|Theological Hmm: If you think thoughts and feel feelings—and you do—you are always in the process of hearing from God, whether you are conscious of His overtures or not. - Ty Gibson|
- WE ARE PLANNING TO REMAIN OPEN APRIL 3 AND FOLLOWING @ 9:30am but remain under the state of Ohio mask mandate. Which means everyone at church 10 years of age and older must wear a face covering of some kind (free and available at the doors) except officiants in a religious service, those with a medical condition or disability and those communicating with someone with a disability.
HOW TO LISTEN TO SABBATH SCHOOL AND CHURCH ON YOUR PHONE If you (or a senior you know) have limited or no internet access but want to listen to Sabbath School (9:30am) and church (11am) on your phone, you can call 1 (312) 626-6799 (*long distance charges may apply) and enter Meeting ID 974 0616 4323. When prompted, please also add the password: 4909.
HOW TO WATCH SABBATH SCHOOL AND CHURCH Search "Streaming Channels" in Roku enabled SmartTV's for "Toledo First SDA Church" OR tune in to the church Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tfsda.org/ OR tune in to the church website at https://www.toledofirstadventist.org.
IGLESIA ADVENTISTA DE TOLEDO CONTINUES @ 11am in church fellowship hall. Tenemos servicio en español en la sala del comedor todos los sábados de 11-12:45.
COMMUNION APR 3 is the next quarterly communion service at Toledo First as well our Easter service as well as the beginning of our new sermon series Jesus Is The Heart of It All. Join us! (and if you're watching from home, get some juice and crackers ready!)
PLANTSTRONG Have you tried Simple Truth Dairy Free Chocolate Raspberry Frozen Dessert Bars made with sustainable dark cocoa? All-Free Double Chocolate Brownie Bites? Or Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert made with Almond Milk? They are YUM!
MIKE'S FORTUNE COOKIES I’m creating sixty second devotionals. You can watch the latest one here if you wish.
TOLEDO SECOND CHURCH? Our Parkwood church friend Lesley recently made me aware that nearly 100 years ago, our church planted what would become known as the Parkwood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In the Fall of 1928, Elder A.N. Durant held evangelistic meetings in Toledo. Assisted by a Bible worker, Miss Bonnie L. Dobbins, the meetings produced three baptisms. Together with five members from Toledo First Church, a company was formed with eight charter members. Thus a black congregation was formed in 1928. After Elder Durant left, Miss Dobbins stayed on till June 1929. The new company met at 565 Avondale Avenue and were listed in the City Directory as Toledo Second Seventh-day Adventist Church. In December 1930 the company reorganized as a church. It then became a part of the Cleveland district with Elder J.G. Dasent as pastor. By 1934 it was known as the Bethel SDA Church. In November 1973 the B'Nai Jacob Synagogue was purchased and renamed the Parkwood Avenue SDA Temple which remains its official name though in the last ten years they refer to themselves as Parkwood SDA Church. Did you know Toledo First and Parkwood were so closely connected?
TOP THIRTEEN? Franz Hasel was a 40-year-old pacifist who was drafted and assigned to Pioneer Company 699, Hitler’s elite troops who built bridges at the front lines of World War II. His religious scruples did not endear him to his superiors. Sarcastically dubbed "carrot eater" and "Bible reader, " he finally gained the respect of his unit. Meanwhile, back at home, Franz’s wife, Helene, and their four children were fighting their own battles. Pressured to join the Nazi Party, she announced, "I belong to the party of Jesus Christ." In a few short years they lived several lifetimes of danger. As thousands around them fell victim to the horrors of war, they were borne up on angels’ wings—sometimes quite literally. This is the true, soul-soaring story of one desperate family who chose to be faithful whatever the cost, and found refuge in the shadow of the Almighty. That's why "A Thousand Shall Fall" has been added to the now "Top Thirteen List of Jesus Books For New Adventists" below.
MEET JACKSON Jackson is a student at University of Toledo, majoring in civil engineering. His family (father, mother, sisters and two brothers) lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan. But his story did not begin there. In 1996, when Jackson was just 7 years old, his family fled their home in Democratic Republic of Congo to escape persecution during tribunal wars that have been going on from the 1990s to the present. Twenty three years of Jackson's life were spent in a refugee camp with his family in Rwanda, a country in Central / Eastern Africa. How he arrived in the United States and became a member of Toledo First Church On January 9, 2021 is detailed in the latest Focal Point church newsletter. Welcome Jackson!
CHERRY BLOSSOMS The cherry blossoms surrounding Washington DC's tidal basin were in full bloom March 28 four days earlier than average. Love love love them. Enjoy the pics!
JESUS IS THE HEART OF IT ALL Lucifer was once a heavenly angel. Judas was one of the twelve disciples. And Ananias and Sapphira were apparently part of the apostolic church. But they did not understand that Jesus Is The Heart Of It All. Their motivations for being in relationship with Jesus were flawed. And those motivations manifested themselves in rebellion, rejection, and hypocrisy. But it need not be this way! Because we can give God our whole heart, surrender our will, develop a personal relationship with Jesus and learn how to share that relationship with others. So join us APR 3 for our new 2Q sermon series.
SECOND QUARTER, 2021, BIBLE STUDY GUIDES (QUARTERLIES) are now in the church foyer cabinets as well as the yellow ‘Signs’ box under the east church canopy entrance. The lessons are entitled The Promise: God’s Everlasting Covenant. It will look more closely at what God’s covenant is, what it offers, and how it is motivated by love. You can also download the Bible Study Guides here. Or search in your app store (search for the blue and white "Sabbath School" logo in the category Education) and study in your app as well.
ONLINE ART SHOW DUE APR 18 Art can be like medicine, providing visual and psychological relief from the tedious concerns that come with a worldwide pandemic. What has helped you survive and heal during the last year? The Adventist Society for the Arts invites you to submit images of objects, people, and places that have helped you cope during Covid for an online art show. Each submission is $10, or you may submit up to three works for $25. First ($300), Second ($200) and Third ($100) places will receive monetary recognition, and up to 5 honorable mentions will be selected for special recognition online. Submissions are due by April 18.
VEGETARIAN FOOD ORDERS DUE APR 20 The next vegetarian food order date is Tuesday, April 20 @ 3pm. Orders can be dropped off, called in, or emailed to the office. The order forms and specials will be placed on the table in the foyer when ready and an announcement will be put in the bulletin. Please note: it will be 4 months until the next order (August) so make sure you stock up for the summer!
NEW SIX WEEK GROUP BEGINS APR 21 Elders Gary and Katie Swackhamer will be leading a six week group Wednesday Evenings beginning April 21 and concluding May 26. This group will be sharing pre purchased take-out food together (see the Swackhamers for more info) @ 6pm each week followed by prayer and discussion @ 6:30pm. Adventist pastor and author Frank Hasel’s new book entitled Living for God will be the focus of conversation. It discusses poignant Scriptural principles of living a virtuous life through waiting, humility, gratitude, suffering and loss. Especially helpful are the chapters describing a digital detox and leaving a virtuous legacy. While supplies last, $5 copies are available in the church office. Registration and sign up sheets through the church office are required for in-person participation. Seating is limited to 15 people.
SACK LUNCH SABBATHS APR 10 / MAY 8 / JUN 5 Sack Lunch Sabbaths are opportunities for individuals to bring their own food to eat lunch together in the fellowship hall after Spanish church concludes or outside on our picnic tables (weather permitting). Indoor seating in the fellowship hall will be limited to 35 people. There will be a sign up sheet provided for the dates above and you can sign up on the bulletin board or contact the office to add your name. Masks will be worn at all times except when you are actively eating or drinking at your table. Social distancing will be followed and hand-sanitizer will be available. The church kitchen and microwaves will will not be available for cooking or reheating. Iglesia Adventista de Toledo will be using fellowship hall for their own sack lunch Sabbaths on alternate weeks. So let’s prepare to enjoy each other’s company again soon!
FRIENDSHIP DINNERS MAY 22 / JUN 19 will be resuming soon. Friendship Dinners are meals prepared by a team of volunteers and served to you. They are not a potluck where individuals bring food from home to share and help themselves. How will they work? Well, for starters, they will be limited to 35 people in the fellowship hall to safely accommodate social distancing. There will be a sign up sheet provided for each meal and you can sign up on the bulletin board or contact the office to add your name. Masks will be worn at all times except when you are actively eating or drinking at your table. Social distancing will be followed and hand-sanitizer will be available. Some other changes you will notice is that the "silverware" will be pre-packaged and include a napkin and salt and pepper packets. Friendship Dinner dates for the second quarter of 2021 are: May 22, and June 19. Iglesia Adventista de Toledo will be using fellowship hall for their own friendship dinners on alternate weeks. So let’s prepare to enjoy each other’s company again soon!
FOOD PANTRY is again accepting donations. They do NOT need any pasta or green beans, but all other donations would be very helpful and appreciated!
CHURCH BUSINESS MEETING MAY 18 Plan now to attend the socially distanced church business meeting on May 18 @ 7pm. Important topics will be discussed including:
- Pakistan proposal for school
- 2021 Church Leaders
- Wedding donation / fee
- Tuition assistance SDA and Non
- Memorial Trees
- Cherry Street Mission
EIGHT IS ENOUGH? Toledo Junior Academy's enrollment next year could use an influx of students especially kindergartners. Would you do your part by praying for eight new students? God knows the students who would benefit most from the caring Adventist Christian environment our excellent teachers provide. Ty!
MISS A MESSAGE? Did you know you can read the sermon notes via Google Docs by clicking this link for Pastor's Mike's Sermons?
2021-2022 BOARDING ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS The Ohio Conference has once again opened up the application process for academy age students to receive a $5,000 scholarship to attend any Adventist academy in the country. Deadlines are firm (June 15th) and scholarships are ‘first come, first serve,’ so get your application filled out and submitted as soon as possible. Applications are on the table in the foyer and you may submit them to the office via paper or email.
IS YOUR CHILD INTERESTED IN ATTENDING CAMP MOHAVEN this summer but you just don’t have the funds available? Special scholarships are available. See me or the office for more information asap! The 50/50 deal is available for Toledo First members.
MEMBER SURVEY Do you have a prayer request? Bible question? Would you like a visit? Phone call or video chat? Would you like to get involved in some ministry at Toledo First? Would you like to receive automated church updates via phone or text message? A new member survey where you can submit this info is now avail on our website.
CHILDREN'S SABBATH SCHOOLS Cradle Roll (0-2) and Kindergarten (3-6) meets in the school (but will be canceled if Lucas County goes purple). Primary (7-9) meets in the fellowship hall, and teachers request that all children wear masks if able to. Juniors (10-12) will meet in their usual classroom at the same time in the daycare area and Youth (13+) will continue meeting in the Youth room. Singspiration for all ages remains in sanctuary and begins at 9:30am.
TEXT EM ALL The company that allows us to record and send periodic 30 to 60 second voice updates from church also provides texts now. Soon everyone who has previously received calls will also receive a message via text (unless you opt out or provided or landline number).
TWO WAYS TO HELP TJA WITH YOUR REGULAR SHOPPING 1) Amazon Smile: Simply by starting your Amazon shopping at smile.amazon.com and selecting Toledo Junior Academy as your charity of choice, a percentage of your purchase will go to TJA. 2) Kroger Community Rewards: You can link your Kroger card to Toledo Junior Academy and the school receives a small donation with every purchase. You will need to create a digital account at kroger.com. Once your account is created, you simply go to the "community rewards" section on your account page and search for Toledo Junior Academy in the organizations. Thank you for your support!
FORECASTING HOPE MOVES TO YOUTUBE Previously published links for Forecasting Hope expired NOV 15, 2020. But the good news is the entire Forecasting Hope Series is now avail on DVD (see church office) and on YouTube (click previous link).
PREPARING FOR ADOLESCENCE We listened and discussed all the topics in this book / audiobook with both our son and daughter before they became teens. Topics include avoiding feelings of inferiority, handling peer pressure, drug abuse, puberty, sexual development, menstruation, masturbation, romantic love, overcoming discouragement, sound decision-making, and handling independence. Please do not be too shy to discuss these things. Highly recommend Preparing for Adolescence.
SAVE THOUSANDS ON TUITION TO ADVENTIST COLLEGE Did you know students can clep out of many college courses saving thousands of tuition dollars and maximizing their time at Adventist college by studying Saylor Academy's free online courses at their own pace, paying to take a comprehensive exam, and transfering credits to participating universities? Go to https://www.saylor.org/about/ for more info!
TRUTHLINK Our world is filled with dark rumors and misinformation about God that has many people either running from Him in horror or trying to serve Him like slaves. [truth]LINK.org is a unique Bible study experience that achieves a high level of doctrinal clarity while showing the centrality of God’s love to every biblical truth. All you have to do is log in and get started. With the completion of each lesson, you have access to the next topic. [truth]LINK is easy to take with you on your phone or tablet, as well, so you can pick up at any time, anywhere, right where you left off in the series. I highly recommend them for friends and family.
TEN COMMANDMENTS BEFORE SINAI? The ten commandments precede Sinai. We know this is true because references to the ten commandments exist in some form or fashion prior to Sinai. And God could not hold those breaking them accountable if there was no law (Romans 4:15).
- Genesis 35:1 (No other Gods?)
- Genesis 35:2 (No graven images?)
- Genesis 24:3 (No taking God's name in vain?)
- Genesis 2:3 / Exodus 16:28-29 (No seventh day Sabbath?)
- Genesis 27:41 (No honoring father and mother?)
- Genesis 4:7-9 (No murder?)
- Genesis 39:6-9 (No adultery?)
- Genesis 44:5 (No stealing?)
- Genesis 39:10-12,16-17 (No false witness?)
- Genesis 12:18 (No coveting?)
TEN COMMANDMENTS AFTER SINAI AND THE CROSS? The ten commandments remain. We know this is true because references to the ten commandments exist in some form or fashion after Sinai and the Cross. And God could not hold those breaking them accountable if there was no law (Romans 4:15).
- Colossians 3:4 ("Don't be greedy...worshiping the things of this world" - no other Gods?)
- Colossians 3:5 ("For a greedy person is an idolater" - no graven images?)
- Colossians 3:8 ("Now is the time to get rid of...dirty language" - no taking God's name in vain?)
- Matthew 24:20 / Hebrews 4:9 / Revelation 14:6-7 ("There is a seventh day Sabbath keeping that remains" - remember the seventh day Sabbath?)
- Ephesians 6:1-3 ("Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord" - honoring father and mother?)
- Colossians 3:8 / 1 John 3:5 ("But now is the time to get rid of anger" - no murder?)
- Colossians 3:5 ("Have nothing to do with sexual immorality" - no adultery?)
- Ephesians 2:8 ("Quit stealing" - no stealing?)
- Colossians 3:9 ("Don't lie" - no false witness?)
- Colossians 3:5 NKJV ("Put to death covetousness" - no coveting?)
WANNA N.E.W. S.T.A.R.T? Try focusing on better:
Nutrition. Protein comes from plants too!
- Get more Exercise. Walk an intentional mile every day
- Drink more Water. I like the Kroger carbonated kind
- Take vitamin D3 supplements and try to get some daily Sunshine
Temperance means abstaining from that which is harmful and moderation in that which is good
- Fresh Air especially at night if possible through open windows; implement and practice daily deep breathing exercises
Rest. Not just on Sabbath but shutting off screens earlier to get 8 hours of sleep too
Time with God. Not just on Sabbath but at the beginning and end of every day
CHILD PROTECTION SCREENING PROCESS Now would be a good time to get recertified. The new web-based platform features a training and screening system for both employees and volunteers across all conferences in the division. All volunteers and employees may register by going to: http://www.ohioadventist.org/ and selecting Sterling Volunteers on the top of the web page.
ELLEN WHITE WEBSITE The internet is a blessing and a curse. One blessing comes in the form of a new website sharing balanced Seventh-day Adventist explanations of Ellen White and the 25 million words, 100k pages, and 49 books she wrote with a third grade education during her lifetime. The curse comes from the myriad of sites sharing inaccurate or intentionally misleading conclusions regarding her ministry. Whether others find her writings helpful or not, shouldn't one make that decision on reputable sources? One of my favorite quotes from her pen is: "Truth can afford to be fair."
DO YOU KNOW HOW YOUR TITHE DOLLARS ARE DISTRIBUTED? By far the largest portion of tithes in the North American Division (NAD) stays locally. For example, this is how a $100 portion of tithes are distributed in the NAD (based on 2018 figures). $66 stays in the local conference (Ohio for us); $10 goes to Defined Benefit Retirement; $9 goes to the Union Conference (Columbia Union Conference for us); $9.15 goes to the NAD; $5.85 goes to the General Conference. This information is taken from the Follow the Funds article on page 11 of the May 2020 issue of Adventist Journey.
TOP THIRTEEN LIST OF JESUS BOOKS FOR NEW ADVENTISTS I'm giving each of my children a box of my fave books. We often give away Tyner's and Vendon's books as graduation gifts. Make sure you, your kids and grandkids have read these! Try adventistbookcenter.com before Amazon
- As Light Lingers by Nina Atcheson
- Searching for the God of Grace by Stuart Tyner
- Salvation by Faith and Your Will by Morris Vendon
- Surprised by Love by Elizabeth Talbot
- I Used to Be Perfect by George Knight
- It’s All About Him by Lee Vendon
- Knowing God in the Real World by Jon Paulien
- Why Didn’t They Tell Me? by Morris Vendon
- Beyond Common Ground: Why Liberals and Conservatives Need Each Other by Alden Thompson
- The Eleventh Commandment by Dwight Nelson
- The Faith I Highly Recommend by John McLarty
- One Miracle After Miracle: The Pavel Goia Story by Greg Budd
- A Thousand Shall Fall by Susi Hasel Mundy
TOP THIRTEEN LIST OF ADVENTIST RESOURCE BOOKS I'm giving each of my children another box of my fave Adventist resource books to help them. Maybe they will help you too?
- 52 Sabbath Activities for Teen Groups by Don Pate
- Pause for Peace by Clifford Goldstein
- Light Bearers to the Remnant by R.W. Schwarz
- Questions on Doctrine edited by George Knight
- Joyful Noise by Ed Christian
- Daniel: Wisdom to the Wise by Zdravko Stefanovic
- Revelation of Jesus Christ by Ranko Stefanovic
- In Granite or Ingrained? by Skip MacCarty
- Graffiti in the Holy of Holies by Clifford Goldstein
- Ellen White Under Fire by Jud Lake
- God’s Character and the Last Generation edited by Jiri Moskala
- Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church edited by Roy Gane
- The Heavenly Trio by Ty Gibson
THE ADVENTIST GIVING APP We want to continue to give Toledo First the opportunity to participate in the worship of giving. While you can always do so via the church website (tfsda.org), you could also download The Adventist Giving App available in both iOS Appstore and Android’s Google Play store. Just search using the keyword “AdventistGiving” to download the App to your phone or tablet and thank you for continuing to support your local church!
CHERRY STREET MEALS Volunteers are always needed to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner especially on Sundays and Thanksgiving. You can call Community Relations Manager Susan Graalman at 419-214-3357 or 419-214-3419. You can also email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEST ADVENTIST RECIPE SWAP If you're looking for a favorite vegetarian or vegan recipe from academy, church, or some Adventist friend made for you, it's probably here! Search Facebook for Best Adventist Recipe Swap. Enjoy!
JESUS MOVIES The Game Changers, My Octopus Teacher, I Still Believe, Ray of Hope, The Chosen (Season 1: Episodes 1-8); A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Harriet, Just Mercy, The Apostle, The Pilgrim's Progress, Luther, Billy Graham: An Extraordinary Journey, Faith, Hope & Love, Christmas Grace; The Nativity Story; The Star; The Conscientious Objector (2004); The Ultimate Gift; Shadowlands; The Shack; Cutback; Soul Surfer; Grace UnPlugged; End of the Spear; The Mission; Beautifully Broken; Running for Grace; Steve McQueen: American Icon; The Resurrection of Gavin Stone; Expelled - No Intelligence Allowed; Is Genesis History?; God's Not Dead; Fireproof; War Room; The Case for Christ; The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry; Amazing Grace; Once I Was a Beehive; I Can Only Imagine.
GEOSCIENCE RESEARCH INSTITUTE If you've never heard of the Geoscience Research Institute, here's their website https://www.grisda.org. Established in 1958, this organization is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church with a mission to discover and share an understanding of nature and its relationship with the Biblical revelation of the Creator God. It has all kinds of resources and articles related to intelligent design and evolution and dinosaurs and many other interesting subjects. I enjoy reading their quarterly email update. You can subscribe by clicking here and filling out the form asking to be included in their quarterly e-newsletter.
NEW SERMONS Please see church Facebook page or church website for sermon archives and more info.
- APR 3 - Jesus Is The Heart Of It All Part 1 - Can We Be Friends? (Pastor Mike preaching)
- APR 10 - Jesus Is The Heart Of It All Part 2 - It's Who You Know (Pastor Mike preaching)
- APR 17 - Jesus Is The Heart Of It All Part 3 - Born Twice (Pastor Steve preaching)
- APR 24 - Jesus Is The Heart Of It All Part 4 - Blessed Assurance (Cavin preaching)