The way to feel good is to do good. (Jon Bon Jovi)
“I have an idea,” Dorothea Hurley told her husband, entertainer Jon Bon Jovi, whom she’s known since high school. He listened as she suggested a creative way to feed, encourage, and strengthen hungry people–and he declared her a genius! . . . Embracing his wife’s inspiration, Bon Jovi used his own financial resources to buy an auto body repair shop next to a railroad track, transform it into JBJ Soul Kitchen restaurant, and serve classical farm-to-table cuisine to homeless and needy in New Jersey. There, on any given night, the place is filled with people who pay a $20 donation to cover their own meal plus a meal for someone else. If they can’t afford a donation, they can help clean the kitchen or wait tables to pay for their meal. There are no prices on the menu. No one is ever turned away.The place is more a refuge than a restaurant. Hurley says she can look around the restaurant and see people she knows. “Homeless people don’t look like you think they would look,” she observes. “They might go to school with your kids or sit next to you in church.” . . . The food is really good, says Tracy Smith, who reported this story for CBS Sunday Morning, November 24, 2019.
“Scripture testifies of many whom God enabled to encourage others. When Moses was overwhelmed by his work, Jethro went to him and encouraged him. . . . (Exodus 18:1-27) When Paul was imprisoned far from those who loved him, Epaphroditus risked his health and safety in order to go to Paul and minister to him (Philippians 2:25-30). Later, Paul urged Timothy to come and visit him, for Paul found strength and encouragement in Timothy (2 Timothy 4:9; Philippians 1:19-20). Paul asked Timothy to bring Mark also. Mark was the kind of friend Paul needed when he was enduring hardship (2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24). Paul also relied on Luke for encouragement. When everyone else was absent or preoccupied, Luke could be found with Paul (2 Timothy 4:11). Paul experienced trials throughout his life, but God sustained him by placing godly friends around him who provided support in practical and sacrificial ways. (Harry and Richard Blackaby, “Experiencing God,” p. 333)
Would you like to use your talents, gifts, and resources to create a place of refuge for the materially and spiritually hungry? Wonderful things are happening right here in Keene! Last Sunday, Adventurers and Pathfinders provided lunch to some of our senior citizens. Again this Christmas, our church will participate in Angel Tree ministry, a program of Prison Fellowship that reaches out with gifts for the children of prisoners and their families, sharing the love of Christ. Keene Church Family Ministries will host their annual Christmas caroling outreach on Saturday night, December 14 (see details in “Our Church,” below). On the third Sabbath of every month, our Food Bank distributes food and fellowship to 800 or more individuals in Johnson County. With Meals on Wheels we provide a congregate lunch every Monday in the Annex. We offer Bible study fellowship, grief recovery, health classes, and a multitude of fun fellowship groups–motorcycle club breakfasts, kayaking, bird watching, “Masterpiece” painting–so many joys for body and soul. You could “adopt” a Southwestern Adventist University student for second semester. During December you have perfect opportunities to invite a lonely person to a Christmas concert presented at the church by our schools and by our Keene Worship Choir. Scour your bulletin every week–there’s always something new–and regularly visit the “Life Groups” display near the Welcome Desk in the Sanctuary lobby to see what’s happening. Make it a practice to invite someone to join you.
Your Young Adults Pastor, Michael Gibson, will preach for our 9:00 and 11:30 Sanctuary worship services. His sermon title is: “One Size Fits All.” During first service Lindsey Johnson will present an organ prelude and postlude with Cinthia and Andre Azevedo providing worship music. Sipho Ndebele will offer prayer. Chad Johnson will tell the children’s story for both services. Rick Weaver will call for the offering, which will support Church Ministries and Operations. The Hwang and Eclar families will lead songs of praise during the 11:30 service. Glen Robinson will serve as Deacon in Charge.
Young Adults Pastor Michael Gibson will also preach for Elevate at 10:15 in the Sanctuary. His sermon title will be “Blessed are the Pure.” Young Adults breakfast will be served at 9:15 in the Fellowship Hall.
The Bible Lab will not meet today. The Bible Lab will resume Sabbath, December 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel.
Ladies, we won’t have Sunday brunch on December 1 because the University cafeteria is taking a holiday this weekend. We hope to see you December 9, 8:30 a.m. at Keene City Station, where our Breakfast Club meets on the second Monday of every month!
From Hurt to Hope – death…divorce…depression… This Tuesday evening, December 3, at 7 o’clock, you’re invited to the Annex for a grief recovery discussion with Bonnie Parnell, David Slee, Ingo Sorke, and Tony Torres.
Wednesday Night Bible Study resumes this week, December 4, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel. This is the perfect time for you to join us as Pastor James Winegardner points out Bible principles for the 21st Century that you may not have noticed in the book of Joshua!
Senior Share, our senior food pantry, will be open Thursday, December 5, starting at 1 p.m., at the Annex. If you would like to volunteer for the Senior Share, please show up at 12:15 p.m.
General church fellowship potluck December 7 – We are having a holiday potluck and want to encourage everyone to bring your best holiday entrees and desserts. Anyone who brings a dish will have a chance to enter a drawing for a delightful gift basket filled with wonderful sharing books and more! Increase your odds of winning by bringing more than one dish! Invite someone you know who craves warm holiday fellowship.
The Keene Church will have an Angel Tree again this year with names of children that we’d like to help have a happy and blessed Christmas. This is done through our partnership with Covenant Kids. Please take a name from the tree and drop off the gift at the church office and we’ll made sure they receive your anonymous gift on Christmas!
Family Ministries will host their annual Christmas Caroling outreach on Saturday, December 14, from 5-8 p.m. Bring your family to knock on doors, sing and spread Christmas cheer to those who need it most! Teams disperse from the Upper Room.
Keene Worship Choir Christmas Concert – December 20, 7:30 p.m., Keene Church
Save your food labels! Each label is worth 25¢! Collect UPC codes from any size can of Loma Linda, Worthington, or Carolina’s products. All UPC’s must begin with 45561. Sorry, no frozen foods or Morningstar Farms are eligible. Put them in with the offering and we will turn them in for 25¢ each! The money raised goes to the Children’s Sabbath School Department. Questions? Contact Melanie Padon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pathfinders who have memorized 100 verses from Ezra, Nehemiah, Amos, Jonah, Micah are aiming to reach NAD-level testing in Washington State–cost: $1,000 per Pathfinder. Please consider sponsoring online: http://adventistgiving.org/#/org/ANWFPB/envelope/start. Under local church select ‘more offering categories,’ then select ‘show all,’ then Pathfinder Bible Experience; or write a check to Keene Church, memo: PBE 2020.
- You Can Help – You can help your local Pathfinder club feed its youth. With a club this big, food donations will really help defray expenses. Please consider donating items we can use for Camping trips or an outing. Drinks, chips, canned hot dogs, apple sauce, pancake mix, graham crackers, oil, waters, syrup, lunch snacks, granola bars, vegetarian chili, baked beans, cookies, re fried vegetarian beans, salsa, ketchup, Mayo, relish, variety oatmeal packets, tetra packs of almond milk, canned fruit, spray oil, powdered drink mix, tortilla shells, etc.
Thank you for your continued support of our Kids Eat Free Backpack program! Through your donations, we are distributing kid-friendly food to more than 60 children every week. Our supplies are running low, so we appreciate all donations (large or small) of kid-friendly food to support this ministry!
We are collecting warm items for our homeless ministry. These items will be distributed before Christmas. Most needed are sleeping bags, blankets, coats, socks, and gloves (for both men and women). Please drop off your donations to the church office.
You can still ADOPT A COLLEGE STUDENT for the 2019-2020 school year! More students have signed up for this popular ministry! Are you willing to open your home to one or more college students over the next school year, be adoptive parents, and provide a warm meal and kind words? If so, please email email@example.com.
We have a new leader for our Driving Ministry: Loree Martin! If you need help getting to a doctor appointment, the bank, or grocery stores within a 15-mile radius of Keene, please reach out to Loree during daytime hours at 817-933-1037, or call Keene Church at 817-202-6450. We are looking for additional drivers, as well!
Our ministry that feeds new moms and their families is looking for people willing to cook a meal and share it. Please contact Sue Rotan at 9098387122 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re willing to help!
We have been doing some fall cleaning and have a lot of Christmas wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon available for anyone to pick up at the church office!
You can ask for a pastoral visit by visiting the Keene Church website (www.keenechurch.org) and clicking on “Visitation Request” at the top. We’d love to visit with you!
A New Life Bible School needs volunteer office workers and teachers! Open mail and/or enter data Monday, Tuesday, and/or Thursday mornings. We need teachers to grade lessons (at home). Info: Virginia Harder, 817-526-5556.
- From a New Life Bible School student: Before I ever started doing Bible studies, I couldn’t’t say anything of what I read, but since I’ve opened my eyes and heart to the Lord it’s been so amazing, especially learning and understanding. From that day on I couldn’t get enough, and I still want more and more! It feels good to feel the touch of God on my heartstrings!
Keene Adventist Elementary School is a ministry of Keene Church and provides Christian education for children grades Pre-K through 8th grade. KAES offers music, technology, and PE to round out a strong academic program.
- KAES Christmas Cantata “Radio JOY” Dec. 6. 7 p.m. Keene Church
- KAES Piano Recitals. Dec. 8. 2:00 & 4 p.m. SWAU-MaBee Center
- KAES Bands & Marimbas Christmas Concert. Dec. 15. 4 p.m. KAES Gym
Chisholm Trail Academy’s goal is to create a safe educational environment that fosters the development of a relationship with Jesus, promotes a life-long love of learning and service, and nurtures the optimal growth, potential, and character of each individual student.
- CTA Christmas Concert, Dec. 14, 7 p.m., Keene Church
Southwestern Adventist Universityis home to a diverse student body educated by personable professors in a Christ-centered environment. The strong academics, family friendly attitude, and spiritual emphasis creates a campus that is perfectly situated to provide students with the atmosphere and tools necessary to obtain a degree and live a life of substance and service.
- University Christmas Concert, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., Keene Church
A memorial service for Will Kowarsch will be held Sabbath afternoon, November 30, 3 p.m. at the Crowley Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Thomsen Observatory is open the first and third Fridays of the month. Tours are available by appointment. Contact 817-202-6573, email@example.com. For booking, contact
817-202-6628, firstname.lastname@example.org. More info at swau.edu/observatory.
The 24th annual Keene Christmas Light Parade and Fireworks Show will be 6:30 p.m. Sunday, December 8 in Keene. Parade staging is at the Leiske-Pultar Gymnasium parking lot at Old Betsy Road and Magnolia Street on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. Judging begins at 5:15 p.m. Anything with wheels, feet, or hooves, adorned with Christmas lights and is consistent with the theme, “The Reason We Celebrate This Season,” is welcome to participate. First-place trophies will be awarded for the best entry in the following categories: lighted vehicle, lighted float, animal entry, business entry, children’s entry, Pathfinder club, Adventurer club, antique entry, and most unique entry. Parade registration deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, December 6. Parade entry fee is food items for the Kids Eat Free Breakfast program. For details, see the Keene Chamber website at www.keenechamber.org. The fireworks show will immediately follow the parade. The show will be presented west of the Duck Pond at Callicott Student Park. The best place to watch the fireworks is from the Leiske-Pultar parking lot or the embankment along Old Betsy Road between Magnolia and Campus Drive. For information, call the Chamber office at 817-556-2995.
Brazos Chamber Orchestra Christmas concerts – will December 17, 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, Burleson; December 19, 7:30 p.m., Field Street Baptist Church, Cleburne.
“Some people know just what to say and do to encourage others who are going through difficult times. Their words give strength to those who are discouraged and comfort to those who are grieving. These people are sensitive to God’s voice. They are not self-centered or unaware of the struggles of those around them. They are the ones we immediately seek when we enter a crisis. They are welcome visitors when we are in distress, for their presence sustains us.
“God wants to develop you into the kind of friend who can strengthen others. The words you share and the things you do can bring comfort and encouragement to your family, your friends, your neighbors, and your coworkers.” (ibid)
Live God’s love, Forever Family! Love . . . connect . . . share!
Your Keene Church Pastors
God be in my head
God be in my head,
and in my thinking.
God be in my eyes,
and in my looking.
God be in my mouth,
and in my speaking.
Oh, God be in my heart,
and in my understanding.