EPHESUS Preview Issue [February 2013]
Singles, Sabbath School, and Spiritual Warfare
Photo courtesy of Ephesus Communications Department
atan’s on a mission to destroy you. Let me make it very personal. He’s trying to derail us. He’s trying to make us feel so overwhelmed that we cannot live our day-to-day lives in victory. The first problem is this: Satan doesn’t telegraph or put his temptations via schemes on a billboard. He is very secretive and he’s deceptive to lead Christians down a subtle and gradual path to destruction. Alright, listen to me now: it’s not like Satan is going to show up and say ‘I’m Satan. I’m here to deal with you. . .When the devil comes to you and you get tempted, we think that we can just rush to God and ask for forgiveness and everything is well, not recognizing that every time we sin, we lose ground with God. ” Excerpt from January 16, 2013 Prayer and Bible Connection “Spiritual Warfare” 2
Singles’ Day February 16, 2013 “Building Healthy Relationships”
in Love With M.E.”
author Audrey Blake will be the guest speaker. 3
Up & Coming
February 9, Prayer & Bible Connection
January - March
$800 Book Scholarship
“Spiritual Warfare” series
High School Seniors from single parent households are eligible to apply for (2) $800 book scholarships. You must attend a Richland County School located in District 1 or 2. For more information, contact your school counselor’s office. The deadline is June 15, 2013.
7 pm Wednesday Pastor John Pooler will be leading this series that will equip you to recognize and defeat the enemy in your life.
Responsible Fatherhood Workshop March 9, 2013 This workshop presented by a guest presenter will look at the challenges men are facing in the as the seek to parent their kids and the vital role fatherhood plays in the success of the next generation.
, 2013 Ski Trip March 3, 2013 Join West End SDA Church Singles
Roller Skating March 10, 2013
Health Ministries Weekend
7 pm: Tuesday and Thursday
April 25-28, 2013
(T) Jessica Mayers
Registration deadline April 15, 2013.
(Th) Calvin Green
Room prices per person are as follows:
The class is free but donations are encouraged and will go toward Health Ministries. For more information and to register please contact Calvin Green.
Pedometer Challenge 2/3/12â€”9/8/2013 Team captains are being chosen now to lead their team and track their steps in this competition. If you interested in being a team member or team captain, contact Calvin Green.
Baseball Picnic April 7, 2013 5
$190 - 4 individuals per room $250 - 2 individuals per room $370 - 1 individual per room
Singles Ministry: Staying Pure in an Impure World By Tiffiney Miles
et’s be real. Living a true Christian life is one of the toughest tasks to perform in today’s society. But being a Christian who is single can be even tougher. The Singles Ministry department of the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church is tackling the hard issues of the Christian single life and is challenging singles to go against the standards promoted by the world and live up to the standards that God intends. “The Singles Ministry is an alternative to what’s out there now,” says Esther Munoz, the leader of the ministry. “Purity and different things that are Bible-based are really not supported by our society. There has to be an outlet. There has to be a place where likeminded people can come together and have other things to do rather than what’s out there now.” Avoiding the ‘out there’ that Christian singles could encounter, the Ephesus Singles Ministry hosts a variety of events through-
out the year for fellowship and for spiritual growth. Rap Sessions are held every other month in which singles can come together and have open discussions on various topics. The ministry also plans to go roller-skating, go whitewater rafting, and have a softball outing in the months to come. This year, on February 16th, the ministry is hosting “Singles Day” on how to build and foster healthy relationships. The speaker for the event is Audrey Blake from the West End Seventh-day Adventist church in Atlanta. Audrey is also
“Because we love Christ, we want to do what’s right in His sight” 6
the author of the book “Falling in Love with Me.” Esther shares the importance of having a special Sabbath for singles: “(Singles Day) is a great place to reach a whole lot of people,” Esther says. “We have our Rap Sessions and the website and the Facebook page and different activities; however, we don’t reach everybody because everybody doesn’t come out to (those events), but on Sabbath, everybody is there.” Audrey Blake will also be conducting a workshop that afternoon called “Cleaning out Your Emotional Closet.” Not only is Singles Ministry focusing on reaching those within the church, it is also focusing on singles from outside the church. The ministry has a campaign called Keep the Cookie which emphasizes the importance of staying abstinent until marriage. As many singles, especially teenagers, are bombarded with movies, television
shows, and billboards that promote sex outside of marriage as being good and healthy, Keep the Cookie is a campaign to educate those about the dangers and consequences of having premarital sex. The goal of Keep the Cookie is to expose the taboo of sex before marriage. “Single Christian people are having sex, and we have got to be real about it so that we can learn how to take that part of it out of the equation until marriage,” Esther states. The Singles Ministry has already presented the Keep the Cookie
campaign to the teenagers of the Sumter Berea Seventh-day Adventist church in Sumter, SC and are planning to visit more churches this year. There is also a website (www.keepthecookie.org) in which singles can visit. “Because we love Christ, we want to do what’s right in His sight,” Esther states as she shares her own testimony of living the single life and leading the ministry. “When you put yourself in a position where you are leading a ministry, it kind of ups the ante a little bit. God has put me in a
position where I’m the light, and I’m the example, whether I want to be or not.” Many Christian singles may believe that it is impossible to stay sexually pure, but Esther has a different answer. “It is possible to live the way that Christ has asked us to live, but it’s not easy.” Esther wants other singles to know that among all the temptations lurking in the world, there is hope that purity is possible, and that hope is found in Jesus Christ.
Above: Singles Ministry Fish Fry at Sesquicentennial Park 2012. Above Left: Esther Munoz , Singles Ministry Leader 7
Single’s Ministry says Until Marriage
Baby Dedication Taj (holding baby) and Bettiann Bernard stand before the church along with Bettiann’s parents, Anthony Gravesandy and Angella Rutherford while 4 month old Tajleah Christan Bernard is dedicated by Pastor John Pooler (not shown) January 19, 2013. When asked about the dedication Bettiann shares, “It was beautiful. The support I got , I really did feel loved. It was an overwhelming feeling of love.” 8
“It was really amazing!”
On Sunday, February 3, 2013 the Ephesus Pathfinders and Adventurer Club’s visited the South Carolina State Museum’s exhibit, “Secrets of the Maya”. www.scmuseum.org/exhibits/secretsofthemaya 9
Sabbath School Goes Global: Adopts Family, Sponsors Kids By Kevin Cox
here is a bigger world out there, and you can be involved in the worldwide mission of the (Seventh-day Adventist) church.” says Nina Nelson, Sabbath School Superintendent for the Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church. While lesson study each Sabbath morning remains the most visible evidence of Sabbath School at work, Ms. Nelson and the Sabbath School committee are hard at work opening up opportunities for church members to become more actively involved in mission. Nina continues, “Bible study is just one of the goals of Sabbath School. . .when you look at the goals of Sabbath School it’s bible study, it’s mission (locally which we call evangelism) it’s that gospel commission to go to the entire world, it’s fellowship, and nurture, that’s what the church should be about.” It is with this understanding that the Sabbath School is going to ”adopt” a missionary family this month. The Adventist Mission
arm of the Seventh-day Adventist church reaches out across the world to people in need of God’s love and the gospel. www.adventistmission.org Through weekly mission stories, DVD’s, and videos, church members are brought a little closer to the front lines of the mission work going on today. Of the many missionaries that are actively working toward the goal of taking the gospel to the world today, there are four families that regularly blog about
“your neighbors are no longer people who are just local.” their experiences living and working as missionaries in Zambia, Cameroon and Chad. And now we get to come along side one of these families when the Sabbath School “adopts” one to 10
contribute to finishing the work of taking the gospel to the whole world. Nina states, “We’ve been trying to realize those additional goals for awhile now, one of the more tangible ways is world mission. ” The Sabbath School will continue it’s mission focus by sponsoring an orphan child through the non-profit Seventhday Adventist organization Asian Aid. www.asianaid.org Asian Asian supports children in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh though education and vocational training. The organization also provides support to leper colonies, blind and deaf schools, and destitute widows and the poor. By using Seventh-day Adventist ministries with a
Photo and Graphics courtesy of Adventist Mission.org
How to get involved:
global mission focus, the Ephesus Sabbath School is expanding the potential for church members to more fully engage in the work that Jesus Christ commissioned all his disciples .
Spirit and the love of God to be seen in action. Nina Nelson draws out a clear path for the direction of the Sabbath School in the coming year, “. . .mission, study, and fellowship, that’s Sabbath School.”
In thinking aloud about the story of the Good Samaritan, Ms. Nelson explains, “the good thing about this technological age we live in. . .your neighbors are no longer people who are just local, you run into people who have needs and need your love, and your care, and your resources via the internet.” Locally and globally the Ephesus church family will have many more opportunities to be involved in mission. And the Sabbath School wants to play a key role in being an avenue for the power of the Holy 11
Volunteer to follow the adopted missionary family blog (here), donate needed items and resources, write letters, send pictures to the sponsored children, donate money, read letters and show pictures to the church family of their progress.
Every department, Every ministry, Every member, has a story for Christ. Share it with us.