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Bible Study on Zoom - 02/28/2024 - 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 - 03/3/2024 - 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 - 03/6/2024 - 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.

Breakfast Outreach - 03/9/2024 - 9:00 am

This is an outreach event so invite someone to come with you.  We start eating at 9:00AM.  Delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, gfits, hash browns, biscuits, pancakes, jams, jellies, etc. The cost is only $7 perperson or $20 for a family of 3 or more... the money goes to offset the cost of the food.  Please grab the family and come out for a great breakfast and fellowship.  

Bible Study on Zoom - 03/13/2024 - 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 - 03/15/2024 - 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 - 03/20/2024 - 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 - 03/27/2024 - 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 - 04/3/2024 - 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 - 04/7/2024 - 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 - 04/10/2024 - 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.

Breakfast Outreach - 04/13/2024 - 9:00 am

This is an outreach event so invite someone to come with you.  We start eating at 9:00AM.  Delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, gfits, hash browns, biscuits, pancakes, jams, jellies, etc. The cost is only $7 perperson or $20 for a family of 3 or more... the money goes to offset the cost of the food.  Please grab the family and come out for a great breakfast and fellowship.  

Bible Study on Zoom - 04/17/2024 - 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 - 04/19/2024 - 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 - 04/24/2024 - 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 - 05/1/2024 - 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 - 05/5/2024 - 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 - 05/8/2024 - 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.

Breakfast Outreach - 05/11/2024 - 9:00 am

This is an outreach event so invite someone to come with you.  We start eating at 9:00AM.  Delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, gfits, hash browns, biscuits, pancakes, jams, jellies, etc. The cost is only $7 perperson or $20 for a family of 3 or more... the money goes to offset the cost of the food.  Please grab the family and come out for a great breakfast and fellowship.  

Bible Study on Zoom - 05/15/2024 - 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 - 05/17/2024 - 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 - 05/22/2024 - 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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An excerpt on doubt, despair, and restoration from Land of My Sojourn: The Landscape of a Faith Lost and Found.

Think about Mount Tabor for a moment. Remember the blinding light of Jesus’ glory and the stunning presence of Elijah and Moses, the weight of that moment and what it meant in the mind and heart of Peter, and what it confirmed about the dream that had taken up residence in his heart and his spiritual imagination. The brilliance of this dream—how incredibly close it felt on Mount Tabor—creates the unbearable cognitive dissonance with the reality of Jesus, arrested, mocked, beaten, scorned, flayed, and executed. Dead in a tomb.

These visions didn’t fit together: the bleach-white light of the Transfiguration, the ashen linen that now wrapped Jesus’ dead body, and the stony blackness of the tomb as the stone rolled shut against it. Peter had expected Elijah: fire from heaven, a land cleansed of evil. What he’d gotten instead—I don’t think he had a name for it. I don’t know him.

But maybe Peter didn’t know Elijah either.

Sometimes our expectations are the source of our pain.

Peter looked at Elijah and saw a conquering hero. But he was only paying attention to part of the story.

When Elijah humiliated the prophets of Baal, the crowd of onlookers fell to the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God!” (1 Kings 18:39). They then slaughtered the prophets, cleansing the land of their oppression. Elijah then prayed for rain, and it came. Ahab fled to Jezreel, unable to deny what he’d seen with his own eyes. Mission accomplished.

And yet it wasn’t. Jezebel responded to all Ahab told her by promising to kill Elijah, and the menace of humiliation and death overwhelmed him. He fled to the desert, collapsed under a broom tree, and ...

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Trustees found Wiebe Boer’s alleged conduct “concerning” and “inconsistent with the high standard and character” the college expects of its leadership.

The president of Calvin University has resigned after admitting he engaged in inappropriate communication with a member of the campus community.

In a statement Monday, the Calvin Board of Trustees said it had received a report alleging President Wiebe Boer “engaged in unwelcome and inappropriate communication and attention toward a non-student member of the campus community.”

“The report did not include allegations of sexually explicit communication or physical contact, but the alleged conduct is concerning and inappropriate,” the trustees said in their statement.

University officials said they then hired an outside expert to review the allegations. That review included speaking with Boer, a former oil executive and son of Christian Reformed Church missionaries who became Calvin’s president in 2022.

“After being notified of the report, Dr. Boer denied some of the allegations but did admit to sending communications that were inappropriate and inconsistent with the high standard of conduct and character expected of the President of Calvin University,” the board said in its statement. “Dr. Boer subsequently offered his resignation, which the Board accepted.”

No further details about Boer’s conduct or the complaint were given.

Gregory Elzinga, Calvin’s vice president of advancement, has been named interim president. The board’s statement described him as already being involved in the day-to-day management of the school and “well situated to provide effective continuity of leadership while the Board conducts a thorough search for the University’s next permanent President.”

School officials plan to hold a campus meeting for students with Elzinga ...

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Senior minister Mark Booker asks the historic evangelical congregation to commit to work of repair after “break of trust.”

Park Street Church voted to affirm senior minister Mark Booker on Sunday by a vote of 350 to 173, with 20 abstaining.

The prominent evangelical church in Boston has been roiled by controversy as ministers, elders, staff, and lay leaders disagreed over a series of decisions—as well as the process of making decisions—at the 220-year-old congregationalist church. Ultimately the entire congregation was thrown into the dispute. The conflict became public when a group of more than 75 members petitioned for a special meeting to review the firing of an associate minister who said he had “serious concerns” about Booker’s spiritual leadership, citing “patterns at variance with the biblical qualifications.”

The conflict raised questions about checks and balances and the durability of congregationalism amid escalating disagreements about leadership. Congregationalism is the preferred polity of many evangelicals, including those in Baptist, nondenominational, and Stone-Campbell churches.

Park Street’s regularly scheduled congregational meeting on Sunday was cast as a referendum on the leadership of the church. Critics proposed a set of amendments to the bylaws that they said would add much-needed limits on church leaders’ power and nominated an alternative slate of elder candidates.

Booker, who was called to lead the church in 2020, proposed a nonbinding vote to affirm his continued leadership at Park Street. The elders approved the ballot measure, adding it to the agenda, as CT reported last week.

“It is clear there has been a break of trust at the elder, minister, and staff level,” Booker told the congregation during the fractious six-hour meeting on Sunday. “This break ...

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Religious tourism initiative at ancient city recalls Moab, Byzantium, and Arab tribal Christianity, amid speculation on Paul’s possible first missionary journey.

Imagine yourself as Indiana Jones, traversing the narrow, nearly mile-long Siq gorge, with mountain cliffs towering on either side. Turning a corner then reveals the vast expanse of the ancient city of Petra and its majestic Treasury, the first-century rock-carved tomb of an ancient Nabatean king. You pass by the 121-foot-tall structure and its statues of Roman and Egyptian gods, making your way up a steep 800-step ascent to the equally impressive Monastery.

But before reaching Petra’s largest monument, you turn off the path into a different sort of ruin, mosaics lining the floor around half-sized recycled columns as incense wafts through the air. But unlike in the Harrison Ford movie, you do not meet an 11th-century knight preserved by the Holy Grail. Instead, the Greek Orthodox metropolitan of Jordan passes you a cup of Holy Communion.

In January, he offered the first Christian prayers in Petra in 1,400 years.

Other generations of film aficionados may prefer The Mummy Returns, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, or even Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. While onsite Hollywood productions provide revenue for Jordan, this is dwarfed by the $5.3 billion the country earns from its tourism industry. In 2022, Petra received 900,000 visitors, nearly one-quarter of the national total.

But now, the Hashemite kingdom is adding a religious component.

“It is a great blessing to be in this holy place in Petra,” said Archbishop Christoforus, before proceeding to offer the bread and wine. “We are not thinking of what surrounds us in stone, but of the saints and spiritual identity in its heritage, history, and civilization—and our great and blessed [Jordanian] homeland.”

In 2021, Jordan launched a five-year national ...

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Mountain Gateway became the latest Christian ministry to run afoul of the Ortega regime.

When Hurricanes Hilary and Idalia flooded Nicaragua’s coast last August and September, evangelical ministries in the country had little choice but to step up and serve.

President Daniel Ortega and his wife, vice president Rosario Murillo, had expelled the Red Cross from their country last July after the organization had criticized the country for its inhuman treatment of prisoners. The departure had left a gap in humanitarian aid for the country.

One of those Christians organizations was Mountain Gateway. The American missions and development agency was one of many that helped organize a major evangelism and relief event, where pastors and church leaders shared the gospel as thousands of families received food, clothing, and medicine.

The event, called Buenas Nuevas Nicaragua (Good News Nicaragua), united more than 1,300 evangelical churches from 13 of Nicaragua’s 15 regions in a massive two-day evangelistic event in the capital, Managua, last November. Local news estimated that up to 300,000 people attended the gathering, and despite ongoing tensions between the Ortega administration and churches, a pro-government publication even highlighted the event.

But the gathering’s success in sharing spiritual encouragement and provisions ultimately had little effect on softening the government’s latest crusade against Christian ministries.

Since 2018, the Ortega administration has imprisoned and exiled Catholic priests who have criticized the regime. But as the population of Nicaraguan evangelicals has grown, so has persecution of the evangelical church. A report recently published by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) registered 310 severe violations of freedom of religion or belief between November 2022 and ...

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After pop star’s surprise witness ends with a bang, evangelical leaders discuss whether to axe apocalypse talk as ineffective evangelism.

When two Brazilian pop stars began chatting on live TV two weeks ago, few likely thought their conversation would start a debate about the end times.

On February 11, in the midst of Carnival, Baby do Brasil joined fellow veteran Ivete Sangalo in a trio elétrico, a truck equipped with a powerful sound system that drives through the streets as partygoers follow. The two greeted each other in Salvador, a city of nearly three million in northeastern Brazil, and quickly exchanged compliments about their careers.

Then Baby do Brasil took the mic.

“Everyone, pay attention, because we have entered the apocalypse,” she said. “The Rapture is expected to happen in the next five to ten years. Seek the Lord while you can find him.”

Sangalo, who seemingly had not anticipated her cohost venturing into eschatology, made a crude joke.

“I won’t let it happen because we will bang the apocalypse,” she said, referencing her new song “Macetando,” which roughly translates to “smashing” or “banging.”

Baby do Brasil followed up by asking Sangalo to sing “Minha Pequena Eva,” her hit from the ’90s, which tells of a couple isolated in a spaceship when an atomic war takes place on Earth.

“I’m going to sing ‘Macetando’ because God is telling me to,” Sangalo replied.

As Baby do Basil shouted, “Oh, glory,” Sangalo began to sing.

The awkward exchange soon went viral, generating plentiful commentary, numerous memes, and one TV show anchor even signing off, “Let’s be happy before the apocalypse.” Scorned by many Brazilians (one tweet described the exchange as “clowneries of a believer”), the ...

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Despite some tension within churches over the candidates, evangelicals mostly side with the former president’s track record over their former governor Nikki Haley.

In the lead-up to South Carolina’s primary contest on Saturday, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley held a news conference to tell supporters that she’s “not going anywhere” and is committed to offering voters an alternative to former president Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, her presidential rival—who has a 2–1 lead in her home state—spoke at an evangelical conference in Nashville, touting his record on issues important to conservative Christians during his first term and pledging to continue in his second term.

Trump pledged to 1,500 attendees at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention that despite threats from the Left, “no one will be touching the cross of Christ under the Trump administration, I swear to you.”

“Christian voters had a good relationship with Nikki and they liked Nikki, but they do love Trump,” said Chad Connelly, who was at the NRB gathering.

The South Carolina native and former two-term chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party is the founder of the conservative Christian organization Faith Wins, which involves 16,000 pastors in evangelical voter registration.

Connelly said the thing he hears most from faith leaders is that Trump “did what he said he was going to do … that’s a rare politician. That’s the number one comment.”

Specific policies come up more than others: Trump’s releasing a list of potential Supreme Court nominees in 2016 and then nominating three conservative judges to the court, as well as his move of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

But more than any particular list of issues motivating this election, multiple sources described a deep sense of personal loyalty that ...

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Christ’s resplendence in the Transfiguration says more than we think.

Jesus Christ is arguably the most famous man who ever lived. His image is everywhere. But what did the God-Man from Nazareth actually look like?

We often imagine a particular “look” based on artistic renderings we’ve seen, but many of these designs are influenced by the artist’s culture. And while we may be able to assume certain visual traits based on the time and culture in which Jesus lived, there is little explicit evidence for these assumptions. In fact, the Bible tells us very little about Jesus’ appearance at all.

Other than Isaiah’s remark that he “had no beauty or majesty” (Is. 53:2), the Scriptures never tell us how tall Jesus was, what kind of hair he had, his body type, the color of his eyes, what sort of clothes he wore, or even the color of his skin.

It’s somewhat unexpected for the Bible not to comment on Jesus’ physicality, since back then a person’s physical looks often corresponded to their character traits. Ancient authors might note aspects of their main character’s appearance to highlight or foreshadow something about them.

For example, the Old Testament tells us King Saul was “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else” (1 Sam. 9:2) and King David was “glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features” (1 Sam. 16:12). Each of these descriptions signaled their heroic and kingly appeal to the people of Israel.

The New Testament narrative only focuses on Jesus’ appearance in the Transfiguration (see parallel accounts in Matt. 17:1–8; Mark 9:2–8; Luke 9:28–36; 2 Pet. 1:16–20). And although there is much we ...

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A theologian articulates an Augustinian alternative to the reigning perspectives on nature and culture.

When asked to define time, Augustine remarked that he knew what it was until someone asked him to define it. One could say the same of the term gender in contemporary debate. Although there is no lack of debate about gender, rarely is the term clearly defined.

In his book Gender as Love: A Theological Account of Human Identity, Embodied Desire, and Our Social Worlds, theologian Fellipe do Vale aims to bring greater clarity to the concept of gender. In doing so, he refuses the binary framing that casts it as a matter of either pure biology or pure social construction. Instead, he draws on an Augustinian theology of love to argue that gender refers to a “bundle” of human loves and social goods that shape how we manifest our male and female bodies.

Further, do Vale clarifies that affirming the basic reality of gender does not entail affirming an exhaustive and fully cohesive understanding of it, in part because our knowledge is shaped by our narrative context. That is, our place in the story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation affects both the lived reality of gender and our capacity to know the fullness of what it signifies.

Between the essentialists and the constructivists

Do Vale’s critique and constructive proposal unfolds in three sections. In the first, he draws on the late theologian John Webster, arguing for a “theologically theological anthropology” that comprehends gender within biblical and theological sources rather than merely building on or reacting to the existing claims of philosophy and sociology. Having laid this foundation, he engages the dominant view of gender today—namely, that we construct it according to personal desires and social conventions rather than inheriting ...

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Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender speaks to a longing C.S. Lewis described—and can remind us of our promises in Christ.

He can part water, command fire and wind, and move mountains. He’s not a super-Christian—he’s Avatar Aang, master of the four elements and protagonist of the Netflix’s live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA), which began streaming Thursday.

Watching a live-action remake of a beloved animation is fraught with trepidation. In a poor adaptation, humor is either awkwardly forced or axed completely; costumes and casting choices can take on a cosplay veneer; and condensed, mashed, or added storylines suggest a fan-inspired medley put on by a high school drama club. The new ATLA, while a marked improvement from the 2010 travesty, sadly slips into these foibles more often than not.

I hate to render that verdict, because I wanted so badly to love this show. And that longing is part of a greater desire to see imagined worlds in the “real world”—to be, as C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it,” to “get in.” Merely looking at a rendering of beautiful stories, the mythologies with which “we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves”—or, in this case, benders and Avatars—isn’t enough.

As Lewis recognized, at its heart, this longing is rooted in Scripture (Rev. 22:1–5). And it’s why, even with repeated disappointments (I’m looking at you, Dragonball Z, Beauty and the Beast, and Ginny Weasley), I’ll still watch live-action adaptations every time.

I first followed the story of Aang and his friends nearly two decades ago, when Avatar first aired as an animated series ...

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    Stemley Baptist Church
    399 Rock Church Road, Talladega, Al 35160