Dear Flock,

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Dear Flock,

Jesus once observed a widow placing a gift of two small coins in the offering at the temple.  Knowing the heart of the woman who gave the gift and knowing the heart with which she gave – Jesus called the attention of all around to see her, that they too may recognize her faithfulness, and learn from it.

So too have I been blessed recently to see such a gift given.  You see, there is a woman in our congregation who much like that widow is faithful in her giving.  With her permission, I am sharing her story.  This lovely lady gives what she can afford from her fixed income.  At one time this was a gift totaling $50.00 a month.  But a couple years ago, heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit, she sought to grow her gift.  Desiring to give more over to the care of her Lord, she increased her giving by 1 cent.  It was for her both a fearful and faithful thing, to push past that $50.00 mark when finances feel so very tight.

After a full year of giving a penny beyond her tithe every month, this courageous woman of generosity grew her gift again.  This time her increase wasn’t just monthly, but it was now a weekly donation of and additional $2.00.  

And then, with the start of 2017, as she continues to find joy in trusting God with her resources, she has increased her gift once again to a full $3.00 each week.  So within this multiple year journey our sister in Christ has seen her gift grow from $50.00 each month to $62.01, and on months with five Sundays to $65.01.

My friends, having become aware of this faithful woman’s faithful giving, and being so encouraged by it, I wanted to follow Jesus’ example and lift her up as an encouragement to us all.

And, what is more, her story and example gets even better.  You see, a few months ago when the church was excited for Family Camp and we were looking ahead to our time in the cabins together, this wonderful woman didn’t feel healthy enough to attend.  But can you guess what she did? 

She mailed in her check of three dollars to the church so that she wouldn’t miss her week of offering back to God what she believes He has asked of her.

To be clear, this gracious lady does not give because she thinks the church will close down without her faithful stewardship of His resources.  She doesn’t give because she is worried that God’s mission won’t be continued forward without her offering.  Rather, Elizabeth Burritt gives because she loves her God and it is her joy to put her treasure where her heart is already.

My hope is that you are as blessed and encouraged by Elizabeth’s story as I have been.  And for those of us looking ahead to summer vacations and trips away – may her commitment of faithfulness be a challenge as well.  The example has been set.  And while the bar has just been set at $3.01.  I’m not sure I’ll ever see such a gift surpassed.

Thank you Elizabeth for the permission to share your story.

Blessings all,  Pastor Tim

 “While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.
3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”   ~Luke 21:1-4

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CONSECRATION SUNDAY 2017

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CONSECRATION SUNDAY 2017

Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.

Our congregation’s finance committee has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.

New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?” 

During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.

Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily while attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We urge people to attend who feel strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.

We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, climaxed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.

We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team and governing board members. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.

Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.

Governing Board Chairperson,

Ken Almond

 

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Pastor's Blog

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Pastor's Blog

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So my quarterly report will be the shortest two thousand word update you’ve ever read. 

Below is a picture taken on October 18th, 2009.   

This was our contemporary service in it’s infancy.  We met in the youth group room so the small gathering of the handful of people didn’t feel so small.  I remember at this time starting each service by standing over the drums and praying that God would bring us a drummer.  I remember standing over the guitar and praying that God would bring us a guitar player.  I remember praying over empty chairs and praying for God to bring us people who need to hear his word.

And this little service started to grow.  And in 2012 we did something courageous and forward thinking.  We made the decision to move this budding service from it’s time slot at 9:30 to 11:00.  We did this largely because we at First Baptist value families and we knew it was hard for families to arrive early.  And because we were hoping to connect with people who don’t yet know Jesus and therefore won’t yet value church, we wanted to remove unnecessary barriers.  So by an overwhelming majority vote of the church we decided to take this budding, family-centric, service and move it to the 11:00 time.


And see now this second photo, taken from my view at the baptismal at the front of the sanctuary during the second service this past Sunday (April 16, 2017.) 

At this service we had 171 people attend, between both services there were 221 people at church this day.  And 47 of those 171 people were children!  Folks, we had nearly 50 kids in church this past Sunday!  I remember the days when we celebrated there were three kids in the nursery.  Now our struggle is how do we get enough volunteers to help manage all our kids.  Isn’t being faithful to God and His vision a beautiful thing?  

If you look closely at this photo, for the first time in my 10 years as pastor, we actually had people sitting in chairs outside the sanctuary looking in from the side windows.  This service has gone from being unable to fill the youth room to over-flowing the sanctuary.  Praise God!

And the most joyful number on this day is the 12 people we baptized.  We thank God for the decisions made by:

Rebekah Luker, Jamie Miller, Ruth Ann Pingley, Aaron Tomlinson, Reed Morace, Bailey Tatiano

Lily Picinich, Jeff Picinich, Chelsey Hudson, Kenzie Spurgess, Drake Anderson, Jason Anderson

May we continue to lean into the future that God has for our church as we commit fully to His mission to share His Good News with those who do not yet know Him OR as we have worded it for our church may we continue to “Lead people in an ever changing culture to the hope of Jesus.”

Blessings all!  Pastor Tim

 

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Reason to Celebrate

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Reason to Celebrate

As we look forward to this next year and are excited about what’s to come,  I can’t help but take a glance backward and be excited about all that has happened in 2016. 

Chris and Stacie Cummings stepped down from their roles at FBC and have stepped up to work with the youth in our community through Young Life. To cover this huge void, our church was able to raise up several new volunteer leaders to take their place as well as bring me on full-time. I am continuing to lead worship in the 2nd service as well as further develop areas in our church that help us to “connect”. If you’ve received an email from me signed “Connections Administrator” that’s why! Part of my job is to help anyone who walks through our doors participate in the part of our Vision Statement that talks about connecting.

Helping to plan small groups this past year has been amazing! We tried a hiking group and a community service group that were successful. The amount of projects our groups participated in this year was exciting! Two groups in our most recent fall semester partnered together to do a clothes drive for TAFY. Our church was able to bless TAFY with 46 jackets, 23 pairs of jeans, 6 pairs of shoes, 89 pairs of socks, 45 pairs of underwear, and 15 undershirts! Wow! Praise God! Another group caroled at Crestwood and still another gave Christmas gifts to families in need (just to mention a few!). I cannot say this loud enough or often enough: good work First Baptist Church!!! I love our people’s generous, kind, and loving hearts!

We also started a new event called “Pie With the Pastor” that happens once every 4 months (purposefully placed during the time when small group sign-ups are happening and just before our volunteer training event, Volunteer Summit). This simple lunch serves as an opportunity for visitors and new members to hear about our church, learn how to get involved, and get any questions they may have answered. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to offer clear instruction on how our church operates. Things that may have taken new people many months or a couple of years to figure out for themselves can now be answered in one easy (and enjoyable), frustration-free hour!

So what exciting things are coming up in 2017 at First Baptist? Let me tell you about them!!

The first is our All Volunteer Summit coming up on January 17th. Some of our volunteer groups will be be meeting to train at the 5:30pm session and the 7:30pm session, but we are inviting ALL of our volunteers from ALL of our departments to come to the 6:30pm meal session! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers for the amazing work that they do! Our meal will be provided by Brad Tesreau’s “Barbecue” and there will be a gift for each volunteer who comes to the meal! If you volunteer in any capacity in our church, I hope you will be able to come and celebrate with us!

The second exciting thing is that at this coming All Volunteer Summit, the serve team is going to be training on a visitor table that will stand out in our narthex as an area where visitors can go to have any immediate questions answered! Yet another thing to make our church more comfortable and welcoming for our visitors!

And finally, I get to announce our Spring Small Groups! We have a great line-up of leaders and classes they’re excited to lead! These will be starting on the week of January 29:

Christian

Sundays at 6:30pm

Led by Maureen Hartman

Hosted by Sheila Miller

Movie available for kids

Women’s Small Group: Discovering God’s Will for Your Life

Fridays at 10am

Led by Bernice Cook

Co-lead/hosted by Brooke Cowan

Make Room

Thursdays at 6:30

Led by Hillary Gentile

Co-lead/hosted by Deziree Greenstreet

Resolving Everyday Conflict

Led by Rhys Crawford

Hosted in the FBC Youth Room

Kid-friendly

I hope reading through this gets you excited for the new year! As always, if there is a ministry that you are excited to get involved with I would love to help get you connected with the right people and get you started! 

Praying that God is showing you new things every day as you follow and hunger after Him!

God bless! Lynn Crawford

Worship Director/Connections Administrator

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Dear Flock,

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Dear Flock,

The people in this last quarter's small group had the opportunity to read a great little book titled "8 to 15: The World Is Smaller than You Think" by a wonderful minister named Tom Mercer.  I became friends with Tom by way of our shared connection with Dr. Charles Revis.

Charles is the Executive Minister of Mission Northwest, which is to say he's as close to a "bishop for Baptists" as we Baptists ever get.  It may simply serve better to say, Charles' is a voice worth listening to, or in this case, an author worth reading. 

In his article here, Charles not only strikes up a similar theme as what Tom presents in his book - he even references this exact book as a good resource on the subject.  That means that everyone who was part of this quarter's small groups are ahead of the game!  Way to go!  ~Pastor Tim

………………………………………………………………..…....................................................................................................................

The following article is taken from the Mission Northwest Blog:

RAISING THE VALUE & PRACTICE OF EVANGELISM

~ Charles Revis

After working with northwest local churches for 13 years I can confidently say that the primary reason churches stop growing is that they quit practicing evangelism. In 95% of the assessments I have conducted evangelism is at the bottom of the list when it comes to the ranking of most church's values. Church people will affirm that the lost need Jesus. They know that Jesus calls us to go and make disciples of all nations. But they struggle greatly to practice evangelism, individually or corporately.

I believe that if a church raises its "evangelistic temperature" just one or two degrees it would be amazing what God would do. I believe that it would lead to spiritual renewal for the church, and I believe it would be energizing for the overall spirit of the church. It might even result in numerical growth, although that's not why we reach out with the Good News. And this is not to mention the sense of joy and fulfillment people would feel as new believers come to Christ.

As a Region we have emphasized two excellent resources for helping churches do better with outreach. First there is OIKOS, an approach that comes from Tom Mercer at High Desert Church in Victorville, CA. Essentially OIKOS helps people focus on the 8 to 15 people in their relational network, identify those who are not yet Christ followers and start praying for them. There's a full explanation along with free resources for implementing this approach at www.8to15.com.

Second there is ORGANIC OUTREACH developed by Kevin Harney. Kevin offers churches an "operating system", not a program, for increasing the entire church's commitment to practicing evangelism. It is not rocket science, but it works. There is a ton of free resources for any church desiring to embrace the 

Organic Outreach methodology at Kevin’s website: www.organicoutreach.com. For individuals I recommend Kevin's book "Organic Outreach for Ordinary People". For pastors, staff and church boards I recommend "Organic Outreach for Churches." Kevin's messages from this year's Leadership Tune-Up are also a good way to get familiar with OO. These may be found atwww.abcnw.org on the Leadership Tune-Up page.

Finally, Advent is a wonderful time of year for inviting people to attend church with you. Why not start there? It's really not that hard or terrifying.

Since I'm on the subject of evangelism, Thom Rainer posted this article today. This would be a good discussion piece for your next church board meeting.

God bless, Charles Revis

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FIVE KEYS FOR RENEWING EVANGELISTIC GROWTH

IN YOUR CHURCH

~by Thom Rainer

“What can we do to help the churches in our state become more evangelistic?”

“We need more good evangelism programs. Why aren’t you providing them?”

“Why are we reaching fewer unchurched people than we used to?”

Those three questions were asked of me in the span of a just a few days. Each of them came with hints of frustration, confusion, and anger.

It is true. Most churches reach fewer lost and unchurched people than they did in the past. It is no longer necessary to be a part of a church to be culturally accepted. That pool of immediate evangelistic opportunities has been reduced dramatically.

Is there hope? Absolutely!

I am observing carefully churches in North America that are truly making an evangelistic impact. Most of them transitioned from evangelistic apathy to growth. Though there is no formulaic approach or magic-bullet program, here are five common themes I see repeatedly:

1. A small group of church members dedicated themselves to pray for an evangelistic harvest. Evangelism is not a human-devised program. It is a Spirit-led endeavor. I am saddened when I see churches with no intentionality about praying for evangelism and the lost in the community. It is absurd to think we can separate prayer from evangelism. “And they devoted themselves to . . . prayer . . . And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42, 47).

2. Pastors make evangelism a personal priority. I have yet to find evangelistic churches where the pastors have not committed themselves personally to evangelism. It’s not easy. Pastors are pulled in a multiplicity of directions. It is easy to respond to the tyranny of the urgent. Pastors must make time to make personal evangelism a priority. Church members must give them time to do so.

3. Leaders in the church teach church members to invite people to church. Most church members do not realize what happens more than half the time when they invite an unchurched member to church. They show up at church! Such is the reason I encourage leaders to have a singular day focused on inviting people to church (We created a resource to help in that process called Invite Your One). Though a single day of inviting people is not another magic-bullet solution, it does typically create a positive ethos toward inviting people.

4. These churches love the communities in which they are located. I love the focus on the nations evident in many of our churches. I love the national church planting emphasis we see in many places. But churches that are evangelistic do not forget that the commission of Acts 1:8 begins with Jerusalem, the local community. What percent of your church’s budget goes to direct ministry and evangelism in the community?

5. These churches have consistent, usually weekly, efforts to connect with unchurched people in the community. The efforts may be as simple as Facebook ads or communications with new residents. It may be a basic email campaign to reach out to those who have visited the church. These efforts are not solutions in themselves, but they do help create an outwardly-focused ethos in your church. 

 

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Choral Corner

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Choral Corner

We have many people to thank for the special music which was provided by willing church musicians during the Thanksgiving/Christmas Season. Rick Parkhurst gave us: “Hands of Praise”, The Baptist Belles presented: “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”, the Sanctuary Choir sang: “We Come to Say Thank You” and Sierra Horsley played a flute solo: “The Huron Carol.”

How fortunate we are to have such talented musicians among our church members. A special thanks goes to our Sanctuary Choir for their diligence in preparing and presenting a song on every Sunday in December. Each song told the Christmas story from “Deliver Us, Lord” and “One King” through “Mary, Did You Know?” and the choral benediction:  “A Christmas Blessing.”

Thank you, congregation, for taking the time to share with this director your complimentary words and expressions of thanks for the special numbers you heard which blessed your morning worship in our Sunday services. Your encouraging comments keep us going.

In the new year, you can expect to hear our F.B.C. Men’s Gospel Singers in January and our SiSS (Sisters in Sacred Song) sing in February. If any of you reading this article are singers but can’t commit to a year of choir rehearsals, remember this: Men, you are welcome to sing with the Gospel Singers in January and Ladies, you are welcome to sing with the SiSS singers in February. (See rehearsal schedule on this page.)

Blessings to All in the New Year,

-Betty-

 

Men’s Gospel Singers

 will rehearse on Sundays, January 8, 15, 22, & 29

at 10:30am in Room 14.

 

Sisters in Sacred Song (SiSS)

will rehearse on Sundays, February 5, 12, 19, & 26

at 10:30am in Room 14.

 

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Dear Flock,

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Dear Flock,

Those who follow my facebook page already got to read the following message – but as is the case when one’s heart is overflowing with good news, ya can’t help but share it at every opportunity, again and again.  So then, here again is the news my family is overjoyed to share as it was posted on my page:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..." Isaiah 9:6

This Christmas promise of the arrival of the Son of God has been a point of special reflection for Stacy and me this Christmas for an exciting reason.

This year, two days before Christmas, we are scheduled to appear in court where we will adopt into our family our youngest child. We are privileged that for the last year we've already gotten to know and love him as we've cared for him - always hopeful that this day might arrive.

So then, this Christmas, even as our family celebrates that by God's grace He sent into the world a child to redeem the world - we will also celebrate the special child He sent into our world. So once again I quote the prophet Isaiah, "For unto us a son is given!"

What a special Christmas this year will be.  It makes me think of the Shepherds on that first Christmas morning.  Through scripture, they too were given good news.  Only theirs came by way of an angelic proclamation rather than a lawyer’s e-mail, and theirs wasn’t just Good News for one family, but for all the world through all time:

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:10-11

Read again that passage above.  Who was it that was born on Christmas day?  For whom was this “Good News”?

Do you believe this to be true?  And I don’t mean in a shallow – “yeah, sure, I guess it’s true” sort of way, but an awestruck and weak kneed and teary eyed recognition that “Jesus has come to save us, each of us, from the hellish fruits of our own sinful and broken lives that we might have a redeemed relationship with the living God, creator of all, sustainer of the universe, lover of my soul!”

Because if you believe this to be true, if this Good News is in your heart and soul, then with whom are you sharing it?  Jesus tells us that out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouths speak.  Is this Good News overflowing your heart?  If so, please join me in shouting out that others may know – “For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Savior…”

Blessings, Pastor Tim


17 After seeing (Jesus), the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished... 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

 ~Luke 2:17-18 & 20

 

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Holiday Bazaar

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Holiday Bazaar

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”

 ~Proverbs 14:23

The 2016 Holiday Bazaar is fast approaching! It needs the help of many people to be successful. Below are some ways you could help:

Needed: items to sell. Any well-made craft would be welcome. Do you work with wood? with pottery? with fabric? with yarn? with paper? with metal? 

If you don’t feel ‘crafty,’ we will be having some sessions where folks help assemble things (mug cake mixes, snowman hot chocolate, wrapped candies, etc.) These sessions will be Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26 at 10 am in the fellowship hall downstairs. Contact Kim Luker (360.808.7900) for details.

  • Do you have a green thumb and can and like to start houseplants? We sell lots of those.
  • Would you help with set-up on Thursday, Nov. 3? 
  • Would you work a three-hour session on either Friday, Nov. 4 or Saturday, Nov.5? Sign up sheet will be out on Sunday, Oct. 16. 
  • Do you like to bake? We sell lots of baked goods that folks donate. We look forward to candies, cookies, tea breads, yeast breads, jams and jellies, fruit pies, and anything else that looks delicious. 

More details will be coming in the bulletin on Sunday, Oct. 9 so you can plan your baking.

We appreciate all the help we receive each year from the congregation. We couldn’t do it without you! We also appreciate all the items you donate or purchase. It truly takes the whole congregation to make this a success. Funds raised last year went 25% each to TAFY (The Answer For Youth, a local outreach), to Young Life (another outreach), to the Furnace Fund to repay the costs of the new furnace installed in 2011, and to the Kitchen Fund to make improvements or repairs to church kitchens or to purchase new kitchen equipment.

If you have questions about any of this, please contact Robin Sweeney at jairosweeney@mac.com or at 360.461.2427.

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Jesus Teach Me

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Jesus Teach Me

“Jesus teach me what I need to know.

Guide and lead me where I need to go.

In everything thing I say and do,

teach me how to love like You.”

These are the words the choir will sing in their October anthem. This piece is a favorite of many people in our congregation and it will continue the trend we began in September of singing favorite choral anthems from September through December. If you have a favorite anthem the choir has sung in the past, be sure to let the choral director know so she can work it into the musical line-up.

We were blessed in September with the song, “My Lord” sung by our Summer Singers on Grandparents Day and on Sept. 25th a solo by Rick Parkhurst. Rick is a new participant in our musical endeavors at First Baptist. What a blessing he already has been in our Sanctuary Choir. Welcome, Rick, into our family of church musicians who seek to bring spiritual blessings to our congregation through sacred music.

Are you ready to hear more Hand Bell music? Soon, the hand bell choirs will be re-organizing. If you want to be included, please let the music director, Betty Hanson, know of your interest.

“Shine Your heavenly light.

Touch me and open my eyes.

As I go through the day,

Lord, let me follow Your way.”

 

“Sing”cerely,

-Betty-

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New Life in Our Church

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New Life in Our Church

As we’ve hurdled through the last few weeks my heart is full of gratitude for all that God is doing in the life of our church!  As I settle into working full-time at First Baptist, He is absolutely doing immeasurably “more than I could ask or imagine” and teaching me to grow and lean on Him. I have been so blessed by the help, constructive suggestions, and great attitudes that I have been surrounded by that have made it possible for me to do this job better than I could ever do it on my own!

At the time that I write this, we are ten days away from Fall Small Groups starting and they’re getting quite full! So full in fact we’ve had to close one and will likely have to close another after this coming Sunday! (If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t wait another minute because the time slot that works for you may not be available later: http://firstbaptistpa.org/smallgroups ) It’s wonderful to see people sign-up for groups each quarter as they are blessed by the fellowship, the personal growth, and opportunities to serve in our church and our community over and over again! It’s becoming a part of who we are as a church! The best part is that visitors are getting excited to be a part of our small groups as well!

We also had our first “Pie With the Pastor” event on September 18th after church, where visitors and new members could come share a meal and hear more about our church and ministries! We purposefully placed it right before our Volunteer Summit and the start of Small Groups. We look forward to doing this again in the future, I think it will serve as an effective vehicle to purposefully inform new guests about our church, what to expect, and the next steps of how to get connected. We had 13 people in attendance at our first one!

On September 20th, we hosted another of our Volunteer Summits. I love these! The idea that we’re getting all of our volunteers together in one place, not only to share a meal and pray for our church, but to be able 

to keep training current and make church-wide changes is HUGE! This is big-church stuff! Instead of spinning wheels, trying to do training and make sure everyone’s on the same page on a Sunday morning, if we utilize these events to their full potential, it will enable us to do more ministry, and to reach more people on Sunday mornings! If you are a volunteer and haven’t yet made Volunteer Summits a priority in the past, please consider attending our next one on January 17th. Having most of the team members present is immensely valuable to each ministry!

Church, thank you so much for your prayers, for your devotion to your Lord, thank you for the passion you bring to your ministry, and for being purposeful to share the love of Christ with those around you! Your contribution is important, and it’s making a difference! God created you for just this time, for just this church, for exactly the ministry that He’s placed you in! It was not random or an accident. God is pleased when we work hard and work together for His cause and I believe that we are seeing God pour out His blessings!

May God continue His good work in you and bless you abundantly in your ministries and all areas of your lives!

~ Lynn Crawford

Connections Administrator/Worship Director

 

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   Consecration Sunday Is Coming

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Consecration Sunday Is Coming

Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.

Our congregation’s finance committee has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.

New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?” 

During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.

Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily while attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We urge people to attend who feel strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.

We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, climaxed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.

We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team and governing board members. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.

Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.

Governing Board Chairperson,

Chris Cole

 

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Your New Small Group is Coming!

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Your New Small Group is Coming!

Not too much gets me more excited than the anticipation of a new small group season! There’s new things to learn, new things for God to show to me, new people to meet and get to know, exciting projects for our church and community to be apart of, things to lift up in prayer, and new opportunities to invite people to come to a small group that aren’t already a part of our church body! I love anticipating the wonderful things God does through our small groups (and as the person who organizes small groups, I love, love, LOVE being on the receiving end of so many stories of how small groups has blessed so many people!)!

I want to encourage you to sign up, if you’ve never been in a small group, you’re missing out. Much like how, if you’ve never camped with us at Camp David Jr for Family Camp, you’re missing out!

This coming small group season will be no exception. We’ve got an awesome group of leaders and hosts and I hope you’ll take some time to pray about which group God would have you join!

There are 3 ways that you can sign up. The first is to follow this link and sign up on our web site: http://firstbaptistpa.org/smallgroups#summersmallgroups  The second is to visit the table that’s located in the narthex just outside of the sanctuary and one of our small group leaders can help you get signed up. The third way you can sign up is to take a blue connection card from the back of the pews in the sanctuary and fill it out with your information and the group number that correlates with the small group that you would like to attend. Your small group leader will contact you shortly after that with more information about your group!

Group #1: 

Leaders: Chris & Chanti Cole

Host: Roger & Rose Sanders

Sundays, 6:00p

Group #2:

Leaders: Brooke Cowan & Tim Hughes

Host: Rosalee Bingham

Tuesdays, 5:30p

Group #3: 

Leader: Gary Smith

Host: Estill & Reba Cornett

Tuesdays, 6:30p

Group #4:

Leaders: Chris & Maureen Hartman

Host: Bernice Cook

Thursdays, 5:30p

Group #5:

Leaders: Kristy Huff & Catie Tesreau

Host: Kristy Huff

Thursdays, 6:00p

 

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to connect with others, grow in your relationship with Christ, serve our church and community, and to invite others to know the hope that we have in Christ!

If you ever have any questions about small groups, either current or just in general, please don’t hesitate to call me or drop by the church office and ask!

May God bless you as you walk with Him!

~Lynn Crawford

Connections Administrator/Worship Director

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Barefoot Kids

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Barefoot Kids

We are so excited to be kicking off the start of a new school year in children's ministry! We have a lot of changes ahead! For starters we will are going to have a lot of kids in "big church"! The purpose is to let kids see you leading the way through worshiping, loving and honoring God. We are asking parents to sign your child (3 and up) into children’s church as you normally do, but bring them with you into big church! Don't worry too much about wiggles or little voices. We know this change will have a learning curve. Pastor Tim will dismiss the children to their groups where we will have snack and a lesson in the respective classrooms. You can pick your kids up in the youth room where we will be all together singing and worshiping with all ages 3 and up! You are welcome to stay and mingle with other parents! 

We are so excited to have the opportunity to be sharing Jesus with your children!

~Deziree Greenstreet Barefoot Kids Ministries

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Fall Choral & Instrumental Preview

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Fall Choral & Instrumental Preview

Many years ago I formulated my mission statement which would guide me in all my sacred musical activities. To this day, my guiding goals remain the same:

The purpose of this director’s music ministry is to:

“Inspire the Faithful and Engage the Community through Sacred Music.”

 All choral and instrumental activities seek to:

“Glorify God and Generate Growth which will Sustain the Church.”

 This fall the vocal choir and hand bell choirs will be presenting favorites from the past. From the Sanctuary Choir get ready to hear songs such as “My Lord,” Jesus Teach Me” and “We Come to Say, Thank You.” In December we plan to feature one anthem each week leading up to Christmas. These anthems will be songs directly from the many Christmas Cantatas we have presented over the last several years.

The Hand Bell Choirs will do likewise. So if you have a favorite hand bell hymn you would like to hear again, please let the director know. We’d be happy to play your favorite if at all possible.

For all of you who have enjoyed the many musical presentations of the past, maybe you would like to participate sometime in one of our singing or bell-playing groups. If you would, please speak to the director and make your wishes known. We’d be happy to include you even if it’s for only one month out of the year. Come discover that:

Sacred music can invigorate our senses, console our spirits,
Inspire our hearts and strengthen our walk with Christ.      

 “Sing”cerely, -Betty-

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Celebrating Life

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Celebrating Life

As I reflect on July 17th’s Celebrate Life Sunday, I am overwhelmed with just how much we have to celebrate and be grateful for! It was a full and wonderful day celebrating and worshiping the Lord in the company of some of my favorite people but also with many new faces we’ve never seen before. It has been an even bigger blessing to watch some of those people come back and continue to worship with us since then! If you happen to be one of these people, I just want to say welcome!! We’re so glad that you’ve joined us and are considering making First Baptist Church your home! We are blessed and overjoyed at the opportunity to join you and help you in your journey as you grow closer to Christ and live out your God-given purpose for your life!

It was delightful to fellowship and enjoy some wonderful food with everyone following the service and getting to see the children scurrying about, having fun, and enjoying their fellowship as well! 

Many of you got to tour My Choice’s new mobile unit that they will be using to offer their services to young mothers all over western Washington. I hope that was as exciting and encouraging to you as it was to me! In a world where the media focuses so much on all the negative things going on around us, it is so refreshing to be reminded that there is good happening and that there are people striving to be a light and hope in the darkness as well as to know that we can and are being a part of what they’re doing! 

We were able to gift My Choices with 991 diapers, 4,432 wipes, and $319.53 that day.  Our Community Service Small group was also able to spend a couple Saturday mornings with My Choices this summer.  They spent approximately 35 man hours cleaning up, weeding, spraying, and building relationship with the wonderful people who work at My Choices and it has sparked discussion about future projects that they would love help with!

Thank you so much to all who prayed for, volunteered for, donated to, and participated in Celebrate Life Sunday! It is so beautiful to see a working illustration of how the body of Christ is intended to function. I look forward to and joyfully anticipate future events and small group projects that live out the love of Christ in our community!

May God continue to bless you and grow you to be more like him!

~ Lynn Crawford

Connections Administrator/Worship Director

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Oh My Friends,

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Oh My Friends,

Life at First Baptist is splendid and exciting!  Our church is full of news of babies being born, new people joining the church, our small groups are thriving, people being baptized, the homeless being fed, schools being blessed, volunteers stepping forward to serve in numerous ways (our fall quarter volunteer summit is on September 20th) and we are looking ahead to the all church potluck out at Salt Creek on September 11th.

It is so much fun to be part of this church in this season of her life.  We are experiencing a rebirth of our congregation.  Praise God for this joy He is bestowing upon us.  And as I reflect on this joy, I want to also remember from whence we came.

It is, I think, fitting to ask the question: how did we get here?  How did this happen?  Certainly it wasn’t some overnight happening.  We didn’t open our doors one day and suddenly a bunch of new people walked in and said – hey, we want to make First Baptist our home church.

Rather, this rebirth came because God had a vision for our church and He shared that vision with the people who already called this church home.

Of course, it is always possible for a people to say, “no thank-you” to God’s vision.  There are many, many churches whose doors are shut and windows are shuttered because they exercised the option to say, ‘no’ to God’s vision.  There was always a real possibility that our church could have refused God’s direction.  In fact, that possibility remains even still.  Our following of God’s way is always an invitation for us to join Him in what He is doing.  He never forces His way upon us.
So it is with a happy heart we celebrate that the good people of our congregation accepted, and continue to accept, God’s invitation to join him in the pursuit of His vision for us.  Specifically that we would reach the younger people of Port Angeles with the hope of the Gospel of Christ.  Ultimately we found a mission statement that reflected this vision, that we are “leading people in an ever changing culture to the hope of Jesus”.  But while the exact verbiage was a long time in coming, the idea was always clear.

It was back in November of 2006 when the church evaluated whether or not I was the pastor God desired to place behind the pulpit at this church.  On a Sunday evening there was an opportunity for everyone to hear me preach and a time for questions with the potential pastor over a thanksgiving style meal.  The pressing question was – can we draw in younger people?  (I am convinced that part of the reason the church voted to roll the dice with trusting the pastorate of the church to a 30 year old was the hope that a whippersnapper might draw in other whippersnappers).

 

The reason this is important is it shows that the vision for this church to reach the young families of our community originated long before your current pastor was brought on board.  In fact. it was that this God given vision was already established which gave the church the courage to take a risk on someone new and inexperienced. 

Of course, following God’s vision is rarely a straight and easy road.  It involves purposeful listening and prayer, it involves clear discussion, and it involves sacrificial living where we see the God’s mission as more important than our interests.  It is holy and sacred and supernatural.  And, of course, the very idea behind something being “super” natural is it is not merely natural.  What comes naturally is pursuit of our own self-interest.  What comes naturally is a desire to keep things the same.  What come naturally is a desire for others to conform to us.

The super-natural way of God however drove this church in new and sometimes uncomfortable directions.  More than just bringing on board that whippersnapper of a pastor.  To list just a few of the changes our church has brought about we have:

1. Established a 9am contemporary worship service.  It was held in the youth room because there were so few people attending holding it in a smaller venue than the sanctuary seemed wise.

2. Hired a new staff member we couldn’t afford to minister to the youth of Port Angeles.  Following God’s vision means taking risk.

3. We brought in experts from the region office to help give an assessment of our church and by way of a deep study of our church they provided several prescriptions.

A. Change our church governance model from a diaconate board of 15 members to an elder board of 5 members.

B. Set up a mentoring relationship between the whippersnapper pastor and a more seasoned minister.  The mentor we found was Rev. Paul Burnham, one of the men who helped with the assessment.  A fun aspect of this is it meant that our church now had a young pastor named Timothy being mentored by a more experience minister named Paul.  One can’t get more biblical than that, eh?
C. Get rolling on small groups!  The small group model we are following, “Activate”, is the one recommended to us by the mentor we chose.

D. Establish a clear mission statement and vision for the church.

E. End both the contemporary service at 9:00 and the blended service at 11:00am.  Instead start a truly traditional service at 9:30am and a contemporary service at 11:00am.

The church voted on these 5 recommendations and by an overwhelming majority, they were accepted.  And believe it or not – this all happened in 2011 – five years ago.  It is amazing how quickly time passes by.  Of course, not all of the changes have come swiftly or easily.  Indeed, we are still learning to incorporate and live with some of the changes – such as lowering the number of all church business meetings from quarterly to annually, unless otherwise needed.

Nor are we done moving in new directions as we continue to follow our God given mission to “Lead People In An Ever-Changing Culture To The Hope of Jesus”.  But the joy and encouragement as we move forward is that by God’s grace, what we are doing is working.

When we brought in the “assessment team” one thing they had us do was a self-study.  One of the interesting questions we answered was to look at when our current membership of the church had joined.  This is the chart we filled out:


If we were to fill out that form today, the number of people who have joined the church since we accepted the recommendations from the assessment team has more than doubled.  There are now over 70 people who have started to call our church home since 2007.  *A major thank-you to Church Family and the Historical Committee for keeping such great records of these things!

Of course church health isn’t just about numerical growth, but if we are effectively sharing the Gospel message then numerical growth is a necessary byproduct of our faithful proclamation of Jesus’ love.  We may not (yet) be experiencing the explosive growth of the early church, but so long as we continue to follow the vision with which God has blessed our congregation we will continue to see new people “added to our number”.

And to this goal, there will be a special “Pie with the Pastor” luncheon following the 2nd service on September 18th for any of our new comers who would like to learn more about what it means to become a member of the church.  Please pass word to those new folks you see attending our services.

Blessings,  Pastor Tim

38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name ofJesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” 41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.

Acts 2:38-41 ~

 

                 

 

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Dear Flock,

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Dear Flock,

Let’s all of us say it together – “Hallelujah!”  And again – “Hallelujah!”

What a wonderful joyous service we had for our “Celebrate Life Sunday”.  It was great to combine the worship time, and the pulled sandwiches were delicious, and the bounce house was just a ton of fun.  And oh, did you take us up on the opportunity to invite friends and neighbors?  It may as well have been an Easter Sunday for all the new faces I saw.  (And several of those visitors have already come again in the following weeks).

We also had a successful drive supporting My Choices.  A total of 991 diapers were given (I’m tempted to go grab nine from the nursery just to bring it up to an even 1,000.  ) and 4,442 baby wipes were donated as well.  As of the writing of this letter I’m not sure how much money was collected in the baby bottles, but I enjoyed seeing those turned in as well.

Over all it was a wonderful day where we were able to celebrate the lives of babies born in our community.  We were also able to celebrate the life we have together as a church family, and – most importantly - we celebrated the new life we all have in Christ.  

This is the new life Jesus spoke of when He spoke with Nicodemus in the third chapter of the Gospel of John.  Verses 1 through 8 read:

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?”5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”     

Perhaps you know someone you didn’t have the opportunity to invite, or although the gathering sounded fun, a friend was unable to come.  Please know we don’t need a special event for you to extend an invitation, but if such an event is helpful then keep in mind that on September 11th we will host our annual church potluck at Salt Creek, starting at 3pm.  It is always a wonderful time of fellowship.  (Also, I have it on good authority that the bigger the crowd at our potluck, the better the odds of the Seahawks winning their game that day.  So make plans on coming out!)

    

Blessings, 

Pastor Tim

 

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May God Bless You

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May God Bless You

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Psalm 37:23-24

“The Lord directs the steps of the Godly, He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

“‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”

I could go on and on listing verses that have carried me over the years. They’ve reminded me that even though I often had no idea where I was going or what I was doing with my life,  God knew. As long as I kept my eyes on Him and trusted, that was enough.

Those who know me well would say that I'm a very calculated, planned, and well-thought-out kind of person. I’ve always been that way. Give me the method and step-by-step instructions to the right and most efficient way to do things, and let's get it done with excellence (I'm pretty sure Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people”, was my “life verse” by the time I was 10!) I remember spending huge chunks of time all throughout my adolescence contem-

plating and praying about God’s will for my life. I would mentally go through careers that involved helping people one-by-one, and I would feel utterly uninspired or downright terrified at the idea of blood and gore (these days I almost pass out from my kids’ bloody noses, so you can tell the medical field wasn't for me!) It was so difficult to work hard for a purpose I couldn't see, wondering if I was doing the right thing or if I was running a 100 miles an hour in the wrong direction. 

I always did love music though. And somehow that seems like an understatement. I started taking piano lessons when I was 9, took every music class imaginable in high school, and took on the Worship and Choir Director position at the church I attended when I was 15, because I was the only musical person in the congregation. I even left high-school days before graduation to tour with a Christian musical 

performance group. And still I wondered, “God, what is it?!! What is it that You want me to do with my life??” Few can make a career out of music, and I had no desire to pursue professional performance on any level. I grew up with a Southern Baptist background where women didn't take offering, serve communion, or speak from the stage other than to maybe sing a solo or deliver a missionary report, so I never considered church work because, I didn't feel like the Bible allowed for it.

In the years between high school in Bakersfield, California and coming to First Baptist Church in Port Angeles, Washington, through tours and jr. college and marriage and children, I always felt like I was floundering. I felt like I was lost somewhere in between salvation and the divine plan God had for my life, doing things often because there was no one else to do them and they desperately needed to be done. I'm so glad that God knew, that God “forced” me into the training that he had for me. 

Even once Rhys and I arrived in Port Angeles, He didn't have us stay at First Baptist (it was the very first church we tried), he took us to another church where I “studied” under other amazing musicians, spent countless hours volunteering in the office of their music director, as well as worked in their youth group and small groups program. 

As I look back on all this, I can see that what felt like horrible floundering and 15 or more years of daily crying out and pleading, “God please, whatever it is that You have for me to do, just tell me, and I will do it!” was really 15 years of God faithfully leading, guiding and directing each small experience that He knew I would need.

When things began moving into place, where I had to take the Music Director position at First Baptist Church, I continued to ask, “God, what is it that You want me to do?” I finally started hearing and sensing, “This. This is what I have for you.”

Not only has it been exciting to see the pieces of my life come together and make sense as I’ve grown in the Music Director position these past years and now as I step into full-time staff at the church, but it has put me in a place of absolute wonder when I consider how every single moment of our lives is on purpose, planned, and designed by our Creator for His purposes. The dull moments, the happy, the tragic and terrifying are all for a reason. We have the potential to further the kingdom of God, when we allow Him absolute control and trust that in the silence and the unanswered He is still “working all things together for the good of those who love Him”.

My prayer for myself and for our church is that Christ would always be the passion of our hearts and as we faithfully move in service to Him, that He would give us peace in the quiet and the unknown. I pray that these times would be refining, that He would fill us with hope, and that we would not grow weary in working towards something we don't always fully understand.

I look forward to working alongside many of you in an even greater capacity than before! Our church is blessed with so many wonderful and faithful brothers and sisters who each add to the delight of serving! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

May God bless you and draw you ever closer to Himself!

~Lynn Crawford

 

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Church Family

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Church Family

Dear folks who occasionally work in the church kitchens,

We hope that lots of folks who sometimes work in our church kitchens will have/get/renew a Food Handlers card. This is a requirement for anyone who works in a restaurant, and we try to adhere to those standards. 

The Environmental Health Dept. at the county courthouse no longer does regular classes for Food Handler cards because so many folks do the test online. I know that we have a few folks who wouldn’t touch a computer with a ten foot pole, but we want them to have the opportunity.

Jess Pankey, from the health dept., is willing to do a class for us at the church. It would take an hour and a half, maximum, and at that point each person would take and pass the test to get a food handler’s card. The cards are good for 2 years, but if you renew yours before it expires, it is good for 3 years. A bunch of us will need to renew our cards in the next few months.

Therefore, to get to the point, our Food Handler’s class is scheduled for Tuesday, August 23, at 10 am in the church parlor. If you know of anyone else who might like to get a card, please let them know. 

Please RSVP to me so we know how many are coming. We need to have 12 people for the county to do the class for us.

Thank you so much!  Robin

Church Family Needs

• Now is the time to be making crafts for this fall’s bazaar. We accept any well-made craft gratefully: sewn, crocheted, wood-crafted, ideas from Pinterest, soap, knitted, metal-worked, etc. Ask Robin if you have questions. We’ll be happy to store items when they’re finished. 

• Needed: quart mason jars (regular or wide mouth), because we’ll be making homemade pie filling to sell along with ready-made pies by Grace K. 

• Still needed: any fruit you grow that you are willing to donate, disposable pie tins, baby food jars

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If You Love Me

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If You Love Me

“If You Love Me”

“If you love me, keep my commandments and I will pray unto the Father

And He will give you another Comforter, That He may be with you forever.

Even the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, will remain in you.

You know Him, You know that He lives and will abide in you.”

As the Sanctuary Choir rehearsed this anthem this past spring, they were blessed by these reassuring words which Christ spoke to all believers. What a blessing it is to sing with other Christians the powerful promises of God!

Choral music is so stirring. “Let All of the People Praise Thee” is another anthem which made our hearts sing when we presented it to our 9:30 worship service! Thank you, congregation, for your expressions of appreciation and outward support of our choir.

 As you’ve noticed, from time to time to time we also have the privilege of giving our worshippers music presented by small ensembles in addition to our choir numbers. Such was the case on June 19th when the Koon Family sang an arrangement of their own in honor of Father’s Day. Thank you Jennifer & her daughter Ayamika along with Melissa & her daughter Jordan for your beautiful number!

The “Summer Singers” have opened our next series of musical presentations by singing a powerful arrangement of, “America” on our nation’s day of Independence and will continue to bless us with songs as the summer progresses.

The Summer Singers group is made up of people who are unable to practice every week but are able to sing once or twice a year with others who also are available in the summer. So, if you would like to sing with this special group, speak to Betty Hanson & she’ll gladly give you a copy of the few times they practice. The next time they will sing this year is on July 17th which is the date of our combined service called, “Celebration Sunday.”

 Come sing for the joy it will give you and for the blessing your song will be to all who worship with us in our special 10:00 a.m. service that Sunday.

 “Sing”cerely,

-Betty-

 

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