he elders have several pieces of information they’d like to share with the Burns family at this time, so we’ve prepared a “Shepherds’ Notes.” We hope to do this more often in the future, so that we can keep each other informed and encouraged about the work going on at the Burns Church of Christ.

You can download a PDF of their notes here, or read the full text below:

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Aug 31 – Cookout after Evening Services
Sept 6 – Bible Bowl @ Cookeville
Sept 7 – Special Collection: Goal $8,550
Sept 13 – Building Clean-up and Work Day
Sept 27 – Burns Fish Fry
Nov 1 – Costume Party at the Olivers’

Small Group Bible Study

It is our prayer and hope that the small group Bible study format we’ve used on Sunday nights has been helpful to you. We have been encouraged to see how many people have actively participated and worked through some familiar (and not-so-familiar!) lessons from 2 Samuel. We want to hear your feedback—so let us know what has worked, so we can continue to provide the best learning and growth opportunities possible.

We will continue our small group format through the month of November. Beginning on the first Sunday of September, we’ll launch into new study topics. Let your group leader know what topics and texts would be helpful.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 31. Instead of our usual 5th-Sunday Singing, we’ll have our final study session of 2 Samuel followed by a cookout on the grounds. Be listening in your group for more information.

New Faces

We’ve had three baptisms in the past year. Make sure you’re continuing to encourage Marcia Dauphin, Chazz Jackson, and Ashton Long.

Be sure to encourage them as well as all of our other new members!

Less Hot Air!

Some of you have already noticed that the auditorium is much more comfortable lately. That’s thanks in part to the work of Kenneth Caldwell who has repaired several components of the HVAC system.

We’ve worked with several heating and air folks to continue to make the auditorium as comfortable (and efficient) as possible. We’ll soon be replacing our current mis-matched thermostats with ―smart thermostats that will keep the temperature more consistent and save on our energy bills. During summer months, the air conditioning will be set at 76 degrees. During winter months, the heat will be set to 68 degrees. You’ll want to dress accordingly!

You may also have noticed in Keith Oliver’s financial reports that our last two months’ energy bills have been astronomical! We’re still working on this, but it appears that the power company is fining us for when we use a lot of power, suddenly. (Like at Fellowship meals: we turn on the air conditioners, the lights, the heating table, the warmer, etc. all simultaneously!)

Please help us conserve by noticing the instructions on several light switches and thermostats – and turn lights off when they’re not in use.

We still have several more repairs and upgrades to make to help our systems work more efficiently, and these won’t be free. Kenneth has been gracious to donate his expertise—which would cost us thousands—but we will need help for parts and other expenses. We will have a special collection to help with building upkeep and maintenance on Sunday, September 7. Our goal is to raise $6,000 above the budget (a total of $8,550) so that we can fix our facilities problems before they get worse.

We really appreciate your help! We’re blessed with a comfortable place to worship and study, and we want to take care of it so it can be used for years to come.

The Church Mortgage

Several months ago, the church mortgage balloon payment came due. The church’s note is a 5 year loan with a balloon payment due at the end. Thanks to the help of Becky Gaskins at Pinnacle Bank, we have refinanced the note for the next 5 years at a 15 year amortization schedule (instead of 10).

If you have any questions about the church’s finances, please talk to us or Keith Oliver, our treasurer.

House to House/Heart to Heart

We recently expanded our mailing of the House to House/Heart to Heart newsletter to include every mail route in the town of Burns. Several have responded to the Bible quizzes and we’ve had some interest in Bible studies as well.

If you don’t live on a Burns route, you can pick up a copy for yourself or for a friend in the foyer. They’re available every two months.

Fish Fry 2008

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 27, 2008 for our annual Burns Appreciation Day. This year, we’ve decided to focus on the fish—it’s going to be great! In lieu of barbeque, we’ll be serving hot dogs and hamburgers as well.

If you have a deep fryer, please let John Gabriel know. We’ll plan on having a grounds clean-up day on September 13 from 9:00 to 12:00 to help get ready. Don’t forget to start inviting friends!

Charlie Dauphin

We’re also glad to announce that effective Sunday, August 17, Charlie Dauphin is resuming his role as a deacon. You all know Charlie to be a hard worker in everything he does, and we look forward to his continued service in this role.

We now have four deacons: John Gabriel, Butch Jack, Stan Whitfield, and Charlie Dauphin. These men are responsible for a lot of the day-to-day work at Burns, coordinating everything from gift baskets to cleaning the baptistery. We’re working on defining their roles more clearly—and once that’s done, we’ll post that information so you’ll know who to contact when you have questions. You can read more about the nature and work of deacons in 1 Timothy 3.

The Burns Website

Be sure to check out the church website. It’s online at http://burnschurchofchrist.org. On it, you can find recordings of recent sermons, our bulletin articles, useful Bible study links, congregational news, and pictures from recent activities.

In the past two months, there have been more than 160 people who have visited the site from 6 different countries and 19 different states. We’ve already had a couple of questions from folks asking for Bible study materials and questions about the church. It’s a great resource for a friend.

Coming soon will be access to an online directory. We’ll announce a username and password in the next few weeks.

Outreach: 2009

The church exists to bring glory to God by encouraging the faithful and reaching the lost. We believe that the church at Burns can and should do more to help reach those who don’t know the goodness of God.
We’re currently working on plans for a campaign in the spring of 2009. We will likely be assisted by the God’s Family Evangelistic Ministries group. Lori Jack’s father is a part of this group, and they’ve worked with other congregations with great success.

They will come for a weekend training session for us early next year and assist us with a Gospel Meeting and door-knocking campaign after a couple of months.
The details of this work are still very much up in the air, but now is the time to begin praying for this effort. Pray that God will use us to do His will, that He will soften hearts in our community, and that He will give us wisdom and grace for the task.

Fellowship Meals

We’re planning a slight change in our schedule this year: we will not conduct our standard fellowship meals in the months of September (due to the Fish Fry) or December (due to the Christmas holiday). All other fellowship meals will continue as usual.

Thank You

Thank you for the encouragement that you are—and we pray that together, we will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.