Friday, January 22, 2021

Dear Church Family,

Here are some words of wise counsel regarding religious liberty, especially in light of the digital records of social media and the like:

By some of our brethren many things have been spoken and written that are interpreted as expressing antagonism to government and law. It is a mistake thus to lay ourselves open to misunderstanding. It is not wise to find fault continually with what is done by the rulers of government. It is not our work to attack individuals or institutions. We should exercise great care lest we be understood as putting ourselves in opposition to the civil authorities. It is true that our warfare is aggressive, but our weapons are to be those found in a plain “Thus saith the Lord.” Our work is to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. We should not be turned aside to lines that will encourage controversy or arouse antagonism in those not of our faith.
We should not work in a manner that will mark us out as seeming to advocate treason. We should weed out from our writings and utterances every expression that, taken by itself, could be so misrepresented as to make it appear antagonistic to law and order. Everything should be carefully considered, lest we place ourselves on record as encouraging disloyalty to our country and its laws. We are not required to defy authorities. There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors; but let not this time be hastened by unadvised movements that stir up animosity and strife.
The time will come when unguarded expressions of a denunciatory character, that have been carelessly spoken or written by our brethren, will be used by our enemies to condemn us. These will not be used merely to condemn those who made the statements, but will be charged upon the whole body of Adventists. Our accusers will say that on such and such a day one of our responsible men said thus and so against the administration of the laws of this government. Many will be astonished to see how many things have been cherished and remembered that will give point to the arguments of our adversaries. Many will be surprised to hear their own words strained into a meaning that they did not intend them to have. Then let our workers be careful to speak guardedly at all times and under all circumstances. Let all beware lest by reckless expressions they bring on a time of trouble before the great crisis which is to try men’s souls.

Testimonies for the Church. (1855). (Vol. 6, pp. 394–395). Pacific Press Publishing Association.

In the news:

  1. This Sabbath I will be sharing the message with a look at John 5. 
  2. This Sabbath we will be collecting the Religious Liberty Offering.  Here is a video from Lincoln Steed regarding this special offering and the need before us.
  3. This Sabbath we will have in the foyer a helpful little book by Don MacLafferty for those looking for resources for families.  Please, if you are a parent or looking to start a small group for families, please take one of the free books that will be in the foyer this Sabbath.
  4. Tax Receipts (to use when preparing your taxes as a record of your charitable contributions) are available for pick up in the church office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Please pick yours up by January 29.
  5. The bulletin lists an evangelism council for January 28 but that is a misprint as we had our meeting last night. 
  6. The Christmas offerings for the Pavilion have reached $23,305 meaning we are $1695 away from our goal.
  7. Please note that there will be a music committee meeting via ZOOM this Sunday at 7 p.m. 
  8. The church is missing one of its tables from the fellowship hall. If you know where this might be, please notify the church office.  For future reference, all tables and chairs are to remain in the church building at all times. 
  9. I received this prayer request from Shawn Dietrich this morning: My older brother Mike is in the hospital.   He was admitted because of a GI bleed which is OK now.  They have decided he does not have pneumonia, but some other lung issue.  He had a heart attack while in the hospital and is scheduled for open heart surgery this weekend.
  10. The bookmobile will be here a week from this Sunday, January 31 from 10-11 a.m.  You can pick up a list of the food specials on the table in the church foyer.
  11. We had a great group gather on ZOOM this past Wednesday for our study of Hebrews. We will continue meeting each Wednesday at 7 p.m. 
  12. I joined Phyllis Rogers and her family this week as they laid her husband, Marcellus (Toe) to rest.  Please keep Phyllis in your prayers. Toe was only 66 years old but COVID was too much for his system.  They were married for 47 years. 
  13. Walt Cross is sharing his Lifestyles to Health Series on Facebook with a great response from all over the world.  He began the series at the beginning of the year and has folks watching from all over. It’s free!

Blessings as you prepare for the coming Sabbath! 

In His Service,

Pastor Jeremy

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