Counting Our Blessings
We started off the year on the first Saturday with our Men's Breakfast. What a wonderful blessing for the men of the church to gather early and praise the LORD.
God has blessed our efforts as we strive to maintain our worship schedule of Sunday school, Sunday morning worship service and Sunday evening worship service along with Wednesday night services into 2009. This has been a blessing to our congregation and we thank God for the ability to continue these regular services.
Our Men's Breakfast held the first Saturday of the month and our Open Sing held the third Friday of the month were both blessings.
Our Men's Breakfast on the first Saturday of the month is a real blessing for the men of the church.
The Men's Retreat is held in March. Several men from the church gathered together with men from other churches and had a time of song, preaching, and fellowship. It was a blessing and time of reflection in the Lord.
April was our month at the Menard Convelescent Center, Petersburg, IL. We worshiped with the residents there every Sunday afternoon in April. On the second Sunday we brought communion to the center and shared with the Christians there. The last two Sunday services, we were joined by the Petersburg Hi-Rise Bible study group who were a delight. What a blessing it is to be there and bring the message of Jesus along with scripture and song.
On Sunday, April 26th we were blessed to have the Gospel Messengers (pictured below) bring our Sunday morning worship service. They truly love the LORD and brought a very moving and spiritual service.
April also brought our monthly Men's Breakfast on the first Saturday of the month and our Open Gospel Sing on the third Friday of the month.
New Life outreach took a big step into the community this month as Pastor Warren and Stan Lowe met with the local Chamber of Commerce and were granted permission to bring live gospel music to this year's Harvest Fest which will be held on Saturday, September 19th. New Life will host a gospel service on the town square where people can hear about Jesus through song. New Life is in the process of planning their "outreach" exhibit table and day in the community.
A young man, Mr. Steve Watson, in our community has asked for Pastor Warren to baptize him. He had accepted Jesus as his savior and repented of his sins and felt a strong desire to follow in obedience with baptism. The baptism is scheduled for the first Sunday in June.
May brought live music back to New Life once again, and it is a blessing. Stan Lowe and Mary Chamberlain play their guitars on Sunday morning and evening worship services and Stan leads the singing. The congregation is enjoying praising the LORD with live music.
Scott and Ann Marie Blankenship renewed their marriage vows in the month of June and rededicated their lives to the service of Christ.
Steve Watson was baptized in June 2009. It was a blessing to witness the baptism and see another new brother won to the LORD.
Pastor Warren conducted the marriage ceremony of Steve Watson and his lovely bride in June 2009.
The Two by Two Gospel Quartet came to worship with us in June. They are always a blessing and after their song service they stay to fellowship with us during our dinner.
Every Sunday afternoon Foursquare folks go to the Sunny Acres Nursing Home just outside of Petersburg and bring song and message to the residents there. It is always something we look forward to and enjoy so much. The residents gather in the afternoon and await our arrival with anticipation of a good time of fellowship. Foursquare goes in July and December every year and sometimes fills in when other churches can not. It is a blessing and we thank God for the opportunity.
Larry Smith presented framed pictures from the Men's retreat this year to the men of the church who attended the retreat. It is a reminder of the good fellowship the men had at the retreat.
A gospel singing group named One Voice presented a singing service on the last Sunday evening in July. Many enjoyed the music.
Pastor Warren Anderson turned 70 years old this month. What a blessing he is and what wisdom he shares with all of the congregation.
The church is busy preparing for the outreach to be held on September 19th on the downtown square of Petersburg where we will hold a gospel concert titled Someone Cares - Jesus Does and have put together a number of items to give away. It will be a good day to talk about Jesus.
We were blessed by Singer Tom Jones and his wife Mimi from White Hall, IL on Sunday, August 22nd when Tom led the singing for us and sang some specials. He and his wife are a joy and encouragement to all. We were so blessed by their visit to our church and welcome them to come back any time.
New Life Foursquare Gospel Church did an outreach to the community by hosting a gospel sing on the Petersburg square under the Big Tent at Harvest Fest on Saturday, September 19th. Pastor Warren Anderson and Stan Lowe had met for months with the Chamber of Commerce concerning the event.
Paul and Martha Layne, The Gospel Messengers, The Peeks and Stan Lowe all sang on under the big tent and it was a blessing from the Lord. Jesus was proclaimed from 11:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. not only inside the big tent, but the speakers were set up outside so the sounds of Praises to the Lord, went all over the courthouse and throughout the downtown area. What a benefit.
More than 50 Bibles were placed in the hands of interested persons and lots of devotional material and other items were given away. Ann Marie Blankenship did more than 20 Christian face paintings for children who attended the festival. The church ladies bake sale was a huge success. Joyce Lash made 20 pies. All the baked items were sold.
The church men gathered at the church about 6 a.m. and moved tables and chairs to the courthouse lawn in preperation for the Church tables at the event. It was a long day but well worth the time and effort. The weather was beautiful and the church came together to work hard for the Lord.
Preperations are now being made for the next community outreach event. Victory in Jesus Gospel Concert is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2009 with a free meal served at 5:30 p.m. and the singing to begin at 6:30 p.m. Eleven gospel groups will be singing Praises to the Lord that evening.
The congregation held a Surprise 70th Birthday Party on September 27th for Pastor Warren and Joye. Warren turned 70 in August and Joye will turn 70 in October, so a September party was planned to surprise them both. And it did. Their two sons, daughter-in-law and three granddaughters came from Southern, IL to surprise them. Their daughter-in-law Cathy sang beautifully for the congregation and both of their sons, Dave and Phil gave wonderful testimonies to their parents. The service was a blessing and all the people of the congregation worked together to make it a success - which it was.
The church and community were blessed with a wonderful Gospel Concert to praise the Lord on the 24th of October. The Victory in Jesus Gospel Concert featured, singers Ron Senters of Springfield, IL, piano player Joe Burgess of Springfield, IL, singers Livingproof (Ron and Carol Beesley) of Edinburg, IL, Mutch Love (Loren & Shari Mutchler) of Manito, IL, Native American who signs to Christian music Mo Franklin of Waverly, singers Tommy Jones of White Hall,IL, Alan and Mary Blair of Sherman, IL, The Peeks (Jim & Rosemary) of Springfield, IL and Stan Lowe of Petersburg, IL. There was a free dinner held prior to the sing where everyone enjoyed good fellowship and food. It was good to see so many people come out on a Saturday evening to join us in praising the Lord.
A month of Thanksgiving at Foursquare with an abundance of testimonies, praise reports and good gospel music.
The Two by Two Gospel Quartet again blessed us with their music, on a Saturday night concert. It was a blessing to the entire church and all who came out to praise the Lord.
Sunday morning worship service was followed by a Thanksgiving fellowship meal, on November 22nd. It is always good to spend time with other Christians.
December brought the winter weather but Foursquare hearts were still warm to praising the Lord. The church was blessed when six local children began attending church services and soon began singing during the services on the platform. They bring joy to all who listened.