Years ago, I read an interesting book written by Carl Wilson titled “Our Dance Has Turned to Death.” This book gives a careful analysis of the causes of the breakdown of the family and nation by reviewing scientific, logical, historical and biblical data. It shows America is in a crisis and presents a positive course for renewal.
At the heart of his analysis is the notable absence of the father in the home and especially his absence in raising his kids and fulfilling his role as a husband. While this book was written some time ago, the problem still exists. The absence of men is also a problem in the life and work of the church. For years, women have had to serve in roles or positions that are best filled by men.
From Pam Buchanan, Coordinator of Women’s Ministries
Because this is the last day of November, 2016, we know that the Advent season is officially here. I am hoping you will enjoy everything about this season as we remember that Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. Since my last “Nurture Notes” update concerning Women’s Ministries at the end of August, there have been many events to report.
- During the month of September, many of the women in our denomination gathered for retreats – in the Appalachian Region at Blowing Rock Campground, in the Southern California Conference at Camp Maranatha, and in the Florida Conference at Camp Suwannee. The reports and the pictures tell the story of fun and fellowship, but above all, time together pondering the words of Scripture.
- Women’s Sunday was observed and accented by many churches in September and October.
- Our annual “Christmas in October” fund raiser, sponsored by the WHFMS, happened in October. More than $49,000 was collectively given. I wish to thank all of those churches and WHFMS Circles/Women’s Ministry Groups that participated. I have already received “thank you” notes from those who will be blessed by this Christmas bonus. What a wonderful way for us to show our gratitude to those who are serving and have served in our denominational Outreach Department all over the world.
- Earlier this month, the new WHFMS Program Kit became available online. The theme for this material is “Dressing Up and Stepping Out” based on Colossian 3:12-14. Many of these programs are written by women from the Eastern and Western Regions. Check this out by visiting the Women’s Ministries page on the ACGC website.
- The WHFMS- sponsored mission project for 2016 has been “Bread of Life.” At the present, almost $8,000 has been raised to assist 14 of our overseas mission fields as they seek to feed the physical hunger of people while they are sharing the good news of the gospel. Approximately $70 given will feed 100 people. We are grateful for the sacrificial giving of so many and rejoicing in this ministry opportunity.
125 and Counting!
New Albany, Indiana, AC Church
Occasionally, I get the opportunity to participate in something that just doesn’t happen all the time. This recently happened to me as I was given the opportunity to speak at the 125th Anniversary celebration for the New Albany, Indiana, Advent Christian Church.
It was a real privilege and joy for me to share with the members and guests for this special occasion. Simple calculation tells you that the church began in 1891, and throughout these years, many folks known across our denomination either grew up in the church or served there. Some familiar names include (but not an exhaustive list) include Jan Akers (Thomas), Randy Lamb, Chris Phillips and Logan Mullis. Since I personally know these folks, my opportunity to be present was even more special.
I have always been moved by this picture of Billy Graham praying and the accompanying text. Billy identifies a trap that many of us fall into from time to time. We slowly and subtlety find ourselves thinking that we can bring about revival and real change in our own power. Simply put, this can’t happen. True revival comes from God alone. He directs us and empowers us to do the right things that will bring about lasting change for the good. In light of this, I am especially moved by this year’s presidential race. No, I am not pushing or suggesting a particular candidate. I know that neither candidate can bring about what our country needs. What we need are people who will genuinely and sincerely pray to God for revival throughout our country.
Keeping Marriage Healthy!
Rodney Phelps, Sam Warren and Sam Worley
One of my biggest goals for this past year was realized when Rodney Phelps and Sam Worley (pictured with me) traveled to Austin, Texas, with me in order that we might receive training that would enable us to lead a training event in the community of our churches on how to keep marriage healthy.
In case you haven’t noticed, marriage is under attack, and it hasn’t missed going after Christians. Sadly, the divorce rate is extremely high – in some places higher than the divorce rate for non-Christians. During this trip we were able to sit in on the training of some 80 couples, which included couples made up of all types of lifestyles and beliefs. The Great Commandment Network does this training so they can connect with couples, in hopes that they might be drawn to Christ. They do it 22 times a year. The couples in Texas are quite interested as they receive a $60 discount on their marriage license if they go through at least eight hours of marriage training. Perhaps your state does the same or something similar.