This column usually addresses a biblical/ ministry topic of general interest. So much is going on right now in our association the emphasis will be more on NEWSletter than newsLETTER.
1) Annual MSBA Christmas Dinner---this is for our pastors and paid ministry staff plus spouses. This year it will be catered at Immanuel BC-Princeton, Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 6.30pm, so we are asking for a $5/couple donation. Norm Arrington will give a dramatic presentation based on Christmas themes and we will conclude by singing Christmas carols.
2) Devotional Guides—To increase our church members’ time in the Word of God our state convention has compiled a daily devotional guide written by WV ministers (sixteen by each author, including yours truly). 2017 will be in the OT and the 2018 version will be in the NT. The printing costs are $3/guide and you can order as individuals or churches from the WVCSB office by calling (304-757-0944) or emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org). The projected date of availability is January 1.
3) Pastors/Wives Retreat---January 27-28, Pipestem St. Park---Chris Gambill, director for the Center for Congregational Health in Winston Salem, is our main speaker. He has both the knowledge and demeanor to relate well to our couples as to how we can contribute to the spiritual health of our congregations. We will ask for a $10 conference fee per couple/single; all lodging, meals, and program are provided as our investment in leadership development. Please encourage your pastor to attend.
4) Cuba Mission Trip---We had a great turnout for the info meeting. The deadline for a down-payment is 1/16/17 but passport applications will need to be started before then. Contact the MSBA office if you are interested. Please pray for those going, as Castro’s recent death could significantly impact the trip (May 26-June 2). If you do not go, your church can still participate and donate to a collective fund for construction materials for the trip (goal of $3000).
5) Kingdom Advance---Congrats to our first ever class participants (Rodney Wallace, Preston White, Teresa Gallimore, Sally Sudderth, Mike Crotty, Don Dickerson, Brandon Etter, Aaron Heslep). Eight started; eight survived! Each participant upon completion of his/her first class receives a free ESV or NASB study Bible. We will expand our offerings for the spring to How to Understand the Bible, NT Survey Pt. 1, and NT Survey Pt. 2. This time we will accept students from outside the MSBA. Anyone desiring to deepen their understanding of and thirst for God’s Word is welcome to enroll by calling the MSBA office. Brochures will be in the churches before Christmas. Many thanks to Dan Jividen and Jeff Canterbury for facilitating these classes.
6) Lottie Moon Christmas Offering----I say this every time, but please make sure your congregations and Sunday School classes know that 100% of every dime given to both Lottie Moon and the NAMB Annie Armstrong offerings goes “on the field” and is not used for administrative costs here in the states. Your church should have received a promotional packet with audiovisual materials. If not, please access: https://www.imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering.
7) Divergent (new name for Youth Evangelism Conference) has a new venue (Charleston Municipal Auditorium) Jan. 13-14, 2017. The main personality is Drew Worsham, one of my former students in TX (no, Kyle and Andrew, I’m not making this up). He is an outstanding illusionist and speaker.
I pray you have a wonderful Christmas, and that you are used by God to insure others do as well.