• Will Spink
    Senior Pastor
  • Wyketa Shipman
    Executive Assistant
  • Ron Clegg
    Associate Pastor, Discipleship
  • Shannon Clark
    Administrative Assistant
  • James Parker
    Chief Musician
  • Peter Render
    Assistant Pastor, Youth/Families
  • Christine Betts
    Assistant Director, Youth/Families
  • Ty Commons
    Youth & Families Intern
  • Kim Delchamps
    Administrative Assistant
  • Derrick Harris
    Assistant Pastor, Shepherding & Young Families
  • Angela Sierk
    Director, Children's Ministry
  • Niña Banta Cash
    Director, Nursery
  • Robert Blevins
    Director, Community Development
  • Janice Crowson
    Director, Facilities/Finance
  • Daniel Brown
    Print & Digital Media Specialist
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Pastor’s Note

A Postcard Late in Summer

The excitement of a new school year is building rapidly at the Spink home these days. Conversations about connecting with old and new friends, plans to purchase needed clothes or supplies, and agonizing over which activities to participate in are now daily occurrences. While we are sad to see the flexibility of summer end, there is a lot to look forward to as well.

You’ll notice in this issue of Branches that the same “new year” excitement and transition is happening at Southwood, too. You may take advantage of opportunities to invest in old and new relationships through a small group, you may wrestle with whether to serve with the Children’s Ministry here at Southwood or with Jobs for Life in the community, or you may consider a deeper study of God’s Word and Biblical theology in the Leadership Training Class. If you haven’t been doing so already, I’d urge you to pray (no really, stop and actually pray!) about where God would have you engage intentionally for the sake of his kingdom during this season.

When I was growing up, the excitement and anticipation began a little later in August (seriously, “Back-to-School” sales in June and July?!), but I remember in addition to all the things I mentioned earlier waiting anxiously for a particular postcard every year. It was the note from my new teacher that informed me she would be the one walking through the next year with me and instructing me week in and week out. Now I don’t expect you all feel the anticipation of a new sermon series the way the pastor does, but I hope God’s Word always remains exciting to us. If you’ll pardon the rough analogy to a “new teacher” and the presumption of putting my own words into the pen of a biblical author, this is that postcard for you:

“Dear Southwood, I’m so excited to have you in my class this year! I’ve been working hard researching and planning to teach you about the life of Jesus—true stories about miracles he performed, parables he taught, who he was, and what all of that means for our lives. I know that many of you had Professor Paul and Prophet Daniel the past couple of years and that they, too, have taught you a lot about Jesus (we’re kinda hung up on him around here!). But our class this year will be a different angle where we walk carefully through his life here on earth—from the promise and announcement of his birth to his public ministry and eventually his death and resurrection. I want you to know all about what really happened and particularly to have your hearts inspired and transformed by meeting Jesus himself and knowing him better. He really is ‘good news of great joy for all people,’ so I expect it will be a life-changing year for all of us! See you at the first day of school—August 7! Your teacher, Dr. Luke.”

I know, I know… Some of you were hoping to get Mrs. Chronicles this year. I’m so sorry! Part of the excitement, though, is that we’re all in this same class together! So, grab a spouse, grab your children, grab a friend and join us as we begin this journey through the Gospel of Luke. I’ve had the privilege of doing some “summer reading” and studying ahead, and I can’t wait to join you in learning from this particular portion of God’s Word. See you Sunday!