Weekly Update 03/23/2021

Greetings!

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Our new STINT study is tomorrow night for the ladies and the teenagers (notice the shift in the students’ week). Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson is a clear book that walks through some of the key passages for living the Christian life. It’s my go-to book on the subject! I’m thankful that we’ve gotten started working through it. With this biblical exposition on key texts, we’re also helping to feed some of the hunger that a number of you have expressed about the return to Sunday School. Until such time, we’re thankful for this opportunity to dig into the Word together.

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Speaking of Sunday School, that’s just what will be happening for our children, starting on Wednesday nights on March 31st! Yes, I know it’s Wednesday but we’re not going to call it Wednesday School! Instead, until that time when we can assemble in our normal structure, we’re thankful to have classes for our kids on Wednesdays at 6:30 (on the nights that the men will be gathering for STINT). Be sure to read through the helpful, detailed note that Pastor Chris sent out last week for the things to keep in mind for that time.


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Work Day! It’s always a lot of fun to get together with others in the body to help tidy things up in and around our building for the spring! This Saturday is work day. Here is the sign up sheet on behalf of the Building and Grounds Team. There are plenty of opportunities for you to help out on Saturday morning. On the sign-up, there’s also an option to sign up for a box lunch if you’re interested. Thanks for serving! We’re grateful for our deacons who head up this service day!

The elders met this week and had a really good time of prayer, discussion of what it means to be a Christian leader (we’re reading through and discussing Paul Tripp’s wonderful book Lead), and then working on a number of details ahead for the congregation. One of those that we’re excited about is making some significant changes in our seating capacities for services. After evaluating the “seating units” for each of our weekend services, we believe that some rearrangement of the seating will allow us to expand the number in our services and allow us to meet in two rather than three services, while still keeping appropriate social distancing. As we’ve pointed out over the past few months, the real issue in seating is not how many people sign up (even though we’ve worked from that proposition) but the number of seating units, that is, people sitting together as family or close friends who are regularly around one another. We normally have around 50 or so seating units in the three services. We’re planning THIS SUNDAY to have a new sign up format that will ask you to sign up as “seating units” rather than individual numbers. We will have 32 seating units in both this Sunday's (March 28th) two services. So whether you are a seating unit with one person, three people, or seven people, sign up as one seating unit. There will NOT BE A SATURDAY NIGHT SERVICE.

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We’re looking forward to Good Friday and Easter, just around the corner on April 2nd and 4th! Maybe there’s someone you’d like to bring to one of those services. In order to accommodate, we’ll plan on having two Good Friday Services (6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and two services on Easter Sunday (9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.). Sign up for both Good Friday and Easter will be forthcoming next week.

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As I mentioned on Sunday, the 7th chapter of Acts is the most difficult in the whole book, yet, as many New Testament scholars agree, a pivotal chapter in the book that needs to be understood as the rest of Acts unfolds. Pastor Matt and I will labor to try to give us some pegs to hang our thinking on as we interpret and apply this chapter. As we considered, Stephen’s accusers relied on the land, the law, and the temple for their spirituality, not God’s promised Messiah Jesus Christ. That’s what Stephen goes about to explain while pulling out from under them the faulty rug of their trust.

Pastor Matt will continue working through another portion of Stephen’s Acts 7 sermon this Sunday. Pray for him as he prepares to open the Word to the body of Christ.

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I will appreciate your prayers in preaching on Friday night at the Treasuring Christ Together local conference at Redeemer Baptist Church Memphis, as well as the opportunity to expand our outreach by preaching at Christ Church West Chester, PA on Sunday. I’ll also be doing an hour-and-a-half presentation on John Bunyan during their monthly evening Sunday Night Theology. Due to being out most of next week, I’ll not be sending out the morning The Leather Journal devotionals.

I’m grateful for your prayers and faithfulness to the Lord!

Phil N.

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