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Minister's Blog

January 2023

January 3, 2023

Upcoming and Updates for 2023:
Upcoming: Family Catechism and Family Worship
Emmanuel will be rolling out our 2023 Family Bible Study in January. This year’s Bible study will encourage us to teach Christian doctrines in our homes through the use of the Emmanuel Family Catechism. Two years ago we implemented this catechism (doctrinal teachings utilizing questions and answers) and I found it especially useful in our family worship at the Watts house. We are going to encourage everyone to go through it again this year with a few revisions and an addition. The major addition is a hymn for each week. The study will even include a YouTube video link to the hymn. The video could be played on a computer, smart TV, or even a phone. The family can sing along with the video, which will also display the words. Beginning January 8, our Sunday evening services will kick off the family worship for the week by introducing the doctrinal focus and even helping us work through day one of the weekly study together. Please plan to come and invite others to attend. Family devotion (worship) is not an “end all,” but it is a discipline, along with weekly corporate worship, that will keep Christ at the center of family life.
Upcoming: Summoned, Sanctified, and Sent Men’s Retreat, February 3-4
Last year’s men’s retreat was a great time of discipleship and fellowship. We learned a lot and can’t wait to get back to Camp Harris and see how the Lord is going to move this year. We have made a few changes to the format that will allow for more fellowship, prayer and small group discussion. The cost of the retreat is $75, which includes meals and lodging. What a deal! I hope I have to sleep on the floor because we have so many sign up! Attendees need to sign up through the church office by January 15.
Update: Emmanuel Sober-Living House
We have been so blessed to see how the Lord has put everything together necessary to get our sober-living house up and running. At the time of the writing of this letter the house is fully equipped with furniture, a house manager (Grant Garlington), and we are about to move in our first resident at the end of the week! Our God is so amazing! I cannot wait to see how God is going to use this ministry to grow men as disciples of Christ and train them up to be the men of God needed in their home, church, and community. We are looking forward to having a pounding for the house along with a report of how things are going on Sunday evening, January 29, at our hymn sing. Please continue to pray for Grant and our steering team and look for ways to connect and encourage the guys the Lord brings to us.
Update: Elder Leadership
The subcommittee evaluating the need for implementing a council of elders to lead and minister in the church has continued to meet and plans to present a motion in March regarding the changes to the by-laws needed for this transition to take place. I appreciate those who attended the Wednesday night Bible studies in November focused on church leadership and the great questions raised and answered. Please continue to pray the Lord will lead us. Our desire is to be as Biblical and God-glorifying as we can and to see Emmanuel continue to bear witness and make disciples for years to come.

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