Two weeks ago I mentioned that I would write about a biblical understanding of church membership. Many places in Scripture we can get some of these concepts. St. Paul in, I Corinthians, Chapters 12-14, gives us an extensive treatment on the subject. In Chapter 12, Paul explains the church with the metaphor of a body and its many parts. Chapter 13 is about the essential quality of love that must be the main attitude and cause of action by all the church’s members. Finally, in Chapter 14, he lays out how the Corinthian church has got it all wrong regarding church membership.
The first thing we must understand is that membership in the church means we are necessary parts of the whole. Many leaders and members of the church have a business or organizational model in mind when thinking of membership in the church and so they approach things from that perspective, which is not biblical. The Bible explains membership differently than secular society. Paul writes this, “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Cor. 12:27).” He tells us that God has placed these individual members in the church. And since God has placed the members there, He undoubtedly believes they are essential to the whole (and that means you!). Using the body metaphor, Paul explains that the individual members of the church are as the individual parts of a human body, the church, of course, being the body. Some members are hands, some legs, some eyes, some ears, etc. Paul says, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ (the Church being the Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:12).” So just as the body needs all its parts to function perfectly, so it is with the Church. All those that are part of the Church are necessary to its proper functioning. And that means each one of us is needed for the Church to function and, locally, that means that each one of us is necessary for All Saints to function. Bottom line: if we are absent from the life of the parish by not coming to church on Sunday, by not reaching out to others, by not saying our prayers (the list goes on…), then we as the Body of Christ are diminished and are not fulfilling our true purpose of worshipping the Lord and living His Gospel. I will continue with this next week.
The final portion of the foundation for our bell tower was poured this past Tuesday morning. All the siding was pulled off the front of the church at our workday last Saturday (picture above). As I write, the footings are being poured for the rock façade on the front of the church, which we hope to have up in a couple weeks. Regarding the office addition, we are just waiting on the electrical and HVAC companies to begin their work. We expected that to start this week but the threat of bad weather due to Hurricane Florence forced them to bring other work to conclusion.
We had an incredibly successful workday here last Saturday. We had about 50 people come out to help. The ladies, with two erstwhile male companions, stripped out, cleaned up, and organized our kitchen like it has never been organized before! Many ladies assisted the altar guild in cleaning and organizing in the sacristy and the church itself. We had a large crew outside, including one tough little lady, ripping all the siding off the front of the church. Nothing brings such joy as demolition! And a few of us were working on the bell tower foundation to get it ready for concrete. In all my years in the ministry, I have never before witnessed a congregation turn out the way all of you did. I thank you all so much. It makes my heart glad that we all are so committed to our parish of All Saints.
Adult Sunday School Returns
Our Adult Sunday School class reconvenes this coming Sunday, September 16, at 9:45 a.m. in the parish hall. Fr. Paul Blankinship will be teaching the class on the topic of the Seven Virtues. You will get a leg up with your new teacher if you can name all of them on Sunday morning. Look it up!
Tuesday Book Study
Our Tuesday Book Study also returns this coming Tuesday morning, September 18, at 11:00 a.m. in the parish hall. We will be studying Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship. Please read the first 5 chapters before Tuesday’s class. And please be sure to read the Memoir of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life at the beginning of the book. His life story is an important component in understanding this book.
Fall Fish Fry
The Friar’s Friday Fall Fish Fry in honor of St. Francis is scheduled just three short weeks away on October 5. Ticket packets will be available on Sunday morning. As usual, we need your help to make this a success. We ask that you sign out 10 tickets and sell them to your friends, or just buy them and hand them out to folks, to introduce them to our parish. More details are below.
All Saints T-shirts
We have ordered all the shirts that you asked for. Be sure to pay for your order this Sunday. We expect the shirts to arrive before the Fish Fry so we can all look real snazzy that night!
There are a few more announcements so be sure to read on. We are in a very busy stretch here at All Saints so please pray for this parish that all we do might be pleasing in the sight of Almighty God.
This Week in the Parish
Sunday, September 16, Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity
· 8:30 a.m., Holy Communion
· 9:45a.m., Adult Sunday School returns
· 11:00 a.m., Holy Communion
· 12:15 p.m., Fellowship Lunch
Tuesday, September 18
· 11:00 a.m. Tuesday Book Study
· 12:00 p.m. Craft Market Workday
Wednesday, September 19, Ember Day
· 6:00 p.m. Holy Communion
· 6:30 p.m. Fellowship Meal
· 7:00 p.m. Bible Study
· 7:00 p.m. Choir Practice
Friday, September 21, St. Matthew, Apostle
· 12:00 p.m. Holy Communion
Wednesday Night Bible Study
· Our weekly Bible Study is back to normal schedule. This Wednesday we will continue our introduction to The Gospel According to St. Matthew. Come, join us!
Friar’s Fall Fish Fry
· On Friday, October 5, the Friar’s Friday Fall Fish Fry in honor of St. Francis returns! Tickets are $9.00 each in advance ($10 at the door) for breaded tilapia filets, roasted potatoes, hush puppies, coleslaw, and iced tea or lemonade. Take-out will be from 5-6 PM and dine-in will run from 6-8 PM. Kids under 12 eat free. Ticket packets are available today.
· We ask that you sign out 10 tickets and sell them to your friends, or just buy them and hand them out to folks, to introduce them to our parish.
· If you would like to donate a dessert, there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board. Please see Loretta Reynolds or Verna Shipman if you have any questions about desserts.
St. Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
· Holy Communion next Friday, September 21 at 12:00 p.m.
Sharing is Caring!
· You can help! Our Craft Market 2018 ad is now on Facebook. If you have a Facebook page, please click the “share” option and help us advertise the LASSES biggest fundraiser of the year to your family and friends on Facebook.
Craft Market 2018
· The Craft Market folks will meet this coming Tuesday, September 18, at 12:00 noon for a work afternoon. Many hands are needed, so all are welcome. Please bring your own lunch.
· Western Carolina Rescue Mission is this month’s recipient of our in-gathering of food stuffs.
Sat., Sept. 29
· 10:00 a.m., Blessing of the Animals
Fri., Oct. 5
· 5:00 p.m., Fall Fish Fry
Sun., Oct. 7
· 11:00 a.m., Cynthia's Setting Apart as Deaconess
Sat., Oct. 13
· 9:00 a.m., Annual Craft Market