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What does God have to say about coming together in fellowship and community?
"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them." Matthew 18:20
It's important to God that we come together and build great relationships with each other and our communities. We believe in providing an inclusive and encouraging setting for our congregation and our guests, while giving praise to our Lord.
We welcome you to join us!!
This column contains national and international information of interest to Churches
Churches of Christ are patterned after the actual congregations found in the New Testament. We have no "earthly" headquarters, but getting our Spiritual direction from following only the Word of God.
The Church of Christ was established by Christ Himself, Matthew 16:18, we honor His name, realizing that He is the only "Head" of The Church. Colossians 1:18. Christ's Church was introduced to the world in Acts Chapter 2 approximately 33 AD. When repentive sinners were baptized by immersion for the remission of their sins. Each receiving the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide them/us in all truth. John 16:13
If you have been looking for a "BIBLE BASED" Church, then come visit us.
After disasters, Christians work to meet New Zealand’s physical, spiritual needs
For the past three years, New Zealand has endured lockdowns and strict policies meant to limit the spread of COVID-19. The country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean is still healing from the hardships of the pandemic, Justin Cherry said.
On top of that, New Zealanders have endured a series of natural disasters in recent months — floods, mudslides, earthquakes and a cyclone. Cherry and his wife, Jennifer, are doing what they can to meet their adopted country’s physical and emotional needs.
The American couple serves with Discover Church in Auckland, which they planted with a mission team in 2008. Jennifer Cherry coordinates the Back2School Project, which provides backpacks and school supplies to under-resourced families. The couple also works with a food bank, the NorWest Care Trust.
As Cyclone Gabrielle approached New Zealand in February, a flood dumped “more rain in four hours than in the past two months,” Justin Cherry said. Discover Church assisted by providing food for the displaced and helping them find temporary shelter.
The cyclone devasted Murwai, a community on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It could be as long as two years before residents there are able to return, Justin Cherry said. On the island’s east coast, the town of Napier was almost completely submerged. At least 11 people died as a result of the cyclone, and thousands were displaced.
In addition to the physical damage, the natural disasters left trauma, fear and anger in their wake. Justin Cherry is working with a recovery task force and local schools to provide grief counseling for the community.
Global and local media have moved on from the disasters to other stories, making victims feel that they are recovering alone, Justin Cherry said. His goal is to assure them: “You are not alone. We see you. We walk together.”
The Memorial Road Church of Christ in Oklahoma City sponsors the Cherrys. Kendon Murrell, the church’s New Zealand coordinator, said, “While it is hopeful to see the community coming together, it is even more hopeful that Justin and Jennifer are well-positioned to show the love of Christ to the community.”
Via Christian Chronicle
Christian universities put on ‘shame list’
Revoke Christian universities’ eligibility for federal student financial aid.
Strip their membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
That’s what major gay-rights groups would like to do with higher education schools that espouse traditional biblical beliefs on sexuality and gender identity.
“Some voices are calling for Christian schools to be expelled from the NCAA, and others are calling for Pell Grants to be denied to students who attend our universities,” said Bruce McLarty, president of 6,000-student Harding University in Searcy, Ark. “These attacks seem to be coming from every direction these days.”
At Harding, students received $54 million in federal loans and grants last year — 45 percent of the university’s total budget of $120 million.
It would be a major loss if the government ever took away students’ access to federal funding.
“My hands shake as I write those numbers!” the Harding president said in an email. “The good news is that the largest part of that figure is from loan money, and that can be replaced even if at a higher cost (interest rate) to students.”
‘IN THE WORLD … NOT OF THE WORLD’
In a landmark 5-4 ruling a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
Emboldened by that decision, advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights pressured the U.S. Department of Education to release the names of more than 200 religious institutions that have sought exemptions from Title IX nondiscrimination rules.
The gay-rights group Campus Pride has created what it characterizes as a “shame list” of institutions that it claims sought Title IX exemptions since 2009 “based on anti-LGBTQ religion-based bigotry” — including Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., and Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.
At least six other universities associated with Churches of Christ also have requested Title IX exemptions dating back to the 1970s and 1980s: Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Ark.; Harding; Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.; Lubbock Christian University in Texas; Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va.; and York College in Nebraska. However, Lubbock Christian’s request apparently was never granted, according to records released by the Department of Education.
While 200-student Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas, has not sought a Title IX exemption, it is “very concerned in seeking solutions to be in compliance without violating Christian morals and values,” Vice President James Maxwell said.
“Without federal grants and student loans, we will not be able to financially continue as an accredited liberal arts Christian college,” Maxwell said of the only historically black college among Churches of Christ. “But we are aware that we have to live ‘in the world and not of the world.’”
Passed in 1972, Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs and activities.
“When Title IX was originally passed, it was to protect women from discrimination in education,” said Melody Wood, a research assistant with the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “Over the years, it’s become a tool for bureaucrats to force schools — and sometimes religious schools — to create special privileges.”
In a letter to educators nationwide, the Obama administration said the law encompasses people whose gender identity may be different from their sex assigned at birth. For schools seeking to maintain federal aid while adhering to biblical practices, the letter prompted concern.
“This is still unclear territory and continues to evolve,” said Deby Samuels, senior vice president for communication and marketing at 4,700-student Lipscomb. “We have been concerned for several years as we have seen more and more federal regulations being imposed by administrative fiat rather than representative democracy.”
The day may come, Samuels added, “when students who have government-granted loans will not be allowed to bring those dollars to a university that upholds Christian principles.”
For now, however, Title IX does not apply to an educational institution controlled by a religious organization “to the extent that application of Title IX would be inconsistent with the religious tenets of the organization,” according to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. SEXUAL IMMORALITY PROHIBITED
Harding employees and students can’t marry or date a person of the same sex. Neither may they engage in behavior suggesting a romantic same-sex relationship.
“The university further holds to the biblical principle that sexual relationships are unacceptable to God outside the context of marriage,” McLarty said. “Sexual immorality will result in dismissal from the university.”
The Lipscomb community treasures and celebrates “its foundational 125-year-old commitment to be followers of Jesus first,” Samuels said. Therefore, students, faculty and staff must “practice a lifestyle that reflects that commitment, including in the area of sexual conduct.”
“Sexual immorality of any kind is prohibited,” Samuels said. “In cases where this policy is not observed, we have appropriate procedures, rooted in Christian principles of repentance and reconciliation, that reflect an intentional, courageous and gracious Christianity.”
Lipscomb has students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, and the university seeks to create an environment that recognizes all people’s potential for godliness, Samuels added.
“When there are differences among us, even deep ones, we will treat people with respect and love and provide a safe environment where ‘different’ people can find their wholeness,” she said. “But we will always seek to be faithful to God’s will above our own or that of others.”
Lubbock Christian declined to respond to specific questions concerning whether it had sought or received Title IX exemptions.
However, LCU said in a statement that its campus community must “act in a way that is consistent with God’s design for his creation as found in Scripture.”
“We seek to comply with all legal requirements, including Title IX and other federal and state regulations, while remaining faithful to our Christian mission,” LCU said. “We place our hope in the one true God and move into the future with confidence in his goodness and sovereignty. We live in a difficult and challenging regulatory environment, and we constantly pray for wisdom as we navigate the way forward.”
Risa Forrester, vice president of admissions and marketing at 2,600-student Oklahoma Christian, said: “We know these issues are sensitive and personal. And we believe God calls us to make OC a place where all students are valued and treated with compassion, kindness, respect and love. Because of our deeply held beliefs, we sought a Title IX exemption to proactively protect our religious freedom, but this exemption only applies to Title IX provisions that are inconsistent with our religious tenets.
“We have, and will continue to have, comprehensive Title IX staffing, policies and procedures in place to protect all students — without exception — against discrimination and harassment.”
Officials with Ohio Valley and York declined to comment, while Crowley’s Ridge and Freed-Hardeman did not respond by press time.
Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., had a Title IX exemption for decades until withdrawing its request for that status this year.
“It did not reflect Pepperdine’s current views around the role of women in university life and leadership. … It does not fully reflect Pepperdine’s values today,” Rick Gibson, vice president for public affairs and church relations, said of the exemption. “We believe that Pepperdine’s mission and the goals of Title IX are aligned, and we are committed to complying with Title IX in its entirety.”
Abilene Christian University in Texas has not sought an exemption but has wrestled with the LGBT issue, said Jason Groves, chief marketing officer. ACU’s board recently affirmed “the dignity and worth of all human beings” while reiterating its belief that God reserves sex for a married man and woman.
Rochester College in Michigan, which also has no Title IX exemption, said it has openly gay students.
That institution, formerly known as Michigan Christian College, believes it exists “to provide a positive influence into the lives of all our students, whether they come to us closely aligned with our values or not.”
OPPOSITION AND OPPORTUNITIES
Eighty gay-rights organizations have petitioned the NCAA to divest itself from religious schools that request Title IX waivers.
In a statement, NCAA spokeswoman Gail Dent noted that the Education Department, not the NCAA, considers and oversees the exemption process.
“The NCAA is a very diverse association of over 1,100 schools that have diverse missions with diverse philosophies and focuses,” Dent said.
The Human Rights Campaign pushed for disclosure of the schools that received exemptions, citing a need for transparency and accountability by educational institutions.
However, potential students are going to look on a university’s website, not in a government database, said Douglas Laycock, a University of Virginia law professor who studies religious liberty issues.
“So the point of wanting that list in D.C. is not to help students,” Laycock said. “It’s to enable activists to harass those schools, I suspect.”
Since the high court affirmed same-sex marriage, minister and lawyer Melvin Otey has warned religious institutions to expect fallout.
“Christians must anticipate that schools declining to affirm that they will not discriminate based on sexual orientation in educational programs and activities will lose the benefit of some federal funding,” said Otey, a former U.S. Justice Department attorney who is now an associate professor of law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.
At Harding, McLarty said he’s concerned about what might happen — but not afraid.
“Christians have always faced opposition,” he said. “We are committed to doing what we believe the Bible teaches us to do.”
McLarty cited 1 Corinthians 16:9, penned by the apostle Paul during his third missionary journey: “A wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
McLarty’s take: “Christian universities today minister in a time of tremendous opposition and fantastic opportunities.” Bobby Ross Jr. Via Christian Chronicle
Evangelist asks prayers for Ukraine
Donetsk, UKRAINE (BNC) — Evangelist David Binkley Sr., requested prayers for two congregations of the Lord’s people in eastern Ukraine, the focus of tensions with Russia.
Today’s image is a precious memory of our dearly beloved children and their teacher Anna aka “Lord’s Sheep”. We stay glued to news about rapidly changing events in Slavyansk that is a key city in the Donetsk region of Eastern Ukraine. Please keep this congregation and the good congregation in nearby city of Kramatorsk that is also in Donetsk region. We have good relations with both these churches and are in prayer with hope for their safety. We know they are loved by our Lord Jesus Christ who has all power and authority.
The request was made in David’s daily email devotional, which is also published online on The Fellowship Room. The site is a service of GoSpeak/Forthright.
His devotional includes a daily Bible verse and prayer. Today’s prayer is as follows:
Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ thank you Lord for mighty power that you have available to rescue your faithful workers who labor night and day to spread the glorious gospel of Christ to all people in the world. Strengthen the faith in all Christians who are living in areas of the world that is being torn apart due to war and economic collapse. Help us to never forget the various invisible powers that are at the disposal of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ to support the work of faithful evangelists. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
This column contains information about the local activities of the Church of Christ.
God has a plan for our Salvation!!! God is not willing that anyone perish!!! God wants you to be Saved!!! 2 Peter 3:8-10
GODS PLAN IS: "JESUS" ACTS 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
OUR RESPONSE TO GOD'S PLAN:
Believe Jesus is the Son of God Acts 4:12
Confess Jesus To Others Matt 10:32
Repent Of Our Sins Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38
Be Immersed (baptized) in the likeness of His Death, Burial, and Resurrection Acts 2:38, Rom 6:5 for the remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It's The Event Of The Week!!
Mike Mazzalongo will be Presenting the lesson Sunday 04/02/2023 10:30 AM Entitled:
"The Royal Priests"
1 Peter 2:19; Eph 1:13; Rom 12:1,2
Dale Ridge Loves Visitors, come and bring one!
Potter Children Home
Established in 1914, the Potter Children's Home & Family Ministries works to be a tool in the hands of supporting churches of Christ and individual Christians to deliver God's justice and mercy to children and families in need. Our Residential Group Care program is at the core of our ministries. This program is for children ages 6-18 years old who are in need of a loving, stable, structured home environment. Our Single Parent Alliance for Raising Kids (SPARK) program allows families to stay together during their recovery from a divorce, desertion or death. The Transitional Living ministry is designed to serve young people ages 18-23 who have little or no support from their families. We also offer foster care and Christian counseling.
The Bible Is Impossible To Fake
The Bible was written by 40 men during a period of 1,500 years. Most of these writers were not alive at the same time. They could not work together in any direct way. Yet the Bible has one continuing story about Jesus and his love for you flowing through it.
Our God has awesome power. He has preserved His Word all these Centuries so we can know the TRUTH.
Check Us Out In Person This Sunday
ON-LINE ACCESS: Please join from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
To Join us by Computer
Type or copy/paste the following on your search line: GoToMeet.me/DaleRideChurchofChrist
Use Access Code 345-551-253
To Join by Phone (listen only)
Call +1-571-317-3116; Use Access Code 345-551-253
Bible Class: 9:30 - 10:15
Subject: 1st Thessalonians presented by Deron Smith
Come Worship Our Creator @ 10:30am
We Are Honored To Serve "Communion" Please join us this Sunday.
Ladies Bible Class: Thursday 10 AM
Wednesday Bible Study: 6:00 PM
"Around The Table" Directed by Blaine C.
I've got to say it: We have been having excellent attendance to our Bible Studies. This is another way of showing our Love for Gods Word.
God's Word is Our Only Guide For Truth.
The Dale Ridge Church has a history going all the way back to 33 AD. and a vision for the future. (Heaven) Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish.
DOES WHERE YOU ATTEND HAVE A VISION?
We call it: "Neighbor 2 Neighbor"
It's Extending A Welcome and an Invitation to Worship With Us
This Ministry is in full "swing". A third of the congregation is involved with contacting "new neighbors" in our community.
2023 is off to a promising start. We are looking forward to "post pandemic" evangelism.
Are you someone Looking for a ACTIVE congregation with "purpose and enthusiasm" for the Lord? Come join us on our journey with Christ. The Church is a movement, not a statue.
Our daily lives are filled with great opportunities to interact within our community. Invite someone to Dale Ridge, it will make your heart glad.
HAVE YOU PLAYED A PART IN SOMEONE OBEYING THE GOSPEL?
Our friendly foyer is designed for meeting & greeting each other and visitors
We are GROWING!!!
The reason why?
"They will know us because of our love for one another." John 13:35
Invest in the future by planting Gods Word.
A missed "opportunity" is a "Lost Blessing"
Several events are in the near future for Dale Ridge
We are "post pandemic" and Worshipping in the Auditorium again.
The Baptistry is nearly finished with being re-furbishing.
Planning is beginning to take place for a "Friends and Family Day".
"Mens Breakfast" at a local restaurant coming soon.
Dale Ridge "Ladies Day" is schedule for September.
A big THANK YOU to all those involved with the "post pandemic" preparation of the auditorium for Worship services to resume after temporarily meeting in the fellowship hall. A deep cleaning is finished, (the Dale Ridge Ladies) Audio and Video work is completed. (thanks Deron) the baptistry is being refurbished (thanks Rob & Blaine.) We are excited how God has blessed us with such a beautiful facility.
GOD IS GOOD!!! Make that GOD IS GREAT!!!
Think Growth!!! Think Spiritual Growth!!!
Spring is in the air, grass is turning green with new growth. Day light savings time is here. Trees are budding. Flowers are blooming, Hedges are growing. Parking lot has grass in the cracks. Planting areas are crying out for mulch.
Any volunteers for a Spring Sprucing up?
Let's set a date and they will come.
Dale Ridge Is Reaching Out There, Again!
Again in 2023 the Dale Ridge Church is getting exposure to thousands of homes in the Roanoke Valley and Botetourt County via Valpak. Our first of four mailings has gone out to 20,000 homes. Pray for the Lord to bless these efforts of inviting visitors.
PS: The Lord has already blessed this effort with a recent visitor. Welcome to William.