RECAP: A SENSITIVE BODY–based on Acts 6:1-7
Like everyone else, the early church was not immune to conflict. Although the church strove to be united in heart and mind, a conflict arose over the distribution of food. The Grecian Jews complained that their widows were being overlooked, and that the Hebraic Jews were receiving preferential treatment. Although the church had seen explosive growth up to this point, this conflict had the potential to derail all of the gains.
Conflict destroys. With conflict often comes finger pointing, hatred, dissension, division, and distrust. Teams crumble when there is conflict. Our nation is divided. We have felt the sting of national conflict, denominational conflict, and conflict over social media. And conflict can damper our ability to come together and worship God, as I heard once before, “I can’t worship in the same pew with her” over a heated debate on social media.
Yet, the early church not only faced this conflict, but found a way to navigate through it. In the end, it said in Acts 6:7 that “The number of disciples increased rapidly.” How did the early church overcome conflict? How can it serve as a model to us? How can we intentionally work to keep unity, to heal conflicts in our day and time?
1) Hear the concern. The apostles called together all of the church and took the time to hear the concern. There is a difference between hearing to solve and hearing to understand. What was the heart’s cry? Was there dialogue? Do we know how people feel? Do we understand the why? Have people spoken freely? The heart at the Grecian Jews–we want to be equal in Christ. We don’t want to have the seconds, but to share with everyone else.
2) Know your strengths and weaknesses. The apostles’ strength was in prayer and ministry of the word. Their weakness was in the administrative oversight of the food distribution. Instead of trying to tackle something they were not skilled at, they looked for a solution that played to the strengths of another.
3) Empower the solution. The apostles encouraged the people themselves to choose individuals who were filled with the Holy Spirit and wisdom to oversee the project. They could have chosen, but they empowered the people to find and choose who can lead. Not only did this show the people were heard, but also trusted in making a wise decision.
4) Strive for consensus. The proposal pleased the whole group. After the seven were chosen, the whole affirmed, and then the apostles laid their hands upon them and sent them out. They worked at a solution until everyone could live with it. Instead of pushing for winners and losers, they realized they all lost if they were not on board. Why win at the expense of their brother or sister in Christ?
The early church gave us a model on how to be a sensitive body. We are living in very strange times. But our leadership’s way of trying to solve our conflicts is failing. Maybe we should take a page out of the play book of the early church, and see if we can chart a different way.
Questions for reflection
1) Are you at conflict with someone?
2) How does conflict make you feel? How does it affect your relationship with God?
3) Why is it difficult to truly listen to a concern of another?
4) Why is striving for consensus difficult?
Pastor Ryan will continue to Acts church series with the sermon titled, “Standing By Each Other,” based upon Acts 9:19-31. No one believed Saul had become a Christian until Barnabas got involved. How did Barnabas shape the future? And what can we learn about standing beside people? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
This Sunday is also outdoor worship! We will be on the side of the church (in the shade but still in reach of live stream feed). Please bring your trusted lawn chair, mask, and water to stay hydrated. The temperature could be near 90.
Daily Bible Readings for July 2 – 6
July 2: 1 Kings 12:1-20 How did Rehoboam’s lack of sensitivity bring disaster?
July 3: Isaiah 7 How did Ahaz’s lack of sensitivity bring judgment?
July 4: Acts 8:26-39 How did Philip’s sensitivity to the Spirit change an Ethiopian’s life?
July 5: Genesis 41:1-16 Who encouraged Pharaoh to find Joseph? Why?
July 6: Exodus 18 Who encouraged Moses to find assistance? Why?
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.
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.
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
Graduate Recognition Sunday is July 12. If you have a graduate that would like to be recognized, please let Tess know by this Sunday 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. 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.
Brunk family–in the passing of Sylvia on Sunday morning. Prayers of comfort and peace.
Nancy Harper–former boss of Nancy Simmons (health)
Jacobson Family (loss)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Showalter family (loss)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)