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Church Phone No.: (856)456-3364 Church Fax No.: (856)456-3812 District Website: www.chogeast.org National Website: www.chog.

org

Highland Park Church of God


Gods People on Gods Mission!

Pastor Bill e-mail: revwddilksjr@juno.com Office e-mail: highlandparkcog@yahoo.com Web Site: www.highlandparkcog.org

April 2012

Sun
1
(Matthew 1)

Mon

Tue
4

Wed
(Matthew 4)

Thu
5 (Matthew 5) 7:00 PM Feet Washing and Communion Service Holy Thursday 12
(Matthew 12)

Fri
6 (Matthew 6) Noon to 2:00 PM Good Friday Service at Our Church

Sat
7 (Matthew 7) 10:00 AM DVPA Meeting

11:00 AM Communion Palm Sunday 8


(Matthew 8) 6:30 AM Sonrise Service at Bkln. UMC 11:00 AM Easter Ministries Offering March

2 (Matthew 2) 3 (Matthew 3) 7:00 PM Ladies' Bible 9:00 AM Men's Bible Study at Deb's Study

9 (Matthew 9) 10 7:00 PM Ladies' Bible Study at Deb's

(Matthew 10)

11

(Matthew 11)

13

(Matthew 13)

14

(Matthew 14)

5:45 PM Rotary 8:00 PM AA Meeting

Glouc. City Little League Opening Day

Easter 15 (Matthew 15) 11:00 AM Deb Conner Speaking 6:30 PM Trustees Meeting 22
(Matthew 22)

16 (Matthew 16) 17 (Matthew 17) 7:00 PM Ladies' Bible 9:00 AM Men's Bible Study Study at Deb's

18

(Matthew 18)

19

(Matthew 19)

20

(Matthew 20)

5:45 PM Rotary 8:00 PM AA Meeting

21 (Matthew 21) 9:00 AM Men's Breakfast Followed by Workday DANCE A THON! 28


(Matthew 28)

23

(Matthew 23)

24

(Matthew 24)

25

(Matthew 25)

26

(Matthew 26)

27

(Matthew 28)

8:00 PM AA Meeting

9:00 AM Annual Dist. Ministerial Mtg. 6:00 PM Adult Progressive Dinner

29 (Psalm 32) 5:30 PM Delaware Valley Youth Ministry Coalition Unity Service

30

(Psalm 33)

Monthly calendars are subject to change. Please feel free to contact the church office to confirm events.

April 2012

Dear Church Family and Friends, In the early Church, Easter Sunday was the day when baptisms of new converts to Christianity were traditionally performed. The symbolism being death to the old way of life and being raised to new way of living or a new life. That is what believers baptism is all about. I want to share a formal document that is given to all candidates for baptism prior to my meeting with them to discuss their baptisms. We have several persons who are planning to be baptized at the church on this Easter Sunday and we should all be excited about the significance of baptism in the life of the believer.

Baptism Questions and Answers


The Church of God Reformation Movement has no denominational confession or creed except the Bible, and our practices are directly informed by our understanding of Holy Scripture. I will attempt to succinctly do justice to the printed positions articulated by our Central Offices, the School of Theology at Anderson University, and the Churchs lead theologian Dr. Gilbert Stafford in his systematic theology Theology for Disciples, which integrates Biblical concepts, the historic Christian faith, and the Church of God Movements foundational beliefs in light of the present day practices. 1. What does our Statement of Faith have to say about Baptism? We practice baptism by immersion based upon our understanding of the meaning of the Greek word baptidzo as meaning to immerse. We baptize persons who have had a life-changing, salvation experience by asking the Lord Jesus to save them from their sins, and enter into their hearts and lives as their Lord. The baptism is an outward sign of an inward new spiritual reality within the believer. It is considered by our Movement to be an ordinance of the Christian faith with its practice established (ordained) by God. The five ordinances practiced by our Movement are Baptism, the Lords Supper, Feet Washing (Maundy Thursday), Infant Dedication, and Weddings (Marriage). 2. Do you think there is too young an age to be baptized, and does our statement of faith agree with your beliefs? Second part, the age of the person being baptized is not specified, but would require that the person have experienced and understand all that is mentioned in question #1 above. This would be in keeping with the position of our Statements of Faith. For the first part of the question, I do believe that persons should be young adults in order to be baptized I use the age of accountability long practiced by the Jews for bar mitzvahs and bath mitzvahs age 12 and add one year at my own discretion. I do so because I believe that at this age (13) the person begins to understand that he or she has an individual spiritual identity outside of his or her family of origin, and also is now fully accountable to God for his/her decisions about sin, salvation, and all spiritual matters.

(Continued)

(Continued) 3. What do the Old and New Testaments have to say about baptism? It is impossible to address such a question succinctly. Important items that are emphasized by our Movement would include the following perspectives. Well, we dont do the proselyte baptisms of the Jewish people of the Old Testament, proselytizing persons by showering them with a bulls blood while they stand in a pit. The Old Testament Baptism reflects the blood sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. Water Baptism is the outward sign of the New Covenant Community of Faith. The Old Covenant had other signs; such as circumcision to indicate that one was a part of the covenant community of faith (the People of God). The water baptism of John was one for those who had repented of their sins, and sought a washing away or cleansing from their sins. Baptism was also a sign of attachment or joining to a leader and the religious truth or cause that he or she preached. We see some of this reflected in the problems at Corinth about who a person belonged to Peter, Paul, Apollos, or Christ? Paul settles that argument in the first few chapters of 1 Corinthians. In Acts the Ethiopian Eunuch, the Philippian Jailer and his family all received baptism after placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is the outward sign of an inward transformation. It outwardly expresses our new identity in Jesus Christ. 4. How was baptism different back in Bible times, and how has it changed over the years? I cannot say how the practice of baptism was different based upon the Bibles description of the act. The practice has evolved into three modern variations sprinkling, pouring, and immersion. The best source on early Christian practices is not Biblical; it is The Didache and its section on the ritual of baptism. The Didache is believed to have been one of the earliest manuals for catechumens preparing for baptism into the Christian faith. It outlines the teachings of the 12 apostles and the lifestyle of the followers of Jesus. The baptism section shows preferences and acceptable variations for the practice of Christian baptism. For example, running water is preferred to still water, and cold over hot. One can see that early on in the church there was a degree of freedom in the ceremony, thus allowing circumstances and setting to interact with the spiritual significance of the ordinance. 5. Why is it required that we be baptized? Because Jesus did it and declared that it was necessary that it be done in order to fulfill all righteousness. If Jesus submitted to baptism as an example for us to follow in fulfilling all righteousness (He had no need of baptism for the cleansing from sin as John rightly objected), then we must follow in His footsteps. Also, in the Great Commission at the end of Matthew 28, the Lord Jesus commands the disciples to make disciples and to baptize these new adherents to the faith in the name of the Trinitarian God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). People of the New Covenant, which transforms us from the inside out, are to be baptized into the Family of God. Baptism was even done by proxy for the sick and for the dead (1 Cor. 15) in the early church. In the pre-Constantine Roman Empire, a baptism of blood was granted to martyrs of the faith who were killed prior to receiving water baptism. There can be no doubt that the church has always held that baptism is a necessary requirement of all Christians. In the Nicene Creed we find the words of the one baptism for the remission of sins as a foundational tenant of the Christian faith. It is biblical, historical, and apostolic: all believers should be baptized as an outward sign of an inward spiritual transformation.

Transformed by His Grace,

Pastor Bill

Gems of Wisdom from Our Seniors To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it. ~~Darlene Brown~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Greetings to all at Highland Park Church of God! I still miss everyone. God bless you. Love, Irene Vincent

It's coming. . . Get ready!

Kid's Club
Well, our Kid's Club for 2011-2012 has ended. It has been such a joy to have had the opportunity to work with the children. They are a true blessing. God willing, I look forward to starting up Kid's Club again in the fall. Many thanks to Elaine Mc Andrews and to Ashley and Rich Barton for their assistance in working with the children as well as to Jaunice Canning for instructing the older children. It is our prayer that the children have grown in their knowledge of the Lord. Sincerely, Gloria Ritchie

Christ's Birthday Observance 2011


Dear Highland Park Church of God, Thank you for giving to the 2011 Christ's Birthday Observance Offering. Despite a faltering economy and the need for sacrifices, your church, as well as Church of God congregations across the nation and even overseas, rallied together in 2011 to Make Room for the Messiah. We prayed, celebrated the birth of Christ, and supported the ministries of the Church of God. When the body of Christ comes together, great things happen. Thank you for joining together with other congregations and participating in this church-wide event. Your generous contribution of $1,443 is a blessing to the ministries of the Church of God. Your gift has made a difference. Missionaries and Mission Project, Church of God colleges and universities, the Board of Pensions, Women's Ministries, Family Ministries, Leadership Development, Youth Ministries, and other Kingdom building activities are enhanced and equipped through your generous support. We are grateful to your church for sacrificing so that the ministries of the church of God may continue and flourish. Your gift will touch lives all over the world. God bless you, Arnetta McNeese Bailey Executive Direction, Christian Women Connection

Thursday, May 3rd, will be our annual National Day of Prayer. We are, once again, planning to have a service of prayer in our Sanctuary at 7:00 PM. This year's theme is "One Nation Under God," based on Psalm 33:12, which reads, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Many years ago when our founding fathers were constructing our first Continental Congress, they called for prayer. It was their belief that this new nation and the freedoms it had were a direct gift from God. They also believed that the best way to protect this new nation was through prayer. They were very wise indeed. Many are praying today for that same protection upon our country. Last year's National Day of Prayer saw 35,000 prayer gatherings taking place with several million participating. Let's not grow weary in taking time to pray for our nation. Please mark your calendar to join us on May 3rd, as many lay persons from our church family will be setting aside time to lead, serve, and encourage in this special time of prayer and worship. May God bless.

ATTENTION ALL ADULTS! PROGRESSIVE DINNER


On April 28, 2012, 6:00 PM, there will be a Progressive Dinner. If youve never been part of a Progressive Dinner, youre missing out. There are 5 courses, and each course is held at someones home. However, if the person or couple taking the main course would like to have it at the church because of space, that is fine. The dinner so far will be as follows: Appetizer: Bruce & Lynette Huntsinger at the church Soup: _________________________ Salad:________________________ Main Course:_____________________________________ Dessert: Tom & Vicki Kumpel We thought starting at the church would be a good idea; then we could car pool to the different locations. A Progressive Dinner is a lot of fun and is a great way for us to socialize and spend an evening together. There is a minimal charge (usually $2/$3 per person) to help the person preparing the main course to offset cost. If you would like to host one of the course, please see Lynette.

There will be a sign-up sheet in the narthex. Dont miss out!!!!

Holy Thursday, April 5 7:00 PM Feet Washing and Communion Good Friday, April 6 Noon-2:00 PM at Our Church Each church in the Ministerium will have a representative from their church speak at the times listed below. Ascension Church: Noon-12:20 PM First Baptist Church: 12:20-12:40 PM Highland Park COG: 12:40-1:00 PM Highland Park UMC: 1:00-1:20 PM St. Mary's RCC: 1:20-1:40 PM Trinity UMC: 1:40-2:00 PM Easter Morning, April 8 6:30 AM Sonrise Service at the Brooklawn United Methodist Church (If you plan to have breakfast at the Metro following the Sonrise service, please let Sandy know ASAP.) 9:30 AM Sunday School 11:00 AM Morning Worship and Baptismal Service