Connecting Point – June 7, 2023

On our recent trip to Israel, members of our team had the opportunity to be baptized in the Jordan River, the same river that Jesus was baptized in many years ago. As I was baptizing people from our Church in the Jordan River, a number of other people got in line with our people to be baptized. So I wound up baptizing people from French-speaking countries and from Spanish-speaking countries, as well as baptizing people who were in our group. It was a blessing to see so many people who wanted to take the step of baptism in the Jordan River.

People have demonstrated they're a follower of Jesus Christ by being baptized

We should all want to take the step of baptism by immersion if we've never taken that step in our lives. From the beginning of Christianity, people have demonstrated they're a follower of Jesus Christ by being baptized (Acts 2:37-41). "Baptize" is a transliteration of the Greek word "baptizo" which means to "immerse under the water." "Baptism by immersion" is the Biblical mode of baptism. Jesus was baptized as were all of His followers, and real followers of Jesus since that time have pursued being baptized by immersion.

When a person takes this step they're declaring that they are committed to living for Jesus Christ. Making that strong statement helps us to rise to a new level of faith and strength in our lives. To learn more about "baptism by immersion," contact your Life Group Leader or a Campus Staff Member, or go to our Digital Worship Guide at webcc.info and click on the My Decision tab. Or you can just show up this Sunday for our ALL IN Baptism Sunday, where we will be baptizing at our Campuses all who want to take this important step of discipleship in their lives.

We will have shorts, "All In" t-shirts, and towels for those who show up this Sunday to be baptized either in or following our services.

By the way, there may be some who have been baptized by immersion in times past who want to take that step again, to demonstrate they have rededicated their lives to loving the Lord and living for Him. You can also sign up to participate in our ALL-IN Baptism Sunday.

This past Sunday at our Celebration Campuses we learned that improving our Communication skills helps us to have healthier and happier marriages, families, friendships, and work relationships.  Sometimes our communication with others is hindered by the differences between cultures, genders, or generations. And sometimes our communication with others is hindered by issues like busyness, cluelessness, fear, and/or laziness in our lives.

But regardless of the challenges we face, we can all become better communicators when we focus on 1) allotting time for communication, 2) being open and honest with people, 3) controlling our anger, 4) doing away with certain words, 5) figuring out the best times for communication, 6) engaging only in godly conversations and activities, 7) listening carefully to others, and 8) always speaking the truth in love.

If you would like to listen to, re-listen to, or share this past Sunday's message with others, go to www.celebrationchurch.org.

Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant denomination in our nation, and they will be holding their annual Convention in New Orleans June 11-14. At Celebration we are glad to support the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board of Southern Baptists, and the thousands of missionaries they represent.  The Southern Baptist Convention will be meeting at the New Orleans Convention Center. It's estimated that 20,000 people will be attending and/or participating in that Convention which means that they will need a lot of Volunteers to help staff the Greeting and Usher Teams at the Convention.

So at the request of my dear friends Jack Hunter (New Orleans Baptist Association Executive Director) and Chad Gilbert (Lead Pastor, First Baptist New Orleans), I'm encouraging you to pray about serving on one of those Volunteer Teams.

SBC Greeting and Usher Teams are being asked to serve 4-hour shifts either in the morning or afternoon of each day (and if they serve in both shifts lunch will be provided for them). To see when the sessions will be taking place June 11-14 and to see where to show up ahead of time for a brief training, you can click on this link https://sbcannualmeeting.net/volunteer/. There you will also find additional information about the Southern Baptist Convention, their annual meeting, and ongoing ministries that may be of encouragement and help to you. This is a great opportunity to help out our Christian Brothers and Sisters and to introduce people to the charm of New Orleans and the love of our Celebration Family. So, please consider serving on either a Greeter or Usher Team for 1 or more of those sessions.

By the way, my friend Rick Warren (former Pastor of Saddleback Church, author of The Purpose Driven Life) is looking for some people who would be willing to pass out pamphlets to the Southern Baptist Convention attendees as they attend the Tuesday morning session (June 13). If you would be interested in helping with this project, contact RebeccaH@celebrationchurch.org.

June 18 is FATHER'S DAY, and on that day at our Celebration Campuses we will be affirming and gifting all of the males who are with us in attendance, and we will be honoring those who are birth fathers, stepfathers, stand-in-the-gap fathers, and spiritual fathers. So fathers, grandfathers, and husbands, I encourage you to use your influence to get your family members to come with you to Celebration Church on that Sunday. Tell them, "What I want for Father's Day is for my family to join me in Church."
I believe that when your family members come with you they will be encouraged by the worship and friendliness of our people and challenged and potentially changed by the message they hear from God's Word.

Join us this Sunday for our ALL IN Baptism emphasis, and as we continue our Navigating The Challenges sermon series.

Gratefully Yours,
  
Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
  dennis.watson.96

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