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Stemley Senior Sensations Fellowship - 10/15/2021 - 11:00 am

Come join this time of fun and fellowship with our seniors of the church.  The meeting place will be announced each week.  There will be activites and food for all.  See you there!

Bible Study on Zoom - 10/20/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 10/27/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 11/3/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Monthly Business Meeting - 11/7/2021 - 7:00 pm

We will hold our monthly business meeting immediately following the evening worship.  Please attend to review the church business.

Bible Study on Zoom - 11/10/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 11/17/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Stemley Senior Sensations Fellowship - 11/19/2021 - 11:00 am

Come join this time of fun and fellowship with our seniors of the church.  The meeting place will be announced each week.  There will be activites and food for all.  See you there!

Bible Study on Zoom - 11/24/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 12/1/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Monthly Business Meeting - 12/5/2021 - 7:00 pm

We will hold our monthly business meeting immediately following the evening worship.  Please attend to review the church business.

Bible Study on Zoom - 12/8/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 12/15/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Stemley Senior Sensations Fellowship - 12/17/2021 - 11:00 am

Come join this time of fun and fellowship with our seniors of the church.  The meeting place will be announced each week.  There will be activites and food for all.  See you there!

Bible Study on Zoom - 12/22/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 12/29/2021 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Monthly Business Meeting - 01/2/2022 - 7:00 pm

We will hold our monthly business meeting immediately following the evening worship.  Please attend to review the church business.

Bible Study on Zoom - 01/5/2022 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Bible Study on Zoom - 01/12/2022 - 7:00 pm

We hold a Zoom Bible Study each Wednesday evening.  To be part of this great study, please email Kevin Mayo at kmayo73@hotmail.com for the link.

Deacon's Pantry in need
The Deacon's Pantry is in need. This time of year, the request for pantry items are very high. If you have non-perishable items that you would like to donate for this ministry, please bring them to the kitchen and they will be added to the pantry.
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Christian health workers and pastors navigate stigma at Apostolic, evangelical, and Methodist congregations.

Yvonne Binda stands in front of the congregation, all dressed in pristine white robes, and tells them not to believe what they’ve heard about COVID-19 vaccines.

“The vaccine is not linked to Satanism,” she says. The worshipers, members of a Christian Apostolic church in Zimbabwe, are unmoved. But when Binda, a vaccine campaigner and member of an Apostolic church herself, promises them soap, buckets, and masks, there are enthusiastic shouts of “Amen!”

Apostolic groups that infuse traditional beliefs into Pentecostal doctrine are among the most skeptical in the southern African nation when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, with an already strong mistrust of modern medicine. Many followers put faith in prayer, holy water, and anointed stones to ward off disease or cure illnesses.

The worshipers Binda addressed in the rural area of Seke sang about being protected by the Holy Spirit, but have at least acknowledged soap and masks as a defense against the coronavirus. Binda is trying to convince them to also get vaccinated—and that’s a tough sell.

Congregation leader Kudzanayi Mudzoki had to work hard to persuade his flock just to stay and listen to Binda speak about vaccines.

“They usually run away,” he said. “Some would hide in the bushes.”

There has been little detailed research on Apostolic churches in Zimbabwe, but UNICEF studies estimate it is the largest religious denomination with around 2.5 million followers in a country of 15 million. The conservative groups adhere to a doctrine demanding that followers avoid medicines and medical care and instead seek healing through their faith.

Integrated into the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD) in 1993, the Apostolic ...

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Some Copts cheer Sisi’s stance and new five-year reform strategy, while others focus on absence of attention to problematic ID cards and reconciliation committees.

Committing Egypt to a five-year program of human rights reform, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi did not mince words about religion.

“If someone tells me they are neither Muslim nor Christian nor a Jew, or that he or she does not believe in religion, I will tell them, ‘You are free to choose,’” he said. “But will a society that has been conditioned to think in a certain way for the last 90 years accept this?”

The comment sent shockwaves through Egyptian society.

“Listening to him, I thought he was so brave,” said Samira Luka, senior director for dialogue at the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services. “Sisi is fighting not only a culture, but a dogma.”

Last month, the government released its first-ever National Human Rights Strategy after studying the path of improvement in 30 other nations, including New Zealand, South Korea, and Finland. The head of the UN Human Rights Council praised the 70-page document as a “key tool” with “concrete steps.”

Egypt’s constitution guarantees freedom of belief and worship and gives international treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the force of law. But Article 98 of the Middle Eastern nation’s penal code stipulates up to five years in prison for blasphemy and has been used against atheists and Christians alike.

Will Sisi’s words signal a change?

Since his election in 2014, Egypt’s head of state has consistently spoken about the need to “renew religious discourse,” issuing a challenge to Muslim clerics. And prior to the launch of the new strategy, his comments even hinted at a broader application than atheism.

“We are all born Muslims and ...

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Q&A with Mission Aviation Fellowship President David Holsten on the challenges of reaching the most isolated villages in the world.

In a remote village on the side of a mountain in Papua, a man has been writing letters.

“I’ve written so many letters asking for teachers to come,” he says. “I’ve written so many letters, my pens have all run out of ink. I don’t have any more pens to write with. But then all of the sudden I heard you guys were coming. I was so happy hearing that I could not sleep at all last night.”

A new documentary tells the story of that arrival and the missionary pilots who support the work of Bible translators, church planters, and Christian teachers in the remotest mountain villages. Ends of the Earth will be playing in about 700 theaters across the US on Monday, October 18, and Thursday, October 21. It is also available to churches.

CT talked to Mission Aviation Fellowship President and CEO David Holsten about the importance of the documentary, his theology of missions, and the challenges of flying small planes in and out of mountain villages like Puluk, where it took the people 15 years to build a runway with picks, shovels, and crowbars.

What are your hopes for this documentary?

We want people to see with clarity how the gospel can bring lasting change to somebody living in great isolation—isolation that isn’t just geographical. They are spiritually isolated, linguistically isolated, ethnically isolated. In some of these villages, infant mortality is 80 percent, women and children are abused, and there’s constant war. It’s pretty horrific.

Liku, a Wano Bible teacher, says this in the documentary: “People in America might think we live in a pristine, beautiful place, but they haven’t seen for themselves what it is really like here.”

The gospel and the values ...

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The EC president and CEO says he “will not and cannot” lead after its vote to waive attorney-client privilege.

Ronnie Floyd is the latest to leave the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee (EC) over its decision to hand over privileged documents in an upcoming abuse investigation.

Floyd, the president and CEO of the EC, announced in an email Thursday night that he could no longer serve in the role, which he has held for two years. His resignation is effective October 31.

In the past couple weeks, more than ten members of the EC left around the much-debated vote on attorney-client privilege, and the EC’s longtime attorneys, James Guenther and James Jordan, withdrew their legal services.

In his resignation letter, Floyd repeated his commitment to the outside review of the EC, but continued to emphasize the potential risks and liability of waiving privilege.

“The decisions made on Tuesday afternoon, October 5, in response to the 2021 Convention now place our missionary enterprise as Southern Baptists into uncertain, unknown, unprecedented and uncharted waters,” he wrote.

“Due to my personal integrity and the leadership responsibility entrusted to me, I will not and cannot any longer fulfill the duties placed upon me as the leader of the executive, fiscal, and fiduciary entity of the SBC. In the midst of deep disappointment and discouragement, we have to make this decision by our own choice and do so willingly, because there is no other decision for me to make.”

Rolland Slade, EC chairman, told Baptist Press, “I am saddened by his resignation. He’s had a tremendous ministry for years and years. I know he loves Southern Baptists. I know it was his intention to come to Nashville to serve Southern Baptists well and I believe he’s fulfilled that to the best of his ability. However, ...

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With dozens of congregations already on their way out, the Reformed Church in America anticipates “difficult decisions” at its postponed General Synod this week.

This week, North America’s oldest denomination will confront its gridlock over LGBTQ ordination and same-sex marriage. Votes cast in Tucson at the Reformed Church in America’s General Synod—delayed 16 months due to the pandemic—will chart the course for the already-splintering denomination.

In the past year, conservative factions have broken ties with the RCA, with other churches threatening to follow. Delegates to the synod, which starts Thursday and will continue through Tuesday, will determine how the denomination might restructure to entice congregations to stay, if the church will establish an external mission organization and whether departing congregations can plan on taking their church buildings with them.

“At General Synod, delegates come from across the RCA to discern the mind of Christ together,” said Christina Tazelaar, RCA director of communications. “There are difficult decisions on the agenda, along with many things to celebrate, and we’re praying that the Holy Spirit guides every decision.”

The RCA is a historically Dutch Reformed denomination dating back to the 1620s, when New York was known as New Amsterdam. Today, the RCA has fewer than 200,000 members and 1,000 churches. While in theory RCA churches are united by their polity, history, and Reformed convictions, they hold a range of political and theological beliefs.

The RCA isn’t the only Protestant denomination facing division over views on sexuality. Next year, the United Methodist Church is expected to vote on a proposal to split the denomination over the inclusion of LGBTQ members, and the RCA’s sister denomination, the Christian Reformed Church, will grapple with its contentious human ...

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We don’t need a better guidebook or a different set of rules. We need to change the way we approach the conversation.

I wish I still had my copies of the popular sexuality and dating books from my youth so I could see which quotes I highlighted as a 15-year-old. I’m sure there is a list somewhere in my handwriting titled “What I Want in a Future Husband” (though, to be honest, it was probably pretty short: Jonathan Taylor Thomas).

While writing Talking Back to Purity Culture, I reread fresh copies of those books. As I revisited the words that had so shaped me and my peers, I felt the glass cracking under the weight of my internalized beliefs. I felt embarrassed realizing that so much of what I had accepted as true had nothing to do with biblical sexuality or the grace of God.

Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally depicts a woman’s heart as a chocolate cake. If someone eats a piece before the party (i.e., marriage), the cake, and consequently her relational worth, is no longer whole. In the introduction to Every Young Woman’s Battle, Stephen Arterburn warns female readers that every time a man has sex with a woman, he takes “a piece of her soul.”

Alongside these unbiblical messages about human worth that fly squarely in the face of the theology of the imago Dei were the false promises of marriage, great sex, and children for anyone who practiced premarital celibacy. But it was, perhaps, the overarching message that women were responsible for the sexual purity of both genders that burdened me the most as a teenager growing up in the church.

In their book, For Young Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice report that “teenage guys are conflicted by their powerful physical urges” and “many guys don’t feel the ability or responsibility to stop the sexual progression.” ...

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There are clear, pro-life reasons why mothers and fathers need time with new babies.

When our twins were born in 2019, I took six weeks off work. My husband did too—thanks to his then-employer’s family leave plan, offered equally to new mothers and fathers alike—and it’s impossible to overstate how indispensable his leave became.

It wasn’t that I had a difficult physical recovery. Mercifully, I didn’t, especially by the standard of multiples pregnancies. But I found I couldn’t set myself up for tandem nursing alone, which meant that without my husband’s help, I would have been nursing 50 percent of my hours every day—not my waking hours, all my hours. And if each twin took a full hour to eat, every two hours, nursing would’ve occupied 100 percent of my days and nights. I literally could not have done it by myself.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of paid family leave again recently, both because of personal circumstance—we’ve had some childcare disruptions, and once again my husband’s job made it possible for him to shoulder that task—and because it’s the subject of increasing political attention.

The Biden administration’s American Families Plan, introduced in April, would eventually provide 12 weeks of family leave per year, paid at up to $4,000 per month, should it become law.

Paid family leave is financially messy in the United States, where many of our benefits come through our employers. Some smaller businesses and organizations truly wouldn’t be able to comply with a mandate to provide lengthy leave, unless it were subsidized at a high enough level to pay both a new hire and the person on leave.

If employers of any size believe they can’t afford to comply, they might respond by refusing ...

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Survey of almost 19,000 adults in 17 nations examines societal conflict between different religions, political parties, races and ethnicities, and urban and rural communities.

“Conflict” is a troublesome word to describe a society. But increasingly across advanced global economies—and particularly the United States—their societies believe it is the correct label.

If there is any good news, religious conflict lags behind.

The Pew Research Center surveyed almost 19,000 people in 17 North American, European, and Asia-Pacific nations this past spring about their perception of conflict across four categories: between political parties, between different races and ethnicities, between different religions, and between urban and rural communities.

The US ranked top or high in each.

A global median of 50 percent see political conflict, 48 percent see racial conflict, 36 percent see religious conflict, and 23 percent see urban-rural conflict.

But in the US, 9 in 10 viewed political conflict as “serious” or “very serious.”

Asian nations varied considerably. South Korea matched the US at 90 percent seeing serious political polarization, with Taiwan third at 69 percent. Singapore was lowest overall at 33 percent, while Japan was 39 percent.

France (65%), Italy (64%), Spain (58%), and Germany (56%) followed Taiwan.

In terms of race, the US ranked first again, with 71 percent seeing serious conflict. France was second at 64 percent, and South Korea and Italy third at 57 percent. Singapore again ranked lowest, at 25 percent.

South Korea had the highest perception of religious conflict, at 61 percent. France followed at 56 percent, and the US at 49 percent. Germany and Belgium registered 46 percent each. Taiwan was lowest, at 12 percent.

Nearly 1 in 4 French (23%) saw religious conflict as “very serious.”

Age plays a role in perception. Pew noted that adults under ...

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After yet another military overthrow of a democratically elected leader in West Africa, minority evangelicals debate the role of faith in politics.

In its 63 years of independence, Guinea has had three presidents. Last month, the West African nation suffered its third coup d’etat.

This time, says the local Christian minority, their Francophone country might just get it right.

“Alpha Conde cannot return,” said Etienne Leno, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) pastor. “We are praying that the new military authorities—who we find to be wise and intelligent—will be led by God.”

On September 5, Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the Guinean special forces, ousted the 83-year-old president. Once an imprisoned opposition leader, Conde became the nation’s first democratically elected head of state in 2010 and won a second term in 2015.

Leno originally found much hope in Conde’s mandate, which was ushered in after the international community aided domestic forces to remove the military junta that violently seized power in 2008. Conde improved the business, tourism, and energy sectors, restoring Guinea’s global reputation.

Local infrastructure was neglected, however, and the Oregon-sized nation lagged in domestic development. One-third of the economy was linked to the mining of bauxite, the primary resource for aluminum. Guinea boasts the world’s largest reserves, but foreign companies dominate the extraction.

Despite 7 percent annual growth, nearly 50 percent of the 13 million population lived in poverty. And by late 2019, 36 percent of the country believed Guinea was moving in the wrong direction.

And then Conde made his power grab. He pushed through a March 2020 referendum for constitutional changes to reset his term limits and in October won reelection again. Both votes were challenged by violently suppressed ...

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Two experts on intercultural evangelism explore the challenge of sharing Christ in a climate of growing indifference.

Christian evangelism entails a conversation with people of different beliefs. But those conversations are also often between people of different cultures. That’s where Effective Intercultural Evangelism, a new book from missiologists W. Jay Moon and W. Bud Simon, steps into the discussion. They want to help Christians share the good news of Jesus in a world of diverse cultural perspectives.

Readers might assume such a resource would be aimed at those in cross-cultural missionary contexts. But the authors want us to realize that when we talk with the average non-Christian in our communities, they don’t just believe differently than we do. They often think, process, feel, appreciate, and evaluate differently than we do. They come to the conversation with different worldviews.

Consider, for example, the category of human desires. The authors encourage believers to ask their friends, “If you could receive any one of the following four things, which would it be? Deliverance, restoration, forgiveness, or belonging?” It’s a helpful question. Is deliverance more appealing to you? What about restoration? Do you ultimately seek forgiveness and cleansing? Or does discovering a sense of belonging and a longing for home more accurately describe your desires?

Moon and Simon believe that a person’s greatest desire is shaped by their worldview. The aim of their book is to help readers “discern various worldviews and how to continue God conversations that are relevant to each of these worldviews.” In other words, they want to equip evangelists to tap into the needs, desires, values, and assumptions of those around them. As Christians better understand the perspectives of their conversation partners, ...

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    399 Rock Church Road, Talladega, Al 35160