Ephesians 4:4-6 -- There is one body and one Spirit, and God called you to have one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. There is one God and Father of everything. He rules everything and is everywhere and is in everything. 

DEVELOPMENT. Increasing in the wisdom and knowledge of the things of God

RELATIONSHIPRecognizing the importance of building new friendships and strengthening old ones

ENCOURAGEMENTMeeting the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of our fellow “Philadelphia Folks” and being a blessing to someone inside the church in some way every day.

AUTHENTICITYWorshipping and praising God “with all we got” just because He is, and not because of what He does

MISSIONAccomplishing the purpose for which God created and gifted us by being a blessing to someone outside the church in some way every day so that we can share with them by word or by action the Gospel

To see what kinds of ministry opportunities Philadelphia Wesleyan Church provides to help us Fulfill His Dream, please see the Fulfilling His Dream page of this website.

Check out our Facebook page for UPCOMING EVENTS and ANNOUNCEMENTS. 

Sunday was our Vision Message for 2018. The theme God put in my heart was Explosion: The Energizing Power of Hope. Our text was Micah 7:7-8 (NIV) -- "But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light."

But the issue becomes how do we position ourselves to receive that Explosion? What does God want from His church so that we can receive this Energizing Power of Hope?

The answer is found in 2 very similar passages of scripture.

First, Micah 6:8 -- "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

When we put several versions of this verse together, along with Biblically appropriate synonyms, this is what we get:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is Decent, Respectable, Moral, Upright, Virtuous, Noble, Worthy, Blameless, and Wholesome; and what doth the Lord Needs, Requires, Desires, Requests, and Wishes of thee, but to do Justice, Fairness, Righteousness, Reasonableness, Honesty, Integrity, and Uprightness, and to love Compassion, Forgiveness, Sympathy, Understanding, Generosity, and Grace, and to walk Modestly, Unassumingly, Meekly, Unpretentiously, and Respectfully Submitting, Following, Observing, Minding, Complying with, Doing as you are told, Acting upon, Abiding by, and Deferring to thy God?

Which sounds like a "how to" manual for the Christian faith, and also sound a lot like:

Galatians 5:22-23 -- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

An interesting fact, when you look at this verse in the oldest English translation, the Wycliffe Bible, the list contains 12 fruit. And 12 fruit corresponds nicely with the passage in Revelation taht describes the tree in te center of Heaven having 12 fruit. Since several of these words are similar, most English translations combined them to go from 12 to 9.

So I went with the 12.

Charity (Love) -- Charity is the love of God and of neighbor, without any thought of receiving something in return. -- Matthew 25:34-36, 40

Joy -- Joy isn't emotional, in the sense that we commonly think of joy; rather, it is the state of being undisturbed by the negative things in life. -- Proverbs 10:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Peace -- Peace is a tranquility in our soul that comes from relying on God rather than getting caught up in anxiety for the future. -- John 14:27

Patience -- Patience is the ability to bear the imperfections of other people, through a knowledge of our own imperfections and our need for God's mercy and forgiveness. -- Proverbs 14:29

Goodness -- This virtue requires that we be in tune with who we are, and our own actions. When we practice goodness, we are putting God first, particularly when it comes to our decision-making. – James 4:17

Long-Suffering (Longanimity, Forbearance) -- To be long-suffering is to endure quietly the attacks of others. -- Psalm 86:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4

Gentleness (Mildness, Meekness) -- To be mild in behavior is to be forgiving rather than angry, gracious rather than vengeful. -- Matthew 11:29

Faith (Faithfulness) -- Faithfulness, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, means living our life in accordance with God's will at all times. -- 1 John 5:5

Modesty -- Being modest means humbling yourself, acknowledging that any of your successes, achievements, talents, or merits are not truly your own but gifts from God.

Self-Control (Continence, Temperance) -- The fruit of self-control is exhibiting the will to overcome temptation and living according to God’s will.

Chastity -- Chastity refers to the submission of physical desire to right reason, subjugating it to one's spiritual nature. Chastity means indulging our physical desires only within the appropriate contexts—for instance, engaging in sexual activity only within marriage.

Kindness (Benignity, Generosity) -- Kindness is the willingness to give to others above and beyond what we own them. -- Luke 6:31; Acts 20:35

The reason for this as our Vision and Theme for 2018 goes along with last week's newsletter; that to not be a dying church (which applies not only to Sawgrass, but to all churches in America) we have to be a praying church, a Bible-believing church, and a soul-winning church.

So this list sets up what "Bible-believing" really refers to: not just being hearers of the Word, but doers also. If the Bible does not change you (your thoughts, your actions, your behavior, what you do, what you listen to, what you watch, what you say, etc) , then you really do not believe it.

So this whole year will be focused on being sure that we are a praying church (thus the emphasis on our Sat Night Prayer Meeting); that we are a Bible-believing church; and that we are a soul-winning church (to be seen in repeated interactions into our lost and dying community, beginning with our upcoming 40-day "Kindness Does" campaign).

Sorry to be so long, but there was a lot to say! If it is any comfort to you, this past Sunday's service ran 30 minutes longer than normal.

Thanks and many blessings,

The ALL NEW SAWGRASS STUDENT MINISTRY was launched this year. We meet on Wednesday Nights @ 7p

The SAWGRASS STUDENT MINISTRY is open to students from 6th grade through 12th. For this first year, we are also open to repeating 5th graders.

Parents, we have lots of neat things for your kids.

First, on Sunday Mornings we have Sunday School @ 9:45a (Come at 9:30 for donuts, coffee, juice, and chocolate milk).

Then at 11a we have Children’s Church. A Nursery is also available, and also @ 6p during our Interactive Sunday Nights Worship Service.

Then on Wednesdays @ 7p we have a fantastic Kid’s Club. And, as always, a Nursery is available for “the youngest among us”. 

So you've been thinking about dropping by Sawgrass some Sunday but you want to know what you can expect first? That's cool. We understand that. So here is what is happens on a typical Sunday morning...

First you will encounter a beautiful, 113-year old building nestled among the trees. Looks like a scene right out of a pioneer movie! Someone, most likely our Pastor, will greet you at the door. Once you come inside you will again be greeted warmly. Lots of good folks here at Philadelphia Wesleyan Church. You will be given a bulletin. About 5 minutes before our service begins a video announcement loop will play with information about our church and upcoming events.

Following that video a worship video will signal the start of our service. This praise and worship song will generally be up tempo and contemporary. Feel free to sing along. Even clap if you like. (You will notice the Pastor will not be clapping much, but that is because he cannot clap and sing at the same time!). Once the video song ends, there is a brief welcome and live announcements. At that point our pianist and song leader takes over to lead us in two great hymns or spiritual songs of the faith.

A time of prayer comes next, and one more hymn. During that last hymn anyone who would like to be prayed for directly is encouraged to come forward.

After the offering, our kids will be dismissed to Children's Church. Right before the sermon we will worship with one more contemporary video song.

Then our Pastor will bring the morning message with a time for response at the end.

Beginning to end, about 75 minutes of simple, heart-felt worship.

Hope to see you here.

We are located at 1139 Sawgrass Rd in Hortense                                                                                                                                              
Just off Hwy 301 and Hwy 32. Just follow the signs.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Pre-Service Fellowship: Sunday @ 9:30a 
Sunday School: 9:45a 
Sunday Morning Worship: 11:00 am 
Interactive Sunday Nights: 6:00 pm 
Wednesday Night: 7:00 pm 
Saturday Night Prayer Meeting: 6pm