Ava Seventh Day Adventist – Connie Opeka

Well, as I write this article it is Saturday, the 21st and I wonder how different our world will be by the time you read this on Thursday. A lot changed this past week did it not? Our church did not meet today as many churches in our state and across the nation are temporarily suspending services due to the new “social distancing” recommendations from the government. Nonetheless many members encouraged one another by phone, watched online services and found other ways to stay connected. 3ABN, Hope channel, and Amazing Facts TV are just a few of the options. Much closer to home former member, Lesa Downs who married Michael Huffaker and moved to the Joplin area, live streamed some inspiring music from their living room – Lesa on the piano and Michael on the violin.

Last Sabbath (the 14th) we enjoyed the music of Don and Donna Mohl of www.folkmountaingospel.com  as they shared Christ in song during the worship service. They are from Springfield and have regular jobs but have spent their weekends touring the nation for years now sharing family values, the grace of Jesus, our Savior, and the love of God in song and word. They played traditional and Biblical instruments such as the Bowed Psaltery, Hammered Dulcimer, Mountain Dulcimer, Mandolin, Zither, Guitar, and Harmonica. Donna’s brother made her mandolin and guitar and the sound was as amazing as the intricate beauty of the instruments. The love and peace of Jesus shone on their faces as they shared, and all were encouraged and inspired!

Sunday, the 15th, we had a wonderful turn out for the plant-based cooking school with Linda Kennedy demonstrating eight delicious dishes including entrees and desserts. It was fun, educational, and delicious! Everyone took home a bag full of various goodies including a loaf of homemade bread! Many thanks to the team of volunteers headed up by Heather Hoffmaster to make this a success. Stay tuned for future classes once the pandemic is over. Or call us now to get your name on a list to be contacted for future classes. 

You may remember I began sharing some of our fundamental beliefs a couple of weeks ago. First and foundational was our belief in the Holy Scriptures – Old and New Testaments. Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. This week I share with you our belief in the Trinity. There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)

Our Community Services Center is usually open every Tuesday but is currently closed until further notice due to the recommendations to slow the COVID-19 virus from spreading.  If you have an emergency need, please call the church and we will try to assist as possible.  We would appreciate you holding onto your donations for now also, so our volunteers do not have to be working. We appreciate your donations and support as 103 people in our community were served during the month of February. Cherie Downs manages the center and we appreciate her and the team that volunteered 58.25 hours of time to clean and organize the 997 items they gave away.  If we can be of assistance to you, please call the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343.  Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook! We would love to pray with you and/or for you. Just give us a call. May you seek the peace that only comes from God during these difficult times!