ACMin Newsletter - March 2015

Prevailing Winds

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (Jn 3:8)

This verse seems to capture the sheer unpredictability of God, whose Spirit moves and works in ways unseen to us. Like the wind, which constantly shifts in direction and intensity, so is the Spirit as we daily yield ourselves to Christ Jesus. And yet, despite our inability to ever completely predict what the Lord will do in our lives, we trust Him and know that it is good.

Like the able sailor, adjusting with the tides, keeping aware of shallow areas, and trimming the sails to maximize the potential of the wind, so are we as we navigate through the channelways of life. Keeping our eyes on the horizon (i.e. what we know of the future), staying alert of potential hazards (temptations, fiery arrows, etc.) and ever listening for the command of our Captain, Jesus Christ, we can be assured of one thing: He is faithful to take us to the other side.

God's prevailing wind is absolute and unconditional love for you, beloved of God. Raise your sails and receive!

ServeAthens in Christ's Name!

It's time for 2015 ServeAthens ICN!

To be like Jesus is to serve. It is to love others more than yourself. To be like Jesus is to set aside your rights and bend your knee to wash another's feet. 

This month marks the 3rd annual ServeAthens ICN event and presents an opportunity for your church body to be involved in city-wide love through service. We will serve with our feet on March 21st at Sandy Creek Park as we run/walk to raise funds for service projects. The following weekend, March 28th, we will serve with our hands by performing work projects for local service organizations. Visit www.acmin.org/Serve for full event details and links to sign up to run the 5K or serve on a work team. 

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

What's New with the Lifelong Ministry Program?

We have some exciting new course offerings coming up this spring and summer. Find more information on our website here for complete descriptions on these and future offerings through the ACMin. Remember that the Lifelong Ministry Program is for people of all ageas and all walks of life, to strengthen you in your walk with Christ, and help to refine your spiritual gifts for His glory. 
  • ESL Training Workshop / Apr. 16-18 with Pat Carpenter - Learn to teach English to non-native speakers using Scripture.
  • Ministry to the Deaf / IApr 18 with Val Johnson - Understand how to meet the spiritual needs of persons afflicted by deafness.
  • Healing Shame / July 13-17 with Dee Pesaresi - Learn how to break free from the power of shame and replace it with the joy of the Lord.
  • The Great Commission: Evangelism (3-week intensive) / M-F, from July 20 to Aug. 7 with Dr. Dan Dunn - Overview of Christian philosophy, answers to the most difficult questions posed by both believers and unbelievers, and real-life opportunities to share the Good News.

Making Beautiful Music: Announcing our Community Music Program

The ACMin is pleased to announce the opening of our Community Music Program. An extension of our Lifelong Ministry program, the Community Music Program features private voice and piano lessons with Dr. Rebecca Cooke, a seasoned expert, and a delightful individual. Becky loves the Lord, and has a passion to see people develop to their full musical potential, that they might praise the Lord and lead others in worship with greater effectiveness.The lessons offer something for everyone, ranging from a professional consultation for the advanced student to a multi-week series of private sessions for all experience levels. So, let's make a joyful noise unto the Lord. all the earth! Please click here for more details on how you might enroll with Dr. Cooke in the very near future.

Casting a Fresh Vision

Several key leaders and friends of ACMin met recently to praise the Lord for all that He has accomplished through the college during its nearly complete 3-year launch phase.  At the gathering, guests spent some time in the field plowing and planting as a way to envision how situating the college in a pastoral setting with a small teaching farm will benefit students' ministry preparation, complement our efforts to help set people free from personal and relational struggles through our Prayer Ministry Center, and provide a means for our community to gather to worship and serve! We hope that you will partner with us as we press forward towards ACMin's permanent campus with its farm, Garden of Healing, Gathering Barn, and so much more! Left, Lucius Malcom, Cindy Mackey, and Jeff Snowden look on as Amy Buttler tries her hand at planting corn! Enjoy some video and photo footage of the farm event at the links below:
Photo Gallery
ACMin: Past, Present, & Future by C.E.O., Dr. Marcia Wilbur
Brochure: ACMin Vision for the Future

We invite you to partner with us through your fervent prayers as well as with your participation in the 2015 Campaign for Growth.  Contact us to learn more about the future of ACMin!

SAVE THE DATE: Transformed Conference June 19-20

The 2015 conference will take place at the Athens College of Ministry on June 19th and 20th. The conference theme is "Equipping the Saints for Kingdom Momentum."  Participants will choose from one of five in-depth teaching sessions where they will examine God's Word and experience practical, relevant application so that each one might be ignited with confidence to boldly model and declare the Kingdom of God right where God has placed them in our world!  Sessions include:
-Men of Honor (for men only!)
-Becoming a Daughter of Promise (for women only!)
-Discipling Worship Leaders
-Restoring the Foundations (Prayer Ministry training)
-Greater Things
The Transformed! conference will be life-changing!  Don't miss it!  Full details and registration will be available April 1st.Please mark your calendars!

--My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." --Hosea 4:6

Investing vs. Donating

Most know the old joke about the conversation between the pig and the chicken, discussing their participation in the farmer's breakfast. The chicken, sensing the pig's hesitation says, "So what's the hold up? It's just breakfast." To which the pig replies, "Sure, with you it's merely a contribution. But I'm all in!"

There's a difference between contributing to a cause and making an eternal investment. At the ACMin, we are looking for those individuals who sense more than our pressing financial needs, and truly "get" the amazing potential of a life trained and ready to make a lasting difference for God's Kingdom. His call is going forth: "Ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest field." Our call echoes the Lord's: won't you help us send them? Romans 10 gives strong admonition for our role in helping to equip others for the work of ministry, using time, talents and resources-- everything we have-- to make disciples of all nations. Can you go? Can you send? Can you give?

Let's finish the good race of equipping God's people for ministry, both today and for the future. Consider restructuring your giving to move beyond merely donating to investing everything you are and have for such a time as this. Remember the early church, that was so moved by the grace of salvation in Christ, that they "sold everything they had" to ensure that none was in need? Sounds a bit radical, doesn't it? If we truly understood the desperation of our lostness and the complete perfection of His plan for us in Christ, perhaps we'd do the same.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Susan Bush

Tell us a little about yourself:
Eleven years ago my husband and I moved to Athens to help a church plant, City Church.  As Home Group Leaders we have been able to provide counseling to many young couples. Five years ago I experienced a severe physical and mental breakdown.  My serious depression and anxiety were torture, resulting in becoming isolated. Despite prayer, fasting and medical care, my suffering became more intense, requiring hospitalization.
 
How did you decide to enroll as a student at the ACMin?
I was desperate, and knew my continued depression was spiritual. Anne McKelvey recommended I receive prayer at the college. After three sessions, the Holy Spirit brought clarity and inner healing, bringing and freedom from my depression! Later Cindy Mackey invited me to sit in on her class on Prayer Ministry and I'm so excited to learn how to help others gain the freedom that I have experienced!
  
What do you love most about the Athens College of Ministry?
I love the humility and passion of the staff and students.  Students receive personal prayer, and also assist the Prayer Ministers in other prayer sessions. The class is always provoking and challenging, and as a result we are growing together in our passion for Jesus.  This college has been instrumental in learning more about my relationship with Jesus and in my continued healing.
 
How do you plan to use what you are learning at the ACMin in your current and future service to the Lord? We are all committed to serve our church families and the community. Personally, I am sending anyone I know who is stuck or struggling to attend a personal prayer session.  [I know] they will experience how powerful the church is when we come together. My vision is to have groups who are equipped go to the poor, sick and hurting, to pray for them and to release Go.
 
What is your word of encouragement to prospective students:
We are never too old to learn. Even though it took sickness to bring me to the college, I realize how much I can grow and learn as I approach 60! I believe the college is a springboard toward personal growth, maturing your calling and gifts, and bringing believers together throughout the community.

Community Connections: God is up to something GOOD!

Jesus prayed that we would be ONE, just as He and the Father are one. At ACMin, we consider it a privilege to help connect believers across the boundary lines that typically separate us trrough opportunities to pray, serve, worship and teach.  Be sure to visit our Community Connections page for a list of area-wide gatherings and come join together!  You'll find:
  • A tremendous number of local prayer gatherings
  • An opportunity to purchase a Homeless Help Card to support the community effort to care for each one of God's children
  • Ministry job opportunties in our area
Click here to see a tremendous number of area-wide opportunities to be connected with other believers!  Contact us at acmininfo@acmin.org to send information about your event or job opening so that we can help keep everyone connected!

National Day of Prayer -Thursday, May 7th

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 7th. 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.”

We invite you to join us for the greater Athens area National Day of Prayer Breakfast from 7:00 - 9:00 AM at the Classic Center. This year's keynote speaker is Mark Richt.  Tickets are $25 per person. Churches and businesses may sponsor a table of 10 for $250. Contact Bob Bowen for tickets: 706-614-6210.

Click here for a number of other area-wide prayer gatherings on May 7th and PRAY!!!