The Alpha Advisor
A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR MARCH 2018
Today my daughters came home from school and told me about the active shooter drill they took part in. I knew it was happening before hand, but it still grieved me to hear them preparing for a tragedy that wasn’t on anybody’s radar when I was their age.
Can I be honest? When tragedies like these happen, my first instinct is to avoid them. When survivors are interviewed on the news, I change the channel. I try to stay out of the cycle for a few days. I don’t like dealing with it or responding to it. It’s too sad. But it’s so much a part of our national conversation, to not respond is not an option.
The role of guns in school shootings is important, but holy smokes is it divisive. I love and respect people who make sense on both sides of the gun control debate, and I don’t think my opinions are likely to change anybody’s mind, so I’m not interested in writing about guns right now, aside from committing to praying for wisdom and selflessness on the part of our leaders when it comes to the role of guns in our county. What I am interested in writing about is church.
The church has a larger role to play in all of this than we want to think. One thing we are uniquely equipped to do is to accept and love people on the margins of society. And for whatever reason, the young men that commit these tragedies have come to think of themselves as people on the margins. I think isolation and rejection are the ingredients that fester into anger and hatred in the hearts of the young men that are committing these shootings. Isolation and rejection, once they become the hallmarks of a person’s identity, eat away at the things that encourage human connection, like empathy and compassion. Over time this has proven to be a lethal combination.
So I think during this time, God is calling us to be united in offering God’s acceptance to people in our community. People who feel isolated and rejected by everybody else can come to Alpha and be accepted for who they are. This is a difficult mission, to be sure. Often the people who are dealing with feelings of isolation and rejection can be prickly people, at best. Downright difficult at worst. But if we’re persistent in God’s love, I’m confident that we can make a difference.
So rather than being divided over guns, let’s be united in our commitment to seek out the hurting people in our communities. To embrace the young men who are beginning down the path of isolation and rejection, and offer them the acceptance that only Christ can offer. And let’s join in praying that our children won’t have to make these kinds of drills an ordinary part of their lives for much longer.
Come, Lord Jesus.
ANNOUNCEMENTS MARCH 2018
It is time for our Annual Alpha United Methodist BBQ!
Join us Friday, March 9 (11-2 & 5-7) and Saturday, March 10 (11-2) for our delicious
“Brown Bag” BBQ Dinner
A large pulled pork sandwich, Brunswick Stew, chips and a dessert for only $8.00
Take home a whole Boston Butt ($25) or a rack of ribs ($20) and a quart or two of
Margel Winn’s Famous Brunswick Stew ($10.)
There will also be a Bake Sale on Saturday morning
so you can pick up desserts to go with your BBQ!
There are plenty of ways you can help:
- Sell tickets (available from Terry Jones or the office staff) -
- Cook BBQ (Thursday evening, all day Friday and Saturday if needed) -
- Pack Dinners for lunch on Friday (Be here at 8:30 a.m.) -
- Working in the kitchen (cooking, packing plates and cleaning) -
- Delivering meals (Friday morning) -
- Baking desserts (Brownies, cookies & pound cake for dinners and other desserts for Bake Sale) -
- Praying for a successful weekend -
On Sunday mornings, we will be transitioning from a hot breakfast to doughnuts and coffee. If you’d like to join us before Sunday school for fellowship time, we begin at 9:00.
The choir is beginning to work on their Easter program this week. If you would like to participate in this ministry, you are welcome! We would love to fill the choir loft on Easter Sunday. Practices are Wednesday nights 7:30-8:30. Contact Willene Stone for more information.
There will be a church work day on Saturday, March 24 at 8:00 a.m. to spruce up the church for the Holy week services. Join us for yard work, dusting and polishing inside and out.
Alpha has started a new small group led by Karen Bennett for ages 8-12 for boys and girls, ALPHA KIDS COOK! She is planning to meet monthly to learn cooking skills, etiquette, hygiene, etc. If you have a child who would be interested in joining, please contact Karen Bennett.
Join us for Holy Week as we learn about the final week of Jesus’ life and the beginning of our new life through His Resurrection:
Sunday, March 25 (10:30 a.m.)
Join us as we kick off Holy Week with a celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. We will begin the service with the Children’s Procession of Palms. The service will be followed by a Covered Dish Meal and Annual Egg Hunt (ages 0-12.)
MAUNDY (HOLY) THURSDAY
Thursday, March 29 (6:30 p.m.)
On Maundy or Holy Thursday, we commemorate the Last Supper with a Communion service.
Friday, March 30 (7:00 am- 7:00 pm)
The Sanctuary will be open all day for a Good Friday prayer vigil. We ask that you pray for the church and community as well as yourself and the needs of your friends and family. We encourage you to open your heart and take your time, speaking to God, but also listening to what God has to tell you.
Sunday, April 1 (7:00 am and 10:30 am)
Celebrate the Risen Savior with us as we greet the sun at our Sunrise service at Gravel Hill Cemetery. The service will begin at 7:00 a.m. with a time of song and a short devotion. The service will be followed by breakfast at the church. Sunday school is at 9:30, then we will have our traditional Easter service at 10:30 a.m.
BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES
March 2: Emily Zachary
March 3: Cory Whitfield
March 6: Kurt Shuman
March 9: Cali and Justin Copeland
March 14: Joseph Madden
March 14: Anthony Clements
March 14: Zella Waters
March 16: Jessie Wood
March 17: Autumn Whitfield
March 18: Elizabeth New
March 20: Justin Copeland
March 21: Chris Jones
March 21: Tanner Rushing
March 30: James Brown
March 31: Ashley Clements
SERVING THIS MONTH
Trustee of the Month: David Whitfield
Acolyte: Dewey Hooper
Ushers: Alex Ehret and Chris Jones
Greeters: Linda Denhardt and Judy Edwards
March 4: Susan Ehret and Margel Winn
March 11: Kelly Lego and Walter Sapp
March 18: Willene Stone and George Vickery
March 25: Nancy Hammond and Johanna Redeye
Feb 7: Cook: Susan Ehret Dessert: Linda Denhardt Cleaning: Susan and UMYF
Feb 14: Cook: Janice Stricklin Dessert: Judy Edwards Cleaning: Janice and Karen
Feb 21: Cook: Margel Winn Dessert: Willene Stone Cleaning: NEED HELP
Feb 28: Cook: UMW Dessert: Ellen Hooper Cleaning: NEED HELP