Ministry Spotlight – School of Christian Living

Ministry Spotlight: School of Christian Living (SOCL)
Ministry Chairperson(s): Brian Reigart

Sunday mornings don’t end after worship service… there’s a whole other hour for children, youth and adults to enjoy! And our School of Christian Living committee does a great job providing opportunities for adults to grow even further through Sunday morning studies. Fittingly, as new classes start up this month, we thought we’d highlight this committee in this edition of the CABC Ministry Spotlight!

For those who have seen the “SOCL” acronym and just assumed it meant we provided opportunities to Sit On Chairs Laughing (opposed to rolling on the floors laughing… because that’s too hard to get back up!), we hope this will now educate you that we are referring to our adult Sunday School classes: the School of Christian Living (though we usually do provide opportunities to laugh in them as well).

The purpose of SOCL is to provide the congregation of CABC with opportunities to know God and the saving knowledge of Christ through Sunday morning studies. Currently, the committee seeks to accomplish this by offering multiple tracks with different focal content including Bible studies, family life, parenting, marriage, topical studies and Christian living series.

Other responsibilities of the SOCL committee include researching, planning and implementing adult Christian education opportunities; working with staff and elders to coordinate times and locations for classes and events; recruit, prepare and support spiritually gifted teachers who have a passion to help others grow in their knowledge of the Lord; develop and maintain budgets for curriculum and supplies necessary for SOCL to function effectively; and to promote, evaluate and report the opportunities and events made possible by the committee throughout the year.

If you have enjoyed one of such classes in the recent months, you can thank the work of this committee for their time and selective topics! The committee itself directly accountable to the CABC Elder Board and is comprised of an elder-appointed chairperson and at least four church members or regular attenders.

New classes are starting up this Sunday, March 15 at 10:30am! For more information on current and upcoming class offerings, be sure to check out the SOCL webpage for ongoing and up-to-date details. And as always, if you are interested in becoming a part of this committee or possibly even teaching a future SOCL class, please connect with Brian for more details and discussion! And for anyone who hasn’t yet attended a class, as Brian says, “Just try it… you’ll like it!”

 


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Mourning by Morning

by Chris Thomas
 
My husband passed away three months ago after a year-long battle with cancer.
 
Mourning: I feel…despair, anger, fear, lonely, hurt, overwhelmed, anxious, alone, shattered, distorted, betrayed, detached, darkness, forgotten, lost, left, conflicted, scared, brokenhearted, tired, numb, physical pain, nothing.
 
Morning: God is…Faithful. He is my Comforter, Abba Father, Healer, Savior, Companion, Confidante, Rescuer, Friend, Helper, Refuge, Protector, Warrior, Strength, Future, Joy, Love, Freedom, stronger than my pain, keeping my heart beating, working all things for my good.
 
It’s amazing how God reminds me all of the time that He is with me through this devastating time in my life. Sometimes it seems that I’ll never make it and, just as I’m ready to give up, He sends miracles, both large and small. The small miracles happen all the time and are so precious to me. They are just little bits of love that make me smile when I realize what He’s up to and that He’s watching over me. The big miracles are His Angels on Earth. They reach out to me, pick me up, and remind me that I don’t have to do this all by myself. Thank you to those sweet brothers and sisters in Christ! You have no idea what a blessing you are.
 
Don’t you love it when you hear a song and you think that song was played just for you at exactly the right time in your life? A couple of songs I cling to are “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns and “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” by Danny Gokey. They, and many more, remind me of the promises that give me hope.
 
All of His blessings show up at the precise moment I need to be reminded of His perfect love, His great faithfulness, and His strong arms. I guess it’s true and I need to keep telling myself that “It’s OK if I’m not OK.” Just for now.
 
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Mourning by Morning His mercies I see.
 
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.’
(Lamentations 3:22-24)

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Press On

by Laura Enslen
 
Do you ever feel in a fog? Have brain fog? Overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish? Foggy about details regarding a certain interaction or task you are to complete?
 
Well, recently I was in a literal fog. So incredibly thick, I could see only a few feet in front of me. I was driving in to work at church after dropping my dear offspring at school and I was in a complete fog! The sun was trying to press through, and I knew it was forecasted to be a beautiful day, but the fog where I was driving was overwhelming. As I was driving, I began to slow down to be able to calculate my driving better and anticipate what was ahead that I could not see. With the sun trying to press through, I kept anticipating the moment when I would have a clear view of the road again. I could not see more than a minute ahead and did not know when it would be clear again.
 
Driving through this fog, my mind went to one of my favorite verses of late:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
 
Even though I was driving through fog, I thought about how that was just my current circumstance. In five more minutes, I was climbing a hill, watching the fog dissipate and looking out over one of my favorite countryside views! Sun was shining and the fog was far behind me! How often do I get absorbed in my current circumstance that I forget, as I press through, there can be beauty on the other side? Far too often, if I am honest. God has the BIG picture!
 
I am a recovering controller. The Lord has worked in mighty ways to release the desire to control and even manipulate my circumstances. And much of that is due to my awareness that I truly do not have the control I once thought I did.
 
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)
 
God has led me to a wisdom and understanding that I am not in control of my tomorrow, let alone the next moment. Will we give Him the control or will we try our own way of handling the struggles in our lives? A life fully surrendered to Christ may sometimes look like you are driving in fog, but you can trust He sees the fog and all that surrounds it. And remember, the view from outside the fog is breathtaking, so don’t miss it! Press on and see what He has on the outside of the fog.
 
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

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DR Mission Trip 2020 Update

Hola Church family from the DR!
 
We cannot believe it is Friday already and we are just touching base with you all back home.It has been an amazing week serving with God’s people here in the Dominican. 
 
Singing has been a daily occurrence. We’ve learned some new songs in Spanish, we all sung together in Spanish, and we sang together in English. No matter the language, we were worshiping together. Our first bus ride out to Batey 35 school on Tuesday morning, we sang on the bus the whole hour long ride! Kuli and Carlos (two of our translators) play guitar and amazingly matched our pitch and learned new songs during the ride. 
 
Sunday evening we went to Elsa’s church in the Barrio (Baraca Church) and were welcomed warmly with beautiful worship. Our team had prepared to sing Waymaker in Spanish and guess what song we were welcomed into service with? Waymaker! In both Spanish and English! We sang it anyway later in the service and both times it was amazing to join our voices as one body in Christ.
 
Three days this week were spent at our school at Batey 35. The second day we shared our lesson on Who I am in Christ? Because of this lesson, 3 children in the 5th grade class accepted Christ as their personal savior! Our team was able to pray with them! 
 
We have so much more to share! Stay tuned! And check out our the CABC Facebook page for pictures and updates from the team!

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Compassion on a Coconut

by Carl, the Coconut Custodian
 
Hi, I’m Carl. Perhaps some of you don’t know me yet. I’ve been attending CABC since June of 2019. For those of you who don’t know my story, allow me to share it briefly.
 
I was going down the road one day when I fell into a ditch and found myself hurt, unable to move, and desperate for help. Day after day people passed by on the road, but none stopped to help. Finally, one day, a teenager saw me, stopped and picked me up, and brought me into CABC. He cleaned me up and gave me a smile (not to mention helped get me a job and Facebook followers too!).
 
Now, I don’t mean to sound harsh, for I know perhaps I was just honestly unseen by many who passed me by (after all it is hard to spot a coconut in a ditch while driving even at the posted speed limit), but I still cannot help but think of the parable of the Good Samaritan even as I write this. At the end of the parable, Jesus asks a question.
 
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)
 
Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to this parable in one of his last speeches and said, “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”
 
Compassion. We are all called and commanded by Christ to go, love our neighbors, and have mercy on others. I am grateful for the teen who had compassion on a random coconut lying in a ditch and gave me a new meaning and purpose in life. I have seen countless members of this church have compassion on the various ministries and personal needs that are put forth on any given Sunday morning. Even the children in this congregation show compassion by bringing in their own allowance money to give as offering to benefit other children around the world. I applaud the work of this church to live out this command from Christ. And I encourage you all to continue to not only live out that compassion, but to seek out opportunities to show it. There just may be another “coconut” waiting to be found, cleaned up, and made new.

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Training Our Children

by Mark Johnston
 
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
 
I am reminded of this proverb in a new ritual we have with our grandsons Mark and Gabriel. Each morning while we are waiting in the car at the bus stop, we pray for and with each child. This began a few weeks ago while my wife Rocky was on jury duty. She took Mark to the bus stop because I had to take Rebecca (my daughter) to work. She then sat there with him and prayed with him. Later I did the same thing with Gabriel and we have been keeping up the tradition with both boys.
 
As Christians, I believe we have the responsibility to mentor our children and grandchildren so that they become firm in their faith as new believers.
Lord, show us how to train up our children and grandchildren, and let us be good examples of how to walk with God.

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