Youth Updates: Family Time and Kids Classes

Starting tonight, 4/7, we’d like to invite our Youth to be a part of the online church community events going on while we are not able to get together in person.

Teens Hangout – Tuesday Evening:  7pm

  • For our young people and their friends, 13 and up
  • Donny Pierre will lead that group
  • The group will meet on Zoom every Tuesday night 7:00 pm
  • The purpose of this group:
    • For our Church Youth Group and their friends to stay connected
    • To pray together and encourage one another
    • To provide a platform where we can support each other mentally during this time of isolation

A Family Affair – Saturday Morning: 10am

  • This group is for parents and kids 12 and under
  • Parents will rotate leading this group weekly
  • Each family will have access to our Rightnowmedia.com platform
  • Everyone will meet on Zoom every Saturday morning 10:00 AM
  • The Purpose of this group
    • To keep our families connected
    • To share ideas about how to keep our children active, encouraged and spiritually fed
    • To provide a platform where parents can support each other, pray and worship together

To Join the Meeting, please check your email for the Youth and Families update, or email bulletin@waterburychurch.org for the link.

Worship with us online today (April 5, 2020)

Once again, we’ll be meeting online this morning at 10:30am.

Join us for a celebration of our Lord as we worship him with song, prayer, communion, teaching, and giving. These are things we are told to do each week and even though we can’t be together in the church building, we can be together in our worship.

If you have a prayer request, you can send those in live during the worship service. Send an email to bulletin@waterburychurch.org or you can send a text message to 203.936.7269

Couple easy ways to join our online service starting at 10:30am…

Church Web Site: We’ll have the service streaming online right from the front page of our website at https://www.waterburychurch.org.

Youtube Live: You can also catch our service on Youtube Live, and the link for that channel is https://www.youtube.com/c/waterburychurchofchrist

Giving: Our electronic giving site is available at the church website, go to www.waterburychurch.org/giving to send in your contribution while we’re not together.

Please continue to pray for our community and for our church family to stay strong as we fight this virus.

Adult Classes Online This Week (April 1 & 2, 2020)

After success last week, we are planning on running online classes for the Men and Women again this week.

The classes were interactive, and we had people asking questions, and talking during the classes.  Hope to see more of the church at the classes this week.

We will split up the classes on Wednesday evening for the men, and Thursday evening for the women.  We can’t do them on the same night as it would be too difficult for the men and women to be in separate online classes at the same time in their homes, and we only have one account to host the classes.

It’s a good idea to join a few minutes early to get connected and make sure that everything is working.  

You can also try to test this at any time by going to zoom.us/test and download Zoom to your computer before the class.

If you need help joining, you can call or text to 203.936.7269 when trying to start the class and Tori and Jim Sanzone will try to help you.


Men’s Class – Muscle and a Shovel

Wednesday at 7pm
To join by computer, smartphone, or tablet…
https://zoom.us/j/9747899358

To join by phone only…
Dial +1 929 205 6099
Enter the Meeting ID when prompted:
Meeting ID: 974 789 9358#
Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.


Women’s Class – Submission

Thursday at 7pm
To join by computer, smartphone, or tablet…
https://zoom.us/j/9747899358

To join by phone only…
Dial +1 929 205 6099
Enter the Meeting ID when prompted:
Meeting ID: 974 789 9358#
Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.


For the Kids

There are some terrific videos available on RightNow Media for the young ones to watch while we’re all stuck at home.  If you don’t have a login for that, shoot an email to bulletin@waterburychurch.org


Small Group Meetings

If there are any other small groups within the church who want to use Zoom to hold a meeting, it’s pretty easy to do and we have folks who can help you set it up and run it.  Email bulletin@waterburychurch.org if you are interested.



New Brother Joe Medford

Welcome to our new brother in Christ!

Joe Medford, husband of Esther Medford, was baptized today and joined the Lord’s family.  Joe has been studying with Alan Brinton and realized today after the lesson that he needed to be baptized in order to be saved.

I’m sure that we’ll all give Joe a big hug and get to know him better once we can all come together again soon.  In the meantime, please pray for our new brother as he begins his new walk in Christ.

Sunday Worship: March 29, 2020

Due to the ongoing virus quarantine, we’ll be doing our worship service online again this week.  Join us at 10:30 for singing, prayer, communion, teaching, and giving together.

To join in on our worship service, just go to the church homepage at www.waterburychurch.org.  Our service will be broadcast right there on the home page.

Prayer Requests:If you have any prayer requests, you can send them in live to email at bulletin@waterburychurch.org or text them to 203.936.7269.

Check in on each other:Please, take a few minutes today to reach out to your church family and make sure that we’re all OK.  Everyone can use a call, don’t wait for your phone to ring, go ahead and take the initiative to reach out to some one.

Adult Classes Online This Week (March 25, 2020)

After success last week, we are planning on running online classes for the Men and Women this week. This will get us back to the classes that we’ve been having for the last several weeks on Wednesday evenings.

The classes were interactive, and we had people asking questions, and talking during the classes.  Hope to see more of the church at the classes this week.

We will split up the classes on Wednesday evening for the men, and Thursday evening for the women.  We can’t do them on the same night as it would be too difficult for the men and women to be in separate online classes at the same time in their homes, and we only have one account to host the classes.

It’s a good idea to join a few minutes early to get connected and make sure that everything is working.  

You can also try to test this at any time by going to zoom.us/test and download Zoom to your computer before the class.

If you need help joining, you can call or text to 203.936.7269 when trying to start the class and Tori and Jim Sanzone will try to help you.


Men’s Class – Muscle and a Shovel

Wednesday at 7pm
To join by computer, smartphone, or tablet…
https://zoom.us/j/9747899358

To join by phone only…
Dial +1 929 205 6099
Enter the Meeting ID when prompted:
Meeting ID: 974 789 9358#
Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.


Women’s Class – Submission

Thursday at 7pm
To join by computer, smartphone, or tablet…
https://zoom.us/j/9747899358

To join by phone only…
Dial +1 929 205 6099
Enter the Meeting ID when prompted:
Meeting ID: 974 789 9358#
Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.


For the Kids

There are some terrific videos available on RightNow Media for the young ones to watch while we’re all stuck at home.  If you don’t have a login for that, shoot an email to bulletin@waterburychurch.org


Small Group Meetings

If there are any other small groups within the church who want to use Zoom to hold a meeting, it’s pretty easy to do and we have folks who can help you set it up and run it.  Email bulletin@waterburychurch.org if you are interested.

Homosexuality

Essay on Homosexuality

As far back as 1993 more than 75 openly gay and lesbian officials had been elected in local, state, and congressional positions in the United States. More than 130 counties, cities, and States had gay rights laws on the books.

Today, more and more there is a push for States to endorse same sex marriages. What do you feel about this? Are we being too narrow minded, too insensitive, to say we oppose it. And what do you think Jesus would say about today’s gay and lesbian movement? Some religious groups openly accept homosexuals into their fellowship. The Episcopal Church has even appointed a homosexual to the office of Bishop. According to pro-gay polls in the United States around 25 percent of Episcopal priest and 50 percent of Roman Catholic priest are gay. A study of the Church of England reported 15 to 30  percent of their priests are gay. However, because these figures come through pro-gay sources, they undoubtedly need to be downsized. Nonetheless, there can be no question that the figures are high. Recently a leading scholar in the Churches of Christ has been reported to have sex with young men. Should this be normal for all of us? If one man can establish a church for the gays, why cannot another establish a congregation for the “practicing prostitutes, drunkards, and idolaters”. For most Christians the central issue is neither whether God loves homosexuals nor whether Jesus died to save them. The basic debate has been whether God endorses homosexual practice as an option, or whether homosexuals must be repentant and practice abstinence.

Homosexuals have long claimed that it is not a matter of choice for them, but it something they were born with. Swaab and Hoffman studied the brains of thirty four subjects. There were 18 male subjects who died from a variety of causes. There was second group of ten homosexual men who died of AIDS. The later group consisted of four males and two females. The conclusion of the study is that the human hypothalamus of the homosexual men is 1.7 times as large as that of the rest of the reference group.

Of course the genetic claim for homosexuality is important to that group for at least two reasons. First, if homosexuality is something innate, then homosexuals are no more responsible for their sexual orientation than for eye color or height. Attempts to get homosexuals to change will also be useless.

Second, this claim has political implications. They could claim civil right status as a minority.

However, researcher Kenneth Klivington, at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, raises the chicken and egg question regarding the hypothalamus; does its size determine homosexuality, or does homosexuality determine its size. Furthermore, the males studied had AIDS. Could the differences in the hypothalamus be the result of that disease rather than the cause of sexual orientation? Francis Stevens, the editor of Deneuve, a lesbian news magazine was also skeptical of the findings: If the gay guy’s hypothalamus is smaller, what’s it like for lesbians? Good question.

A very important study of genetics has to include identical twin studies. The Boston University School of Medicine has conducted this type of study. Among 56 homosexual men who were twins, 52 percent of their identical twins brothers were also homosexuals. By contrast, only 22 percent of non-twin brothers and only 11 percent of adoptive brothers were found to be gay. Am I missing something? If there is to be a genetic explanation for homosexuality should not 100 percent of the identical twins be gay? A 1992 British Journal of Psychiatry reported the results of study in which, of 46 homosexual men and women who were twins (both fraternal and identical), only 20 percent had a homosexual co-twin. The report concluded that genetic factors are insufficient explanation for the development of sexual orientation.

It is probably better to say that homosexuality is the result of a variety of causes. There is some evidence that family pathology at least to some being homosexuals. About 67 percent of male homosexuals come from a home where the mother is a domineering man hater and the father is weak, detached and often uninvolved in the family. Bieber’s exhaustive study strongly supports the nurture hypothesis as the cause of homosexuality. The 106 homosexuals in his study were afraid of the opposite sex, inhibited heterosexually and too close to their mothers. They often hated their father or brothers. They fathers were usually detached and hostile. In comparison with a group of heterosexual men, their parents often had a poor marital relationship. Their mothers tended to favor their homosexual sons to their husbands. They discouraged masculine activities and attitudes and encouraged feminine activities and attitudes.

Scripture and Homosexuality

Many Christians are ardent opponents to homosexuality because they believe that it is contrary to the explicit teaching of the Bible. However, many homosexuals have come to the conclusion that it does not condemn their practice. I want to examine several passages of Scripture noting both traditional and more recent homosexual interpretations.

Genesis 19:1-11

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah has traditionally been understood to be homosexuality. However, the passage has been challenged at least in two ways by homosexuals. First, some have argued that it is not talking about ordinary homosexuality but rather homosexual rape. However, the text does not slightly hint that what the men of Sodom wanted to do would be permissible if only Lot’s guest had consented. A second interpretation of Genesis 19 claims that the passage is not about homosexuality at all but rather a gross violation of the hospitality code. Lot entertained two foreign visitors who might have had hostile intentions for the community. Therefore, the men of Sodom were suspicious of the intentions of these visitors in Lot’s house. They support their interpretation by arguing that the Hebrew word yadha is found 943 times in the Old Testament. It is only used ten times to refer to sexual relations, and according to their argument only to heterosexual relations. Therefore, yadha must be taken to mean “to know” or to “get acquainted with”. This also carries over the Lot’s daughters, where he is simply saying to get to know his daughters better.

However, even in other places in the book of Genesis yadha is used uncontestedly of something sexual. (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 24:16; 38:26). Context, not the number of occurrences, determines the meaning of the word in a particular setting. The text says that Lot’s daughter had not known man. The verb is yadha – that is they have not known coitus. That yadha in both occurrences in this story means sex knowledge is affirmed both in the Brown-driver-Biggs Hebrew Lexicon and in the Kohler-Baumgartner Lexicon. Moreover, current English translations translate the verb in this way. No informed person would argue that homosexual acts were the totality of the sin of Sodom; but one who accepts the New Testament interpretation of Old Testament passages finds confirmation of the sexual nature of their sin.

For example, II Peter 2:8 and Jude 7 give a striking commentary on the sin of Sodom.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Both of these texts describe homosexuality as an abomination punishable by death. Homosexuals say that this does not signify that homosexuality is wrong, but because in the Old Testament world it was associated with idolatrous pagan worship. Sometimes the word abomination refers to an idol as in Isaiah 44:19, Jeremiah 16:18 and Ezekiel 7:20. Specifically it is claimed that Leviticus 18 has the purpose of distinguishing Israel from its pagan neighbors (18:3) and the prohibition of homosexuality follows directly after the condemnation of idolatrous sexuality (18:21) The same is true of Leviticus 20.

However, homosexuality is condemned in the context of adultery, bestiality, and incest as well. Clearly, those practices were not prohibited simply because of their association with idolatry.

These passages in Leviticus do not raise the question of what one’s sexual orientation is; they do not ask whether the two persons involved think they are in love or not; they do not ask whether a permanent relationship exists or whether it is a one time act between nameless strangers. These laws do not discuss emotional conditions at all.

Romans 1:21-27

Homosexuality was a common practice in the pagan world of the first century. Several of the early Caesars were homosexuals. It is by no means a twenty first century invention of sexual behavior. It is best not to diagnose homosexual sex acts as a sickness but rather as sin. Homosexual acts are condemned both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was aware of the homosexuality of his day. Paul brings them under God’s condemnation which puts them in need of salvation. Homosexual conduct, like other sin, dethrones God (the Creator) and enthrones man (the creature). Paul also says that homosexual conduct is unnatural. That’s the last thing that gays would ever want the Bible to say about what they do. This is the only specific text that deals with lesbianism (homosexual relationships between women).

I Corinthians 6:9-11

The apostle Paul referred to homosexuals when writing to the church at Corinth, and then said, “and such were some of you” (I Corinthians 6:11). God has the power to redeem people, forgiving them of sin and freeing them from its dominion over their lives. Homosexuality is no exception. There are others who believe that homosexuals can change.

Dr. John Money

Some People do change their sexual orientation. There is absolutely no harm in trying.

Glenn Wood and John Dietrich

Despite the rhetoric of homosexual activists, all studies which have attempted conversions from homosexuality to heterosexuality have had significant success.

Ruben Fine

I have recently had occasion to review the result of psychotherapy with homosexuals and been surprised by the findings – a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual.

Irving Bieber

We have followed some patients for as long as ten years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.

Lawrence Hatterer

I’ve heard of hundreds of other men who went from a homosexual to a heterosexual adjustment on their own.

Patricia Hannigan

Each person has to decide where his or her own satisfaction lies; there is no one formula. If the foremost priority in one’s life is his religious faith, then his personal happiness might come from conforming to that faith rather than from pursuing his sexual orientation. With human beings, truly anything is possible.

From the Bible and these experts we learn that if a person is motivated and willing to exercise patience and discipline, you could have a good reason to be optimistic about change. People definitely can and do change. Sexual integrity is an act of the will, expressed through day to day decisions. No matter how close the gay movement comes to making the acknowledgement, “we can’t help who we are,” I can’t imagine a single one who is eager to relegate himself or herself to the status of a robot, without personal choice.

Conclusion

In the story of creation in Genesis 2, God created Eve out of a part of Adam’s body, as one suitable for Adam. He did not create another man to consort with, but he created a woman, and established marriage upon a heterosexual relationship. The creation story plainly shows that God’s will and plan for mankind is that one man and one woman is what constitutes a marriage. Moreover, in I Corinthians 7:2-5, the apostle Paul reveals the moral foundation for satisfying our sexual desires. It is clear that it is to be found in marriage between a husband and a wife.

As George Washington accurately observed in his “Farewell Address,” national morality cannot prevail apart from religious principle:

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds… reason and experience forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Worship Updates for Sunday, March 22, 2020

Church Family, here’s an update for our weekend services.  There’s a lot of information in this email, and here are the highlights…
  • Services will be held online ONLY this Sunday at 10:30am.
  • Connect to the Church website to see the service
  • A phone-based audio-only option will be available
  • A new online giving page has been setup on the church website
  • Adult Classes will be held on Wednesday (Men) and Thursday (Ladies)
  • Get connected to RightNow Media for great in-home christian content
  • Stay connected with each other…let’s get on the phones, text, and video
  • It’ll be different, but we’ll do our best to honor God on the first day of the week

Online Services
We’ll be using the regular Sunday morning stream from the Church’s website streamed from the church building.  We will have prayers, songs, and preaching. Each of you should gather your families and worship with us.  Even though we may not be in the same place, we can all be together in our worship and praise.
From your computer or smartphone, go to www.waterburychurch.org on Sunday morning and you’ll be able to access the stream.

Phone-Only Option
If you know someone who doesn’t have a smart-phone, tablet, or computer to connect with, we’re going to do our best to provide a phone-only option for them to at least listen in to the service.  To get connected, follow the instructions below:
  1. Dial  +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
  2. Enter the Meeting ID: 974 789 9358
  3. Don’t worry if it asks you for a Participant ID…you can skip that.
When you join, you’ll be muted so we won’t be able to hear you.

Communion Service
As we announced in previous emails, the church purchased a box of pre-filled communion kits for our members.  Some came by to get them from the Church building.  You can also get unleavened bread and grape juice from the local grocery stores.  If you didn’t get them and still need it, contact Jim Sanzone at 203.910.5675 and we’ll work something out.

Online Giving
While we can’t get together in the same place and the church building is closed, we still have bills to pay.  The church has commitments to honor and as members of his church, we have a commandment to give to support the Lord’s church.  To get with the times, we’ve created a way for members to contribute online.  Go to the church website and click on the “Giving” link on the top menu, or go to www.waterburychurch.org/giving.

Prayer Requests
Taking prayer requests is a big part of our Sunday services.  If you have a prayer request, email it to bulletin@waterburychurch.org and it will get to the Elders. Your requests will be taken up and prayed on and also added to our electronic bulletin for the rest of the church to consider.

Adult Classes Online
We had a good turnout for our Wednesday evening bible class online.  Even Ruth Plumb was able to join and be a part of the class!  It worked out well and even though we weren’t in the same place, the technology allowed us to interact in real time.  We’ll resume our Men’s class online on Wednesday at 7pm and the Ladies will meet online at 7pm on Thursday.  Watch for an email with all the info for the classes in the next few days.
 

Keeping the kids engaged
While the kids are all stuck and home and parents are looking for engaging things for them to do, why not check out the great content available on our RightNow Media.  if you aren’t already using it, this is like “Netflix for Church”.  There’s a dedicated Kids section with content for all ages.  If you don’t have a login for the site, or need something reset, email bulletin@waterburychurch.org to get setup.

Staying Connected to the family
This is a extraordinary time in our history.  Being shut-in like this and “distanced” from each other isn’t good for us, and we need to do what we can to adapt.  Let’s stay connected.  Pick up the phone and call each other.  If you know how, jump on a video call so you can see each other.  Send Texts.  Emails.  Remember that others need contact, don’t always wait for YOUR phone to ring…it works both ways.

Keep Praying
Don’t stop praying.  Pray for the health and safety of our families, church families, and our communities.  Pray for our Leaders to make wise decisions.  Pray for God’s plan to be revealed in the middle of all this chaos.