Sunday, September 8
Langton Baptist Church
Rev. Keith Sutherland opened the church service at 11 a.m.
His message was on ‘I’d give anything to not just be a follower but our challenge is to follow Jesus and I mean it. The cost of discipleship is to put God first, as God wants our whole life being. We are called to make God’s will our will. We are not worthy without total commitment. We need God’s encouragement and direction. Jesus is giving us a warning to count the cost of following Jesus Christ as our Lord.’ Prayer followed.
The children’s story was on ‘Have you ever followed a leader who was unkind and did evil things? You make a choice to follow a leader who is right. Are you going to follow Jesus?’
Hymns sung, were: Seek You First, He Leadeth Me, and Have Thine Own Way, Lord.
Responsive reading was on John 4:23-24.
Scripture readings were Psalm 1; Jeremiah 18:1-12; Psalm 139; and Luke 14:25-35.
Prayers of supplication and praise were given by Rev. Sutherland.
Offering was received by Barbra Sinnesael and Carol Overbaugh.
Springfield Baptist Church
Warmly greeted by Bill and Betty Horne, we began with special music by the children as we celebrated Sunday School. They shared songs learned during the Super Summer Sunday School program that ran during July and August.
The morning also included the promotion of children to new Sunday School classes and the enjoyment of ice cream ‘sundaes’ with their new teachers.
Pastor Jeff Rockwell spoke from Mark 9:42-50. Here Jesus says that it is a very serious matter when we cause one of God’s children to fall into sin. The severity of this sin is emphasized by the contrast of being thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around one's neck.
It states that "it would be better," indicating this punishment would be merciful. God's view of sin as heinous is blatantly obvious.
The passage moves from the idea of causing others to stumble and leads into the idea of people causing themselves to stumble. Jesus speaks of extreme actions. He was really saying vividly, ‘you must go to any lengths to prevent sin’. Jesus uses the exaggeration of losing a hand, foot, or eye in response to sin to emphasize the horrible nature of sin. He is not commanding us to mutilate our bodies. He knew well enough that that would not solve the problem.
He was commanding us to be willing to take drastic action to control sinful behavior. The Lord Jesus knew well enough that cutting the hand off would not be the answer, for He had already declared that evil came from the heart of man. No amount of surgery on the outside will cure the problem on the inside. Man does not need a change on the outside; man needs a change of heart!
When temptation to sin comes into our lives, we must deal with it immediately, harshly, ruthlessly, consistently and decisively.
Rounding out the chapter comes a seemingly disconnected passage. There is no doubt that to the ancients salt could be seen as a preservative, in which case ‘being ‘salted’ might be seen as signifying being treated in order to be preserved.
In a reference back to sacrifices of the Old Testament era, when a sacrifice was offered, it was to be offered with salt (Leviticus 2:13). The salt was a purifying agent and made the sacrifice acceptable to God. This picture aptly ends a section which began with the disciples arguing about who was the greatest.
It indicates that if they truly live under God’s rule, position will be unimportant, and instead we are to "have peace with one another." Jesus ultimately is telling His followers that we are to be a willing sacrifice, giving up all to serve Him.
Avondale United Church
The congregation at Avondale met for worship at 10:30 a.m. The Christ candle was lit by Isabella Edwards and a video "Gift of Worship" was viewed. Worship is about giving our lives to God again.
Lay Reader Harvey Elliott welcomed everyone and gave the announcements. It was wonderful to see so many children out for Kids Connection. Rev. Fred Hagle used a ball of yarn to illustrate how we are all connected in the family of God.
Scripture read was taken from Luke 14 The Cost of Being a Disciple. The message for the day was Strategic Planning: Making the Right Choices. Jesus believed we should have a plan for our lives. We need to make choices, love God first and then our families, friends and selves. A relationship with Jesus is the most important. Being a Christian is a big commitment and the cost should be counted so that we are useful servants not useless ones. Be willing to be shaped by the hand of God. The choir's anthem was As We Chart Our Course for Tomorrow.
Music for the worship was accompanied by Bruce Fleming and some of the songs sung were Come Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love, Take Up His Song and Go Make a Difference.
You are welcome to join Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for worship when the topic will be Lost and Found. The scripture will be Luke 15:1-10. If you come early there is coffee available. Children are welcome to join us for Kids Connection (ages 4 and up) or First Steps (ages under 4).
Our Chicken BBQ is scheduled for Wed., Sept. 18 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Take-outs are available and tickets can be requested by calling Joanne 877-2264 or Jean 688-2996.
Straffordville United Church
Service opened with Rev. Cordell Parsons in the pulpit.
Church was cancelled in Port Burwell for this Sunday due to a special service in Straffordville.
Music was supplied by Courtney Porch.
Rev. Parsons opened the service with a prayer in God’s name followed by a hymn called Come In, Come In and Sit Down.
There was a call to worship led by Rev. Parsons and an opening prayer.
There was ministry of music supplied by Donald Mathers called ‘Sometimes.’
The song response was called Let There Be Peace on Earth.
Straffordville choir sang a hymn called ‘The Rose.’
Flowers were handed out to all the lay people who conducted the services for Rev. Parsons at both churches during his vacation in July and August.
Terry Lanning from Union sang ‘Amazing Grace’ for the congregation.
The sermon was taken from Mark 9:38-41 in which Jesus was approached by the disciple John and advised that the disciples saw a man who was driving out demons in Jesus’ name and the disciples told the man to stop because he did not belong to their group. Jesus told the disciples not to try and stop the man because no one who performs a miracle in Jesus’ name will ever be able to say anything evil about Jesus. For whoever is not against us, is for us.
The next hymn was performed by Donald Mathers called ‘Josie’s Song.’
Rev. Parsons led the joint congregations in prayer.
The next hymn was May the God Of Hope Go With Us.
The service ended with the vesper You Shall Go Out With Joy.
After the service everyone gathered in the basement of the church for refreshments.
Next Sunday services will resume in both churches with Straffordville at 9:30 a.m. and Port Burwell at 11 a.m.