Looking to chase away the winter blues? We will be holding two Popcorn & a Movie Nights in March!
On Friday, March 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall (lower level), we will be showing the movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer. From the movie’s description:
The film is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell – his 30 year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. Originally investigated for illegal prescription drug sales, a raid by DEA, FBI & local law enforcement revealed crimes they could not have expected within the clinic.
Based on the NY Times Bestseller — Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer.
Because of the sensitive nature of this film (we do not recommend that children or youth sensitive to this type of content), we will also be showing Shaun the Sheep in our Youth Room for children during this time.
On Friday, March 29, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall (lower level), we will be showing Christopher Robin. From the movie’s description:
In this heartwarming tale, Christopher Robin, the boy who had countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood, has grown up and lost his way. Now it’s up to his spirited and loveable stuffed animals, Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and the rest of the gang, to rekindle their friendship and remind him of endless days of childlike wonder and make-believe, when doing nothing was the very best something.
This movie is appropriate for all ages.
There is no charge for Popcorn & a Movie Night, and popcorn and beverages will be served.
You are invited to Secret Church 19: Prayer, Fasting, and the Pursuit of God, on Friday, April 26. We are asking that participants arrive at 5:30 p.m. to get some food and find a place to sit. Wear comfortable clothing, as the simulcast will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will run until midnight (or a little later).
What is Secret Church? Secret Church is a concentrated, intense Bible study. From the Secret Church website:
“The idea behind Secret Church comes from time David Platt spent teaching and ministering among underground Asian house-churches. Due to hostility from the government, from the surrounding community, and even from their own family, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are forced to gather in secret, sometimes at the risk of their lives.
The plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters also explains why prayer for the persecuted church is a major part of every Secret Church gathering. We remember those who cannot meet openly, asking God to sustain their faith, to change the hearts and the actions of their persecutors, and to use their witness for the spread of the gospel.”
This year’s theme is Prayer, Fasting, and the Pursuit of God … from the Secret Church description:
“Our culture is constantly telling us that we can achieve anything we set our mind to. Sadly, many followers of Christ and many churches have adopted this self-sufficient mindset, relying on their own wisdom and abilities instead of relying on God. But what if we were never intended to be self-sufficient? And what if God has designed us so that our greatest satisfaction is found as we depend on Him fully for everything we need?
In Secret Church 19 we’ll take an in-depth look at the Bible’s teaching on prayer and fasting. We’ll see that our inabilities and weaknesses are the very place where God meets us with His strength and sufficiency. We’ll also see that faithfulness to the mission of Christ requires depending on the Spirit of Christ. Through prayer and fasting, we demonstrate our need for God’s power and our desire for His glory.”
For more information, see https://secretchurch.radical.net/
There is no cost for this event, but study guides are limited – please register by emailing info (at) christalonechurch.org with the names and number of participants.
Join us for Seek Missional Evangelism: Are Evangelicals to Pursue Social Justice?, a six session Bible study for adults that explores the serious and complex problems of poverty, addiction, and homelessness. Passion alone won’t solve them. We need effective strategies for meeting human needs. Combining real-world examples of effective action with the wisdom of Christian leaders like the late Chuck Colson, Al Mohler, and Marvin Olasky, this study will challenge your ideas about social justice and how to transform lives in need. This study will be led by Pastor Ted Tromble and Jodi Buntin. Dates of this study will be: June 6, June 13, July 11, July 18, July 25, and August 1, from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Please sign up (sign up sheet is in the Narthex) so we can ensure that we have study guides for everyone.
As you all know, the simulcast of Secret Church 18 lost audio for approximately 10 minutes during the teaching session on Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many of you have been asking about how you can go back and watch what you missed, so we have provided several ways for you and your group members to do so.
Missed some answers during Secret Church? You can get the answer key by texting SC18ANSWERS to 44222, and then follow the directions. You can also go to radical.net/sc18 and click the extras button to find the answer sheet.
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.
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:
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.