MIDWEEK MESSAGE #71
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #71. I feel very blessed to be able to spend a little time with you this way. It is totally impossible to reach everyone this message reaches on a weekly basis so I use this as a supplement to that. Thanks for letting me “bend your ear” a bit.
I have some really important ideas to share with you this week…and that is not pure hype trying to “con” you into reading this MM. I really do have important ideas to leave you with.
The first is our August Mission focus of Backpack Buddies. I looked under the table as I stood at the pulpit Sunday and realized how generous many of you have been. Most people have a soft spot for children and I’m so glad you do. Linda St. John asked me to make a special request in the second service and I did. Since many of you were either at the first service or unable to be here, I thought I would share it here. Diana has also updated our FB page to highlight the need. Linda said there is a big, big need for individual items like fruit cups, fruit snacks, individual snack bags (chips, Cheetos, Doritos, pretzels, etc.), Little Debbie snack cakes, and the like. The first weekend distribution showed her a very limited supply of those items. So I’m going to ask that we have a blitz of those items over the next two weeks.
The second item is to remind you (again) of the pitch-in/cookout on Saturday, August 28th at the church shelter house (weather permitting). Since Jo and I are supplying the hamburgers and hot dogs, we would really like to know how many to prepare for. If you eat neither and prefer something else, you may bring that with you. But please sign up this week and let us know how many to expect and what you plan to bring. An added bonus is you will get to meet Mike, Trisha and Ryan Laws before they speak on Sunday morning and share their testimony.
The third item is to key you in on my Sunday morning sermon schedule. I will be preaching from Mark 8 this coming Sunday (hopefully you are reading ahead) and since there are 16 chapters in Mark it is easy to see (even for someone who is as mathematically-challenged as I am) that we are ½ way there. My plan is to finish the series on “The Servant King” then move into a series on Thankfulness (“Establish the Attitude”), then move right into one on Christmas (“Expect the Unexpected”). At this point 2022’s theme is “For Such a Time…” based on Esther 4:14. My first two series will be one from Daniel (“Brave”). It will be followed by one on standing firm (“Combating Truth Decay”), focusing on Apologetics and why we believe what we believe. I know that is a lot to take in and may seem like overkill, but I wanted you to know what to expect. I say all that with one caveat: Lord willing. 🙂 Who knows what He may have in mind??
My last item may not seem important to some of you, but it is needed, I believe, for others. Over the past few months we have had an influx of visitors. Some are coming from other churches and some are hearing about us from friends. Because it is hard to reach everyone (even though I am working on setting some appointments), I thought I would share some important “things you should know” about OVCF. There is a lot of information so I will try to be succinct. If you want to know more, please feel free to reach out to me.
So here we go:
- OVCF is an independent, non-denominational church. We are not part of any denomination. That leads me to the next one.
- OVCF is not part of any conference, assembly, or church hierarchy. We do not answer to anyone “higher up” except Jesus, who is the Head of the church. The church is led by a group of elders (Wayne Akerson, Jeff Carlson, David Robertson) and Pastor Ryan and I are part of that leadership. We are considered equals and have never been made to feel second rate. The elders are shepherds who try to be sensitive to God’s voice in our decisions. We do not “lord it over” others with an iron fist (I Peter 5:2). We pray about decisions and consider what is best for God’s work and OVCF in particular. A case in point would be our COVID response. We tried to be responsible, sensitive, and aware of what was happening in our community. And to put some of you at ease: I am not the “boss” of the church nor do I make important decisions unilaterally.
- This next one was prompted by this past Sunday. After all had left, but a couple who was talking to Jo and me, I noticed the offering basket was still sitting on the table. Our “counters” were coming in Monday morning since they had work responsibilities on Sunday. As we talked I held the basket because I did not want it to sit there after we were done. I immediately took the basket and put it in the appropriate place. I started thinking about what that looked like and want the couple to know, and any visitor who may come, this very important fact: Neither Ryan nor I have any clue what anyone gives. It is not our business to know. We have a designated team of people who count and make the deposits. Diana records the giving for tax purposes. Rest assured we are trying to do everything above board and with integrity!
A couple items as an FYI:
- We have two communion cups that “piggy-back” each other. Remember to take both.
- We do not pass an offering plate or basket. It is on the back table.
As you get this (Wednesday), it will be good to welcome Pastor Ryan back to the office. It has been different with him gone. I bug Diana way too much. It is better when the two of us team up to make her life…shall we say…interesting? 🙂 (She is rolling her eyes & laughing at this!)
Next week! Look for a big announcement about October 17th.
Thanks again for welcoming me into your life. If you ever have any questions about anything I have written or find grammatical mistakes…blame Diana. She proofs it all. No, let me correct that: blame me. 🙂 In all seriousness, if you have any questions about how OVCF operates or anything I have written, please contact me. I love you all.