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Celebration Week

I want to alert you to our schedule for "Celebration Week," March 1-8, so all of you can mark your calendars. Please make every effort to be part of this exciting time in the life of our church!

First, though, our Council has decided to change the time of our service since some of you have told us you will have a slightly longer drive. As of March 1, Sunday School will begin at 9:30 a.m. The worship service will begin at 10:40 a.m. with a 20-25 minute break in between. These times were also chosen in anticipation of the time when we will need a second service which would begin at 8:00 or 8:15 without disrupting the new schedule. If you have any questions, please speak to your shepherding elder.

Here is the schedule for "Celebration Week":

Sunday, March 1 - Opening Sunday School and worship service
Friday, March 6 - Celebration Dinner
Saturday, March 7 - Open House
Sunday, March 8 - Dedication service

The Celebration Dinner is a time for our church to fellowship together and enjoy God's gift to us. There is no cost and childcare will be provided for preschoolers (reservations required). Bring your entire family. There will be special music, a few brief speeches, and a special video presentation. We will announce the menu closer to the date but the food will be great and the occasion even better! Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and the food will be served at 6:30 p.m. We will aim to adjourn by 8:30 p.m. at the latest.

The Open House will be a casual time for us, our friends, and the community to tour the facility. Invite your friends. It is important that we be on hand to welcome visitors. We do not expect you to stay for three hours but hope you can give us a portion of that time. There will be refreshments. It will begin at 2:00 p.m and conclude by 5:00 p.m.

Finally, the Dedication service will take place Sunday morning, March 8. We will observe a special liturgy where we will thank God for the building, dedicate it to His glory, and beseech Him for His grace and favor upon our ministry. We will also have wonderful music including an orchestra and the opportunity to open God's Word together. Again, invite your friends. BE ADVISED: this is Daylight Savings Time Sunday so adjust your clocks and "spring forward!"

Some of you may be concerned about any potential delays. We know very well that something can always go wrong! However, we have been assured by our general contractor that there is every reason to expect the building to be ready by March 1. Thus, we are moving forward in faith. "The Lord is good to all and His mercies are over all His works." (Psalm 145:9)

Let the countdown begin!

Posted by Jim Bachmann

We Are Moving!

I have exciting news to share to start our new year on a happy note: we have confirmed that March 1 is the "Golden Date" for our first worship service in our new facility! All of our office equipment, as well as other items, will be moved the previous week, February 24-28. American Construction has asked that we not use or visit the building the week of February 17-21 as they complete the final punch list.

We wish we had been able to move sooner but this seem to be the Lord's perfect timing. I like the old line that says, "God's timing is always perfect but He sure seems to miss a lot of opportunities to be early." While we wish He had been "early" we give thanks that He has provided so abundantly for us. Construction got off to a very slow start last winter because of heavy rainfall. And now on the back end we have again received a lot of rain. But these years of "wilderness wandering" will soon be behind us and we will at last have a place to call home!

I did a quick little survey of mileage distances and was encouraged to see that we aren't moving very far. Here are a few examples:

From Julia Green - 12.65 miles
From Brentwood Middle School - 10:35 miles
From Richland Country Club - 11.13 miles
From The Factory in Franklin - 13.38 miles
From Nipper's Corner - 17.13 miles
From Oak Hill (First Presbyterian) - 14.6 miles
From Hillwood Country Club - 10.3 miles
From Kroger (Harding Pike) - 9.9 miles
From Leiper's Fork Rec Center - 13.1 miles
From I-65 and Peytonsville Road - 21.8 miles

I grew up in Oak Hill. I remember how far it seemed to the Southwestern Bible Company out near Moores Lane. Now I live in east Brentwood very near Moores Lane and think nothing of it. As we become more familiar with our new facility I believe the distances will get shorter and shorter.

Let me ask one favor of you: please be thinking of one person, couple, or family that you would like to invite to our new church. If you can think of more, all the better. We are not interested in "stealing sheep" but if you know of someone looking for a church home or who needs a church home, please consider inviting them to be a part of these exciting days ahead.

Posted by Jim Bachmann

Becoming A Welcoming Church - Part 7

I've been an ordained pastor for 39 years and 6 months. That doesn't make me an expert on anything. It does mean I'm getting older and I have gained some experience. And in those 39+ years I have heard some oft-repeated complaints. One that affects our ability to be a welcoming church is this:

"We need more ushers."

I'm not sure I do my job very well so who am I to tell others how to do theirs? But...I will make a few observations. First, in most churches the ushers don't really usher. Instead they typically talk to each other like fraternity brothers, hand everyone a bulletin, and collect the offering during the service. How many ushers does that take? Truthfully, a church can have a fine service without them. Bulletins can easily be placed on a chair or table so each worshiper may pick one up as they come in. And offering plates can be placed at each door so people may make a contribution as they enter or leave. Problem solved! Suddenly no ushers are needed!

Well, not so fast. Ushers who will warmly welcome worshipers, hand them a bulletin, engage them in a brief conversation, and escort them to their seats are absolutely invaluable. This is a hallmark of a welcoming church! Like every other area of ministry, ushers can do the bare minimum or go "above and beyond" in welcoming people to the church. I realize that our aisles are tight right now and it's not an easy thing to escort people to their seats. But this will soon change and we should help everyone, especially the visitor, feel welcomed, loved, and respected, by going above and beyond the bare minimum.

Posted by Jim Bachmann

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