If you’ve watched any television over the last month you’ve probably seen at least one of the series of commercials called “Catholics Come Home.” This media campaign will run through the end of January in the 69 counties of north Georgia that comprise the Archdiocese of Atlanta. It’s an effort to reach unregistered Catholics in our area as well as to offer non-Catholics a better understanding of our Church. Our late Pope John Paul II called for us to undertake a “new evangelization” and to reach out to those in our communities and welcome them back to the church of their childhood. When Atlanta businessman Tom Peterson came home from a Catholic men’s retreat in 1997, he felt the need to answer that call. An advertising executive and parishioner at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell, Peterson developed the “Catholics Come Home” program. Since that time, he and his team have spread the “come home” message in 22 dioceses around the nation.
While Catholics make up the largest church in the United States with around 70 million members, many more millions of Catholics no longer come to Mass. The “Catholics Come Home” message is that the Church welcomes everyone to embrace the fullness of the Christian faith. In the Atlanta Archdiocese the number of Catholics has grown dramatically in the last five years, both as a result of Catholics moving into the state as well as converts from other Christian churches. From 400,000 Catholics in 2005, the population has grown to just under a million Catholics today, making Georgia one of the fastest growing Catholic areas in the nation. Peterson attributes some of this explosive growth to the Annual Eucharistic Congress held in Atlanta each summer. This event draws Christians from across the country to “come and have a Catholic experience” which is focused on the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. This is the center of our faith and it is often the love of the Eucharist which brings fallen-away Catholics back to the Church. For any Catholic who feels called to return to the Church, there is a path for that journey.
The first step is to talk with your parish priest. Sometimes only the Sacrament of Penance is needed before a return to Holy Communion can be given. For some, the journey may involve other steps as well, especially if the person has a divorce and remarriage in their lives. The pastor of your local Church can guide you with mercy through the process that will bring you fully home to the Church. In so many ways, this is the story of the prodigal son which we know from Holy Scripture (Luke 15:11-32). When the son realizes all he’s lost by leaving his father’s house, he wants to go home again. His heart longs for the family he left behind and so he goes home to say he’s sorry, not knowing what to expect or how he’ll be treated. What he doesn’t know is that his father has been watching and hoping for his return with all his heart. When he catches sight of his son “still a long way off” his heart is filled with compassion and love for the son he thought was lost. He runs to meet him. All the father wants is to feel his son in his arms again, home and loved. And that’s Christ wants for all of us, to come home to Him and feel his love and mercy and know that we are safely and fully home. This is the theme of the “Catholics Come Home” program---that you are always welcome and loved in your Father’s house. So if your heart is tugging at you to come back to the Catholic Church, know that we’re waiting to welcome you home. Maybe you’re not Catholic, but you’re interested in learning more about our church. Call or visit us anytime. We’d love to welcome you, too. Visit the “Catholics Come Home” website to learn more: www.catholicscomehome.org.
Do you have questions about the Catholic faith? Are you interested in becoming Catholic? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website: www.saintgerardmajella.net. Visit our church and see for yourself what the Catholic faith embraces. We’re the Catholic Church of St. Gerard Majella at 3049 LaFayette Road in Ft. Oglethorpe. Sunday Mass is at 9 and 11am. Call our office at 706.861.9410.
“Then let us celebrate with a feast because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again.” ---Gospel of St. Luke, 15:23-24
Norma Haisten, Pathway Baptist Church
Our service was opened in prayers for the many needs. Debby Broom led us in ‘Amazing Grace.’
Debby Broom and Rhonda Cawood sang ‘We Bless Your Name’ and our altars began to fill. Awesome to watch the work of the Holy Spirit. Choir sang ‘How Great Thou Art.’ Sue Grimes sang verses to ‘He Looked Beyond My Fault.’ Bro. Mark, Shannon, Josh and Holden sang ‘Through The Fire.’ Bro. Mark sang ‘Thank God For Grace.’ Many hearts were renewed and refreshed today. It was some time before Bro. Mark began his message.
Scripture was II Timothy 4:1-5. Step up in the kingdom. People go to church for reasons; you do go for others though first for yourself. We will all stand before God at the Judgment. We judge people, but for the Grace of God; we would be of the world. Have a heart for the lost. Step in His Word, the Bible. Sometimes with don’t feel like reading. Look to God. asking for His guidance. Why are there many religions? Each are man originated. True faith is of the heart which God has changed. The time will come when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ if Lord. Church is for saving the lost. We must be a church of ministries of teaching, reaching out to others; never a place to meet your fiends or see what people wear. Good message.
Today was ‘Friends Day’ and many had a friend to come. We are so thankful to each of you for sharing this service with us. We shall look forward to seeing you again.
Welcome and thankful to have Brandy Owens join our fellowship.
January 15, WALRUS - The youth will be meeting at 4 PM to go the the Cannon’s home for food, games and devotion. Chattanooga Speeders Power Soccer Tournament at Shepherd Recreation Center, beginning at 9 AM. Our member, Rusty Crump is a player for the Speeders. Volunteers needed, see Chris Cannon. January 16, Baby Shower for Sheree Kinsey at 3 PM, in the Fellowship Hall. Today at 4 PM, Youth Choir practice, directed by Shannon Smith.
Prayers and sympathy to the family and friends of Jeremy Morrison, who died last Monday in a auto accident. Also to the family and friends of the teacher in Dalton; who also died in a auto accident. She was a sister in law to our member, Nathan Robinson.
Prayers for Tony Stephens, Ron Reel Bro. Charles Blevins, Angela Barefield, who is back in the hospital. Betty Pritchard’s sister; Glenda; fell and broke her hip; was having surgery today at Memorial. Jonathan Kilgore is having an MRI. He is in much pain with his back. Margie Schmitt and Joetta Harris were both in services and over their pneumonias. Louise Alexander is having several health problems. James Larsen had an MRI last week and the results were very good. We are thankful for all who are improved and will continue to pray for all.
My apology to Donna Parton, as I failed to note her solo on last Sunday. She sang ‘Written In Red.’
Happy Birthday to Angie Wells on January 9. Sheila Lively and Norma Haisten on January 10. Wyatt Blankenship on January 12. Ruth Highfield on January 13. John Shields on January 14 and Rachel Watson on January 15.
Good Thought: God’s peace is not a license to live as we please; it’s liberty to please God.
Charlotte McGuffey, Salem Baptist Church
Wasn’t it cold last weekend? Our attendance on Sunday was good in spite of the cold. Bro. Tommy Johnson has accepted the call as Music Director at Salem. He led the choir in both services Sunday and he and his wife, Phyllis, joined our church. They are excited about this work.
Marie Massengill was glad to have her grandchildren, Lee and Cassie Gilliam, visiting her over the weekend and attending church with her.
Our sick list is lengthy: Bro. Glenn’s brother-in-law, Glenn Sartin, had a stroke and is in rehab; Christina Kittle, Jack Pinnick, Ricky Kittle,Helen Ware Alene Pierce, cancer patients: Mary Eslinger, Jack Ensley, Allene Hullender and Laura Pinnick’s aunt. Bill Davidson is scheduled to have shoulder surgery this week.
Congratulations to Cindy Trew Piper and James Westmoreland who were married on January 1, 2011 just after midnight.
Our deepest sympathy is extended to Bill and Melba Davidson and family in the death of his mother, Lillian Davidson, on January 2 after a long illness. Her funeral was held on January 4.
Our sympathy is also extended to the family of Sheila Headrick Holder who passed away last week. She was the daughter of Billy and Katherine Headrick and sister of Faye and Luther Headrick.
Chubb and Linda Blevins enjoyed having Laura and Jack Pinnick,Chubb’s daughter and son-in-law, visiting from Kansas during Christmas and New Years. This was the first Christmas they had spent together in many years and they have really enjoyed it. We think they should move here and join us at Salem.
Aprll Payne Kenner was home from New York City for the holidays. She thought she left the snow behind her in New York only to come to Georgia and experience our white Christmas. Then, when she returned to New York they had had a blizzard. She says she is tired of snow.
Peter Ware and Adam Ware spent several days in Greenville, South Carolina visiting Matthew, Jody, Natalie and Nicholas Ware. Natalie was excited about Christmas and playing with Papaw and Adam. Little Nicholas is growing so fast– he’s a big boy and loves his sister.
Marie and Lori Massengill visited Marie’s granddaughter, Kristin Hooper and family in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma just before Christmas. They really enjoyed their time with little Raley Marie.
I want to wish a big hello and Happy New Year to my friend, Dale Eslinger. I received a beautiful Christmas card and sweet note from Dale. Dale loved Lillie Ware and misses her as we all do. Thank you, Dale, for the card and note. It made my day. It was good to see Libby and Penny Eslinger at the children’s Christmas program. Their nieces, Soucci, Breelie, Keelee and Trewcci were in the program.
Hello and Happy New Year to Randall Benton in Newport News, Virgina.
As I write this news, a big snow storm is predicted. I hope you can stay inside, but if you must get out, please be careful.
Effie Bridges, Boynton Baptist Church
This is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice and be happy in it even if He sends snow. With the weather forecast it looks like we may get more snow. Hopefully everyone will be safe.
This Sunday we had a great service. Brother Keith brought the message “Road Blocks on A Broad Road” using the text from Matthew 7:13-21. The Call to worship was He Lives and the Choir special was How Great Thou Art with the choir director David Marshall singing a solo part. Nicole Miller sang a beautiful song. Brother Emory Morris gave the invocation as he is our deacon of the week. Following the morning worship the youth had a fund raiser luncheon with soup and sandwiches which was certainly good on such a cold day. The Youth had the evening service. This is a good thing to help them prepare to be the church leaders of tomorrow. We should support them in their efforts.
On Monday night Faith Riders is scheduled to meet in the youth house if the weather permits. The ladies were not having the Monday night Bible Study. On Tuesday night there is scheduled to be scrapbooking in the Family Center. On Wednesday there will be Bible Study at Rosewood at 10:00 A. M. There will not be children or youth activities as this is the Monthly Business Meeting. There will be choir rehearsal following prayer meeting and business meeting. On Thursday there will be a meeting of the Girl Scouts in the Family Center at 6:00 P. M.
On Saturday there will be the monthly prayer breakfast at 8:00 A. M. in the family center.
We extend our condolences to the family of one of our members, Gwendolyn Boyles who passed away on Tuesday evening and her funeral was on Friday at Heritage Funeral Home conducted by the pastor Dr. Keith McLeod.
We still have several of our members in nursing homes, Floyd Goins, Virginia Priddy, Hazel Arnold, Terry Harris and Thelma Brown. Let’s don’t forget these precious people.
On Sunday January 16, 2011 at 6:00 P. M. the Jeff Hullender Family will be in concert at Boynton. Everyone is invited if you can attend and enjoy them as they bring the Gospel message in song.
Don’t forget to pray for the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces. We will be honoring one of our soldiers who the Lord kept safe during his service in Afghanistan. We will have a dinner in his honor on Sunday January 30 following the morning worship.
Let’s continue to support Christ Chapel Share and Care Mission as they help those less fortunate people in our community.
Margie Stringer, North Whitfield Baptist
Last week :
We started off the new year with a good service of singing and preaching and praying the new year in.
Bro. Swain Cochran preached in both services Sunday. I missed the Sunday services. I wore myself out Friday night. Our son, Eddie is feeling much better after spending one night in the hospital.
Pray for Bro. Stringer he is having such a hard time getting around with his legs and back. He takes every step he makes with a walking stick. Also pray for J.T. Quarles he is not getting out much. His health is not good either. We sure do miss him and Anita.
We have a lot of sickness, Pat and Haman Souther, Norman Headrick, Lucille Brinkley, Anna Mae Hawkins, Jackie and Annie Mae Terry and so many more.
Saturday night will be our regular ladies meeting at 7 p.m. We need to do some planning for the new year.
Emma Jo Davis, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
Snow and cold is the forecast for this week. I hope everyone will stay safe and warm.
We are to be in Revival starting on Sunday, January,16th with Bro. David Smallwood. Maybe the weather will be better then. We will have lunch and a time of fellowship after the morning service
in the Fellowship Hall.
We were happy to see our visitors in both services on Sunday. Hope they felt welcome and enjoyed the service and will come be with us again soon.
The Ladies class was glad to have Betty Pitts and Dorothy McAllister, who have both been out sick,able to be back with us.
Others were back that had been out because of the Holidays,we were happy to have them back in class. We really miss our ladies when they are out as we are not a very big class.
Neno Denton is still not able to be in church with us, but he is home and doing much better. We are looking forward to when he is well enough to be back in church. Everyone that knows him knows how faithful he has been all these years. Lots of time when he didn’t feel like getting out he was in church, anyway. Thank the Lord for people like him,we need more of them in our churches today.
We send condolences to the Bryson Family in the death of Annis Bryson who passed away last week. She and Frank, who passed away several years ago, had lived here in the Valley for years.
Also we send condolences to the Robinson Family in the
death of their love one,Memera Robinson, a teacher at Dalton
High School, who was killed in a accident last week. Please remember these in your prayers.
Happy Belated Birthday Wishes to Phil Pitts, January 10.
Happy Birthday Wishes to Jacob Bryson, January 14.Cynthia Bailey, January 16.Ronnie Long and Eddie Lou Wright, January 17.
Others on our prayer list this week are:Stinnett Ballew, Ellie Pitts, Lula Petty, Louise Clark, Ruby Logan, Faye Robinson, Arthur and Dorothy Longwith,Dan Conway, Ralph and Norma Carpenter, Edith Headrick,Norma Headrick, Elsie Disheroon,Donna Woods,Leon and Emma Lou Brown, Earl and Katherine Plemons,
Bernice Orr, Mary Brewer,Our Military, Missionaries, that are serving around the world and Our Country.
Thought For Today! Never let the abundance of God’s gifts cause you to forget the Giver.