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Our Blog

November 1, 2017

Posted by David Mills on

“Go into all the world.”
-Jesus (Mark 16:15)

Church Family:
As an American people, we should give more attention to
Thanksgiving. Like many of you, Thanksgiving is my favorite
holiday. We appreciate its slower pace and absence of
commercial appeal. Many of us fear the retail world intends to
eliminate Thanksgiving by commencing the Christmas
shopping season earlier and earlier each year. It is a strange
thing that those with the most to give thanks for use their
blessings to avoid it. Strange, indeed.

Despite our great love for Thanksgiving, I must shift our focus
this month onto the Christmas season. I do not mean to
diminish Thanksgiving, but our Christmas season at Beech
Haven will focus on “Merry Christmas, Athens!” (MCA) and
because of its long list of details we need to give our attention
to it this month. MCA consists of a series of events designed to
mobilize our people to reach out to our community during
November and December. These events include a church wide
“Missions Now” or “MNow” (like “Disciple Now” or “DNow”)
November 10—12, a Christmas music presentation December
3 at 4:00 p.m. that, in particular, our Retired/Senior Adult
Ministry will use to reach out to un-churched senior adults in
Athens, especially some of the assisted living facilities, Sunday
School class mission projects December 10, and a Christmas
music presentation at the Georgia Square Mall December 10
at 6:00 p.m.

Staff will do some preparation and ground work for mission
projects, arrange some supplies, and make assignments. What
we need from our congregation is this:

Prayer. Everything meaningful and lasting in the kingdom
arises from prayer. MCA effort will not rise above our
Attention. We will communicate with you through the
BEAMS, worship guide, email, and other means, and
we need all church members to give special attentionto all details. We communicated MCA to Sunday School teachers September 15 and deacons in each of their meetings
since September. They in turn have communicated with the church family. Let’s keep it up.
RSVP. RSVP for our MNow lunch November 12 with Adam Wynn ( ). We will hear from Keith Eitel
immediately after on missions.
Flexibility. This is our first effort at anything like “Merry Christmas, Athens!” Circumstances will require we make last minute
decisions. There are hundreds of moving pieces that travel at different speeds. We will make mistakes. Remember
“blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
Simplicity. Keep the mission projects simple. Have you made, distributed, or consumed cookies? Have you ever given away a
quarter? Have you cleaned a restroom? Then you are already an expert at mission projects. These mission projects are
simple acts of service towards those outside our church family that put us into person-to-person contact with others.
Involvement. This effort necessitates the involvement of every Sunday School class.
Transportation. Each person and class will provide his or her own transportation.
Choices. Please provide to us your top 3 choices for mission projects by Sunday, November 12.

Our community needs “Merry Christmas, Athens!” A recent survey of Athens-Clarke County shows that 65% of citizens hold
churches and ministers in suspicion or contempt. MCA will show them we are not scary, but rather ordinary neighbors and friends.
Few citizens of ACC have meaningful encounters with serious Christians or the gospel. MCA will make this possible. Further, 84% of
Clarke and Oconee County residents do not attend worship on any given day.

Our church family needs “Merry Christmas, Athens!” So many of us are too busy to connect with people. MCA will put our people
into person-to-person contact with others. Many of these we would not contact otherwise. Cable news portrays people outside
the faith and churches as frightening people. MCA will enable us to see that few, if any, of these are “fire-breathing, Christianeating
aliens!” Finally, while most church resources and time go to Christian needs, MCA will direct our attention outward to a
world God loves, “for God so loved the world.”

Let’s give our best to “Merry Christmas, Athens!” God loves our world. Our community and church need this effort. Great things
are just around the corner from those who participate.

I Stand Amazed,
David Mills