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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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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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"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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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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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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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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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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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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Celebrate Life Sunday 07.17.16

I am so excited to share with you about this fantastic event called Celebrate Life Sunday that is coming up on July 17th! In past years we have had a community outreach BBQ on a Saturday in July and more recently a diaper drive for My Choices out at the city pier. This year we are combining these two events and rebranding it as “Celebrate Life Sunday”. We hope to create a service that not only celebrates the life that we have in Christ but also celebrates the new lives that God has created in mothers on the peninsula.

 

For the next couple of weeks we will be collecting diapers, wipes, and monetary donations to benefit My Choices. On July 17th we will have a combined celebration service at 10am followed by a BBQ (provided by Blues City BBQ!) with bounce house, children’s games, and lots of other activities for kids. My Choices will be bringing out their new mobile unit that services many cities all over western Washington. We will be able to tour this mobile unit, which provides an exciting new opportunity for My Choices to help mothers meet and begin to bond with their babies before they’re born! We have so much to celebrate and give thanks for!

Our prayer is that you will take this opportunity to invite your friends and family to join our celebration service! Come enjoy free food, fun for the kids, and let’s show some love to this wonderful organization that does so much for young families in our community!

Can’t wait to see you there!

Lynn Crawford

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Will You Join?

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Will You Join?

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for some of the changes that are coming at First Baptist! I admit that some change can be a scary thing, like Chris and Stacie Cummings moving out of ministry here at FBC and into ministry with YoungLife. However, when we’re falling in line for what God has for our lives, that is when God blesses and when God grows and multiplies! I’m thrilled to see how God is going to bless, grow, and multiply Chris and Stacie’s efforts! I’m also thrilled to see how God is going to bless, grow, and multiply the efforts of those who are faithful to follow God’s lead in taking over some of Cummings’ responsibilities at the church. Imagine how He is going to use these changes to bless, grow, and multiply our church! These are exciting times!

Over the last year, as preparations have been made at the beginning of each small group season, I’ve felt a strong pull that I’ve been called to do more to help out with organizing small groups. As with many things, I’ve been making up excuses why I can’t or why it’s a bad idea.

In the last couple of months I’ve been highly convicted that even though worship is important to do and to do well (it’s what we’ll spend eternity doing), there’s so many people all around me that are lost, dying, and headed for an eternity separated from God and I am doing NOTHING to stop it!  God has been challenging me to look with fresh eyes at the things that break His heart and consider if I will be moved enough to do anything or if I will continue to ignore and pretend my agenda is more important than His.

When Chris made his announcement to step down, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if God was saying, “How about now?? Will you do what I’ve been asking you to do?”

I am incredibly passionate about small groups. I’ve seen first-hand that God uses them to grow and stretch people, even to change lives, to draw people closer to Himself, to help to meet real needs. Through small groups, He allows us to care for our brothers and sisters in away that we simply can’t do when we just share a pew with them on Sunday morning, and He creates opportunities for us to be the hands, feet, words, and love of Christ to those in our community who desperately need to experience Him. And so, I have prayerfully decided to take on small group administration. I pray that God will work through me to grow this ministry to do amazing, mountain-moving work for His glory!

Will you help me? Will you pray for me? For these groups? For the leaders? For His will to be done and glory to be made known in and through this ministry?

Will you join? When sign-ups start in May, will you pick a group to join and begin passionately praying for your leader and for God to move in that group? In excitement and anticipation of what God is going to do, will you encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to sign up as well? Finally,  will you pray about who God is leading you to invite to come to group with you who does not yet know Christ?

Thank you so much for your love and devotion to Christ, for desiring Him and hungering after His will for your life!

May God draw you to Himself, may you sense His Spirit leading you, and may God grant you peace and joy as you delight to follow where He leads you!

~Lynn Crawford

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