Pastor’s Desk 2015-11-24

Chuck Sheridan Avatar

Good Morning SCCC Family,        

* Another great morning in Paradise, the precursor to heaven, I’m sure. The snow storms have stayed where they belong, the people are arriving, there’s excitement in the air at church and in our home, the Christmas tree is up and decorated, the scents of the cranberry candle are all about and the music in our home has changed! “Its beginning to look a lot like . . .” even at Sam’s and Walmart in Guaymas!

* A Christmas drama will be coming our way thanks to Mayra and the Children’s Church team. She would really appreciate the help of some seamstresses and decorators. Connect with her at mayglez@gmail.com
 
* Happy Thanksgiving to our many American friends who will be celebrating this Thursday! I pray your turkey is moist, your stuffing is perfect and there’s a heart of gratitude around the table as you appreciate our Lord and the people around you!

* Just a reminder that the volunteers going to Maggie’s will be leaving the church at 8:30am sharp tomorrow (Wednesday). So good to see 9 people signed up to help. This is perfect timing as you will get to see all the progress of the recent month. Have a great day with each other as you serve!

* So excited about new volunteers coming onboard at the church. Barb Powell and Selina McClelland will be alternating, looking after the “Cookie Sundays.” Tiffiny Fisher and her three “equally aged” children now oversee the potlucks. Mayra and her team will be helping out with giving oversight to the “Under 6” Children’s Church on Sundays. So grateful for all of you who have stepped up to the plate and filled those needed gaps. If you’re one of those folks who would like to help in any of those respective areas, please connect with these leaders.

* Heather Hicks, one of our supported missionaries, joins us this coming Sunday to share about the new ministry she has recently connected with.

* More “simultaneous translation” units have been ordered. Once they arrive, 48 of our Spanish speaking friends will be able to enjoy the service in their mother tongue. So grateful for the person who provided the funds for this last purchase. So grateful for what the Lord is doing in truly making us an international church!

* The local Baptist church (next door) and Pastor David, are hosting a Christmas Fund Raising Dinner on Dec 18th at 6:00pm. The night consists of a Mexican meal, a small Christmas program and a great time of fellowship. This is one of the ways they offset their ministry costs for the upcoming year. Grant Dafoe and Brenda Koenes will have tickets beginning this Sunday. Cost is 150 pesos/person. “Words of encouragement” are always great, but this is a tangeable way to put our “words into action” and support our neighboring church.

* Last week, I was honored to participate in the Yacht Club’s Opening Day of the Season. It was great to share a little about the story of the disciples battling the storm (Mark 4) while Jesus slept on a cushion, in the back of the boat. Like the disciples, we also panic when a storm comes our way. While Jesus did not “bail the water” out of the boat, He certainly addressed the storm and He is more than willing to help us through our storms as well. It was a treat to be able to pray for safety for all the boaters and to participate in this special day.

* As I shared last Sunday, there is so much going on, coming into Christmas, that we can’t begin to do justice to all the “Commercials” on Sunday morning. We will share 3-4 of them on any given Sunday. The rest are in the bulletin and on the church website. If you have something you need to promote, please email Mary @ mrsprag@gmail.com and she will include it in the bulletin.
 

* We finished our series on Fear last Sunday. We’ve talked about our fears and ways of dealing with fears, but ultimately it comes down to this final message. Our challenge so often stems from our misunderstanding of who God is. If we understand the capability of our God, His power and all His unlimited “Truth” attributes, and if on the other side, we understand His “Grace” attributes, His incredible love which He tangibly revealed by sending His Son to die for us that we could receive that gift of salvation (an ultimate and unmatched act of love), then what do we have to be afraid of? As we saw, too often we lean to either the truth or the grace side of who God is and our response becomes one of either legalism or license. Both are distortions of the Gospel message. However, if we understand He is 100% Truth (fully capable, deserving of our awe and reverence) and that He is 100% Grace (full of love for us), then what follows is: If we fear God, we have nothing else to fear. You can listen to the message on our church website.
 
Enjoy your journey with Jesus,
Glenn y Jeannine

A Bonus today – Read this short article or click on the link and listen to some “first timers” experiences as they visited local churches! There are some great ones and some not so great. How are we doing, SCCC? 

Hit and Miss Church Guest Experiences – Rainer on Leadership 

We love hearing from listeners and readers here at ThomRainer.com. Recently, we asked for your church guest experiences and the feedback was overwhelming. I wrote a post with the best and worst experiences and today we discuss that post.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • If church members or staff take guests to lunch, a personal connection to the church is more likely.
  • Apprehension is the norm when a guest comes to a church for the first time.
  • Using insider language confuses church guests and alienates them.
  • If you have a stand-and-greet time, make sure it is a genuinely friendly time and not contrived..
  • Make sure your greeters are trained well and use good common sense.

The guest experiences we cover today are:

  • Seven Great Experiences
    1. “They went out of the way to make my children calm and happy.”
    2. “A lady befriended us and took us to her small group.”
    3. “The pastor offered to take us to lunch.”
    4. “A church member wrote our children a letter after meeting us.”
    5. “The church was clean and had great signage.”
    6. “A church member invited us to lunch.”
    7. “We were greeted in the parking lot and walked to where we were supposed to go.”
  • Seven Bad Experiences
    1. “I didn’t know what they were talking about. It was a lot of internal language and acronyms.”
    2. “No one spoke to us.”
    3. “We were given ear plugs when we walked in.”
    4. “My wife and I are a mixed race couple. The greeter suggested we might be at the wrong church.”
    5. “The friendliness seemed contrived and fake.”
    6. “They asked us to stand up and introduce ourselves.”
    7. “The greeter gave me a children’s bulletin and told me I could color on it. I’m twenty years old.”

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