Bulletin for Sunday 05/03/2009
with Robert Prater
I appreciated the opportunity this past Sunday to preach on a special Friend’s Day for the
at Little. There of course are many Central “connections” and ties between the two congregations. Rusty Dawson is the fine preacher there. I always enjoy being able to be away to visit and speak at other places to meet fellow Christians who are actively and faithfully serving and working in the Lord’s kingdom. Churchof Christ
I also understand that you enjoyed a great Sunday here at Central. I heard that the ladies enjoyed another tremendous fellowship with their Ladies Day Luncheon. There is another upcoming fellowship event, however, this one is specifically planned for the guys in the congregation. It is the men’s retreat scheduled out at Quail Ridge Lodge southwest of Tecumseh this Friday evening and Saturday. So men don’t miss this wonderful time of spiritual encouragement and fellowship as well as some good food plus some great fun shooting clay targets!
Finally, I also understand you enjoyed a very encouraging report Sunday evening by Ron Cypher on the mission work being done at the Haiti Orphanage which this congregation helps support. Without your sacrificial giving we could not support all the mission work that we are currently doing here at Central.
by Robert Prater
In a world where image and impressions mean more than the truth, we should be concerned about uniformly negative images of Christianity. In a ground breaking new book called, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity... and Why It Matters , authors David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, of the highly-respected Barna Research Group presents objective research giving us an eye-opening volume, worthy of our attention concerning what outsiders think of Christianity. Kinnaman's three-year study documents how an overwhelming percentage of 16-29 year olds (represents about one-third or 91 million of all Americans) and how they view Christians with hostility, resentment and disdain.
The authors of unChristian are not working with stereotypes. Nor are these critics people who've had no contact with churches or Christians. These perceptions are based on real experiences with today's Christians. According to Kinnaman's Barna study, here are the percentages of people outside the church who think that the following words describe present-day Christianity: anti-gay 91%; judgmental 87%; hypocritical 85%; old-fashioned 78%; too political 75%; out of touch with reality 72%; insensitive to others 70%; and boring – 68%. The same attitudes are also shared, albeit in lesser degree, among young churchgoers.
So now just think of standing up in Starbuck’s or Panera Bread, announcing you’re a Christian, knowing that a sizable number drinking their lattes probably think of you in one of these ways. I write all this because many Christians are unaware that their faith is being painted more and more in such a negative light.
Now, in survey after survey, Kinnaman found that the homosexuality issue, more than any other has shaped public perceptions about Christians. "Hostility toward gays--not just opposition to homosexual politics and behaviors but disdain for gay individuals--has become virtually synonymous with the Christian faith," Kinnaman writes.
Whether or not that's a fair association, it reflects how we come across to others. When our criticism of homosexual behavior is out of proportion to our concern over divorce and heterosexual promiscuity in the church, it smacks of hypocrisy. Add to that, a perceived air of moral superiority, and you've got the picture of the "unChristian." Again, while these impressions may not accurately represent Christianity, they do affect how the Christian message is received.
Now, to be clear, Kinnaman and Lyons do not suggest that Christians back away from Biblical truth in the way we respond to these impressions. They urge us, to see with clear eyes the culture to whom we are trying to reach. To be able to effectively communicate the gospel accordingly. (1 Cor. 9:19-23)
The apostle Paul advises Christians to 'live wisely among those who are not Christians' and to ‘let your conversation be gracious and effective,' (Col. 4:5-6, NLT) Eph. 4:15 still says, “speaking the truth in love.” Paul challenged the Corinthian church that they were to be "the aroma of Christ" to the world. (2 Cor. 2:15 NIV) One writer said: “If people would taste the ‘Bread of Life,’ they must be made hungry through the fragrant lives of those who are feeding on it. Sometimes people stay away from the banquet table, not because of the food, but because of the aroma of those on the inside.”
Church the real possibility exists of having our rhetoric against culture (especially political rhetoric) come across as hatred or dislike of the lost, only driving them further away from the good news of Jesus Christ.
God sent Jesus to show the world His love, not condemn the world (John 3:16-17). Jesus is our model on how to deal with people in our culture. We are His Body, His presence, in the world today. Just as the Father sent Jesus, we have now been sent by Jesus to be the agents of His redemptive love (John 20:21). We can't be content to become enemies of our times, our culture, or our world. Instead, we must learn how to better love them, attempt to have genuine dialogue and understanding of them. Our enemy is the one who holds these people hostage, trapped in his dominion of darkness, unaware of the Son's great love (Col. 1:13-14).
So let's be more careful with our rhetoric and more genuine with our service to those in our communities who are unbelievers! Think about it!
We extend our sincere love and sympathy to the family of
Finley Kotts. She was a member at Central most of her life until becoming a charter member at Northridge. After that she continued to visit Central frequently and was loved and appreciated by all. She passed away on Saturday, and funeral services were conducted at Northridge on Monday morning. Melrose
WEDNESDAY NIGHT CLASS
Bob Perry has begun a new study in his Wednesday night class entitled “Family Relationships.” All who wish are invited to attend.
Thank you Sunshine Sisters for another great luncheon! The food was delicious, ’Granny Had One’ decorations were memorable and the entertainment was superb. (The quartet of Dale Beard, Frank Burton, Dwyane Dennis, Ron Taffe and also a solo from Jennifer Michener.)
(Note: Sunshine Sisters, please get your salad recipes in to Ann as soon as possible)
Harvey Moore is returning to M.D. Anderson this week for tests with hopes that he will be able to begin a new medication. He and Carletta request your prayers that this medication will be right for him, and that it will prove to be successful.
John Aylor is greatly improved and is able to be out and about once more.
.Please remember in prayer our cancer, chemo, & radiation treatment patients: Hazel Lee Behrnes, Juanita Combs, and Harvey Moore.
Hope to see you here Sunday!
Sunday, May 10, will be Matt Sloan’s first day with us as our youth intern for the summer. That Sunday evening, we will be having a dessert get together to welcome Matt and his wife Jill to Central. Everyone is invited, especially the kids and families of our 3rd through 12th graders. It will be a great opportunity for us to get to know Matt and Jill better, and a chance for them to put faces and names together as well. Everyone bring your favorite dessert and we’ll overload on the sweets! We also want to plan a game that evening to help Matt and Jill get to know the kiddos better. I need a baby picture of all the kids to make a slide show. We will play the slide show during our dessert feast and try to guess who’s who!
We have a few kids to spotlight in this weeks bulletin:
Kenton McGalliard continues to excel on the tennis court for the Shawnee Wolves, even though he’s struggled with a knee injury. Way to play through the pain
! And speaking of pain… Kent
Molly Gettle went for a header while playing soccer last week and ended up hitting another head! She was sporting a bit of a black eye Sunday but she was here with a smile. Keep smiling Molly!
Lettie Curtis walked a half marathon Sunday…13.2 miles in just under 4 hours! She has a couple of whopper blisters but she did it. Good for you Lettie!
And last but not least…Trey Canard placed first in his motocross race last weekend. Congrats, Trey!
COMING YOUTH EVENTS
May 10 – Sunday, Dessert get together after PM worship to welcome Matt & Jill Sloan.
May 17 – Sunday, Senior Reception after PM worship
May 29-30, Fri-Sat-Mystery Trip???
May 1-2, Central Men’s Retreat, Quail Ridge Lodge, May 2, 30th Teacher’s workshop, Eastside,
May 3, Search: “What If Hell Is Real?”
May 19, Senior Reception to honor Claire McKnight and Tanner Nipper
1 Kings 14,15
1 Kings 16,17,18
1 Kings 19,20
1 Kings 21,22
2 Kings 1,2,3
2 Kings 4,5,6
2 Kings 7,8,9
2 Kings 10,11,12
2 Kings 13,14
2 Kings 15,16
2 Kings 17,18
2 Kings 19,20,21
2 Kings 22,23
2 Kings 24,25
LAST WEEK’S RECORD
Bible School 130
Worship Service 207
Sunday Evening 115
Wednesday Evening 104
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Announcements: Steve Kelly
Opening Prayer: Bill Lawerance
Song Director: Paul Harris
Scripture: Bryce Beal
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Michael Michener
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Gerald Smith Burl Vanlandingham
Glendon Combs Jon Merritt
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Lynn Harmon Mitch Harmon
Foyer: Gene & Dorothy Norton
Elevator: Tracy & Mary Gettle
Barbara Vanlandingham & Molly Gettle
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Bob Seikel
Song Director: Paul Harris
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Ron Taffe
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Kenton McGalliard Carl Weeks
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Burl Vanlandingham
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297