of year. I love the chill in the air, the orange and red leaves falling from the trees, and trips to the orchard and cider mill. But I also dread this time of year because I know that all the things I love most about it are signs of what is to come. Change can be exciting, but then when winter comes it can be dreadful.
As we continue through our season of change, excitement can roll on. Randy has been on his stage as our worship leader for the last time. But we have a candidate coming to visit us on October 18 to potentially serve as a worship and youth minister. But as we engage in what can be an exciting period of change, we need to maintain our focus. What is the mission of God? What is his purpose in the existence of the church? How are we to conduct ourselves in order to further that purpose.
Winter in the church can extend for a long time if we find ourselves distracted from God’s purpose. As we have been learning on Sundays, God’s purpose has been to restore his family. He desires to bring his children home. He pursues you with a passionate love. He pours the blessings of his presence upon you, but with a purpose in mind. As with Abraham, you are blessed to be a blessing. Our mission has to be the children of God. It is easy to get overcome with concerns about the buildings, about staffing, about sounds and light, about paperwork and cleaning. All these things are necessary things, but we need to be sure that in working on these things that they are in service to our mission, not becoming our mission. Our mission must align with God’s, restoring his children to the blessing that he has in store for them.
I think a great way for us to evaluate our impact as a church is to ask this question. If the church shut its doors today, would the community around us even notice? This is not a question that I can answer, I haven’t been here long enough. You are probably the best qualified to answer that.
However, I did receive a phone call last week that encouraged me in my evaluation of that question. Someone from Ascension Providence (Crittenton Hospital) called asking for help. At some recent time, a group from Meadowbrook (Sisters in Service) had made heart shaped pillows for patients in a certain section of the hospital. The caller said that it had made such an impact and was so greatly appreciated. They were calling to ask if Meadowbrook could do this again. I don’t know about the rest of the community, but I do know that this employee at Ascension would notice if Meadowbrook left.
How many more of these phone calls will I receive? Well that all depends on you. How far will you carry the message that has been entrusted to you? The church is known in its local community, not for what happens on the stage during a Sunday service. It is known by its membership and their actions in everyday life. Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” We have got some beautiful faces, now how about some beautiful feet? I look forward to the work we will do and witnessing the fruit of your faithfulness.
October note from the Elders
September was a very busy month at Meadowbrook! Zack started a new sermon series dealing with the mission of God. We gave a warm send-off to Randy and Jerri Gilbert as their official worship leader role came to an end. Junior Worship started up again. Planning started for the eventual resumption of Life Groups. The praise team is stepping into some roles we haven’t been in before.
As a congregation, we are stepping forward into a new era. Lots of changes are being considered and prayed over. Whatever ‘normal’ was before the pandemic and staff changes, we don’t expect it to ever be the same.
Last month we asked for specific prayer as we continue the search for our next staff position. At about the time the September Messenger was published, we received a couple of resumes. We are happy to tell you that we have had a series of very positive phone calls, emails, and remote interviews with one candidate. Based on our conversations so far, we are inviting this candidate and his wife to visit Meadowbrook this month. They will be in Michigan between October 15th and 18th (Thursday through Sunday). Specific plans for their visit are still in the works. Those plans will include various ‘meet and greet’ sessions (while observing mask and distancing guidelines), introducing them to the Rochester area, participating in a youth activity, practicing with the praise team, and leading the Sunday worship service. Thank you for your prayers! Please be praying for this process going forward.
September was also a month with many prayer needs, and those needs continue. Please keep Fred Williams and his family in prayer as they recover from COVID infection. Pray for Bonnie Iseman as she recovers from a heart catheterization and subsequent procedures (it went very well!). Pray for Shelley Gilbert (Randy’s sister) as she is hospitalized with health issues. Pray for June Thomas, who fell late last week. Pray for Don Edwards, who underwent surgery earlier this week. Pray for the Rose family, as they mourn the loss of Mike’s brother.
We greatly appreciate your continued prayers for Meadowbrook’s leadership. We are constantly looking to God for His leading as we enter new territory – new to us but known completely to Him! Please ask God to pour out His wisdom. May all of us remain faithful and committed to the mission of proclaiming Christ in our community and the world!
For the elders,
Sisters in Service plans an out-reach project for October meeting
Sisters in Service (SIS) will be meeting Monday, October 26, in the fellowship hall starting at 5:00pm. Yes, 5:00. The ladies decided on the earlier time in order to end the meeting in time to drive home before dark, however, latecomers are welcome.
The project for the evening will be to prepare “weighted shawls” that can be rice-filled and warmed up if desired for the residents of MediLodge in Rochester Hills. Everyone will be able to spread out in the entire fellowship hall for social distancing. A few of the ladies will be sewing, but the main focus for most will be cutting fabric and filling the vests with rice. Please bring scissors, straight pins, and a small funnel if you have one.
As we enter the month of October and the fall season is upon us, the 2020 missions rally for TCM has drawn to a close. The missions committee had asked the Meadowbrook congregation to support special donations for TCM to help them furnish their dining room at Haus Edelweiss with five new tables, for a total of $2000. As a result of the fund drive, $1367 was collected at the close of the rally September 13. The mission’s team is augmenting this dollar amount with contingency funds such that a special donation in the amount of $2000 can be sent to TCM. Thank you all for your generosity.
His House ministries has reported that this year’s Cycle the Campus event has been a success. The final tally for the event was over $58,000 raised by 67 riders toward their goal of $60,000. Thanks to all who participated.
Also, in September, Meadowbrook has sent our first support check to our newest mission in the Karamoja region of Uganda. The Karamoja group is very excited to receive our support, and they are sending us updates as their work develops. They sent us pictures from their recent visit to Karamoja where they are looking over land that can be developed for the new Bible training center. On their way to the work site they came across a flooded road where they had to push the vehicle through the water. Nothing can stand in the way of God’s work!
Tom Schwartzenberger – October 2
Arleen Rossol – October 3
Kathy Couture – October 8
Denis & Kathy Couture (Ann.) – October 8
Gene Paul – October 10
Carolyn Bennett – October 16
Dan & Elaine Bright (Ann.) – October 17
Wendy Kapusta – October 20
Pat Wundrach – October 20
Ron & Theresa Meegan (Ann.) – October 21
Wayne Thomas – October 21
Jim Martin – October 24
Nona Wundrach – October 26
Jeremy & Brandy Cox (Ann.) – October 28
Mary Koster – October 31
Stephanie Ciuba – October 31
Sharing With Steve
This will be my last article for The Messenger. After sixteen years at Meadowbrook I am retiring. A lot has happened in those years. I have seen young children become college students. We have shared joy and sorrow with many of you. We have made lasting friends. We have grown to love Michigan summers. We have seen young Christians desire to grow and become more mature in Christ. It is hard to put sixteen years into words so let me close by sharing a scripture.
Philippians 3:12-21 (CSBBible) 12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. 16 In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained. 17 Join in imitating me, brothers and sisters, and pay careful attention to those who live according to the example you have in us. 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame; and they are focused on earthly things. 20 Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of his glorious body, by the power that enables him to subject everything to himself.
Let me make some observations. We need to focus on the goal. We cannot do that by dwelling on the past. We learn from the past, but desire to move forward. Our goal is always Jesus Christ. We are to strive for maturity. Never be content with where you are in Christ; always desire to grow more in Him. Please do not regress. Taking it easy or sitting back will not be spiritually healthy for you. Set a good Christian example for others and look for those you can set a good Christian example for you. Be on your guard of those people who set bad examples, who have a greater desire to reveal themselves and not Jesus Christ. Always remember that we are just sojourners here. Our allegiance and our home is in heaven with the Lord. He is returning at some point, and we will be transformed. At that point we will be together again. The time apart will seem like a blip in eternity.
Both Phyllis and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It has been a joy to work with you and serve you. We love you and you will constantly be in our prayers. We hope to return some time and renew our friendship. You are always welcome to visit us in Oklahoma. Always remember, “Christians never say ‘Goodbye’ for the last time.” This past Sunday we learned a new song. It is the priestly blessing taken from Numbers 6. I close with these verses:
Numbers 6:24-26 (CSBBible) 24 “May the Lord bless you and protect you; 25 may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.” ’
Zoom in with Zack
How is it August already? We have burned through the summer months, quite literally. Just this week I was preparing all of Mirembe’s information to register for her new school. It will be just a matter of weeks before she starts. With all that is going on and time racing away so fast, it feels like so much is getting missed. I know that we have been canceling event after event and we have to be wondering what is next to be axed. But I think this is the wrong way of engaging our struggles today. If we become overwhelmed by what we have lost, it can become very easy to miss what we may have gained.
I remember watching an NHL game last year. In it, one of the players took a questionable penalty. He obviously disagreed with it. He argued his way all the way to the penalty box, slammed the door shut, and then proceeded to violently bang his stick against the glass inside the box. His team was able to successfully kill the penalty and he was about to enter back onto the ice. With play deep in his defensive zone, he exited from the penalty box all by himself at center. His team gained possession, passed him the puck, and he was off on a breakaway. One on one with the goalie and no defender in sight. He puts on his best move and fires the puck. . . but his stick snapped in two. The puck slowly slid to the goalie who easily covered the puck.
This player was so overwhelmed by the tragedy that befell him, what he believed was an unjust penalty, that he destroyed the golden opportunity that arose because of the penalty. He beat his stick against the boards and cracked it just enough that it broke when he tried to take the shot. His inability to cope with his struggles exacerbated the situation and caused his lost to be even greater.
As we engage the world around us today, where is our focus? Are we so overcome by what we have lost or are looking to what is next? Romans 8:28 says, “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.” This does not mean that God is going to make everything all right or that he is going to take the suffering away. What it does mean is that if we have the eyes to see and the faith to trust in him, God will take what is meant for evil and overcome with a victory. God is on our side and always working for us. Who knows, we might step out of the penalty box and have a gifted opportunity to score a goal. Unless we broke our stick before the opportunity manifested. For you, today might be struggle. But hold on, look forward, and don’t break your stick. Be ready for what comes next.
NEW SERMON SERIES
For the month of August we are going to look at our mission statement. It is:
Meadowbrook Christian Church exists to honor Jesus Christ by:
– Making Disciples
– Promoting Genuine Worship
– Building Community
– Supporting His work wherever He leads
August is a five Sunday month and so for the first four Sundays we are going to examine each point of our statement. Steve and Zack will be sharing the preaching duties. Here is the schedule:
Sunday, August 2 – Making Disciples (Evangelism & Growth) – Zack
Sunday, August 9 – Promoting Genuine Worship (Worship) – Steve
Sunday, August 16 – Building Community (Fellowship) – Zack
Sunday, August 23 – Supporting His work (Missions) – Steve
Sunday, August 30, will be Steve and Phyllis’ last Sunday with us. The service will be a passing of the torch. The ministers and elders will join together as Steve retires and Zack becomes the new senior minister. The situation over the past few months has made this transition more challenging than was expected. Please be keeping all of this in your prayers as Steve and Phyllis move on to retirement in Oklahoma and Zack moves into the new role of senior minister.
Brought to you by Deacon Dan
If you’re planning to visit Steve and Phyllis in their new Oklahoma home, here’s some things you need to know.
Bob Talbert Timely Southern Tips
“A new culture awaits y’all down south. If I asked you ”cane chew poet onna flow rye cheer? In an exaggerated Southern accent, would you know what I mean? The answer comes later, but first take a look at the hilarious list of “Tips for Visitors to the South”.
- Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later in how to use.
- If you forget a Southerner’s name, refer to him (or her) as “Bubba”. You have a 50% chance of being right.
- Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean we can. Stay in.
- If you do run your car into a ditch, don’t panic. Four men in a the cab of a four-wheel drive pick-up truck, with a 12 pack of beer and a tow chain, will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.
- Don’t be surprised to find movie rental and bait in the same store.
- Do not buy food at the movie store.
- If it can’t be fried in bacon grease, it ain’t worth cooking, let alone eating.
- Remember,” Y’all is singular”. “All y’all’s” is plural possessive.
- There is nothing sillier than a visitor imitating a Southern accent unless it is a Southerner imitating a Boston accent.
- Get used to hearing, “You ain’t from around here, are you?”
- People walk slower here.
- Don’t be worried that you don’t understand anyone. They don’t understand you either.
- The first Southern expression to creep into a visitor’s vocabulary is “big ol’” as in “big ol’ truck or “ big ol’ boy” Eighty-five percent begin their new Southern-influents dialect with this expression. One hundred are in denial about it.
- The proper pronunciation you learn in school is no longer proper.
- Be advised: The “he needed killing” defense is valid here.
- If attending a funeral in the South, remember, we stay until the last shovel of dirt is thrown and the tent is taken down.
- If you hear a Southerner exclaim, “Hey, y’all watch this!” stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he will say.
- Most Southerners do not use turn signals, and they ignore those who do.
- Visitors can be identified by the spit on the inside of their car’s windshield that comes from yelling at the other drivers.
- The winter wardrobe you brought out in September can wait until after Thanksgiving.
- If there is a prediction of even the most minuscule accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It does not matter if you need anything from the store and don’t ask why; it is just something you’re supposed to do.
- You can ask a Southerner for directions, but unless you already know the positions of key hills, trees, rocks and where the ol’ school house used to be, you’d be better off trying to find it yourself.
The translation to my opening question is, “Can’t you pour it on the floor right here? “ How about “Cistern’s crine summers?” ( Sister is crying somewhere) or, “yo sam itch need mine eyes?” (Your sandwich need mayonnaise?)
And this classic Southern parting, “Cumbak seeusyear”. (Come back and see us, you hear!)
written by Bob Talbert, Detroit Free Press feature columnist, now deceased
Perhaps the most relevant word for 2020 is “flexibility.” In our families, in our jobs, in recreation, we have all been standing by and watching as planned events and activities have been changed, canceled, rescheduled, and changed again. So it is with the 2020 Missions rally featuring TCM that was initiated earlier this year. It had been our intention to welcome Jim and Dot Gregory as guest speakers to give us a first-hand account of the good work at TCM. That visit was originally scheduled for March 15. As coronavirus and lockdowns ensued, we postponed their visit to “late summer,” and now as that time approaches, we must concede that we will need to cancel our visit from the missionary couple. Sometime this fall, there will be one Sunday where we will have the official wrap up to the TCM “focus” that we started several months ago. In the meantime, feel free to pick up informational materials from the TCM table as you pass through the lobby and review them at your convenience.
Another one of our mission partners, His House Christian Fellowship, is also showing flexibility in the way they are conducting their annual “cycle the campus” event. As recently announced, this year’s event will be a “virtual” ride, where each participant will ride their own course instead of all riding together. A number of members of the Meadowbrook family have committed to riding and/or supporting riders in the virtual event, and are still encouraged to do so. In addition, Meadowbrook is donating $500.00 from the mission’s budget to help offset any shortage that might be caused by the change in format. Thank you to all members of the congregation for your faithful support of missions to make this special gift possible. And thank you also to those who are part of the virtual ride.
Finally, on the topic of flexibility, Cindy Gerstenlauer has learned that her planned medical mission to Kenya this October has been canceled due to COVID. However, the need for medical care in Kenya is still great, perhaps greater than ever. Meadowbrook missions’ team has agreed to provide a special gift of $500 to Kenya Medical Relief to help with needs that US-based medical personnel will not be able to address this year.
Please be praying for these needs and others who are adversely affected by the unexpected changes that continue to unfold this year.
Jeremiah Cox – August 4
Steve & Phyllis Martin (Ann.) – August 5
Mike & Cindy Gerstenlauer (Ann.) – August 6
Lynn Ross – August 13
Elaine Bright – August 14
Phyllis Martin – August 14
June Thomas – August 19
Brad & Mary Koster (Ann.) – August 24
Ron Murphy – August 30
Bonnie Iseman – August 30
Sharing with Steve
I have been reading a lot in the news lately about freedom. July 4th is right around the corner. One tenant that runs throughout American history is freedom. “Freedom” also figures prominently in scripture. The Hebrews were slaves in Egypt but God, with Moses as His point-man, led the people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. The Jewish nation was in captivity to Babylon and Persia for 70 years and, again, God led them back to the Promised Land using Nehemiah, Erza, and others. The idea of “freedom” changed in the New Testament. The Jewish people were again conquered, this time by the Romans. They wanted and expected a Messiah to be raised up to restore their freedom. This time God answered in a different way. He sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus brought freedom, but not from a foreign government, but from sin. The people had a difficult time understanding this.
I believe that this struggle continues today. We get frustrated with any rule, guideline, or regulation that we think infringes on our “freedom.” We want to assert our rights and practice our freedoms. “No one has the right to infringe on my freedom.” As Christians we have to look at this in another way. We have been set free. Romans 8:2: because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Now here is the contradiction. We have been set free to be slaves. Romans 6:2: and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. So where does that leave us? How can one be free and a slave at the same time? When we become slaves of righteousness our desire is to always do the right thing by Jesus Christ and the other person. We cannot use our freedom in Christ to lead others astray or cause our weaker brother to stumble. We cannot use our freedom in Christ to assert our rights. Paul wrote to Galatians, Galatians 5:13: For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.
The greatest freedom that I have is that I am a child of God. I have been saved by Jesus Christ. That trumps any freedom that I have that has been won by men. I can still appreciate that freedom and celebrate it, but the freedom that I have in Christ is greater. My earthly freedom affords me some advantages while I live on this earth, but the freedom I have in Christ is eternal. Just as Jesus Christ left the perfect freedom of heaven and became a servant I must follow in His footsteps. I must show my brothers and sisters in Christ, my community, and the world that my priority is serving Christ and not insisting on my “freedom.”
Zoom in with Zack
I can’t believe that it is July already. I feel like I still barely have met most of you and yet Sunday service feels like coming home. There is something about the community of the church that transcends all traditional boundaries to make us one. I remember when I first began to serve in ministry. I was called to be senior minister of a small church in upstate New York at 22 years old. I recall one day walking into service, looking at the people around me, and just being amazed that there could be anything that would draw this group of people into one room together. We didn’t just meet together, but we even liked one another. Better than that we loved one another and were a family. I cannot picture another setting where I would say that a 65-year-old woman was one of my best friends. She would be at our house for dinner, go out with us just to spend time together, and we would be the last ones out of the building every Sunday and Wednesday. Where else could this ever happen?
This is the beauty of the church. We have been told that blood is thicker than water, but in the church, I have found it to be the opposite. It is in the waters of baptism that a true family is formed. God designed us to be radically different. Our skin, our politics, age, interests, skills, professions. . . We could not be any more different from one another. God created diversity. He called Abraham to be a blessing to the whole world and bring them together into one body. Israel left Egypt not as a distinct racial group or having a shared heritage, but as a mixed multitude from the nations. The prophets spoke to Israel and told them that he would bring their enemies into the fold. That they would become one and that all would one day be the people of God. The early church broke all national, racial, gender, and religious divides in becoming the body of Christ. Ephesian 2:13-18 tells us that those who were far away have been brought near and the all dividing walls that once separated us have been overcome by the blood of Christ. We are now drawn together by a new peace and unity.
The church is a beautiful place where we find relationships with those we would never have interaction with outside of this place. We are no longer foreigners and strangers but brothers and sisters. For this reason, among many others, returning to a physical church gathering was a great joy. We may not have met, and we may not know one another well, but we are family and it is incredible to worship together. I look forward to getting to know you all better each Sunday as we continue to gather in person for worship. Stay healthy and wash your hands!
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Meadowbrook is following necessary safety precautions.
We are putting these steps in place in order to enable as much of the Meadowbrook family as possible to come together for worship, and to be in compliance with the current guidelines from health and government authorities.
Masks: All who are physically able are requested to wear a mask. Masks are available at the entrance if you need one.
Entering: Please do not gather in the parking lots or in the foyer before and after the service. Please enter by the main church doors and go directly to a pew. As you enter, hand sanitizer is available at the door.
Seating: Pick up a pool noodle in the foyer and place it on the pew next to you/your group to assure safe distance from others. Those living in the same household may sit together without distancing. However, all others are asked to remain 6′ apart. Only every other pew will be used.
Cleaning: The church and restrooms will be sanitized before and after each service.
Communion: Please pick up the combination bread/juice cup in the foyer when you enter and take it in with you.
Dismissal: Social distancing also applies with dismissal. We ask everyone to remain in their seat until dismissed. You will be given directions as to which of the multiple exists to use when you leave. If you wish to socialize after the service, please do so outside and maintain the 6’ social distancing guidelines. Do not meet under the portico where social distancing would be difficult to maintain.
See the video of a walk-through portraying the Covid precautions being taken on our YouTube channel by clicking on the YouTube icon in the upper right hand corner of the www.mccrochester.org website home page.
Did you know that an organization exists whose main goal is to promote and to improve awareness of other Christian missions? The International Conference on Missions, or ICOM, was founded in 1948 as the National Missions Convention for Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. Since that time, according to theicom.org, their mission has been “to Encourage, Equip and Enlist workers for the Harvest.”
ICOM works year-round to assist global missions, making connections between international missionaries and churches and individuals at home. Each year, they gather in November for their annual conference. This year’s event will be in Indianapolis November 19-22 with the theme, “The Cross Before Me.” Exhibitors and participants in the conference include many of the missions we support at Meadowbrook, including Asia Christian Services (ACS), International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES), Niños de Mexico, and TCM, to name a few. The 2019 conference was attended by more than 8500 individuals representing 40 countries. During that conference, 42 people enlisted to serve in Christian ministry.
ICOM encourages attendance at their conference by any members of the church family who would like to know more about international missions and/or those who would like to support and encourage missionaries in the field. For further information, look for the ICOM poster on the bulletin board in the church lobby or visit www.theicom.org.
John Ciuba IV – July 8
Stefanie Kapusta – July 9
Harry & Kaye Thompson (Ann.) – July 12
Tim Howell – July 16
Carol Howell – July 16
Hector Urteaga – July 18
Ken Small – July 19
Sandra Krugh – July 21
Mike & Sue Rose (Ann.) – July 21
Mike Rose – July 22
Brenda Cox – July 22
Harry Thompson – July 24
Samantha Kapusta – July 25
Eunice Salminen – July 27
Marian Murphy – July 2
Sharing With Steve
The wait continues. It seems like it has been forever since we have been together whether it has been as a small group or a Sunday meeting, and yet it has only been a little over two months. Check out a few examples. It took sixty-six days for the Mayflower to sail across the Atlantic. You think it is bad being cooped up for two months with television and the internet, try it on a wooden ship with no amenities. The people did it because they were looking for a better life and a chance to worship God in freedom. It took four to six months to travel the Oregon Trail in a wagon pulled by oxen. Your couch is a much better place to sit and your food is probably a whole lot better. We are not fighting any prairie storms or encountering any conflicts with Indians. Water is readily available from your tap. Yet the pioneers still persevered to find a better life in Oregon. I guess it is a matter of perspective. In the scheme of eternity two months is not very long.
David in the Old Testament had a similar issue. He was being pursued by an opponent and he was very frustrated. He felt that God ought to act, but God was silent. Read the words:
Psalm 13:1-6 (CSBBible)
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me? 3 Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.
You can tell that David was really struggling. He even demanded that God answer him. He deserved an answer. And then it was like David came to his senses and knew that God was still in control. His focus turned from his problems to God. He remembered God’s faithfulness and looked forward to the deliverance that God would give him. He realized that even in this bad situation that God had been more than generous to him.
We need to take a lesson from David and step back and see how God has been good to us. This has been and will continue to be a difficult time, but it will end. We must show the world that our confidence is not in worldly things, but in the things of God. God will protect and preserve us. The Church will endure. Nothing can separate us from God, not even COVID-19.
Zoom in with Zack
I am so excited to start seeing signs of a return to normalcy. I am filled with anticipation as the NHL has put together a plan to finish the season and playoffs starting in July. I am also a huge disc golf fan and love to play. The governing body of disc, the PDGA, has started reopening certain states for sanctioned tournaments and I know it won’t be long before I can play in tournaments again.
Recently I was playing disc golf at Stoney Creek. I had really been working on my form so I could throw farther. My max recorded distance was 429 feet. We came to one hole with a down hill slope. I released my best drive and used a range finder to measure it at 470 feet. I was super excited. We came back to the same hole on round two. This time I was filled with confidence, determined to repeat my feat. I let go of the disc and instantly knew I had done it. But then the disc didn’t stop. It kept going past the basket into the woods further and further. I dramatically overshot my previous throw, but it went so deep into the woods that we couldn’t measure it.
There were two different reactions from the tee pad. My partners that I was playing with were excited and cheered. I was not excited and had virtually no reaction. I was in shock. I didn’t know that I could even do that. I didn’t cheer, smile, or show any emotion. I just stood there mouth open watching the disc continue out of sight into the distance. I was just amazed and couldn’t believe what just happened. In one day a 450 foot hole entered my range and then all of sudden I have to be careful not to throw too hard!
I think that our faith can often times look like this. We practice and we practice, but it never really seems to be enough. If only I read my Bible more. If only I had the courage to speak up more. If only I had the answers like so and so does. For me it tends to be, if only I could preach like that person can. Then all of sudden one day it clicks. Everything comes together and we just stand there in awe. I can’t believe that just worked!
Have you ever stood in amazement of something you’ve just accomplished? Ever done something you thought you were never capable of doing? Those moments never happen without practice, practice, and more practice. As we continue to endure this pandemic, we need to understand that the church will be defined in the eyes of the world based on how it acts now. On the one hand I know that we want to weather the storm, get through to the other side, and then we can worry about our faith and kingdom matters once things settle down. But that is never the answer that the church has taken. The church historically had always stood tallest when it displayed great sacrificial faithfulness in the midst of the storm. The church is not about surviving, it is about thriving.
Don’t read into this and think that I am talking about opening the church building for services, that is for a different discussion. What I am asking is, are you exercising your faith while we are apart? How are you serving God today? I believe that if we continue to practice our faith in a serving manner today that we will have some of those amazing moments where we say, I can’t believe that just happened.
So, get up. Work out your Christianity a little. Flex those Jesus muscles. We need to not only keep them fresh, but we need to put them to work. When I throw a disc, it is entirely dependent upon my form, my strength, and my execution. But when I practice my faith, it is reliant on God’s work, God’s strength, and the presence of the Holy Spirit. How much more can be accomplished when we understand that it is not our strength we rely upon? If I threw a disc with the strength of the Holy Spirit, get ready from some shock and awe!
What can I do with my faith? Or rather, what can He do with my faith? It may not happen as fast as you like or in the moment you want it, but know that if you exercise it faithfully there will be a moment where you can stand in awe of what God has done in you. Get out into those fields and start practicing and get ready to be amazed.
Dan Bright – June 5
Ron & Ruth Lindhagen (Ann.) – June 14
Matthew Zaremba – June 18
Jaysun & Traci Thomas (Ann.) – June 18
Ron & Marian Murphy (Ann.) – June 20
Sue Rose – June 20
Dick Tenniswood – June 22
Larry & Cindy Esterline (Ann.) – June 23
Randy & Jerri Gilbert (Ann.) – June 25
For the foreseeable future, all events have been postponed. We are still hoping to have a church picnic this year at the Auburn Hills Community Park. This will depend on things opening up even more. We will have access to the Auburn Hills calendar the first part of June to see which dates are open later in the summer. We will stay in touch with everyone concerning this.
Lake James Christian Camp
The camp season for the summer of 2020 has been cancelled. There was hope that by delaying the start of camp and combining weeks that most of the weeks could still proceed. After receiving the guidelines from health officials and discussion with the board of trustees, the decision was made to cancel camp for the summer. Please keep the camp in your prayers as it weathers this storm and looks to future camps and ministry.
Meadowbrook Website Gets a Fresh New Look
Our Meadowbrook website has been updated, basically re-arranging some of the features to make it more user-friendly. All of the information is still on the website, but sorted in a different manner, with a new addition. Take a look where you will find:
- A brand new tab, MCC Online, where YouTube church services can be accessed and will be potentially used in the future for online pre-recorded classes, workshops, devotional plans, etc.
- Who We Are tab now includes Meet our Ministers and Meet our Staff in addition to About MCC (Why We’re Here, Our Model, What We Believe). These were separate pages, and now all fall under one tab.
- Ministries tab now includes Missions and Service Opportunities. These were separate page, and now all fall under one tab.
- Contact Us provides church information (address, phone, locator map) and an area where messages can be sent to the church. Again bringing together separate pages under one tab.
Many thanks to Zack Schewe for taking a fresh look at the website and sharing his ideas, as well as to our leadership for their inputs.
And remember, the calendar is always posted with information about church schedules.
If you have any questions or comments about the website, please contact Theresa Meegan.
It is a joy to see God working throughout the world in the mission fields that we as a church collectively support. Every month we receive updates from each of the 13 mission groups we work with. Here are some highlights, and some things to be praying about.
Each of our 13 missions are suffering some level of hardship due to COVID-19. Most have reported loss of income since their giving base has also lost income. These are trying times. Many groups have turned to technology such as internet streaming to carry on their work. Our overseas missions continue to work hard to advance the gospel in unreached and sometimes hostile areas. All are thankful for your continued prayers and support.
One group, IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) gave us a detailed report on all their COVID-19 related projects. They are purchasing supplies in all corners of the world. They have provided financial help for people who have lost jobs, they are providing food for people in developing countries, and even providing motor bikes for missionaries in remote Southeast Asia.
Christian colleges and universities are also facing financial challenges. Many students had to be refunded when colleges closed dormitories. Colleges and universities have struggled to relocate coursework to online offerings. There is great uncertainty related to enrollment for fall of 2020. A major recruiting point for Christian colleges is the community that exists on the campus. If campuses remain closed in the fall, will students still choose a Christian college? As such, our Christian colleges and universities are bracing for a steep decline in enrollment.
In recognition of these challenges, the Meadowbrook missions’ team has reached out to His House Christian Fellowship, Johnson University, and Great Lakes Christian College, with special gifts of $300 each this month. The generosity of the body at Meadowbrook makes this possible.
God Bless you all for your faithfulness in prayer for all of our missions.
The foul smell noticed in the nursery and main hall, has been traced to a raccoon living in the duct work located in the attic. An animal trapping company has caught and removed it. The attic was inspected and deemed raccoon free. We are now scheduling a duct cleaning company to clean and sanitize the system.
Thank you, Mike Rose, for your extra effort on this project.
To Those who are maintaining the church lawn:
Thank you to all the mowing teams. Hopefully, we can come back soon and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
A trip down memory lane:
To the ladies who worked the church garage sale at the Bright’s will remember Sam the Cat. Sam loved to be right in the midst of the sale. We lost Sam to age this past week. We all will miss him (Sammy-2001 to 2020, RIP).
Words to live By:
“There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with the people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living” *
Sharing with Steve
When will the stay at home end? When can we resume normal activities? Will there be such a thing as normal or will there be a new normal? We have started discussing these things among the leadership. When we do get back together there will be some changes. We will have more sanitizer stations around the foyer and hallways. Initially we may have to sit every other pew and safe distance from one another. We will continue to take the Lord’s Supper, but it will be in a new form. Pre-packaged cups and bread will be handed out before the service. Communion trays will not be passed. We will probably have a place or box to deposit your tithes so that the offering plates will not be passed. There will be no cookie time. Our foyer is just too small. If you want to visit you will be encouraged to move outside away from the front door. The exit at the back of the auditorium will be used to alleviate crowding in the aisle and foyer.
What won’t change? Randy and the praise team will continue to lead us in worship with joy, passion, and thanksgiving. Scriptural sermons will still be preached and proclaimed. We will weekly come before the Lord’s throne in prayer. We will once again get to see smiling faces and hear encouraging words.
Until such time, we need to continue to look to the Lord. I want to look at a couple of verses but take them backwards. Matthew 6:33-34 (CSBBible) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Though we probably will, there is no need to worry about tomorrow. All the worry in the world is not going to change what will happen. We have enough worries for the day we are in to start worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow. You must be vigilant and when possible make plans, but worry will not help. Instead, put your trust in the Lord and seek first His Kingdom. Seek His righteousness. God will take care of the things that you need. That is His promise to us.
Zoom in with Zack
I have to say that this transition to Meadowbrook has been one of the oddest experiences that I have ever been through. I have been at Meadowbrook for a month now and I have only seen someone else in the office once. I have a new church family that I have only met once in January and not since other than a couple online LIFE group meetings. So let’s see if we can get to know one another a little. I’m going to tell you a little about myself and then I am going to leave 5 questions for you. Answer those questions for me and then send them over to email@example.com.
I grew up in Berkley, MI and was homeschooled through middle and high school. I then attended Oakland Community College for a year before graduating from Rochester College with a major in Christian Ministry and a minor in Biblical Languages. At Rochester, I met Sarah and we eventually married in 2010. She is from Uganda and we maintain strong ties there. I have been to Uganda four times with the last coming just last year. I spent a month in Jinja finishing my Masters degree while working with Bible School training new pastors in Uganda. Sarah and I have one daughter, Mirembe, who is 7. Her name is from the Lasoga language and means “peace.” About a year ago I finished my Masters of Divinity Degree with a major in Global Studies (World Missions)
We have many relationships in the Rochester area. Apparently, many of those relationships cross over to Meadowbrook because many of our Rochester area friends knew that we were heading to Meadowbrook before we knew that we were heading to Meadowbrook.
Sarah graduated from Rochester College in 2011 with a B.S. in pre-med. After a long journey she graduated this week with a Bachelors in Nursing and begins work as a nurse at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit on May 4. She has been working for a long time to get to this point and it feels surreal to finally arrive.
I am a huge hockey fan. I have played since I was 4 years old. I was goaltender and became fairly decent at it eventually signing a contract to play Junior A hockey before I stopped playing during college. I also officiate hockey and I have done it at every level. I referee mostly youth and high school, but in the past have done a couple of years officiating in the minors and done some ACHA college hockey. My current outdoor passion lies in Disc Golf. I play weekly with my brother and one of the youth from Walled Lake. We play year-round and have started competed in sanctioned tournaments. I was able to place second in the AM2 division at a tournament just before all this virus stuff took over. I have way too many discs, including some collectibles that hang on my wall. Want to learn the game? Call me up and I’ll take you out. I have enough equipment to pass around!
We are excited to be here at Meadowbrook and look forward to getting to know all of you and serve Christ together. Now it is your turn. Answer these questions and send them to me so that I can get to know you.
- Tell me about your family. Married? Kids? Grandkids?
- Tell me about where you are from. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? How did you get here?
- What do/did you do for a living? Job?
- What are your interests? What do you like to do?
- What does your faith mean to you?
Wanda Douma – May 9
Kiersten Zaremba – May 13
Randy Gilbert – May 13
Joe & Mimi Romaella (Ann.) – May 14
Mike Gerstenlauer – May 18
Tom & Andrea Schwartzenberger (Ann.) – May 25
Larry Esterline – May 25
Gene & Nancy Paul (Ann.) – May 28
Steve Martin – May 30
Sunday, May 3, will begin a new sermon series preaching through 2 Timothy. This letter was written by Paul to Timothy while Paul was in prison. This is his second and final imprisonment. It is a letter of transition. Paul knows that his time on earth is short and wants to convey as much wisdom to Timothy as he can. This summer is a time of transition at Meadowbrook. Steve is retiring in August and Zack Schewe will become the senior minister. The leadership thought that this letter would be a great way to set the foundation for this transition. Steve and Zack will be sharing in these sermons. Please be keeping this series in your prayers as we prepare for Meadowbrook’s future.
The Deacons Corner
AAHH!!!! Spring has sprung. The trees are budding, flowers are blooming, the birds are singing. Warm breezes have replaced the cold winds of winter. What could be better. God is in His Heaven and all is right with the world. But, is it? I don’t think so.
We should thank God for spring renewal and pray for guidance through these turbulent times. Pray early, pray often.
Well, here we go, Meadowbrook Mowing Season is underway. Keeping Meadowbrook looking sharp is a worthy endeavor, indeed. A tip of the hat to the members would be greatly appreciated. I would like to thank the new volunteers who have stepped up to help, Brenda Cox, Lynn Ross and Elaine Bright. We still have some openings, fellows.
Also, as the weather improves and restrictions are lifted, the Deacons could use a little help now and then. Let us know if we can call on you.
A final note: Elaine says if they do not lift this stay home order pretty soon, she will have to clean the house for no good reason. No Sunday meals with family, no sewing sisters gatherings for gabfest, lunch and maybe a bit of work, birthday bashes and any other good reason to clean. 🙂
p.s. We are still a family, love one another. Until we can all pray together, lift each other in daily prayer.
The calendar remains in a state of flux during this time. There will be no men’s breakfast in May. Information about resuming the breakfasts will come later in the summer. We are still planning on having a church picnic this summer. Possible dates are being identified. Church camp at Lake James Christian Camp will be held, but with a shortened schedule. Most of the camps have been moved to July. Several of the two week camps have been combined. More information can be found on their website, ljca.org. Cycle the Campus, a bicycle ride benefiting His House Christian Fellowship has been moved to Saturday, August 1. Meadowbrook usually has a team of riders. Registration is now open.
Adult Bible Study
Because of stay at home orders and social distancing we have not been able to have the adult Bible study. With the traditional summer break coming up we will not be able to finish the Gospel of Mark. Steve is working on finishing all of the study notes for each of the chapters. These will be made available when finished. If you have any questions please see Steve.
First of all, the missions team would like to thank everyone in the congregation for their continued support of Meadowbrook’s mission partners and all of the Faith Promise commitments received for the 2020-21 giving season. As evidence of your generosity, we have seen increases in both the number of Faith Promise participants and the overall pledged dollar amount for the upcoming year. Even in these trying times, we trust God to be faithful.
The missions committee met in a virtual meeting last week and we now have the following plan for the wrap-up of our interrupted missions rally. We still plan to have a visit from Jim and Dot Gregory, the representatives from TCM, to share first-hand about the exciting outreach taking place around the world. Because Jim and Dot live relatively nearby, they can be somewhat flexible with scheduling. And clearly, we are not in a position to set any specific dates or plans at this time. However, the quarantine will inevitably be lifted at some point, and we will reschedule this meeting, whether that be in July, August, or September. At that time, we will solicit final donations for the special project of providing tables for the dining room at Haus Edelweiss. We look forward with anticipation.
Some of our mission partners provided relevant updates that we would like to share with the membership at Meadowbrook:
- Lake James Camp will carry on with all scheduled weeks of camp this summer, starting in mid-June, as planned.
- ICOM, the International Conference On Missions, has announced their 2020 conference in Indianapolis, “The Cross Before Me,” November 19-22. The Meadowbrook family is welcomed and encouraged to participate. A brochure with all details will be placed in the lobby.
- IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) is providing assistance for the COVID-19 crisis all around the world. The missions committee approved a special gift of $500 to IDES this month earmarked for COVID-19 relief and also the recent tornadoes in the Southern US.
- Ninos de Mexico requested urgent donations for a family of severely abused children that were taken in a couple of years ago, requiring reconstructive surgery and expensive topical treatments for scars, along with psychological care. The missions team approved a special gift of $200 for this need. None of the children or workers at Ninos have been infected with COVID-19 and they want us to know the children are praying for the health and safety of all of their supporters.
God Bless you all for your faithfulness in prayer for all our missions.
Sharing With Steve
What a time to be alive. I am not sure what to share this month since I am sharing a thought for the day each day. There is not a lot that I can say about the coronavirus that has not already been shared. It is radically changing and upending our lives. We are finding out that there are things that we have taken for granted and other things that we have not taken serious enough. Let me ask a question: Will I let Christ radically change my life as much as the coronavirus has? With the coronavirus I am changing my life so that I do not catch it and do not act as a carrier and pass it on to others. Therefore, I change the way I do things on one level for myself and at another level for society in general. When I accepted Christ I was, in a sense, asking Him to make a radical change in my life. No longer would I live for the world, but for Christ. I was to separate myself from the world. Too often I find myself living in the world. That is where I get comfortable. You see, in the world there is a disease that everyone is fighting. We call it sin. It is no respecter of persons and it leads to death, real death. Some people in the world doubt that this even exists, but we know that it does.
To flatten the pandemic curve, we need to get radical. We need to stay in and practice social distancing. We need to be wise, smart, and vigilant. To flatten the spiritual curve, we need to get radical. We need to live for Jesus in all areas of our lives. We need to show Christ at work, at home, and at play. We need to show the world that this can be done with joy and hope. We cannot compromise with the world. Then we will lose our effectiveness.
Theresa Meegan – April 12
Denis Couture – April 14
Ed Parrett – April 16
Sylis Cox – April 17
Traci Thomas – April 22
Ruth Lindhagen – April 25
Laura Urteaga – April 28
Bill & Patti Bradford (Ann.) – April 28
With social distancing and stay in place orders we have had more cancellations than planned activities. Any planned activities through April are being canceled. We will be doing a taped service this coming Sunday, April 6. Our new associate, Zach Schewe, will be presenting the message. We were hoping to do a live Easter service on the internet, but that will be a decision made next week. We thank you for understanding and all of the positive feedback from our taped service from March 29.
The coronavirus has halted our adult Bible study and with it the probability that we will not finish the Gospel of Mark before the summer break. I am continuing to do the study notes so that if we are not able to finish, those who are interested will be able to have a complete set of Mark’s notes.
Greetings to Meadowbrook church from the missions committee. Thank you all for your support of the 2020 missions rally to this point, and we hope to resume the rally as soon as is feasible. As soon as we get some sort of “all-clear” we will reach out to Jim and Dot Gregory from TCM to schedule a new date when they can visit us and give us a first-hand look into the work being done at TCM. Likewise, we would like to follow through with the special donations being solicited to help furnish the dining room at their training facility in Austria.
In the meantime, please be praying for the ministry not only at TCM but in each of Meadowbrook’s 13 missions, since assuredly all have special needs at this time.
In particular, we are aware of special medical needs at Nino’s de Mexico, and of course IDES (International Disaster Emergency Services) is working on the front lines of the COVID crisis. Please be praying for these needs and if you are moved to make a special donation for any of these needs, please ensure that you provide specific instructions and send it to the church office. The mission’s team will ensure that the funds are appropriately distributed.
We look forward to meeting again. Until that time, we pray God’s blessings and health for all.
In these troubling times, it’s good to see the Lord’s words get through. A special thanks to Jeremiah and Randy for getting the videos done.
As the grass is turning green, it’s time to think about mowing and mowing teams. See Dan if you can spare a couple hours a month to help. Ladies are welcome, too.
The church clean-up will be rescheduled. The CPR class planning is on hold.
There’s a fable (Aesop) that says one stick is easily broken but a bundle of sticks cannot be broken. We at Meadowbrook are a family. We are the bundle. Pray for each other, look-out for each other, help where we can, and with God’s help, we will defeat this determined and deadly germ.
Stay safe, love one another till we can stand shoulder to shoulder at the “cookie table”.
Remember, He is in Charge
Sharing With Steve
The church was going so well. Changes had been made and people were coming to understand that when Jesus said to go into the whole world, that is exactly what He meant. The Church had spread to Samaria, Ethiopia, Syria, and Asia Minor. Gentiles were becoming Christians. Paul and Barnabas were spreading the message of Christ to people who had never heard. Everything was going so well.
Well, not exactly. Paul and Barnabas returned from their first missionary journey filled with joy and enthusiasm that was not shared by all. There were Jewish Christians who said the Gentiles had to be circumcised before they could become Christians. This was a serious matter. Two people groups, Jews and Gentiles, were being united in Christ and man was trying to put rules and regulations and not allow the freedom of Christ to reign. The apostles and elders met in Jerusalem. Peter emphasized that all were saved by the grace of God just as they were. Paul and Barnabas spoke of the miraculous signs and wonders that God had done among the Gentiles. The people realized that God was at work here. They decided to encourage the Gentile Christians to abstain from food offered to idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. They wrote a letter to the Gentile Christians and it was received with joy for its encouraging nature. Things were looking up and going well.
Well, not exactly. Paul and Barnabas decided to return to the churches of Asia Minor. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along. Paul did not want to because John Mark had left them on their first journey. There was such a sharp disagreement that Barnabas and Paul parted company. Barnabas and Mark went to Cyprus and Paul chose Silas and they went throughout Asia Minor. God used this to spread the Word into more areas, but how sad it was that two great men of God would disagree to the point of separation. Reconciliation was to take place years later between Paul and Mark. What could have been accomplished if the disagreement had never happened? God led Paul and Silas to leave Asia Minor and enter Europe. The gospel of Jesus Christ was preached in Macedonia and Greece. People in Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and Corinth learned about the wonderful grace of Jesus Christ. Hardships were endured; persecution was faced; cold hearts were taught. Wherever Paul and Silas went the seed was planted. People such as Priscilla, Aquila, Apollos, and Lydia accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. God was doing a mighty work. Churches were being planted all over. Lives were being changed. Things were going well. Nothing could stop the Church.
Well not exactly. Satan tries to do all that he can to disrupt the Church. Paul was arrested by the Jews in Jerusalem. He was taken into protective custody by the Romans. He was innocent, but was put on trial. He appealed to Caesar and was sent to Rome. In Rome he wrote letters to some of the churches that he had started. All of them were facing the struggles of being a Christian community. One group was making a mockery of the Lord’s Supper. Their worship was bringing attention to themselves and not bringing honor and glory to God. Another group had quarreling women in it. Paul told them to put aside their differences and work together for the cause of Christ. Another group had people that wanted everything done their way. They wanted all these rules and regulations instead of enjoying the freedom that Christ gave them. Another group was misusing their gifts. Paul exhorted and encouraged these groups to live lives pleasing to God. The Church had troubles but could move forward. God, Himself, was their leader and guide. Things could go well if the people focused on the Lord.
I have spent the last three newsletters looking at the early church. What conclusions can I draw? It was a group of people just like us. They had their joys, sorrows, and frustrations. They had to cope with new ideas and new ways of doing things. We, too, at Meadowbrook are in that situation. We are looking to the future. We face uncertainty. We may have to consider new ideas and new ways of doing things. As Barnabas was an encourager so we must be encouragers of each other. As Peter learned that new wine did not fit into old wineskins, so must we. As Saul’s life was radically changed by the Lord Jesus Christ, so we must be changed by Him. As the apostles and elders met to seek God’s direction so must we. As Paul, Silas, and others faced daily the struggles of living for Christ (even to persecution), so must we. As Paul would write from prison, (Phil 3:12-16 NIV) Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Let us move forward so that Christ can work through us here in Rochester Hills.
Bethany Thomas – March 4
Jim Cavins – March 4
Kathi Tope – March 20
Nancy Paul – March 20
Joe Romaella – March 24
Jacquelyn Thomas – March 25
Mike Tingley – March 28
Marion Thomas – March 31
We will be taking a break from The Prodigal God for the first three Sundays in March. These Sundays we will be focusing on missions and our Faith Promise Rally. The last two Sundays in the month we will examine chapters four and five in The Prodigal God. This is proving to be an excellent study of the parable of the prodigal son. If you do not have a book, please see Steve and he will get you one.
Faith Promise Missions Rally 2020
Faith Promise is an integral part of our church’s ministry. It is missions giving based on a personal commitment. In addition to their regular tithes and offerings, church members are challenged during the annual Missions Faith Promise Rally to exercise their faith by making a one-year commitment to the church’s missions’ program.
Meadowbrook supports 13 missions through a combination of both the General Fund and Faith Promise Fund. While specific allocations are made to each mission, funds raised through Faith Promise over the allocated amounts are maintained in a contingency fund to meet special needs of our missionaries. Last year the contingency fund was able to assist in the following ways:
- $500 towards Cindy Gerstenlauer’s medical mission trip to Kenya
- $501 travel expenses and honorarium for missioner Mick O’Hanahan, Ninos de Mexico, Faith Promise Rally 2019
- $300 Golf Scramble at Lake James
- $100 to support Manasseh Fish from Asia Christian Services for travel to ICOM (International Conference of Missions) & to see his daughter
- $177.10 to cover food and hotel expenses for Rajan Ipe and his son-in-law Martin’s trip from Kerala, India to Michigan to meet with the Mission Ministry team
- $200 to Ninos de Mexico for Bethel Home Support
- In addition, each of our missions received $100 as Christmas gifts
This year our Faith Promise Missions Rally will feature TCM International Institute. Here’s what’s happening:
SUNDAY, MARCH 1, WORSHIP SERVICE
Faith Promise Brochure/Commitment Card is handed out
“What is Faith Promise,” Cindy Gerstenlauer
Introduce TCM & Mission Project, Cathie Parker
Mission-related sermon, Steve Martin
SUNDAY, MARCH 8, WORSHIP SERVICE
Mission-related sermon, Steve Martin
SUNDAY, MARCH 15
SUNDAY SCHOOL HOUR (ADULTS & YOUTH) in the Fellowship Hall
TCM representatives Jim & Dorothy Gregory talks about TCM, with a light breakfast served
Jim Gregory will bring the sermon message
SUNDAY, March 29
Faith Promise Commitment cards due
TCM International Institute is dedicated to Taking Christ to Millions. And we have found that the most effective way to do this is by Training Christians for Ministry.
Educates Christian leaders from more than 45 countries through an accredited graduate institute.
That every nation will have effective leaders of disciple-making movements impacting their churches, cultures, and countries for Christ.
Develops Christian leaders for significant service through higher learning in a flexible format with both online and classroom instruction.
Through their home teaching facility in Vienna, Austria (Haus Edelweiss), mentoring centers in over a dozen countries, and through online course work, TCM International offers a flexible format so that students can stay fully involved in their local ministries.
Special Guest Speakers:
Jim and Dot Gregory are graduates of Milligan College and retired schoolteachers from Grand Blanc school district. They have worked with TCMI since 1987 serving as short term workers during summers, and for the last 12 years as long-term workers at Haus Edelweiss. They have participated in over 60 mission trips throughout the world.
Five dining room tables are needed at Haus Edelweiss at the cost of $400 each for a total of $2000. We are hoping to help them reach their goal!
The every other month men’s breakfast will be on Saturday, March 14, at 8:30am in the Fellowship Hall. We will have a cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, and beverage. We will continue watching the Average Joe videos and close with a prayer time. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. Plan now to attend.
Please join us for the next Sisters in Service meeting
on Monday, March 23, at 6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will outline our project for March in the Sunday Bulletin, as we continue to minister to those in need.
The Deacon’s Corner
We have a new recurring article added to the newsletter this month. Look for a monthly report filled with great information from the Deacons provided by Dan Bright.
We are looking into CPR-AED (Automatic Emergency Defibrillation) classes through the Fire Department. This is a certification class and there is a fee to attend. Recertification is required every two years. Since we have the AED unit, we should be ready to use it. Any questions regarding the class, please see Dan Bright. There will be a sign-up sheet on the Board.
Help the Deacons
From time to time, there may be a need for a few good men (and women) to roll up their sleeves and help the deacons. This is a great way to serve our Lord and keep Meadowbrook Christian Church appealing to the community. Please check the Board for current projects and sign-up sheets. Watch for information in the weekly bulletin.
Update from Meadowbrook Leadership
This year is marching on. As announced previously, the Meadowbrook congregation voted to call Zack Schewe as Associate Minister. He will become our next Senior Minister upon Steve’s retirement.
Zack’s ministry at Meadowbrook is scheduled to begin on April 1st. That will be the beginning of his transition into the Senior Minister role. Zack will be building relationships with the congregation, working with Steve and the elders to set the future direction of Meadowbrook, and overseeing the children and youth areas during his interim period as Associate Minister. During this period, the preaching schedule will be developed to balance the preaching duties between Steve and Zack. As Steve’s retirement date approaches, Zack will take on an increasing portion of the preaching during Sunday worship services.
We want to encourage each member and attender of Meadowbrook to get to know Zack, Sarah, and Mirembe, and welcome them to the Meadowbrook family. We are confident that you will continue to demonstrate the genuine love and care for each other that you are known for. This church is known for its friendliness and warmth to all who come through the doors. As we go through changes in the coming months and years, may this be one thing that does not change! God has blessed His church in so many wonderful ways.
Please keep this transition process in your prayers. Your prayers are also needed as we begin the search for a worship leader to step into Randy’s role when he retires this year.
One more thing – as part of this transition, there will be a need for volunteers to take on some of the extra tasks that Steve has taken on over the past few years. If you are led to give some of your time and ability to help share the load, please talk to us about the opportunities.
We are so grateful to be serving with you!
Meadowbrook’s 6th Scrapbooking Fundraiser
Meadowbrook will be hosting its 6th Scrapbooking Fundraiser on Saturday, April 18, 2020, 9 am – 9 pm in the fellowship hall. All proceeds benefit the teen ministry. Lunch, dinner, beverages and snacks are provided for the $40 registration. Meadowbrook’s crop has become very popular due to its homemade delicious food and great raffle baskets. Youth and adult help are needed, as well as donations for the raffle baskets. See Crop coordinator Cindy Gerstenlauer or Karen Parrett for more information, or look for the signup sheets on the bulletin board in the foyer.
Scrapbooks tell a story, are autobiographical, and are a unique form of personal expression. Scrapbooks represent a person, and moments of their life. Part personal diary, part cultural reflection, they’ve evolved as homespun calendars, enabling us to chronicle the major events and minute details of our own personal life.
The notion of documenting one’s life through the practice of keeping scrapbooks dates from as early as the 1590s when the “commonplace book” first originated. This was an activity in which a reader could personalize a book by adding diary entries, quotations, drawings, newspaper clippings, etc. The great Renaissance artist and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci kept a book of his drawings and ideas, and, many of his pages have been the inspiration for today’s printed papers, vellum and rubber stamps. By the late 18th century, this evolved into “Grangerized books,” with the addition of engravings, watercolors, manuscripts, documents and playbills, as well as other miscellaneous items. With the introduction of photography, pictures were added. By 1825, the term “scrapbook” was in use and a magazine devoted to the hobby, The Scrapbook, was in circulation. American writer Mark Twain was a devoted scrapbook enthusiast and patented a “self-pasting” version that became an instant success in 1872. By 1900, more than 50 different types of his albums were available.
The great thing about scrapbooking is that anyone can do it. There is no right or wrong. A scrapbook can be created for any reason. It could be for an event or special gift like a new baby, wedding, starting school, a significant birthday, graduation, retirement, etc. It could be created for a theme like a chronical year, a trip, heritage album, school album, display of a collection or to showcase a business. Scrapbooking difficult or sad times like a divorce, death, moving, can be therapeutic. Life is an imperfect but dynamic mixture of events and emotions.
Scrapbooking is a communal pastime. Scrapbookers swap supplies and stories, share equipment, inspiration, mutual interests, and lots of laughter. It’s a great way to make new friends. You will come home feeling accomplished and refreshed.
You don’t have to be a scrapbooker to attend this day away! People also take advantage of the time to sew, knit, crochet, make cards, and do other crafts. Come join us!