RECAP: A THRIVING CONGREGATION–based on Acts 2:42-47
“It’s time for us to more than just survive; we were made to thrive.”–Casting Crowns
If there is any time we need a shot of energy, it is now! Churches have been in decline for twenty years. The youth of today almost want nothing to do with church. More and more congregations close every year. And the congregations that do remain, they all wrestle with questions of revitalization because of lack of young families and youth. Is there a way to rejuvenate? Is there a way to move beyond survival and be able to thrive once again?
The early church exploded in exponential growth after the day of Pentecost. This was a church that was not growing by one or two a week; rather, large numbers were added to the church daily! When the Brethren formed, they strove to emulate the early church in their practices, believing that emulation would overcome the staleness and lifelessness that institutional religion had provided. What did the early church do that was so radical, that people on a daily basis wanted to join?
1) Devoted to the apostles teaching. The word devoted in Greek means to be continuously loyal to and have at the forefront of their minds. This meant that they constantly studied the apostles teaching–which was the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus. Everything they taught was the Word–what did Jesus say, and how do we put it into practice. And the Word became the foundation for everything they did. Are we daily reading the Word to see how we can put it into practice in our lives?
2) Committed to fellowship. The word fellowship means “common heart.” Yes, they met together constantly, for these six verses have nine references to fellowship! But it was more than just seeing each other. As they gathered together, they became more and more one in heart and mind. Everyone who joined this community became a part and welcomed. When people come in through the doors of a church today, do they feel that sense of community and sense of welcome and belonging?
3) Committed to prayer. They prayed regularly, not just on their own, but corporately. In prayer, they encouraged each other, asking the Lord on behalf of one another. And literally their corporate prayers shook heaven. Are we willing to pray together?
4) Committed to generosity. They shared their belongings with each other, making sure the needs we met. To be generous, they had to be willing to let go of what they had for another. There is no better way to make someone feel loved and accepted than generosity!
5) Committed to worship. They joined together constantly to worship God. They praised him in everything, on every occasion. Do we take out time to worship?
None of these are new. But the unshakable devotion brought about lasting change. What if we were devoted to these things for the next season in life? Maybe the church can be reborn! Let’s be bold and see and what God can do!
Questions for reflection
1) How much time do you put in on a weekly basis in the study of God’s word?
2) What are your favorite ways to fellowship? Are there any new creative ways to fellowship that you would love to see us try at Beaver Creek?
3) Why is prayer sometimes very difficult?
4) What are some ways that you can incorporate a spirit of worship?
Pastor Ryan will continue to Acts church series with the sermon titled, “Walking In His Steps,” based upon Acts 3:1-10. How did the disciples walk in Jesus’ footsteps? How can we do the same in our day? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 9 – 15
June 9: Acts 3:11-26 What was the core of Peter’s message after the healing?
June 10: Acts 10:9-23 What did this vision have to do with fellowship?
June 11: Galatians 2:11-21 Why was Peter in the wrong? What did Paul teach about fellowship?
June 12: Acts 4:23-31 What did the apostles pray for? What happened in response to their prayer?
June 13: James 5:13-20 What is the power of prayer?
June 14: Acts 5:12-16 How did the apostles walk in Jesus’ steps?
June 15: Acts 7:54-60 How did Stephen walk in Jesus’ steps?
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 beginning in July and children’s story in July. 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).
Bible Study continues Wednesday at 7 pm. The Zoom link is available from Pastor Ryan. We will be concluding discipleship parable on the tower builder and warring king (Luke 14:28-32) and also covering two parables on prayer: Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-8), Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8).
We will have Bible Study next week, but will take two weeks off (June 24 & July 1) due to other scheduling conflicts.
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.
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. More information will 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.
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.
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.
Tami Plaugher (health)
Dan Rhodes & family (Liz’ passing)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Dennis Wright family (Denny’s passing)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB