Dear Church Family,

I grew up in the north, in New Jersey to be precise. As a northern boy, then, July and August are ingrained in me as being the summer months. School didn’t let out until about the third week in June, and it most certainly didn’t start up again before Labor Day. Things are different in other parts of the country, I have found. However, Labor Day has come and gone, so that means – for whoever is keeping the calendar – summer is officially over. As such, our church is resuming its normal schedule once again.

Listed below are some of the opportunities for worship, discipleship, outreach, and fellowship which are part of the normal scheduled activities of Providence Presbyterian Church. In addition, these are opportunities to connect and rub shoulders with others in the church. Some of these are activities which resume this month, but we’ll begin with two that are year-round. By the way, if you’re ever wondering what’s going on, the calendar on the church website is continually updated and may be viewed online here: http://providencemidland.org/calendar. [Or, just shoot me an email, if you like: peter@providencemidland.org.]

Sunday Morning Worship: Of course, worship on the Lord’s Day at 10:50 am continues throughout the year. Last spring, we had a sermon series in the book of Galatians. Then, during the summer we had a series in the book of Jonah, followed by several guest preachers. Two weeks ago, we began a new sermon series in the book of Genesis. Audio recordings of all of these sermons are available online here: http://providencemidland.org/audio.

Monthly Fellowship Meals: On the second Sunday of the month, we have our monthly fellowship meal in the Fellowship Hall. Over the summer, we tried out having the meal immediately following the morning worship service (instead of on Sunday evening). This has worked out very well, so we will continue this practice of having it immediately following the morning worship service on each second Sunday of the month. The next fellowship meal is this coming Sunday, September 8. If you haven’t signed up already, you may do so here: http://www.perfectpotluck.com/meals.php?t=OHVC8637. Members and visitors are welcome.

Sunday School: Sunday school instruction will resume for all ages this coming Sunday, September 8th at 9:30 am. Elder Reed Gilmore oversees our Christian Education and has been organizing and coordinating all of the details. So if you have any questions, you may contact him. In the adult class, Pastor Dietsch will begin a study in the book of Revelation. If you’ve ever wondered what the final book of the Bible is about, but have been confused because of all the imagery of John’s visions, this class will be of great benefit to you.

Sunday Evening Worship: Beginning on Sunday, September 15th at 6:00 pm, we begin again our twice-monthly Sunday evening worship service (scheduled from September-May on the first and third Sundays of the month). In two weeks, on September 15th, we will begin a new sermon series in the book of Ecclesiastes. Though this wisdom book may seem a bit depressing at first (Ecclesiastes 1:2 – “Vanities of vanities! All is vanity.”), the conclusion is encouraging and instructive (Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “fear God and keep His commandments”).

Women In the Church: The Women In the Church (WIC) meet quarterly for a time of fellowship, singing, prayer, and encouragement. The next meeting is tomorrow (Thursday, September 5th, 7:00-9:00 pm). Stephanie Jones will be speaking on “Encouragement” and the women will be hearing from High Sky Children’s Ranch. For more information contact Stacie Dietsch.

Men’s Movie Night: Over the summer, we had three monthly Men’s Movie Nights in which we watched a movie, enjoyed some snacks, and then discussed the themes of the movie. Due to the positive feedback from some of the men who attended, we will continue in the fall. The next Men’s Movie Night will be on Wednesday, September 18th from 7:00-10:00 pm. This month’s movie is “True Grit” (2010). [Apologies to John Wayne fans; this is the remake.]

Women’s Bible Study: Beginning on Wednesday, September 11, 3:00-4:30 pm at the home of Stacie Dietsch. This is a weekly study open to all women. This fall’s study will be in the book, “Pray with Your Eyes Open” by Richard Pratt.

Officer Training Course: Beginning on Monday, September 9th, 7:00-8:30 pm in the foyer just outside the pastor’s study (in the middle wing of the church building). This sixteen week course will be an intensive study covering the Westminster Standards, the PCA Book of Church Order, an overview of the Scriptures, and several topics related to ministry in the church. About half a dozen men have signed up for this class, but all men are encouraged to attend. If you haven’t signed up, but would just like to sit in (audit), you are welcome do so. Contact Pastor Dietsch for more information.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a number of opportunities available in the scheduled activities in the life of Providence Presbyterian Church available for growth, discipleship, fellowship, and outreach. And these don’t even take into account the many informal times where individual members and families of the church gather together in various places for different activities, or to just spend time with one another.

Not every person is expected to attend every function or be in the church every time the doors are open; however, a priority for all of us should be worship on the Lord’s Day. Let this command to set the Lord’s Day apart and to not forsake the assembling together of the brethren be a priority for each and every one of us. At the same time, I am firm believer that any time members in the church have an opportunity to worship, be discipled, fellowship together, or just rub shoulders with one another – it’s a good thing!

The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch