Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Feb. 8, 2020

Web Master - Thursday, February 06, 2020

The Future of our Church

This past Sabbath we held our first planning session looking towards the Future of our Church. There were 35 of us and we completed a SWOT Analysis by looking at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. (Click here to download and view a one page summary; click here to download a copy to print.)

I was impressed by several things.

    • First, the number of people who participated tells me that we are interested in the future of our church and want a voice in its direction. The participants ranged in age from young to old and included a mix that represented well the diversity of our membership.
    • I was impressed by how engaged everyone was in the process. The discussion showed deep thinking and brought together a good picture of where we are right now – both the good and bad.
    • And, it was wonderful to see how we related to each other. Each person who presented ideas was supported and encouraged. People’s thoughts and words were taken seriously.

Thank you to each one who participated in this first step.

There are two things we must remember as we continue down this path.

    • First, any changes we try will not make any lasting difference if God is not directing it. The most important thing each of us can do right now is to spend time getting to know God better and learning to hear His voice. More than anything, we are looking for God’s leading in this process. Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads!
    • Second, this process will take time. It is not something to rush. We will take the time needed to evaluate all the information and to listen for God’s directions.

Our next meeting will take place on March 7, following potluck. Please put this date on your calendar and plan to be a part of the continuing process to plan for the Future of Our Church.

I am excited to see where God will take us these next few months and years!

The Splash Zone    

Don Jacobsen's blog last weekend was titled The Splash Zone and has some beautiful thoughts on prayer.

Chances are you recognize the name Shamu. He’s the 12,000 lb, 18-foot-long killer whale that has been trained to jump, roll, and somersault at the Sea World parks. You can debate if you wish the ethical issue of keeping a creature of the wild in confinement but the reality is that 20,000,000 people every year come to watch him perform. And it’s unforgettable.

Especially if you’re sitting in the splash zone … (Click here to read the entire article.)

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website, Hope-Heals.org.

Liberty Magazine Campaign

Our Religious Liberty Offerings sponsor Liberty Magazine subscriptions to high-level government official, federal, state, and provincial judges, and prominent social and religious leaders throughout North America. It is also used to support the North American Division litigation fund – resources needed to defend and preserve your religious liberty in court when necessary. And a portion of the offering is returned to the Mid-America Union to be used in our community as needed. To give you may choose any of the following options.

    • If you received a handout at church, put your offering into the envelope provided and turn it in with the offering.
    • You can put your donation into a tithe envelope and mark it Religious Liberty.
    • You can go directly to Liberty Magazine’s Website and give through their on-line portal.
    • You can also give via our on-line portal (click here), go to the World category and click More Offering Categories, search for Liberty Magazine, click on it and then put the amount into that line and follow the instructions for donating.

Calendar of Events

Sunset this Friday – 5:48 pm

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall (9:20 – 9:50 am)
    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class, Church Sanctuary: Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class, Hearth Room – The Haystacks Church: We are discussing and studying the principles found in The Haystacks Church. To purchase a paper copy of this book, click here. To purchase an e-book for Apple Products, click here; for a Kindle version, click here; or for a nook book, click here.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, we are in for a special treat as our worship service will be presented by our Sudanese group. This is a program you do not want to miss!

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Feb. 10) at 6:30 pm. For information about Pathfinders contact Holly Degerness (402-917-4718) or Marina Nolasco (402-594-0671); for information about Adventurers, contact Lori Knutson (402-980-5018).

    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Pathfinder Calendar.
    • Click here to download a copy of the 2019-2020 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Feb. 11) at 6:00 pm.

Church Board meets this Tuesday (Feb. 11) at 7:15 pm in the Board Room of the Education Annex. If you have any items that need to be considered, please contact our Head Elder, Kalvin Tuel (e-mail or 402-201-0630).

Valentines Dinner and a Movie sponsored by our Pathfinders will take place one week from this Saturday night (Feb. 15) in our Fellowship Hall. Dinner will begin at 5:30 pm and cost $6 per person. You can get tickets from any one of our Pathfinders or their leaders. The movie – titled Eight Below – is free and will begin around 7:00 pm.

Mid-America Union Children’s Ministries Convention 2020: Are you excited about ministering to children? Do you wish to have training to effectively minister to children? Looking for resources to help you program and meet the needs of children?  You want to attend the 2020 Children’s Ministries Convention, February 28-29, 2020 at the Omaha Marriott Regency. To Register (or for more information), click here or call (800) 732-7587.  See below for more details.

The Future of Our Church (Part 2) – Planning Meeting, on March 7 following Potluck. See above for more details.

Life Line Screening will be here at our Church April 29, 2020. Click here to register. See below for more details.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

Rest Is Not Disconnection: Do you worry a lot? Is it common for you to dread upcoming events? Does pressure or stress trigger outbursts of anger, isolation, depression, or feelings of failure?  Do you have a hard time finishing what you start? Do you find it impossible to work in the middle of chaos? Do you wonder if God is really going to come through for you in difficult times? Bible Gateway interviewed Jenny L. Donnelly about her book, Still: 7 Ways to Find Calm in the Chaos. (Click here to read more.)

Think of Yourself as a Saint: The Bible uses the word Christian to describe followers of Jesus a grand total of three times. But there's another identifier that fills the pages of the New Testament—a word that's been mistakenly reserved for the halo-wearing elite, losing something profound in the process: saints. Wrapped in this ancient word is a divine invitation to discover who God created you to be and awaken you to the life you were meant to know. Bible Gateway interviewed Addison D. Bevere about his book, Saints: Becoming More Than "Christians". (Click here to read more.)

So You Want to Be Useful to God … Craig Groeschel, author of Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe, says, "My mentor, Gary, reminded me that God loved me. He always has my best interests in mind. But for me to be wholly useful to him, I’d have to be empty of myself. God would have to break me of pride, of self-confidence, of self-sufficiency. And God would also have to break me of things that I didn’t even know needed to be removed from my life. (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

Check Out the entire Weekly Brief by clicking here. To subscribe to any one of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

MAUC Children’s Ministries Convention 2020

Are you excited about ministering to children? Do you wish to have training to effectively minister to children? Looking for resources to help you program and meet the needs of children?  You need to attend the 2020 Children’s Ministries Convention, February 28-29, 2020 at the Omaha Marriott Regency Hotel.

You’ll receive:

    • In-depth, hands on training through breakout options (For a list of Breakout Sessions click here).
    • Training for the new Seventh-day Adventist HEROES VBS Curriculum.
    • Resource Center full of children’s ministry specific resources.
    • Meaningful networking with other leaders like you.

Registration: $25.00 per person – Includes Registration materials, Sabbath Lunch, In-depth hands on training through Breakout Sessions, Resources, Networking.

Venue: Omaha Marriott Regency , 10220 Regency Circle, Omaha, NE 68114.

Housing: There is a convention room block at the Omaha Marriott Regency. Rate is $91.00 per night plus tax (18.16%). Click here to make a reservation or call 1-402-399-9000 and ask for MAU Room Block Price.

To Register (or for more information), click here or call (800) 732-7587.

Life Line Screening

Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings will be in our community again on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 here at our Church . Ultrasound screenings to Identify risk factors for Cardiovascular disease include; Carotid Artery (plaque buildup-a leading cause of stroke), Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (an enlargement or weak area in the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), Peripheral Arterial Disease (hardening of the arteries in the legs), a Heart Rhythm Screening (an EKG to detect Atrial Fibrillation-irregular heartbeat) and an Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for men and women. Being proactive about your health by knowing your risks helps you and your doctor address problems early. Register online TODAY by clicking here and receive your “Community Circle” discount and your Preferred Appointment!

Remind App

We are using the Remind App as an emergency contact system for our church. Through it, we can easily and quickly send out a text message to everyone on the system. One way we would use it would be to notify you if church is cancelled due to bad weather. The App is designed to work in a school setting so you will see education terminology as you sign up. Our church is considered a class in this system.

To sign up, choose one of the methods below:

    • If you have a smartphone, you can get push notifications. On your iPhone or Android phone open your web browser and go to: rmd.at/tmartinse. Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind. You will be prompted to download the mobile app.
    • If your phone is not so smart, you can still get text notifications. Text the message @tmartinse to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @tmartinse to (941) 787-5566.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Wall of Love: Our church board recently approved a new community focus project call the Wall of Love. Each month we will collect needed items for a service agency in our community.

Ride to Church Needed: An older gentleman, who lives near L Street and 132nd Street (not too far from the Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Target), is looking for a fairly regular ride to church on Sabbath mornings. If you live out that direction and would be willing to explore the possibilities, please contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333).

Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.

Used Stamps Needed! Your used stamps can help Christian Record Services for the Blind raise money. Just tear them off the envelope, being careful to include the entire stamp and bring them to church. Put them into the container provided out on the table and we will take care of getting them where they need to go.

Miscellaneous Information

Video Streaming: We are now live streaming our sermons each Sabbath – you can watch them by clicking here. This will now be a regular feature of our church.

On-Line Church Directory Information: Now you can sync our church directory directly to your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device with a Free App! You can search for other members – and then email, call, or text right from the directory app. It’s easy!

    1. Go to your device’s App Store. (Click here for Apple products, click here for Android devices, or click here for Kindle Fire.
    2. Search for Instant Church Directory.
    3. Enter your email as it’s listed in our church directory.
    4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete the login process.

Lippincott Family Updates: Check out the latest update from Lorilee and Bryon Lippincott about their family’s experiences serving God in Asia. To access a PDF copy of the most recent update, click here . To access a PDF copy that includes all we have received from 2019, click here; 2018, click here; 2017, click here; 2016, click here;  2013-2015, click here. To check out their website, click here. Don’t forget to check out Sharing Dots for Kids. To sign up for their e-mail newsletter, click here.

Free Estate Planning & Wills: Norm Zimmerman, Trust Director for the Kansas Nebraska Conference, is available by appointment to assist anyone who needs Estate Planning, Wills, etc. For more information contact Norm (402-617-2001).

On-Line Giving Available! Our church offers on-line giving through our website. If you would prefer to give electronically or if you are going to be away and want to stay up-to-date with your giving, click here. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.

Our Church E-Mail Newsletter, Directly to Your Computer! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided in the lower right-hand portion of our church home page.

Adobe Reader: To read and download many of the documents we post here you need Adobe Reader installed on your computer. To get a free copy of the latest version, click here.

Adventist Screening Verification

Verified Volunteers has changed their name to Sterling Volunteers. The NAD has decided to select a parent name that can remain in their publications and website landing pages on a permanent basis. The name chosen for all our background screening and training needs is Adventist Screening Verification .

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Adventist Screening Verification to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk.

In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you or to our church). It will take about an hour of your time.

To go to the website where you begin this process, click here and then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. For more information, contact Pastor T (402-517-5333).

Last Week’s Sermon

To download or print a PDF copy of last week’s sermon titled A Tale of Two Families, click here. You may watch it by clicking here.

Prayer Watch

There are several people and concerns that we are praying about, for more information about any of these or to request something to be added to our list, feel free to contact Pastor T. (402-517-5333)

    • The Future of Our Church – Please pray that God will make His will and the path to achieving it known and that we will have the courage to follow wherever it leads
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Les Swensen’s father is in the hospital dealing with some critical health issues
    • Donna & Garry Parker are at Life Care Center of Omaha (6032 Ville de Sante Dr., Omaha, NE 68104), room 603. They are expecting to be discharged this Friday to return home.
    • Bill Agan continues radiation therapy for the cancer in his throat.
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. has is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tammy Burville (Amy Newman-Holub’s cousin), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Dennis Cushman, Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Paul Lostaglia, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody Parker, Donna & Gary Parker, Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Charise Talley, Cindy & Bob Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s parents)

Pastor’s Contact Information

To contact Pastor T, leave him a message by clicking here.  

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