Good News Brief–October 26, 2020

RECAP: A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD–based on 1 Peter 2:4-12

For the last several weeks, we have been studying the epistle of 1 Peter. We have been encouraged to remain faithful under pressure and to be the people of God. But how do we live for God when our culture gives an opposing message? Exactly what does it mean to be the people of God? Who should we be? Peter inspires us to live for God in five ways:

1) Live as God’s chosen people. God has chosen you. You are not an afterthought to God, but his prized possession. In Hebrew, the word for messenger or emissary comes from the exact same root word as king. The point is that the messenger or emissary carries with them all the weight and authority of the king! Likewise, when God chooses us, we carry all the authority of God within us. We do not have to livid with timidity, but we can live with confidence and boldness. Yes, this world opposes God; but God has our back. Greater is the one who is in us than the one in the world! You have been chosen by the King of the Universe! You do not have to live in fear!

2) Serve as a royal and holy priesthood. The role of the priest was to serve as the intermediary between God and humanity. Jesus was our great high priest; not only did he reconcile us to God through offering the ultimate sacrifice of his own life, but he stands in heaven interceding on our behalf. We are a royal priesthood. We carry God’s authority and are called to connect the world to God. Instead of running from the world or embracing the world, we should find ways to bring the message of the gospel to the world. We seek reconciliation with God; we intercede on behalf, so God can seek and save the lost.

3) Pledge our allegiance to God alone. Peter calls the church “a holy nation.” Last Sunday, we learned that holiness at its core means “set apart.” In other words, we are to be a people who are set apart for the will of God. That means our first and highest allegiance should be to God above all others. This constantly has been a source of tension with the world. Rome wanted allegiance, and the early Christians paid for lack of allegiance. The early Brethren would not pledge allegiance to anyone but God alone. It led to persecution not only in Germany but even here in the United States during the Revolutionary War. When God and country collide, our allegiance to God should supersede allegiance to the country.

4) Illuminate the light in the darkness. We were called to “declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Ann shared for the children’s story how the jack-o-lantern is like Jesus. To make a jack-o-lantern, you have to clean off the dirt, cut off the top and scoop out all of the junk on the inside, carve a smile for new life, and place a light inside of it. Likewise, for us, Jesus washed our sins away, cleaned out all of the junk inside of our heart, gave us hope of new life, putting joy in our hearts and a smile on our face, and placed his light inside each of us to shine bright. The way of the world is opposite the way of Christ. Jesus shows us mercy; this world wants to “cancel” anyone who offends. Let us show the light of hope!

5) Stand for what is right. Peter challenged the church to live such good lives, that even though we are accused of doing wrong, it will point others to Jesus. Yes, we may be ridiculed for standing by our convictions. We may face censure, blowback, hardship, and maybe even persecution. But as we stand, people will see what we stand for. You would think that under pressure, the church would have folded and simply relented to keep the peace. Instead, many willingly faced prison or death because they chose to stand on God. And the church continued to grow! Why? Because people notice and will put trust in something which people have deep convictions in!

God has chosen us, made us into his royal priesthood. We need to pledge our allegiance to God first and foremost, be that light in the darkness and stand for what is right. May the world change and come to know Jesus through our living!

Questions for reflection

1) What does it mean to you that you are chosen by God?

2) In what ways can you help bring people to God?

3) As you honestly reflect, is your true allegiance God? If not, what steps can you take to make God your first allegiance?

4) Where can you bring the light of Jesus?

5) What gives you the strength to stand on your convictions?

Next Sunday

Pastor Ryan will continue the series, Faithfulness Under Fire, with the sermon titled, “A Kingdom People,” based upon 1 Peter 2:13-25. How do we follow in Jesus’ steps? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for October 26 – November 3

October 26: Hebrews 7:11-28 How was Jesus our priest?

October 27: Hebrews 8 In what way is Jesus the great high priest?

October 28: Hebrews 10:1-18 How did Jesus serve as our priest?

October 29: Malachi 2:1-9 Why was God against the priests of Israel?

October 30: Zechariah 3 What role did a priest have in the coming of Jesus?

October 31: Colossians 2:6-23 How did Jesus perform priestly function? And what should our response be?

November 1: Isaiah 56:1-8 Who are a part of the kingdom of God?

November 2: Ezekiel 47:1-12 How can the presence of God change things?

November 3: Micah 4:6-8 Who will be included in the kingdom of God?

This Week’s Events:

Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29–District Conference events via Zoom

Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting & Daylight Savings

Upcoming Events:

Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7–Beaver Creek Cares Weekend

Sunday, November 8–Strength in Peers and Friendship Box Collection deadline

Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service

Sunday, November 22–Stewardship Sunday

Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Church Decorating

Announcements:

Places to Serve (from the Gifts and Calling Team):

We are still in need of a volunteer to serve on the following teams: Worship, Outreach, and Fellowship. If you are willing to serve, please contact Brad Eckard, Jeanette Hess, or Phyllis Simmons as soon as possible.

Beaver Creek Cares

We still will hold Beaver Creek cares on Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7. However, it will look a little different this year! More details are to come, but one of the projects we will do is a collection for Strength in Peers. They are an outreach literally on the streets of Rockingham and Page counties, as well as Harrisonburg City, to meet the needs of the homeless. Through Sunday, November 8, there will be a box in the narthex to collect the following goods:

Breakfast bars

Non-perishable food items: Nabs, etc.

Bottled water

Disposable rain ponchos

Shampoo/Conditioner

Feminine Hygiene products

Lotion or sunscreen

Tylenol or Advil

Cough drops

Shaving cream & disposable razors

Hand sanitizer

Band-aids or small first aid kits

Can openers

Hats

Gloves

Coats

Sleeping bags/blankets

Slightly used backpacks

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).

Bible Study

Bible Study will continue on Sunday, November 1  at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements. The Zoom link is available from Pastor Ryan.

Call to Prayer

Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:

1) National return to God

2) Repentance of personal sin

3) Repentance of corporate sin

4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships

5) Our leaders

6) Restoration of the national church

7) Revival

Christmas Eve

This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to  COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.

Church Decoration/Ornament Exchange

Right after church on Sunday, November 29th, we will decorate the church for the season. We will also have a modified ornament exchange on that day, again, right after church. More details to follow.

Congregational Business Meeting

We will meet immediately after service on Sunday, November 1, to approve the budget, the ballot, one amendment, and receive reports. It is also Daylight Savings, so please remember the time change!

Directory

There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.

Nursery

Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.

YOUTH

Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!

Friendship Box for nursing homes

The Outreach Team is putting together friendship boxes (care packages) for our members who are in the nursing homes. Index cards with specific items are located on the table in the narthex. Please bring the items with the card back by Sunday, November 8th for assembly.

Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.

1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.

2) Mail your tithe into the church office

3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer: 

Mary Batterman (health)

Sam Carr (health, Chris Dastoli’s uncle).

Patsy Dastoli (health, Chris’s mother)

Regina Harlow (recovery & peace)

Eli Harlow (recovery).

Cindy Heatwole (health)

Heath Kimmell (health, Reba and Garry’s son-in-law)

LaDawn Knicely (recovery)

Alda Miller (health)

Shirley Miller (health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Evy Kaye Sandin (health)

Pam Shaffer (Mary Batterman’s daughter, health)

Ann Simmons (health)

Crystal Smith (health)

Carolyn Wine (health)

Tom Wilfong (recovery)

Charles Wright (health)

Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)

Pastor Ryan Cooper

Beaver Creek COB

Good News Brief–October 20, 2020

RECAP: PURE AND HOLY–based on 1 Peter 1:13-2:3

When I was a youth, many of my peers wanted to be like Mike. After all, Michael Jordan was the best and greatest basketball player to ever play! We bought Nikes, wearing his shoe. We bought Sprite to quench our thirst. We ate Wheaties so we could be big and strong. And for my generation, it motivated us to become someone greater than we were.

What if we took that same level of devotion that we had to be like Mike and used it to be like Christ? What if we strove to be a perfect imitation of Jesus? What would happen to us? What would change in our lives, our community, and our world? Jesus we know was the Son of God. He lived a pure and holy life and died for our sins; without that sinless life, we would have no hope. But how can we possibly even become pure and holy? Even though we will never be sinless, we could still strive to live a pure and holy life. Peter gives us eight areas that we could target:

1) Prepare our minds for action. Literally, the image of preparation takes its roots from the first Passover–the people were “ready to go” at a moment’s notice. Likewise, if we want to be like Christ, we need to be able to trust the leading of the Spirit. But how do we get there? Peter declared through self-control. The word image here is literally that of sobriety; we should be disciplined enough to say no to those things that will drag us down and yes to God. But we grow through discipline by putting practices in place that help us draw closer to him.

2) Do not conform. Peter encourages the believer to not give in under pressure. The world will squeeze us and try to pressure us to conform. Temptation knocks at the door of our heart. Our old way of living tries to come to the surface. But we should not give in; instead, we should remove ourselves from situations that might cause us to compromise our faith.

3) Be holy. Just as God is holy, so we should be holy. One aspect of holiness is perfection and a sinless life. We will never achieve this as long as we live on this earth because we are a fallen humanity. But the better translation here in the text is to “become” holy. The root of holiness is being “set apart.” We should set ourselves apart from the sinful ways and strive to become closer to Christ. That means as we are cleaned, we need to pull ourselves away from the mud!

4) Break the attachment with the world. Peter encouraged us to not live for the world, but live in reverent fear of God. The image here is a dog on a leash; a dog will only go as far as the leash allows it to go. When we are attached to the world, we allow the world’s system to control the slack on the leash of our lives. But if we want to be like Christ, we need to cut the leash so we can fully follow after God. The world will allow us to follow up to a point, but if we want to truly follow, we need to cut that leash!

5) Obey the truth. Today we have competing voices of truth. Some say there is no absolute truth. Others say what is true is only what you deem to be true. Still others say that you should doubt everything you are told, for it is all a lie. But truth can be found in the Holy Word of God. Jesus constantly pointed back to the words of Scripture. If we want to be like him, we need to both pursue the truth and obey it–to fully commit to keeping it. But we only will do so if we are reading it and following it, even if we are alone in doing so.

6) Love one another deeply. Christ loved us so deeply, that he gave everything he had for us, like an athlete that strains for the finish line. So too if we want to be like Christ, to become pure and holy, we need to love the same way. We should give of ourselves wholly to everyone, believing all can encounter the love of Jesus.

7) Cleanse yourself. You will only be clean and smell good if you bathe or shower. You can stand under water all day, but we need the soap to capture the “dirt” so we can wash it away. As we become more like Christ, those things that are dirt or “trash” in our lives will rise to the surface. What do we do when they show up? We should cleanse ourselves, wash it away, and remove it from our lives. We don’t want to hoard the garbage!

8) Crave spiritual nourishment. When we remove the trash, the junk, the unhealthy habits from our lives, we need to replace it with wholeness and goodness. We need to constantly fill ourselves up with God, like Jesus would refill himself in times of fasting and prayer.

If we want to become like Jesus, it will require work and effort. I could want to become like Mike all day long, but unless I put in the same amount of work, I would never get there. But if we begin to strive to be like Jesus, work on these eight areas, we will find ourselves becoming more like him, striving more for purity and becoming more holy. Be like Jesus!

Questions for reflection

1) What disciplines do you have in place to grow in faith?

2) Do you have any unhealthy areas that you feel attached to the world? In what ways can you sever that attachment?

3) What steps do you think you can take to become more holy?

4) What are some of your favorite Scriptures that you can anchor your life on?

Next Sunday

Pastor Ryan will continue the series, Faithfulness Under Fire, with the sermon titled, “A Royal Priesthood,” based upon 1 Peter 2:4-12. What is supposed to be the legacy of the church, especially one under fire? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for October 20 – 26

October 20: Joshua 7 What was the penalty for a violation of that which was holy?

October 21: 2 Samuel 6:1-10 Why was Uzzah slain?

October 22: Ezekiel 23 What was the price of Israel’s lack of purity?

October 23: Hebrews 6:1-8 Why is it important to be holy?

October 24: Hebrews 12:14-17 Why is holiness important?

October 25: Hebrews 4:14-5:7 What was the role of Jesus as our priest?

October 26: Hebrews 7:11-28 How was Jesus our priest?

This Week’s Events:

Wednesday, October 21–Ministry Team Meeting, 6:30 pm

Sunday, October 25–Bible Study, 6:30 pm

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29–District Conference events via Zoom

Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting

Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7–Beaver Creek Cares Weekend

Sunday, November 15–District Conference Worship service

Sunday, November 22–Stewardship Sunday

Sunday, November 29–Advent Begins & Church Decorating

Announcements:

Places to Serve (from the Gifts and Calling Team):

We are still in need of a volunteer to serve on the following teams: Worship, Outreach, Fellowship, and Finance. If you are willing to serve, please contact Brad Eckard, Jeanette Hess, or Phyllis Simmons.

Beaver Creek Cares

We still will hold Beaver Creek cares on Friday, November 6 – Saturday, November 7. However, it will look a little different this year! More details are to come, but one of the projects we will do is a collection for Strength in Peers. They are an outreach literally on the streets of Rockingham and Page counties, as well as Harrisonburg City, to meet the needs of the homeless. For the next few weeks there will be a box in the narthex to collect the following goods:

Breakfast bars
Non-perishable food items: Nabs, etc.
Bottled water
Disposable rain ponchos
Shampoo/Conditioner
Feminine Hygiene products
Lotion or sunscreen
Tylenol or Advil
Cough drops
Shaving cream & disposable razors
Hand sanitizer
Band-aids or small first aid kits
Can openers
Hats
Gloves
Coats
Sleeping bags/blankets
Slightly used backpacks

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).

Bible Study

Bible Study will continue on Sunday, October 25th  at 6:30 pm. It will resume via Zoom for the time being. If you would like to participate but do not have Zoom ability, we can make alternative arrangements. Here is the Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87612237258

Call to Prayer

Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:

1) National return to God

2) Repentance of personal sin

3) Repentance of corporate sin

4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships

5) Our leaders

6) Restoration of the national church

7) Revival

Christmas Eve

This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to  COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone.

Church Decoration/Ornament Exchange

Right after church on Sunday, November 29th, we will decorate the church for the season. We will also have a modified ornament exchange on that day, again, right after church. More details to follow.

Congregational Business Meeting

We will meet immediately after service on Sunday, November 1, to approve the budget, the ballot, one amendment, and receive reports. It is also Daylight Savings, so please remember the time change!

Directory

There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.

Nursery

Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.

YOUTH

Please fill out those interest surveys and mail them back to the church office as soon as you are able. We want to target ministries for the youth in the months to come!

Sunshine Box

More details will be coming soon, but the Outreach Team has agreed to lead the creation of Sunshine Boxes for our members in long term care facilities.

Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.

1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website**NOTE** This avenue of giving will phase out on December 31. If you are currently using this format, the Finance Team encourages you to use the online giving tool.

2) Mail your tithe into the church office

3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer: 

Mary Batterman (health)

Regina Harlow (recovery)

Eli Harlow (recovery)

Cindy Heatwole–(health)

Heath Kimmell (Reba and Garry’s son-in-law)–health

LaDawn Knicely (recovery)

Alda Miller (health)

Shirley Miller (health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Evy Kaye Sandin (health)

Pam Shaffer (Mary Batterman’s daughter–health)

Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)

Ann Simmons (health)

Crystal Smith (health)

Carolyn Wine (health)

Tom Wilfong (recovery)

Charles Wright (health)

Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)

Pastor Ryan Cooper

Beaver Creek COB

September Leadership Team minutes

Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren
Leadership Team Meeting
September 17, 2020

Present:  Ann Healy, Deborah Hoover, Joe LaPrade, Amy Saum, Zack Wampler, Bill Wood.  Ex-Officio:  Ryan Cooper – Pastor, Darlene LaPrade – Church Clerk, Tess Southerly.  Absent:  John Jordan, Kenny Wheelbarger, Brian Whitmore.

Zack called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.  Ann opened with devotions.

The minutes from the August meeting were approved with a correction about the date of the congregational business meeting.

Calendar Roundtable:  October 4 – Bread and Cup Communion, December 10 – Leadership Team meeting and re-organization, December 24 – Christmas Eve Services (7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.)

The Treasurer’s report was discussed and accepted.

Matters for Leadership Team:

  • The positions of moderator and financial secretary need to be filled. Several individuals have been asked to serve as moderator and we are waiting for a reply.  [A member of the church] has been asked to serve as financial secretary.
  • Brethren Woods has been hit hard financially due to COVID-19. They have cut some positions and others are taking a pay cut.  We have money left in the budget for campers who wish to attend but did not because of the virus.  Pastor Ryan made a recommendation to give a one-time gift to Brethren Woods for $828.00 which is the amount left in the 2020 budget for Brethren Woods.  Deborah made a motion to accept this recommendation.  It was seconded and approved.
  • Budget – Added $400.00 to the Homecoming line item. After a discussion about the issues currently in the Church of the Brethren, a motion was made to edit the line item of the budget from COB Mission and Ministry Board to Mission and Ministry.  This line item is budgeted for $3000.00.  The motion was seconded and approved.
  • The issues surrounding the Church of the Brethren and the Covenant Brethren Church were discussed. The Leadership Team agreed that Pastor Ryan should communicate with the congregation by letter of the issues at hand. Pastor Ryan will draft a letter to be sent out this week.
  • Bill made a motion to approve the budget as amended. The motion was seconded and approved.

Old Business:  The change in polity regarding the Treasurer position will be presented for a vote during the November 1 Congregational Business meeting.  The agenda and slate will be approved by the Leadership Team members via e-mail.

New Business:  None

The meeting was adjourned.

Next Meeting – October 15

Darlene LaPrade – Church Clerk