Hey y’all, I’ve got six things to run by you this week:
First, a big welcome home to everyone who spent their summer away from Athens. We can’t wait to see you over the next couple of weeks and we’d love to hear the story of your summer. If you’d like to catch us up on what you’ve been up to since May, email StephenTerry and let him help you.
Second, we’re in Luke 11:37-12:3 on Sunday as Jesus continues to hammer on us, particularly those of us who use religion and ritual as an excuse for not following the real Jesus. Like I said at the end of last week’s gathering, no one would dream up a God who loves you enough to hammer you for having a wicked heart that refuses to listen to and follow after him. Tough text that shows us a love that is so much stronger than someone who never challenges us.
Third, on Sunday the 19th we launch a new teaching series called Bless: Learning To Love Like Jesus. It will last for seven weeks and my hope is that it will help us learn how to love the people God puts around us who are not followers of Jesus.
Fourth, here’s another reason to get excited about the 19th. Because we’ll be out of room and we always want to leave room for the next person to walk through our doors, we’ll host a second gathering at 12 noon on Sundays. Same songs, same sermon as our 10:00 gathering - the main difference is that we only offer our nursery and children’s environments at the 10:00 gathering. And because we’ve added so many families to our mix this year, we need as many students as possible to sleep in and show up at the 12:00 gathering. Who knew you could love and serve people by sleeping late?
Fifth, we’re excited to partner with our friends at Connect Ministries for the Connect 3-on-3 basketball tournament in downtown Athens on Saturday, August 25th.. If you’re not putting together a team to play in the tournament, will you sign up this Sunday after the gathering to volunteer and help us put on a great event for our city? You can get more information about 3-on-3 here.
Sixth, you’ll hear more information in the next couple of weeks about our community groups that are launching around Labor Day. These groups of 6-15 people are a vital part of our DNA that we’ve created to give you an opportunity to feel like you’re part of a family. More details to come...