C.S. Lewis famously wrote that believers usually make one of two equal and opposite errors when it comes to Satan and demons: “One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” As others have noted, these are not exactly equal errors. To disbelieve in the existence of demons is to disbelieve the Bible and the accounts and words of Jesus.
There is a reality beyond what we can see and the passage we will study this Sunday is one of the clearest and most vivid accounts in the Bible on the subject. Jesus purposefully crossed to the other side, calming the storm in the process, to enter into a storm of another kind. We can learn much about demons and even more about Jesus from this encounter in Mark 5.
Join us at either 8:30 am or 11:00 am for indoor services (11:00 am will be live-streamed) or at 7:30 pm for an outdoor service on the back lawn.
In reading and teaching the Bible, it is easy to make the Bible all about us. We place ourselves in the stories and anxiously await God to help us defeat the giants in our lives with our own five smooth stones. What if the Bible is not all about us? What if God never promised he would do such things in the first place? What if God told us of these events so we would refuse to put our faith in hoped-for outcomes but put all our faith only in HIM? This Sunday, as we continue through Mark’s Gospel, we will look at one the most misunderstood events in Jesus’ life and learn the true point of the amazing story of Jesus calming the raging storm.
This Sunday, June 28, we will follow the same schedule as last Sunday with two indoor services at 8:30 am and 11:00 am (11:00 am service will be live-streamed) and the outdoor worship service at 7:30 pm.
Dear Church Family,
Last Sunday, we held our first worship service in our sanctuary since March 8. With all the distancing protocols in place, we estimated a capacity of 300 people in the Worship Center, with overflow seating in the Fellowship Hall and Multi-Purpose Room as needed. We had 290 people in the worship center and sixteen more in the Fellowship Hall. It was wonderful to be back in that room with so many of our congregation.
Of course, we also had many worship online and at the 7:30 PM service on the grass lawn. We were worried about an approaching rain storm but I never felt the first drop of rain until a few second before the end of the message. God is good! He has given us nice weather for each of our outdoor services and this Sunday evening looks like another beautiful day to worship God in his creation.
To continue to offer the most opportunities to the most people to gather as the body of Christ to worship, we will also hold a worship service at 8:30 AM this Sunday along with our 11:00 AM and 7:30 PM services. We will livestream the 11:00 service. Some are ready to gather indoors. Others greatly enjoy worshiping outside. Others prefer to worship as a family or small group in their homes. We hope all who call Western Avenue Baptist Church home will take full advantage of all these opportunities to grow in their walk with Jesus as we worship him and study his word.
Finally, your staff and deacons meet online last week for our monthly deacons’ meeting. We have a few medical professionals serving as deacons and they wanted to reinforce their appreciation for the impact wearing a mask can have on an individual and those around him or her. We are not requiring masks be worn for the indoor services but are thankful for anyone who chooses to do so. We also join with our medical professionals in asking you to please stay home if you notice any symptoms of illness at all, especially a high temperature. If you are not sure, one of the doctors in our church membership will be in the foyer before both services to quickly take your temperature by scanning your forehead with a non-invasive infrared thermometer. Our cleaning company will thoroughly clean and disinfect the worship center between services.
We are doing what we can to provide you with the opportunity to worship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope you will be able to join us at one of these services.
Jesus’ Response to Social Injustice
Presented by Jeff Durham
What is social injustice? Should Christians advocate for social justice? Is it even a term that Christians should use? And most importantly, what did Jesus say about this topic?
We invite you to join us this Wednesday (6/17) at 6:30 PM on Facebook or YouTube as Jeff Durham will address this timely and relevant topic.
WABC Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers -
We are excited to announce Middle School and High School at Western Avenue will have camp this year. It won’t be over night and it won’t be far away, but it will certainly be fun.
Middle School dates: Tuesday, June 23 - Friday, June 26
High School dates: Tuesday June 30 - Friday, July 3
We will meet at church each morning of camp. Each day will consist of teaching, worship, and activities. Our day will look like this:
9:00 am to 10:00 am - Worship and Bible Study
10:00 am to 10:30 am - Snack and Activity Prep
10:30 am to 12:00 pm - Activity
Activities will include group games, scavenger hunts, competitions, and messy games. You will need to bring a change of clothes on Friday for our Messy Games Competition. We will meet outside under the canopy.
Want to attend?
We need you to have filled out:
· 2020 Student Release
· COVID Release
You can find those forms online here:
Middle School link to register (if you just completed 6th - 8th grade): https://forms.gle/5XaRkvhAKtYkNnrn9
Middle School please register by June 21
High School link to register (if you just completed 9th - 12th grade): https://forms.gle/RFcvpz9XPBD6BvdW9
High School please register by June 28
Questions? Call Mark Collins at 704-872-4139 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good morning! We have a couple quick updates for our Virtual Bible School construction crew! If you have registered for VBS, you can pick up your toolkit behind the church on Friday, 6/12, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. or on Sunday, 6/14, before the 11:00 service and after until 1:00 p.m.
While the deadline to receive a toolkit with snacks and crafts has passed, we want to give everyone the opportunity to watch the daily VBS videos. They can also be shared with family or friends who may not live in Statesville. Fill out this short form (https://forms.gle/cQDLMYoxxC5c6mPm9) to receive the link and password to access.
We worshiped online for the first time on March 15. We gathered in this manner for eight weeks. Then, on Mothers’ Day, May 10, we met outside on the back lawn and in our cars at 11:00 AM. We gathered in this manner for four weeks. Last Sunday, in an attempt to beat the heat, we gathered outside at 9:00 AM. It looks like we will only do this for one Sunday.
As we consider our next options, it is good to repeat what we have said multiple times over the last several weeks. Our goal is not simply to be able to worship indoors. Our goal all along has been to worship together. This is something the world does not seem to understand. Some do not understand our desire is not centered on a building to be in but a people to be with. This will remain our goal and will continue to guide our plans, as far as that is possible. We realize moving inside will reduce our ability to gather as one body but we have reached that time, knowing the heat is only going to increase as we move further into the summer months.
This Sunday, June 14, we will have two services. The first service will be indoors at 11:00 AM. We will meet in the Worship Center with overflow options in the Fellowship Hall and the Multi-Purpose Room. This service will also be livestreamed on our website, Facebook, YouTube, and broadcast live on local radio (1400 AM; 100.7 FM). We will observe distancing guidelines in all three locations, which are as follows (and will be explained in a video later in the week):
1)To ensure a distance of six feet between all family units, we will mark off every other row and ensure there are four empty seats between family units.
2)As you arrive, please wait to be seated by one of our ushers. He will find a row with enough seats for you or your family to sit together and then mark off four seats between you and the next worshiper(s). The balcony is also open.
3)When the sanctuary reaches capacity, you may participate in the worship service in the Fellowship Hall or in the Multi-Purpose Room. Chairs will be arranged to meet social distancing requirements.
4)We will dismiss by rows. You may place your offerings in the brown buckets as you depart through the foyer. We ask you not to congregate in the foyer but to continue outside to fellowship.
We will also hold a second worship service at 7:30 PM on Sunday on the back lawn (as we have the last few weeks). As long as it does not rain, the late evening is a wonderful time to meet outdoors. If it does rain, we will not meet at 7:30 PM (indoors or outdoors). This service will not be livestreamed. If it does rain, the morning service will be available online.
Worship at Western Avenue has been very different these past thirteen weeks. It appears it will continue to be different for at least the next three weeks. At the same time, the worship services have been wonderful with a beautiful unity among the body as we gathered in God’s glorious creation. As your pastor, I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to make wise decisions for the good of this church body and our community. May God continue to bless us as we work and plan to honor him in how we worship and live our lives to his glory alone.
We have met outside to worship the last few weeks. I have heard so many positive comments during this time as you have enjoyed these services outdoors. It has been a wonderful experience - with the exception of slowly increasing temperatures and maybe a few slight sunburns. I am thankful for the moderate weather we’ve experienced these past Sunday mornings but it’s starting to get a little hotter. I know the rising temperatures bring more distractions and possibly keep some at home.
We will meet outdoors once again this Sunday morning, June 7, starting at 9:00 AM.
We will also livestream this service on our website, Facebook, and YouTube at 9:00 AM.
We are working with the radio station to carry this service at 11:00 AM but we are not sure at this point what will work with WSIC (100.7 FM; 1400 AM).
We have plans to meet indoors and will do so soon (even quicker than expected if the weather is not as nice). However, our goal has never been to merely be indoors (as nice as that will be). Our goal has been to gather together so we can all worship together. This goal is best met at this time by worshiping outside. If we move indoors at this point, we will have to break into two services and spread across three rooms (sanctuary, fellowship hall, multipurpose room) to accommodate everyone. That is not optimal but may be necessary in the near future.
I greatly appreciate your patience and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
The recent deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are reminders that the sin of racism is still alive in America. And while we see instances of peaceful protests against such heinous crimes, we are also witnessing on our televisions exhibitions of violence and destruction, which include riots, looting, and the destruction of property. So how does this affect our church here in Statesville, NC? What can we, as a body of believers who hold firmly and dearly to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, do in such times? How can WABC be a beacon of light in a dark and chaotic world, as well as a refuge for sinners and a source of racial unity? And what does God say about such issues of racism and violence? Join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as we address these important and critical issues.
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Avenue Kids (1st-3rd) / Science Day!