Author Archives: Derik Lawrence
The following information contains the procedures which we use to inform our members of changes, delays or cancellations of services due to inclement weather. Due to the inclement weather we are having today in north/west Georgia, I thought it would be a good reminder for how these types of decisions are made. The Inclement Weather Team is made up 6 men in varying geographic locations in regards to the church, hopefully allowing us to get a pretty good idea of the weather conditions where our members live.
Inclement Weather Procedures for Victory Baptist Church
*Even though we are located in Gwinnett County, the Victory Baptist School follows the Walton County School System’s Inclement Weather decisions.
It is the desire of the Pastor and staff to always continue with regularly scheduled services as long as it is deemed safe for our members and visitors. There are times however, when weather conditions are threatening and may prove treacherous to travel to church, causing us to cancel or delay some of our Services. Often we are asked, “How do you make the decision to suspend or delay church services due to inclement weather?” The process involves several of our members/staff as well as local law enforcement and emergency agencies. On mornings or evenings when inclement weather (snow, ice, tornadoes, etc) is expected or is a possibility, the Inclement Weather Team (IWT) will begin assessing the weather to determine the decisions made.
Sunday AM Bible Studies, Bus Routes and Services
- At 5:00 AM the inclement weather procedures start.
- The Sheriff’s Office and other emergency agencies are contacted for updates on current road conditions and any particular areas of concern.
- The team consistently monitors weather forecasts through a variety of weather sites both online and via television.
- The 6 member team then determines the road conditions in their specific geographic locations.
- By 6:00 AM the IWT forms an initial recommendation to continue with, cancel, or delay Services and relays this recommendation to the Pastor.
- By 6:25 AM the Pastor makes the final decision regarding the schedule for the AM schedule.
(If a decision can be made sooner (like the night before), the channels of communication will be the same, starting at the time of the decision.)
At 6:30 AM:
- The decision to cancel or delay the services will be posted online at www.victorybc.org as well as on the church Facebook page.
- An email with the information will also be sent from the church database. (*please contact the church to verify/update your contact information)
- The Church voice mail system will be updated and can be reached at 770.466.4040 ext 3. (This is normally the church Prayer Line, but also doubles as the Inclement Weather extension.)
- If the decision is to delay Service times, the IWT will continue to monitor road conditions and weather forecast information for their final decision.
Time Line At a Glance
5:00 AM: The IWT begins evaluating weather conditions.
6:00 AM: The IWT share information and makes recommendation to Pastor via conference call.
6:25 AM: The Pastor makes a final decision for canceling or delaying services.
6:30 AM: Various forms of communication and publication will begin.
Sunday PM, Wednesday PM, AWANA and other PM related Services/activities
- The IWT will make their assessments and recommendations, if possible, no later than 3 hours prior to the scheduled time of the Service or activity. (we will strive to make this decision as early as possible prior to Service times…there may be times where this is not feasible due to unknown conditions)
- Communication will then be made in the same manner as the Sunday AM procedures.
**Please understand that there will be decisions made that may or may not prove to be the best one “after the fact.” Every effort will be made to insure the safety of our church family. Weather can change very suddenly, causing us to “miss the mark” and notification times. There even may be times when we cancel in anticipation of inclement weather and then it not coming to fruition. In either case, we will do our best to inform our church body of Service changes due to inclement weather. Ultimately it is up to each individual to determine whether or not the weather or road conditions will adversely affect their health, safety and wellbeing.
This year’s annual Couple’s Retreat has taken on a slight change, we are joining several other churches in hosting Pastor John Wilkerson and his wife as our conference speakers. I am really looking forward to this event and would like to have as many couples from Victory attend as possible. The following link will give you all the details necessary as well as a way to register. Don’t hesitate, go ahead and plan on going. (it is a little later in the year than normal, but think the timing will work out great)
Retreat Details: http://visionbaptist.com/couples-retreat/
Tonight, a group will be going down to the Atlanta Airport to welcome home our Missionary Chad Phillips and family! We are very excited to see them and their new addition since they left for Cambodia right at two years ago! Chad and Linda are returning for a brief furlough and we can’t wait to share with you some exciting news concerning them and their ministry in the days ahead! Please pray for their safe arrival, which is set for 8:15 this evening, in from Los Angeles. Lord willing, they will be with us on Wednesday night, so you will want to make sure you’re here to welcome them home!
Consider these remarks made by President Ronald Reagan at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in 1985, less than twenty years ago. What would the reaction be to such a speech today if it were delivered by a mayor, a public school principal, or governor?
My fellow Americans, thank you for joining Nancy and me on this festive evening. The menorah stands lighted in Lafayette Park, for this is also the time of Hanukkah, and this season is rich in the meaning of our Judeo-Christian tradition. In a moment we’ll be lighting the National Christmas Tree, carrying forward what is now a 62-year tradition first begun by Calvin Coolidge.
Tonight we’re drawn in warmth to one another as we reflect upon the deeply holy meaning of the miracle we shall soon celebrate. We know that Mary and Joseph reached the stable in Bethlehem sometime after sunset. We do not know the exact moment the Christ Child was born, only what we would have seen if we’d been standing there as we stand here now: Suddenly, a star from heaven shining in our eyes, shining with brilliant beauty across the skies, a star pointing toward eternity in the night, like a great ring of pure and endless light, and then all was calm, and all was bright. Such was the beginning of one solitary life that would shake the world as never before or since. When we speak of Jesus and of His life, we speak of a man revered as a prophet and teacher by people of all religions, and Christians speak of someone greater—a man who was and is divine. He brought forth a power that is infinite and a promise that is eternal, a power greater than all mankind’s military might, for His power is Godly love, love that can lift our hearts and soothe our sorrows and heal our wounds and drive away our fears. He promised there will never be a long night that does not end. He promised to deliver us from dark torment and tragedy into the warming sunlight of human happiness, and beyond that, into paradise. He’s never been a halfway giver; His generosity is pure and perfect and sure.
This, then, expresses the true meaning of Christmas. If each of us could give but a fraction to one another of what He gave to the whole human family, how many hearts could heal, how much sorrow and pain could be driven away? There’s still time for joy and gladness to touch a sad and lonely soul, still time to feed a hungry child, to wrap a present for a kind old man feeling forlorn and afraid, and to reach out to an abandoned mother raising children on her own. There’s still time to remember our Armed Forces, to express our profound gratitude to those keeping watch on faraway frontiers of freedom, and to redouble our energies to account for our MIA’s. They are not and never will be forgotten. And there’s still time to remember the deepest truth of all: that there can be no prisons, no walls, no boundaries separating the members of God’s family.
Let us reach out tonight to every person who is persecuted; let us embrace and comfort, support and love them. Let us come together as one family under the fatherhood of God, binding ourselves in a communion of hearts, for tonight and tomorrow and for all time. May we give thanks for an America abundantly blessed, for a nation united, free, and at peace. May we carry forward the happiness of the Christmas spirit as the guiding star of our endeavors 365 days a year. And as we light this magnificent tree, may all the youthful hope and joy of America light up the heavens and make the angels sing.
Merry Christmas, and God bless you all. And now we’re going to light the tree.
[At this point, the National Christmas Tree, which was located on the Ellipse, south of the White House grounds, was lighted.]
*original article read several months ago, source unknown
It’s that time of year again (is there not a time like that around here?) where things begin to get a little “crazy”. The holiday season is upon us and before we know, 2013 will be ringing in. Here’s a reminder of some of the upcoming services we will be having for this week.
Thanksgiving Sunday (AM)-Nov. 18th (This will include our special ThanksGIVING offering where we give over and above our regular tithes and offerings. Many people used this as a time for their “end of the year” giving as well. God’s been so good to us and one of our core values is that “we can’t out-give God”. This offering is an opportunity to thank Him in a special way. FYI, we hope to replace our auditorium projectors with giving through this year’s offering.)
Thanksgiving Sunday (PM)–Ministry Director’s Appreciation Night-We have so many wonderful people who serve and lead our various ministries at VBC and this is a night set aside to recognize and thank them with a small gift for their leadership and service this year. We are truly blessed to have the 22+ Ministry Directors God has blessed us with.
Thanksgiving Mid-Week Service (Tuesday, 7 PM Nov. 20th Our normal Wednesday night service will be held on Tuesday evening so please make sure you make the necessary changes. All teens and AWANA students will be meeting in the auditorium for a combined service.
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22nd– I trust you will be able to spend some wonderful time with your family this Thanksgiving! All school offices will be closed Thanksgiving week, church offices Wednesday through Friday.
The privilege of living in America brings with it opportunity and responsibility. Early this morning, we Americans saw our political system in action. Some saw the vote they cast swing to their favor, others did not. Some voted for political reasons, others for personal ones…however, the opportunity was still there for all to participate in. I for one, am glad I live in the United States of America, where democracy is still the standard. Some may disagree, that’s your right too. Regardless, as I did prior to Election Day, I did again this morning…I prayed for the President of MY United States. I did not know 24 hours ago the color of skin my President (or President-elect) would have, it did not matter when it came to praying for his wisdom and God’s leading in his life (whether he beckoned Him or not); I knew my President (President-elect) would need it.
You see, our nation is fast falling away from the Foundation upon which is was founded. Neither candidate can (could) light the spiritual fire necessary for America to turn back to God as she once was. It’s not a “government issue” it’s a spiritual one. Does the President of the United States determine my walk with God? No, that’s between me and my Saviour…and that’s where it will always be. You see, He “works across the aisle”, regardless of the political flavor of man.
If you took advantage of the opportunity and responsibility to vote, be proud…you’re an American! Mr. Obama your man? Be proud, you’re an American! Mr. Obama not your man? Be proud, you are an American! May God bless the Unites States of America, keep her and protect her. May the United States of America believe in God, follow and obey Him!
By the way, the reader may be wondering…was Mr. Obama “my man”? He was not who I voted for, but he is who I am praying for. I reminded many on last Sunday, regardless of who may reside in the White House… (Prov 21:1) “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
Don’t let the weather prevent you from fulfilling the privilege of your right to vote! BUT, you may want to take something to read or listen to in line…I got to my polling place about 35 minutes before they opened and there was already a line…and I’m still waiting! But hey, I’ve met some great people and am enjoying a good cup of coffee. May God continue to bless America!
Below is an email I received from our missionary in Cambodia, Chad Phillips. With his permission I’m sharing this with you…
I just want to check in with you. Today, we had some discouraging news that Linda had a miscarriage. This is the first one Linda has had. She is doing okay, and there were no other complications that will require additional treatment. Tonight after supper, I decided to, for the first time since we have been in Cambodia, open up the box of letters that the church gave us at our sending service. Ellie asked me, “What is that Daddy? Money?” I said, “No Ellie, this is better than money- this is encouragement.” And that is exactly what was in the box- tons of encouragement. It just reminded us how blessed we are to have Victory Baptist Church as our sending church. We love you all, and can’t wait to see everyone in a few weeks.
Chad, Linda and kids a few weeks ago scheduled a short furlough which has them arriving in Atlanta on Monday night, Dec 17th. Lets be praying for them during this time.