Volume 6 Issue 9 | September 2023

The Acorn Wreath

by Stacy Edwards, from Devotions for the Fall

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

If you spend any time on social media during the fall season, you will see an endless stream of autumn crafts. Many of them are wreaths. Everything from kernels of corn to pinecones can be hot glued onto an oval frame and hung on a front door. Even the least crafty of us feel inspired to create something.

One year my children made me the prettiest wreath out of acorns. They had worked so diligently to hot glue dozens, if not hundreds, of tiny acorns together. They presented it to me with all the pride a couple of kids can muster. So, with an equal amount of pride, I laid the wreath on my dining room table and used it as a candleholder. It was so lovely...for a time.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret regarding acorn wreaths. You have to bake the acorns first. This step isn’t always listed on those lovely DIY blogs. It turns out that insects like to live in acorns, and you must remove them. This means that if you, hypothetically, use a wreath made from unbaked acorns as a candleholder on your dining room table, all kinds of unpleasantness will ensue.


When we come to God, the first thing He must do is empty us of all the unpleasantness that lives in our hearts. And we must repent and let go of all the things that have taken up residence within us. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before what is in us comes out. We may be quick to become angry when we don’t get our way. Perhaps we are prone to gossip or deception. Maybe we give in and return to old patterns of sin when things become difficult.


The beautiful thing about coming to Christ is He is not repulsed by our inner uncleanliness. He knows exactly how to remove what needs to be removed so we can be made into something beautiful for Him.


Let’s allow the Lord to deal with whatever is in our hearts so that we can be the new creations He has called us to become.


"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." Colossians 3:15

From Allegheny West

Youth Church Is Back!

By Belvia Jackson

On August 19, Ephesus Youth Ministry hosted its first Youth Church of 2023. The service was held at the Columbus Adventist Academy building and was attended by over 20 young people. The program began with a bagel and cream cheese bar to allow the youth to interact and get to know each other. During this mingling time, the youth could place their prayer request on the prayer wall to be read during intercessory prayer.


To start the program, Daysha Crawford gave opening prayer, followed by a warm welcome by Autumn Bell and Dayshaun Crawford. A fun, interactive song service was provided by Greer Harrison and Winston Goodman. Emmanuela Francique gave the youth another opportunity to add their prayer request to the prayer wall before reading the prayer requests and giving the intercessory prayer. After prayer, she opened up the opportunity for the youth to give testimonies. The testimonies provided by the young people were very touching and an inspiration to all who heard. Before the sermon, Greer Harrison and Winston Goodman sang “Falling In Love with Jesus,” while Winston accompanied them on the guitar.


The message was given by Cleavon Harrison Jr. (CJ). CJ shared that when God sent his son to the world, He added a way to physically represent himself while still being God. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” CJ also emphasized John 3:17, which says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” CJ’s message really resonated with the young people, and they enjoyed receiving a message from God being delivered by one of their peers. Closing prayer was offered by Alyssa Jackson. Once the program was over, the youth played the game “Going to Heaven.” They really became involved in the game, and they were blessed by the interaction.


The first Youth Church was truly a blessing to the youth. It will be held the third Sabbath of every month. Please invite other young people to be blessed by what God is doing.

Church Business Meetings

From the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, p. 134

The local church operates within defined roles in Seventh-day Adventist Church structure. Within the context of those roles, the business meeting is the constituency meeting of the local church. Members in regular standing are encouraged to attend and are entitled to vote.


The pastor...calls the meeting. Business meetings should be announced a week or two in advance at the regular Sabbath worship service, with detail as to time and place. The pastor...serves as chairperson of the business meeting.


The business meeting agenda should include reports about the work of the church. At least once a year the agenda should include reports covering church activities. Based on those reports, a proposed plan of action for the next year, including an annual budget, should be presented for approval. When possible, reports and plans for the next year should be presented in writing.

The next Ephesus Church Business Meeting will be on Sunday, September 10, at 10 AM. Please plan to attend so a quorum can be reached and the church can do business.

Faith in Action: Ephesus Church and CelebrateOne Unite to Empower Expectant Mothers

By Pastor Keith Goodman

“...what matters is faith working through love.” Galatians 5:6, HCSB


In an inspiring demonstration of community unity and compassion, the Ephesus Adventist Community Services, under the leadership of Michaela Rodgers, and the Ephesus Women’s Ministry, led by Tarshalla Hanks, forged a dynamic partnership with CelebrateOne.


CelebrateOne is an initiative that falls under the auspices of the office of Mayor Andrew Ginther, City of Columbus. Their mission: to tackle head on the pressing issue of infant mortality.


Together Ephesus and CelebrateOne orchestrated a memorable event bathed in the warmth of a sunny Sunday afternoon on August 28, 2023, that served as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and the transformative power of faith.


CelebrateOne, renowned for its multifaceted programs and its data-driven strategies aimed at dismantling infant mortality within marginalized communities, graced the occasion with their new director of only six weeks, Ms. Danielle Tong, and several members of her dedicated staff. They came with brand-new diaper bags for the expectant mothers.


In the weeks leading up to the Community Baby Shower, members of the Ephesus Church diligently collected essential baby items. From the indispensable wipes and diapers to some of the most charming baby clothes, these essentials were lovingly assembled into gift bags and put on display with the grace of a high-end boutique.


It was clear, this was not simply some charity event; this was a demonstration of love to afford mothers the dignity of choice, free from financial constraints. To go above and beyond, some members of the Ephesus church even generously provided some brand-new car seats to ensure the safety of some of Columbus’ newest arrivals.


The event hosted over 50 expectant mothers and their families. The church’s fellowship hall, typically a hub for early learning, school, and athletic activities, underwent a transformation. It was reborn as a vibrant, festive space adorned with colorful balloons and table decorations. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement made even sweeter with an array of refreshments.


Adding a profoundly spiritual dimension to the gathering, the pastor and a member of the board of elders were present to offer prayers and support to any who felt they needed it. Some expectant mothers were nervous as they shared that they had been told their pregnancies were considered “high risk.” Others were nervous because they were becoming mothers for the very first time.


This baby shower was about more than simply providing material assistance, but also to nurture and empower these mothers on a spiritual level.


In the eloquent words of the late Ellen G. White, gracefully articulated in her timeless work, Ministry of Healing (page 143), “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people.” The approach embraced at this Community Baby Shower exemplified the very essence of Christ’s methodology – a heartfelt mingling with people, an authentic display of empathy, a commitment to addressing their myriad needs, and most crucially, the cultivation of trust and confidence with the community.


Amidst the celebration, one poignant moment etches itself into the memory. It was revealed that one expectant other was three centimeters dilated at the time. This unexpected revelation only served to underscore the urgency and relevancy of the collective work of CelebrateOne and Ephesus.


By God’s grace, the Ephesus Church, in partnership with CelebrateOne, showed what unity and compassion can look like – faith and love in action. 

1 Rachelle James-Mason 3 Stephanie Hunt 4 Angela Wimberly 5 Almeria Huff 6 Betty Sellars 7 Ginger Harris 8 Tony Parham, Lauren Smith 9 Nicholas Golden, Giovani Johnson 10 Jamaal Cox,  Pamela Watson, Regina Williams 11 Dapo Ajaiyeoba, Regina Gama, Tiana Holland 13 Lois Fidelis, Henry Griffith Jr. 14 Karla Bryant, Ronald Woods 16 Ebony Williams 18 Kendall Lewis, Patricia Broussard, Laurence Morrow 19 Algenorithia Jamison 20 Grace Brown, Angela Carter 21 Marilyn Graves, Dr. Michele Oyortey, Donna Prysock 23 Monifa Hawthorne, Khalid Parris, Toney Thomas 24 Patty Gray 25 Yolanda Harrison, Jean Hazell, Sharon Page 26 Carlos McNair 27 Asante Brenyah 28 Mary Nelson, Deborah Smith, Yolanda Stepney 30 Antonio Atchley, DeMario Bowers

Did we miss your September birthday or anniversary? Let us know by emailing announce@ephesus-sda.com.

1    Voices of Ephesus Rehearsal, Sanctuary, 7 PM

2    Young Lions Bible Study, 1:30 PM

5    Young Adult Bible Study, Conference Room, 7 PM

6    Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Location TBD

8    Voices of Ephesus Rehearsal, Sanctuary, 7 PM

8    Men’s Prayer Meeting, 7 PM

9    Young Adult Game Night, 8 PM

10  Singles Ministry Meet and Greet, 1 PM

10  Church Business Meeting, Sanctuary, 10 AM

12  Seniors and Insurance, Sanctuary, 1 PM

12  Finance Committee Meeting, 6 PM

12  Young Adult Bible Study, Conference Room, 7 PM

13  Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Location TBD

15  Voices of Ephesus Rehearsal, Sanctuary, 7 PM

16  Youth Church, CAA Multipurpose Room, 11 AM

16  Fresh Produce Giveaway, Parking Lot, noon

17  Community Block Party, Parking Lot, noon

18  Elder Board Meeting, Conference Room, 9 AM

18  Church Board Meeting, Fellowship Hall, 10 AM

19  Young Adult Bible Study, Conference Room, 7 PM

20  Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Location TBD

22  Voices of Ephesus Rehearsal, Sanctuary, 7 PM

22  Men’s Prayer Meeting, 7 PM

23  Children’s Church, Fellowship Hall, 11 AM

26  Young Adult Bible Study, Conference Room, 7 PM

27  Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Location TBD

29  Voices of Ephesus Rehearsal, Sanctuary, 7 PM

Ephesus Communications Department
Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church
3650 Sunbury Road Columbus, Ohio 43219
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