“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 miraculous healings by the Great Physician; Bible studies going strong in their congregation and the love and care they provided to those grieving.
This week there were also Glory Sightings of leadership, inviting and welcoming people, connecting with other congregations for ministry, being in ministry with youth and being in mission to the local community.
Congregations celebrated the work of the Spiritual Leaders within their congregation.
- Somerville (NE District) — ABIDE leadership assuming greater role.
- Lincoln (CH District) — We had 27 adults, youth, and children all go on a visioning retreat this weekend and truly saw the Lord work in shared dreams revealed, powerful prayer times, lots of laughter, and huge steps in the pursuit of a renewed and connected vision in Jesus!
Congregations invited and welcomed people into a new connection with Jesus Christ and their congregation.
- Fairview (ML District) — Celebrated a baptism
- Hokes Bluff (ML District) — A young lady was baptized and joined on profession of faith. Praise the Lord!
- Forrest Chapel (NW District) —Church member has been praying for a man who is unchurched for about 5 years. On Jan.18 he came to church!
- Christ Church (SC District) — 1 new profession of faith
- Aldersgate (CE District) — Had the father of a family of five ask to join the church. They have been regular for almost a year.
- Hayden (CE District) — Baptism and profession of faith of the granddaughter of the pastor.
- St. Andrews (CE District) — We had a couple join this past Sunday and a young man stated that he wants to go into the ministry.
- East Lake (SC District) — On Sunday we had 3 families visit the church, brought by their children.
- Haven Chapel (SE District) — We had a family to join the church - mother, daughter and son
- Oak Bowery (SE District) — one person witnessed with another who was excited about "finding God"
- Rockford (SE District) — 3 new members joined. All 3 baptized.
- Christ Harbor (SW District) — A man visited last week with his family. Came in Friday for a counseling session to work out some considerable life issues. Prayed to receive Christ and made a plan to deal with issues.
- Bexar (SW District) — New family has been with us with 2 children for last two weeks. Thank You Lord!
Congregations celebrated new ministry connections with other congregations.
- Birmingham First (CE District) — Birmingham First Loft Modern Worship service combined with St. John AME for worship at St. John AME.
- Steele (ML District) — Had our 1st Women's Conference on Saturday. Over 70 people attended. God was most certainly glorified that day.
- Evergreen (CH District) — 5 of the ladies from our church attended an amazing Women's Conference yesterday at Steele UMC. All of our hearts were touched. We shared meaningful messages from the Conference with our Congregation at Evergreen UMC during our Worship service today.
- Warrenton (ML District) — This week Warrenton UMC hosted Room In the Inn, a homeless ministry in Marshall County. We had 17 homeless neighbors stay overnight. We had a great time of fellowship and community.
- St. Paul (ML District) — We have had some of our young ladies step up and lead/ coordinate our church be a part of the Room in The Inn Ministry.
- Aspel (NE District) — We are experiencing great joy, working with other churches, beyond denominational lines, to serve the homeless people of Jackson County.
- Hollis Memorial (NE District) — We are experiencing great joy working with other churches, beyond denominational lines, to serve the homeless of Jackson County through Room in the Inn ministry.
- New Hope (NE District) — We had an Oak Bowery Homecoming, to accent the merger of Oak Bowery and New Hope. The testimonies given regarding the lives that had been changed and shaped blessed all who were there and would not have been known otherwise.
- Green's Chapel (NW District) — Treasurer reported we had paid 100% of district and conference asking in 2014 year. A great increase from the 9.5% in a difficult 2013.
Congregations celebrated youth growing as disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Union Chapel (ML District) — Had an awesome Confirmation class final meeting..9 youth completed this task :)
- Union Hill (ML District) — Youth led worship
- Gardendale - Mt. Vernon (CE District) — Youth DNOW weekend. We had over 80 youth attend.
- Eulaton (CH District) — The youth went on a retreat and several youth came who were unchurched. The youth group continues to grow & reach the unchurched.
- Weaver First (CH District) — Six if our youth went to the Behold Worship service and professed their faith. You could feel God and the Holy Spirit.
- Christ Central (ML District) — 33 Youth and adult chaperons attended Behold Conference weekend Jan 18th
- Church at Cahaba Bend (SC District) — The youth group is seeing the juniors and seniors become more involved in leading the younger youth in Bible Study!
- Riverchase (SC District) — A total of 80 folks unloading buses after Confirmation Retreat. I'm not sure how many were 6th graders.
- Sweet Home (SE District) — Our youth are inviting people to church and to church activities. We are proud of how they are sharing their faith.
- Jennings Chapel (SW District) — Confirmation started with 6 young folks and 6 willing mentors.
Congregations celebrated sharing the love of Christ with their communities in tangible ways.
- Bethlehem (CH District) — Seven families from the community attended the informational session on Tuesday and registered for the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course at Bethlehem.
- Glen Addie (CH District) — When everything goes crazy on Saturday: We had hungry people in the kitchen ready for Saturday lunch and nothing to cook, because the schedule was wrong. It is true that God moves and works in mysterious way and they had a heart for God and His people. Our Pastors stepped in and saved the day with their quick thinking and compassion. Glory be to God they can cook!
- Pell City First (CH District) — Pastor picked up a man needing food and assisted him.
- Sand Rock (ML District) — Assisting local family with utility bills and food
- Springhill (NE District) — Replenishing the food pantry with 200 can goods for The Harris Home Children.
- St. John (NW District) — Our daycare continues to grow and serve as an outreach ministry
- Fredonia (SE District) — Monthly Friday Night Outreach Fellowship dinner brought in 10 new people. One visitor shared that it was the first time he had ever been in a church and, because of the love extended during his visit, he wanted to come back.
- Wadley First (SE District) — Saw people step in to help with food bank who had never helped before
- Cottondale (SW District) — Manna House Food Pantry distributed food to 13 families (68 people)
- Nauvoo (SW District) — Christian's Place Mission served 430 people food, clothes, and spiritual guidance
- Reform First (SW District) — 48 families receive physical food and spiritual grace via our Food Pantry.
- Winfield First (SW District) — Winfield FUMC sponsored a Community-wide Fashion Show that raised over $9,000 for Habitat for Humanity.