Sharing with Steve
This will be a year of change at Meadowbrook. After sixteen years I will be retiring. We are in the process of interviewing a young man to come and work with me and then become the next senior minister. Randy Gilbert will also be leaving. Meadowbrook will be changing and adapting. This is not anything new for the Church. Several years ago I wrote a three-part series about how the early Church was affected by change. I would like to revisit that as we enter this new year and face a somewhat uncertain future.
Things were going great. Everything was positive with the Church. What a beginning. Three thousand people had been baptized into Christ that day. They were concerned about growth, both spiritually and physically. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (Acts 2:42). The believers were all together. They gave to people as they had need. They even met daily in their homes. They praised God and enjoyed favor with all people. They stood up against persecution. The Jewish leaders commanded them not to preach about this Jesus and Peter replied that they had no choice in the matter (Acts 4:19-20). Soon the number rose to 5000. Daily people were coming to know Christ as their Savior. There was no need to change because everything was going so well.
Well not everything was going well. The Grecian Jews complained because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. The Twelve gathered together and said that their responsibility was to the ministry of the word of God. They told the brothers to choose seven men who were full of wisdom and the Spirit to take care of the responsibility of feeding the widows. But we have never done it that way before. Everything is going so well, why change such a good thing? Because a new dynamic had come onto the scene. Christ told the early disciples what to do, just not how to do it. As new situations arose, new ideas had to be put in place. As soon as the seven men were put in place scripture says, “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Everything was going so well.
Well not everything was going well. Persecution was right around the corner. Stephen was brought before the Sanhedrin and accused of blasphemy. Stephen gave an eloquent defense of the gospel of Christ. The result was the Jewish religious leaders became furious and took him outside the city and stoned him. One of the leaders at that stoning was Saul. That incident led to a general persecution of the church in Jerusalem. Saul would go from house to house and take both men and women to prison. The Christians were scattered. Some even went to Samaria and there preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. But wait a minute, we have to stay in Jerusalem. We are comfortable here. We know everybody. We know how to get around. And Samaritans? They are half-breeds. Yet they remembered the words of Christ, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). And then there was Philip. He encountered a man from a different culture. Should he share the gospel with him? Won’t a new culture do things differently? They may start new traditions. Can we allow that to happen? But the Spirit led Philip to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Ethiopian eunuch and he was baptized. He rejoiced in his new salvation. The gospel was being spread. Everything was going well. . .?
Matt Cox – January 8
Don Edwards – January 14
Linda Tingley – January 14
Lothar Rossol – January 17
Darrell Cox – January 19
Aleczander Cox – January 25
Cathy Podvin – January 28
We will start the new decade with our bi-monthly men’s breakfast on Saturday, January 11, at 8:30 am. Tom Schwartzenberger will be cooking his made from scratch pancakes. We will have sausage and beverage to go along with this. We will have a time of discussion as we are continuing watching the video series, Average Joe, A Game Plan For Life. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer. Let’s get the year started off right. Hope to see you then.
Medical Mission Trip
Cindy Gerstenlauer will be sharing about her medical missions trip to Kenya on Sunday, January 12. Steve will not be preaching that day so there will be time for the presentation and questions anyone may have. Cindy has shared that this was a great experience, and we will all benefit from hearing from her.
Soup is appropriately dubbed “comfort food” because what tastes better and provides a more comforting feeling than a bowl of hot, steaming soup? Our Annual Soup Supper Sunday on Jan. 12 at Noon turns a cold winter afternoon into a bright cheery day in our Fellowship Hall. That’s the day when we bring in extra extension cords to plug in an array of crock pots filled with soup from vegetable beef, to split pea, to potato, to tomato as well as chili – both beef and chicken. The fragrances alone will make your mouth water. A sign-up sheet is posted for this favorite church activity to indicate what category of food you’ll be bringing: soup/chili, crackers/bread, or dessert.
SIS preparing a meal for HAVEN
Sisters in Service is planning to prepare a meal for HAVEN, a mission in Pontiac that seeks to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault across Oakland County and the surrounding communities by empowering survivors through advocacy and social change. The project will be instead of their regularly scheduled January meeting on Saturday, January 25. The ladies will also work on a small craft with the residents. Details need to be finalized so stay tuned through the Sunday Bulletin for details. January and February meetings will take place on Saturday mornings instead of Monday evenings, so the ladies do not have to travel at night those cold winter nights.
Meadowbrook — Moving forward in 2020!
It is a new year, a new decade, and there are new opportunities on the horizon for Meadowbrook Christian Church.
As announced recently, the elders have identified a candidate to fulfill the role of Associate Minister, with a transition period to then become the next Senior Minister at Meadowbrook.
We look forward to introducing Zack Schewe and his family when they visit Meadowbrook on Sunday, January 26th. Zack will be bringing the morning message, and after the worship service there will be a gathering in the fellowship hall. This will give everyone the opportunity to meet, speak with, and get to know Zack, his wife, and his daughter.
Zack grew up in the metro Detroit area, and is currently living in Commerce, MI. He graduated from Rochester College in 2009, and recently completed a Master’s program through Liberty University. He has 10 years of ministry experience, serving as a Senior Minister in New York, and currently as a Youth/Family minister in SE Michigan.
We are excited about the next chapter in the ministry of Meadowbrook Christian Church, and we believe Zack is the person God has prepared to step into this role at this time and place.
Please plan to join us in the fellowship hall following the service on the 26th. We anticipate that a congregational vote will be announced and scheduled shortly after that date.
Most importantly, please continue to pray that God will lead and work through this process, revealing His plan each step of the way.
Serving the Lord with you,
Church Calendar Has a New Look
In the next few days, when you look at the church calendar you will see that it will be in a Google format that makes additions and updates easier for Theresa and Stephanie to make than the old format. Please see either Theresa or Stephanie if you would like to schedule a date in the church building on the calendar.