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Connections magazine Fall 2013

Missionary Moment:

Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go

Building a Legacy Christmas at FBCW

Contents Meet Our Staff Senior Pastor Ralph Sawyer

Pastor of Music & Administration Grant Jessen

Pastor of Students Jeremy Shirley

Pastor of Preschool/Children Jason Hoke

First Baptist Church of Wentzville 653 Luetkenhaus Blvd. Wentzville, MO 63385 (636) 327-8696 A quarterly publications by First Baptist Church of Wentzville, Missouri. The material within this publication may not be disseminated without permission. All inquiries, comments, suggestions and story ideas should be directed to our creative team at: Connections Creative Team Dee Schneider Lori Johnson Rhonda Dickherber Jayne Patton Tom Bates If you are interested in serving on this team, please contact Dee Schneider at

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Message from our Pastor: A Call to Prayer........................................3 Pastor’s Mailbag......................................3 In Community: Praying for the Persecuted...................4 Upward Basketball...............................14 On Campus: VBS Wrap-up............................................6 Christmas @ FBCW................................12 Ministry Fair...........................................15 Mission Emphasis: Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go....................8 Hope Happenings................................14 Spotlight on our Members: Building a Legacy.................................16 Resources: Holiday Recipes.....................................18 Upcoming Events.................................20

Upcoming Sermons 11/24 12/1 12/8 12/15 12/22 12/29

Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Good What Child is This? Make Room for Jesus Birth of the Messiah Discover the Heart of Christmas Hope for a New Year

Sermons are subject to change without notice

A Call to PRAYER O

n a serious note, I truly believe that no greater need exists in our church than a new call to prayer. Could it be that prayerlessness is the most prevalent sin among believers today? Would that include you and me? It doesn’t seem reasonable to me to hope for a heaven-sent spiritual renewal in our land, as well as in our church, without intentional prayer. When we take the time to examine all of the spiritual renewals that have occurred throughout history, we find there has never been a prayerless awakening. God Himself declares: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) I’m not really sure why a practice that was so passionately pursued by Jesus has become so often neglected by those who call Him Lord. Where are the believers who have our Lord’s passion for prayer? Well…we can do something about that and neglect it no longer. I am calling our church to pray intentionally and with more consistency than ever before. I’m asking you to start today. Why? Because for our church to deepen our walk with our Lord and to effectively love people in ministry, it requires a lot of real prayer. We can’t get by with “showy” prayer or “insincere” prayer meant to impress each other with how spiritual we are. We need the real thing…prayer to God. Our Lord was here on earth for a very brief time and yet His life was permeated with prayer. Seems like the greater the task, the greater the intensity with which He prayed. Oftentimes He would slip quietly away and intercede on behalf of others. He prayed before the cross, on the cross, and after His resurrection. Even now “He always lives to make intercession” (Hebrews 7:25). If it is that important to Him, shouldn’t it be that important to us? When we study the lives of those God used to make a difference in our broken world, we find men and women who were dedicated to the practice of prayer. They didn’t just appear to be people of prayer. They weren’t faking it with spasmodic periods of prayer or not actually praying at all. They prayed…for real…and it kept them from losing an intimate sense of God’s presence in their personal lives. Prayer enabled them to hear and follow the Lord with confidence, and it guarded them from a hardening of their hearts towards God

and men. They prayed and it made a difference in their broken world. It will make a difference in our broken world as well. I know your life is busy, but it’s not too busy to find a quiet place for a quiet time if you do not already have one. Commit this moment to intentionally, day by day, spend time in prayer with the Lord. Jesus said, “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” Luke 18:1 (NKJV). Those two really go together don’t they? Don’t lose heart…pray! Do it because you want to…not because you have to! “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you,” James 4:8 (NKJV).

Pastor Ralph Sawyer has been Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church Wentzville since 1999.

Praying with you,

alph Pastor R Q: What is reincarnation? A: The word is self-explanatory if you know Latin.

Chili con carne means chili with meat, right? The same word is used to form incarnation, which basically means “in the flesh.” We often speak of Christ’s incarnation because He came in the flesh. Well, the false teaching of reincarnation just means coming back in the flesh - in different bodies over and over again. It’s the belief that we keep coming back in the flesh, in different bodies, but the soul or spirit remains the same. Reincarnation is the belief that, after death, the soul passes on to another body. In contrast, The Bible teaches the truth of the resurrection which is the belief that after death the same physical body is made incorruptible. Rather than a series of bodies that die, resurrection makes alive forever the same body that died. Rather than seeing man as a soul in a body, resurrection sees man as a soul-body unity. Reincarnation is a process toward perfection… resurrection is a perfected state. Reincarnation is an intermediate state, while the soul longs to be disembodied and absorbed in God; but resurrection is an ultimate state in which the whole person, body and soul, enjoys the goodness of God...quite a difference, huh? There are two resurrections: one to life and the other to judgment. “…and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:29 (NKJV) The Bible teaches that everyone will get a new, immortal body. The only question is where that resurrected body will spend eternity— with God, enjoying His goodness and love, or separated from Him forever in hell. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (NKJV) Fall 2013 Connections  3

Praying for the Persecuted W by Jayne Patton

hen was the last time you felt called to something? I mean flat out, undeniably called to something? You saw something on the horizon that quickened your spirit and you thought “I wonder if I should get involved with that?” You began to pray about it. Everywhere you looked, you heard about it. The news was reporting on it. Social media was posting about it. Everything in scripture pointed to the coming of it – and you knew…this was something God had ordained for you to get involved with. It was time to step up. To stand up. To speak up. Because if you didn’t, you knew you would have missed out on something God had planned for you to do. You were called to it. Esther 4:14 is one of my favorite verses. It says “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Today, in my life, I am currently being called to action. Quite simply - my royal position as a child of the Living King is my platform. I am being called to stand up for those who have no voice. Specifically for the persecuted believer. Last year I read a couple of books (The Insanity of God & Tortured for Christ) that educated me on the very real, and dangerous, circumstances believers have found themselves in all over the world. Hung upside down on crosses, put in freezers and overcrowded jail cells, starved, beaten, set on fire, family members murdered in front of them – all because they wouldn’t recant their conversions. As I read

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these books, I began to hear about believers all around the world being held today for trusting in Jesus. I sensed a call to action growing inside me. So I started out with what I know to do. I began to pray. I started with reading and praying about an incarcerated believer that was receiving media attention at that time, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. Oh how I prayed for him! I prayed for his wife. For his children. I watched for news updates on him. I wrote his name in my Bible near scriptures that I prayed over him. And God began to deepen my passion for those whose cost of following Christ is so much greater than mine. And soon, he was freed. God did it. During that time, God reminded me of the story in Acts where Rhoda was hosting a prayer meeting and Peter – in a miraculous form – was delivered from prison. As he knocked on the door in an attempt to get in, she was so excited she neglected to open it, and those praying with her almost didn’t believe her when she claimed, “Peter is at the door!!” Through all of that God was making clear to me a new mission. I am to speak up for the persecuted believer. I am to be like Esther using my royal position, and like Rhoda hosting prayer meetings for Christians who are currently imprisoned for their faith, just like Peter. On September 26, Naghmeh Abedini organized an international prayer vigil and peaceful protest on behalf of her husband, American Pastor Saeed

Abedini, who is currently incarcerated in Evin Prison in Iran. His crime? Converting to Christianity from Islam and sharing the gospel with other Muslims. He was kidnapped off of a bus while in Iran building an orphanage on property that he and his family own and for which they had already obtained the required permits. September 26, 2013 marked one full year since he was imprisoned for his faith. Prior to that date, and having felt called by God to do this, I signed up to lead Missouri’s Prayer Vigil and extended the invitation to join that prayer meeting to my church family. I invited friends, government officials and even those I had never met via social media. I asked as many who would listen to come and be a powerful voice in defense of those who are paying an extremely high cost to follow our Savior. On September 26th, thanks to Vance Poland, we took a church bus (and many others drove) to the State Capitol in Jefferson City, MO and held a peaceful protest and prayer meeting on the Capitol steps. We made signs, we stood, we sang, and we prayed. While none of the government officials we invited attended, the Lord reminded me that He does not require a prominent government figure to accomplish His work. Please note that over 70 U.S. Cities and 15 countries around the world participated in the prayer vigil. We asked publically for President Obama to call Iranian President Rouhani and inquire about Saeed’s release. We publically called on President Rouhani to release Saeed. But most importantly, we called on the authority of Almighty God to intervene and allow for the release of Saeed. It is with great humility that I tell you that – THE VERY NEXT DAY A MIRACLE TOOK PLACE!!!! Those of us who prayed can testify to the

❝For if you remain

silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

truth of this next statement. On Friday, September 27, President Obama called Iranian President Rouhani and inquired of Saeed’s imprisonment and at the writing of this – an envoy is in Iran negotiating for his release. My prayer would be that, as you read this, we may, in fact, be celebrating the mighty working power of God’s intervention in Saeed’s life, and that he is at home with his lovely wife, Naghmeh. Oh Lord, may it be!!! On October 29th, Naghmeh attended a portion of the Missouri Baptist’s Annual Convention in Kansas City. She spoke at the Minister’s wives luncheon and was interviewed on stage by Don Hinkle, Editor of the Pathway. Our prayer is that the more exposure she is given, the more prayer will be offered up. I am convinced God has called me to this. He is also calling you to be a part. Are you currently using your royal position for anything? You are called to pray. You are called to be a voice for those who have no voice. Our job is not over. There are many other brothers and sisters of the faith who are being persecuted for loving Jesus. Would you please join us in prayer for them today? Just as you are not forgotten, neither are they. God is there – Jehovah-Shammah. God sees them – El Roi. May God also be their great Deliverer today!

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VBS 2013


IG TOP VBS was a smash hit with beautiful weather, incredible competition, and many young people getting to hear the gospel! The week centered around a team competition where students accumulated points for winning games, bringing friends, contributing to the clothing drive and dressing up for the theme each night. The team competition was a battle between the six teams all the way until the last night, when the Pink team obliterated the competition and became the first team to ever reach one million points by bringing so many friends and clothing items to put them over the top. At BIG TOP VBS every night is a theme night where the students and adults get creative and wild with their costumes. We kicked off the week with Video Game night, then rolled into futuristic night, doubled our fun with twin night, grew our beards out for Duck Dynasty night, and finished off the week with team spirit night. Our students took part in a clothing drive as part of our competition. The goal was to collect as many clothes as possible for Mary Martha Thrift Shop, a local non-profit organization that contributes to many other charities while providing clothing at very affordable prices for those who have need. Our students dove into their closets, pounded the pavement, and ended up with over 3700 clothing items to donate to Mary Martha. In a note from the Board of Directors they said “we

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offer our most sincere (HUGE) thank you for your most generous clothing donations.” Under the BIG TOP, we started the night out by feeding the students, then dove into some team challenges in the field before returning to the tent where our students were led in worship by our youth praise band, the No Strings Attached drama team, and a guest speaker who brought a challenging message about Jesus each night. We wrapped up each night with the best dressed competition which could only be described as ear piercing as decibels went over 110 for the winning person each night. We finished off with a running total for the team competition and a challenge to come back with friends the next night. It took many volunteers to make it all possible and as a result, throughout the week we saw our students bring a total of over 60 visitors with them to hear the gospel preached. Many seeds were planted and much fun was had!”

For God has not

given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7.


total of 310 children attended our Colossal Coaster World Vacation Bible School this year! Six of these children made a decision to accept Christ as their Savior. During the week, the children traveled from Coaster Alley Bible Study to Tune Town Music, to Scissors and Stuff Crafts, to Adrenaline Zone Recreation, to Cotton Candy Café, and then to Missions Global Expo. At every stop, they learned how to “Face Fear and Trust God.” The children learned from Paul’s teachings in the Book of Acts that they could dare to: 1) change, 2) speak up, 3) believe, 4) stand strong, and 5) trust.

Stay tuned for next year as we will be discovering more about God and His gift of salvation in Agency D3, spy theme discovering and defending God’s word.

The VBS offering (in pennies) was just under $1,000 and was given to the Missouri Disaster Relief Teams. It will be used to help people in Colorado with flooding, and possibly with the fires in California. The mission’s project, collecting personal care items, went to HOPE Ministry.

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[Wherever H

will never forget you, because you told me about Jesus.” These words from the mouth of a blue-eyed seven year old are etched in my mind, and for a good reason — it was the first time I felt the call to missions.

by Alyssa Scott I was a high school student on my first mission trip, leading Backyard Bible Clubs for children. It was an enjoyable week, as most youth trips are, but it was more than that for me. I heard the Lord speaking to me in a way I had never experienced before: “This is what you were meant to do.” “Surely not me, Lord. This week has been great, but REAL missionaries do harder things than telling Bible stories to kids in a park. And you know I’m too shy, not a good public speaker… Please pick someone else!” My internal dialogue with the Lord continued in this way over the span of several years and many more mission trips both stateside and overseas. As He dealt with my heart, He showed me that I was using the same excuses as Moses, and that all He asked of me would be accomplished in His strength, not my own. By the time I had finished college, He had brought me to a place where I was able to say, “Here am I; send me!” Over the next year I worked through the application process for the Journeyman program. Journeyman is a two-year program through the International Mission Board that allows college graduates to serve alongside career missionaries across the world. Journeymen are supported by Southern Baptists through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and tithes given to local churches. During the application process, I attended a conference where I prayed about the many opportunities available and accepted a position as a missionary to Zimbabwe. 8  Connections  Fall 2013

I attended two months of training in Richmond, Virginia, in preparation for my mission assignment. It was a very special time filled with fellowship and valuable teachings that ranged from practical skills, like cooking over a fire, to biblical doctrine and evangelism training. The most important lesson I learned during orientation, one that I have carried with me, is the necessity of abiding in Christ and keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. Christ tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) While in Richmond, I learned there was a possibility of a delay in getting a visa for Zimbabwe. In fact, two months after my training had ended, I still did not have visa approval. It was a difficult time of waiting and uncertainty about when I would be saying goodbye to family and friends. Finally, I was asked to serve temporarily in Botswana while my Zimbabwe visa was being processed. The Lord gave me an undeniable peace about going, so within a week I flew to Botswana! Botswana proved to be very different from what I had learned about Zimbabwe, and quite honestly was a difficult place to do ministry. The assignment also was very different in Botswana--evangelism and discipleship on a university campus, whereas my assignment in Zimbabwe was to be a volunteer coordinator with a medical ministry. There were many days I felt unprepared to step into this

He Leads, I’ ll Go] position, but the Lord proved so faithful by sending other girls to partner with me in ministry. This helped me connect with many students and begin a Bible study, and gave me an awesome, supportive missionary family. I went to Botswana viewing it as a temporary stop on my way to Zimbabwe, not really expecting to invest much there. How small my view of God was! I fell in love with the people there and it began to feel like home. So naturally, when I had been there for four months and found out that Zimbabwe had denied my work permit, I hoped and prayed that I would be able to spend the rest of my term in Botswana. The Lord had other plans, however.

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At the beginning of June, I was reassigned to Zambia to continue to do university ministry. That move brought so many mixed emotions--sadness to leave behind the ministry and relationships that had become so dear in Botswana, disappointment at being unable to enter Zimbabwe, and eagerness to see what the Lord had in store in Zambia. A friend expressed it well by saying, “I am excited even when things don’t end up the way I expect because it means that God is intervening.” So many things have shown me that it was His plan for me to come to Zambia. Here I have a ministry partner who is a dear friend from my training in Richmond. She also spent time in Botswana a year ago, and we learned about university ministry from the same supervisor! Having her with me has been such an encouragement and a confirmation of God’s plan. Looking back on my journey over the past year, there have been many unexpected twists and turns. Some days I wonder if I had known all of them ahead of time, would I have chosen to follow? God,

in his infinite wisdom, has led me one step at a time, never giving me more than I could handle. I have experienced the truth of Isaiah 30:21, which says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’“ My prayer is that you will experience His faithfulness as well, wherever He takes you in life.

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Christmas a Our Children present WAM Christmas Worship Concert Sunday, December 8 @ 6PM


6:00 PM - WENTZVILLE First Baptist Church Wen Doors open at 5:00 PM

Christmas Eve Service Join us in celebrating the Birth of Christ Tuesday, December 24 @ 5PM

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5, 2013

E, MO ntzville M

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Hope Happenings


ope Ministry has had a busy summer. The food pantry combined with LINC in Wentzville to host and serve over 3500 lunches during the Summer Lunch Program in June and July. This year the volunteers came from as far away as Michigan, Kansas City and New Haven, MO to serve in this program that featured not only lunch for the physical hunger, but also spiritual nourishment for the soul. The team counted our blessings for the volunteers, food and the salvations that completed the program. HOPE Ministry has been equally busy during normal pantry hours on Wednesdays and Fridays. There has been a record number of new clients this year, especially in July and August. A total of 213 clients were served in the month of July, 46 were new to the pantry. The largest number of clients for July happened on July 31. Forty-three clients were served 158 bags of groceries that evening!

For the month of August we served a total of 215 families with 860 bags of food. The pantry has been blessed to have enough food for these new clients. The donations from FBCW members have been greatly appreciated. Donations from retailers in the community, other individuals and farmers have also been received. The vegetable garden that some of the volunteers work has tripled in size and production and there has been fresh produce for our clients. The Back to School program was a success thanks to the volunteers and donations from FBCW and other area churches. Our annual Thanksgiving dinner is November 22. Sign-up sheets will be available at the Hope Closet table in the foyer for those of you who want to sign up to serve or bring a dish. Also, if your children or a child you know needs help at Christmas to celebrate Christ’s birthday, please let the Church office know. The HOPE Ministry team greatly appreciates all of the volunteers and donations the Lord has sent our way. Thanks for changing our world. . . One life at a time!

❝ C

hanging our world, one life at a time.

Practices Begin the week of January 6th First Game Day is January 25th and the season runs through March 29th Volunteers are ALWAYS needed! 14  Connections  Fall 2013

2013 FBCW Ministry Fair Can I just ask you a question? How rushed do you feel on Sunday mornings? We rush to get the kids ready for church! We rush to get to Sunday School! We rush to get to choir practice! We rush to get to the sanctuary! With all this rushing, who has time to stop by the ministry tables in the church lobby to find out how one can become more involved? On Sunday, August 11th , our church decided to do something about that! With a festive air and unity in spirit, the ministry leaders got together and hosted a Ministry Fair. With booths set up around the church parking lot, blow-ups for the kids, and even a dunking booth with a particular lead pastor in the “dunking seat” – we sought to allow visitors and members to obtain a more in-depth look at the ministries offered at FBC Wentzville. With an early release from church, people were invited to walk around and talk to the different leaders and find out how they could get more involved. Below are some of the comments we received from some Ministry Team Leaders regarding the Ministry Fair. “I thought the ministry fair was great! We were able to get a Moppets worker and had many people come by our table. I think it was a good time for the kids as well. I thought it was a good way to get people aware or involved in ministries and more connected in Church. I think we should definitely do this annually or every other year!” – Lindsey Jones, Moppets Coordinator. “For Koinonia, the ministry fair was a great opportunity to share with our church family and community the purpose for our ministry. It was a lovely, festive day and well attended event. We were thrilled with the number of people who participated. Overall a worthwhile endeavor!” – Tracy Smith, Koinonia Ministry Team Leader.

“I thought the ministry fair seemed to be an effective tool for getting the congregation out there to have a visual of all the different ministries that our church offers and to have the opportunity to see where they could serve. The Kitchen Ministry was able to recruit 7-8 people. However, the Mission Ministry table had 33 individuals who signed up to get involved with missions!!” – Diane Locklear, Kitchen Ministry Team Leader. The WAM ministry took full advantage of the timing of the ministry fair to dress in “retro garb” to promote this year’s theme which is Radical Retro Ride. “We were already excited about sharing with the children that God is the God of every generation. The ministry fair was a neat opportunity to share with our church family how fun praise and worship is, and not just for kids! We have adults who are now serving in WAM and blessing children as a direct result of our interaction at the ministry fair. To me, that is what it was all about. - Denise Woodliff, WAM Coordinating Team. If you missed it, please know there is a place for you to serve at our church! FBCW offers over 30 ministries in which individuals can serve. Sundays still promise to involve a bit of rushing. (If you have children that might even be an understatement.) However, we are hopeful that many of you found a place to plug in through the Ministry Fair! Thank you to each and every ministry team and ministry leader who participated in this year’s Ministry Fair! We pray blessings over you and your ministry going into 2014.

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Building a Legacy Carl and Fran Goodrum were married on June 11, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee. It was a small ceremony held at Fran’s home. Dr. A. D. Foreman, Jr., pastor at Temple Baptist Church, performed the ceremony. This past June, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Fran became a Christian at age 17, and Carl accepted Christ as his Savior at age 25. Carl is an ordained deacon and served in that capacity for many years. They have been members of many Baptist churches and have had various responsibilities in all of them, from teaching to committees to chairmen. In their early years, they worked with youth and later in their own age group. Sometimes they taught older age groups. Fran’s last class before moving to Wentzville was a 10-year span of teaching the 60-70 year-old ladies. Carl is a people person and was on the welcoming committee of every church they attended. The kids would all run to him, hugging his legs. He loved the kids and they all loved him. They have both thoroughly enjoyed their ministries in all their past churches and plan to continue to be as active as their health permits. Carl and Fran met when they both worked at the same trucking company. Fran has a Masters degree and taught high school in Clinton, Mississippi. She taught English and Speech which the kids had to take even though these were not popular subjects. Carl completed a four-year training course at CMR Institute of Roanoke, Virginia. He then worked for the same company for 31 years in pharmaceutical sales. Carl retired in 1995. Carl and Fran’s first child, a daughter, was a stillbirth. They were later blessed with a son (Don) and a daughter (Viki). They have also been greatly blessed with three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Their son Don lives in Florida and teaches in high school. He also performs beachfront weddings on the weekend. Daughter Viki works for an animal pharmaceutical company. Both Don and Viki attended college in Mississippi. The couple moved multiple times over the years of their marriage. People used to ask them what they would do when the kids started school since

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they were usually not in one place for a full year. Fran always answered, “God will provide.” God did indeed provide and when the kids began school, the family stayed in Mississippi almost up to the time both children finished college. When the moving started again, they lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Missouri. Quite often they moved multiple times within one state. Fran states that they always seem to be moving. Carl had a stroke in 2012 but is doing rather well now. He attributes his recovery to the power of prayer. His favorite Bible verse is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV) Carl and Fran are gradually adjusting to the ups and downs of getting older and are enjoying retirement in spite of many setbacks. They are an inspiration and a blessing to all who know them.

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Traditional Holiday Fare Apple Maple Brined Turkey by Rhonda Dickherber Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus 12-18 hours brining time Cooking Time: 3 hours Makes: 10 servings 12 cups water 1 ½ cups coarse salt 3 liters unsweetened apple juice (or apple cider) ½ cup maple syrup 4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced 1 Tbsp. coarsely cracked black pepper 2 lemons, quartered 2 oranges, quartered ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh sage 1 tsp. dried thyme 12 lb. turkey, rinsed and patted dry 1 stick butter Method: Place 2 cups of the water and the salt in a pot and bring to boil, stirring to dissolve the salt, about 2-3 minutes. Cool to room temperature, and then pour into a large, tall stock pot or sterilized, food grade pail just wide enough to hold the turkey. Stir in remaining ingredients, except turkey. Set in the turkey, ensuring it is completely submerged in the brine. Refrigerate turkey in brine 12-18 hours, turning occasionally. If you don’t have a stock pot that will hold this, you can mix the brine and put 18  Connections  Fall 2013

it in a clean trash bag. Put the trash bag on ice in a cooler (the cube shaped ones work best), place the turkey in the bag with the brine and secure with a twist tie. Put in additional ice to surround turkey and then let brine for 12-18 hours. Once the brining is complete, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Drain turkey well; discard brine. Pat turkey dry inside and out. Tuck wings under turkey; tie the legs together. Place the turkey in a roasting pan. For additional flavor, put one small quartered onion, one halved lemon and a stick of celery cut in 3-4 pieces in the cavity of the turkey. Melt butter and baste turkey. Roast turkey, basting with butter and/or pan juices occasionally, 3 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180 F. Rest the turkey 15 minutes before carving. Make gravy with the pan juices, if desired. To make gravy to serve with this turkey, remove fat from pan-drippings and then place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 ½ cups of chicken or turkey stock and bring to boil, scraping the bottom to dislodge the flavorful brown bits. Mix 3 Tbsp. flour with a ½ cup of cold chicken or turkey broth until smooth. Slowly whisk mixture into the pan. Cook until the gravy has thickened, then season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato Casserole by Amy Mooneyham 5 lbs. sweet potatoes ½ cup brown sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 stick salted sweet cream butter ¼ cup flour ½ cup pecans chopped Bake sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 1 hour (or add ½ hour more if they are pretty fat potatoes!). Peel and mash well, or beat with 2 tablespoons of butter. Put in baking dish spread with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. To make streusel topping: Combine rest of cold butter, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon with pastry cutter until it makes pea-size crumbles. ( If you don’t have a pastry cutter, cube the cold butter then use a fork or mix with your hands until crumbly.) Stir in pecans. Spread streusel topping over sweet potatoes, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding by Francine Grzechowiak 1 lb. loaf, firm Italian or French bread, cubed 1 (15 oz.) can seasoned pumpkin pie mix 2 cups, half and half ½ cup, raisins (white or dark) 1 ½ cups, sugar ½ cup, pecans, coarsely chopped 3 large eggs Lightly grease a medium (7 x 10 ½ x 3) casserole dish with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cubed bread in mixing bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add the half and half and pumpkin mix, stirring until blended. Pour this over the bread and toss to distribute evenly.

Green Beans by Karen Gibbs 2 cans Blue Lake green beans 1 Tbsp. bacon grease Ham scraps chopped (about ½ cup) 1 whole onion Salt & Pepper to taste ¼ tsp. thyme 1-2 Tbsp. sugar

Place half of bread mixture in casserole dish. Sprinkle with raisins and pecans. Top with remaining bread mixture. Cover with waxed paper, then put foil over that making sure that all the waxed paper is covered. At this point, you can refrigerate this until you’re ready to bake ( up to 24 hours) or put in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then, uncover and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes longer (until top is lightly golden and pudding is firm to touch). Serve warm with real whipped cream.

Mix all ingredients together and cook covered on low heat for about 2 hours. Remove ham pieces and onion before serving. Fall 2013 Connections  19






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Hope Thanksgiving Dinner 6:30 WAM Christmas Worship Kids Worship Kickoff p.m. in Fellowship Hall Concert in Worship Center 6:00 p.m. Bible University begins

Hope Thanksgiving Food distribution on Church Parking Jubilee Concert in Worship Lot Center 6PM (Tickets on sale at Couples Connecting with Christ church office & Trivia Night


Youth Christmas Party 6:00 p.m. in Youth Room


Church-Wide Christmas Service 5:00 p.m.


Upward Basketball Games begin



Office closed. All contributions for 2013 must be in the office by December 30th or postmarked by December 31st.

Future issues of the Connections Magazine will be distributed via email and on our website. If you require a hard copy, please notify the church office. 20  Connections  Fall 2013

Connections 2013fall  
Connections 2013fall