ACMin Newsletter - March 2016

Taking Fear to the Father

God’s Word tells us repeatedly to not fear, to not be anxious about tomorrow, and to trust Him in all ways.  And yet, we are afraid of spiders and snakes. We fear death and cancer. We worry about what others think of us. We’re anxious about the stock market. We fret about our children and our elderly parents and consider ourselves wise for doing so. Have you ever wondered why the Lord created us with the capacity to fear?  After all, His perfect love casts out ALL fear!
Beloved, allow your every fear to draw you closer into the Father’s Heart!  Without life’s challenges that can only be resolved in the Lord, we might not experience communion with Him or know how to pray and wait wihile He answers. Will you watch with eager anticipation for how He wants to redeem your current situation?  Will you turn your eyes heavenward to worship Him in the midst of your struggle, acknowledging that He is good, faithful, and true?  Will you thank Him for yet another opportunity to seek His face for comfort and His heart for love?  How glorious to discern that He is using your circumstances--even the painful ones--to more frmly establish your one-ness with Him and increase His power and authority over your circle of influence!  
Lord, help us to trust you more day by day. Increase our faith in you alone, knowing that you promise to never leave us or forsake us.  Amen!

2016 Campaign for Growth

What if Athens had a place where university students could receive transfer credits for Christian Studies courses or earn a Certificate in Christian Ministry, preparing them for “marketplace ministry” while they earn a degree in their chosen field?  How would the Athens area be different if there was a safe, local get-away to be alone in God’s presence, to pray and reflect?  How great would it be if hurting individuals knew there was a special place in their midst where God binds up the broken hearted? What if we could teach about God’s Word through live demonstrations on a farm? What if there was a place large enough for multi-church gatherings and worship for all to use?
 
We’re SO excited to ask the Lord to release the resources needed to bring the vision He has entrusted to us into an earthly reality.  You can make an eternal difference throughout and beyond the greater Athens area for generations to come by investing in the future home of the Athens College of Ministry.  Here’s how:
-Your gift to the Annual Fund helps us step into candidacy for full accreditation.
-Your Business Sponsorship makes it possible for ACMin to serve our community with special Christ-focused area-wide events.
-Your one-time “stretch gift” to our Capital Project will help build our college’s “dream home” where our students can actively practice ministry under supervision while completing their coursework.
-Remembering the Athens College of Ministry in your estate planning pledge serves to ensure that the college has a bright future!
-As a non-profit Christian ministry, ACMin can accept gifts in the form of stocks, real estate, and other property.
Thank you for generously supporting God’s work through this college!

ServeAthens ICN This Month!

In just a few weeks on Saturday, March 19th from 8:00am to 1:30pm, churches all over Athens will gather to volunteer as a part of ServeAthens ICN, ACMin's annual service day. Our projects this year focus on reaching out to some of the neediest, most broken communities in Athens through the love and connection of local churches. You can sign up to serve on projects like:
  • Evangelizing and bringing care packages to the Lexington Heights community in east Athens (or sign up to be part of the care package assembly team!)
  • Serve the Latino and other needy communities around Prince Avenue through a Spring Fling that includes kids games, backpack and book giveaways for kids, and more!
  • Clean up and landscape a community prayer garden on Hancock Ave. that will be open for the entire surrounding community to come for prayer or a quiet place to hear the Lord! 
Volunteers from all over are invited to join us for free breakfast and lunch, fellowship with other believers and a day serving the community "In Christ's Name!" Visit acmin.org/Serve now to learn more or sign up for a project! 

Can't join us on Saturday, March 19th? Consider helping us collect care package items for the Lexington Heights outreach and backpacks/books for the Spring Fling project! More details at acmin.org/Serve.

Transformed! Conference June 10th & 11th

"May you prosper ... As your soul prospers"

God created us spiritual beings, so of course there is a connection between the prosperity of our lives and the state of our spiritual health! Coming Friday, June 10th & Saturday, June 11th, is ACMin's annual Transformed! Conference, featuring speakers and in-depth sessions on how a soul can prosper in marriage, in teaching others, in practicing the spiritual disciplines, and even in leadership! 

Explore all of the rich teaching options at the Transformed! Conference and register today for this year's event. Call 706-769-1472 with any questions.  

Student Spotlight: Ryan Brinson

"Years ago when I was wondering what God was caliing me into, a buddy of mine encouraged me to write everything down. Of course I didn’t. If we all did that it would be amazing to see."

Ryan Brinson was born in Tifton, GA but has called Athens home since childhood. Ryan grew up on Baxter Street attending Clarke Central High School and worshipping at Athens First United Methodist Church with his family. "I am still a member of Athens First UMC downtown," said Ryan. "Have been forever." 

Ryan always participated in youth group, but beginning his college career at UGA proved to be a test for his faith. "I went to college and completely spaced. I didn't think much about my relationship with God or the church. I just ignored it." But even when he knew his life wasn't right, Ryan still remembers praying at night to God. "I think I was just in the habit, but I continued to do it for whatever reason. Maybe it was God’s way of leaving the door open for me."

It wasn't until his first son, James, came into his life that Ryan began to get some perspective. "That was an eye-opener," said Ryan, who then started to get back into his childhood church. "Everyone looked so happy and so together. I started thinking, 'Maybe this is not the place for me anymore.'" Ryan and his wife, Kate, began attending Athens First UMC's contemporary service meeting at the Morton theatre downtown. "God really used the music to pull me back in and break me down. Since then, I've been almost like a child - crawling, taking a few steps, walking," said Ryan who feels like God's plans for him are still to be revealed. 

"A few years ago, God began to intensely work on me. I didn’t understand what was happening. I think some of it was a little bit of a dying to self." Ryan thought that the next logical step was to attend seminary, but was thwarted each time he came close to enrolling. "Thankfully, I was really patient. I asked God to open my eyes to the opportunity when I saw it." Ryan knew of ACMin through Marcia Wilbur's (ACMin President) involvement in the Athens Rotary Club, but God continued to give him signs pointing to ACMin. In south Georgia visiting his 98-year-old Grandmother, some friends brought up their involvement in a ministry college in Athens. "My wife and I locked eyes," said Ryan. "We asked a few questions, and [ACMin] sounded interesting." Months later, a friend from Charleston with no specific ties to anyone or anything related to the college suggested Ryan check out ACMin. 

The final sign came from an actual sign at Timothy Road Baptist Church announcing an upcoming class through their partnership with ACMin. "That was really it," said Ryan. "Soon after that, I called to set up a time to meet with Marcia and I signed up for my first class that day." Ryan is currently taking Apologetics here at ACMin and "floating the water" while He waits on the Lord. "Sometimes is scary; other items its riveting. I think he really refined me with this patience thing. I need to carry that forward. Right now, I'm not as concerned with what’s next as much as I'm enjoying what’s in front of me." 

Ryan graduated from Terry College of Business in 2001. He now works at Broad Street Capitol Advisors and lives in Athens with his wife, Kate, a special education teacher at Barnett Shoals Elementary, and their 2 children, James and Emory.

Let's Pray!

Sometimes life can be overwhelming and hearing from the Lord can seem impossible. Here at ACMin, we love to help others hear the voice of the Lord in their situation! Our Transformational Prayer Ministry Center is for any believer struggling with deep hurts, sin patterns or just wanting to hear the Lord's voice better!

Our ministers are trained, sensitive, and ready to walk with you through prayer in pursuit of God's healing work in your life! Take a bold step today towards personal victory by making an appointment to receive Prayer Ministry!  

Is God Calling You to the Athens College of Ministry?

Friends in Christ, the Athens College of MInistry exists to serve YOU and to help you grow in your capacity to serve as Christ's hands and feet wherever God has placed you!  Perhaps the Lord is calling you to full-time vocational ministry.....or perhaps you desire to grow in your confidence to witness in the marketplace or to serve as a leader in your church.  Our Christian Ministry Certificate and Degree Programs are open to all.  We'd like to invite you to call 706.769.1472 today and make an appointment to learn more about the treasures that God has for you right here at ACMin.  It's time for you to take that bold step of faith towards God's call on your heart!

National Day of Prayer is May 5th

Make plans now to attend Athens' annual National Day of Prayer Breakfast -with keynote speaker, Mr. Pat Allen. The breakfast is Athens' annual kick-off to an entire day of prayer activities. The theme for 2016 is "Wake Up, America" emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name. Isaiah 58:1a is this year's Scripture:  “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” Click here to see the many opportunities to gather and pray on this historical day!

Connect Page

ACMin loves to connect believers and ministries through community-wide events and training open to all who want to dig deeper in their faith, but we also make those connections through the Connect page of our website. We post ministry job openings on our community job board, list prayer and ministry training opportunities in the area and more! 

Be sure to check out:
  • The Athens Prayer Watch, Athens area believers joining together to cover Athens in prayer in partnership with the Athens Prayer Network. 
  • Homeless Help Card which not only supports us here at ACMin through card/app purchases, but also supports non-profits in Athens AND provides you stellar discounts at tons of local businesses! 
  • Sparrow's Nest Fundraiser Banquet this Thursday, March 3rd at Athens Church, a great opportunity to support the Sparrow's Nest's local ministry to Athens. 
  • Night of Healing Prayer at St. James UMC on Thursday, March 17th from 7:00 - 8:30 PM.
  • Opening for Director of Music & Worship at Salem Baptist Church