You are being invited to get involved in a new Cancer Prevention Study.  The study seeks people between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer (not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer).  This study will demand little of your time but may assist in finding answers to the causes and sources of cancer.  The enrollment requires completion of an informed consent form, a brief written survey, provide waist circumference measurement and a small blood sample.  A certified, trained phlebotomist will collect the blood.  Then, after you get home you will be asked to complete a more detailed survey regarding lifestyle, behavior, and other factors related to your health.  This is a very long term study and thus you will receive periodic surveys at home to complete and update your history.  For information in Houston County, visit www.cps3houstonga.org.  Elsewhere in the country (this is open to everyone) go to www.cancer.org/cps3 or call 888-604-5888.  Let us give a small amount of our blood and a small amount of our time to defeat cancer.


The Children’s Christian Fellowship, Chi Rho, and Christian Youth Fellowship are involved in a fund raising project.  They are participating in the Belk Charity Day Sale.  For $5.00, you can purchase a coupon that gives you $5 off at their Charity Day Sale (it is said to rival the Black Friday discounts).  The children and youth get to keep the money.  Therefore, you have made a donation to the children’s and youth ministries of our church and receive a discount for this sale.  On Nov. 9, Belk’s will be open from 6-10 a.m.  You cannot get into the store without a coupon!  I heard the groans when you read the times for the sale.  You may purchase items at  sale prices prior to the actual sale starting on Oct.18-Nov. 8.  They will hold your items until Nov. 9 when you may come and pick them up during regular store hours.  Belk will even hold your purchases for 2 weeks after Nov. 9.  You may also buy several items and use a coupon for each.  Each purchase will be rung separately.  The children and youth receive your support and you get to take part in a fantastic sale at any Belk store in the country (and online for the hours of the sale).  See any youth, adult volunteer or contact the pastor or church to get coupons.


The church has many permanent funds.  Each month there will be two tracked in the Sunday worship bulletin.  During October, we will focus on the Computer Fund and the Property Repair and Replacement Fund.  The Computer Fund provides for our computer needs, including a desk top computer, two laptops, and the printer/copier.  If you have looked at the costs of computers recently, you are aware of their costs.  The new copier/printer provides the church with a tool that produces about 1700 copies per month.  Therefore, the church cannot use the same type of printer/copier you would have at home.  We seldom think about this fund until something needs to be replaced, and as we have done this summer, exceeded the amount in the fund to buy a new printer/copier.


The Property Repair and Replacement Fund is self-explanatory.  This is also a fund that is not thought about until it is needed.  Look around the church at all the items that might need to be repaired or replaced.  When you are able, or wish to make a special gift, remember these two funds.


The Regional Assembly for GA will be Nov. 15-16, 2013 at First Christian Church, Lawrenceville, GA.  Dr. Rick Morse, Vice President of Mission Initiatives at Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation of Church Extension will be the speaker on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.  Dr. Stan Saunders, associate professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur will lead the Bible Study.  Friday night there will be a special dinner celebrating 50 years of Camp Christian.  There will be a FUNderful Day for children and a Lock-In (With a Purpose) for Chi Rho and CYF.  It is a great time to meet others from around the region, get to know church leaders, and have fun and worship, Registration forms are available at the church or on-line at www.gadisciples.org.


During October, we will celebrate the Children’s Sabbath.  This special period that begins with 40 days of prayer for children, challenges all of us to discover how many children are at risk, not only in our community, but around the world.  We always have a strong reaction when we read or hear on the news of children put at risk of suffering.  One of the reasons our congregation got involved in Family Promise was the concern for homeless children, and the need for some kind of stability in their lives.


During this month, talk to the Board of Education and find out the number of children receiving food assistance, the number who may come from harsh conditions, the number of children who probably will not graduate from high school.  Contact the Department of Children’s and Family Service and ask how many cases of abuse they deal with each month in Houston County or in the county in which you live.  Ask about the number of children who are in foster care or need to be in foster care.  Go online and research the number of children in GA who go to bed hungry.  Then check for the number nationally and globally.  The answers you discover should make you very uncomfortable.  They should disturb you greatly.


Now that you are totally depressed, what can be done about this problem?  First, Pray!  Ask God to guide you in being of help.  Ask God to look after the little ones.  Second, when God gives you a way to help, do so.  Volunteer for tutoring at schools, volunteer to be a Big Brother or Big Sister.  Volunteer at food banks and any place that helps children and teens.  Third, pay attention to the impact of laws in our community, state and nation that will have major negative impacts on the most at risk children.  Speak out to your representatives about your concerns.


Finally, don’t do this only for the month of October.  Make it something to which you regularly pay attention.  Become an advocate for protecting children globally.  Remember Jesus challenged Peter to show his love by feeding his sheep and his LAMBS.


Shalom, Darrell