This Week's Newsletter
January 13, 2021
Dear Saxe Gotha Church Family,

My oldest grandson is named Caleb. I have long been a fan of that name. Caleb is Hebrew for dog. Consequently, I wanted to name our next dog “Caleb,” but my grandson got the name first! 

The reason that I love the name "Caleb" is because Caleb in the Old Testament was completely devoted to God. Six times the Old Testament mentions that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord.” That whole-hearted devotion to the Lord empowers a person to step up to serve God even when others can’t or won’t because they are unable to see the situation through the eyes of faith. 

We first meet Caleb as one of the twelve spies mentioned in Numbers 13. God had delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and it was now time to enter the Promised Land. Moses sent them out to explore.  Ten of the spies gave a report of fear: 

We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there [The Anak were a race of large, powerful people] …. We can't attack those people; they are stronger than we are. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. (Numbers 13:27b-28; 31b)

Caleb, on the other hand, insisted, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." (Numbers 13:30) Of the 12 spies, only Caleb and Joshua encouraged the people to have faith, to trust God and enter the Promised Land. 

Faith transforms how we view a situation. The 12 spies saw the same land and the same inhabitants. Ten spies viewed the situation through the eyes of fear. Two spies, Caleb and Joshua, viewed it with eyes of faith. 

As we survey our land, we can either see the pandemic, the civil and political unrest through the eyes of fear; or we can view things through the eyes of faith. We can trust that God is with us and realize that he wants to use us to advance his kingdom in those places in which he has placed us. What are the possibilities for sharing the good news of Jesus in your words and deeds in your sphere of influence – at home, at school, at work and in the community? How does God want to use you?

Christians should not waste this pandemic because frequently when people experience pain and suffering, there are opportunities to minister to them. People are often more open to spiritual conversations and the gospel. The darkness of the situation serves as a backdrop for the brilliance of the gospel being presented with love and kindness. Let’s be like Caleb and Joshua and see how God wants to use us to advance his kingdom! Let’s view things through the eyes of faith rather than fear! 

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Jim
Prayer Focus for January:
The persecuted church.
Christian Love is extended to Carole McGee on the death of her sister and to Gene Delk and Rhonda Lawrence on the death of their father.

2021 Stewardship Campaign: Envelopes are available in the church office, please email Alisha Hudson at ahudson@saxegotha.org, and she will hold them for you in the Church Office.

Upward Basketball has been cancelled for the 2020-2021 season due to COVID-19. You should have been contacted about receiving a refund. Please contact Pete Eckert if you have any questions.

Encounters with God Books Available: We have the current booklets available. Please email Pansy Floyd to let her know that you would like to receive one via the mail: pfloyd@saxegotha.org.
We invite you to join us for Online Worship Services:
Out of an abundance of caution, all services will be virtual on January 17.

We live stream our 8:30 am Traditional Service and our 11:00 am AWE Contemporary Service. If you prefer to view the Traditional Service at 11:00, you can re-play the 8:30 service at that time.

The church campus will be temporarily closed for in person meetings.

To view the Saxe Gotha Services and other resources, please go to: youtube.com/user/SaxeGothaPres.
Sunday School Classes -
Meeting Virtually for January 17
To help keep everyone safe, we are meeting virtually January 17. When we are able to resume, the following will occur:
Please know that the chairs in your classroom will be spread 6 feet apart and everyone will be required to wear a mask indoors. Outdoors social distancing is required, but masks are optional.  Please also remember that the coffee machines and the water fountains will not be available. Finally, because we are still livestreaming both the 8:30 am and 11:00 am services, Lonnie and his AV team are unavailable to help any Sunday school classes with technical issues. Again, I appreciate your patience and flexibility with this new configuration of our Sunday school classes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly at hhham@saxegotha.org.
Wednesday Night Classes will resume when we can gather again in person.

Parenting in a Defective World – Raising children is a tough challenge in today’s world. This class offers practical tools and solid biblical advice on how to effectively raise children in today’s world. Jim Glatz will lead this class both virtually and in person. They will meet in room 151 MB. (jglatz@saxegotha.org)

The Ten Commandments: Are They Still Relevant? – Join this casual conversation facilitated by Jenni Gannon. They will meet in 155 MB. No book necessary and attendance not required! (jennifer.gannon@dominionenergy.com)

The Reason for God: Conversations on Faith and Life – This class will dig into the objections of the Christian faith to learn about both sides of the issues. Chuck Stoudemire will lead this class and teach some basics of apologetics. They will meet in room 154 MB. (cestoudemire@windstream.net)

Holy Conversations: Talking About God in Everyday Life – This interactive class will help us learn to engage in comfortable conversation about the good news of Jesus with those around us. Taught by Helen Harrison Ham and Pete Eckert and will meet in the Library/152 MB. (hhham@saxegotha.org)
Virtual GriefShare

Held on Sundays (2:00-4:00 pm) for 13 weeks online.

It can be very hard to deal with the loss of a loved one. Daily life, responsibilities, and the many feelings that are associated with a death can be difficult to manage. You are not alone. Come and join us as we look at ways to manage the many aspects of life that have changed. Being with others that have lived through the passing of a loved one, along with being around others that understand how you feel, can be very beneficial. We are here for you.

You are welcome to begin attending the GriefShare group at any session. Each is “self-contained,” so you do not have to attend in sequence. You will find encouragement and help whenever you begin.

Contact Renee Starnes at rstarnes@saxegotha.org or Marti Evans MKE29072@gmail.com for details.
Student Ministry Assistant:
We are looking for someone to join our team! Primary role is to assist the Director of Student Ministry in the implementation of ministry to students. Please download the complete job description below. Contact pcherry@saxegotha.org with questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
Do you or someone you know need to talk to someone?

Have you heard about Stephen Ministers?


If you would like to talk to someone, contact Carol Perrin at
803-917-6690 or by email tictic8000@yahoo.com.

Stephen Ministers are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation.

Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ's love and care to people during a time of need.

Since 1975, more than 600,000 people from more than 13,000 congregations and other organizations have been trained as Stephen Ministers.
First Impressions Team - Call for Volunteers!
The First Impressions Team is in need of Ushers and CREW members. Please call or email Carl Hammond at 803-767-0864 or hammondcb@yahoo.com if you are interested. All volunteers assist once every 6 weeks.
Sistercare Update:
As many of you are aware, the West Columbia Sistercare shelter has been closed since March 24, 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. I was hoping the shelter would reopen the first of 2021, but with rise in COVID cases along with the delayed vaccine distribution, the shelter will remain closed. The women and their children in need of Sistercare services will remain in local hotels.

For the next three months, they continue to request non-perishable food donations along with paper products such as diapers, feminine products, toilet paper along with cleaning products for the next three months. You can drop your donations off in the church kitchen (when the church re-opens) or in the boxes placed outside of the church office anytime through out the month. 

We will reevaluate in April hoping that we can restart our meal deliveries every Monday and Thursday. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions/concerns.

Thank you for all your support,
Stacey Rowlette/Sistercare/SGPC
803.312.5570
Sunday School Online:
Dawn Merck is offering a Sunday morning Bible study time on Zoom. We are coordinating SS efforts, so she will also be using God's Story Cards and following along with Pastor Jim's sermon series.

Meeting ID: 845 8013 1133
Passcode: 0eh2sd
Can't wait to see you! If you have technical difficulties or questions, please text Melinda at 803.397.7034. 
Wednesday Nights Online:
Click here to join us on Zoom on January 13th at 6:30 pm.

Our Mystery Family will tell us about one of the miracles of Jesus and then lead us through a building challenge. You will need to think about where you can find the following in your house:
• tape
• paper clip
• boxes
• ribbon or string

Also, you can manually join the Zoom meeting with the following information:
Meeting ID: 730 6284 6921
Passcode: WWMF21

If you have technical difficulties or questions, please text Melinda at 803.397.7034.
Kids Paint Night:
Friday, January 29 is Saxe Gotha Kids Paint Night at Lexington Paint and Pour. Beth Maddox will lead the kids through a canvas painting experience. The cost is $25 for the first canvas, with a $5 discount for siblings. Click here to register! Can't wait to see our SG Kids create!
Club 45

Will resume on January 24.
Downpour - Wednesday Nights
Downpour Resumes virtually TODAY, January 13! Each week, Downpour will release on the Saxe Gotha YouTube channel on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.

Sunday School Online:
In Person Sunday School will not be held on January 17. Students Sunday School Online: Click here to join a Zoom Sunday School Meeting for Students. Middle and High School students will meet together and then go into Zoom breakout rooms. Contact: Justin Hall at jhall@saxegotha.org.
Middle School Group - The Oasis

Will resume on January 24.
High School Group - Refuge

Will resume on January 24.
Snowbird Summer Conference:
We're very excited to be returning to Snowbird's Summer Conference from July 26-31. This trip will be a chance for middle (current 5th-8th grade) and high school (current 9th-12th grade) students to grow in their faith and fellowship with one another. Snowbird, the camp that will be our home base for the week, is located in Andrews, NC. They will be hosting our meals, keeping us bunked, and providing worship and messages for us. The price also covers fun activities for students through the week like rafting and paintball! 

The cost of the trip will be $500. A deposit of $150 is required to confirm your spot. If you have any questions or if you are a leader who would like to volunteer, email Justin at jhall@saxegotha.org.
Girl's Small Groups:
6th-8th Girls Bible Study

9th-11th Girls Bible Study

12th Grade Girls Small Group.

Will resume in January. Be on the lookout for 2021 information.
Boy's Small Groups:

High School Boys Small Group

Middle School Boys Bible Study

Will resume in January. Be on the lookout for 2021 information.

Lexington School District One Backpack Program:

Saxe Gotha will be partnering with Lexington School District One to support the Backpack Program. As a partner, we will help fill backpacks and send them to schools for weekly distribution to children who have great need.

Food items should be left in the Narthex, Atrium (when the church re-opens) or outside of the main office in the box labeled "backpack ministry." Monetary donations can be made to SGPC with “backpack ministry” in the memo line.
Current Sermon Series: Characters
Characters gives us a glimpse into the lives of people of faith. During the next year, we will be challenged as we dig deeper into the context and setting of each person’s life – gaining new insights into the world in which they lived and connecting their world with ours. Along the way, truths that impact our lives today will be discovered as we see the challenges, struggles and opportunities faced by people seeking to follow God. In many of these stories, we will find ourselves and our need for a Savior. We pray that through these studies, we will be transformed and better equipped to fulfill God’s purposes in our world today.
Moms in Ministry
Saxe Gotha has a new group just for Moms...we will connect you with other moms (with kids under the age of 21) who are going through the same challenges you face. This is a place to share your concerns, be encouraged by God's Word, and enjoy fellowship with moms.

Please like and follow this group on Facebook at SG Moms in Ministry or on Instagram.
Sermons Available Online: To listen to past sermons, please go to saxegotha.org/media. To watch past sermons, please go to our Saxe Gotha YouTube Channel and make sure to subscribe.
Monday Morning Women's Bible Studies:
Debbie Knight’s Monday morning group will resume later this Spring. To contact Debbie Knight: lexdeb73@gmail.com

The Young Mother's Bible Study will resume this Spring. More details will be provided at a later date. They will be studying Its Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa TerkHeurst. Please contact Meredith Cully with questions: mcully@saxegotha.org.
The Monday Morning Men’s Bible study is online!
Meets virtually on Mondays at 8:30 am for a brief lesson and to pray for each other and for other people. Contact Scott Welborn at bleedbabyblu@gmail.com for meeting information. This Bible study is open to men of all ages.
Did you know that Saxe Gotha has its own customized library on Right Now Media?
Here is the specific link to it if you already have your account set up:
https://www.rightnowmedia.org/CustomLibrary/8737. Right Now is like the Netflix of Christian media and Bible studies. And if you're already tired of watching TV and scrolling the internet, then feed your mind and heart with good stuff! We have several different channels within Saxe Gotha's custom library: Adults, Youth, Children, Worship and the Arts, Missions and Outreach, Marriage, and Parenting. 

If you need help setting up your Right Now account, you can contact one of the following:
Helen Harrison Ham: hhham@saxegotha.org
Patrick Cherry: pcherry@saxegotha.org
Justin Hall: jhall@saxegotha.org
Melinda Boyle: mboyle@saxegotha.org
Hal McIntosh: hmcintosh@saxegotha.org

The studies and videos inside Saxe Gotha's library on Right Now are just suggestions from our staff. Please feel free to explore and enjoy the many wonderful videos on Right Now while you are at home!
Giving Update:
5503 Sunset Boulevard
Lexington, SC 29072
803.359.7770

Office Hours
M – Th  8:30 – 5:00 pm

Sunday Worship
Traditional       8:30 am
Contemporary 11:00 am

Livestream Services youtube.com/user/SaxeGothaPres