The spirit, attitude, and closeness within this congregation are encouraging. We want to grow and mature as we increase our effectiveness in meeting needs. Special needs always will create unique challenges. Our goal is to be special instruments in God's hands. We seek mature love for God and each other, not impersonal procedures.

We are growing in our ability to love and care. This is a time of complex transition in our society. We are beginning to understand something God knows. People are extremely different. But God wants to save all of them. And Jesus wants to forgive all of them. And God wants all of them in His kingdom as a part of His family.

We are establishing new avenues to advance and strengthen closeness in this spiritual family. One important avenue is our monthly meal fellowship.

In each four Sunday month: the meal fellowship will occur the fourth Sunday evening. That evening our assembly will focus on singing, praying, and reading the Bible. Following that assembly, we will meet to eat and visit in the Family Life Center.

Last Sunday evening's worship and fellowship meal were wonderful! Some of the small groups chose to come to the Family Life Center following their group meeting to attend the meal fellowship. The association was great! This informal setting provides new members and visitors an excellent opportunity to establish relationships. All of us have opportunity to strengthen our relationships. We encourage everyone to make it your goal to meet and spend time with people you have not met or do not yet know.

In each five Sunday month: the meal fellowship will occur the fifth Sunday evening. That night we will share a "Celebration Evening." It will begin with a meal that we share before worship. That evening, worship will be devoted to praise. Everyone, including all the groups, will meet at the building for the meal and worship. Immediately after a praise assembly, we will have our "family meeting." The "family meeting" will continue to have the same two basic objectives. The first is to allow the congregation to provide the elders input. The second is to allow the elders to provide information to the congregation. Questions and viewpoints, as always, are welcomed.

The objectives of "Celebration Evening" are simple: to praise God, to build closeness, and to stay informed. When a member of West-Ark attends a "Celebration Evening," he or she will know, "I was part of something important in the life of this congregation!"

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 4 June 2000

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