Weekly Update 09/01/2020

Greetings,

What a fascinating time we’ve had throughout the summer in journeying through psalms of lament and hope! I’m grateful for Matt and Chris in joining me through this time, and particularly grateful for the way that the body prayed and responded throughout. I appreciate the wonderful job Jim, Nancy, Debbie, Elizabeth, and our sound crew, Ron, Tim, James, Daniel, and Eric have done all summer. I hope that you’ll get some time to return to re-read or re-listen to these sermons and use them as tools in your walks with Christ.

Now for September!
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Tomorrow night we get started with our ladies discussing Gentle & Lowly, the superb book by Dane Ortlund. If you have not picked up a copy, please let Debbie Jones know (901-758-1213 or djones@southwoodsbc.org) and she will either hold a copy or mail it to you. The men will follow by meeting on September 9th. We’ll continue in alternating fashion as long as we’re still under the current pandemic restrictions. We will utilize the same social distancing practices that we’re following on Sundays.

This Saturday and Sunday, September 5th & 6th, Matt will get us started in our study of the book of Acts by reviewing, via overview, key themes in Luke’s Gospel. Why look at Luke where we spent so much time? That’s the first thing that Dr. Luke refers to as he begins Acts! So we’re doing the same, noticing some of the particulars in the Gospel that will shed light on our study of Acts.

September 12th and 13th we plan to have an unusually special weekend! We will be having the Lord’s Supper (in all three services) for the first time since February. We will send out details on it during that week but part of it will be that we’re using pre-packaged communion elements as an added measure of sanitary practice. It’s not that any of us likes doing the Supper that way but right now, we’re just happy that we can gather to celebrate the Lord Jesus through this most special church ordinance. Make your plans to be part of this time of worship.

And also on September 12th and 13th, after the biblical meditation on the Supper and participating in it, Dan Meadows, Matt, and I will be having a dialogue on behalf of the elders (again, in all three services). We will be presenting to you a proposal for revising and updating the Church Manual and proposing significant pastoral structure changes for the years ahead. I think this will be one of the most important gatherings in our church’s life as we set forth a strategy that the elders have worked on and prayed over for several years. Make your plans to be part of this time. If you are not able to be with us be sure to watch the recorded service on the 13th. We will be sending copies of the proposed Church Manual to those not in attendance. If we miss you by chance, do alert us and we’ll forward it to you promptly.

Finally, on September 20th, we plan to have ONE SERVICE! But we’re meeting OUTSIDE UNDER A VERY LARGE TENT! We’ve been working on plans to have a joint gathering of the body to worship together and for all to see one another. Those of us involved in each of the three services get that opportunity weekly but not the rest of you. So we want to try to do a single service once a month over the next couple of months while the weather is more agreeable. We'll plan to return to our current three–service structure the following weekend, September 27th. You will want to dress comfortably for that service on the 20th. No coats and ties that day, for sure, including this pastor who will be doing an overview for our study in the book of Acts during the worship.

That’s enough!

I’m grateful that in God’s providence, we’re journeying together these days, trusting Him who is our refuge and strength and a very present help in time of need.

Warmly,
Phil N.

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