OneLife Membership Class
Covenant membership is vital to the spiritual health of the church body. If you are not a member of ECOB, we would like to invite you to prayerfully consider taking the next step of becoming a member. OneLife membership course begins Sunday, Oct. 30. Simply email Conni at firstname.lastname@example.org or call, 456-5507. Please register by Friday, Oct. 21.
Before Sunday, October 16, be sure to read Matt 5-7; 9; 14; Mark 4-6; Luke 10; 15; John 6 and/or Chapter 24 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.
(This update was received from Bev at the end of August.)
I can’t believe that August is almost over! Thank you so much for your prayers from my last update. I did make it back to Europe on my 2nd try, which was leaving on August 30th and I arrived in Sibiu on the 31st. Thank you to many who responded to my update. I still want to touch base with you soon. I also appreciate your prayers for my time at Annual Conference. The Lord was faithful to give me strength and help during that very busy time. This was one of our best conferences.
I am happy to announce that as of August 4th I finished all my requirements and now am officially graduated! So, I finally have an MA in Ministry Care! Thanks for your prayers that helped me finish well. I don’t think it has sunk in yet that I will not have to study this fall.
I will be attending the Romanian Member Care Retreat for Romanian missionaries who serve cross-culturally. There will be 59 of us meeting together in the mountains near Brasov (Zarnesti). There are no afternoon activities, but we do have worship, teaching from the Bible, and discussion time in the mornings. There are other activities in the evening. I will work with another person to lead one of the discussion groups, which is a time of debriefing. We will meet 3 different times. There will be a separate program for the children. It is a blessing to be a part of this week, which the missionaries really appreciate and seem to need.
God bless you, Bev
Before Sunday, October 9, be sure to read Matthew 3-4; Mark 1-3; Luke 8; John 1- 4 and/or Chapter 23 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.
This post concludes our series on the 5 values of Etch. If you’d like to view any of the past four, here they are:
2 …I will utter hidden things, things from of old– 3 things we have heard and known, things our [fathers] have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. [Psalm 78:2b-4 NIV]
Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.Psalm 145:4 MSG
The One Another all-church study on the Life of Jesus starts this week! The study corresponds with “The Story” sermons and readings. Join us as we explore the life and ministry of Jesus. We will learn, discuss and apply Jesus’ life, work and teaching to our everyday lives.
We are offering a small group experience for everyone wanting to join this all-church event for the next 7 weeks. We begin Sunday night in Rm 101 at 6:30pm.
Christ challenges us to be imitators of Him, so that we might REFLECT the glory of the Lord. Stop and think about that… Seriously, what does that even look like?
REFLECT is a verb meaning to cast back; to give back or show an image of.
So I ask myself, what is necessary for me to REFLECT Christ; to be an imitator of Him?
Knowledge… I can’t REFLECT something if I have no knowledge of that which I strive to REFLECT.
I love to study God’s word, to learn new things about His character and how He works. To see how He is so purposeful in all of scripture and how He actively works in the lives of His people to grow them and to bring about his purposes. God on many occasions has given me specific direction for life challenges through the reading and meditation of His word, but to be an imitator of Christ, meditating on His word is not enough.
I was recently reading a sermon by Charles Spurgeon on being an imitator of God. Spurgeon challenges us by saying, do not only meditate upon God and think that you have done enough, but go on to copy what you study.
Meditation is a happy, holy, profitable engagement, and it will instruct you, strengthen you, comfort you, inspire your heart and make your soul steadfast, but you may not stop at meditation. You must go on to imitation of the character of God.
Let your spiritual life not only bud and blossom in devout thought, but let it bring forth fruit in holy action.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says… watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us… Love like that. (The Message)
We must be disciplined in our study of scripture and our knowledge of God, but as Spurgeon said, we must not stop there. We must take that knowledge and REFLECT it back to a lost world through our everyday actions as we engage with friends and strangers throughout our days. The world is in desperate need of Christ and we must not be hoarders of our Savior.
It is our desire that ETCH brings you the opportunity to not only be the light to those you engage with as you participate in this new ministry, but that you GO out into your world… the harvest field that God has placed you in and that you REFLECT Him and all His glory and that you love not with caution, but extravagantly, just as Christ loves you.
– Betsy Crumbaker (Etch Ministry Team)
Final words can be compelling. In Paul’s last letter, he charged Timothy his beloved son in the faith, to not be ashamed to fulfill God’s call on his life. In this 6-session Bible study, Beth will challenge you to do the same, God has a plan for you. He has entrusted you with the gospel message and has gifted you to carry it to the furthest reaches of this planet.
Tuesday evenings Oct 4-Nov 8, 6-7:30 pm in the Great Room (no meal provided), Wednesday mornings Oct 5-Nov 9, 9:30-11 am, Room 101, and Saturday mornings Oct 8- Nov 12, 8:30 – 10 am in the Conference Room. $20 due by Sunday, Sep 25 for workbook and study costs. For more info or to register, go to the Info Center Sunday.
Loving God is vertical love. Loving others is horizontal love. Jesus showed His disciple how these two loves are intertwined in practical ways. While our relationship with God is based on faith alone, He warns and encourages us to see that the way we treat people affects our experience of Him. In this six-session study, you’ll learn how to apply biblical principles drawn from several one-another passages in Scripture. In doing so, you’ll reap blessings in your vertical relationship with God.
Tuesday evenings Oct 4-Nov 8, 6:30-7:30 pm, in Room 101. $20 due by Sunday, Sep 25 for workbook and study costs. For more info or to register, go to the Info Center Sunday.
We are continuing our series explaining the heart behind Etch. The best way we can describe the heart is to share our Etch Values from the voices of the Etch Ministry Team. This weeks value:
Disciple making—you’ve probably heard a lot about it lately at ECOB. Jesus made it clear that, as he was preparing to depart his earthly ministry, his followers, his disciples, were to carry on the mission that he called them to—to ”go, and make disciples of all the nations”, and then “to teach them everything he commanded them.” Think about what that really means for a minute. What does this mean for us, today, here, now? His call is still in effect today, right here, right now. I ask myself a question, “So how are we doing with that?” What would you say? How do you think Jesus would answer this question? Honestly, do you really like the answer to this question? This is the mission of the church of Jesus Christ. After all, He has shown us the way, and He promised to be with us until He calls us into himself.
I really believe that most true Christ followers really want to be better disciples, and disciple makers. They just don’t know how.
One of the core values of the ETCH Ministry is Reimagine. What would it look like if this faith community took seriously the call that Jesus has extended to us? Acts Chapter 2 reveals what took place in Jerusalem just after the Day of Pentecost—an exciting time for the church. Scripture says that “people were continually devoted to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” It goes on to say “and day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with God.
This is a picture of what ETCH is attempting to capture. We will meet weekly, as a large family, for a simple meal. The fellowship that takes place over the meal, shared with our “family members” will be rich and sweet. We will pray. We will receive instruction in the scripture, and then engage in activities and conversation that we seek to apply to our lives. This is disciple making in action. We invite you to “come and see”, as Jesus did to his followers. Come, bring your family, and invite your friends to be with us on Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
-Lou Driggs (Etch Ministry Team)
Now is an excellent time to join a One Another small group, in an all-church 7-week study on the life of Jesus beginning October 2! The study corresponds with “The Story” sermons and readings. Small groups meet weekly or bi-weekly through the year, many in homes. Each group uniquely combines time for fellowship, prayer, Bible study and service to others.
Curious about small groups but not ready to commit to a year in a One Another Group? We are offering a small group experience during the Jesus study starting Oct 2. They will meet at the church Sundays at 6:30 pm, and will be led by One Another Group team members.
See us at the kiosk by the fireplace to sign up for a small group, the short term group, or for more info!
Before Sunday, September 18, be sure to read Ezra 7; Nehemiah 1-2; 4; 6-8; Malachi 1-4 and/or Chapter 21 of The Story. To see all reading assignments click here. To hear previous sermons in the series, click here.
This is the first of five articles on the five values of Etch. Originally, I had set out to talk about them on video, however it struck me that I don’t need to be the one sharing this information (you hear from me enough!). So I commissioned the Etch Ministry Team to each take a value and write about its purpose and further meaning. Please enjoy!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV).
We grow by allowing God to lead us toward His desire for us as individuals, families and the body of believers. God’s longing is for us to be free in Him. The world cannot offer any version of true freedom. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burden again by a yoke of slavery”. In letting go of our desires, God replaces them with His desires for us, which will always be better than we could ever anticipate. As we work with God through confession and prayer, our focus is on Christ, His suffering, death and resurrection on our behalf. In Christ, there is an abundance of freedom. Thus, we worship God in every aspect of our lives as we “let go of our own desires”. When we serve Him with complete trust and obedience, we glorify God in every facet of our lives. There will be great blessings to us all as we allow God to lead us and we trust His guidance.
Not many people like change. It can be challenging even when the change is a positive thing. As ECOB changes and grows (because all things living do… and yes the church is living!), there will be doubt and questions. Please know brothers and sisters, our future has been prayed for. Our families have been prayed for. God is in charge of change. He is the one this leadership team and pastoral staff answer to. We have let go of our desires and replaced them with God’s desire. However, without change, growth will not take place as effectively if we don’t allow God to create disciples that surrender their will to His, and that is what Etch is about.
-Therese Betar (Etch Ministry Team)