Magistrates are not by virtue of their office to meddle with religion or matters of conscience, to force or compel people to this or that form of religion. (John Smyth, 1612)
No king nor bishop can or is able to command MAGA ZI N E faith. That is the gift of God. To constrain VOL 1 | ISSUE 4 | JULY princes and peoples to receive the one true religion of the gospel is wholly against the mind and merciful law of Christ. (Leonard Busher, 1614.) Every person ought to be left free with respect to matters of religion. The Holy Author of our religion needs no compulsive measures for the promotion of Godâ€™s cause. (General Committee of Baptists in Virginia, 1785) Everyone must give a personal account to God, and therefore all people ought to be at liberty to serve God in a way that each can best reconcile their own conscience. (John Leland, 1791) Religion must be forever voluntary and uncoerced. It is not the prerogative of any power to compel people to conform to any religious creed or form of worship, or to worship, or to pay taxes for the support of a creed they do not believe. God wants free worshipers and no other kind. (George W. Truett, 1920) Baptists believe in free churches within a free state. We believe religious liberty to be an inalienable human right and indispensable to human welfare. Profoundly convinced that any deprivation of this right is a wrong to be challenged, we condemn every form of compulsion or restraint in religion. (The American Baptist Bill of Rights, 1939) God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate... A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power. (1963 Baptist Faith and Message) Religious liberty is for all people. As Baptists, we worked to have freedom not just for ourselves or other Christians...We have fought for religious freedom in our country so that any person wherever he or she is can worship God freely or not worship without coercion from any religious body or the state. (Baptist Pastor and Professor, William Powell Tuck 2005)
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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 email@example.com 678.533.0570
From the Pastor
B e c k y C a s w e l l - S p ei gh t Minister to Families with Children firstname.lastname@example.org 678.533.0546 Jeremy Colliver Minister to Families with Youth email@example.com 678.533.0551 Kat hy D obbi n s Minister of Spiritual Formation firstname.lastname@example.org 678.533.0548
Danny Va n c i l Minister of Music & Worship email@example.com 678.533.0560
Deeply ingrained in many of us is the thought that if someone does not do things the way we do in the USA, it must not be the “right” way. Approaching mission experiences as a learner...
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Sanctuary renovations and improvements are being done this month as part of our Refresh Campaign work, and will include aesthetic...
1 2 Youth 1 3 Snapshot
Chris G e o r ge Pastor firstname.lastname@example.org 770.469.5856 Bart McNiel Associate Pastor email@example.com 678.533.0540
July causes us to look back as a country. We read founding documents that speak of the noble ideals of liberty and justice for all. We remember those who have come before us...
SERV IN G O N MIS S ION 10
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F RO M THE PASTOR 3
COVE R IMAGE First Baptist Church in America, Providence, RI, www.fbcia.org
CON N EC T W IT H US
twitter.com/ smokerisebaptist.org SmokeRiseBC
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. 2 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG
FRO M TH E PASTO R CH RIS G E ORGE - PASTOR Dear Smoke Rise Family, July causes us to look back as a country. We read founding documents that speak of the noble ideals of liberty and justice for all. We remember those who have come before us, expressing gratitude for those who have preserved and protected these freedoms. Religious liberty has been called America’s “first freedom.” As Baptists, we need to look back and listen to some of our forefathers like George W. Truett, the Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas from 1897-1944. On the Steps of the U.S. Capital in 1920, he spoke these words: “Indeed, the supreme contribution of the new world to the old is the contribution of religious liberty. This is the chiefest contribution that America has thus far made to civilization. And historic justice compels me to say that it was pre-eminently a Baptist contribution…Baptists have never been a party to oppression of conscience. They have forever been the unwavering champions of liberty, both religious and civil…Our contention is not for mere toleration, but for absolute liberty. There is a wide difference. Toleration implies that somebody falsely claims the right to tolerate. Toleration is a concession, while liberty is a right. Toleration is a matter of expediency, while liberty is a matter of principle. Toleration is a gift from man, while liberty is a gift from God.” As Baptists, we have a rich history to celebrate and a wonderful legacy to embrace. At Smoke Rise, we are committed to preserving this freedom and protecting this right not only for us and for our children, but for all people. July also causes us to look back and look forward as a congregation. This month, we will be making some necessary and long-overdue renovations to our sanctuary. We will be upgrading our sound system to improve the worship experience. We will make repairs to our ceiling. We will enhance this sacred space for the future. And, this provides us a unique chance to step back into the past. In July, our worship services will take place in our Chapel. We are aware the size is small, but we hope it will create a service that feels intimate for all who participate. As your Pastor, I especially want to ask our long-time members to consider coming to the 9:00am service in July, so we can make sure we have space for everyone at the 11:00am services. I am excited about worshipping in this place where the first saints of our congregation met in 1972. As we prepare to move forward, it will be wonderful to look back and give thanks for those who laid the firm foundation of faith for our congregation. Grateful for the past. Excited about the future. I am honored to be… Your pastor, Chris
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WORS H IP P I N G AT SM OK E R I SE C O M B I NE D YOU TH CH OIRS OF
J UST ICE AND JOY C HOIR TOUR Worship and Concert Experiences include: •First Baptist Church, Washington, DC •Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home •The National Children’s Hospital •First Baptist Church, Clemson, SC Mission and Educational Experiences include working with: •Our own Stephen Reeves (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Associate Coordinator for Advocacy and Partnerships) •Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty •Bread for the World (A non-partisan, Christian citizens’ movement in the United States to end hunger) Sightseeing Highlights include: •White House, Capitol, Smithsonian, Arlington National Cemetery • Evensong with the San Francisco Boys Choir at Washington National Cathedral Lodging at Georgetown University
JULY 9, 1 6 , 23 & 30 Both 9:00am and 11:00am Worship Services will be in the Chapel due to work in the Sanctuary.
Let Freedom Ring!
Our worship services on July 2 will include a special tribute, prayer, and hymn in celebration of our nation’s birth.
WORSHIP ON SUNDAY, JULY 2 Special Guest Rev. Stuart Blythe, Ph.D Dean, International Theological Study Centre, Amsterdam On this Day: 9:00am: Worship in the Chapel 9:45am: Sunday School 11:00am: Worship in the Sanctuary
Dr Blythe became the first Dean of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre Amsterdam in the summer of 2014. Prior to that he was Senior Lecturer and acting principal of the Scottish Baptist College. Dr. Blythe has extensive academic and pastoral experience. His research interest is in the field of Practical Theology with particular emphasis on research methodology, homiletics and education. As Dean, Dr. Blythe oversees the academic programmes and strategic vision of the Centre. 4 | SMOKE RIS E BAPT IST.ORG
GROW IN G AT S M O KE R I SE A Per so n al “ F ai t h Fitne s s” Pr ogr a m fo r the S u mm e r For most of us, the summer months bring changes of schedule and opportunities for experiences outside our normal routines. We may stray from our regular diets and exercise efforts for a time, as we embrace vacation time from other responsibilities. What we lose in regular discipline we gain in the enrichment of rest and new experiences. Inevitably, we will probably also “take a break” from church and our various ministries that are the active expressions of our discipleship; and this, too, can be a helpful part of the rhythm of the faith-life. Notice in the gospels how often Jesus is portrayed as “withdrawing from the crowds” in order to re-focus on his ministry. As a suggestion for this summer, consider adding to your “time break” a bit of nourishment and exercise focused on deepening and strengthening your ministry as a follower of Christ. First, read one book on some aspect of our shared faith journey. Here are a few general suggestions: • Marcus Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time – A helpful “big picture” introduction to the Bible, with an intriguing invitation to see its familiar content through a new lens.
• Brian McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian – A fascinating and enlightening reflection on the contemporary direction of spirituality and its impact on church life and its ministry.
• Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: the Trinity and Your Transformation – Interesting reflections on the traditional concept of the Trinity.
Second, use your vacation experiences to sharpen your capacity for awe and reverence as you see the wonders of nature. Whether in the mountains, the sea-coast, or anywhere in between, scenery, wildlife, sunrises and sunsets can nourish our sense of reverence and a commitment to stewardship of the gift of creation. Also, be expressive of your gratitude for restaurant waitstaff, hotel housekeeping personnel, and the countless others whose service makes our vacation time enjoyable. Such expressions mediate the grace of God to others, making ordinary encounters expressions of ministry. Restful breaks, good nourishment, and exercise are essential for healthy physical life. They are important for the spiritual dimension of life as well. Our guest writer this month is Colin Harris. Colin is retired from Mercer University. He teaches the Discovery Sunday School class.
FA L L “J O U R N E YS ” C O M I NG S OON ! Wednesdays at Smoke Rise provide a boost to the week. We hope you enjoy your summer Wednesdays and plan to participate when we kick off in August with some great programs.
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CON N EC T I N G AT SMOK E R I SE A F REE C HU R C H IN A FREE STATE As we celebrate the birth of our nation, we are reminded how fortunate we are to live in a country where individuals are free to worship God as conscience dictates. When religious leaders attempted to trap Jesus on the controversial question of paying taxes to Rome, Jesus responded by distinguishing the divine authority that belongs to God from the political authority conscripted by Caesar. “Render to God what belongs to God, and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” Our Baptist ancestors distinguished the devotion due to God from the worldly demands of Caesar by championing the separation of church and state as a guiding principle. In 1773, Colonial Baptist, Isaac Backus, defended the position of historic Baptists before him who championed separation of church and state as a foundational principal essential to assure religious liberty for all people: Religious matters are to be separated from the jurisdiction of the state, not because they are beneath the interests of the state but, quite to the contrary, because they are too high and holy and thus are beyond the competence of the state . . . . God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government. Religious advocates like Backus and Enlightenment thinkers like President Thomas Jefferson agreed on the principal of a free church in a free state, even though they did not share the same ideological premises. Consistent with the reasoning of Backus and others before him, including Puritan preachers like Roger Williams, President Thomas Jefferson recognized the importance of the principal of separation of church and state to the interpretation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when he wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1801:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would “make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. The First Amendment includes religious liberty as a “first freedom” in the Bill of Rights by juxtaposing two clauses commonly known as the Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishing of religion”) and the Free Exercise Clause (“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ”). Each clause complements and counterbalances the other, thereby promoting government neutrality in matters of religion. The Former Executive Director of The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Rev. Brent Walker, explained during the 2013 Shurden Lectures the way the two clauses of the First Amendment work together to guard our freedom when religious liberty questions arise: Both of the First Amendment’s religion clauses – no establishment and free exercise – are essential to ensuring religious liberty. They stand as equal and counterpoising buttresses upholding the wall of separation between church and state as the means to the end of ensuring religious liberty for all. A proper understanding of the institutional and functional separation of church and state, therefore, requires government to facilitate religion without advancing it; protect religion, but without promoting it; lift burdens on the exercise of religion, but without extending impermissible benefits.
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Defending religious freedom means that we must be prepared to recognize the rights of others who claim a religious faith other than our own and also those who claim no religion at all. Freedom of religious expression in a free state is consistent with the historic Baptist belief that faith in Jesus is voluntary. Authentic Christian faith is never a forced faith. Genuine faith in Jesus is freely accepted by free individuals before God; it cannot be conscripted by governmental force or devalued by relying of the favor of state power. Religious freedom advocates such as the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty continue to monitor court cases that involve questions of religious liberty. The Baptist Joint Committee is also a valuable educational resource for churches that champion religious liberty for all people. From its inception, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has recognized the Baptist Joint Committee as an important partner and advocate. It is important for Cooperative Baptists to remain vigilant in their advocacy in order to protect against “slippery slopes” that might throw the two religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment out of balance, thereby diminishing the value of one clause to the detriment of the other. We live in an age when many church leaders are tempted to look to the government to favor, promote, or prefer a particular religious aim or purpose. As we face a tide of cultural change in the United States, it is easy for Christians to mistake the loss of cultural influence and power as a loss of religious liberty. Followers of Jesus should neither lose heart nor be misdirected by those who would like to conscript the power of the state as an ideological tool of the church. Instead, we should look to the example of the earliest followers of Jesus who founded the first Christian communities by trusting in the God’s Spirit without the aid of state power.
Savior and Lord who pointed us towards a heavenly authority that commands our ultimate allegiance. Jesus succinctly expressed the way we should prioritize to follow God’s rule and reign in our lives above all else when he said, “Your heavenly Father knows all the things you need. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all the things you need will also be provided for you.” Matthew 6:32-33. As we continue to discover in our time what it means to render to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, may we be guided by the same Spirit of Truth that led our Baptist ancestors to reject a religiously coercive state and to shun both the hostility and favoritism of political authority, by championing the free and neighborly expression of faith among us. May we continue to exercise our rights as citizens by speaking prophetically, independently, and freely to our state and national leaders as our conscience before God dictates, consistent with Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. As we express our patriotic sentiment and celebrate the birthday of our country, let us give thanks for a free church in a free state, and commit ourselves to defending the liberty of all people in matters of religious conscience and practice. -Bart McNiel, Associate Pastor
When we freely express our faith in ways that are neighborly and respectful of the rights of others, we honor a gracious
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GEN ER OS I T Y FA M I LY MI S S I ON TRIP Five families gave a week of their time serving the people of McDowell, Ky. While in Kentucky they served alongside the GAP (God’s Appalachian Partnership) team. The families went door to door inviting children to mini vacation Bible schools, worked at the distribution center, bought and sorted supplies, worked with senior adults, led crafts, recreation, and devotions. Please continue to be in prayer for the people of Eastern Kentucky and the staff at GAP as they continue the work that they do so well each and every day.
M O N T H OF M AY Amount Given $176,732.96
Amount Spent $185,170.12
Negative Balance $8,437.16
F I SCA L Y E A R TO DAT E (APR I L 1, 2 0 1 7 – M AY 3 0, 2 017)
Amount Given $384,201.85
Amount Spent $363,657.61
Positive Balance $20,544.24
MAY RE F RE S H RE P ORT Pledged $1,346,104.00 Pledges Not Yet Received $548,283.84
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Current Balance $289,673.56
UPCOMING PROJECT Steeple Renovation New Sound System in Sanctuary Sanctuary Ceiling Painted
CAR IN G AT S M O KE R I SE IS G OD ST I L L SP E A KIN G AT S M OKE R ISE ? Last month I was visiting a person in facility care who receives monthly cards from Touchpoint Ministries volunteers at Smoke Rise. At his nightstand was a familiar sight—a stack of cards and envelopes. Each of the cards were from Touchpoint team members. The man would not let me leave until he read the cards to me. “For me,” he said “these cards are like my Bible. I know it sounds funny, but they are like devotionals for me.” It is often our practice during Worship in the Sanctuary to share the following liturgical response after the reading of scripture: For the Word of God in scripture For the Word of God among us For the Word of God within us Thanks be to God. Our frequent use of this response in worship has theological significance. At Smoke Rise, we embrace the concept of “soul competency” as vital a part of our theological heritage. We recognize the right of each person to listen for God and to interpret God’s word for themselves with a free conscience. Because we believe that God is still speaking in our world through the words in Scripture and the life of the Spirit among us, we do not use the Bible thoughtlessly or as a bludgeoning weapon to divide us from each other. We freely embrace scripture as we exercise our individual, God-given, spiritual freedom and reason.
“I have spoken these things to you while I am with you. The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.”
When someone tells me that God is speaking to them through Touchpoint ministry cards, it affirms in my spirit the shared truth that God’s word remains “within” and “among” us at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. The man I visited—the one with Touchpoint cards collected on his reading table—he reminded me that God still speaks mysteriously and personally to those who continue to listen. He began reading a card that included a familiar Bible quotation. The man said, “I love that scripture and what this sweet person said about that scripture in the card she made for me. Her words were just what I needed to hear.” Yes, God is still speaking at Smoke Rise. For the Word of God in scripture, among us, and within us: thanks be to God.
For many people, scripture is the end of the discussion, even though scripture itself testifies to a living God whose living Spirit and living Word is still active in our lives. For historic Baptists and for critical thinking Christians, scripture serves as a foundation for a full and free discussion about God’s will for us and for our world. Scripture should be used to promote honest, open, truth-seeking, Spirit-led conversations about our faith and calling as followers of God’s living Word revealed in Jesus.
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B A RT McNIEL
SERVIN G ON M I S S I ON WH AT I S T HE ME A N IN G OF “M IS S IONS? Cultural Awareness Deeply ingrained in many of us is the thought that if someone does not do things the way we do in the USA, it must not be the “right” way. Approaching mission experiences as a learner as opposed to a teacher, creates an attitude of cultural awareness. Finding new ways of doing things based on local traditions and available resources, teaches us that working alongside a mission partner is more important than any method or project. Whose Agenda is it? Many mission teams come to a mission experience with a preconceived agenda of what they will do. I remember in the first years of serving in Tijuana, we would ask the missionaries what they wanted us to do. For several years, the response was the same, “What do you want to do?” Again we would say, “What is it you want us to do? What will further your ministry most and help you sustain your work here after we leave?” It took several years to build trust with this ministry and to learn what they really needed. Mutuality As a partnership grows and is sustained for many years, we begin to learn more from our partners. They have ways of ministering that we can learn from. In particular, we have observed our partners in New York City as they minister to
H ELP A R E F U G E E FIN D A J OB Café Clarkston Internet Cafe Things are happening in Clarkston! Mary, Rudy, Hal, Clarissa, Matt, and several others have been involved in Clarkston’s Friends of Refugees for several weeks. They have helped people create resumes, find job openings, and helped with the Sewing Society. They have assisted Bennett Ekandem at the Family Heritage Foundation helping families adjust to life in the U.S. Volunteers are needed at FHF to deliver food to families, tutor children, connect with families, and help in the Academic Camp with reading/language/math skills.
the least in their neighborhood. They have taught Smoke Rise new and creative ways to reach out to our community. Last year’s Day of Service was sparked by a conversation with our partner. Long Term From the beginning of the mission ministry at Smoke Rise, we sought to develop long-term relationships with our mission partners. It takes a lot of time to learn the culture and really get to know the needs of a particular partner in their specific community. Our partners know that our commitment is long-term and they can count on us to support them year in and year out. All of these ministries are faith based and must raise funds for their support. An ongoing relationship is very valuable to them. Relationships Matter Because we have been in partnership for many years with most of our missionaries, we have become true partners and friends with them. The depth of relationships developed from many years of serving together bears fruit when we are able to support them as our friends. Our goal is to support them as individuals through their hurts and needs and struggles and see them not only as missionaries, but as real people.
Refugee Job Fair The REFUGEE JOB FAIR is scheduled for August 18 at Clarkston International Baptist Church from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Volunteers are needed for either shift or for all day. To volunteer for refugee ministry in Clarkston, contact Rudy or Mary Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-372-0354.
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FAMILY M I N I ST RY AT SMOK E R I SE KIC K-OFF SU NDAY Join Smoke Rise on Kick-Off Sunday to prepare for a great new school year. 9-9:45am: Back to School Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall 9:45am: Sunday School (Children in preschool through 12th grade will promote to their new classes.) 11am: Worship in the Sanctuary featuring the Blessing of the Students and Teachers (Kindergartners will receive promotion Bibles during worship.) **Note: There will be no 9:00am service on Kick-Off Sunday. Worship in the Chapel will resume on Sunday, August 13th.** Please pray for children and their chaperones as they leave on their trip to Spartenburg, SC July 9 - 12.
COME SOAR WITH
SMOKE RISE BAPTIST CHURCH AT GET AIR
These young missionaries and their adults will spend four days learning whatAdd the Lord asks of them. Theyâ€™ll study Micah 6:8 a little bit of body text throughout Bible Study, Missions, Recreation, and Worship. They Please pray for children their chaperones as they leave onDo Justice, Love Mercy, and will learn howandthey can practically their trip to Spartenburg, SC July 9 - 12. Walk Humbly with God through serving the people of Malawi and These young missionaries and their adults will spend four days learning more about the Watering Malawi organization. learning what the Lord asks of them. They'll study Micah 6:8 throughout Bible Study, Recreation, Worship.their They trip check out ToMissions, find out moreandabout will leran how they can practically Do Justice. Love Mercy. and www.passportcamps.org Walk Humbly with God through serving the people of Malawi and learning more about the Watering Malawi organization. To find out more about their trip check out www.passportcamps.org.
WO ND E R FU L W EDN ES DAY M OVIE NIGHT 11 | SMOKE RISE BAPT IST.ORG
JULY 28 10AM $5 PER PERSON 2075 W PARK PL. BLVD, 30087
YOU TH AT S M O KE R I SE On July 4th our nation celebrates its birthday. One of the freedoms that we receive as a gift from our country is religious freedom that is established by the First Amendment to the Constitution. As Baptists, we preciously hold this gift of religious freedom close to who we are because it has been a fragile freedom for Baptists inside and outside of the United States. On Monday of the Justice & Joy Youth Choir Tour we will be visiting the Baptist Joint Committee to learn how they advocate on behalf of religious freedom in Washington D.C. and throughout the country. Our hope is that we will learn more about the First Amendment that establishes religious freedom in the United States and how we can be advocates so that religious freedom continues for all Americans. To continue the “Justice” theme of the Youth Choir Tour we will be visiting with Bread for the World Monday afternoon to learn how to be advocates in our own communities for those things that we are passionate about. We’ll learn the political process of how an idea becomes signed into law and how individuals can impact that process along the way. The prophets admonished us to do justice along the way. Jesus spoke woe against those who neglect justice. The Youth Choir Tour will be filled with joy, but we won’t neglect justice along the way. Pray for us as we travel to Washington D.C. to spread joy and learn how we might be better advocates for justice. From Val e r i e During Sunday School, I spoke with the youth about “next things” in my own calling. I came to Smoke Rise in August when I began school at McAfee School of Theology. In this year, I have learned much about doing life together in community through the work I have been blessed to be a part of at Smoke Rise. As I have been in Atlanta, I have continued to listen to and discern my calling, and listen to the places where I feel that my gifts meet a world in need. Part of this, for me, comes in the form of desiring to continue my education to help others who do not have advocates for their own education—to find places where my gifts, the church’s and communities’ resources, and the needs of those around us intersect. I have decided to continue my graduate study at Vanderbilt University in August of 2017, so that I am well-equipped to participate in this work. As I have had to make decisions about these “next steps” I have struggled with having the words to
communicate to the youth how hard of a decision this has been, as being at Smoke Rise has been the best part of my time in Atlanta, and I will miss being a part of the weekly community here. I am encouraged by the hope the students at Smoke Rise have given me about the present and the future of the church in our world and I am humbled by the ability to have had the opportunity to work alongside the families and youth at a church that listens to God’s daily call for community. I am excited about the future opportunities I will continue to have with each of you as I come back to be a part of the Disciple Now in the fall, and other youth events that will follow. Thank you for letting me be a part of your story, and know that I am grateful for the role each of you will continue to play in my story as I have learned invaluable lessons and been filled with wisdom, grace, and love that each of you exude.
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MON TH LY S N A P S HOT SU NDAY S U MM E R S C H E DUL E S u n d ay 9:00am Worship in the Chapel 9:45am Sunday School 11:00am Worship in the Chapel 2:00pm Matupi Christian Baptist Church Worship Service
J ULY EV EN TS All Day - Office Closed 4 12:00pm Youth Tubing Trip 5 6:30pm Wonderful Wednesdays: 5
*Both 9:00am and 11:00am Worship Services will be in the Chapel due to work being done in the Sanctuary.
H ER E’S W H AT ’ S HA PPEN IN G IN TH E SA NC T UARY Sanctuary renovations and improvements are being done this month as part of our Refresh Campaign work, and will include aesthetic repair, sound technology updates, and electrical power efficiency enhancements. The large hanging speaker box that houses dated sound speakers will be removed and replaced with new speakers that match the aesthetic appeal of the sanctuary. The new speakers feature an updated digital sound technology that promises to enhance our ability to hear more clearly and to improve the overall experience of worship. “We are excited about the updates to our sound technology that will soon be installed in the sanctuary. Our hope is that this will enhance worship for our members for many years to come. We are thankful for the generosity of church members who continue to support the Refresh effort,” said Mike Danishek, Manager of Multimedia. The new sound technology will also save power by pulling on less resources from the Smoke Rise electrical panel. To support these updates to our sound technology, enhancement of ceiling access points and hanging supports are also included as part of the project.
Cookout and Fireworks 7 - 1 6 Justice & Joy: Youth Choir Tour to Washington D.C. 9- 1 2 Passport Kids! 12:00pm Deacons’ Lunch and Meeting 9 1 5 - 22 NY and Tijuana Mission Trips 7:00pm Finance Committee Meeting 20 24- 2 7 VBS 26 6:00pm Building Committee Meeting
Aesthetic renovations will include installation of new sheetrock where the old speaker box is being removed and a freshly painted sanctuary ceiling in its entirety. The floors and pews will be covered while the ceilings are painted, and our organ will be professionally sealed for protection throughout the entire process. The large oversized box that currently houses the sound system has stains on the screen that are a result of smoke damage. In December of 1986, John Owen received a call from the fire alarm company stating that the smoke detectors had been triggered. When he arrived at the church, the altar cloth was smoldering and there were burn marks in the carpet. The Bible that is used on the Lord’s Table today has burn marks located in the Gospel of Matthew at the Christmas Story where the date 12/22/86 is written.
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9-9:45am Breakfast 9:45am Sunday School 11:00am Worship in the Sanctuary featuring the Blessing of the Teachers and Students
JULY 9, 16, 23 & 30 Both 9:00am and 11:00am Worship Services will be in the Chapel due to work in the Sanctuary.
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
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