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Advent Reading: Zechariah's Song 2

(View the full advent devotional guide here)

 

I have recently attended two weddings and noticed how many details have to go into all the planning of such events. There can then be a feeling of euphoria as one sees their own long-term plans coming together after many years of anticipation. As we all anticipate different events or milestones like a graduation or a wedding, there can be a sense of surreal joy. We may even ask ourselves, “Is this really happening?” For thousands of years throughout the Old Testament, God’s people had been receiving promises of salvation. We begin to see some of that fulfillment unfolding in the life of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Zechariah and Elizabeth had faithfully served God and yet were without a child. I’m sure like most couples they dreamed of starting a family and hearing little feet running through their home. When they were “advanced in years,” God revealed to them that they were going to be parents. When John was born, and Zechariah had finally become the father of a little boy, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied the following:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,

because he has come to his people and redeemed them.

69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David

70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),

71 salvation from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us—

72 to show mercy to our ancestors

and to remember his holy covenant,

73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham:

74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,

and to enable us to serve him without fear

75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;

for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,

77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation

through the forgiveness of their sins,

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

79 to shine on those living in darkness

and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

 

As Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, he was praising God for the salvation that had been promised and is now being revealed. Jesus is called the “horn of salvation,” which symbolizes strength. Jesus is strong enough to save us and strong enough to keep us in that salvation. When we experience God’s provision for our need, we too should be quick to praise God for that provision. Worship should be commonplace as we reflect on what God has promised and what is being provided.

 

Think about it

Reflect on all the prophets and the preparations that God made for the advent of Jesus. Think of all the details that He made for Jesus to come in the “fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). What provisions would you like to praise God for today? In which areas of your life have you seen God’s long-term planning evident?

 

Pray

I praise you God for being a detail-oriented planner for your provisions. As I become joyful to see my plans unfold, I’m sure your joy spills out into all of heaven as you see your salvation’s plan unfolding before all of creation and those in the heavenly realm. I join them today in an attitude of praise and awe over all that you have accomplished and are accomplishing in me and around me. 

at Thursday, December 10, 2020

Advent Reading: Zechariah's Song 1

Zechariah’s Song

December 7– December 13

 [67] And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

            [68] “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

                        for he has visited and redeemed his people

            [69] and has raised up a horn of salvation for us

                        in the house of his servant David,

            [70] as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

            [71] that we should be saved from our enemies

                        and from the hand of all who hate us;

            [72] to show the mercy promised to our fathers

                        and to remember his holy covenant,

            [73] the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

            [74]     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

            might serve him without fear,

            [75]     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

            [76] And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

                        for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

            [77] to give knowledge of salvation to his people

                        in the forgiveness of their sins,

            [78] because of the tender mercy of our God,

                        whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

            [79] to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

                        to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 

 

Luke 1:67–79

 

Reading 1: 

There is something very special about hearing a loved one’s voice. I recently saw a video of a child receiving cochlear implants for the first time, and the child began to cry when she heard her mother’s voice. As people are away from family and friends for extended periods of time and finally hear each other’s voices, a sweet reunion of heart and mind takes place. 

 

From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God communicated to His people and even visited them in some form, see Genesis 3:8. The Lord has always desired to appear to His people and to speak to His people. Because God created us in His Image, we too desire to communicate and to receive communication from others. In any time of confusion or uncertainty, the voice of a loved one can bring great comfort. The Lord wants to be that source of comfort to His people.

 

Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, declared that the Lord had visited His people. The Lord had appeared multiple times in Israel’s past. Little did Zechariah know that the Lord was literally going to visit his people through the soon to be born Jesus. Zechariah declared that the Lord had spoken by the mouth of his prophets, but little did he know that the soon to be born Jesus would embody the Word of God well beyond the proclamations and promises that came through the Prophets. 

 

This visit was going to be so personal that the Life of Jesus would literally be like a “light to those who sit in darkness.” His guidance would be so personal that his life and teaching would “guide our feet into the way of peace.” Our Lord is one who sticks closer than a brother and desires to communicate His Word and His Presence to us on a daily basis. May we rejoice that the Lord has desired to communicate to humanity in the most personal manner of any “god,” in the flesh.

 

Think about it

Think of how we long to hear from God and to know what He desires us to do. Does your desire to hear from God lead you to His Word?

 

Imagine what it would have been like to hear the words of Jesus in light of all the legalism of Jesus’ day. Consider how you read the Gospels. How do you read them in light of Jesus being the greatest expression of God’s Word we can have?

 

Pray 

Thank you God for being the God of communication and for revealing Your Word to us. May you give us a longing to know Your Word intimately and to worship the Word in flesh in this season of Advent.

at Monday, December 7, 2020

Sunday Service 12/6

We know we have entered into the Christmas season when we start hearing those beloved and familiar Christmas songs on the radio and out in public. Over the next four Sundays, we will take a look each week at the very first Christmas carols – captured in Luke’s gospel from Mary, Zechariah, the angels, and Simeon. In each song, we learn more about who Jesus is and why he was born. Join us this Sunday, December 6, as we look at Mary’s Christmas song, the Magnificat. We will find out who can sing this song with her and why we must sing this song today!

 

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:

www.westernavenue.org

www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo

www.Facebook.com/wabcstv

 

wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am

 

 

No evening service.

at Friday, December 4, 2020

Advent Reading 2: Mary's Song

 

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 about it

            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.

 

Pray

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.

at Thursday, December 3, 2020

Advent Reading 1: Mary's Song

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

 

Mary’s Song

November 30-December 6

 [46] And Mary said,

            “My soul magnifies the Lord,

            [47]     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

            [48] for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

                        For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

            [49] for he who is mighty has done great things for me,

                        and holy is his name.

            [50] And his mercy is for those who fear him

                        from generation to generation.

            [51] He has shown strength with his arm;

                        he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

            [52] he has brought down the mighty from their thrones

                        and exalted those of humble estate;

            [53] he has filled the hungry with good things,

                        and the rich he has sent away empty.

            [54] He has helped his servant Israel,

                        in remembrance of his mercy,

            [55] as he spoke to our fathers,

                        to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” 

 

Luke 1:46–55

 

Reading 1: 

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.

 

Think about it

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. 

 

Pray

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.

at Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sunday Service 11/29

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:

www.westernavenue.org

www.YouTube.com/wabcvideo

www.Facebook.com/wabcstv

wsic radio 100.7fm 105.9fm 1400am

Evening service in the sanctuary (masks required) at 6:00pm

at Saturday, November 28, 2020

Advent Guide

Advent Begins

 

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.

 

Schedule for Advent Devotions

 

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

 

at Saturday, November 28, 2020

Owning Scripture Podcast

We could all use a little extra encouragement right about now...amen! What better way to do that than digging into scripture and committing it to memory. Many of you followed along with Andy Lackey in the Bible Memory Group a few months ago memorizing the book of Philippians. Now, you'll want to hop over to listen to Andy's podcast: Owning Scripture. Each week Andy leads a study and memorization of one verse. Check it out! https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/owning-scripture/id1534771023?i=1000497944237
at Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Church Office Closed until Nov. 30

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. 

at Tuesday, November 17, 2020

An Avenue Christmas Tickets

Just a reminder that tickets for An Avenue Christmas will be available for purchase starting Monday, November 16, at 10:00am. We hope you and your family are planning to attend! Tickets can be purchased online at www.wabcapps.org or by scheduling a time to come into the church office (call 704-872-4139). Tickets must be purchased for a specific night, either Friday, Dec. 11 or Saturday, Dec. 12. A $5 general admission ticket is required for all ages. For event details, visit www.westernavenue.org/anavenuechristmas.
at Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Operation Christmas Child - Collection Nov. 22

Many of you are looking for opportunities to make an impact for the Kingdom this holiday season. Here's a great one many of you are probably already familiar with. Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! This Sunday, November 22 is the LAST collection date at WABC. There will be a table in the foyer to collect your packed shoeboxes. 
at Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 11/18

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.

at Monday, November 16, 2020

Sunday Service 11/15

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.

at Thursday, November 12, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 11/11

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 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.

at Monday, November 9, 2020

Sunday Service Update 11/8

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.

at Thursday, November 5, 2020

An Avenue Christmas

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… 

  • Live music from the “Main Street” gazebo
  • Enjoy horse drawn carriage rides at “Christmas Carriage Corner”
  • Ice skating on “Icicle Alley”
  • Children can create crafts and families can shop at the artisan craft fair on “Deck the Halls Drive” 
  • Everyone will enjoy hot chocolate, cookies & roast marshmallows for s’mores on “Candy Cane Lane”
  • A Musical presentation with live nativity will take place at 6:30pm and 7:30pm each evening on “Bethlehem Boulevard”
  • If you like, you can enjoy dinner each evening at the food court were we will have several local Food truck favorites each night. 

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 Christmasyour 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!

 

at Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 11/4

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 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.

at Monday, November 2, 2020

Sunday Service Update 11/1

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.

 

 

at Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 10/28

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 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.

at Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sunday Service Update 10/25

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.

at Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 10/21

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 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.

at Monday, October 19, 2020

Sunday Service Update 10/18

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Does it have something to do with attending church? Having Christian parents? Repeating a prayer? Walking an aisle? Getting baptized? Having a fish sticker on your car? Reciting all the books of the Bible in order? There are many different ideas but Jesus answers the question plainly in this week’s passage in Mark’s Gospel. In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus gives us his two requirements for being a follower of his and four wonderful incentives for truly following him the rest of your life.
at Thursday, October 15, 2020

Surviving The Holidays GriefShare Seminar

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 kyletyner@att.net. You may also pre-register online at www.griefshare.org, select "Find a Group" and follow prompts.

at Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 10/14

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 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.

at Monday, October 12, 2020

No Evening Service 10/11

Due to weather, we will have no evening service tonight, 10/11.
at Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday Service Update 10/11

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.  

 

at Thursday, October 8, 2020

Update on Services 10/7

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.

 

Thank you,

Jeff Spry

at Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 10/7

Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM in the WABC sanctuary as Dan Wilemon and Gladys Lowry discuss the importance of Christian Counseling. We at WABC have been blessed by a counseling center whereby both Dan and Gladys are able to offer an array of services to both children and adults. In this session, you will discover how these services may be of help to you or someone in your family. The presentation will also be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
at Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Sunday Service Update 10/4

Life is filled with lessons we must learn. Some lessons are more important than others and can bring great harm if we fail to remember and practice those truths. As we continue our study of Mark’s Gospel, we see Jesus constantly teaching his followers and his followers constantly forgetting what they have been taught. How much like them we truly are! This Sunday, in Mark 8, we will try to understand and retain the great lesson the Twelve took so long to learn and see what benefits that lesson brings to our lives.  
at Thursday, October 1, 2020

Wednesday Night EU: 9/30 Week 4 Spirit Walk

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. This Wednesday night, September 30, will be our 4th and final week for Spirit Walk. Join us at 6:30 PM in the WABC sanctuary for Week 4 of this 4-week study led by Brian P. based upon the book Spirit Walk by Steve Smith.
at Monday, September 28, 2020

Youth Fall Retreat

**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

Cost: $20

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.

https://forms.gle/QkdXv53L4a2T27WQ9

Contact Mark Collins (mark@westernavenue.org) or text/call (704-880-8794) with any questions.

at Friday, September 25, 2020

Sunday Service Update 9/27

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**

at Thursday, September 24, 2020

Church Picnic is This Saturday, 9/26

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.

 

at Thursday, September 24, 2020

Wednesday Night EU 9/23: Week 3 Spirit Walk

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 Week 3 of this 4-week study led by Brian P. based upon the book Spirit Walk by Steve Smith.
at Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunday Service Update 9/20

Is it really necessary to assemble with other Christians for corporate worship, for fellowship, or a Bible study? Could I not just stay home and watch a famous preacher on television, or do a Bible study by myself? This line of thinking goes against what the author of Hebrews tells us in the passage we will be looking at this Sunday. Hebrews 10:19-25 helps us to see the importance of worship, of assembling with the church family, and of the necessity of community lived out and experienced within the life of the body of Christ.
at Thursday, September 17, 2020

Churchwide Picnic & Talent Show 9/26

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!! 

at Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Wednesday Night EU: 9/16 Carl Kerby

Please join us this Wednesday at 6:30 PM as we welcome our guest speaker Carl Kerby of Reason for Hope Ministries. With 50% to 88% of the younger generation raised in the church leaving the church by the age of 18, Carl’s desire is for them to KNOW what they’re walking away from. This can only happen if they’re able to critically think and evaluate arguments so they can determine truth. The title for Carl’s presentation is “Whose Voice Are We Listening To?” and will be beneficial for Christians of all ages. You can join us in the WABC sanctuary, or watch via Livestream on Facebook or YouTube.
at Monday, September 14, 2020

Sunday Service Update 9/13

Have you ever said a word that you wish you could take back? Wouldn’t it be great if you could go back and edit those words, cut them out, and permanently erase them?  Unfortunately, a word spoken cannot be undone or retracted. This week we will take a break from our study in Mark’s Gospel and take a look at the power of the words we use. This topic seems to be especially relevant, for we have seen the rhetoric within our culture heat up due to tensions related to the pandemic, social distancing, masks, racism, riots, and the beginning of a presidential election cycle. So what are we as Christians to do in terms of our words, of our rhetoric? Are we, as followers of Jesus Christ, called to a higher standard, a different standard? In our study this week, we will see the incredible power of words, both for great good as well as for great harm. And we will see that our Heavenly Father is not silent on this issue.
at Thursday, September 10, 2020

Wednesday Night EU: 9/9 Week 2 Spirit Walk

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 Week 2 of this 4-week study led by Brian P. based upon the book Spirit Walk by Steve Smith.
at Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Sunday Service Update 9/6

The term Renaissance Man refers to someone with many talents and gifts. We think of people like Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo and marvel at their vast knowledge in so many areas. Yet years before these men lived and the term Renaissance Man was coined, our Lord Jesus set the standard as the one who indeed could do all things, and do them well. And as we turn to Mark 7:31-37, we will be introduced to a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, a man who was brought to Jesus by some good friends. This deaf man discovered, as we will discover, that Jesus is the miracle maker who truly does ALL things well.
at Friday, September 4, 2020

Men's Golf Retreat

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 andy@westernavenue.org

 

at Friday, September 4, 2020

Avenue Kids is back!

We're excited to announce Avenue Kids is back! 

1st - 5th graders

Wednesday evenings

6:30pm - 7:30pm

Back field of the church

Bring your own chair

at Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Wednesday Night EU: 9/2 Spirit Walk

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.

at Monday, August 31, 2020

Sunday Service Update 8/30

This Sunday, August 30, we will again meet socially-distanced indoors at 8:30am and 11:00am. With the days getting shorter, the evening outdoor service has been moved up to start at 6:30pm. Join us as Dr. Jeff Spry continues our study through Mark 7:24-30.
at Friday, August 28, 2020

Family Movie Night 8/28

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.

at Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Wednesday night EU 8/26: The COVID-19 Vaccine and the Mark of the Beast

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.

at Monday, August 24, 2020

Sunday Service Update 8/23

There are a lot of rules in our society. There are even more rules in our churches. Some choose to ignore the rules. Some fight with those who do. Jesus lived in a society with lots of rules. Some of the rules came from the Bible and others were invented by well-meaning but ill-informed individuals expressing their personal opinions. In Mark 7:1-23, we see Jesus interact with those who fight to enforce their man-made rules. It is not a pleasant conversation but one still needed in our churches today. We must continue to fight against the deadly disease of legalism.  
at Friday, August 21, 2020

Wednesday night EU: Praying in the Spirit

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.

at Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Sunday Service Update 7/5

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.

Posted by Meredith Collins at Friday, July 3, 2020

Sunday Service Update 6/28

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.

Posted by Meredith Collins at Thursday, June 25, 2020