Lenten Study 2018

This Wednesday, February 14, we will hold an Ash Wednesday Service at 6 p.m.  The title of Pastor Ted’s sermon is “The Soul Set Free!” Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the 40 days that precede Holy Week and Easter.  In the Scriptures, the number 40 relates to the period spent in the ark by Noah, the period spent by Israel seeking the Promised Land after the Exodus, and the amount of time Jesus was in the wilderness of temptation after His baptism and prior to beginning His ministry.  For us, the season of Lent is an invitation to 40 days of renewal (“Lent” means “spring”), 40 days to prepare ourselves to take in the Good News of Easter through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  Ashes are the traditional sign of sorrow and repentance and are also a sign of mortality.

On each of the following Wednesdays (6 p.m.), through March 21, Session invites you to a Family Lenten Gathering of the Psalms, drama, dessert, and fellowship.

Paper Drive through February 19!

Cleaning out old papers, magazines, boxes, and college textbooks?  Worried about how you’re going to get rid of it all, since your recycling bin probably won’t hold it all?

We have the solution for you!  Through February 19th, look for the large yellow dumpster near the JaM Community Center at the north end of the parking lot, and drop those paper recyclable items off!  We are doing a paper drive, with proceeds going towards our JaM (Jesus and Me) Community Center.

Tell your friends and neighbors too!

Sew and Sews Blankets

Eleven ladies met together on Thursday, January 25, 2018, to make blankets for the East High Caring Closet.

The completed blankets.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this fun morning. We completed eight beautiful blankets and had a lot of fun and fellowship doing so.  All skill levels were needed to make the blankets and everyone found a special job for themselves!  We cut, we pinned, we stitched, we knotted, and we admired the beautiful blankets.

Thank you to Mary Lee Hanson for her prepping of the project and making it all run smoothly.  Thank you to those who donated fleece.   Keep looking for future Sew and Sew events. You will be welcome to join with us.

Here are some pictures of the ladies making blankets:

Popcorn & a Movie Night Schedule

We are pleased to announce that our Popcorn & a Movie night will now be on the third Friday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.

As always, there is no charge for Popcorn & a Movie events, and feel free to bring friends!  Popcorn and beverages will be served.

Here are the movies we will be showing for February through April:

Wonder – February 16:

Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

Wonder is an amazing film, giving us a likeable hero and underdog in Auggie (short for August) Pullman, adeptly portrayed by Jacob Tremblay. His parents, portrayed by Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, decided that Mom would homeschool him. But now they want him to attend fifth grade with other kids, so he begins attending Beecher Prep School. Auggie has the kind of sense of humor that can win kids over—well, most of them anyway. He says he is good at playing sports (on his X Box of course), and he loves Star Wars, so he deals with the stares from others by imagining what it would be like if Chewbacca the wookie showed up at school—he would stared at, too!

The movie features a subplot of Auggie’s sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic), who is always overlooked. She says that Auggie is like the sun, and their family revolves everything around him. She really cares for Auggie but sometimes feels as if she is invisible, especially when her friend Miranda comes back from a summer camp and seems to no longer want to be friends. But we do learn that there is something Miranda is dealing with that involves her parents.

The story is realistically portrayed and features some nice sentiments like, “It is better to be kind than right.” This one is a close call as far as receiving the Dove Seal due to an utterance of strong language, but there is a lot the movie got right, including the presenting of the Henry Ward Beecher Medal to someone who shows great courage. The movie makes the point that sometimes something or someone different winds up being a “wonder” indeed.  (Review from The Dove Foundation.)

Same Kind of Different As Me – March 16:

“We are all homeless – just workin’ our way home.” These words are aptly spoken by Denver Moore, who enters the film The Same Kind of Different as Me as a very disturbed homeless man, played poignantly by Djimon Hounsou in the true story of Ron and Deborah Hall’s (Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger) journey to personal healing and struggle with physical illness and their effect on the homeless they encounter. The award-deserving performance by Hounsou carries the film; I sat transfixed by almost every word that emanates from this man. His deliberate and powerful voice anchors much of this narrative in the truth it wishes to convey—that of the homeless experience and this black man in particular, who struggled as a sharecropper, living much like a slave, well into the 1950s. His escape from this lifestyle meant a homeless existence, especially after a brush with the law, until he encountered the Halls.

Deborah Hall’s love and charity toward Denver and all the homeless people who come to the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission is transforming. Moore said; “I never met Miss Debbie—she met me.” Zellweger, indeed, manages to convey a gentle and tender strength, even in the midst of her character’s battle with cancer, by unrelentingly pursuing the most lost and broken in society, as she is urged on by a prophetic dream and an unwavering faith. She cleverly insists that her husband make amends for wrongdoings by serving with her at the mission. He reluctantly agrees, and his transformation ensues, where he is just as changed by those he encounters as they are blessed by his service. The intimate bond he builds with Denver carries them both past the borders of this film into the world at large to raise millions of dollars for the homeless together by telling their story of redemption and grace.

Though a gap exists in the transition from the baseball bat-wielding Moore to the angelic, preaching Moore, God is greatly glorified throughout, as Denver increasingly speaks profundities about lessons learned and grander purposes, even in the midst of suffering, and Debbie quietly blesses everyone in her life, humbly pointing to God’s grace and love as the liberating and healing force. At times the tears in the theater were enough to fill buckets when emotional moments, such as the touching father/son encounter between Earl (played bitingly by Jon Voigt as an ornery alcoholic) and Ron was perfectly modulated.

Though there are a few violent scenes where Denver wields a baseball bat and smashes car windows, and emotional moments associated with infidelity, cancer struggles, and alcohol abuse, this film is overflowing with the message of redemption and hope, as we witness lives transformed and a powerful path created that lead to the One who changes hearts and minds. (Review from The Dove Foundation.)

Secret Church 18 – April 20:

For April, we invite you to join us for Secret Church!   This will be the fifth year that Christ Alone Church is serving as a simulcast site.

What is Secret Church?  Secret Church is our version of “house church” where we meet periodically for an intense time of Bible study—lasting approximately 6 hours—including a time of prayer for our brothers and sisters across the globe who are facing persecution and for those who still have not heard the gospel.

This year’s topic is “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels,” where leader David Platt will discuss:

Christ Alone Church will be hosting a Secret Church simulcast on April 20, 2018.

The apostle Paul was astonished that some followers of Christ in his day were “turning to a different gospel,” and he pleaded with them not to be deceived by those who wanted to “distort the gospel of Christ.” These warnings given to the church in the first century are just as relevant today for the church in the twenty-first century.

For the good of our souls and for the sake of the church’s mission, followers of Christ need to ask, “What false gospels are being taught today?” and “How can I recognize the true gospel among so many counterfeits?” Answering these questions will be the aim of Secret Church 18, “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels.”

We will consider the claims of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other groups that claim to teach the truth. We will also explore more subtle distortions of the gospel, including prosperity teaching that is rampant across the church. In the end, our goal is to walk away from this Secret Church not only enabled to discern false gospels, but also equipped to share the true gospel with people around us and with peoples around the world.

The simulcast begins at 6:00 p.m., and we are asking participants to arrive by 5:30 p.m.  There is no charge for this event, study guides will be provided, and there will be plenty of food to eat!  Watch our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for additional information as it becomes available.

Save the date! April 20, 2018 for Secret Church

Secret Church ’18 will hold a simulcast at Christ Alone Church on Friday, April 18, beginning at 6:00 p.m. (please arrive by 5:30 p.m.).

This year’s topic is, “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels”:

The apostle Paul was astonished that some followers of Christ in his day were “turning to a different gospel,” and he pleaded with them not to be deceived by those who wanted to “distort the gospel of Christ.” These warnings given to the church in the first century are just as relevant today for the church in the twenty-first century.

For the good of our souls and for the sake of the church’s mission, followers of Christ need to ask, “What false gospels are being taught today?” and “How can I recognize the true gospel among so many counterfeits?” Answering these questions will be the aim of Secret Church 18, “Cults and Counterfeit Gospels.”

We will consider the claims of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other groups that claim to teach the truth. We will also explore more subtle distortions of the gospel, including prosperity teaching that is rampant across the church. In the end, our goal is to walk away from this Secret Church not only enabled to discern false gospels, but also equipped to share the true gospel with people around us and with peoples around the world.

Why Secret Church?

Please watch our website, our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for more information!

Sew & Sews News

The ladies from M&M are spearheading a new initiative to reach out and help the community!

On Thursday, January 25, at 10:30 a.m. we will meet in the Lounge to make fleece blankets for the East High Caring Closet. Please set aside a couple of hours to help us.

Bring a sandwich or snack lunch and join us – all different skill levels can help, even if you don’t use a sewing machine, there will be easy tasks to perform, not forgetting the good fellowship.

Thanks to Mary Lee Hanson, we took five fleece blankets (pictured) to the Caring Closet this week!

You will be warmly welcomed. Please contact Deanna Snow, Sandra Ballard or Mary Lee Hanson if you have any questions.

Popcorn & a Movie Night – January

Our January selection for Popcorn & a Movie night is Hidden Figures, based on actual events.

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. (From the Dove Foundation.)

Join us on January 19 at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall on the lower level.

There is no charge for this event, and popcorn and beverages will be served.  Feel free to bring some friends too!

Advent Social is December 10

On December 10, our Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a Christmas dining room, with  beautifully decorated tables, delicious desserts served, the Christmas story read, beautiful music played, and all to be shared with favorite friends.

A cookie exchange has been added this year — so bring some of your favorite cookies to share, and take some others home with you!

Join us on December 10, following worship for our Advent Social!

We are currently looking for table hosts and hostesses. Contact Claudia Merck for more information and to sign up.

Advent 2017 at Christ Alone Church

Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young. ~ Isaiah 40:9-11

Join us at Christ Alone Church this Advent season, as we study and reflect on Jesus’ birth.

On Wednesday evenings, from November 29 through December 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m., join us in Fellowship Hall for a simple meal, and a devotional study of the Advent using the Psalms.

On Christmas Eve, we will have our normal worship service at 10:00 a.m., and then our service of Carols and Candles at 6:00 p.m.

Watch our website, Facebook page and Twitter for updates.

Popcorn & a Movie schedule – October-December

We are pleased to announce our Popcorn & a Movie Nights for the rest of 2017 – mark your calendars!

Saturday, October 21 – Luther: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer

Produced and just released by Haven Ministries’ Stephen McCaskell, this highly acclaimed 90-minute documentary will transport you back to the definitive moments that impacted the Church today. It will challenge you to a bolder faith and a greater passion to see the saving truth of Christ go into the world. (From the product description.)

Friday, November 17 – Alone Yet Not Alone

Seeking religious freedom in America, a devout Christian family from Germany settles in the peaceful Pennsylvania colony – only to find themselves caught in the crossfire of the French & Indian War. Following a merciless raid on their settlement, daughters Barbara and Regina are abducted, separated, then raised by their Delaware captors in the harsh Ohio wilderness. Now, only their devotion to each other and faith in the Lord can lead them through their darkest hours and back to freedom in this inspirational, true story. (From the movie’s website.)

Friday, December 15 – It’s a Wonderful Life

George Bailey has spent his entire life giving of himself to the people of Bedford Falls. He has always longed to travel but never had the opportunity in order to prevent rich skinflint Mr. Potter from taking over the entire town. All that prevents him from doing so is George’s modest building and loan company, which was founded by his generous father. But on Christmas Eve, George’s Uncle Billy loses the business’s $8,000 while intending to deposit it in the bank. Potter finds the misplaced money and hides it from Billy. When the bank examiner discovers the shortage later that night, George realizes that he will be held responsible and sent to jail and the company will collapse, finally allowing Potter to take over the town. Thinking of his wife, their young children, and others he loves will be better off with him dead, he contemplates suicide. But the prayers of his loved ones result in a gentle angel named Clarence coming to earth to help George, with the promise of earning his wings. He shows George what things would have been like if he had never been born. In a nightmarish vision in which the Potter-controlled town is sunk in sex and sin, those George loves are either dead, ruined, or miserable. He realizes that he has touched many people in a positive way and that his life has truly been a wonderful one. (From IMDb.com)

There is no charge for this event, and popcorn and beverages will be served.  Feel free to bring some friends along for a enjoyable evening!