We Love Our Young People

Last night I had the privilege of joining Alfred and the teens for a service project and swimming party. Fourteen teens, plus Alfred and I, started at Westwood Hills Elementary school where they had asked if we could help them out by cleaning up the parking lot. The kids had shovels, brooms, and blowers and got it done. From there we went to Rob and Shirley’s to eat and swim. It was so nice to see the kids all having fun
together. Fellowship matters to all ages.


The elders would like to restart our Wednesday nights together. On Wednesday, July 7, we are going to have an event so that we can get feedback from the parents of our children about what we would like to do. I will be leading an intergenerational Bible exercise and the parents will meet and discuss with Stephen, Alfred, and some of the elders to talk about ways we can make Wednesday night better. Please make plans to join us if you are in town. We really do want to hear what you have to say.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

To read the full bulletin please [click here]

Back Home

June 13, 2021

Back Home

How nice it is to have elders that can fill in for me when I am away. Glenn and Jim taught my class and Brent and Rob preached. I have listened to both sermons and they both did a great job. I was especially pleased that Rob could tackle a tough subject like he did and do it with grace and balance. That is not easy. My thanks to each of our elders.
My trip to Texas was very worthwhile. At my meetings with Mission Alive, I was able to be with a group of people that are both challenging and encouraging. The preacher at the University Church of Christ at Pepperdine was there and I enjoyed talking with him and asking him all sorts of questions. Fellowship is a beautiful thing.
I was also able to visit with family that I hadn’t seen for a few years. We had many heavy discussions and were able to renew our love for each other. Family is a beautiful thing.
Now, it is good to be home. Laura picked me up in Richmond on Monday and we have had a normal week, which is just what we wanted. I pray each one of you is doing well and enjoying the blessings of God.

Allen L. Close

Sermon: “The Inner Person”
I Timothy 6:6-10

For those that have been fully vaccinated against COVID, the wearing of masks or face coverings is now optional.
If you have not had the COVID vaccination, we respectfully ask that you continue to wear a mask or face covering.

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Where Does God Live?

June 6, 2021

Where Does God Live?
Do you remember how old you were when you learned that God does not live at the Church building? I remember singing the song, “The Lord Is In His Holy Temple,” as a way to get us to be quiet. I also remember people telling me not to run in God’s house. I don’t have a problem with these things except it is part of what led me to believe that God lived at the building. Often Laura and I will run into one of her students and they always looked surprised that she is not at the school. They absolutely believe she lives there. They wonder what she is doing at Target.
I for one am glad that God does not live at the building. When I think about the problems people share with me, none of them are at the building. They are out in the world where we live and work. Considering where our problems are it is comforting to me to know that God can be found at work and in our homes and at all the places where we play. We serve a God that is with us every hour of every day. He is in no way limited to a day or a single location. Praise God.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

ANNOUNCEMENTS


PREACHING TODAY:

Rob Griffin


SUNDAY WORSHIP AT THE BUILDING:

Worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. Masks and hand sanitizer are available in the foyer. Individually packaged communion supplies are provided.


AGAPE GROUPS:

Are now meeting! Sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board beside the Library.

For those that have been fully vaccinated against COVID, the wearing of masks or face coverings is now optional.
If you have not had the COVID vaccination, we respectfully ask that you continue to wear a mask or face covering.

Read the full bulletin: Here

Grand Reopening

May 16, 2021

Grand Reopening

May 16 is finally upon us. We get to resume our classes in person. I am so ready. I must admit that I have enjoyed the extra hour in the morning, but I have not enjoyed having class by myself. Sitting in front of the window teaching class and having a discussion with myself gets old real fast. So many times I have said, “I wish I could get your feedback on this – I would love to hear what you would have to say.” I am also very happy to know that our kids are going to get back to our classes. We have the most dedicated Sunday school teachers I have ever seen. It may make your morning more hurried, but I think it is totally worth it.
I wonder how long it will be before we take being together for granted. Maybe never. Maybe we will remember the fourteen months we were apart and will cherish our time together. That is my plan.

See you Sunday.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “How To Treat Each Other”

I Timothy 5:1-8

Join us after Worship service
Celebration Fellowship Outside with Food, Fun, and Games.
No need to bring anything unless you want to bring some outside games.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SUNDAY SCHOOL: Resumes today!

SUNDAY WORSHIP AT THE BUILDING: Worship service starts at 10:30 a.m. Masks and hand sanitizer are available in the foyer. Individually packaged communion supplies are provided. Seating is spatially distanced with extra seating in the foyer and fellowship hall where there are TVs that will livestream the worship service.

AGAPE GROUPS: Will start meeting next Sunday, May 23rd. Sign-up sheets posted on the bulletin board beside the Library

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love
By Carol Matthews

A mother loves right from the start,
She holds her baby close to her heart.
The bond that grows will never falter,
Her love is so strong it will never alter.

A mother gives never ending love,
She never feels that she has given enough.
For you she will always do her best,
Constantly working, there’s no time to rest.

A mother is there when things go wrong,
A hug and a kiss to help us along.
Always there when we need her near,
Gently wipes our eyes when we shed a tear.

A mother’s prayer means so very much,
Believing in God and his gentle touch.
Keeping you safe both day and night,
Your mother’s prayer will time it just right.

So on this day shower your mother with love,
Gifts and presents are nice but that is not enough.
Give your mother a day to have some peace of mind,
Be gentle, be good, be helpful, and be kind.

Sermon: “The Strength Of Women”

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Classes

May 2, 2021

We are edging closer to restarting our Sunday morning classes. I am very ready for this. I am on some kind of zoom call or taping just about every day of the week. I am ready for in person classes again. I hope you feel the same way. I am ready for the give and take of teaching a class with everyone in the room together. If you have watched my taped class at all you have heard me say several times that I wish we could have discussion about whatever I am talking about. I realize that we have enjoyed the extra hour to get ready before service, but I think the value of us studying the word of God together is worth the effort.
I am also excited to have our children back in class. We have so many dedicated teachers that are so good at engaging the kids in learning the stories of the Bible. We have missed the energy that kids bring. I hope you will restart the habit of getting your kids here so they can be part of our teaching experience.
I look forward to seeing you on May 16.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close


Sermon: “Stepping into God’s Mission”
I Timothy 4:11-16

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The Book of Job

I just finished reading the book of Job in my morning time. I love that book. It is one of the most intimate books of the Bible. To be able to watch the relationship between a man and God when the man is under such pressure is fascinating. In the book, God is contrasted with Job’s friends. Job’s friends tend to spout out tired clichés and general knowledge statements that don’t really apply. God on the other hand, remains silent, while Job wrestles with horrible circumstances. God is not indifferent; instead, he is giving Job the space he needs so that his faith can grow. God allows Job to go from saying good things while he is in shock to saying accusing things once he has had more time to think. The way God deals with Job in the end is heartwarming. God puts himself back in the sovereign position where he belongs and helps Job get back to a worshipful position where he belongs. The difference is that now Job has a much larger faith. I never grow tired of this book.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close


Sermon: “Hope”
I Timothy 4:6-10

One at a Time


The story is told of a businessman who was overworked and decided to take some time off. While vacationing on the coast, a terrible storm hit. When it died down, he decided to take a walk down the cost to see what damage had been done. As he walked along the shore, he noticed thousands of starfish which had washed upon the shore. He knew that in a few hours the sun would come out and the starfish would dry out and die. As he thought about the starfish, he noticed a young boy who was throwing the starfish back one by one. The man was amazed by the youth’s diligence and shocked by his feeble attempts to make a difference. As he looked up the long beach, he saw thousands of starfish. When he caught up with the young man, he informed the boy that he could not possibly save them all and said to the little boy, “You’ll never be able to make a difference to the starfish population.” The boy bent down, picked up a starfish, looked at it, and then threw it back into the safety of the ocean. Then he said, “I sure made a difference to that one.”
We cannot personally make a difference in the lives of everyone that fills this world, but we can make a difference to a few of them. It is interesting that when Jesus spoke of those on His right hand on the Day of Judgment, he described them as having made a difference in the life of one person. He said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40). I sincerely believe that each of us can make a difference in the life of someone. This is how Jesus worked—one at a time. Sure, He preached to thousands, but He visited with families and helped individuals.

Wade L. Webster via Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ
Rock Hill, SC; Bulletin Digest

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Easter at Matthew’s House

April 4, 2021


Easter at Matthew’s House

What memories do you have around Easter? I remember Laura having baskets and new outfits set by the door for our kids. I remember hoarding my candy and making it last so long until it was stale. I remember when I was five getting in trouble and not getting to participate in the egg hunt. I like having memories that spread around our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. I have no memories around the Passover or Pentecost. I wonder what it would be like if I did. I do, however, have lots of memories that focus on the birth and resurrection of Jesus, and for that I am thankful.
This Sunday we will look at how Matthew explains the resurrection. I will tell you that he tells the story in such a way that the resurrection will remind you of the birth. He does this on purpose. I look forward to celebrating this with you and especially, to do it in a way that our children will remember.

Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close

Sermon: “Matthew Explains the Resurrection”
Matthew 27:57-28:20

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Giving Your Best

March 28, 2021

Giving Your Best

It’s the hand we clasp with an honest grasp
That gives a hearty thrill;
It’s the good we pour into others’ lives
That comes back our own to fill.

It’s the dregs we drain from another’s cup
That makes ours seem sweet;
And the hours we give to another’s needs
That makes our life complete.

It’s the burdens we help another bear
That makes our own seem light.
It’s the anger seen for another’s feet
That shows us the path to right.

It’s the good we do each passing day.
With heart sincere and true;
In giving the world your very best
Its best will return to you.

-Author Unknown


Sermon: Getting Real
1 Timothy 3:8-17

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Followers of the Christ