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From the desk of

Pastor Tere

We Need You to Become an Ashland Ambassador!

Ashland Ambassadors is a new hospitality ministry that is looking for recruits. This might be right for you if… You have a warm smile with a friendly heart Are willing to meet and welcome visitors on Sunday mornings Are willing to come to a 1 ½ hour training session either Thursday night September 30th or Saturday morning October 2nd to learn about the small group opportunities, the building, and upcoming events in the church Are willing to wear an eye catching name tag

For more information or to sign up, see Pastor Tere, Kevin Kirby, or just call the church office.

Ten Great Dates Starts September 29th! Enrich Your Marriage Through 10 Great Dates

This insightful book and video course by David and Claudia Arp helps spark romance with memory-making evenings built on key marriage-enriching themes such as: communication, conflict, encouragement, creative love life, and balancing roles of parent and partner. After a short video that sets the stage for discussion, couples are sent out for their own private dates. The following week, couples will be divided into small groups for discussion and reflection. Ten Great Dates will be part of the GIFT program, so quality childcare is already built in! The course is guaranteed to be a great investment into your marriage. It is designed for all ages and stages of marriage and is advertised as ―husband friendly.‖ The Great Date experience will conclude in the winter semester of GIFT after the Christmas break. For more information, see Pastor Tere.

Easy and Challenging

My recent philosophy on ―how to do church‖ can best be described as easy and challenging. I think the actual doing of church should be as easy as possible for our members. We are all so busy and we don’t need church to feel like a burden to anyone. Ashland already has put this philosophy into practice by scheduling major programming on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Everyone soon learns to know and expect this and then they can schedule accordingly. On Sunday mornings, we provide the three services to make it easier for everyone to fit into a time or style of worship. We provide a really good meal on Wednesday nights to make the midweek even easier. Ashland wants the church to help families by coming alongside of them to strengthen marriages and parent child relationships. Thus the offering of parenting and mar- riage classes from a Biblical perspective. The goal is to always provide meaningful and relevant experiences that our peo- ple can use in their daily lives.

Now, what about the challenging part? This is where spiritual and personal growth comes in. We take seriously the com- mand, ―You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.‖ (Matt. 22:37) This love requires attention from us. To love God with all our hearts, we have to know God. To know God, we have to spend time in His presence. To love God with all our souls, we have to immerse ourselves so deeply into His king- dom that God’s DNA becomes our DNA. To love God with all our minds, we have to wrestle with His Word and strive to understand His teachings. All of these requirements take time, energy, focus, and discipline. No one is going to make us do this; in fact the world encourages us not to do this. So here is the challenging part and each one of us has to fight this battle for themselves.

I hope that you will communicate with me other ways that we can make the ―doing‖ of church easier for you. I also hope that you will accept the challenge to grow spiritually and personally through deepening your relationship with God. I know it will be an incredible blessing if you do.

With blessed assurance, Pastor Tere

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