This week's advent reading devotionals focus on Mary's Song. Missed the first devotional for this week? No worries, you can read it here.
Here's the second reading for this week:
Can you think of a time when you were so overwhelmed with joy, you could barely contain yourself? Perhaps for a child, it might be receiving that one gift you have dreamt about. Maybe your favorite sports team finally won that long-sought-after championship. Perhaps you just received the call that you are being offered your dream job. Or perhaps the doctors have told you your loved one is going to be okay, despite how things had initially looked. What would you do in such a situation? You might throw a party, or perhaps you would shout for joy at the top of your lungs. Or perhaps, you would just spontaneously sing a song.
Well, the latter is the option Mary, the mother of Jesus, opted for. She decided to sing a song. But, what was her joyous occasion? We read in Luke 1 that the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of a son who will be named Jesus. This child will be the Son of the Most High God. After hearing this news, Mary left to visit with her cousin Elizabeth who was also expecting a child. Elizabeth felt her baby leap for joy at Mary’s arrival. This prompted Elizabeth to say, “Blessed are you among women” (Luke 1:42).
Mary, overwhelmed with a sense of awe and joy as to what was taking place, broke out into a song of joy. Mary’s song is often referred to as the Magnificat, the first word of the Latin translation, which simply means “magnify.” This song is one of the most famous songs in Christianity. It has been whispered in monasteries, chanted in cathedrals, recited in small remote churches by evening candlelight, and set to music with trumpets and kettledrums by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Mary begins the song with these words:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;” Luke 1:46–48
Mary’s heart and soul were flooded with an array of emotions, leading her to rejoice because God has “looked” upon her. The word “looked” can also be translated as “to be mindful of.” Mary was blown away that God would be mindful of her, a simple and unknown girl. Mary was a young, poor, country, unmarried girl from Nazareth. Yes Nazareth, that place of which Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Yet in God’s eyes, she is seen as valuable and loved.
As you enter into advent during this season of waiting, may you be reminded that just as God was mindful of Mary, he is mindful of you as well. If ever there was a reason for celebration, it is this. Our God loves you and is mindful of you, yes you. In fact, our God so loved the world that he gave the greatest gift ever, his only son Jesus Christ. For all who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life. Friends, this is a reason to celebrate, perhaps even break out into a song of joy!
Think of the many times God has been mindful of you. What are three ways you can be mindful of others this week? Perhaps you know a family you could bless with food or clothes. Perhaps you could write cards to someone who is lonely. Call a friend to say hello and let them know you are thinking of them. Trying going out and doing some of the things you thought of.
God we praise you that you have been mindful of us. We celebrate that you sent Jesus to us. May our hearts and our mouths be filled with songs of praise for you this season and always. Amen.
Hope has come! During this first week of advent, we will take a look at Mary's song. Here's the first advent devotional for this week. Full text is below. The entire advent reading guide is available here.
November 30-December 6
 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
A.W. Tozer opened his classic book The Knowledge of the Holy with these words: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” There are many views in the world about who God is and what he is like. Some see him as a grandfather, others as a tyrant, while some even see him as a version of Santa Claus. But, what does God say about himself? What does he say about who he truly is?
As we turn to the song of Mary, the Magnificat, we see that she shares a view of God that is at odds with many of the worldly ideas of God. After talking about how God had been mindful of her, she continues her song as follows:
“for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;” (Luke 1:49–51)
Mary describes God as one who is “mighty,” painting the picture of a warrior extending an arm of strength to bring forth his purposes. And one of his aims is to exalt the humble and bring down the proud. Mary recognizes that it is God who is mighty, who is able to take the lowly and lift them up and change their status. The Mighty One has taken Mary from the place of a lowly servant to a place of blessing and honor.
But how does God do this? Well, the answer is tied to the very reason we celebrate Christmas. God the Mighty One is able to bless the lowly by himself becoming lowly. Paul writes in Philippians, “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8).
The God of the universe humbled himself in the most incredible way. The same God who cannot be contained by the highest heaven chose to make himself small, so small to fit in a womb, Mary’s womb. This great act of humility was the gracious act of the Mighty One for Mary. This is why she can say, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”
But, the blessing Mary receives is not for her alone. As her song continues, we read these words: “And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50).
Mary understands that what God has done for her represents or sets into motion what God is doing for his people. Mary serves as our sign that what God has done for Mary, he will do for us. Just as he reversed Mary’s status and showed her favor and mercy, he will do the same for us.
May we all take time this Advent to reflect upon what Mary teaches us about God in her song. He is a God who desires to be known personally and by what he does for us. He is a God who loves freely and freely acts mercifully on our behalf. And, he is the God who came to this earth so that he could be among his people, coming in humility so that he could also take each of us from our humble state to a position of blessing and honor.
What are some ways you have seen God act mercifully toward you in your life? What are some things he has done for you this week? Share those with someone.
Our Lord Jesus, there are so many reasons you came to us. Today we praise you for coming to us and showing mercy to us. We have no hope of having a relationship with God without you. Thank you for acting mercifully toward me in my life. Help me to act mercifully toward others. Amen.
We all long for each Christmas to be the best one ever. For many of us, just the mention of Christmas stirs up nostalgic images of sleigh bells ringing, children singing, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. This is often a more imagined Christmas than real, more derived from television commercials and Thomas Kincaid paintings than what is actually experienced. The gap between what we hope for and what we experience leaves many restless, longing for something more. What is that “more” to which we long? This Sunday, we will turn to the book of Isaiah to see how the prophet points us to the only one who can fill that longing, the one whom Christmas is all about, the one described by Isaiah as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.
Make plans to join us:
Sunday morning worship at 8:30am and 11:00am in the sanctuary.
The 11:00am service is also live-streamed on:
wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am
Evening service in the sanctuary (masks required) at 6:00pm
This Sunday, November 29, marks the first Sunday of Advent.
We've developed an advent guide (click here to download the PDF) again this year with two devotional readings for you and your family each week. We will also post those readings here during the week. They will serve to focus your heart and thoughts on the coming of Christ – his coming as a baby in Bethlehem and his coming again in glory. Each reading is followed by a prompt for prayer.
We encourage you to read these with your family as a part of your family worship time, or you could gather with a group of friends to pray and focus on what Christmas truly means – celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Advent means coming. Christ has come and is coming again. During this season, we focus our hearts and minds on his coming. Let’s celebrate his coming as a baby at Christmas, as we also anticipate his coming again in glory.
There is a debate about the right time to start listening to Christmas music. Some people listen to Christmas music year-round. Some start on November 1st as soon as the jack-o-lanterns are packed away. Others say you should wait until after Thanksgiving. No matter when you start listening to Christmas music, it is undeniable that there is something special about Christmas music. When the radio stations begin to play your favorite tunes like “All I Want or Christmas Is You,” or “The Christmas Song,” something happens. When the choir and congregation at church begin to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” you know something is coming. You can feel it. The “something coming” is Christmas, and those Christmas songs help to usher in the season. They set the mood and add to the building anticipation. The Christmas songs we love are the soundtrack to our childhoods. They are the songs that make us remember that certain special Christmas. They are the playlist of the season.
The Bible is a very musical book. There are entire books of songs (Psalms, Song of Songs). But, did you know the Gospel of Luke has several songs of the nativity? These songs are used to set the mood for the coming Messiah. They usher in the birth of the Christ child. They are the playlist of the first Christmas.
There are four songs in the first two chapters of Luke’s gospel. The first one is Mary’s song of praise after speaking with her cousin Elizabeth, found in Luke 1:46-55. The second is Zechariah’s song in Luke 1:67-79. After many months of silence because of his unbelief, Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied about his son, John. The third song is the song of the angels from Luke 2:13-14 when the heavenly hosts appear to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth. And the final song is Simeon’s song, from Luke 2:25-35 when he takes the new baby Jesus in his arms and proclaims him to be the salvation of God. Over the next several weeks as a church, we will study these songs. We will read them again and again. Let them be the playlist for your Christmas this year.
1: November 30 – December 6
Mary’s Song (Luke 1:46-55)
2: December 7 - December 13
Zechariah’s Song (Luke 1:67-79)
3: December 14 - December 20
The Angel’s Song (Luke 2:8-14)
4: December 21 - December 24
Simeon’s Song (Luke 2:25-35)
Christmas Day: December 25
Many of you received an email this morning letting you know our senior pastor, Jeff Spry, and our ministry secretary, Freda Baxter, have both tested positive for COVID-19. We greatly appreciate all of your prayers and concern. Jeff continues to have flu-like symptoms and Freda seems to be on the other side of the virus with much improvement.
Because of this, our staff will be working from home through the Thanksgiving holiday. Our church office will be closed until Monday, Nov 30th. While our office is physically closed, our staff will still be accessible via phone and email. If you have an urgent matter, please call the office number (704-872-4139) and leave a voicemail. We will be checking voice messages on the hour from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
If you are calling about tickets for An Avenue Christmas, you may purchase them at www.wabcapps.org.
Our Wednesday night Equipping University and Sunday morning services will continue as regularly scheduled with social distancing and church members filling in for staff as needed.
Historians and theologians alike have long recognized that at the heart of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation were five declarations (or “solas”) that distinguished the movement from other expressions of the Christian faith.
These five solas are Christ alone, faith alone, God’s glory alone, God’s Word alone, and grace alone. Five hundred years later, we live in a different time with an array of different challenges to our faith. Yet these rallying cries of the Reformation continue to speak to us, addressing a wide range of contemporary issues.
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will lead us in the last week of this session, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or YouTube.
Some warning signs are easy to miss. Others are nearly impossible to miss but many still fail to see and heed them. When we do so, we put our lives in great peril. When we miss spiritual signs and warnings, the danger can be even greater.
In our study of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus, on several occasions, has given the most obvious of signs to his disciples. He has spoken directly to them about what was going to happen to him and to them if they followed him. Still they missed it every time. In this week’s passage, Jesus speaks directly to them once again and they fail once again, focusing on what was important to them instead of what was on Jesus’ agenda. We can do the same thing and we will fail badly in our own lives if we fail to see what Jesus wants us to learn about following him today.
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will lead us in week 5 of a six-week study of the five solas, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or YouTube.
We have had many important elections in our nation’s history but never one so important as this one. We have heard those words many times this year but the sentence above is a quote from the New York Times from 1864 when Abraham Lincoln defeated George McClellan. Of course, we have heard the same quote almost every four years since, including this year.
Tuesday was a big day for our nation, bringing hope and optimism to some and anxiety and worry to others and, as we await the conclusion of the matter, confusion and frustration to almost everyone. No matter how you voted in the election, times like these often shape our character and always reveal it. Our hearts are revealed as we reveal to the world where our hope lies and in whom we place our trust.
I hope you will join us this Sunday as we turn at this moment in our nation’s history to his words of comfort and hope in Psalm 47. We will do as the Psalm commands – take a moment to pause, reflect, and be reminded of the hope and security we have in the Lord Most High.
Many of you have been inquiring about our plans for It's Christmas! this year so we wanted to go ahead and let you know what we've been planning! We are very excited to share with you...
For many years, Western Avenue Baptist Church has celebrated Christmas through the musical celebration of It’s Christmas! This year we are reimagining It’s Christmas! as an outdoor festival for the entire family. We invite you to join us for this year’s celebration:
An Avenue Christmas
Friday, December 11 & Saturday, December 12
5:30pm – 9:00pm
Stroll down our “Central Avenue” for…
To allow us to properly prepare for the number attending and to safely control the number of guests to keep everyone safe, this will be a general admission ticketed event. Tickets are $5 per person (all ages) and required for every individual attending. They can be purchased online through the Western Avenue Ticket site www.wabcapps.org. Tickets can be purchased at the church office by calling and scheduling an appointment to do so. Tickets will be made available starting Monday, November 16. It is very important to print and bring your ticket/s with you to the event. As you enter An Avenue Christmas, your ticket will be turned in and you will receive a wrist band that will allow individual participation for food items, ice skating and carriage rides. Purchases from food trucks and artisan craft fair are not included in the ticket cost.
All activities will take place in the back parking lot and field of the church. As you enter the property you will be greeted and directed to parking and the entrance.
Schedule your evening to allow time to watch the most important event of the night, the live nativity musical presentations at 6:30pm or 7:30pm.
A waiver must be filled out by each person planning to ice skate. To allow more time for all of the fun taking place when you arrive, you may wish to print and fill out the waiver for each person ahead of time. You may download and print the form here.
Sign ups for ice skating time slots can be made upon arrival at the event.
We hope you will make plans to join us as we celebrate the season with An Avenue Christmas!
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will lead us in week 4 of a six-week study of the five solas, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or YouTube.
Service times/changes starting this week:
8:30am and 11:00am services indoors
11:00am service also livestreamed
6:00pm service is moving indoors and masks are required at this service
Make plans to join us as Andy Lackey will continue our study in Mark:
Most of us enjoy the experience of a family vacation. Whether we go to the beach, the mountains, to Disneyworld, or perhaps another country, we love the thrill of getting away and spending time with our family. But eventually, we must return home, return to reality, back to the challenges of the real world.
We will see this be the case for Jesus, Peter, James, and John as they come down from the mountaintop experience where Jesus was gloriously transfigured, back to the reality of a world marked by sin, faithlessness, and evil. Jesus returns to find a father in desperate need of the healing of his son, a son who was possessed by an evil spirit. In the father’s cry of “I believe, help my unbelief,” we learn in vivid detail a lesson about our need for faith, our need for prayer, and our need for Jesus.
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will lead us in week 3 of a six-week study of the five solas, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or Youtube.
Good morning! We had planned to have the 11:00am service today outdoors, but due to rain today, both the 8:30am and 11:00am services will be indoors. There will be no evening service.
BOTH the 8:30am and 11:00am services will be live-streamed on our website, YouTube channel and Facebook. The 11:00am service will be on the radio.
Make plans to join us for worship this morning!
In a few weeks, we will sing the familiar Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. One line is so beautiful and important: “Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity.” Jesus came to live on earth as a man, a very ordinary-looking man. If you saw him walking down the street, you would not know you were looking at the Son of God. He did not have a halo. He did not glow. He did not float. He was normal. However, one day, with three of his followers on a high mountain, Jesus pulled back the veil. What they saw and [were meant to] learn that day changes everything about what we are to think about Jesus today! Join us this Sunday morning as we take a peek behind the veil in our study of Mark 9.
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will lead us in week 2 of a six-week study of the five solas, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or Youtube.
Surviving the Holidays GriefShare Seminar
Pre-registration required before October 30
Holidays are supposed to be happy times filled with celebration and joy, but for those grieving a loved one's death, the holidays can really emphasize their loss.
Our GriefShare group is offering a special seminar to help those grieving a loved one's death to survive the holidays. This seminar will be Wednesday, November 4, 6:00 PM - 7:45 PM in Room 151. You'll learn coping tools for social events, how to deal with emotions, what to do about traditions and hear others share how they are dealing with the upcoming holidays.
Due to COVID-19, pre-registration is required in order to assure adequate social distancing and other safety measures. A maximum of 20 attendees may participate. Pre-register by contacting Kyle Tucker, 704-905-1719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also pre-register online at www.griefshare.org, select "Find a Group" and follow prompts.
We hope you can join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as David Moss will begin a six-week study of the five solas, a study which will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and their relevance to our lives today. You can join us live in the WABC sanctuary, or on Facebook Live or Youtube.
Some lessons are difficult to learn. We often need to hear something many times before the lesson sinks into our skull (or heart). In this way, the twelve apostles are just like us and we are like them. In our study of Mark’s Gospel, we have seen the Lord Jesus repeatedly instruct his followers on the simplest and most important truth and they continue to miss the point. They understand somewhat but even when they begin to see a little more clearly, they end up missing the primary point. Sadly, there are many in churches all across the country who do the same thing. When it comes to who Jesus is and what he came to do, there are many wrong answers and only one right answer. How do you answer those questions? Please join us this Sunday as we look at the correct answer to the two most important questions you will ever be asked.
Dear church family,
We want to make you aware of plans for upcoming Sunday services as we transition into fall. It has been 30 weeks of near-constant change since March 8. We thank you for your flexibility as we continue to figure out the best and safest ways to continue meeting together.
Here’s the plan for the next few weeks:
October 11 & 18 – We will keep our current schedule with worship inside at 8:30am and 11:00am and outside at 6:00pm.
October 25 – We will worship inside at 8:30am and then hold a large outdoor worship service at 11:00am. The 8:30am service will be livestreamed at 11:00am. There will be no evening outdoor service.
November 1 – Everything – including the time – changes! The time change and falling temperatures will make it difficult to continue meeting outdoors. On November 1, we will meet at 8:30am and 11:00am indoors, with childcare (preschool only) provided only at the 11:00am service. We will also meet at 6:00pm indoors. Masks will be required throughout this evening service (which will feature the same music and sermon as the morning service). It is still strongly encouraged that people wear masks at the morning services. We will continue to livestream the 11:00am service on our website, YouTube and Facebook.
We are still in discussions about all the details involved with starting Sunday School for all ages; more information to come on this soon. We appreciate your survey responses as we get feedback in the best way to move forward.
We thank you for your continued support and encouragement as we seek God’s direction.
**ATTN Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers!!**
Here is a much anticipated update on Fall Retreat 2020. After deliberation, surveying, praying, thinking, talking, mulling, and thinking and praying some more, we have come to a conclusion. Fall Retreat this year will look different than it has in many years. But, this does not mean we are not pursuing every possible means to making this a memorable Fall Retreat.
Here is the breakdown for Fall Retreat 2020:
October 23-25 (October 23-24 for Middle School, October 24-25 for High School)
Carrie and Russell Allen's Home (2452 S Chipley Ford Rd)
All Events will take place outside
Fill out the form below to pre-register for Fall Retreat 2020. You will not be a full registration until you have paid $20 for the weekend.
Contact Mark Collins (email@example.com) or text/call (704-880-8794) with any questions.
We all have opinions. Some believe everyone should know them. Our opinions sometimes get us in trouble. In our culture today, you can get in serious trouble if you do not share a certain opinion. Standing against culture can be scary and even dangerous. How is a Christian to live? How is a Christian to respond against our culture’s demand to abandon biblical thinking for its competing worldview? Peter’s first letter is a gift to believers living in a non-Christian world. This Sunday, Peter’s words will help us examine how Christians can remain faithful to God against great pressure from our society.
**Note time change to 6:00pm for evening service**
It’s finally time.
Our Church Picnic is this Saturday. Here is what you need to do.
There is no sign-up this year. You just show up and bring your own picnic. You can make it at your house or pick it up at a restaurant. We just want you to bring your meal out to the church yard and have a meal together with the church. Bring your own paper towels, napkins, cups, drinks, and utensils. Trash cans will be available, and the church will be open so you can use the restroom.
You can began to gather in the back yard where the squares are at 6:00pm. If you have been to the back of the church lately for the evening service, we will be in this field. If you have not come to the evening service, you can come around to the back parking lot. There will be a flatbed trailer in the big field in the back. Bring your own chairs or blanket. Pick a square and enjoy.
The WABC’s Got Talent Variety Show will begin around 6:45pm. We will feature music, comedy, games, and maybe a few more surprises. We had a great time doing this last year, we think this year will be as much fun, if not more.
We hope you and your family can make it out to a fun evening. We hope to see you there.
On Saturday, September 26, we invite you to join us for a physically distant picnic and variety show. “Western Avenue’s Got Talent” will once again be joining our family picnic. The picnic will be held behind the church where we hold our evening worship service. Please bring food for your family, grab a square and enjoy the evening with us. The picnic starts at 6:00pm and the talent show at 6:45pm. If you are interested in performing at the talent show, here’s a Google Form to fill out with your information: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LH3__Ti3lbovzX1OBiWuJ9huElbJvlA63cPuTR5y6dQ/edit
We can’t wait to see all your great talents!!
We are planning a men’s golf trip to Springdale Country Club, located in the mountains west of Asheville. This trip will be a wonderful time of fun and fellowship. Andy Lackey will also be leading a time of Bible study and prayer. Space is very limited. If you are interested in attending, please contact Andy at 704-872-4139 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We're excited to announce Avenue Kids is back!
1st - 5th graders
6:30pm - 7:30pm
Back field of the church
Bring your own chair
Spirit Walk: Presented by Brian P.
Though we know the Bible says to walk in the Spirit, the majority of Christians are illiterate (and even nervous) about how to practically live in His power. The result is lives marred by continued brokenness and ministries plagued by fruitlessness. In contrast, believers from Acts understood the ancient path of the Spirit Walk. That extraordinary power was not just for them, but also for us. Join us Wednesday at 6:30 PM in the WABC sanctuary for this 4-week study led by Brian P. based upon the book Spirit Walkby Steve Smith. The audio, along with PowerPoint, will also be presented on Facebook Live and Youtube.
This Friday, 8/28, is our Family Movie Night! This event is for Avenue Kids and all youth plus their families. The movie we are watching is Meet the Robinsons. We will be on the back lawn (where we normally have Sunday evening services). You may either bring your lawn chairs and sit on the lawn (following our regular social distancing rules) or you may sit in your car and listen through your radio station.
Due to the fact the Statesville movie theatre has closed, we will not be able to offer popcorn that night, however, when you drive in, you will have a choice of 1 candy, 1 salty treat, and 1 drink per person. In order to keep social distancing, we are asking that you grab these items when you drive in vs creating a line at the tables. We will have all the treats at both entrances to the parking lot, so feel free to enter either way. We will be ready to accept watchers at 7:45 PM and the movie will start promptly at 8:15 PM. It will finish by 10:00.
The COVID-19 Vaccine and the Mark of the Beast: Presented by Jeff Spry
With all of the unusual things taking place in the world right now, many people have begun to speculate what relationship these events might have to the end times. One current controversy working its way around social media concerns the COVID-19 vaccination and the Mark of the Beast referred to in Revelation 13:16-18. What if any connection might there be?
Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as Dr. Jeff Spry will address this very question and help us to better understand what the Bible actually says about this topic. This Wednesday, August 26, we will start having one EU class each week in-person in the sanctuary with social distancing like Sunday morning services. For those of you unable to attend, the class will be live-streamed on Facebook Live and also recorded to watch later on Facebook or our website.
Praying in the Spirit: Presented by Dr. Andy White
Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as Dr. Andy White will be speaking about how we can be praying in the spirit. The need for prayer in our world has never been greater. Yet often our prayer life feels inadequate and at times dry. What we all need is prayer with divine help. Praying in the spirit is trusting in faith and relying on God to hear, understand, and act. We hope to see you Wednesday at 6:30 on either Facebook live or YouTube for this very important presentation.
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 email@example.com.