Bimonthly Bulletin

In the process of preparing to write a wedding ceremony, I was thinking about an appropriate passage of scripture to insert. All the usual ones ran through my mind. Somewhere in that list was the things Paul said in the letter to the Ephesian church. By the way, I’ve never used these passages and never will in a wedding ceremony. However, I have heard them used as such, so they floated through my mind.

In chapter 5:22-33 there are the familiar instructions about husbands, wives, Christ and the church. Verse 22 begins: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Let the games begin!)

That, and other such scriptures are usually read as absolute, narrow instructions But you will notice that wives are never told to love their husbands, and the church is never told to love Christ. So the cold, literal reading is that wives do not have to love their husbands and the church does not have to love Christ. All that is demanded is submission. Hang onto that.

Beginning at Verse 25ff, Four times Paul tells men they must love their wives. He uses Christ’s love for the church as an example. Verse 33 is key to the discussion. “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Some translations use the word “honor” rather than “respect.”

Once again we are told the wife must respect, or honor her husband. Which seems to include submission. The husband is not told to respect or honor his wife, just to love her, which may include both honor and respect, without the submission. However, it doesn’t say that.

My reason for being picky here is because of the way I have heard this passage used in all kinds of “happy marriage manuals,” in sermons and in classes.

Here’s how it works. Men need respect (honor) more than love. This seems to me to indicate men’s egos are somewhat frail and need that constant boost that love alone will not give. If wives boost their husband’s egos by honoring them and submitting to them in everything, then the husbands will return that with love. That’s what the marriage manuals say. However, that’s not what Paul said. Paul has to tell (order) the men to love their wives four times in eight verses. He does not say to do it because she loves him back or respects him. He compares it to Christ loving the church. We might ask here if Christ only loves the church when it honors and respects him? (If you say “yes” you’re wrong.) Paul also compares loving the wife to the man loving himself.

Now let me tell you why I will not use this in a wedding ceremony. The context for Ephesians is problem solving. First, why would Paul have to tell wives to submit and respect their husbands? Wasn’t that part of the normal culture between the Jews and Gentiles? From social studies it would seem to be. What happened to cause Paul to issue instructions?

A close reading of the letters to the primarily Gentile churches, including Paul’s personal letters, such as those to Timothy, indicate the announcement that a world savior had come, and would soon return, changed social attitudes. In Corinth, the women were throwing off the veil and praying and prophesying (proclaiming) publically. This display of being free from the accepted social norms of marriage would leave the wrong image of the church. It would be much like the woman announcing that she was now free in Christ and would no longer wear her wedding ring because it was a sign of being bound to a husband.

There is also some indication in I Corinthians 7 that the women are free to separate (divorce) from their husbands, for no stated reason, except they must not marry someone else. I Cor. 7:10,11.Notice Paul says she should remain unmarried, and never condemns the practice.

In I Timothy2:9,10 the instructions given to women, (though seldom seen this way) is that to dress as they were, made a public statement that they were no longer under any man’s control, but were free and independent women. It made them look similar to the prostitutes and other loose women. Paul does not want that to be the image the world sees of those who are serving Jesus, even though he does believe Christ has set both men and women free who are in Christ. We might ask here if Paul was giving permission for men to dress any way they wanted, since he said nothing about that. We should also state openly that if the way those women were dressing then, no longer leaves the same impression, then it is alright today.

We might also ask in Chapter 3 if the women were excused from the qualities required of the men, since Paul only told the women, (deacons, or wives of deacons and elders) “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” V. 11

Reading the Bible a certain way opens us to all sorts of problems. If lists are exclusive, then they only apply exclusively. Is it wrong for a wife to love her husband? Is it wrong for a husband to respect his wife? Is it wrong for a husband to submit himself to his wife? By the way, Paul starts that section with verse 21, which should not be separated form the following verses. It says, “Submit yourselves to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Some say that verse defines it all. It is mutual submission. I agree with that, but I would add another element. The passage should not be read in a vacuum, but in relationship to the teachings and attitude of Jesus, as well as understanding the reason it was written and the cultural norms at the time.

Failing to do that stops our growth and understanding of the Bible.

CONCERNS: Both T. J. And Judy Hall will be having medical tests this month. Jim Hunter will also see a New doctor about his back in August. Alan Beach’s father is in rehab recovering from a badly broken leg due to a fall. Erma Williams cousin, Eleanor Bresee (ovarian cancer), Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas (leukemia), Leena’s brother, Nick, (cancer), Judy McWhorter’s brother’s step-daughter is recovering from a near fatal heart attack. Kim (Hall’s) friend, Mary (Parkinson’s) Martha Foy asks prayers for Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson and her aunt, Sue Huels, who is Betty Foy’s sister. Rich Crites, the Phlegars, Gary Overstreet, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, and Sharon. Also Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Mrs. Matara. Marie Barnett asks prayers for herself and her family. Todd Baumgardner (Wayne Flora’s postmaster) is on dialysis.

Monday: Exodus 14:10-31
Tuesday: Isaiah 2:1-14
Wednesday: Romans 14:1-9
Thursday: John 5:1-18
Friday: Genesis 4:1-18
Saturday: Psalm 146:1-10
Monday: Psalm 62:1-12
Tuesday: Luke 20:9-26
Wednesday Matthew 15:1-20
Thursday Micah 6:1-8
Friday: John 16:16-33
Saturday: Psalm 99, 100

Congratulations and best wishes to AC Branch and Jacob Fuller on their wedding. They were married on July 12, at the Hotel Roanoke.

After the honeymoon at Holden Beach, NC, they will be living here in Roanoke.

Along with moving the communion service, the steering committee wants to change the way the offering is taken. For the time being it will be taken as it always has, but when the logistics are worked out there will be several offering boxes placed in convenient locations in which your contribution may be placed. The goal is to make it possible for the collection to be placed in these boxes as you enter, so the one counting the money can do so during part of the song service. Any contributions dropped in as you leave can then be counted in much less time and turned in to be deposited. This is both an experiment and a test of faith. There will still be a prayer of thanksgiving for the offering at the end of the service. This can also serve as reminder if you have missed doing it coming in.

Today is Super Sunday. Stay and enjoy the fellowship meal in the annex.

Following the Super Sunday meal the steering committee will meet in the library.

Prayer concerns are usually on the back page, but this is worthy of the front page. As you may know, Judy McWhorter told us about her brother’s step daughter, who, at 39 years old, had a massive heart attack. This left her in what was considered a “brain dead” condition. After several days of not brain activity, the family was faced with a terrible decision about stopping artificial life support. But one day she licked her lips upon command. Judy says she is now walking the hospital halls regaining her strength. She is still serious and has much ahead of her, so keep her in your prayers.

The pews removed for wheelchair access will be modified and replaced as soon as we can get together and do it

If you get a concordance and look up the word “religion” and “religious” you will find it is used about five times. I say “about” because the word is translated from two or three Greek words into the English, “religion” or “religious.” Not being a Greek scholar, I’ll leave that to the translators.

My reason for making the point is twofold. First, to a nonbeliever (atheists) religion is generally a bad word because it is also tied to superstition, even in the New Testament. Since superstition is based on a fallacy, religion is as well. And we would agree that many are based on superstition. There is even superstition among Christians.

So most atheists say religion of any kind is baseless. Which brings me to my second point. Not all atheists see it that way.

An avowed atheist who gets the bulletin, and who shows evangelistic zeal in trying to convert me, sends me (among several others) lectures by Daniel Dennett, who teaches Philosophy (among other things) at Tufts University. If you want to listen to an atheist who loves the Christian religion, listen to Dennett. He will use most of the usual atheistic arguments, but he is different because he says Christianity has moral values worth preserving. He even loves going to an Episcopal church in Boston. He loves the sermons, and goes especially for the high church music. On Christmas he gathers in his home a group of people to sing the great Christmas carols. And he says none of this “Frosty the Snowman.” I would assume, therefore, that he has great appreciation for Jesus as a teacher of good moral values.

Let me say if you hear him once, that’s enough. Like all “circuit riders” he has little new to say, which is not a criticism of him. Speakers of all kinds do the same thing.

In his own way, Dennett makes a valid point about the value of the teachings of Jesus. They are worth keeping and they are worth doing. Why? Because as Dennett points out, even from his belief that morality is the result of evolution, they are good for humanity. Which brings me to my second reason for this article.

In an email someone sent me, a Christian author, Benjamin Corey, in a preview of his book, “Invites us to reorient our lives not on Christian religion, but on the person of Jesus.” Since I haven’t read the book, my feeling is that this Christian author and atheist Daniel Dennett are saying about the same thing, except from a very different foundation. They both seem to be saying there is something apart from the Christian religion that is not the same as the person, i.e., the teaching and purpose of Jesus.

If I were to say that, I would put it this way: There can come a time when the institutional values may become more important than the values of the founder. In other words, we can end up with an ecclesiastical framework that confines the one we claim to serve. That ecclesiastical framework then becomes the sole purpose for existence.

Does, that mean there is no structure from which the truth of Jesus’ purpose can proceed? No. In the book of Acts and some of Paul’s letters, as well as the letters of John, we see the need to separate the meaning of the purpose and teaching of Jesus from that which is not. But I’mpretty sure Corey’s statement that the Christian focus should be on Jesus, rather than the Christian religion is not about that.

While it may seem contradictory to say there is a difference between the Christian religion and Jesus, while it should be, it is not. Let me put it this way: Places of higher learning are supposed to be focused higher education. Most of those places are also involved in sports, which in some cases are almost at a professional level. If funding and advancing the sports program becomes more important than funding and advancing learning they become separate entities.

The same is true with the Christian church. When the organization becomes more important than the intended teachings of the organizer, the meaning and purpose for its existence is lost.

CONCERNS: Alan Beach’s father fell and broke his hip, so Alan and Joni are in Tennessee. Judy Hall is to have a stress test on her heart. Zona Fisher is ill with what seems to be a virus that is hanging on. Keep her and Roger in your prayers. Erma Williams cousin, Eleanor Bresee, (Ovarian cancer). Lee Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s aunt has a form of leukemia. Kim Hall’s friend, Mary (Parkinson’s). Martha Foy asks prayers for Sandra Anderson and her aunt, Sue Huels and Gil Richardson. Sue is the sister of Betty Foy. Continues praying for Leena’s brother, Nick, Susan and Wayne Phlegar, Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, Gary Overstreet, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood, and Sharon, a friend of Del Bolin. Remember also Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, Mary Smith and Mrs Matara, the mother of a friend of Jim Hunter. Marie Barnett asks prayers for her and her family, especially her mother, Mildred. Wayne Flora’s postmaster, Todd Baumgardner, is on dialysis.

Monday : II Thessalonians 1:2-12
Tuesday: Matthew 1:18-20
Wednesday: John 2:1-11
Thursday: I Thessalonians 1:2-10
Friday: II Timothy 2:1-13
Saturday: Isaiah 40:1-11
Monday: Exodus 1:15 – 2:10
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-34
Wednesday: Genesis 17:1-21
Thursday: Job 42:1-13
Friday: Luke 4:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 63:1-11

A key was found in the area of the new rest room off the cry room. It does not fit the paper towel dispenser. It is brass with “soov CAT 74″ stamped on it. If it is yours, see Wayne Flora..

Our thanks to Scott Blessing for conducting service today. Alan and Joni had to go to Tennessee because Alan’s father suffered a fall. Alan provided Scott with the material he was going to use, and Scott agreed to step in. The Wagners are in Nashville for a weekend family reunion. They will be returning today.

Today begins the change in the communion service. It will now be before the sermon. Also: the steering committee has been looking at ways of separating the contribution from communion. In the near future you will be asked to deposit your contribution in two or three collection boxes in the back of the auditorium, either upon arriving or leaving. The prayer at the end of the service will include a blessing for your offering. This will, of course, take some getting adjusted to. There will be reminders along the way, and announcements in both the order of worship and from the one opening and closing the service..

For several years we have been one of several groups that can pick up the unused bread at Panera. Our night is Thursday just before closing, which is 10:00 PM. The bread is then taken to the Rescue Mission. Erma Williams and Susan Jordan ask your help in getting this done, and several of you have volunteered. However, the more who will do this, the less each one will have to do it. If you can’t drop the bread off at the Mission, bring it to church on Sunday and someone will deliver it that day.

Congratulations to Melisha Scruggs on the completion of her Certified Nursing Assistant studies. When she starts to work she plans to continue on toward become a Licenced Practical Nurse. Great going Melisha!

Disclaimer: I do believe in an old, very, very old, earth, and I don’t take the story of Eden literally. So don’t get all bent out of shape with what I’m about to write. Okey? It’s just for fun about a great wonder.

Once upon a time, well, actually there was no time because there was no galaxy with a sun or anything. But out in “space,” that’s what we call it, something happened. Out of all the nothing of space, some elements or something, got together and it wasn’t a happy joining, or maybe it was. There was a big explosion. Sometimes called the Big Bang.

Blown out into space, particles which had gathered to cause this explosion, somehow, stuck together, at least to some extent. For some amazing reason, this space stuff went out from the biggest piece and lined up and started what we call, our galaxy. Among those “flung out” hunks of matter, one of them, just like momma bear’s chair, landed just right. What we call atmosphere developed because of this “just rightness.” And it too was just right.

As it’s told, the most important (to us) stuff was under water. How long before water, well a million years or so, but they were not years because, you know, no one was here to invent a calendar. (Just to make things easier, whenever a million years or so is needed, I’ll just write “yada yada”)

Water finally got here, and it seems the really good stuff was in the water. Down in the deep darkness of the water, one leftover element from the explosion pumped up against something, and liked the way it felt. Although it really had no feelings, yet. But these two (or three, or more) developed into something more than was before. And yada yada, something bigger and better evolved. Maybe it was something like the consistency of a jellyfish. Whatever. But in yada yada it became an oyster, or something. Feeling confined without much ability to move around, yada yada, it became a crab. Now, not all oysters wanted to travel, so they stayed around to become oyster stew.

Yada yada, we’re not sure how they, you know, bred, or how some were considered male or female. Some folks supposedly in the know, say sexual orientation came from being exposed to certain elements, like heat. So, when you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not you’re not. That must have been confusing. Imagine what some of those first offspring looked like! “He takes after your side of evolution!” There may have been some kind of natural selection to decide which sex was which, except for the earthworm, who, to this day, is both male and female. Talk about the height of Narcissism!

I’ve strayed from the yada yada. The crabs, or something that came from them, or something they came from, decided to peek out of the water. They didn’t stay long, it was hot and there was nothing that looked good to eat. They didn’t know that in yada yada some other leftover stuff would start vegetation. With the passing of another yada yada, some of those water creatures started staying on land longer and enjoying a good salad. After a yada yada, they liked it so much they never even thought of returning to the water. Why all of the water creatures stayed in the water, is a mystery, at least to some.

Maybe it was the droppings of the sea/land creatures that caused the vegetation to yada yada and get so tall some of the land/crab creatures had to grow really big. Again, one can only imagine what a cross between a crab and a flying fish looked like, but with yada yada, something we call a dinosaur was born, maybe little at first, but with yada yada, really big!

Some other mixed up stuff from the sea, or land, or both, didn’t feel good about themselves and started hanging out with different species. Since no human(?) was there, and yada yada, we can only imagine what those crossed-up creatures looked like. It actually may be a good thing no cameras were invented yet, because seeing great-great (yada yada) grandpa slithering out of the primal ooze could be disheartening. Or finding out grandma (yada yada) was a descendant of what became the black widow spider clan. Not good.

With yada yada, the four legged creatures who gave up their fins and gills, and maybe their six or eight legs, (unless they were centipedes) made a lot of changes. Big things found it better to get smaller. In yada yada, what we call horses decide to become dogs, or it may have been the other way around, because, you know, no one was there with a drawing pad.

Some four legged creatures with an identity crisis, decided to become part of what we call the “cat” family. There is some evidence, turned in by cats, that it was the other way around. Whatever, they both yada yaded.

It was probably the flying fish who with yada yada, became birds. Imagine what that first brood looked like! Only a Mother could love. There may have been dissatisfaction, or maybe climate change, but, you know, no one was there etc., etc. Maybe some flying fish/birds went through a change during yada yada. So we have all these flying things we call “birds.” There are even some who still like to swim and dip under water. The lucky ones became eagles.

Maybe after four or five yada yadas, at least one four legged creature wondered what it would be like to move about primarily on the rear legs. No longer liking scales or feathers, hair grew to shield it from the big hot thing in the sky. After yada yada, it seems this creature developed more than just a survival instinct. They started to think, even though they didn’t know it was thinking. That would come yada yada .

In yada yada, what we call humans came along. Some of the other hairy two legged creatures liked it where they were, and stayed the same. The humanoids grew and changed, but even the yada yada couldn’t take dominance away from one of that species. That’s why it’s called “Mother Earth” and “Mother Nature.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

CONCERNS: Alan Beach had a checkup last week and things are good. Joni’s dad is having some issues but had a good checkup. Her uncle, William Voss, was in a serious car accident and has a long recovery ahead. Erma Williams’ cousin, Eleanor Bresee, has stage four ovarian cancer. She has started chemotherapy and will have surgery in nine weeks. Del Bolin’s mother is recovering from broken ribs. Betty Foy’s sister, Sue Huels; Leena Bolin’s brother, Nick is recovering from knee replacement. Mary, a friend of Kim (Hall) has advanced Parkinson’s disease. Martha Foy asks prayers for Gil Richardson and Sandra Anderson. Susan and Wayne Phlegar were able to be with us last Sunday. Susan is scheduled for back surgery in July. Remember also Rich Crites, Jim Hunter, The Overstreets, Deana McRoy, Stephanie Rigney, Marge Greenwood and Sharon. Also Jenni Cullum, Helen Nicklas, Tim Elder, Mary Smith, Mrs Matara, Mildred Horne and her family; Todd Baumgardner, dialysis. And Brenda, a friend of Melisha Scruggs.

Monday: II Thessalonians 1:2-12
Tuesday: Matthew 1:18-20
Wednesday: John 2:1-11
Thursday: I Thessalonians 1:2-10
Friday: II Timothy 2:1-13
Saturday: Isaiah 40:1-11
Monday: Exodus 1:15 – 2:10
Tuesday: Mark 1:16-34
Wednesday: Genesis 17:1-21
Thursday: Job 42:1-13
Friday: Luke 4:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 63:1-11

According to the contractor the renovated upstairs cry room/handicapped rest room should be finished by today. (Let’s hope!) Even if it isn’t, stop by and take a look at how nice it will be.
Today, June 15 is Super Sunday. It is also Father’s Day. So take dad out to eat here at church.
Since today is Father’s Day, the steering committee will only meet if Mike Branch wants to bring them up to speed on the restroom progress, or if there is another matter that needs attention.
Next Sunday cards will be passed out asking for current information for the new directory. These cards will be kept in the office in order to provide a quick reference about ways in which you are willing to serve in various ways. Ben Robertson also has a file. This will be for the office. Please fill out all that is relevant and lay it on the foyer table
Note: the directory is a list of those people who worship here whenever they do. It is not a “Membership” directory. It is a convenient way to stay in touch.
As soon as the information is gathered, pictures will be taken.
For some time now we have picked up the unused bread from Panera Bread and delivered it to the Rescue Mission. It is picked up on Thursday evening just before closing, which is 10:00 PM. The bread is then taken to the Mission on Friday or Saturday.
Erma Williams and Susan Jordan have been doing this and they need help. If you can’t deliver the bread, but can pick it up and then bring it to church on Sunday, someone who goes toward the Mission on Sunday can deliver it.
See Erma or Susan about signing up to do this.
Starting July first the communion service will be before the sermon. This change will enable those who may have to leave early to share in the Lord’s Supper.
There will also be a change in the way the contribution will be collected.. Bear with us while these changes take place.

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