This week's message, "Not Afraid!", continues Pastor Spencer's meditations on Psalm 23, focusing this week on verses 1-4. Videos are available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. As always, the audio only version is available on the recent sermons section of the web site or from your favorite Podcasting app. Pastor Spencer says,
“‘When I must walk through the darkest valley …,’—that’s inescapable business! So the question is, what then? Is the Shepherd gone? Is want waiting on us after all? Is rest ruined? Are right paths overgrown and obstructed, shut down and sealed off? What now of the Lord’s reputation, here ’in the valley of deepest darkness’?”
Orange Hill Family,
This year has brought us many unexpected circumstances and one of the groups most affected has been our graduate classes. We have traditionally taken time in May to honor those among our family that have reached a graduation milestone, and this year especially we want to do that. If your family has a graduate of high school, college, graduate school, or vocational programs, or if you're one yourself, please send us the following information so we can put together that recognition. We need: full name, school or program from which they are graduating, any information about degrees if it's a college or other program, any honors the graduate has received, a brief description of plans for the future including college or other advanced studies or a job, photos (since this will be shared on social media locations we will rely on you to confirm that any other people that are in the photos have given consent if their faces are visible). We'd love to hear what our graduates' dreams for the future are as well. If you have brief videos, we can find a way to edit some of that in as well, just no biographical feature films!
Please forward the information to Ken Stockdell by Saturday May 9 and we will plan to share the recognitions on May 17. If you have large files too big to email, contact Ken to arrange a way to transfer them. Since this is a unique year and requires a unique approach to honoring our graduates, if you know of one and want to share a story or a brief message of encouragement or say something else about what they mean to you email those as well.
Let's give these special folks in our family as much virtual applause, congratulations, and hugs as we can!
Here is another opportunity for our ladies to meet virtually. Allyson Haygood has been leading the Ladies' Bible Study on Thursday nights at 7:00 pm. They've just completed their study of the book What Women Fear, but plan to continue meeting virtually to pray together. If you haven't been part of that study group but would like to join them on Thursday evenings, contact Allyson and she can give you instructions.
With the announcement this past week by Governor Kemp opening the possibility of resuming face-to-face gatherings in churches, the Elders wanted to let you know what we're thinking and doing along those lines. We met virtually last week and here is what we've concluded.
First, we want to move forward with an abundance of caution. Our membership is heavily weighted toward an at-risk age group. That means that many of our members and attenders should continue to shelter in place per the Governor's announcement. That means that we don't want to be in a rush to resume face-to-face meetings despite how much we miss meeting together.
Second, we are not presently equipped to do the kind of cleaning and disinfecting that the CDC recommendations include and that were part of the Governor's requirements for resuming our meetings.
Third, when we are able to resume meeting together we are working on a phased plan for this. When the Elders have had a chance to review and finalize this plan we will share it with you. This may take some time as we have to think about what we are able to do in terms of cleaning and sanitizing as well as things we will phase in over time, like the meet and greet part of our gatherings.
Fourth, we are working on plans to continue recording video of Pastor Spencer's messages as we have been doing since late March. We've been working on improving the quality of those recordings and hope they have been a blessing to all of you while we are apart physically. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvements we can incorporate for these.
Finally, a couple of our equipping classes have started meeting virtually each week. While we won't post the links to those groups publicly here to avoid any disruptive participation, here are the contacts for the leaders of those classes in case you would like to join in. Contact these folks to get access information.
If other groups are meeting virtually that we haven't heard about, please let Ken Stockdell know so we can get the word out about those as well.
Know that your Elders are praying for you and that your Deacons are working to keep in touch about any needs you may have, especially while we are apart.
On behalf of the Elders,
This week's message, "Sweet Restoration!", continues Pastor Spencer's meditations on Psalm 23. Videos are available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. As always, the audio only version is available on the recent sermons section of the web site or from your favorite Podcasting app. Pastor Spencer says,
A few years back there was a TV show on called “American Restoration.” The guy who starred on it could restore all sorts of seemingly useless items back to a good purpose to bless others and showcase his skills. But “American Restoration” doesn’t hold a candle to “Divine Restoration”! What this master craftsman on TV could do with broken and battered objects of all kinds doesn’t begin to measure up to—is not even in the same category with—what the Creator, Redeemer, and Master of all does for his people, the sheep of his flock!