“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one.” John 17:22 (NRSV)
Beginning in 2015, North Alabama Conference congregations can submit Glory Sightings as part of their Weekly Benchmark Report. This is an opportunity to share ways God is at work in the church and community.
The practice of regularly sharing Glory Sightings becomes a time of encouragement as we are reminded that God is always at work. It is a reminder to stop, pay attention and give thanks.
We celebrate and give thanks for all the Glory Sightings shared by local churches this week. Congregations celebrated God at work as they committed to pray for their community; celebrated fruitful leadership retreats; prayed for world peace; and cared for the sick through ministries of cards and food.
This week there were also Glory Sightings of local congregations celebrating Baptism of the Lord Sunday, starting new ministries, being in ministry with young people, being the hands and feet of Christ to their community and welcoming new United Methodists.
Here are some highlights of this week’s Glory Sightings:
Congregations celebrated Baptism of the Lord Sunday in meaningful ways.
- Hokes Bluff (ML District) — Baptismal Remembrance Service at both morning worship services was awesome! 2 persons accepted Christ and will soon be baptized. Praise the Lord!
- Lusk Chapel (ML District) — We did a Wesley Covenant Renewal Service and Baptismal Covenant Service both today. We had a new member join today and was baptized at the conclusion of our service.
- Harpersville (SC District) — We celebrated baptism by celebrating our ability to send a team of disciples to Mexico to build a house for a family.
- Fredonia (SE District) — Several people reported that this was their first experience of remembering their baptism. The service meant a lot to them.
- Oak Grove (SE District) — Renewal of Baptismal Covenant and Holy Communion for our first service of the new year.
- Sweet Home (SE District) — Many people were positively impacted through remembering their baptism. It was a first for several worshippers. Also, two members created a beautiful backdrop of Jesus' baptism that took people to the Jordan River.
- Jennings Chapel (SW District) — Watching the whole congregation come to the waters of Baptism and know they are a COGPOW, child of God and person of worth!
- Reform First (SW District) — 29 Souls reaffirm their baptism!
- Capstone (SW District) — Nearly everyone in attendance remembered their baptism in recognition of Baptism of the Lord Sunday.
Congregations began new ministries.
- Southside (ML District) — Started a Bible study
- Alabaster First (SC District) — The Bible Experience, a time of prayer, inspiration, and information sharing centering on Bible study was held Jan. 10. 58 participants gathered, resulting in the formation of five new Small Group studies that will continue through the spring.
- Carrollton First (SW District) — Started 3 on 3 ministry
Congregations are in ministry with young people.
- Aldersgate (CE District) — Two college students that were unchurched a year ago began 2015 fasting.
- Ohatchee (CH District) — One of the youth ask to share their testimony on Sunday morning and wants to be more a part of the church.
- Ragan Chapel (CH District) — We have 4 new children coming who want to sing during worship special music.
- Gandys Cove (NE District) — 4 of our youth asked on Friday night if they could stay longer at church. Some wanted another hour.
- Lakeside (NE District) — Two students from Alabama A&M University visited Lakeside Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015. One has no church affiliation, but he walked to the Lakeside from A&M in 25 degree temperature to attend worship.
- Wadley First (SE District) — We had a bunch of children present and a couple of the lay folks are committed to doing VBS this year.
- Carbon Hill (SW District) — 5 of the young people that come to our Wednesday evening Bible Study came to our new Thursday service.
Congregations are being the hands and feet of Jesus.
Congregations welcomed new United Methodists.
- Pinson (CE District) — We baptized three children from the same family! Two sisters and their baby brother!
- Anniston First (CH District) — We welcomed new members who joined the church.
- Leeds First (CH District) — We had 6 people to join the church, two were previously churched persons who came back to the Lord.
- Pell City First (CH District) — 1 Infant Baptism
- Weaver First (CH District) — On person was baptized and received into membership.
- King's Memorial (NW District) — A couple came up to the alter to join our congregation!!
- Pleasant Hill (NW District) — 1 infant baptism
- Christ Church (SC District) — 19 yr old made a first-time profession of faith.
- Church at Cahaba Bend (SC District) — After a work session with leadership on Saturday, saw fresh effort to welcome the four visiting families!
- Morning Star (SC District) — We have had a visitor who may join our church.
- Riverchase (SC District) — Several folks turned in membership cards.
- Lineville First (SE District) — We celebrated an adult profession of faith and baptism., as well as a Renewal of Baptismal Covenant for everyone.
- Rockford (SE District) — We will having 3 new members join the church next Sunday as well as 3 baptisms.
- Aliceville First (SW District) — Four new members!
- Nauvoo (SW District) — Winston Co Jail Ministry 6 were baptized and 8 renewed their faith.