Children's Ministry Report

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Children's Ministry Report

Hello all,

Within Children’s Ministry we have moved the kiosk from a parent check-in to Serve Team check-in at the end of the hallway.  This provides for greater safety and accountability for the children under our care.  In addition to our check-in/check-out process at the kiosk, for those who have children in the nursery, we are asking that before picking them up that the parent or guardian come to the kiosk to check them out.  We will then add stickers to the parent labels which indicate they have been checked out.  These can then be shown to the Children’s Ministry volunteers in the nursery.  By doing so, this not only allows for safety protocol to be implemented but also allows a thorough accounting of the children in our care.  If this is new to you, please know we desire to ensure the safety of your children.  Thank you for helping us to achieve excellence in this ministry.

A reminder: Please make sure you bring your parent labels back to the kiosk to allow swift check-out.


Our kids were so happy to be involved in the Christmas Eve service, wearing nativity costumes and singing “Away In The Manger.”  Overall, this event went very well.  Several adult volunteers stepped up to manage the masses.  Additionally, in the costuming process our 10-13 year old group, which has been led by Karenjean Crawford and David Hull was very active; helping the smaller kids get dressed.  This enabled the quick transition.  It was such a blessing to witness their servant hearts as they sought to be a part of, and to provide support for, the Barefoot Kids Ministry.  For the help of all, I was, and am very thankful.

Being within the Winter term of our studies the children are learning about Jesus.  YAY!  It is always such a blessing to see the children’s minds spark questions, seeking to understand God’s word.  One of the blessings of the children’s curriculum of Heart Shapers is the interaction within the classes.  There is curriculum now in place at the Nursery (0-2), Pre-K (3-5) and Elementary (6-9) year old levels. 

As always, within children’s ministry, those who volunteer have a great desire to change hearts for Christ…one lesson at a time.  Thank you for your support of this ministry.


In Christ,

Teresa D. Hanson (Children’s Ministry Leader Sub.)

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Choir Director's Report

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Choir Director's Report

Psalm 68:3 says:   

“Let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God.”

Dear First Baptist Church Members, 

Come, rejoice with me that we have so many people in our congregation who joyfully contribute their talents to our various musical groups. 

The people in our musical groups are dedicated to serving God through music. If this appeals to you, please join in with one of the groups listed below:

    Men’s Gospel Singers Sanctuary Choir 

    SiSS Singers ( Sisters in Sacred Song )

    Baptist Belles ’n Beaus Hand Bell Choir

 

All total, we currently have forty plus people involved in our musical groups! Approximately twenty-five people are regularly involved in our singing groups and fifteen in our bell choirs, but we have room for more.  In addition, we have others who are able to join in with us at certain times of the year but not year around.  We welcome them also for they add much to our on-going efforts.  So, if you can be a part-time participant, we would welcome you too if you have the desire to serve God with us through music. 

Our groups prepare and present their special music with one purpose in mind. We desire to present musical messages which will significantly enhance the worship experience of each person who comes to church to worship God.    

Will you join us?

       

“Sing”cerely  -  Betty  -

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Associate Pastor's Report

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Associate Pastor's Report

As I contemplate all that has happened in 2018, I find that there is so much to celebrate, rejoice, and give thanks for!  While change can often seem slow and so incremental to us, God is so good and faithful to walk us through His plan in His perfect timing!


This year, the Praise Team was able to welcome one new member, Greg Crawford, who has blessed us with his many vocal and instrumental abilities!


Serve Team has seen several exciting changes in 2018.  The first was to begin working on adding a security component to our serve team where specific members have been tasked with being aware of and responding to immediate issues of safety in our building. 


Serve Team has also folded Coffee & Conversation into its list of responsibilities.  In December, a sign-up sheet was posted up on the bulletin board for people who wish to provide snacks in the January-March quarter (the availability of this sign-up sheet was also announced in the worship services).  In March we will post a sign-up sheet for April-June.  In June there will be a sign-up sheet for the July-September quarter.  Finally, in September there will be a sign-up sheet for October-December.

When someone signs up to provide snacks for Coffee & Conversation, they will receive a reminder email the Wednesday before they serve and either a text or a phone call the Friday before they serve with information about who they are serving with.

On weeks where two people are signed up to provide snacks, Coffee and Conversation will run as it always has.  On weeks where only one person is signed up for Coffee and Conversation, a serve team member from first service will help them plate their goodies (along with some goodies provided by the church) at approximately 8:50 a.m. and a second service serve team member will help them move the goodies out to the table and then clean up afterwards.  On weeks where no one has signed up for Coffee and Conversation, the serve team will handle the whole process.

We are also excited to welcome Nina Nenahlo as our new head of the Serve Team Department!  While I will still ultimately be responsible for the overall direction of the team, Nina will handle the day-to-day training and implementation of the team!  I am looking forward to working closely with her and to see how God will bless and grow this ministry under her guidance! 

Finally, our Serve Team has taken some hits this year in the number of adults who have had to step away from this ministry.  If you love serving others and find joy in the behind-the-scenes details of making an empty building into a place that is warm and welcoming and love the idea of having the opportunity to welcome searching people into our building to experience God’s love, would you prayerfully consider how God might be calling you to participate in this vital ministry?


I continue to be blown away by our Small Groups program!  It is overwhelming to watch first-hand the personal growth that God is cultivating in individuals within the groups, hear about answers to prayer, and hear stories of how people were blessed by the content and other people in the groups over and over and over again!  Praise God!!


In the spring of 2018, First Baptist had 66 people in five groups. In the summer we had 18 people in two groups.  In the fall, we had 61 people in six groups and were able to introduce a new group especially for our 10-13 year old kids who are too old for Children’s Church but not quite old enough for our Youth Group program. 


Some of the projects that the groups participated in were church work parties and clean-ups, visiting shut-ins, decorating the church, providing a meal for TAFY, hosting a “Mommy and Me Pampering and Tea” event for young, at risk mothers in our community, hosting a cleaning supply drive for DSHS, hosting a Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner, picking up trash at a local park, gathering together to turn old plastic shopping bags into sleeping mats for homeless people, assisting to make hanging flower baskets for a TAFY fundraiser, hosting a children’s book drive for First Steps, hosting a suitcase drive for DSHS, and several others.


Pie with the Pastor continues to be a successful and exciting event where new guests can learn more about our church and find out how to get plugged in at First Baptist.  We hosted 23 new people over three events this past year!


Volunteer Summit has been an excellent tool for training and encouraging our volunteers, communicating vision and changes in ministry, on-ramping new volunteers, and giving our volunteers the opportunity to communicate problems.  Often, accomplishing these things on Sunday mornings alone are just not possible.  Having teams get together two to three times a year for these special events goes a long way to maintain momentum, quality, and continuity across our ministries, as well as stimulate growth!  Thank you so much to those who are giving these trainings priority in your schedules!  You are truly the back-bone of your ministries! 

It was a bit of a light year out at Camp David Jr this past Memorial Day weekend with only 53 campers for our annual Family Camp event.  Despite being small, it was still an intimate and wonderful time with a core group of campers!  Our speaker was our very own Hillary Gentile who taught on prayer. 


On August 19th, our church hosted our Celebrate Life Sunday event (with 130 people in attendance).  Following our worship service we had a free lunch (put on by Outreach), games for children, a bounce house, and a dunk tank.  Habitat for Humanity, an organization that comes along underprivileged members of our community and helps make home ownership more accessible, came and shared about all their organization is doing.  We were able to donate $2,000 to Habitat through this event! 

One of the things that I very much appreciate about serving in our congregation is the high priority placed on training.  This year I was able to attend the Northwest Ministry Conference with Tim Hughes, Hillary Gentile, Kim Ciaciuch, and David Parkhurst in March of 2018, a Fresh Expressions Pastor’s Conference with Tim and a fellow Mission Northwest pastor in March 2018, and finally the Leadership Tune-up at Rosspoint with Tim, Macy Marquez, David Parkhurst, Hillary Gentile, and Nina Nenahlo in September of 2018.  Fresh ideas, inspiration, motivation, and time to dream with other leaders about where God may be leading us as a church is so key to keeping the church moving forward and preventing burn out.  Thank you for not only offering these opportunities to us as leaders, but encouraging them!


Something that has been crucial to my own personal journey in 2018 has been realizing a distinct call to ministry within my role at First Baptist and really wrestling with the theology on women in leadership.  From this I have more fully begun to embrace and step into the role of an associate pastor over the course of the year.  Thank you so much to those who have been walking in prayer with me in this, to those who have raised questions and asked for clarification over the theology, as well as to those who have been encouraging, offered feedback, and spurred growth within me.  You all have blessed my spirit beyond what you can imagine!


I also cannot thank the volunteers across all the teams that I work with enough!  Your passion and dedication to your Lord, your church, and your ministry are such a blessing!  Thank you for participating in the body of Christ, for being the hands, feet, eyes, shoulders, etc that God has called you to be!  I pray that “...the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit.  All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better”! (Colossians 1:10)

May God bless you and build you up in His Spirit!

Lynn Crawford

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Pastor's Report

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Pastor's Report

The final sermon series before the beginning of the 2018 advent season was a study through the troubling book, 1st Peter.  I say it is a troubling book because it is largely about trouble, specifically the trouble we Christians should expect to face as we live faithful lives within a faithless world.  While our clear preference would be to live free of pain and sorrow, this isn’t the promise we are given in scripture.  Rather, Jesus clearly teaches that a life of faith is one which is willing to pick up our cross and to follow him (Luke 9:23).   After all, says Jesus, the world hates him and so too will it hate us (John 15:18-25).

The observant reader may have noticed that I state that it was 1st Peter which was the troubling book, but both the references above are from the Gospels, and not 1st Peter.  And you, oh reader, are correct.  This is because Peter remains true to the teachings of Jesus in his letter.  Within our lives difficulties will arise.  And as in our own lives individually, so too within the church.  Challenges, struggles, heartache, hardship - these ought not surprise us for we have been forewarned.  And yet, it seems, we are always surprised.

So then what’s it all for?  What’s it all about?  Isn’t the Bible supposed to be “Good News”?  Where is the “Good” within this News”?

Well, now I will quote from Peter’s letter, for he says:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 

(NIV: 1 Peter 2:9)

My friends, we have been chosen out of this world into the promise of the world to come.  We’ve been taken from the darkness into his wonderful light; and come what may, we can continue to live within this hope and expectation.  And not only have we already been rescued from all that this world may do to us, even as some suffering may be yet to come …, we have also been raised up to a new life with a new purpose.  Not only have we been redeemed from the darkness, we have been made royal priests.  


Royal because we have been adopted into God’s family.

Priests, because we have be given a great commission.  We are to go out into all the world and proclaim the truth of Jesus and his gift of salvation.

It is because we have been faithful to our position as royal priests that we have seen a wonderful revitalization of our congregation over the past many years.  In the past 10 years we’ve had more baptisms than the previous 30 years combined!  Such outreach and success is only found when we are faithful to the call God has given to his people.  This is why we can celebrate that in 2018 we added 18 people as members of our church and nine of those were by baptism.

And yet …

While our trend has clearly been toward growth, evangelism, and new faith, 2018 was also a year of farewells.  While we added 18 people by baptism, we have released 27 people from membership.  There are a variety of reasons that people have left, including 5 of our faithful saints who have been welcomed into the arms of our Savior.  

A good number have left us because they’ve sought out employment in other communities.  The number of goodbyes grows even larger when we consider the people who have moved that, though regular attenders, never took the step of joining the church.  

2018 is the first time in 13 years that we closed out the year with fewer members than with whom we began. 

This loss is magnified by way of the unique demographics of our church, by and large we are missing two generations.  The 9:30 service is predominately comprised of people who are part of the Builder Generation.  The 11:00 is predominately comprised of people who are part of the Millennial Generation.  We are sorely lacking in people who are part of the Boomer Generation and Generation Xers.


Of course the good news in this is that a decade ago we didn’t even have the Millennials, which we now do.  And praise the Lord for that growth.

But because we have so few people in the age range of 40 to 65, we are missing much of the unique strengths that demographic would bring to our church.  Speaking in generalities, that age range tends to be the years where we have the most free time to volunteer within the church because our kids are either in high school or have left the home.  We also have the most freedom to be financially generous as we’ve established ourselves within our professions, but are not yet living on a fixed income.  And by our 40’s to 60's we will have enough years under our belt, or perhaps hanging over our belts just a bit, that we bring a bit of extra wisdom and experience to the church.

Of course, as our Builder Generation knows all too well, the whippersnappers among us are gonna blink, and suddenly their 30’s will be behind them; and they’ll be in the midst of their 40’s with their 50th birthday staring them down.  And they’ll wonder how they got there so fast.  

So long as we keep pressing forward, true to the royal call of our priesthood, this is where we will find ourselves come the annual report for 2028.  But, alas, that is still a decade away; and this is the report looking back on 2018 where our membership has declined, and families have moved away.  

So, what are we to do?  The answer is, we turn to scripture, and we heed the calling of our Lord.  We continue to recognize that we are the ROYAL PRIESTHOOD.  We take upon ourselves the challenge presented to Esther by her uncle Mordichi.  Esther, faced with the challenge of standing for God’s People did not shrink away, but rose to the challenge, heeding the words of her uncle:  “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (NIV: Esther 4:14).

We too have a royal position as priests within God’s kingdom.  We know there will be challenges.  We know there will be occasions to rise up and press onward.  We know that we must never lose the urgency of reaching the lost with the hope of the Gospel; and we must be willing to surrender our desires to him, to do whatever he asks, and to give whatever he demands, that more would come to know him.

When our Children’s Ministry struggles for lack of teachers; when our volunteer positions remain vacant; when our budget struggles to meet expenses; when our pews appear more empty than full on a Sunday morning this is our opportunity to rise up to our royal position, and to remember our call to “Lead People in an Ever Changing Culture to the Hope of Jesus.” 

For to such a time as this, you have been appointed to the royal priesthood of God.  Let us go forth, and declare Jesus to a world lost in sin and darkness; and which is in desperate need of being brought into the light.


- Pastor Tim

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Take Time To Celebrate!

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Take Time To Celebrate!

As we move into this busy Holiday Season, I wanted to pause and take a moment to celebrate some awesome things that are going on in our church and the beauty of how God is growing us to be more and more like Him!

The first thing that I’d like to celebrate is that Nina Nenahlo is working towards taking over the Serve Team that prepares the building, greets, and closes down the building any time we have a service at the church. By the next Volunteer Summit on January 25th, she will be fully in-charge of it’s day-to-day running! What a huge blessing!!

The second thing I’d like to celebrate are some of the awesome Small Group projects that are coming over the next few months that are wonderful opportunities for our members to reach out and love on the community around us!

We have one group that is doing a clothes drive for Roosevelt Elementary. Often when a young child has an accident at school and they need a change of clothes, there usually isn’t anything on hand and whatever might be on hand doesn’t come come back to the school for the next child that has an accident. We will be collecting and donating 4-6x & children’s S-XL socks, underwear, and sweatpants during the month of November to support this cause!

Then during the month of December one of our small groups will be doing a children’s book drive for First Steps! They can be new or gently used. First Steps receives plenty of clothing donations, but struggles to maintain a steady flow of books to help young parents nurture their children’s young minds. We are very excited to partner with First Steps in this way! 

Finally, I’d like to celebrate our new small group specifically geared for our 10-13 year olds! Sign-ups for this group were very encouraging, but even more so has been their excitement to invite friends to come and learn about how to walk with Jesus! I’m excited to see the growth of the individuals in this group as well as the fruit they begin to produce as they reach out to others with the love of Christ! Please be lifting these young folks up in prayer!

Praying that God is blessing you, drawing you closer to Himself each day, and helping you to love on those around you with His love!

Lynn Crawford

Associate Pastor

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"He Called A Little Child To Him"

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"He Called A Little Child To Him"

Grayson Adoption-2.JPG

The big event for our family recently was the celebration that we got to adopt our 5 year old, Grayson.  It is a wonderful thing that now what Stacy and I have felt in our hearts for so long is a reality legally recognized - Grayson is our son.  Praise God for this blessing!
    For those who have followed with our family on this journey, you know that it has been lengthy.  Specifically 1,399 days.  That is how long it was from when Grayson first came to live with us until the finalization of his adoption.
    And of course, more hearts than just Stacy and mine are involved, in addition to the Grayson adoptive extended family - grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins - there are his forever siblings: Vivian, Jackson, and Ian.  
    In fact, the inspiration for this article comes directly from reflecting on the love Grayson’s big brother has for his younger sibling.  Jackson and Grayson are separated in age by just over 2 years, Jackson and Vivian will turn 8 on Jan 15 while Grayson becomes a big 6 year old on March 1st.
    And for kids so close in age - sibling rivalry is a thing.  Everything from competition for mom’s attention to a ready scape-goat to blame for mutual bad decisions are evidences of this phenomenon that we see on a daily basis.  (Or perhaps it’d be more accurate to say “hourly” or even “minute by minute” rather than “daily”.  Thank you Jesus that Stacy gets to be the one to stay at home.  Ha!)
    But in the midst of the squabbles, disagreements, and blame shifting there is also evidence of the love between the kids.  I recently posted a short video on my facebook page of all four of our kids dancing together to the happy music that played at the end of a family movie we’d watched together.  Oh, such are the moments that a parent holds onto!  
    Along with sibling squabbles, another aspect of childhood can often be finicky eating.  Jackson epitomizes this.  As Stacy and I are anticipating this year’s Thanksgiving meal, we know that in spite of a table set with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows the plate in front of our eldest son will be bare but for a single bread roll, no butter, and a plain microwaved hotdog. Jackson has been a very picky eater ever since he first learned the word “no”.
    But one food has stood out as a favorite for this young man, one particular food has towered above all others as the most decadent of all treats - behold the wonder of Peanut Butter!  Oh you blessed source of protein for my picky-eating son. 
    And perhaps those who work in our children’s church program can now anticipate where this story may be headed.  As our church has grown, we’ve instituted a “child-check” program where parents can check in their kids and the child is given a sticker to wear that includes their name and any information the parent needs to communicate about their child to the volunteers: information such as allergies. 
    Every Sunday, when his mom checks Grayson into children’s church, and his badge is printed out, it communicates to everyone that this little boy is allergic to - peanuts.  And not just mildly allergic, but deathly so. A simple peanut could kill our boy.
    It was around age four that Jackson first learned of his kid brother’s vulnerability.  After what had to have been some deep and personal contemplation, young Jack pulled his mom and dad aside and shared with us a significant decision at which he’d arrived.  He confessed to us that “if it means we can keep Grayson I will give up peanut butter.”
    This simple statement of sacrifice has continued to bless his father’s heart ever since it was first stated - it can even get me teary-eyed if I think on it too long.  I don’t think I can overstate young Jackson’s love for this sweet and salty concoction.  
    Of course, as adults, we know that whether or not Jackson eats peanut butter doesn’t really impact our ability to adopt Grayson, and that there are ways to protect Grayson from peanut butter without needing to entirely remove it from the house.  Through the years, we’ve been able to find means of compromise where Jackson is able to enjoy his favorite food so long as he sits at a different table while eating and washes his hands immediately afterward.  (Truthfully this is not a bad practice even if there isn’t a food allergy with which to be concerned).
    But comprehension of the details wasn’t what was most important; rather, what engenders joy and pride in Jackson’s father is the love such a willingness for sacrifice displays.  It is so beautiful in fact that years after the offer his dad would remember it well enough to write a whole newsletter article about it.
    For the past several Sundays, we have been studying 1st Peter. In this book, the Apostle Peter tell us that Heavenly Father shares how He finds joy in the relationships between us, His children.  Peter writes:

"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”  1 Peter 3:8 (NLT)

    As we think of peanut butter, I think it is appropriate that “sandwiched” between the ideas of sympathizing with each other and being tenderhearted we are told to “love each other as brothers and sisters”.
    How often do church squabbles, church splits, or even a loss of love for the church come from attitudes which are concerned only for the preferences and tastes of those who are already part of the family.  What would have been the normal childish behavior of a four year old would have been to think along the lines of “but this was my home first, and in this home we have always loved and enjoyed peanut butter.  Let the kids who don’t like it my way find a different home”.
    But what Jackson did instead showed a willingness to give up what he loved, to give up his tastes and preferences, that he might open the door to the person who did not yet belong.  His desire was not to protect his own, but rather to grow the family; to welcome a brother.
    May we all be so childish.
    At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” - Matthew 18:2-5 (NIV)

Jackson Vivian Grayson in Costume.JPG

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"What an amazing and busy summer!"

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"What an amazing and busy summer!"

From Lynn Crawford, Associate Pastor

What an amazing and busy summer!  I hope you had an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sunshine with your family and friends over the past months!

Our Summer Small Groups had 2 successful drives for their outward-focused projects. For the first drive, we (along with some help from Olympic Kids Dental) collected 73 suitcases to donate to DSHS so that kids entering the foster system in our area can have a suitcase to put their things in instead of a garbage bag.

The second drive our Summer Small Groups organized was to collect backpacks and school supplies for families who move into the area mid-year and are not able to afford school supplies for their children. We were able to collect thirteen backpacks to take to Jefferson Elementary to help them prepare for this eminent need!

Next we had our Celebrate Life Sunday on August 19th supporting our local Habitat for Humanity where we were able to spot-light their organization and raise $2,000 to help them partner with local families to make owning a home more accessible.

I cannot thank everyone enough for the amazing amount of help that went into this event! Our Outreach Committee organized, prepared, and served the food as well as secured the bounce house and dunk tank. Over 25 volunteers contributed to this successful event! Good job everyone and thank you all so much for giving of your time and talents in this way!

As I look ahead to the fall, I can’t help but be excited about all that is coming and I hope you’ll mark some of these things down on your calendar, join me in prayer for them, and plan on joining us as we seek God together!

Our Fall Small Groups are quickly approaching and will start the week of September 30th. As a church body we will be studying Francis Chan’s Crazy Love which is an awesome examination of our response to God and His amazing and sacrificial love for us:

“Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it?

It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe - the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.

Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not ...we all know something’s wrong.

Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn’t working harder at a list of do’s and don’ts - it’s falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, you will never be the same.

Because when you’re wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.”

I hope you’ll take a moment to watch this video about the study (https://www.vimeo.com/60780588), and click over to our Small Groups page (http://firstbaptistpa.org/smallgroups) to check out our awesome line-up of leaders, co-leaders, and hosts!

We are also going to be trying out, for the first time, a small group that is geared towards 10-13 year olds! They will be going through a book called My Heart, Christ’s Home that discusses how God calls us to give every area of our life over to Christ and what that looks like in our day-to-day routines. More information for this small group can be found at http://firstbaptistpa.org/smallgroups#my-heart-christs-home

If you are a new member or are new to our church, we have an event coming up on September 16th, following 2nd service that is especially for you called Pie with the Pastor! It’s a unique space for you to fellowship and share a scrumptious meal and dessert with other new folks and your pastors, to hear about First Baptist, and to have an opportunity to ask any questions you have! We would love to have you join us and to have the opportunity to get to know you better!

Finally, on September 21st from 5:30-8:30p, First Baptist will be hosting our Fall Volunteer Summit where we will be training our Small Group leaders, Barefoot Students leaders, Barefoot Kids leaders, Serve Team, and initiating and setting up our new Security Team. If you are apart of any of these teams or are interested in learning more about joining one of them, we would love to have you join us for any of the trainings and the volunteer meal:

5:30: Small Group Leaders, Barefoot Students, Barefoot Kids

6:30: Volunteer Dinner

7:30: Security (Barefoot Kids, Serve Team)

Praying that God is blessing you and teaching you as seek to draw ever closer to Him and bless those around you with His love!


Much Love,

Lynn Crawford

Associate Pastor

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"Consider the work of God"

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"Consider the work of God"

Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

From Rev. Timothy Hughes, Senior Pastor

In the fifth chapter of Luke, we are told about how men, faithful to their friend, cut a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching.  Their hope was that by lowering their friend through the hole Jesus might heal him.  Then, in the book of Acts, while Peter was reclining on the roof, he received his vision from Christ informing him that the hope of the Gospel is for everyone, even the Gentiles.  There is even a scandalous story regarding King David spying on the lovely Bathsheba while she bathed on her roof.  While rarely considered, roofs are important things.  Shelter, after all, is one of the basic needs for humanity.

Those in the know with our church can probably guess where this newsletter article is heading.  It is time, in fact we are a bit overdo, for fixing our roof.  And after many years of keeping the rain off our heads during worship our current shelter is starting to fail.  For this reason, the Elder Board, in cooperation with the Property & Maintenance and the Stewardship teams for the church has contracted with Diamond Roofing to repair our church.

Have you ever considered the miracle story of Jesus healing the paraplegic man from the perspective of the homeowner?  Well, perhaps now is your chance.  My hope is the homeowner was overjoyed that his residence was the location of such a wonderful act of grace.  My hope is he saw the repair work, which needed to get done, was a small price to pay; that this sick gentleman was able to be made well; and that everyone else present was able to learn more about the power of the forgiveness of God.

May we too consider the work of God within the walls of this church an investment well worth the cost of keeping our roof in good repair.  The bid for the job is right around $100,000.  This is no small fee I know.  However, the wonderful men and women who serve on our Stewardship team are already working together to develop a plan on how we can rise to the challenge.  

Of course the plan, whatever the finer points, will include a very simple concept: People who value what Jesus is doing within our church will be asked to financially support this project.

And my oh my, is there already some wonderful news to share on that front!  A wonderful couple who know of our church and value our ministry, even as they themselves do not attend here, felt led by Christ to help us on our way.  By way of their generous donation, we are already $35,000 toward paying off the repair work, which hasn’t even yet begun!  Isn’t that wonderful!

This leaves us with an anticipated expense of $65,000 to make our roof ready to house our congregation’s worship, praise, and miracles for coming generations.  You will have the opportunity to be part of this legacy of Jesus’ continued ministry in our church.  Won’t you consider giving generously?

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God Declared His Love

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God Declared His Love

Dear Flock,  

If you’ve been to a  grocery store anytime recently it is hard to miss the fact that Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching.  The color Red is everywhere.  Candy hearts too, decorate the aisle way.  And  very soon every school aged child is going to come home with a backpack full of cheap cardboard valentines with pithy little statements where cartoon characters and Super heroes will shout in bold letters phrases like the two cards below with Superman boasting, “I’m Flying High for you… Valentine” and the villain  the Joker professing that it’s “No Joke, I like you!”

I enjoy seeing kids get these little tokens of appreciation and celebrate how simply being kindly thought of by classmates can build their own sense of self-worth and importance.  And when the card comes with a little bit of dime store candy, all the better!  Am I right?

It is amazing what a statement of care, even when expressed in a silly little way, can mean to a person.  And, you know, this is a reality of human nature.  It doesn’t stop in childhood, but continues on through all of life.  We all love being loved.  We all appreciate being appreciated.  

The reason for this is simple.  We have all been created in the image of God.  God is, in his very nature, within his very being, Love itself.  The complex truth that He is Triune—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—proclaims that God is relational in a deeper and more profound way than our finite minds will ever fully comprehend.  But even as we wrestle with the intricacies of high and lofty theology, we are always able to simplify the complex with a statement so basic even a child can understand it.  The whole of our relationship to God is this: God is Love.  

And, whether we are 8 or 80, this is a truth well worth remembering.  

And God declares his great love for us in a message far greater than what any simple card could express.  Rather, God declared his love for us by sending His Son.  Jesus came for no other purpose than to declare to the world God’s great love for the world and to provide the means by which we could be restored to right relationship with God.  

No sin, no transgression, no failure will ever surpass the Love of God.  

As we near this day which celebrates love, may you remember Who it is that loves you. 

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  

John 3:16-17 (KJV)

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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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