“The Matthew Five Approach”
By David Money
Every four years with the inauguration of a new President, January becomes the month of hope…new ideas…new birth…a new approach. But today’s truth is of far greater value than tomorrow’s promise. Many examples of ‘truth’ are found right here Henry County…programs that represent truth…love…hope…a new chance…a fresh start. One such program can be found at the Abbeville United Methodist Church.
A few years ago, a small circle of caring people saw a tremendous need…and, under the guidance of the Enterprise United Methodist Church, brought ‘Celebrate Recovery’ to our county. Those few disciples prayed for just 12 people to come forward. Twelve people who had a need – or twelve people who were willing to help meet that need – or any combination thereof. From that dozen or so evolved 20…then 30, 40 and now over 50 each week. The situations are varied but yet so very similar…many battle addictions, grief, loss, depression, anxiety, shame, anger, guilt, resentment, divorce and on and on. At CR they are fed…first from the kitchen, then by each other through times of sharing and, ultimately, they are fed everlastingly from The Word. Last Thursday night 52 came at 6:00 PM for supper. Later, they sang…they listened…they shared…they cried. Then they helped clean up. At 8:58, they left with a sense of healing…of being loved…knowing that there are many who care.
Celebrate Recovery extends beyond the Thursday night walls of AUMC. ‘CR Inside’ provides a ministry inside the Henry County Jail. Celebrate Recovery is a friend of a court system that recognizes CR as a path for sobriety, personal growth and a community of support for those who follow the steps. Volunteers come at 3:00 to prepare the meal…they stay until 9:00 to clean up – they are there to welcome them in, visit with and encourage them, provide the music, lead the studies and the small groups…they are there to listen to them and pray for/with them. Their approach is time tested, proven …and from the heart. They are there for the ‘poor in spirit, for those who mourn, for the persecuted, for the meek, for those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.’ Those who volunteer do what they do through a spirit of silent servant-hood. May they also be blessed…and known as the ‘children of God.’ We thank them…each of them…for their ‘Mathew Five Ministry.’ All are welcome to come and join in.
30 Date Update:
- January probate activity: four wills probated, one involuntary commitment, two guardianships, one administration, one name change, one final settlement, three miscellaneous hearings, twelve marriage licenses issued.
- Citizens with last names beginning with ‘A’ or ‘D’ have five days to renew their tags. If your last name begins with ‘B’ February will be your renewal month.
- January 8 & 9 – I attended the Alabama Probate Judges Association Winter Conference at Point Clear.
- January 9 – many county and local officials attended the Red Star Yeast expansion celebration and ribbon cutting at their plant near Newville.
- January 24 – several county commissioners, staff members and I attended the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama district meeting at Luverne United Methodist Church.
- January 25 – the Henry County Youth Leadership Program enjoyed its annual ‘Health Day’ with visits to the new Health Center at Wallace College This was followed by tours at Flowers Hospital and ACOM. While in Dothan, I attended the Executive Committee & Board meetings at SARCOA.
Dates to Remember:
- January 27 – Wiregrass Forum breakfast in Ozark at 7:30 AM.
- February 1 – Henry County schools ‘Career Tech Day’ Proclamation signing – 3:30 PM -Probate Court Room.
- February 2 – tentative date to hold a tri-county public meeting to discuss funding solutions to repair/resurface substandard roads in Henry, Houston and Dale Counties. It is planned for 6:00 at a location yet to be determined.
- February 8 – our HCYLP students will join Youth Leadership students from other counties for the Youth Leadership luncheon at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Dothan.
- February 20 – George Washington/Thomas Jefferson birthday holiday.