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!