ACMin Newsletter - February 2015

Love is in the air!

In a month where many celebrate the wonder of love on Valentine's Day, we are reminded of God's challenge to those of us involved in ministry (which includes all of His children!): are we serving out of love? Paul's admonition to the Corinthian church was abundantly clear. "If you have not love, you are a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal." In other words, if our service and devotion is out of any other motivation except love, be it selfish pride, trying to earn God's favor or to impress others, then we have missed the mark-- we're just creating noise that annoys, not life that enlivens. May all we do together with you at the ACMin be out of genuine love for Jesus, sincere concern for the lost, and great compassion for those in God's family.  "And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (I Cor. 13:13) We love you all.

Grow & advance your life's calling!

At the ACMin, we are pleased to offer an array of spiritually enriching Lifelong Ministry courses designed to enhance your walk with the Lord Jesus, and to equip you for more effective service in His kingdom on Earth. Each of us has been commissioned for ministry, reflecting His love and power in various ways. This looks as different as our unique gifts and abilities, but still shares something in common: our dependency on the Lord to fill and empower us for His service. Certainly, "Without Him we can do nothing," but it is up to us to sharpen the tools He's placed within each of us. We hope you will consider enrolling soon in one of these courses or others through the Lifelong Ministry Program:

DISCERN THE VOICE OF GOD - Learn to experience and benefit from "two-way" communion with the Lord. Students rave about how applying the truths from this course has greatly blessed their prayer life and Christian walk.  Mondays beginning February 16th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM (10 weeks). 
PRIVATE VOICE LESSONS - One-on-one, tailored vocal coaching by one of the most gifted and experienced vocal teachers in the area. 10 weeks.  Times vary by student. 
Click here for registration and complete information on these and other courses.  Call us at 706-769-1472 with any questions!

ServeAthens ICN 2015

Interested in serving at our next community-wide day of service? ServeAthens ICN will be on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Living Hope Church (2150 Lexington Rd., Athens) and all around the greater Athens area. You can:
  • Recruit and lead a volunteer team.
  • Serve as a volunteer team member--It's fun and great fellowship!
  • Donate blood through the Red Cross Blood Drive.
  • Run or walk in the ServeAthens ICN 5K on March 21st at Sandy Creek to help raise funds for project supplies.
  • Be a Business Sponsor of the event!
Check out the ServeAthens ICN webpage for full details. Join the fun! Call our office at 706-769-1472, or contact Alexa Schulman at aschulman.asmwa@gmail.com to be part of the team. 

Growing Food & Faith

This semester, our undergraduate students are working to fulfill their science requirement in a unique way--through an ACMin course entitled, "Growing Food & Faith."  Under the direction of Dr. David Knauft, UGA Professor of Horticulture, Lay Minister, and Worship Leader, our students are learning the science of growing food in parallel with the biblical lessons Jesus used to teach about God's Kingdom through something familiar - His creation!  Our students recently met at a UGardens greenhouse to plant vegetable seeds that will be transplanted outdoors later in the semester. By the end of the course the students will have developed a portfolio of hands-on lessons they can use in the mission field whererever God will call them!  (From left to right: Dr. David Knauft, Alex Tucker, Michael Kitchens, Jonathan Tarbutton, Lyle Unruh)

Second Annual New Year-New Heart Brings Fresh Inspiration

With many thanks to the keynote speakers and worship leaders who teamed together to create an impactful day with the Lord, the second annual New Year - New Heart prayer conference was wonderful! Participants learned and applied many of God's Truths for their lives including the importance of seeking Him and His will through prayer, the benefits of trusting Him through rough seas, and the beauty of remembering who God says we are when we are in Christ!  Steve Smith of Athens Prayer Network set a tremendous context for the day: making ourselves ready for what God wants to do in our area and beyond in 2015!  Participants readied their hearts and minds through listening prayer, healing, and confession, and met a new prayer partner from a different church to stand together in prayer for each other, for our pastors, and for God's Kingdom throughout the year. God was so GOOD to us at New Year-New Heart. Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, January 9, 2016 for next year's prayer conference!

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Amy Buttler

BACKGROUND/BIO:  I accepted Christ as my Savior at age 13 at a church near my home in Winder, GA. I graduated with a degree in Business Management from North Georgia College in 1989 and currently work at Oconee State Bank. I have two adult sons, Phillip 22 & Mitchell 20, and attend the Church at Winde rin Bethlehem, GA.

Describe your calling to ministry: All my life I have felt extremely close to God and believed He called me to be an intercesso for the body of Christ. I simply love to pray with and for others. I seem to attract people who have very serious needs and are ready to trust our Lord. I also know that I have the gift of administration and teaching. I love to teach in my church and have taught children, teen, and adult classes.

How did you decide to enroll as a student at the ACMin? I had asked very specifically for a place to learn more about inner healing and God led me to ACMin and to Cindy Mackey, the Director of Prayer Ministry. She was a true blessing and encouraged me to talk to Marcia Wilbur. who explained the different certificates that were available. I knew this was God’s answer to my prayers and I know deep down inside of me that I am right where God wants me to be!

What do you love most about the Athens College of Ministry?  I love the courses and the freedom to hear and obey what God is saying. I recently attended New Year – New Heart (prayer conference). It truly stretched my faith and confirmed one more time that this is where I am to be. 

 How do you plan to use what you are learning at the ACMin in your current and future service to the Lord? I hope to take this back to my home church, and recently I began to pray for God to enlarge my borders because I sense that He will take what I have learned here even farther.
 
Word of encouragement to prospective students:  If this is where you are supposed to be, ask God and trust that He knows what you need better than you do.  I believe this is a wonderful atmosphere to learn and grow at a pace that is not like that of the world. God is using ACMin to educate and heal my heart about God’s abundance and His kingdom available to me today!

Free Indeed Through Prayer Ministry

"So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed." --John 8:36. In increasing numbers,God is bringing individuals to the ACMin Prayer Ministry Center so that He can break them free from hurts, shame, trauma, and constraining issues that hold them back from being all that they are in Christ. A recent recipient wrote, "After three Prayer Ministry sessions, God brought to completion five long years of completely debilitating depression. Now I want to learn to help others experience the freedom and joy that I have known through Prayer Ministry!"  Another recipient reported, "I left the session with a cleared mind, renwed home, and a fresh perspective!" We give all glory to the Lord for the true freedom that is His to give, and invite you to boldly come before His throne seeking your own freedom from the scars and cares of this world. Make an appointment today! We are blessed to serve you--

Give and Be Given

One of the wonderful promises of Scripture essentially reminds us that we cannot outgive God! Even the smallest act of kindness, compassion or provision alerts the attention of our wonderful Creator, moving His heart to respond. "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38) With God's gracious heart in mind, why not experience the "boomerang effect"-- not giving in order to get, but understanding that according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus, your every need will be supplied.

Remember these key ways you can invest in God's work through the ACMin:
Monthly Blessings   Set up a monthly automatic withdrawal from your account on our website here. Click on "Donate Now" and fill in the required fields for the autodraft.
2015 Annual Fund  The Annual Fund supports key functions of the college such as the student scholarship fund, staff support, operations and accreditation fees. We are well on our way to meeting this year’s goal of $200,000. Won't you help us cross the finish line well?
Campaign for Growth  With a goal of $1.85AM, the Capital Campaign gifts will allow us to move onto our own property and raise the first two buildings—an all-purpose worship hall with classroom, Prayer Ministry, library, office, and student sleeping spaces, as well as a House of Hope for the retreat center.
Legacy Gifts  Including the ACMin in your estate planning strengthens the college’s future ability to make a difference in God’s Kingdom as we work to equip the saints for life and ministry in Christ.Our 2015 goal is $2M in estimated estate giving pledges.
Business Sponsorships  Consider becoming an ACMin Business Partner through an annual sponsorship and allowing us to bless you by promoting your business at our key events! 
Special Shopping  Through Kroger and smile.amazon.com, each purchase you make at these retailers sends a small percentage of your sale to the ACMin! Simply go to their respective websites, and indicate the ACMin as your preferred charitable recipient.
Homeless Help Cards  Purchase a card through the link below.  Using these discount cards at area businesses saves you money,and blesses area homeless shelters as well as ACMin.
Click here for more information about each of these opportunities to partner with God's work through our college!

Connecting Our Community

At the ACMin, we delight in connecting God's people for the glory of Christ Jesus. Whether joining our hearts for service, worship, prayer or teaching, we see the college as a means for the Body of Christ to put aside the things that tend to divide us, and embrace the essentials that make us brothers and sisters in Christ. Along with this desire comes strong encouragement from the Lord Jesus, who Himself prayed that we might be one. Please onsider the following great opportunities for that connection that comes only through Christ!
  • "Find Your Yes" conference, with Bob Johnson hosted by The Awakening and held at Living Hope Church on February 6th - 7th.
  • St. James UMC makes Times of Healing Prayer available to our entire community.
  • Athens Prayer Network, led by Steve Smith, is seeing a greater unity among church leadership in the Athens area, through dedicated corporate prayer. See the listing for prayer gatherings across our city.
  • Athens Pregnancy Center is seeking a Nurse Manager. 

National Day of Prayer -Thursday, May 7th

Make plans now to set aside Thursday, May 7th, to participate in 2015 National Day of Prayer activities in our area. The theme for 2015 is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme, I Kings 8:28 is the Scripture for this year: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Consider starting the day at the Athens Area National Day of Prayer Breakfast from 7:00 - 9:00 AM at the Classic Center with featured speaker Coach Mark Richt. Contact Bob Bowen for tickets: 706-614-6210 ($250 per table for 10 or $25 per person).

Click here and check back often for updates on other National Day of Prayer opportunities!