Page 1

The

Cross ie

MAGA ZI N E

VOL 1 | ISSUE 8 | DECEMBER


Songs of the Season 2017 Advent and Christmas Worship at Smoke Rise Baptist Church Sunday, December 3, 2017

Advent 1: Song of Zechariah

Worship in the Chapel at 9:00am • Sunday School at 9:45am • Worship in the Sanctuary at 11:00am Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advent 2: Song of Mary

Worship in the Chapel at 9:00am • Sunday School at 9:45am • Worship in the Sanctuary at 11:00am Sunday, December 17, 2017

Advent 3: Song of the Shepherds

Church-wide Christmas Breakfast at 9:00am • Sunday School at 9:45am • Worship in the Sanctuary at 11:00am Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent 4: Song of the Angels

Sunday School at 9:45am (Check individual class schedule) • Worship in the Sanctuary at 11:00am

Christmas Eve: Song of the Savior


Sunday, December 3 7:00 PM 3 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG


SMOK ER I S EB A P T I ST. OR G O UR M INIST E R S

CON T EN TS

T im Ad cox Minister of Missions tadcox@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0570

5

From the Pastor

6

Worshipping

7

Growing

8

Connecting

9

Caring

B e c k y C a s w e l l - S p ei gh t Minister to Families with Children rspeight@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0546 Jeremy Colliver Minister to Families with Youth jcolliver@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0551 Kat hy D obbi n s Minister of Spiritual Formation kdobbins@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0548 Chris G e o r ge Pastor cgeorge@smokerisebaptist.org 770.469.5856 Bart McNiel Associate Pastor bmcniel@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0540 Danny Va n c i l Minister of Music & Worship dvancil@smokerisebaptist.org 678.533.0560

1 0 Generosity 11

Serving on Mission

1 2 Family Ministry 1 3 Youth 1 4 Monthly Snapshot *Cover Art by former SRBC member, Orin D. Morris

F RO M THE PASTOR 5

Dr. Gannon’s All Saints Day Sermon reminds us that Advent is more than merely a church season. Christmas is more than merely a holiday celebration. God’s Incarnation changes everything.

6

WO RSHIPPING

7

GROWIN G

It’s true. Instead of one large program, we will be celebrating the beautiful music of the Advent and Christmas season every Sunday morning in December. If you miss a single Sunday, you will miss a musical blessing.

How grateful am I? I asked myself recently. We are moving into the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas giving. Our culture now moves with great speed into these times even beginning at Halloween. Where is gratefulness in any of it?

CON N EC T W IT H US

facebook.com/ smokerise

twitter.com/ smokerisebaptist.org SmokeRiseBC

Smoke Rise

A B OU T S M O K E RIS E 5901 Hugh Howell Rd. Stone Mountain, GA 30087 Tel: 770.469.5856 Fax: 770.498.3598 Office Hours M-F 8:30am - 4:30pm

Smoke Rise Baptist Church is a loving and caring faith community where people come to grow spiritually, worship communally, and serve faithfully. We are committed to fostering authentic relationships and engaging in meaningful ministry in our congregation, our community, and around the world. We partner with others in an effort to be about God’s work. We commit to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We proclaim the Good News of Christ in all that we say and do. 4 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


FRO M TH E PASTO R

CH RIS G E ORGE - PASTOR

God sent a messenger to a young girl named Mary…to get her permission before he continued. The messenger went to Joseph and said, “Joseph, there is so much of God in this than you can see right now…Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” And, when the baby was born, Angels sang to shepherds out in the field, “Don’t be afraid, for I bring you Great Tidings of Great Joy…Unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord…in whom every person will find the resolution of life and death.” Now that is my addition to what the angels sang, but I believe that is what was beginning to happen. Jesus will be the door through which every person who believes will find eternal life in Christ. Dr. Truett Gannon, Pastor Emeritus All Saints Day—November 5, 2017 Dr. Gannon’s All Saints Day Sermon reminds us that Advent is more than merely a church season. Christmas is more than merely a holiday celebration. God’s Incarnation changes everything. Don’t not be afraid...for even death itself will be defeated. During this Sacred Season, we will lift our hearts and voices in song to the God who brings Good Tidings of Great Joy. This Advent, our theme is Songs of Advent and Christmas. We will study the songs of Zechariah, Mary, shepherds, angels, and Simeon as we prepare our hearts and our world for the coming of the Christ child. As a child, I believed that Christmas was all about getting. I made my list and checked it twice. I tried to avoid being naughty and embraced being nice. The gifts were a reward for being good. Later, I learned that Christmas was about giving. Before I asked, God answered. “For God so loved the world…that he gave his only son…” This gift was an expression of God’s grace. This year, I believe that Christmas is about gratitude. We recognize the gifts we have been given in our families, friends, and faith…Then, we respond to those gifts with gratitude. We offer God our hearts and hands. We give God our time and talents. Like the Wise Men, we bring our gifts. When I was a child in St. Louis, we always travelled to Kentucky for Christmas with the family. It meant a four hour drive with four kids in the back of the car. It was a long trip. So, sometimes…we would sing. Friends, we have a long trip ahead…Bethlehem is not just around the block…But, as we follow the Star, may our hearts be filled with gratitude and our heads be filled with songs.

In Gratitude, Pastor Chris

5 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


WORS H IP P I N G AT SM OK E R I SE “When is your big program?” That is probably the most often asked question of me during the Christmas season. This year my answer is taking folks back a bit: “Every Sunday in December!” It’s true. Instead of one large program, we will be celebrating the beautiful music of the Advent and Christmas season every Sunday morning in December. If you miss a single Sunday, you will miss a musical blessing. Hopefully by now you have seen the promotional material, The Songs of Advent and Christmas. Over the course of eight worship services in December you will hear music from the Sanctuary Choir, Brass, Harp, Youth Choir, Flute, Handbells, Children Choristers, Strings, Soloists, Piano, Percussion, Sanctuary Handbell Choir, and Organ. I’m looking forward to worshiping with you in this beloved Season. Danny

Congratulations to Mary Lynn Weatherly Celebrating her 5th Year as Organist

6 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


GROW IN G AT S M O KE R I SE GRATEFULNESS, THE HEART OF PRAYER How grateful am I? I asked myself recently. We are moving into the season of Thanksgiving and Christmas gift giving. Our culture now moves with great speed into these times even beginning at Halloween. Where is gratefulness in any of it? I wondered. Several years ago I read a book by Brother David Steindl-Rast who is a Benedictine monk, titled Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer. The first lines in the book drew me in: “This book is about life in fullness. It is about coming alive. I could summarize it in two words: Wake up!” He goes on to say, “There is a surprise character of the world around us the moment we wake up from taking things for granted.” How easy it is to get out of bed each day and enter into a routine that becomes mindless. How much of life do I take for granted? It might seem silly to be grateful for small things like a hot, steaming cup of tea but once I acknowledge this, I am in touch with gratitude for the clean water that came out of my faucet that went in the kettle on my stove in my own house with electricity to heat it so that I could enjoy it while driving in my nice car that I was able to fill up with gas on the way to my employment and ministry at the church. Pardon the run on sentence but you get the point. One little moment to stop and be grateful can jolt me awake to a lot of blessings I might easily take for granted! Steindl-Rast encourages us to let even the ordinariness of life surprise us. “Surprise is the starting point. Through surprise our inner eyes are opened to the amazing fact that everything is gratuitous. Nothing at all can be taken for granted. And if it cannot be taken for granted, it is gift. An inch of surprise can lead to miles of gratefulness.”

In this Holy season upon us, let people and nature and twinkling lights, and laughing children, and cups of hot tea and such - and yes, even the most mundane tasks – surprise you into gratitude! -Kathy Dobbins ADVENT DEVOTIONAL READING This year we are recommending a wonderful little book of daily devotional thoughts called Silence and Other Surprising Invitations of Advent by Enuma Okoro. Through the daily readings you will walk through the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth and the friendship between Elizabeth and Mary. How can we find silence and anticipation in the midst of all the shopping and activities? Find out by spending some quiet time with this book. Books can be purchased in the upper Breezeway on Sundays or in Fellowship Hall on Wednesdays. Advent begins on December 3, 2017.

LADIES HOLIDAY EVENT FEATURING LAURA STORY On November 14th, more than 200 ladies celebrated the coming of the holiday season – both Thanksgiving and Christmas – at their beautifully decorated tables and with the inspirational testimony and music of multiple award winning music artist, Laura Story.

7 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


CON N EC T I N G AT SMOK E R I SE A CHRISTMAS TRADITION The Fellowship Circle of Smoke Rise Baptist Church has an annual Christmas tradition of celebrating the holiday with one of the group homes from the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home. Usually it has been a group of girls with their house parents. During the early years the girls traveled to Smoke Rise on a Wednesday evening, enjoyed pizza and sweet treats with the ladies, and opened gifts selected especially for them by our circle members.

since we’re never sure who will still be residing at the home when the group comes for the party. Fellowship members eat and interact with the students during the meal. This year, carol singing and basketball are also in the plans. -Linda Cantrell, Secretary, The Fellowship Circle

ANNUAL “WHITE ELEPHANT” AUCTION SUPPORTING MISSIONS

For at least the past twelve years, the Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class has hosted a White Elephant Auction at its annual Christmas party to support missions. That event has seen more fun and surprises that you’d ever imagine. Just seeing the items that are brought to the auction is hilarious. Last year, our donated items included a “still-in-the-box” new HDTV and children’s wind-up toys. In the past, we auctioned the same loaf of frozen home-made bread for several years running--each year getting impressive bids! It’s always surprising to see who bids on various items. We’ve invited ministers to attend, other SS classes and visitors, and enjoy fellowship. We have a delicious dinner before the auction begins, then turn the floor over to our very talented auctioneer, who helpfully models some of the clothing items.

Over the years, some changes have been made to better accommodate the group. They now travel on Sunday morning and worship with us in the 11:00am service. The students no longer have to leave school early and there is less traffic congestion on a Sunday morning. Many of the girls have told us that they have never participated in a worship service like ours, so that was worth making the time change. And, of course, they still enjoy pizza and opening gifts! This year the group will be boys only for the first time. Gift cards to Walmart will be purchased by the circle members so that the boys can choose their own gifts. Each boy receives gift cards totaling $120. The cards will be placed in a treat bag with candy. This works well for boys or girls

All fun aside, the real purpose of the event is to raise funds for our mission partners such as the GAP in Kentucky, Lilburn and Stone Mountain Co-ops, Tijuana Missions, Honduras Missions and Edgewood Baptist Church. Last year, we collected $4,250 from the White Elephant sale. Including our “pass the basket” time in class for the same purpose, our Sunday School class raised over $11,000 in 2016 toward these and other missions. We also have class members who pay the annual school tuition for children in Tijuana and Honduras. We are a mission-focused class that combines fun and fellowship with giving. It’s a privilege to be a part of this group of generous, mission-minded folk who combine fun and fellowship with giving spirits. -Marcella Howard, Pairs and Spares Class Member

8 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


CAR IN G AT S M O KE R I SE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SERVICE We give thanks for Lisa Mixon who recently celebrated her 25th Anniversary of service to children at the Smoke Rise Baptist Weekday School. Her loving care of generations of children is an enduring legacy. Lisa Mixon and her husband Joe are members of Smoke Rise Baptist where Lisa is also actively involved in missions through Sadie’s Ladies. Lisa was born and raised in metro-Atlanta, and is a graduate of Sequoyah High School in Doraville. She studied at Dekalb Lisa Mixon and her husband Joe are members of Smoke Rise Baptist where Lisa is also actively involved in missions through Sadie’s Ladies. Lisa was born and raised in metro-Atlanta, and is a graduate of Sequoyah High School in Doraville. She studied at Dekalb Community College to become a dental assistant. After her children Brian and Kathryn were born, she brought them to Parents’ Morning Out and Preschool at Smoke Rise Baptist Weekday School. She began working in Brian’s Pre-K class as substitute teacher, when Director Pat Tooke hired her as an Assistant Teacher. She expected that she would work while her children were small, at least until they finished elementary school . . . and then until they finished high school, and little by little, teaching at Smoke Rise became her calling.

For many years, she worked with Bobbi Jo Barton teaching Pre-K and then Kindergarten. Over the years she also partnered with Carol Stewart, Jennifer Castleberry, Pat Greene and now Kim Free. She is the onstant and smiling face of our Kindergarten.

When she was hired, Lisa said: “I feel that every child regardless of ability should have the opportunity to grow and develop at his or her own level. That learning should be a fun experience through challenging work as well as fun games. I hope that each school day children enter the classroom with confidence that [they] can succeed, and, regardless of ability, be taught love and self-esteem.” Over the years Lisa has perfected a math curriculum that uses the calendar, money and other manipulatives to teach basic concepts about numbers, counting, addition, subtraction and more. As the children chant or rummage through “treasures” they learn through play. This year, when asked “What do you like best about working at Smoke Rise Baptist Weekday School?” Lisa responded: “I enjoy working with the children in a Christian environment where we are able to let them know that above all else Jesus loves them. The smiles on their faces as they learn to share, give, and love one another will brighten your day.” Thank you, Lisa, for brightening so many lives by your faithful service. Valerie Coe Lowder Weekday School Director

9 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


GEN ER OS I T Y YEAR END STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN What comes to your mind when you hear the word Joy? For some, it is a smile. For others, it is a song. For all, it is an experience. C.S. Lewis writes, “Joy is the Serious Business of Heaven.” At Christmas, the Hosts of Heaven sing in the night sky, proclaiming “Joy to the World.”

STEEPLE RENOVATIONS Refresh steeple renovations were completed in November. Chapel renovations will start in the near future. Thank you to all who pledged to Refresh for your continued support as we seek to complete renovations and renewal of our church campus.

Our theme for our Year-End Stewardship Emphasis is “Joy to the World!” When Thanksgiving meets Christmas, when Gratitude meets Joy, Generosity happens. Prayerfully consider what God is leading you to give this Advent Season. These gifts enable God’s work at Smoke Rise Baptist Church as we seek to bring “Joy to the World.” We have so much to be thankful for this year…Let us respond with gratitude and bring our gifts.

MONTH OF OCTOBER Amount Given $153,697.67

Amount Spent $187,043.27

Negative Balance ($33,345.60)

FISCAL YEAR TO DATE (APRIL 1, 2017 - OCTOBER 31, 2017) Amount Given $1,178,564.96

Amount Spent $1,302,207.05

Negative Balance ($123,642.09)

YEAR-END CONTRIBUTIONS In order to be in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service, any contributions which donors wish to be credited as a 2017 contribution for IRS purposes must be received no later than Sunday, December 31, 2017. If the contribution is mailed, it must be postmarked (not metered) no later than December 31, 2017. Contributions received after this date, regardless of the date on the check, must be reported as a 2018 contribution. Thank you for your cooperation in complying with this policy. IRS guidelines require that members who wish to itemize contribution deductions must have a copy of the church’s contribution report when filing an income tax return. Reports will be mailed in January.

10 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


SERVIN G ON M I S S I ON The refugees Sewing Society of Clarkston is an extension of a Smoke Rise mission partner, Friends of Refugees. The income from these items helps feed their families and change their standard of living. A Kenyan artisan selects just the right piece of wood and begins carving away all but the shape of the zebra he saw running through plains this morning. Each stripe is carefully painted. More than 400 people benefit from this artisan community. Some have even been freed from prostitution. This basket is hand woven in classic Rwandan style using natural and native black grasses. This basket was made by Mukangenzi of the Igira Impuhwe tribe.

Mukangenzi has moved out of desperate poverty. She now can rent a home and can afford health insurance, clothes for her children and rents a garden where she grows food for her family.

MISSION OFFERING UPDATE The GAP project to develop the land in Appalachia is on track thanks to your generosity. To date, almost $23,000 has been given toward our goal of $40,000. The offering pledge period ends March 31.

Give More Store The Give More Store opens December 3 from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm (excluding 11:00 am service) in lower breezeway and in the evening 6:30pm and immediately following the Peter Mayer concert. The items to the left are representative examples of things that will be available in the Give More Store.

THANKSGIVING BASKET PROJECT BECOME A FAMILY TRADITION Families coming together for the holidays are always special times. Working together as a family to help other families have a better holiday is even more special. Once again this year we exceed our goal of 150 baskets. The Baskets are evenly distributed to the Lilburn and NetWorks coops, as well as all of the additional food. NICARAGUA MISSION TRIP - FEBRUARY 17-24 There is room for a few more team members. Contact the mission office for more information. 11 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG


FAMILY M I N I ST RY AT SMOK E R I SE ANTICIPATION Years ago when Ainsley was little we had our own little traditions for whenever Josh would leave on a work trip. On our first evening without Joshua we would sit down on the floor with blanks sheets of paper and crayons and create our countdown. I’d write out a number for each day and then Ainsley would decorate them. We would then tape the countdown to one of her bedroom walls. Each morning she would jump out of bed and rush to the countdown to take a number down. Our countdown was a fun visual reminder for Ainsley that daddy was always coming home. The season of Advent is one of anticipation, preparation and longing. We light the Advent candle during this season as a visual reminder that the long expected Christ child is near. We place decorations in our homes as visual reminders that Christ has not left us. He is living and shining among us. Take time this advent season to look at the signs all around you that Christ is near. Take time this Advent season to look at the signs all around you and remember. Like a father that returns home from a long business trip, Christ desires to hear the excitement in your voice and see to see the awe in your eyes.

12 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG

Birthday Party for Jesus Sunday, December 17th During the Sunday School Hour OUR JOY MAKERS CHOIR WILL START THE CELEBRATION OFF IN THE CHAPEL WITH A MUSICAL PRESENTATION.


YOU TH AT S M O KE R I SE

SENIOR FOCUS on Jonah Dodson 1. What has been your favorite memory of the youth group? Disney was great. Washington DC was awesome, but Japan was amazing; totally life-changing.

DNOW

JONAH DODSON Senior at Parkview High School

2. What hobbies do you have? I love playing table top games. Dungeons and Dragons is my favorite. I could literally talk to you about them for hours. 3. What do you want to do after you graduate? I want to go to college at Georgia Southwestern. I would love it if I could write and create table top games for others to play.

4. What is something people might not know about you? I really like sports. Especially baseball, but I love watching all sports.

13 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG


MON TH LY S N A P S HOT

L A D I E S ’ H O L IDAY DIN N ER

WEEKLY S C HE D UL E S u n d ay 9:45am Sunday School 11:00am Worship in the Sanctuary 2:00pm Matupi Christian Baptist Church Worship Service 5:00pm Youth Choir and Worship M o n d ay 10:00am Mother’s Bible Study Wed n e s d ay 5:00pm Wednesday Night Dinner 6:00pm Journeys Hunger in God’s World Sanctuary Handbells Preschool Music and Mission 1st-5th Grade Music and Mission Youth Gathering 7:00pm Sanctuary Choir

14 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG


Advent 2017 Calendar of Activities

December 3: Family Advent Breakfast at 9:30am Worship in the Chapel at 9am Sunday School at 9:45am Worship in the Sanctuary at 11am Regular Youth Schedule Peter Mayer Concert at 7pm December 4: Deacons’ Christmas Dinner December 6: Regular Wednesday Schedule Four’s & Five’s Nativity Pageant at 6:30pm (Following the Fellowship Meal) December 10: Worship in the Chapel at 9am Sunday School at 9:45am Regular Youth Schedule Worship in the Sanctuary at 11am December 13: No Regular Wednesday Evening Programs Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal and Party at 6pm (In the Choral Suite) December 15: Youth Christmas Progressive Dinner at 6pm December 17: Church-wide Christmas Breakfast at 9am Birthday Party for Jesus (Three’s) at 9:45am Sunday School at 9:45am Worship in the Sanctuary at 11am December 20: No evening activities December 24: Sunday School at 9:45am (No Children’s Sunday School. All others please check individual class schedules) Worship in the Sanctuary at 11am Children and Family Candlelight Service at 5pm Candlelight and Communion at 7pm December 25-26 Church Offices closed December 27: No evening activities December 31: Sunday School at 9:45am (Please check individual class schedules) Worship in the Sanctuary at 11am


January 2018 Preview The Influence of Faith

1/10/18 Faith & Art

1/17/18 Faith & Music 1/24/18 Faith & Psychology 1/31 & 2/7/18 Faith & Science

Address Correction Requested

December 2017 CrossTie  
December 2017 CrossTie