General Assembly
of the Church of God
in Michigan

"equipping local congregations
to extend the Kingdom of God"

Hearing Voices?

Bill Jones

A few weeks ago Joy Bahar made fun of Vice President Pence for saying that he heard from God. The media had either laughed with her or criticized her for saying that people who hear voices are considered crazy. Actually she brings up a rather interesting topic. How does God speak to us?

I personally have never heard God’s voice like one person speaking to another. Does he sound like Billy Graham or Nelson Mandela? My wife would love his voice to be like Sam Elliott, and I would vote for Maya Angelou. On the other hand I have sensed God’s leading and have many times believed I knew what God wanted me to do, as if I had heard his voice. How is this possible? Perhaps more appropriate is how do I know I have really heard from God?

It is not uncommon for someone to say “God told me to do (this or that)”, or “God told me we should…” Frankly, it is hard to argue against such a statement, since who am I to say God did not say…? How in the world does God speak to us?

First, He speaks through his Word. The Bible is called the “Word of God.” If we are immersed in His Word, we hear from Him. Second, He speaks through his Spirit. It is not an audible voice, but we are moved when He speaks. Third, we hear from God through others who know Jesus. Their words, council, consoling, brings help, and support, again we know God has spoken to us through them.

How do I know if what I am “hearing,” or “sensing,” is from God? His counsel will never contradict his Word. His counsel will be confirmed by the response of God’s people. His counsel will not recommend or lead to sin, but to righteousness and peace. I want to say that his counsel will never do harm, but I have known when his counsel hurts one’s feelings, or causes conviction because it points out our sin. Even with that in mind, when we hear his voice it is to do the loving thing, for his purposes are to draw us to him, to redeem us, to give us hope and a future.

WARNING! Do not fall for the Devil’s trick that suggests that God will tell you what you want to hear, or that God will always direct you to what you want. This is when our hearing from God, or saying, “God told me,” simply becomes a vehicle to get our own way. I did not like Ms. Bayhar making fun of our Christian Vice President, but she raises a good question: “how do we hear from God|?” How do we know the message is Him? By comparing what we are “hearing” with the Bible, and by bouncing what we are “hearing” with trusted Christian friends, and if it beneficial to others, and to Christ’s Kingdom, we will have a pretty good idea from whom the message comes.

Do We Need a State Ministry?

Over the next two years our National Ministry will be restructuring. Some have questioned whether a State Ministry like the Church of God in Michigan is necessary. Each month in eAction I will be sharing some of the services provided to our Ministers, Spouses, Families, and Churches. I confess after serving our State for 17 years, I am unabashedly biased about what we do. Leaders across the state at some point will have to decide whether or not to agree with me. These services are available because our congregations across the state give to the State Ministry to support their fellow congregations and ministers across the State of Michigan. So here we go…. What are those ministries the Church of God in Michigan provides?

  1. We provide Credentialing Services for all Church of God Ministers in Michigan
  2. We, through our relationship with Church of God Ministries, provide 501c3 coverage for all our congregations in Michigan
  3. We provide Leadership Training using Pastors' Institute yearly in January. We provide first and second level leadership training through the Institute for Servant Leadership. Our 360 Leadership Conference provides practical training for leaders in all realms of Church Service. About 500 persons attend this conference yearly.
  4. We provide support Service to Ministers and their families through Ministry to Ministers; providing professional Christian counseling for all family members under the minister’s roof.

Check in next month for more…

Southwestern Regional Pastor

John Davey

Dear Friends, It is my joy to announce the hiring of Rev. Dr. John F. Davey as the new Southwestern Regional Pastor for the Church of God in Michigan. Dr. Davey brings vast experience as a pastor, church planter, and coach. Dr. Davey is a graduate of Anderson University with a B.A., Master of Divinity, and a Dr. of Ministry degree. He has been a pastor in both rural and city churches. I believe Dr. Davey will be an excellent addition to our Ministry Team. Those in the Southwestern region will be hearing from him soon, as he seeks to serve the ministers and congregations of the southwestern Dr. Davey, thank you for accepting this significant role for the Church of God in Michigan. - Dr. William H. Jones

Rev. Sheryl Blake's Ordination - March 25, 2018

Rev. Sheryl Blake was ordained March 25, 2018 at Hope Community Church in Niles. Rev. Bill Shepard spoke, Dr. Jones led in her ordination vows, Rev. James Sparks prayed the prayer of Ordination, and Dr. John Davey, Chair of Credentials anointed her. Other Church of God ministers attending were Rev. Jerry Lyon, Rev. Brad Heiple, Executive Pastor at Hope, Cathy Ganus, and Marc Danapilis. Worship was led by Jim Blake, Sheryl’s husband, and the worship band from Hope. We congratulate this significant milestone and accomplishment in Rev. Sheryl Blake’s life.

Ordination Service for Diane Hall

June 10, 2018; 4:00 p.m.

Holbrook Avenue Church of God, Flint, Michigan

Christian Women Connection

Ladies, please do not wait to register for our State CWC Convention in April 27 and 28. We are now in the month of March which is time for registration. In fact, March 22 is the deadline! Another great convention is being planned.

Mary

Rev. Mary Stephens, former National CWC Ministry Coordinator, will be our speaker. Rev. Mary Stephens is the Senior Pastor at South Side Church of God in South Bend, Indiana. With a heart for justice and a call to serve, Mary believes in the importance of being a welcoming presence in world of exclusion, advocating for overlooked and marginalized people, and championing a life of discipleship and holy living that reflects a love for God and neighbor.

Mary grew up in Northwest Ohio and graduated from Adrian College (Adrian, Michigan) with majors in Political Science and Psychology. She earned her Master of Divinity from Anderson University School of Theology and her Master of Business Administration from the Falls School of Business. An ordained minister in the Church of God, much of Mary’s professional career was spent at Christian Women Connection where she was a Ministry Coordinator for twelve years. She served women in the Church of God through communications, programming, and leadership. In 2012, she was chosen to be a Hunger Justice Leader through Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice striving to end hunger at home and abroad, and in 2016 she was honored as an Agent of Change by Connect Faith Magazine. Mary lives in Mishawaka, Indiana with her husband Kenneth and son Henry.

Emily Clark will share her story about her time as Associate Pastor at Wounded Knee. Emily is originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in the Church of God.

Mary

Tonja Henry from Joseph Campau Ave. Church in Detroit will be our Worship Leader. Also, special music from their group “The Potters Hand” will be doing sign through music. Each president/leader should have received a packet with information and a registration sheet for the convention. Included in this e-action is a copy of the pricing package just in case a group has been missed. I have also included a note from Rachel Demos, Director of Programming, concerning a great fundraiser.

The thing that will make the convention great is your presence.


Pricing Packages for 2018 CWC State Convention

Pricing includes: Registration, lodging, 3 meals, 3 services.

Package 1 (4 to a room) $119.00 per person
Package 2 (3 To A Room) $129.50 per person
Package 3 (2 To A Room) $150.00 per person
Package 4 (1 To A Room) $212.00 per person
Package 5 Friday Evening Service, Dinner, Registration - No Lodging $53.00 Per Person
Package 6 Saturday 2 Services, 2 Meals, Registration - No Lodging $59.00 Per Person
Package 7 Friday and Saturday service, 3 meals, registration $89.00 per person

Please include on your registration form:

Package number for each person attending/grouped accordingly
Names of ALL women attending
Any special dietary needs: gluten free or vegetarian
Any handicap needs
We CANNOT make accommodations at a later date
Total money sent

We encourage you to bring your history books; we will display them in the back of the room. Distribute this information to your women and help arrange transportation for your group. Consider providing funds for your minister's wife and someone who has never attended. Send registration and money to:

Jean Lerch, 12395 Ferris Avenue, Grant, MI 49327; (231) 834-9611; jeanlerch@gmail.com

Any questions or concerns, please contact: Rachel Demos (586) 751-5247 or demosrd@yahoo.com


We will be having a fundraiser at the convention. Tell your ladies to be prepared to "SHOP ". We are asking each local to provide a fund raiser item or items to bring to the convention and sell. Find a theme for your group and see what you can come up with for the fund raiser. Ideas might include: movie basket, crafters delight, comfy nite in, gift baskets, fun at the beach, grab bags, jewelry. Mark the prices you feel the item or items are worth. If you have any questions, please call: Rachel Demos, 586/216-2285; demosrd@yahoo.com

Another date to remember is Oct. 10 – 13, 2019. This will be our next CWC National Convention at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Connie Mashue, Michigan State CWC President

The St. Louie’s Christian Music Festival

Memorial Day Weekend - May 26, 27 & 28, 2018

Held at the St. Louis Camp Ground, 8489 N. Bagley Road, St. Louis, Michigan 48880

Featuring Gospel and Christian concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and Daytime sing-alongs for the whole family!
Just $15 gets you in to all three concerts!

Camp lots are $25 per night* and include water and electricity hookups

Come join us for music, camping, food, Christian fellowship, fun, games, and more! Great fun for the entire family!

Call (989) 681-2581 to book your camping spot or reserve tickets!

Also, don’t forget to book the St. Louie’s Christian Music Festival On The Road at your church!

Clinical Pastoral Education Alumni & Clergy Seminar
Women and Men Leading Together: A Partnership for God's People

Thursday, June 7, 2018; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Morning coffee & noon luncheon included)

The Postma Center of Pine Rest
300 68th Street S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548

Presentation by Rev. Liz Testa
Coordinator for Women's Transformation & Leadership, Reformed Church in America

Remarks by: Dr. Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest President & CEO and Rev. Karl Van Harn, Pine Rest Director of Pastoral Services & CPE

Pennway Church of God - Job Posting

"This is a full-time job to serve as the "Hub" of the church by managing the front office and all incoming and outgoing communications. This includes answering the phone, scheduling, social media and website/app. management, publication creation, and supporting the Pastoral staff as requested. An application and full job description is available on our website pennway.org."

John Davey, Lead Pastor, Pennway Church of God


Grief Share Series (VHS); free.

Send an email to micog@micog.org stating your interest.

Multiplication in Spain

Dr. William Jones

I met recently with Alejandro and Carmen De Francisco. They have been involved in church multiplication in Florida for a long time. Under their leadership they planted a thriving Church in Tampa and then while on staff with Greg Wiens in the Florida State Ministry, they were actively involved in planting 17 more congregations in Florida. Alejandro is originally from Cuba, and Carmen from Nicaragua, God has now called them to plan Church of God congregations in Spain, where we have not Church of God presence in a country that has less than 2% of population as evangelicals. If your congregation is looking to be involved in multiplication or missions, this is a chance to do both by supporting the De Franciscos in this planting/mission effort. They have plans to plant 20 congregations in Spain in the next 25 years. You or your church could be in on the ground floor of this exciting Kingdom adventure.