One week into the fall and things are going well!
After a brief hiatus because of the pandemic, I am returning to my expository series on the Gospel of Mark. Aside from a few special sermons here and there, and barring any further disruptions to worship, I intend for us to make it through ⅔ of the tenth chapter by the end of the year. Sunday services will be posted online Sunday evening.
Tuesday morning Bible study will return September 22nd at 10:00 AM, only this time we will meet in the sanctuary — in order to better observe social distancing. This year, I plan to lead us through the foundational doctrines of the Reformed traditional. Chiefly, we will discuss those doctrines set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Tuesday Bible studies will be posted online Friday morning.
One new thing I’m adding is a Wednesday evening prayer service and Bible study. This will start September 23rd at 6:30 PM in the sanctuary and will be an opportunity for us to gather in fellowship, prayer, and study. I plan on taking us through a series I call “Jesus’ Rules.” It’s important to know what Jesus expects of us as his disciples so that we may better recognize and apply his teaching. Wednesday evening studies will be posted online on subsequent Wednesdays.
In case you missed them, you can find the following series, studies, and devotionals (and more!!) on this website.
This year's mission trip was once again to the coal country of Southwest West Virginia. Though we partnered with the same organization, West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps, as last year, this year's trip took us to the towns of Colcord and Artie. We met some wonderful folks from the community and from the First Presbyterian Church of Colcord. This year we also partnered with some members from the Berry Hill Presbyterian Church. Check out the slideshow to get a snapshot of our adventures.
This month we have a very unusual and unique event. A dear friend of mine from seminary, Mr. Mortiz Emmelmann, is a doctoral student at the University of Göttingen, located in central Germany (about two and a half hours northwest of Frankfurt). His research is what brought him to Princeton Seminary back in 2011. While there he studied a local Quaker School and continued his research into American Practical Theology. Most all of us know that America and Europe do religion and Christianity very differently. What may come as a surprise is that Germany, once the center of the Holy Roman Empire and the birthplace of the Reformation, is largely an agnostic state. While many are still baptized into a Christian church, few attend worship, and even fewer still are involved in the regular life of the church. This is not so in the States.
Therefore, my friend will bring eleven of his students to the United States to experience first-hand the American expression of faith. They will interact with many great Christians and hear many powerful stories of life and faith from Boston to Atlanta. And we will have the unique opportunity to be part of that conversation.On Sunday, March 18, the twelve guests will join us for worship. I would like to encourage all of our members to interact with our guests, for they are here to experience faithful and active Christians. So don’t be afraid to let the love of Christ shine through you. Sunday evening, we will have a Koinonia dinner in their honor and for they benefit. This will be a perfect opportunity to share in wonderful table conversation. After dinner, I have asked our own Ron Coleman and Chip Roark, and pastor Brett Witcher of Lane Memorial, to be participants in a panel discussion about the American Religious Experience. There will be time after the presentations for questions from the audience, but I will give preference to the German students.
I hope you will be able to join us Sunday both in worship and in fellowship!
Every year during the Lenten season, the Altavista Area Ministerial Association (AAMA) presents a Lenten Service every Wednesday. In lieu of Second Helping, the community is invited to hear a brief message from one of Altavista's local ministers and a local church provides bagged lunches.
Every month, the Ministry Within committee hosts a Koinonia event. Koinonia is Greek for community and these events are times when our church family gather to fellowship and enjoy God's presence in everyone. For our December Koinonia, we have a tradition of hosting a Christmas party. This party is a time to have fun with games, singing, and dressing in tacky Christmas sweaters.
Please join us on Sunday, December 24, at our 10:00 AM worship service to hear the choral cantata Invitation to a Miracle by Joseph M. Martin. Joyful sounds abound in the colorful Christmas gift. Through poetic narration, Scripture passages, and creatively arranged carols, the timeless story of the birth of Christ is presented. Gathered around the wonders that accompanied Jesus' birth, this cantata journeys from the miracle of prophecy to the glorious proclamation of this most significant moment. Stellar orchestrations by Brant Adams and a consort orchestration by Stan Pethel frame the work with golden beauty.
Our brothers and sisters in the faith at Hyland Heights Baptist Church are having their annual Fall Fun Fest. Check out the flyer below for more info!