By James Lamkin
I think about this on the way to Valentine's Day. Love sweetens, like a chocolate covered cherry. And love challenges, like a box o' chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get.
You know the movie,
A River Runs through It
? Probably so; and you probably know the main characters: A Presbyterian pastor father, a younger son, and an older brother. At first blush, the movie is about fly-fishing; except, it is not. It is not about fishing in the same way
is not about baseball. Fishing and pitching are vehicles for a larger story: the story of love. Ah, love...love's longing, love's lament, and love's ache whenever it must to let go.
Love is the plotline in all our journals and diaries and stories, even our weddings and our funerals. Come to think of it, what do you remember about any good eulogy? You do not recall the academic degrees, not the accolades, or the number of plaques on the wall. You remember what was loved: how she played with the grandkids, how his smile lit-up the room, how the old couple never said much on the afternoon porch swing because their hand-holding said it all.
A River Runs through It was first an autobiographical novella, written by the retired English professor, Norman Maclean. One of my favorite lines from it is said by the pastor-father. As with all preachers, the pulpit is both a nourishing dinner table, and a loud, clanging anvil. On the pulpit, we pound-out the hard and holy edges of our own jagged lives...even as we do with those in the Bible and congregation.
Thus, to his sermons, the father brings his own broken heart, trying to make sense of his younger son's, much too early death. With a voice aged by pain, and a wisdom seasoned by grief, he gives to the church a diamond squeezed out of a long life of longing. He says, You can love completely, without understanding completely. That's it. Love seems to bypass the head. It comes straight from, and goes right to, the heart. "That's the story of, that's the glory of," this all too human mystery.
On this Valentine's Day, might we rummage through the love letters of our hearts? Might we confess how little we know about life and love, and how we never "understand completely?" However, let us profess that God does know. God is the only one who understands completely AND loves completely.
Bask in this kind of love on Valentine's Day. Reread I Corinthians 13. Be glad that some things abide, like faith and hope; but, give thanks for the greatest thing. After all, "The greatest of these is love," and a river runs through it.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Alliance of Baptists Sunday
February 12, 2017, 11:00 AM
NDBC is a founding church in the Alliance of Baptists. 30 years ago, Tom Conley, Jim Strickland, Buddy Shurden and others met in our sanctuary. Out of their discussion and passion, the Alliance of Baptists was born.
James Lamkin will be preaching on February 12; however, Jim Strickland will speak a good and grateful word on behalf of the Alliance. Betty Conley, also, has been invited to the service that day.
Jim Strickland and Rachel Lackey, a husband/wife team, have been the managers of Sabbath House in Bryson City, NC, since its inception, construction, and five years of operation. They are well aware of the demands of contemporary culture on everyone and the unique demands our culture makes of clergy, laity leadership, and caregivers. They possess a combined total of 60 years of parish ministry experience. Both are ordained Christian clergy and have been trained in pastoral care. Jim holds a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in pastoral care and counseling from Columbia Theological Seminary, and Rachel holds a Masters Degree in Religious Education and has worked in Clinical Pastoral Education.
Prayer upon the 30
th Anniversary of
the Alliance of Baptists
by Rev. Mahan Siler, Alliance founder, former pastor at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, Raleigh, N.C.
God with us, for thirty years you have stoked a passion for mercy and justice among a band of Baptists who made covenant to embody your passion through our life together for the world in our time. Today we pause to remember, lament, celebrate and renew this call for just-relationships across all the boundaries that fragment us. From the beginning we glimpsed the Jesus vision of domination-free relationships between men and women, whites and people of color, gay and straight, rich and poor, persons of differing faith traditions and nations, humans and non-human beings.
Today we offer our gratitude for these three decades of Alliance witness to your Dream for creation. Here and there there have been astonishing breakthroughs of partnerships for which we give thanks.
Today we lament that our prophetic, pastoral witness has been only here and there. We confess our hubris in believing this is our work to accomplish. God have mercy. Christ have mercy. Only by your power can we love as we covenanted to love. Only with your Spirit can we risk the vulnerability within every partnership. Only through Jesus do we see the path and energy that transcends barriers. Help us, God, to stand, to stand together on the borders of divisions pointing with our lives to an alternative non-violent way of living.
Today, gracious Spirit, we dare to declare your need of us. Your movement of peace is limited by fear, blaming, and violence that saturates the air we breathe. You too are held back by forces of distrust and disregard. You need us. You need our partnership in the movement toward shalom. You need our hearts, our minds, our feet, our hands, our creativity.
Today we, this Alliance network of Baptists, resolve anew to join your movement. Once again we vow to align ourselves with the arc that bends, however so slowly, toward justice. We say "yes" to the opportunities at hand for us to grasp with fresh commitment. We arise to sing the Song you have placed in our hearts. We arise with our bodies to dance to the Music of justice-love that never ends. We arise together along with other Alliance lovers to express the joy for what has been and the joy for what will be. We arise. Amen.
Youth Group Series
ENCORE, February 12, 2017
Don't want to get up before 9 AM? Join this class of young singles and couples in their 20s and 30s at the big table in the balcony of the Narthex
after the worship service
in an informal setting for snacks and coffee. We will gather around the table Sunday, February 5, to briefly examine the lectionary texts, deconstruct the sermon of the day, and fellowship together.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Celestial and Cherub Choirs
Singing in Morning Worship
Honoring NDBC retired members
Tuesday, February 14, 2017,
12 o'clock noon, in the Fellowship Hall
Special Performance by Kurt Thomas
We are so lucky to enjoy his music from time to time in Worship. Now we have the opportunity to get to know Kurt even
better as he shares with us some of his favorite music as well as stories of his life and songs.
At the Table: February 19, 2017
In the Balcony of the Narthex after Worship
Don't want to get up before 9 AM? Join this class of young singles and couples in their 20s and 30s at the big table in the balcony of the Narthex after the worship service in an informal setting for snacks and coffee. We will gather around the table Sunday, February 5, to briefly examine the lectionary texts, deconstruct the sermon of the day, and fellowship together.
Youth Lock-In: February 24-25
On February 24
, pray for the youth and adults that will be participating in our first lock in of 2017. We will make some food, probably dessert, and watch movies as we partake in the first lock in of the year. Over the course of 12 hours, we will play games, have fun, and get far too little sleep while doing so. More updates will come as the date gets closer. But, go ahead and mark your calendars! If you have any questions please contact Jeffrey at
Tired Parents Breakfast and Family Lunch
Join us for a Tired Parents Breakfast during the Church School hour on February 26th for fellowship and a time to relax, and then following worship we will have a family lunch at Zoe's. We invite all families and parents to join us!
~ Anna Kate Wilson, Director of Children's Ministries
Oglethorpe University Singers
will be our Guest Choir
Sunday, February 26, 2017
The Oglethorpe University Singers under the direction of Dr. W. Irwin Ray will be our featured guest choir during worship on Sunday, February 26. The ensemble provides for the study and performance of significant choral literature with the liberal arts context of the University and is open to students of all disciplines. The auditioned concert choir, which is in frequent demand for performance in the community, rehearses three hours each week for one hour of academic credit. Repertoire includes scared and secular literature, both accompanied and unaccompanied, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present. Mark your calendar so that you do not miss the opportunity to share the worship experience with these talented musicians.
Young Adults - Growing Young Session 1
February 26, 2017
In the midst of stereotypes about young people and their church commitments,
Growing Young by the Fuller Youth Institute aims to break down those stereotypes and offer suggestions on how churches can reach young adults. Throughout the spring, there will be three sessions that offer information about the book, their suggestions, and evaluations of their suggestions. The first will be February 26th. If you have any questions please let me know. Join us as we explore ways Northside Drive can extend its ministry to young adults.
If you can, can you please use this picture for the growing young publication?
|Thursday Evening Lenten Services
"Rogues 'Round the Cross"
Beginning March 9 - April 6
6:45 PM in the Chapel
Executive Director of
the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
Preaching: March 12, 2017, at NDBC
Amanda is brand new at the BJC, having recently followed Brent Walker as the Executive Director.
She leads the organization as it upholds the historic Baptist principle of religious liberty, defending the free exercise of religion and protecting against its establishment by government. A native of Austin, Texas, Tyler grew up hearing about the cherished Baptist principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state as a member of Highland Park Baptist Church. Because she was committed to these principles, Tyler sought out the Baptist Joint Committee when she moved to Washington to attend Georgetown University, and she began volunteering in the office as a student. She will be lecturing at McAfee School of Theology the following week. We welcome her on this day.
31st Annual Women's Retreat
April 21-23, 2017
Robbinsville, North Carolina
SPACE & TIME ARE LIMITED
Reservation deadline is Sunday, February 12, 2017
Make your reservation with a $100.00 deposit
(made out to Joyce Wilson)
& give it to Joyce Wilson or Virginia Gilbert
For more information:
Joyce Wilson (770) 773-3333
Virginia Gilbert (770) 333-8933
Sunday, February 12
9:30 AM - Church School
10:25 AM - Children's Choir Rehearsal
11:00 AM - Morning Worship
12:15 PM - ENCORE
7:00 PM - Handbell Practice
Tuesday, February 14
12:00 PM - Triple E Valentine Luncheon
Wednesday, February 15
10:30 AM - Pastor's Bible Study
1:00 PM - NDBC Book Club
Thursday, February 16
6:10 PM - Yoga in the Fellowship Hall
7:00 PM - Prayer Shawl Ministry
7:30 PM - Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal
February 12, 2017
The TLP is a Diaconate ministry. Each week's list contains the rotating names of three or four NDBC senior adults.
Gordon & Billie Davis
If you would like
your name placed
on our rotating TLP list, please give the
church office a call.
Rhonda Harris- 4
Tanner Stines- 9
Mary Ann Hickman-14
Namaste Y'all! Yoga is Back!
in the Fellowship Hall.
The instructor is Shelia Cooper. Her children are in our weekday preschool. Free childcare will be provided in the nursery area of the building.
$10.00 per person
Retired Older Men
Every 3rd Tuesday of the month our "Retired Older Men" eat lunch together at Piccadilly Cafeteria from 12 PM-1 PM. It's a time to visit with friends, tell stories and eat good food (bring your lunch money)!
1715 Howell Mill Rd.
Wednesday @ 10:30 AM
We meet weekly from 10:30-11:30 AM, in the church's Conference Room. We study the texts selected in the Revised Common Lectionary for the next Sunday. Large print editions are available each week and for the upcoming Sunday. Discussion is deep and wide and lively. All are invited.
led by Susan Harlan
Every 1st & 3rd Thursday at 7:00 PM
Come join us on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7:00 PM, in Room 207, the Parlor, to knit or crochet a prayer shawl. If you are not sure how, no problem, there will be plenty of people to help you get started. This group is open to anyone who would like to join! For more information call Susan Harlan at 770-377-3869.