Etheridge’s Epistle

Etheridge’s Epistle

Etheridge’s Epistle December 2017

Knowing Christ

More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.        Philippians 3:8

Linda Ellerbee, a noted television journalist, wrote an article for McCall’s Magazine a few years back. The article was titled “The Five Best Things I Know.”  The following are the five best things she knew:

  1. Do what you believe is right.
  2. In this world, a good time to laugh is any time you can.
  3. Always set a place in life for the unexpected guest.
  4. If you don’t want to get old, don’t mellow.
  5. The best things in life really aren’t things.

That is a good list. What are the five best things you know? What are the five best things I know? You and I might list a number of things — honesty, integrity, truth, courage, commitment, grace, and kindness. If St. Paul were asked what are the five best things he knew, he would list only one thing — “knowing Christ.” Above everything else, Paul would say, I want to know Christ.

At times I am tempted to change the name of Christmas to “Thingmas”. I challenge you, these next few weeks to put aside the madness of the Christmas rush and do the best thing. Get to know Christ.

I hope you will be present this Sunday and every Sunday in the Advent season.

Attend the special worship services of this season, The Longest Night Service Sunday December 20 at 6:00 pm and the Christmas Eve Services. Christmas Eve is the fourth Sunday of Advent this year. The morning schedule of worship will be our normal 8:30 traditional and 11:00 traditional and modern worship. Our Christmas Eve candle light  and Holy Communion service will be at 5:00 pm in the CLC and the 7:00 pm service will be in the Sanctuary.

See you Sunday!

Bro. Bill


Service of the Longest Night

The Christmas season is often marked by expressions of joy, excitement, and happiness. It’s a time for family to gather and for churches to worship, pointing to the hope that is found in the coming of the Christ child. However, this time of joy and expectation can often overshadow the pain and hurt many experience during this season, when the world’s merriment puts their grief and sorrow in stark relief.

One of the greatest acts of pastoral care in the Advent season is to offer a service known as a Service of the Longest Night. It’s a worship service scheduled around the winter Solstice, (the longest night of the calendar year,) and it just happens to fall on or around December 21styear.

The Longest Night, is a service of peace and hope.  It is a simple Service of music, scripture, prayer and the lighting of four candles. We light four candles in honor of our loved ones. We light one for our loved ones lost, one for our pain of loss, one for ourselves, and one for our hope for the future. In the service you are invited to come forward to light one of the votive candles, which represents your burdens, griefs, sorrows, all those things that make Christmas a “blue” time for you. You may speak the name, or the event, if you wish to do so. When you have lighted your candle, or candles, you may return to your seat or come to alter to pray silently.

Please be in prayer for all of our services during this special season and join us at 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary on Wednesday, December 20 for our Service of the    Longest Night.


Etheridge’s Epistle

November 2017

All Saints Sunday
November 5, 2017
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8

Sunday, November 5 is a very special Sunday in all of our worship services!
We will celebrate All Saints Day. We will remember the lives of those individuals who were a part of our church family that have gone home to dwell in God’s house. Each name will be read, a bell rung, and a candle lit in their honor in the worship services. These are:

Frances Bain
Doris Blevons
William “Dub” Dole
Winston Dukes
Jay Griffin
Mary Jean Hackney
Shirley Ann Jones

We will also ask for the names of our extended family and friends to be called aloud by you during the service. Then we will light one candle and a bell will be rung in their honor.

I hope you will be present for this special worship service.

In Christ,
Dr. Bill Etheridge