Ecc 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
This famous passage in Ecclesiastes conveys the idea that things change. There is a time and purpose for everything that happens. We may not understand it, but that does not make it less so. The changes that occur are often different in shape and scope. Some are of greater impact while others bring lesser impact. We are now in another season of change. Our youth minister, Philip Davis, has resigned and accepted the position as youth minister at Stroh Church of Christ in Hudson, IN. We have appreciated the time that he has ministered with us and our thoughts and prayers go with him as he moves. Philip’s last Sunday with us will be April 12.
Where does this leave us? It would be easy to become discouraged and frustrated, but that is not what God would have us do. God is still in control. We are going to move forward with the utmost faith and confidence. We are going to immediately begin a search for a new youth minister. We will be contacting various Bible colleges and using every avenue available to us in our search. The elders will take the lead on this, but we will expect and desire input from our parents. We also hope that our youth volunteers will rise to the occasion as they have done in the past. We will try with all of our might to have a normal youth program during this time. I will be meeting with the parents to discuss summer activities such as CIY and camp. We still want to support these activities. Junior worship, youth group and Sunday school will continue as planned. We are still targeting VBS in August.
We know that we will have to make adjustments, but “. . . if God be for us who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31b). I am convinced that good things are in store for us. I am convinced that as we fix our eyes on Jesus that He will lead us in the right direction. Please be praying for the youth minister search. Be praying for that young person who God is even now preparing to be our youth minister. Be praying for our volunteers that God will strengthen them. Be praying for our youth and their families. At a low point in my ministry life a song by The Imperials ministered to me. “He didn’t bring us this far to leave us; He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown; He didn’t build His home in us to move away; He didn’t lift us up to let us down.” I believe those words. Let us move forward together and be amazed at what God can and will do!
A Word from Philly-D: The Congregation of Meadowbrook Christian Church,
Over the past couple months; God has been working in ways I had not expected. The idea of leaving Meadowbrook Christian Church was something I had not thought about. I have prayed long and hard about this decision and have decided it is time for me to leave Meadowbrook.
It’s hard to believe it’s been two years already. Coming straight from college I couldn’t imagine a better place to serve for the first time in ministry. The friendships and memories I have made here have changed me and molded me into more of the Christ follower I think I should be. I have made friends that will last a lifetime, to which I quote Paul in Philippians that I “thank God every time I remember you.” My memories here are filled with joy. I would like to talk briefly about those joys.
Children at MCC: This was the one area I was nervous the most about coming to this church. It turned out to be one of the biggest blessings about my time here. They have opened my eyes to gifts that I never knew I had.
Jr./Sr. High Youth: To put it simply: I love these students! I knew I possessed a passion for youth but the students here have taught me it was much more than just a passion. It’s a love for students and a vision to see them own their faith and pursue a life of faithful discipleship and love for Jesus Christ. Never have I met a group of students who are so respectful, kind, and loving as the ones here at MCC. It speaks of the caliber of parents at this church to have such faithful and respectful teens. Thank you for the privilege of getting to know you and I will not soon forget the memories and friendships
Preaching: MCC has blessed me with the ability to further my experience not only in youth ministry, but in preaching as well. My passion is for the Word of God and preaching that Word. MCC and the leadership have been instrumental in allowing me to hone these skills and have taught me many more.
Volunteers: It was truly a joy getting to know and serve with such amazing volunteers. Keep pressing on and thank you for supporting me and the students here at MCC!
As our time together draws to a close, I am confident that God is in control and will bless both of us as we part ways. I look forward to being with you all again when we appear in our true home with Jesus in Heaven. Please allow me to thoroughly thank you for the honor it has been to serve you and with you. MCC is a loving group of people who care deeply for Jesus Christ and want others to come to know Him. May His will be done and may we continue to serve His Kingdom until His Kingdom come.
Philip A. Davis
Junior Church: This month we are talking about conflict and how to deal with it! We are addressing the question: “Is peace possible?” When we look into the Scriptures we see that it indeed is possible but takes a lot of work! God is the only one who can bring true peace. This will be an exciting month as we look into what it means to have true peace from Christ.
Teen Series: We are in a series called “Red Letters” where we look at each of the four gospels in depth. Right now we are in Matthew. We are looking forward to growing closer to Christ this year. Students are encouraged to take what they learn and re-tell it to a friend as part of their every day conversations.
Lake James Registration OPEN: Summer registrations for camp are now open on LJCA’s website. Head over to www.ljca.org and register your kids! There’s a week of camp for everyone. Please note that the church pays HALF of all the students we send to camp! The deadline to register for $20 off and a free t-shirt is May 4th so hurry over and do it today. It will be the best week your students have all summer!
- Theresa Meegan – April 12
- Kayli Hippensteel – April 13
- Denis Couture – April 14
- Ed Parrett – April 16
- Jessica Johnson – April 23
- Ruth Lindhagen – April 25
- Laura Urteaga – April 28
- Bill & Patti Bradford (Ann.) – April 28
- Nicholas Kapusta – April 30
- Norm & Kathi Tope (Ann.) – April 30
Sisters in Service News
The last Sisters in Service meeting of the season will be Monday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. We are meeting a half-hour earlier than usual as we’ll be concluding the season with a Salad Supper and a time of fellowship with our Christian sisters. Please bring a salad to pass. Dessert ,rolls and drinks will be provided.
I Peter 4:10 says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Linda Tingley, coordinator of “Take Them A Meal”, an on-line service we use to schedule temporary meals for members of our congregation who are ill, disabled, or for whatever need raises, gave a presentation at the March SIS meeting about the program.
“The blessing of participating in this ministry is that you are meeting needs of individuals or families through bringing food when the thought of preparing meals is the last thing on their minds”, explained Linda. She further went on to say, “How is the person blessed by receiving meals? You are showing your care for people – you recognize a need and are willing to step in and help. The recipient feels recognized and not forgotten when they are struggling physically, emotionally – depending on their particular circumstance. One other thing, I know when I bring food over, it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know that I’ve helped someone and that they truly appreciate the effort!”
The process starts when Linda receives a call from Steve Martin about a need in the congregation, or if someone lets her know of a need. After contacting the person to get some details, she logs into the Take A Meal Program, sends e-mails to women who are willing to prepare meals, and they in turn log into the system to indicate the meals they’ll provide and on what day.
If you wish to be on her e-mail list to provide food, or want more details, please see Linda. She is eager to share about this ministry and her efforts are truly appreciated!
Our Faith Promise Rally project this year is to help with the paint and repair costs at the University of Michigan His House in Ann Arbor. For every $20.00 donated, a paint brush is attached to the “His House” in the lobby. As of this writing, $586 (29.3 paint brushes) has been donated toward the $1,000 goal. The House and collection can will be on the table in the lobby for the next couple of weeks. Either drop your donation into the can or the offering plate. Make checks payable to Meadowbrook, and please note His House project on the check. Also, don’t forget to drop your Faith Promise commitment card into the offering tray indicating your participation in Faith Promise this year, which is greatly appreciated.
This annual fundraising event for His House Christian Ministries will be held on Saturday, May 30, at Midland, MI. This is a 50 mile ride along the Pere Marquette Trail. This is a beautiful paved bike and jogging trail from Midland to Claire. There are thirteen teams this year entered to ride. There are twelve campus houses and Meadowbrook. We are the only local church riding and hope that more local churches will join us. This will be our fifth year as a team to ride. This year, along with the 25 and 50 mile rides, a family ride of 10 miles has been added. The goal this year is to raise $60,000 from this event. Our team goal is to raise at least $4,000. The ride is an out and back ride so any time you get tired you can turn around and head back. You do not have to ride the full 25 or 50 miles. To help support this effort first go to www.cyclethecampus.org. At that site you can register to ride ($15 fee) or you can donate. Be sure to register to ride or donate with Team Meadowbrook. If you have any questions please see Ron Meegan, Tom Schwartzenberger or Steve Martin. We are looking forward to this event.
We will begin Easter Sunday morning with a delicious breakfast at 9:30 a.m. (Please note: there will be no Sunday School this morning.) It’s a lovely time of fellowship before we join together for Resurrection Sunday Worship. There will be activities for the children during this time as well. Please sign up on the bulletin board if you plan to attend and also to volunteer your time or your food. This year we are providing recipes for egg casseroles, French toast casseroles and cheesy potatoes. Please see Cindy Gerstenlauer for the recipes or for questions. She is organizing this year’s event.
On Sunday, April 12, we will start our “What We Believe Class.” This class is for anyone who is considering church membership, who wants to know more about Meadowbrook, or for those who simply want a refresher course in what we believe. The class will start at 9:30am and meet in the church library which is downstairs. The class will last for six weeks. Please see Steve if you have any questions. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer.
Starting on Easter Sunday we will be taking pictures for a pictorial directory. We will continue to have our smaller directory with names, addresses, and phone numbers. The pictorial directory will especially help newer people put names to faces. We hope to have the pictures put in a small binder, one for each family. For more information please see Shalon Cox.
FROM THE PEW
The Best Life But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all – 1 Corinthians 12:31 God’s way is truly the best way to live. Living in the Spirit results in a life of excellence. Living in the world results in just the opposite. Paul warns in Galatians 5:19-21 of the results of following our sinful nature: sexual immorality, hostility, quarreling, out bursts of anger, dissention, division, envy, and selfish ambition. It is easy to see what Paul described in our life today. All we have to do is look around, or watch the news, to see the evidence. So many experience such great unhappiness and shattered lives by living in their sinful nature rather than following God. Paul goes on, though, to describe what life is like when we live by the Spirit in versus 22 and 23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Living this way is living a life of excellence and results in true happiness. I encourage you today to live a life of excellence and experience the abundant life God desires for you. Next month we will continue with other examples of how living by God’s way is truly the best life.
MCC Annual Ladies’ Luncheon 2015
Be sure to invite your female friends & family members, for what promises to be an uplifting event. We are looking forward to having Michele Madigan as our guest speaker that day. Her topic is “Happy Are Those Who Mourn.” Michele has been married to Allen Madigan for 29 years, and has 3 children. She has always loved to work with children, and has also devoted much of her time with her own kids in various groups, such as scouting & youth leader for her church. She was already a Stephen Minister for 7 years prior to her daughter Amber’s first occurrence of cancer. She is currently working on a book about her experiences and promoting the scholarship fund set up in Amber’s memory, which can be found at www.AmberCARES.org. Throughout her journey of being mother to a child who suffered cancer and eventually death, her faith has been her foundation.