Category Archives: This Week with Pastor Jon

July 30, 2017

My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

~ Psalm 73:26 ~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue – we are so thankful that you are here. You may have come back today after a great vacation, refreshed and relaxed.  Or, you may be here today hanging on by a thread, having carried some heavy burdens this week.  God knows, and He has a word of hope for each of us today.  My special thanks to Dr. Dan DeWitt who will be preaching from Psalm 118 this morning.

Thank you to all who came to the Church Work Day yesterday to help beautify our church facility.  It sparkles around here!  Our sound system was upgraded this week – hopefully you can hear the difference in clarity and consistency.  Please bear with our technical team as they adjust and fine-tune things.  In another 1 ½ weeks the sanctuary and foyer carpet will be replaced.  If you spill coffee today, no problem!  But this is a good time to remind ourselves to be careful with our coffee, and if you do spill, tell an usher or custodian right away so that they can clean it up and minimize the stain.  Thank you!

 
As you came through the main entrance this morning, did you notice the “Fresh Vegetables” table?  Many in our church family have gardens and like to share what they’ve grown.  Help yourself to what you see on that table in the weeks ahead!   Are you interested in helping follow-up with our VBS children and their families?  Pastor Robert is assembling a team to make visits this Wednesday evening – speak with him today to get involved.

Welcome to Roger, Peggy, and Samuel Johnson who joined our church last Sunday.  If you didn’t get a chance to welcome them last week, do so today.  We are planning another Baptism Celebration soon.  Speak with me if you’d like to be included.  We love each of you and thank the Lord for you as we regularly pray for you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

July 23, 2017

Those who know Your name will put
their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not
forsaken those who seek You.

~ Psalm 9:10 ~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  God’s special presence is promised to us when we gather in His name.  That blessing is even greater for us when we gather to remember the sacrifice of our Savior around the Lord’s Table, as we will do this morning (the elements are gluten-free).  We are so glad that you have come

Vacation Bible School was wonderful to behold this week!  Over 150 volunteers served faithfully every night, sweet relationships were made, and the Gospel was shared with about 136 different children.  But it wasn’t ever about the numbers – it was about the opportunities to share the love of Jesus and the good news of His salvation with children, and God answered prayer and helped us do just that.  It’s been an indescribable joy for me to walk around and see so many of you loving on those children!  Thank you!!  We’ll be sharing information about upcoming efforts to continue to reach out and minister to the new friends we were able to make.
You’ve noticed the new surface in our parking lot, and in the weeks ahead there will be additional work being done to upgrade our sound system and replace the carpet in the sanctuary, foyer, and hallways.  We apologize for any inconveniences you may have to experience.  The Lord has blessed us to be able to do all of this debt-free and without special offerings!

We are planning another Baptism Celebration soon.  If you want to take this important step of obedience and identification as a follower of Jesus, please let me know so you can be included.  God has been so good to us all, and it is amazing to see Him at work here at Dayton Avenue.  We love you and thank God for you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

 

July 16, 2017

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he
who believes in Me will never thirst.”

~ John 6:35 ~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  Whether you are a first-time guest or a regular attender, we are praying that God meets with us in a life-changing way today.  If you are worshiping with us for the first-time, I hope you received a gift bag with a loaf of homemade bread on the way in.  Nothing like bribing people with good food!!  Actually, it’s more than that – Jesus referred to Himself as the Bread of Life, and we have found that to be true in our own lives.  So the bread is a small way of our sharing His life with you.

The decorations and signage around the church tell us that this is Vacation Bible School Week!  My special thanks to Char Gates and her small army of fantastic workers who are helping to make this important ministry possible.  Pray for VBS this week… and bring a few kids out to VBS every evening this week (6:00-8:30) if you can. 

If you are new here at Dayton Avenue, we want to help you feel better connected.  There is definitely a family-atmosphere in our worship services, but it’s much easier to make friends in a small group.  We have many great LifeGroups that will welcome you in. Please speak to me or Pastor Chavies or one of our greeters and we will be happy to help you find those places to connect.

Next Sunday morning we will observe the Lord’s Table together and we are planning another Baptism Celebration soon.  If you want to take this important step of obedience and identification as a follower of Jesus, please let me know so you can be included.  Some of you will be taking vacations in the weeks ahead.  I have been praying for you that God will refresh our spirits and renew our commitments to Him.  We love you and thank the Lord for you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

July 9, 2017

 The Book of Psalms is
“an anatomy of all the parts of the soul.”

~ John Calvin ~

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  It is no accident that we are here today.  God, Who is sovereign over all things, has a purpose in our being here.  Take a moment at the beginning of our service to invite Him to speak to you and to do whatever He desires to do in your life

Vacation Bible School is just one week away!!  Help us get the word out by inviting your neighbors and friends.  Thank you to over 130 workers who have been studying and preparing to make this year’s VBS extra special.  A colorful post-card invitation is going out in the mail this week to our community – please pray that God will use it (and us) to bring in many children for VBS next week.

Earlier this year I encouraged all of us to Pick the LONGEST Line.  When we go shopping and checkout, we instinctively look for the shortest line because we don’t want to get stuck waiting and wasting time.  We may develop similar routines in every aspect of life to maximize speed and minimize our contact with people… and we wonder why we never seem to get opportunities to share Jesus’ love with others!  Will you take the challenge this summer?  Pick the longest checkout line, say a quick prayer, and then speak to the people you’re “stuck” in line with and spread some joy. God might redeem that extra little wait time with an opportunity to give a word of encouragement or even invite someone to church.


We are planning another Baptism Celebration soon; if you want to take this important step of obedience and identification as a follower of Jesus, please let me know so you can be included.  We are praying for you and thank the Lord for you.  We are here for you.  Have a wonderful week.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

July 2, 2017

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?

~ Psalm 8:4 ~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning – if you are a first-time guest, I hope you received your welcome bag and homemade bread as you were greeted on the way in.  If not, be sure to stop at the welcome desk and pick one up on the way out (the bread is really good)!

 
When the paint ages on old paintings, it sometimes becomes translucent, allowing us to see what happened underneath the paint: pencil sketchings, mistakes, and elements of the image that have been overpainted in the final product.  Interestingly, the term that describes this is pentimento which is Italian for repentance!  As we live our lives, what are the pencil sketches that come through clearly on our canvas?  What are our sinful decisions that have been overpainted with Grace?  Each of us here today is a work of art that our Creator is crafting… and He’s still working on us.  What touches will He add to our canvas today?

Thank you to our church family artists that have loaned paintings, photography, drawings, and textiles for our Art Worship Wall.  When we use the creative gifts that God has given us to express our worship of Him, the results communicate powerfully.  Check it out if you haven’t been back there recently.  We still have room for more!  Call our church office if you have a piece of artwork we could consider displaying.


Vacation Bible School
is just two weeks away!!  Help us get the word out by inviting your neighbors and friends.  We serve an amazing, awesome God – and we rarely take time to consider just how wonderful it is that He loves us and knows us each by name.  May the Lord help us to NOT keep that good news to ourselves.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

June 25, 2017

O Lord, open my lips,
that my mouth may declare Your praise.

~ Psalm 51:15 ~

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning.  Do you need a spiritual jumpstart today?  Sometimes we just can’t wait to sing out in praise to the Lord, but sometimes, we need a little help to get started.  Even the psalmist David apparently had those times: “Lord… please open my lips to get me going!” My prayer today is that God does just that – works in us to will and to do His good pleasure.
An old Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  I like that proverb, and I also like the updated version: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance!”

Each of us is on a journey which requires action and it carries a cost.  Take a moment this morning to consider your own journey.  Am I on the right road – to heaven?  Have I stepped out in faith on this journey?  Did I break down on the way because I hadn’t considered the cost?  Am I following a detour?  Am I as far on this journey as I should be?  Have I learned to surrender to God’s leading as He takes me around the unfamiliar bends in the road?  We are here to help you in that journey – don’t hesitate to call on us, your pastors.


Pastor Robert Walker
officially begins serving as our Pastor to Children and Their Families today.  Be sure to welcome him and Abigail this morning!  This evening after our Bible Study (@6:30), we’ll have a Town Hall Meeting at which I’ll share a brief update on the security breach incident last month.

I have to mention that Sarah and I became first-time grandparents this week with the birth of Evelyn Arlene Slone on Monday afternoon.  She is beautiful and amazing (!!) and her parents Roger and Hilary are pretty special, too.  Thank you for praying for us as we anticipated her arrival – God has answered our prayers far above what we could have imagined.  May God bless you this week as you live for Him.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

June 18, 2017

 “The measure of a life, after all, is
not its duration but its donation.”

~ Corrie ten Boom ~

Welcome home at Dayton Avenue this morning!  It is really wonderful to worship the Lord together with family.


Happy Father’s Day
to all our dads!  Fathers love it when their little children give them a picture they have drawn.  They will point to the dog (scribble #1) under the chair (scribble #2) upon which they have drawn a picture of daddy (scribble #3). To some, these pictures look like a bunch of crayon scribbles, but that’s because they don’t know the artists.  Those imperfect pictures tell a story about the love and joy and abilities that make each child unique.

God our Father loves the painting we paint with our lives for Him.  He could have painted His own masterpieces, perfect in every detail, but He wants our work of love and takes great joy in all of our expressions of worship to Him.  Today is art class!  Let’s take time to look upon Him, and to paint with all the bright colors of worship we can find.

The Lives at Steak summer outreach training session videos will be posted on our website soon! Click on the scrolling banner on the homepage.   We are praying that God gives each of us someone to reach out to this summer.  If you give using the eGive online giving system, please login and update your account (or create a new one).  The system implemented a major upgrade last month.
Pastor Robert and Abigail Walker are scheduled to arrive sometime tomorrow with their moving van!  If you can help them unpack (toward evening), please call in to the church office for details about how to help.  Next Sunday Evening after our Bible Study (@6:30), we’ll have another Town Hall Meeting at which I’ll share an update on the security breach incident last month.  We do not have an evening service tonight: relax and enjoy family time together and give honor to whom honor is due – our fathers and grandfathers. God bless you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

June 4, 2017

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
yes, I will help you, I will uphold you
with My righteous right hand.”

~ Isaiah 41:10 ~Capture

Welcome to Dayton Avenue this morning: grace and peace to you in the name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus.

A special welcome today to Robert (and Abigail) Walker our candidate in view of a call for Pastor to Children and Their Families.  There are several ways for you to meet them and ask them questions this morning, including:

  • Question & Answer time (primarily for parents of children) @9:30am in the café side of the Youth Room
  • Avenue Kids Ministry @11:10am in room 406 ~ Robert will be teaching/leading, and parents are invited to observe
  • Question & Answer time open to all after the worship service in the Fellowship Hall @12:15pm

Then this evening at 6:00 will be a Special Business Meeting at which we will vote on calling Robert to this pastoral position.  I also hope to give you some more information about the security breach incident that I shared with you last Sunday morning.

Our Lives at Steak summer outreach emphasis has begun and I hope you’ll take advantage of the training sessions (at 9:30 this morning and next Sunday in the sanctuary).  God brings people into all of our lives so that we can reflect His love to them and be His witnesses.  We are praying that God gives each of us someone to reach this summer.  We also found out this week that the eGive online giving system has been upgraded.  If you give this way, please log in and make sure you update your account (or create a new one).  It appears the old system was phased out (along with any giving!) two weeks ago.

We love you and are here for you.  Please don’t hesitate to call on any of our pastors or deacons this week.  God bless you and keep you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

May 28, 2017

No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived what God has prepared
for those who love Him.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:9 ~Capture

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue today.  Though God is not limited by time or space, He inhabits the worship of His people gathered together in His name.  We will experience His smile upon us in this place today – through praising Him, meditating on His Word, and sharing at His Table in Communion this morning (the elements are gluten-free).

I want to thank each of you who have served in our country’s Armed Forces for your loyalty and sacrifice, especially those of you who have fought on foreign soil.  The blessings and freedoms we enjoy today have been preserved at great cost, and we are grateful.  Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to give honor to you.
Keep praying for Robert (and Abigail) Walker who will be coming as candidate in view of a call for Pastor to Children and Their Families this weekend.  There are several venues for you to interact with them, including:

  • Carry-in Dinner for the Children’s Ministry workers Saturday @5:30pm (RSVP required)
  • Question & Answer time with parents Sunday @9:30am in the café’ side of the Youth Room
  • Question & Answer time open to all after the worship service in the Fellowship Hall

Our Lives at Steak summer outreach emphasis begins this week with training sessions on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning.  God brings people into all of our lives so that we can reflect His love to them and be His witnesses.  We are praying that God gives each of us someone to reach this summer.   I thank God for you and am praying for His highest blessing on your life as you live for Him.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin

May 21, 2017

“Age is a matter of the mind.
If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!”

~ Mark Twain~Capture

Welcome to worship at Dayton Avenue.  Today is Senior Adult Sunday.  We have the greatest group of seniors anywhere… I look up to them and hope that I can be as grace-filled and sweet when I get to be their age.  The quote above really does describe our seniors – age doesn’t hold them back from ministry.  We thank the Lord for our seniors, and will recognize one in particular – the Senior Adult of the Year – for faithful and exceptional service to our church.

 
Thank you for faithfully praying during our search for a candidate for our Children’s Ministry position.  Last week I announced that Robert (and Abigail) Walker will come as candidates in view of a call on Sunday, June 4th.  There will be a Special Town Hall meeting this evening at 6:00 during which I will be sharing more information about this and answering any questions you may have.

Today is the first week of our summer Single Worship Service Schedule for Sunday mornings – we hope that it has not caused too much confusion.  If you have not found your place in a LifeGroup yet, let me encourage you to take time this summer to do some shopping – it will be a great help in your Christian walk.  Our Lives at Steak summer outreach emphasis begins soon (training session details are inside this bulletin).

 
Welcome to our new church family members who joined last week: Todd and Debbie Lee.  If you didn’t get a chance to personally welcome them last week, look for them and welcome them today.  Please don’t hesitate to call on us this week.  We love you and thank the Lord for the privilege of serving Him together with you here in Xenia.  We are praying for you.

CLICK HERE to see inside this week’s bulletin