March 2010 “We will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before us, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12)
VIEWS AND REVIEWS “WHICH BIBLE?” During the last several weeks I’ve had conversations with church members about how choosing which Bible to use for study and devotions can be confusing. ON the one hand, all versions of the Bible can be useful. I’ve never come across one that couldn’t be used to deepen one’s spiritual life. On the other hand, all Bibles are not equal. Some translations are more accurate than others. Some are easier to read than others. Some Bibles have study tools that are more reliable and based on better scholarship than others. In fact, when it comes to study Bibles, some have agendas that can be troublesome, but none are entirely free of bias. Translations are divided into two basic types: literal word for word and “dynamic equivalent.” The first type seeks to preserve the word order when translating the text. But sometimes the result is a translation that is stilted and hard to read. The dynamic equivalent approach seeks to translate the text thought by thought. Both types of Bible translations can be helpful and none are perfect. The New Revised Standard Version is a literal or “formal equivalent” translation. The New Living Translation is a “dynamic equivalent” translation. The New International Version is a combination of the two approaches. The versions I most often recommend are the New Revised Standard Version and the Today’s New International Version. However, the TNIV will soon be unavailable. It is a very good Evangelical translation. But because of pressure from leaders on the extreme right, the translation is being pulled off the market. Some people are deeply committed to the King James Version of the Bible. To hear them talk you might think the KJV came right from the hand of the original authors. Not so. While the language of this old translation is beautiful, the manuscripts used were not among the best. The more recent translations done by teams of experts are superior by far. Study Bibles can be very helpful. But they
are a mixed bag. Many are available but their quality varies. Some offer the fruit of some of the best recent biblical scholarships. Others are not particularly insightful musings of celebrity preachers. Still others have doctrinal axes to grind. You can’t automatically count on the notes in study Bibles for being unbiased information. There are three study Bibles that I recommend. None are without flaws but these do have the virtue of being produced by teams of the best, most reputable biblical scholars that can be found. The three I recommend are The Harper Collins Study Bible, The New Interpreter’s Study Bible and The New Oxford Annotated Bible. There are no shoot-from-the-hip comments in these Bibles. Those who worked on them are well-formed and can help you be better informed. There are also study Bibles I recommend avoiding because they fail to be fairly balanced and deeply informed. Among these I would include The New Scofield Reference Bible, The Ryrie Study Bible and The MacArthur Study Bible. Doctrinal agendas are far too strong in these volumes and questionable connections are made between passages. There are other study Bibles that can be of some help but tend to be overly simplistic and narrow at points. The Life Application Study Bible falls into this category. It can offer “applications” that don’t reflect sufficient understanding of the text. Commentaries can be very helpful in understanding the Bible. Multi-volume commentaries can get expensive. There are a couple single volume commentaries I can recommend. The New Interpreter’s Bible One Volume Commentary is an excellent resource. Another fine one volume study is The People’s New Testament Commentary by Eugene Boring and Fred Craddock. These two are a good place to begin. Regardless of your choice about which Bible to use, the most important thing is to read and study it. God can use any translation if we approach it with an open heart and a passion to learn more of the way of the Lord. Grace and Peace, Craig
PRESCHOOL NEWS On March 8, 2010 we will begin registration for summer camp and the 2010 school year. For one week we will register currently enrolled and church families before opening to the public. Spaces fill quickly so register early. On March 15th registration opens to all. Right before spring break we will be riding trikes and bikes to raise funds for St. Jude children’s Hospital. Treatment and care is made available to all children regardless of ability to pay. Children helping children makes this annual event a great success. Happy Easter! Suzanne MARCH PRESCHOOL HAPPENINGS Summer & Fall Registration 8th Open for Preschool & Church Families 15th Registration Open for All 16th & 17th Sharing with Pastor Craig 24th Trike-a-thon for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Staff Meeting (6:00 pm) 25th Trike-a-thon, Day 2 th 26 Planning Day – Preschool Closed / Full Time Care Open Spring Break – Preschool Closed 29th – 4/5 4/2 Good Friday – All Closed
MARCH BIRTHDAYS 2nd 3rd 5th 6th 8th 9th 13th 16th 18th 21st 25th 27th 28th 30th
Ruby Espiritu William Thurlow Vickie Parsley Michael Steele Tommy Veliyathil Rose Diamond Shaun McIntyre Bill Vasquez Brian Buzzell Alyssa Sikora Victoria Angle Alice Wead Mark Aye Samantha Lagogiannis Chris Linn Eric Williams Darlene Ramos Merlene Lockhart Gabriel Watts June Bookal Michelle Martin
MARCH ANNIVERSARIES 1st
Craig & Cindi Watts
[We apologize if your name is not on the list. Please call the office to update your information!]
on Sat., March 13th
A WARM WELCOME TO 4 NEW MEMBERS Tina Wiedman sees RPCC as a "big family where everybody is accepted for who he or she is." She did not have such warm feelings in any other church she attended in the past. She feels quite at home at RPCC. Tina's mother, Coral, is a very active member of the church, and her dad, Ken, is an active member and elder at Faith Christian Church in Hollywood. Tina works as a secretary for Family Tire and lives with her parents. Marthe Durosier is a senior at Taravella High School. She came to the US from Haiti when she was three years old, and she lives with her mother and three younger brothers. Every Sunday morning, she makes it a priority to attend church. "I look forward to going to church; I don't do it as a chore or a duty, but because I love to worship." It is inspiring to hear a teenager talking about church with such passion. Marthe used to attend different churches before, and likes RPCC because "it is more personal, everyone is helpful and no one judges you." Shaun McIntyre loves "the family environment at RPCC." He lives with his mother, Janice, who is already a member of the church and sings in the choir. Shaun currently works in sales for a US building company. He was working in Spain before moving back to Florida three years ago. April Gehlhaus was born and raised Catholic, but she did not practice the catholic religion for a long time. As an adult, after she was 'saved' she began attending Calvary Chapel, but found it to be “too large and impersonal.” She joined RPCC because she “likes the personal touch and the family feeling” here. April moved from NY to Florida two years ago with her three children, Ashley (17), Sebastian (7) and Madison (2). She is currently looking for a job. RPCC extends an embracing welcome to Tina, Marthe, Shaun and April. We are glad you are part of our church family!
NEEDED…a few people willing to dust, vacuum and hand-wipe the pews in our Sanctuary before Palm Sunday. Contact Karyn (954-303-6320).
The RPCC choir robes that were hanging unused in the Conference Room closet for the past 8 years (or more) are now being joyfully worn ~ and are greatly appreciated ~ by a congregation in Jamaica!
BLESSINGS The following note came for you: “Once again I would like to thank each one of you. Your cards, encouragement, food, gifts, prayers and love have brought me through these past months with much hope. It was so wonderful to worship with you on Sunday and also to make it to Bible Study. I will continue to thank God each day and will continue to pray for all at Royal Palm Christian Church too. With much love, Rose Diamond” The Anhinga Service Unit of the Girl Scouts collected and donated a generous amount of food for our pantry…thank you! The Student Government of Coral Springs High School held an “Empty Bowls” fundraiser, and they donated the proceeds ($400) to our food pantry. Thank you!
NEW BUSINESS DIRECTORY We are hoping to promote businesses within our congregation and preschool families thru an RPCC / RPCCP Business Directory which could be distributed to everyone in the congregation and preschool. If you have a business, work with either traditional payment or barter, and are interested in promoting your business in this way, please e-mail Loni by March 15th @ firstname.lastname@example.org
COMMUNITY YARD SALE / FLEA MARKET On Saturday, March 20th, the Christian Women’s Fellowship will host a Community Yard Sale in the church parking lot. Some spaces are available at $10 for church and preschool families. If you have friends or neighbors who want to participate, the fee is $20. Set up time is from 6:00 – 8:00 am, and sale time is 8:00 am – noon. (OK, we know sale time really begins with the “early birds”) Call Tara (954-973-6113) to reserve a space.
Sometimes shining our light is a tricky enterprise. Nelson Mandela speaks to just how difficult it can be:
“FAITH JOURNEYS” The best news ever! You don’t have to quit coming to church camp just because you’ve grown up! Come and spend 48 hours with Florida Disciples (55+) at our comfy conference center – complete with air conditioned / heated cabins, modern bathrooms, state-of-the-art swimming pool, golf carts to help those who need a lift, wonderful food prepared by a great chef, and a program that will inspire and challenge you. Won’t YOU come to… The Twenty-first Annual Sr. Retreat March 16th – 18, 2010 Christian Church Conference Center Cost: On the grounds ~ $115; off the grounds ~ $80 Registration forms available in the office.
THE FOLLOWING LENTEN MESSAGE WAS SENT FROM OUR REGIONAL OFFICE Dear Friends of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Florida, “You are the light of the world. A city built upon a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts in under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 The light in Florida is different than the light in Tennessee. Here the light feels a little more direct, permeating deeper into the shadows, more stark relief and less subtle nuance. It is a shimmer, sometimes even a glare on the water holding the promise of warm days to come. As we enter the Lenten Season, light is on my mind. I am thinking about the places in my own being where I need to more fully experience and know the Light of the Holy. The season also calls to mind the challenge of following one whose way of shining his light in this world lead to the kind of end we remember on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Mandela said this during his Inaugural Speech in South Africa in 1994. In a powerful statement, he reminds his people that they are strong and beautiful and that in claiming their own power, they liberate themselves and others. Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin Lent and my prayer for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Florida is that we will know, know, know, that the light of God lives in us and that as we allow all that God-given light to shine – we are more powerful than we know. Our witness is stronger than we can imagine! My prayer is also that we will be challenged by the knowledge that God’s light is not just in us, but in every human being – may we, may the church, by our very lives and witness participate in the liberation of others. May God’s spirit that calls us towards a Light that is present deep within our very beings and also more mysterious than we can imagine, be with us during this Lenten Season. With Much Hope,