April Events

March 28, 2014 in Upcoming Events

Please see our Calendar for all the latest information!

Deborah Circle ‑ 1:00 PM Wednesday, April 2nd, in the Fellowship Hall.

Choir Practice ‑ 6:30 PM every Wednesday in the Choir Room.

Joyful Noise Practice ‑ 7:30 PM Wednesday, April 2nd and 30th, in the Sanctuary.

Sunday School ‑ 9:00 AM every Sunday except April 20th.

Worship ‑ 10:00 AM every Sunday in the Sanctuary.  On April 6th, we will celebrate Communion and an offering will be taken for New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center, which provides shelter, mentoring and support services for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy.  To learn more about New Beginnings, go to http://newbeginningspregcare.org.

Freed-Up Financial Living Small Group – 7:00 PM Monday, April 7th, 21st and 28th, in the Fellowship Hall.

Hannah Circle ‑ 10:00 AM Wednesday, April 9th, at Nancy Leonhardt’s house.

Prayer Group ‑ 4:30 PM Wednesday, April 9th, at the McKees’ house.

Punch Fellowship ‑ After worship Sunday, April 13th, in the Fellowship Hall. Read the rest of this entry →

From the Pastor: Visioning Process 2014

March 28, 2014 in From the Pastor

First of all, on behalf of the Diaconate, Admin Team and myself, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who participated in the Vision Retreat and/or Vision Potluck over these past few months.  Thank you for your prayers, your ideas, and your desire to join in what God is doing and what God desires to be done in our community.

The Diaconate and Admin Team will be working through the categories of ideas that were shared as places we felt called to be engaged in ministry.  Some will be long-term goals; some we can move on more quickly.

We are also very aware that some of our best ideas and initiatives will end up starting not with the ideas of our leadership team, but from everyone in the congregation.  With that in mind, I’d like to ask each of us to:

• Pray for God’s guidance and vision for each area of concern lifted up.

• Let us know if you experience a “heart draw” to a need!  Part of our evaluating the different ideas will depend on the people who are interested in being a part of it, whether that is prayer support, personal involvement, or additional financial support. Read the rest of this entry →

Putting Hands and Feet to the Vision: Mentoring Youth and Parents

March 28, 2014 in Missions & Ministry

Ministering with youth, young adults and parents was our top priority category in the visioning process.  As the Diaconate discussed this section, we began by identifying what we are already doing in this area.   (Please feel free to help us add to the list below, for things we forgot or weren’t aware of!)

In terms of community outreach, Louann Fauska, Pearl Mertens and many others have been active in the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Back-to-School program.  Mike Turk is active in the Youth for Christ Fresh Start program.  Pastor Brian is working with two teams at Sabish Middle School in their Rockets for Schools program.  Pat Olson works with younger elementary school kids listening to them read.  Laurel McKee leads a Girl Scout troop.  Brian and Gabrielle Hastings are also part of an ongoing young adult Bible study.

Internally, Christine Popp, Dan Hanks and Pastor Brian work with our youth in the youth group, and we have a number of great teachers in the Sunday School and Children’s Church programs.  We also strive to support and encourage parents with kids who are experiencing challenges. Read the rest of this entry →

Christian Education Update

March 28, 2014 in Sunday School

In the current study of We Are Baptists by Jeffrey Jones and Debra Sutton, the topics for use in April for the preschool class will be “Doing What’s Right” and “A Special Way to Live.”  The elementary class will complete the book with the lesson “Sharing the Good News Here, There, and Everywhere.”  Part of the month for both of these classes will be devoted to the study of Palm Sunday and Easter.  The memory verse for the month will be Luke 24:6a,He is not here; He has risen!”

The youth class will continue using Talk Sheets.  In using this material, the students will explore what the Bible has to say about topics relative to life.

The adult class will continue the study of Promises of God.  Themes for April include: “The Promise Individualized: The Davidic Covenant” and “The Promise Incarnated: The Arrival of the Messiah.”  The companion DVD will also be used.  Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile: Kathy Charland

March 28, 2014 in Missionary Profile

charlandKathy Charland has been endorsed to serve with the Women’s Ministry of the Baptist Community of Congo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she will assist with the work of the Mitendi Center.  The Mitendi Center teaches life and vocational skills, such as literacy, sewing, and cooking to women at risk, empowering women to improve their socioeconomic conditions and providing a positive alternative to victimization.  Kathy looks forward to living among, and building relationships with, the Congolese, and to helping people grow in their discipleship as followers of Jesus Christ.

The Mitendi Center program is a two-year program for women that offers basic reading, writing, and math courses and training in sewing, crochet, knitting, cooking, and restaurant service.  The Mitendi Center currently serves 18 residential students and 9 day students.  Students participate in life skills courses, daily devotions, Bible study and praise.  The women also play sports once a week, have choir practice, and tend gardens.  The women who attend the Center come from situations of considerable poverty and have little to no family support and little education.  Without the influence of the Mitendi Center, they are at great risk of entering prostitution.  The mission of International Ministries is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit.

Bible Freedom

March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Bible is important in the life of Baptists!  We cherish God’s Word.  It is a constant that guides our lives from childhood to old age.  As the apostle Paul was facing his most trying hour, under arrest in Rome, convicted of a crime he had not committed, and waiting to be executed, he remained faithful to Christ.  In his second letter to Timothy, he gave urgent advice to his young colleague and friend with the message to carry on, keep the faith, and be a steadfast soldier for Christ even if it meant personal suffering and persecution.  From this we can tell that Paul believed that the Scriptures are the sole antidote to a timid faith and corruption within the church.  He knew that “all scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) and that God’s Word is “able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).  These powerful words are just as timely today as they were when written in the first century.  Other Bible verses which point out Biblical authority include: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35), and “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).  Let us endeavor to live in obedience to God’s Word, as did our forebears!

Pastor’s note:  Caroline’s wonderful reflections on the four Baptist Freedoms (Soul Freedom, Bible Freedom, Church Freedom and Religious Freedom) are drawn from Sunday School material based on Walter Shurden’s book, The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms.  Shurden talks about how each freedom is not only a privilege we have, but also a responsibility to exercise on our behalf and to protect in others.  For example, we believe the Bible is our final authority in faith and life, and yet also realize that our human understanding of it is never complete or finished; therefore we insist on the freedom to interpret scripture as the Lord leads us, and grant that freedom to others as well.

God So Loved the World

March 20, 2014 in Podcast

Scripture: John 3:16-21

Right Click to Download:03-16-2014

The God Who Heals

March 20, 2014 in Podcast

Scripture: Psalm 51:15-17

Right Click to Download:03-09-2014

Behind the Curtain

March 20, 2014 in Podcast

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-19

Right Click to Download:03-02-2014


From the Pastor’s Desk

February 24, 2014 in From the Pastor

“What are Baptists all about, anyway?”  I’ve been asked this question a lot (in different forms) throughout the years.  Baptists sure do conjure up lots of different images for people, for better or worse – or sometimes both!

For as long as I can remember back through my faith journey, I’ve believed that Christian unity across denominations is important, that our Lutheran and Catholic, Methodist and Presbyterian, Pentecostal and Orthodox sisters and brothers all have important voices in the Body of Christ.  I’ve long believed that what unites us in Jesus is greater and more important than what divides us, even when the differences are challenging to work through.

Yet at the same time, having worked and worshipped in many different Christian contexts, there’s a reason I am glad to be part of the American Baptist tribe.  In a global church context where denomination is becoming less and less important (and in some ways, that’s a good thing), there are some core values for Baptists that I believe are incredibly relevant to ministry and mission today.  (I should point out that these values are not unique to Baptists – but they do shape how we live out our faith together as Christians.) Read the rest of this entry →