Posts Tagged Sunday

June 5, 2016 Is Say Something Nice Sunday


iSt. John the Baptist
The purpose of Say Something Nice Sunday is very simple. On this one day do not say anything negative about any person, Christian organization or group and if possible say something nice, uplifting, and encouraging. What comes out of our mouths is reflective of what is in our hearts.

This is the 10th anniversary of our movement to change the downward spiral of our speech to speech that is more Christ-like. It is amazing how a kind word can make such a difference in someone’s life. People often respond with, “You don’t know how badly I needed that. I have had a terrible day.”

Rev. Garry Hollingsworth, Executive Director/Treasurer of the South Carolina Baptist Convention said, “It is timely for you folks to encourage this kind of cooperation among God’s people since we face so many spiritual challenges in this state and our nation.”

scan0002.jpg BishopThe Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston (all of South Carolina,) enthusiastically endorsed the annual celebration. He said, “The decline of civility is at an epidemic level in our society and unfortunately has invaded our religious life. The disrespect shown to Christians by other Christians is far from what Jesus wants for His people.”

Rev. Marshall Blalock, pastor of First Baptist Church and a member of the committee, emphasizes, “In conversation, an attitude of grace dissolves the temptation to pre-judge the words or the reactions of another. Grace keeps us from being easily offended, and in a conversation on a difficult subject, you neither want to give or take offense. Our world has been divided long enough – let’s build relationships that can change it, starting right here.”

Free materials are at www.fbcharleston.org. Click on Messages/Resources at the top of the page. Scroll down on the right to Say Something Nice Sunday. There are Bible references, devotionals, art work and the purpose.

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Clear Communication – Week One – Say Something Nice Sunday – FBC

Scripture Focus: “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” — Romans 8:26) (NIV)

I received a much anticipated letter and could hardly wait to read the response to my request. I read and reread the letter. I put it aside for a few days and then I read it again. The passage of time did not help. I could not interpret the sender’s response although it was written in perfectly good English. He had responded in such a vague way that his words left me guessing. The father of our communication has no such problems. His knowledge about us and love for us is so complete that he can interpret our groanings. When I do not know how to pray or what to pray for, The Holy Spirit prays for me. When my own spirit is overwhelmed by uncertainty, I take comfort in knowing that the creator of the universe is acutely aware of my needs and longings. God knows the depths of my agony and the heights of my joy. There is never any miscommunication. My thoughts are known before they are framed in my mind. It is useless to use weasel words with God or to try to mask our true intent. What a blessing just to know that our prayers will be heard and that our words will never be misinterpreted.

Prayer Focus: Dear God, help me use my words to build up and never to tear down what you have created. Amen. {

Tags: , , ,

Mission Is Who We Are – Say Something Nice Sunday and Beyond – Bishop Stacy Sauls

Mission Is Who We Are

Monday, May 4, 2015

Say Something Nice Sunday and Beyond: It’s What Friends Do

Mitch Carnell, a Baptist minister friend of mine is on a crusade to promote “Say Something Nice Sunday”. He became discouraged as denominational conflicts rage, both among Baptists and ourselves, at the lengths we Christians go to say nasty things to hurt others. He’s right, of course.

Say Something Nice Sunday is planned this year for June 7, and it involves two challenges to promote civility for 30 days:
• To “refrain from saying anything ugly, demeaning or derogatory to anyone in my church, workplace and/or daily activities”
• To “say something nice, uplifting or encouraging to at least one person every day”

“Say Something Nice Sunday” doesn’t’ sound like something Episcopalians would buy into. Too bad. Might we say instead that it has something to do with what we would call respecting the dignity of every human being. And then it begins to hit home.

Of course, we see all around us that “Say Something Nice Sunday” might be just what we need, especially in the lead-up to General Convention, that once-every-three-years event when we have the chance, for good or ill, to be most true to who we are. The initial signs are not too encouraging. Already it is brothers and sisters who see no inhibition in the love ethic to saying the nastiest of things, the snarkiest of things in the name of humor, the most misrepresented things to advance one’s agenda at the expense of someone else, on listservs and blogs, some disciples seeking to cause harm to other disciples. If proclaiming the Good News is part of what it means to be a Christian, the things we say about each other electronically present a picture that would not make one very much want to be a part of it. If I didn’t know us better, it would make me conclude that we are one angry, maybe vicious, group of people.

So my pledge is that the communications efforts of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society on behalf of The Episcopal Church, will take the Say Something Nice Sunday pledge. We begin now. We will go beyond 30 days. We will neither say anything ugly, demeaning, or derogatory nor will we provide a platform for those who do. We will be the gold standard in Christian communication and not substitute the standards of secular politics for the commandment of Jesus, which happens to be the Gospel for this Sunday: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. . . . You are my friends if you do what I command you” (Jn. 15:12-14). I know we’re all human, and maybe it’s best to temper our expectations, even of love. But isn’t the essence of being human according to Jesus to be a friend, even by grace a friend of God?

Maybe I’m wrong about that. Church politics always makes me wonder. Surely General Convention is not an occasion for such.

Just 30 days. That’s it. Thirty days that happen to include General Convention. Is it too much to ask—to be friends for 30 days, friends of Jesus?

Bishop Sauls contributed a chapter to my book, Christian Civility in an Uncivil World. Smyth&Helwys. 2009.

Tags: , , ,

Listening to God

This is the third in a series of devotionals published by First Baptist Church of Charleston

for the celebration of Say Something Nice Sunday and the month of June as Effective Communication Month.
Listening to God
Scripture Focus:
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times,
“Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is
listening.” — 1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV)
When noted CBS News anchor Dan Rather asked Mother Teresa
how she prayed, she answered, “I mostly listen.” When I asked
my minister friend, Dr. Monty Knight how he talked to God, he
responded by saying, “A more important question is how do I
listen to God.” Rather followed up Mother Teresa’s answer with,
“What does God say?” She responded by telling him that God
mainly listens.
`Obviously there is something important going on in this process.
Jesus tells us to go into our closet when we pray. Jesus went into
the wilderness for 40 days. We are admonished to listen for the
still small voice. Something important happens when we are quiet
and tuned in. Being primed to listen is different from just being
quiet There is an expectancy, a predisposition to being available.
Eli sensed that God was calling the young Samuel when he told
him, “If the voice speaks again, say here am I Lord. Your servant
is listening.”
If we are to engage in communication with God, it requires us to
be fully present in the moment. We cannot be caught up in giving
God a laundry list of our desires. We must prepare ourselves by
emptying our conscious mind of all distractions that would hinder
the process. To shut out distractions is why Jesus recommends
going into our closets to pray. Listening for the voice of God is a
powerful prayer.
Prayer Focus:
Dear God, quiet my restless soul so that I might prepare to hear
your voice. Ame

Tags: , , ,