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Men’s Retreat – Camp WAMAVA 2018

This year’s men’s retreat saw the Brothers of Warrenton Church of Christ making tracks to the woods of Linden, VA for some spiritual growth and enlightenment at camp WAMAVA.

The event was headed up this year by our dear brother Royce.  This was his first retreat.  He organized a committee that managed all the details of the trip, and speaking as a camper, I think Royce and the committee team did an excellent job.

The one thing of course that no organizer can control is the weather, and as it turned out, the Friday evening we all set out to head for camp had us enjoying a fairly robust rain storm.  While this might have dampened some of the bedding we took, and certainly some shoes and socks as we unloaded our vehicles, it certainly didn’t seem to have a dampening affect on anyone’s spirit.  Indeed I think heavy rain can somehow augment the memorability of an event in some strangely nostalgic way.  Maybe it always invokes feelings of being a child playing outside when unexpected rain suddenly has us running for cover, soaking our clothes and making even the most rudimentary shelter a veritable luxury hotel once we get out of the downpour.  To be clear though, there’s nothing rudimentary about camp WAMAVA.  This place is really awesome, regardless of any bad weather.

Happy to have only a short run from the cars to the meeting hall, we all got our gear in, got situated and then got a rather wonderful fire burning in one of the two fireplaces available.  We then enjoyed an evening devotional with some prayers lead by brother Royce, and some singing of hymns lead by our brother Shawn.  Originally we had planned to have a camp fire outside and hold the devotionals and singing around it.  However, with the rain still beating down outside, we adapted to the fire place option and enjoyed the evening just the same.  After the devotionals and hymns we all got together round some tables to catch up and to get to know each other a little better.  It’s somewhat rare to have that kind of unfettered time to just talk to each other. At services there’s always time pressure, places to go after, Monday to prepare for and so on.  So it’s nice to just sit around with no particular agenda to follow and just talk.  Only the eventual need for sleep would be likely to put an end to the easy dialog that moved us forward and strengthened our brotherly bonds.

At the end of the evening, most of the brothers started to drift off to the accommodation cabins around the campus to try and get some sleep.  We wanted to be rested and ready for the main events tomorrow where we would be contemplating our theme for this year’s retreat – mentoring.

Saturday Morning and no Rain

After a night of mixed fortunes in obtaining sleep (which this author failed to accomplish miserably), some of the men got up early and started to prepare breakfast in the rather awesome commercial kitchen in the main hall.  Meanwhile, others dropped into the nearby town to purchase fresh donuts while the hot plates warmed up and the bacon, eggs, sausage, and pancakes were getting started.  It was clear to me as an observer of the kitchen activities that some of these brothers were no strangers to commercial kitchens, and brother Bob H. was looking particularly at home over by a huge hotplate flipping a vast array of pancakes one by one like a past artist.  Indeed I later learned he had worked in food hospitality in a past career – yeah that figures I thought as he shared the story – “you did look particularly comfortable over there brother”.

After a hearty breakfast rather Shawn delivered an excellent devotional on the theme subject of the retreat – mentoring.  After he had shared his thoughts and got us all thinking about what mentoring was, who should be a mentor, who should receive mentoring, how to use prayer as part of the process, and how to mentor by example we broke off into small groups.  The challenge was to think about ways that the men of this church could be mentors to others.

After we spent about 20 or so minutes in our small groups we reconvened as a large group and discussed our findings.  There were some wonderful thoughts, ideas, and suggestions about how we could all become mentors, and to whom we could mentor. I don’t have sufficient column inches here to cover all the content that we discussed, but suffice to say there are a large number of brothers in the church who will be actively seeking ways to mentor not just those already in our church, but those we meet out in the world, our friends, colleagues, spouses, children, or anyone in need of teaching a guidance in some area of there lives.

On behalf of all who attending this retreat I want to thank the organizers and presenters for doing such a great job making it an excellent success.  It was not lost on us how much effort and thought you must all have put in to organize every detail of the trip, accommodations, food, logistics and all the things I can’t think of that must have taken great effort.  Thanks to you all my brothers and sisters.

Tweets anyone?

TwitterAs an idea for a new service for 2018 we have just added a Twitter account to the technology services offering.  This is currently an experimental offering, but if there is any interest we may be able to make it permanent.

And a Twitter account is what exactly?

If you’re not sure what that is, or what it does, it’s a service that allows the church to push out brief informational notes, known as “Tweets” to anyone who is following the @mywcoc Twitter account.

There is a 280 character limit in a Tweet, recently doubled from 140.  When twitter was first established they used SMS text messages to carry the tweets which had a 160 character limit.  Twitter reserved 20 characters for the user name, hence the original 140 characters.

This is an ideal medium for getting messages out quickly to our church family.  Any member following the church twitter account @mywcoc will receive tweets.  So imagine if there was an urgent pray request, or perhaps no services due to snow – what a great way to let everyone know.  What’s more its all free and there are Apps (of course) for iPhone and Android, so you can receive tweets on your mobile devices.

If you already follow other twitter accounts, then follow the Warrenton Church of Christ twitter account @mywcoc using your existing Twitter app.

Congratulations class of Fall 2017 FPU Graduates

FPU_Graduation_Fall_2017_SmallAnother successful Financial Peace University class completed it’s ninth and final lesson this week.

And we are so excited for everyone who joined us and learned the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps – a framework for financial success that over the last 25 years has proven effective for countless millions of families across the United States and around the world.

We are proud to offer this course to everyone in our church family and in our community.  The information this course teaches changes lives, as it has already for our dedicated Fall 2017 class members seen here above.  Our thanks to each of you for making this class so much fun to lead.  Your enthusiasm, questions, and support for each other was inspiring to see.  We wish you every success and a speedy path to Baby Step 7.

Our thanks also goes out to our church Elders, Bill Powell and Eddie Perez for their support and participation in this endeavor: Eddie for being our Co-coordinator and making this class possible in the first place, and to Bill and his wife Fran for being with us throughout the course, offering their support, wisdom, candor, and insight during those critical small group breakout sessions.

We are already planning a January 2018 class and hope to be able to offer this course many more times in the future – God willing.  Until then…

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,

      like a bird from the snare of the fowler.

Proverbs 6:5 – NIV

Mats for Homeless – Wednesday 28th September

screenshot-2016-09-25-20-11-29This Wednesday at 7:00 PM – be in the Fellowship hall to learn how to make mats for the homeless – out of used grocery bags.

Yes that’s right; that mat Bob is holding is actually made from dozens of cleverly woven used grocery bags.  No kidding.

So go to that drawer you have in the kitchen that is positively bursting with used grocery bags, and gather them up, along with your scissors, cutting wheels or whatever you’ve got and come on down. You’ll have fun learning how to make a mat that will protect a homeless person from the the harsh, cold ground this winter.  As Bob says, we may not be able to do everything for the homeless, but we can do something – and this is certainly something.

See you there Brothers and Sisters.

WCOC Praise Team – Live

Here’s a wonderful live recording of the WCOC Praise Team captured at a rehearsal during Scott Lippiatt’s visit on the singing weekend back in April.

It was recorded live in the main auditorium so there’s a little traffic and background noise, but somehow that doesn’t matter at all – the voices are so enchanting, your spirit will be lifted.  Click on the player below to hear this beautiful rendition of ‘How Deep the Father’s Love’, brought to you by our very own Warrenton Church of Christ Praise Team.

God bless.

Feb is Linen Drive Month for Homeless

TowelsFran Powell would like to remind us that February is Linen Drive Month for the Homeless shelter– and this year we need towels!

Apparently the towels they have are becoming worn and threadbare and they could really use some new ones.

So, please bring bath towels, wash cloths, and hand towels to help us build a pyramid of towels for the shelter families!

Men’s Ministry Provides New Light

Saturday January 15th saw the men’s ministry installing new lights in the fellowship room and kitchen area.  Under the skillful leadership of  Royce Rollins, the band of merry brothers and one sister replaced all the old florescent light fixtures with some wonderful new LED lights.  The new system not only puts out a great deal more light, but also saves a significant burden on the Church’s utility bill.  Not to mention the benefits to the environment, which is always a good thing.  Nicely done team, and all in a little over two hours.

MensMinistryTeamCropped