Pastor's Bible Study
Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.
a summer of change and new beginnings
july 3, 2018
This summer has brought a beehive of energy around our place! The renovation upgrade of our Fellowship Hall/Kitchen has gone well, and at this point is fully on schedule. Thank you all for your faithfulness and good spirit in adjusting to the temporary inconveniences it requires.
Meanwhile, our staff is quickly taking on a new look. A week ago Sunday, we held a called business meeting in the Sanctuary during the Sunday School hour. The Personnel Committee recommended, and you voted unanimously, to promote Mike McBrayer to succeed Dennis Anderson as our Administrative Pastor next year when Dennis retires at the end of March. Marty Watts, our Minister of Music, is with us and off to a great start. Meanwhile, our Student Minister Search Committee is working very, very hard to find our next leader for students.
Thank you for your financial support, prayers and continued faithful presence. Let’s lay the groundwork for an exciting and fresh new year ahead in August when school begins again!
From july 1 Sermon: Making a Difference
Let me tell you two hopeful stories.
Hope Through Healing Hands was created by Jenny Dyer, a Samford graduate, working with former Republican Senator Bill Frist in Tennessee. It now includes all sorts of Democrats and Republicans in Congress among its friends. Every year they go to Capitol Hill and make the case for helping the poor in the world and, specifically, for helping poor women to get out of poverty.
Jenny has won over people from both sides of the aisle to her cause: Focus on the Family, Bread for the World, individual not-for-profits, Rick Warren and Bill and Melinda Gates. She’s making a difference to millions of the poor in the world with her work.
My friend Don Wendorf and his wife Lynda Everman both went through years with their late spouses as they battled dementia. They are now activists who seek to address the global epidemic of dementia issues. Among other things, they have created a network called “Clergy Against Alzheimer’s,” and have obtained a grant to give resources for caregivers and patients to congregations. Don and Lynda spend their time going church to church. They came to us last week to give us a large number of resources for our library, which we will make available. In May of this year, in a story about the battle against Alzheimer’s in Woman’s Day magazine, Lynda and her friend Kathy Siggins are featured telling how they lobbied for years with Congress and the U.S. Postal Service to get a stamp dedicated to Alzheimer’s. It finally came through after tireless work, and in six months has generated $400,000 to the NIH for Alzheimer’s research to find a cure.
I share these two examples from the ground level of our nation to counter the negativity and despair that are so easily assumed. The possibility of change always, in my view, exists, and many are actively doing important things that make a difference. One Christian who decides to get involved in the world around, not simply as an American, but for the Kingdom of God, can make a difference for God and for others.
Historian Jon Meacham, who is a graduate of Sewanee University and a practicing Episcopalian, said in a Baccalaureate address at Sewanee several years ago that “…history gives us the means to be armed against despair. If the men and women of the past—with all their flaws and limitations and ambitions and appetites—could press on through ignorance and superstition, racism and sexism, selfishness and greed, to form a more perfect union, then perhaps we can, too.”
God is still God. Hope is still ahead of us. Each of us has a single life to give, but together these lives can have extraordinary significance if we abandon fear and disappointment for faith and trust in God and the lessons of history.
May you have a happy and meaningful Fourth of July holiday as we enjoy liberty and apply it to our neighbors and ourselves to use for the Kingdom.