Next week’s Good News Brief will be published on Thursday, July 2nd, due to Pastor Ryan’s commitment to Brethren Woods.
RECAP: MEETING THE NEEDS–based on Acts 4:32-37
There is one area that causes division, strife, and anger more than any other in marriages, organizations, and even churches–money! Money is something needed to survive. But at the same time, some of the worst arguments have developed over what to do with money. For three years the disciples walked and learned from Jesus. They heard Jesus teach on money, but more specifically on generosity.
By the time the disciples became the leaders of the early church, the church was known for its generosity and meeting the needs of their community. What did this church learn?
1) They were unified in purpose–to help others. They understood they were a community. They were stronger together, understanding that what happens to one of them happens to them all. And so they looked out for the mutual benefit of the community. Unity is not uniformity. They were not all exactly the same, but they were committed to a common cause. “All the believers were one in heart and mind” (Acts 4:32). They were going to be there for each other, no matter the challenge.
2) They were willing to share. “No one claimed any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had” (Acts 4:33). It was more important to share what they had with each other. It went far beyond finances–they intentionally met the needs of those within their community. They were not a commune or socialist state, where the resources were evenly divided. Rather, they shared the excess of what they had with each other when it was needed.
3) They learned to simplify. They sold their extra property and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet. They removed the extra, excess “stuff” so they could focus on what they needed, the community, and God. The early Brethren believed the less you owned, the closer you were to God, because material possessions can “get in the way” of worship. Simplifying is not living in poverty, but removing our dependence upon things. Too often we find security in stuff instead of God.
4) They found the need. Barnabas was named as an example of this. He was a Levite. He had become quite wealthy. But he forsook his wealth and privilege and sold what he had for the good of the community. He had been blessed by God; he used what he had to bless others. He would not have seen the need if he stayed where he was; he had to be willing to extend beyond his comfort zone to find the need and meet the need.
This was a very generous community! And people were drawn to their generosity. Likewise, we too at Beaver Creek are a very generous community! It was one of the things that drew Heather and I to serve you as pastor! Between Open Doors, Beaver Creek Cares, Operation Christmas Child and many many other outreaches, we certainly understand here at Beaver Creek the importance of generosity! We are unified, we share, we simplify, and we find the need.
But what if we decided to blow the lid off of generosity? Who can we personally touch for Jesus in addition to what we are doing corporately? What is our property that we can invest? Sharing is not just material or financial–it can certainly be talents, giftings, time, and presence! Each of us has been given a talent–how can we invest it for God? Maybe you are gifted in story telling–could you invest one Sunday a week to tell a children’s story? Maybe you are gifted in money management–who do you know could benefit from some financial counseling?
What other needs exist in our community? Who have we not touched? What new outreaches can be created? In what new creative ways can we show the love of Jesus? We have done well as a church in our generosity. The need in our community is still so great. Let us continue to do the work of Jesus and touch this community for Christ!
Questions for reflection
1) What talents has God given you?
2) Who can you help with your talents?
3) What groups of people can we reach as a congregation?
4) What new outreaches can we develop? You can always send these ideas to the outreach committee as well!
Pastor Ryan will continue to Acts church series with the sermon titled, “A Sensitive Body,” based upon Acts 6:1-7. The early church had its first major conflict. How did they overcome that conflict, and how does it serve as a model for us today? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 23 – July 1
June 23: Matthew 10:7-8 How does generosity shape our witness?
June 24: Philippians 4:10-20 How did the Philippians show generosity?
June 25: 1 Corinthians 8:1-15 What can we learn about generosity from Corinth?
June 26: 1 Corinthians 9:6-15 What are the fruits of generosity?
June 27: Galatians 6:1-10 In what other ways can we demonstrate generosity beyond money?
June 28: Genesis 18:16-33 How did God demonstrate that he was sensitive to Abraham’s request?
June 29: Exodus 33:12-23 How did God demonstrate that he was sensitive to Moses’ request?
June 30: 1 Samuel 21:1-9 How did Ahimelech show sensitivity to David’s needs?
July 1: 1 Samuel 30:7-25 How did David show sensitivity to the needs of both the Egyptian and his army?
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story). We have worship leading for July covered, but will need August going forward, and we still need children’s story for July.
Bible Study continues tomorrow at 7 pm. The Zoom link is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81768028497. We will be covering the parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8) and Pharisee and Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14).
We will take the month of July off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We will resume Bible study in the beginning of August after this week!
Before church closed for COVID, we had begun to announce a baptism and membership class (for transfer of membership). So for we have two that have expressed interest. If you are interested in either, or even if you recently became a member without the class and would like more of what it means to be a member of Beaver Creek, please let Pastor Ryan or Tess know you would like to take the class. Once there is enough interest, more specifics will be shared at that time. We really would like to get a class started by the middle of July, so please let us know soon!
Brethren Woods is closed to traditional summer camp this year, but there are other ways to enjoy camp! Family Camp registration is open for those family units who want to spend a few days together. The cost is $35 per day per adult, $30 per child over 11, and $27.50 per child under 11. The minimum stay is two evenings. More information can be found here: https://brethrenwoods.org/familycamp/.
Also, there will be a hybrid camp/VBS program beginning June 7th called Watz in the Woods. This is available for all children and youth. Registration can be found here: https://brethrenwoods.org/dsc/. The cost is free (suggested donation of $75).
The Leadership Team has decided to make the following commitment toward camp:
1) If any family desires to register for Family Camp this summer, the church will cover 50% of the cost through the Camp Scholarship line item in our budget. All you will need to do at registration is say that you are from Beaver Creek.
Heather, the girls, and I will be going after church on Sunday, June 28 – Wednesday, July 1.
2) The church will make a donation to camp for every child or youth who signs up for Watz in the Woods alternative camp/VBS from the VBS budget line item, since our traditional VBS was canceled in light of COVID. Again, you would just need to say you are from Beaver Creek. This unique program is for all children & youth from ages 4 through 19!
Once COVID restrictions continue to loosen, the Outreach Team had approved to allow Beaver Creek to be a host site for a babysitting training class for teenagers. When a teen completes the class, they would be officially certified to babysit anywhere in the commonwealth. The cost is $95.
Again, due to COVID, we do not yet have a date. But they want to know if there are truly enough interested teens to take the class before they commit the date. If you are interested, either let Pastor Ryan or Tess know, so we can get your teen on the list.
Call to Prayer
As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. Let us also take five minutes to pray for the wisdom of our local and state officials as they make decisions based upon the COVID crisis. This week, let us add an additional five minutes of prayer for our school division leaders who need to make tough decisions on reopening of schools.
Graduate Recognition Sunday
Because of the initial restrictions when we return together, the Christian Education team decided to postpone Graduate Recognition Sunday into July so we can still do it the Beaver Creek way. The date is July 12. If you have a graduate that would like to be recognized, please let Tess know in the office so that CE will know how many gifts to order.
The Leadership Team has approved for us to begin reopening Sunday School based upon the teacher’s personal preference. The Outreach class will meet in the basement. The Pathfinders will meet in the library. It is summer hours, so Sunday School will begin at 9:15.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.
Andrew Brookman JR–Louise Shirkey’s brother (in hospice_. Pray for Andrew, his family, and Louise.
Sylvia Brunk–(in hospice). Pray for Golden and all of the family.
Jacobson Family–in the tragic passing of their son, Marshall, who was only two years old on Friday morning.
Tami Plaugher (health)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
I hope to restore regular visitation in the near future as we see the full effects of phase two.
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB