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Sing out 2018’s last first Sunday

SAN ANTONIO – Save this date for the last First Sunday Singing of the year: Dec. 2. The Rose Hill church of Christ in Devine will host the afternoon fellowship.
Music that rings out in congregational voices carries on a tradition that calls for everyone to participate. Members from the San Pedro and Southwest congregations here, plus from Natalia and now, Devine, have hosted that treasured experience this year.
The Rose Hill church members will provide refreshments to round out the fellowship. The building is located at 206 West Windy Knoll in the 78016 Zip code. For more information, call 830-663-2658.
Allen Shields of the Southwest congregation will be sending out the call to set the schedule for next year

Youth rally to build up teens

CORPUS CHRISTI – Clued in to the new dates, South Texas students will convene for Weber Road’s annual youth rally at Camp Bandina on the weekend of Nov. 17-18. Heavy rains in the area led to the rescheduled date.
The aim is to help teens prevail against temptation during the times that “will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Tim. 4:3). Led by Weber Road Youth Minister Kenneth Pinckley, teachers, Joseph McWhorter, Raoul Ferris, Preston Hammitt and Stephen Charlebois will bring lessons asking: “Are You a Fastfood Christian?”

DACoC responds with acts of God

SAN ANTONIO – With Disaster Assistance CoC “Combating natural disasters with acts of God,” storms do not stand a chance.
The first hurricane of the season made landfall on the east coast of the United States on Sept. 14. Moving westward slowly and laden with moisture, Hurricane Florence dropped up to 35 inches of rain in some areas. The widespread fresh water flooding result in almost $17 billion in damage, plus 30 directly related and 23 indirect deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida. Hurricane Michael hit Florida in October. (more…)

New singles group hosts game day

GEORGETOWN — Central Texas Singles Facebook Group held a Game Day on the afternoon of Oct. 20. Members and visitors enjoyed snacks and laughter during the fellowship in the Georgetown church of Christ’s Family Life Center here.
Beth Bow of the congregation here said, “Our primary goal is to provide fellowship and encouragement.” Some in the Georgetown group also participate in the Nationwide Church of Christ Widows/Widowers Group on Facebook. Their aim is to form a “safe place where members can support one another as we adjust to our new normal,” according to Bow.
The singles host a game day every quarter. For more information, email the group at CentraltexassinglesforChrist@gmail.com.

Orphan Sunday serves the fatherless

by Paul McQuien
SAN ANTONIO — This year, Orphan Sunday will be observed on November 11 by churches universally. Some South Texas congregations will actively participate in this event, along with their ongoing service to children, while others will take individual action to look after the fatherless. Either way, I would like to repeat some previous observations I made on this important ministry. (more…)

Enthusiastic ensembles edify everyone

Dr. Ervin Seamster

[Editor’s note: We’re running the whole story this month in case you didn’t get to go online to see it all!]
by Contributors Lynette Kennedy and Chyrece Campbell
SAN ANTONIO — All glory and honor were given to God as spiritual praises thundered throughout the Northside church of Christ auditorium here on Sept. 22, during the 14th Annual “Evening of Spiritual Harmony.” The students of Southwestern Christian College’s Summer Tour and other groups performed rousing gospel melodies before an auditorium full of church members and visitors from all over South Texas. (more…)

Schertz lectures: Psalms here and online

SCHERTZ – Deep-diving Bible study comes to South Texas once more as 34 speakers take the podium at the 15th Annual Schertz Lectures on Nov. 11-14 here. Continuing the series on the Book of Psalms begun last year, the lessons will focus on Chapters 73-150 and be streamed live.
The Book of Psalms is one of the most-often quoted and best loved sections of the Scriptures. The intense lectureship studies apply Bible teaching to address “religious error both within and without the church.” Minister Stan Crowley of the church here will kick off the series with the introduction to the second half of Psalms during Bible class at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. (more…)

Help! Prison work up to prayer-high levels

CORPUS CHRISTI – The countdown-to-Nov.-13 clock is running. Family Upreach, Inc. (New Life Behavior Ministries) has once again been chosen to be among the nonprofits that will benefit during the Coastal Bend Community Foundation’s annual “Day of Giving” here on that Tuesday. According to Family Upreach Director Buck Griffith, the prison ministry will be eligible for $17,500 in matching gifts, and, thus, may surpass last year’s $68,000 total.
Said Griffith: “This is the most exciting time of the year! The funds raised in the fall help us eliminate debt and build up our resources before the start of the New Year.” Some donors make giving a p (more…)

Life with Father: I AM

by Marsha Dowel

“Embrace the change!” The first time I ever heard these words was when I was the assistant manager at a Disney Store. I was complaining to the manager about a policy modification. She had already accepted it mentally, but me – not so much. So my response to her “embrace the change!” statement was a cynical look, and an inward thought of “Yeah… Riiii-ght.” (more…)

McQuien’s Musings: Beatitudes and Blessings by Paul McQuien

One of the most familiar passages in the New Testament contains the blessings spoken by Jesus at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:3-11), which we commonly refer to as the “Beatitudes.” These statements all begin with the English words “Blessed” because they usually convey a state of spiritual well-being that transcends a material this-worldly state of mind. Yet these so-called beatitudes can occasionally have an ironic twist. (more…)

Enthusiastic ensembles edify everyone

by Contributors Lynette Kennedy and Chyrece Campbell

Aaron Miles of Northside led some of the congregational singing at EOSH.

SAN ANTONIO — All glory and honor were given to God as spiritual praises thundered throughout the Northside church of Christ auditorium here on Sept. 22, during the 14th Annual “Evening of Spiritual Harmony.” The students of Southwestern Christian College’s Summer Tour and other groups performed rousing gospel melodies before an auditorium full of church members and visitors from all over South Texas.

“It was rejuvenating hearing all the different groups and all being of one accord,” said Ann Renfro, a member of Liberty View Church of Christ and SWCC alumna. Like many in the crowd, Renfro has attended songfest for as far back as she can remember.

The activities began with a home style meal on Saturday. “There was amazing food, good fellowship and outstanding singing, not just from the SWCC choir but from all of the groups in attendance,” said Veatrice Cook of Northside.

The Summer Tour kicked off the program under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Ingram. The members of Purpose made their first appearance at the songfest this year. They traveled all the way from Little Rock, Ark., to encourage all with their soul stirring spirit.

The singers of the local group Lift, from the Liberty View Church of Christ, delighted one and all with their enthusiasm. The evening also featured moving performances by the Northside Ladies, Hour of Truth Chorus from Austin and Hims of Praise from Lampasas. Vernesha Cathey, SwCC Activities Director, provided positive updates on the college.

“This was a great experience to sing and praise here,” said Ishara Breckenridge, 21, a freshman at SWCC and a member of the Summer Tour. Northside members housed the college students overnight in their homes for the weekend. “I’m impressed with the kindness and hospitality of the congregation and the brotherly love showed here,” said Breckenridge.

The spiritual songs weekend continued Sunday morning with inspiring gospel messages from Dr. Ervin Seamster, Jr., SwCC’s President and CEO. In the message, Dr. Seamster spoke of his personal experience growing up: of his waywardness as a youngster, of his attending SwCC, of finding someone at the college who saw something in him, and of the career path that led to the presidency of the college.

“He encouraged us to use our God-given knowledge and our God-given resources (blessings) to bless someone else along life’s journey. He encouraged us to be a force or light in our community as well as in the church,” said Lynette Kennedy, songfest organizer and also San Antonio/Austin SwCC committee coordinator.

The funds raised from this spiritual weekend totaled $7,811. Said Kennedy, “We are still accepting donations to help us reach the $10,000 needed to be able to offer a scholarship.” Donations payable to the college can be sent to her through December 31 to help reach that goal.

CDs of songs from this year’s “An Evening of Spiritual Harmony” are available for purchase, as well as DVDs of the event. Contact Kennedy at 210-659-4233 for more information and to donate.

What’s next? Kennedy enthused: “We are excited about getting a reunion of past and present groups for 2019, which will be our 15th year.”