July Events

June 30, 2014 in Upcoming Events

Please see our Calendar for all the latest information!

Joyful Noise Practice ‑ 6:15 PM Wednesday, July 2nd, and 6:30 PM Wednesday, July 30th, in the Sanctuary.

Beans & Booms ‑ 5:00 PM Friday, July 4th, at Lakeside Park, near the intersection of Doty Street and Frazier Drive.  Come hang out for food and fellowship at Lakeside Park before the fireworks!  We will bring a small portable grill and some hot dogs; bring whatever you’d like to grill and something to share, as well as your own lawn chair and beverage.  Come anytime after 5:00 for food, or join us later for the fireworks.

Worship ‑ 10:00 AM every Sunday in the Sanctuary.  On July 6th, we will celebrate Communion and an offering will be taken for Operation Back-to-School, which provides school supplies for kids whose families cannot afford them.  On July 20th, missionary Taku Longkumer will share with us about the ministry he and his wife Katie are doing in northeast India.

“James: Mercy Triumphs” Bible Study ‑ 1:15 PM Monday, July 7th and 21st, in the Fellowship Hall.

Diaconate ‑ 7:00 PM Wednesday, July 9th, in the Fellowship Hall.

Timber Rattlers Game ‑ Friday, July 11th, at the Fox Cities Stadium. The game starts at 7:05 PM; the tailgate party in the parking lot begins at 4:30.  Rick will provide a grill and charcoal; bring your own items to grill and a dish to pass.  For those who would like to carpool, we will leave from the church at 3:30. Read the rest of this entry →

From the Pastor’s Desk: Creating Community

June 30, 2014 in From the Pastor

Being part of a small church can also feel a bit like fishing in a rowboat – every movement a person makes is felt by everyone else in the boat, and if we’re not careful, someone’s going for a swim.  In the same way, waves and wakes are a lot more noticeable than on a yacht.

Small can sometimes feel vulnerable, or even discouraging in a culture that often measures success by size, and even when we know better, it can be alluring to get caught up in comparisons to other ministries, even to our own past, rather than to ask what it means to be faithful to God’s mission here and now, according to our gifts and calling.

Because the truth is, as a small church, we have tremendous potential for building community and transforming lives.  As human beings, we need a safe place to be real, to grow in our relationship with God, to be challenged in living out our faith in real life and encouraged to use our gifts and calling to bless others.  I’ve witnessed the power of small groups with high trust and authenticity, and the importance of creating space for people to “dip their toe in the water” and grow along the way.   I’ve seen it at work when people get real with each other at church and because they know one another, they are there to celebrate successes and come alongside each other in the difficult times.  I’ve seen it at work in Connect Café and the ongoing relationships and connections that outlasted the café itself.  I’ve heard the stories of people who describe AA meetings or Celebrate Recovery as one of the most powerful experiences of church of which they have been a part.  In a world longing for authentic community, we have a wonderful opportunity to engage our neighborhood with our strengths.

Yet simply being a small church does not mean these things automatically happen. Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile: Debby & Kyle Witmer

June 30, 2014 in Missionary Profile

Debby and Kyle Witmer from Springville, Indiana, have been endorsed by American Baptist International Ministries (IM) to serve in Thailand with IM’s partner, the Thailand Karen Baptist Convention (TKBC) at the Siloam Bible Institute in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  The couple will work in pastoral education and leadership. Kyle will also do continuing education with TKBC pastors and evangelists.

Kyle currently serves as pastor of Avoca Baptist Church in Avoca, Indiana, where Debby also serves as worship leader and head of the missions committee. Their church is excited about partnering with them in this new area of ministry. Kyle and Debby home school their four children, Hannah (16), Brennan (12), Julia (10) and Emma (7), who will be serving with their parents in Thailand.

Pray for Kyle and Debby and their children as they begin the transition to full time missionary service.  Pray for them as they seek to partner with groups, congregations and individuals for the relational, prayer and financial support they will need for them to carry out their ministry.

Christian Education Update

June 30, 2014 in Sunday School

The only one of our Sunday school classes meeting throughout the summer is the adult class.  That group is now on the final lesson, “The Promise Finalized,” in the study of the book The Promises of God: Deepening Life Together.  Following completion, class members and others are invited to join Orin and Carol Mueller in a study of hymns.

Please pray for the members of all the classes this summer that each one will be able to continue the faith development process through prayer, Bible study, and the reading of faith-based books and articles.

Although nursery care will be provided as needed for the very young, Children’s Church is not meeting during the summer.

Also please pray for the Sunday school staff and those involved in Children’s Church and Nursery for guidance in choosing curriculum materials for the 2014-15 year and as well as for making other decisions that will enhance our Christian education process.  Thank you!

Caroline Overzet

Education Ministry Team Leader

Hadath Baptist Church Update

June 30, 2014 in Missions & Ministry

It’s been a year since Pastor Brian and Gabrielle Hastings, Jane Wendt and Pastor Max Ramsey (Immanuel Baptist Church, Brookfield) traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, to attend the Middle East Conference and spend time with our brothers and sisters at Hadath Baptist Church.  HBC has had a busy year of ministry since then!  This is some of what they’re doing:

Learning Support Project ‑ In a country rebuilding from recent conflicts, public schools often struggle to meet the needs of students.  Lebanon has also had an influx of over a million refugees from the Syrian civil war.  Hadath’s Learning Support Project provides social workers, tutors, life-skill training and tuition assistance to kids who are struggling in public school and refugee kids who have not been able to get into school.

Mainly Music ‑ Twice a month, Hadath holds a gathering for preschoolers and their moms.  Volunteers lead kids in singing, dancing and play time, allowing moms time to socialize and build supportive relationships with each other.

Youth Ministry ‑ Hadath’s ministry to kids ages 13-18 includes Bible study, worship, discipleship, pastoral care and entertainment.  Many of the youth who attend are Syrian refugees for whom this is the only opportunity to leave the overcrowded refugee neighborhood.  A young adult group (ages 18-25) meets weekly for Bible study, worship and fellowship, a well as discipleship small groups.  This group is also very involved with leading Sunday morning worship and helping with relief work in the community.

Medical Ministry ‑ Several church members and friends have medical training.  Hadath partners with a local NGO to provide an occasional “mobile clinic” to those in the church family and community who cannot afford medical care.

Humanitarian Relief ‑ Many members of HBC are involved with providing humanitarian relief to Syrian refugees through partner organizations such as Hope for the Nations and Heart for Lebanon.

To learn more about HBC, go to www.hadathbaptistchurch.org.  Please continue to pray for Pastor Hikmat Kashouh and everyone at Hadath Baptist as they live the Kingdom of God into their community!

From the Pastor

May 27, 2014 in From the Pastor

Ryan benefit 01“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”  “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.”  (I Corinthians 12:27,26)

I had a nice long reflection put together on Paul’s words in I Corinthians 12, describing the church community as a body in which each part, each person, is both important and needed, and how we are all impacted by the joys and the pain of any part of the body.

But then I had the opportunity to witness the church living this out, and it tells a better story.

If we’d had a guitar, we could have had a church service at Pizza Ranch on May 19th when the fundraiser for Ryan was held, an event that was planned and supported with much help and participation from folks from Memorial Baptist Church.  We handed out flyers on Mitochondrial disease, spread the word and rejoiced as people from all over came to show their love and support for the Deichsel family.

When Paul describes the church as being like our human bodies, he is getting at something core to its nature: we are individuals, we have different gifts, personalities, strengths and weaknesses, different reasons for choosing to be a part of the whole.  Yet we also belong to one another.  To be a Christian is not merely an individual declaration of belief or personal moral code; it is to be brought into relationship with God and with other believers. Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile

May 27, 2014 in Missionary Profile

riceDr. Tim and Kathy Rice have been endorsed to serve as medical missionaries at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (not to be confused with the neighboring Republic of Congo), where they will part of the Congo Health Connection Team.

The Rices and their mission partners, Ryan and Sharon Potter, will attend French language school beginning in August, after which they will move to Vanga, DRC.

Health encompasses not just physical well-being, but mental, emotional, spiritual and relational well-being, as well.  When one person is unwell, their whole family and community are affected.

A ministry of healing goes hand-in-hand with proclaiming the Gospel; in Luke, Jesus sent his disciples out to “preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick” (Luke 9:2).  Throughout scripture, we see God’s particular concern for the marginalized, as well: the poor, the widows, the orphans and the aliens.  As followers of Christ, we are called to do likewise.

Congo Health Connection is all about relationships.  They connect the sick with health resources, medication and education that can relieve suffering.  They also connect students at the Vanga Health Training Center with visiting faculty from abroad, and connect American mission-minded medical residents and students, nursing students and therapy students with Congolese colleagues for a rich exchange of ideas.

Please pray for the Rices as they prepare to serve in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Christian Education Update

May 27, 2014 in Sunday School

Although the adult Sunday school class plans to continue meeting for at least part of the summer, the children’s and youth classes completed their season on Sunday, May 18.  We thank everyone who helped make the 2013-14 season successful!  Teachers were John Overzet, Gabrielle Hastings, Kathy Bonde, Jean Schneider, Laurel McKee, Elena Fryer, and Caroline Overzet.  Pat Olson worked with music and memory verses with the children’s classes; Mary Hobbs provided snacks monthly.  Denise Tyner and Pat Olson served as substitutes.  We thank Pastor Brian for his on-going help and support.  We also thank Pastor Brian and others who helped with the Christmas Eve service which involved the children’s and youth classes. Read the rest of this entry →

Church Freedom (Part II)

May 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Based on background information in We Are Baptists: Studies for Younger Elementary Children, by Jeffrey D. Jones and Debra L. Sutton)

With freedom comes a great responsibility; in the case of church freedom, it is for us to listen and respond to God’s call to be the church.  Only God, no one else, can tell a local Baptist congregation what it must be and do.  The Baptist concept of the church is grounded in the reality of the local congregation.  Each congregation is free to determine its corporate life and its relationships with others.  We believe that it is this grounding that brings life to the church and enables it to faithfully respond to God’s call to ministry within its own walls as well as to the world.  Each congregation can set its standards for membership, determine its structure and organization, and choose its style of worship. Read the rest of this entry →

In Our Library

May 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Memorial Baptist Women purchased a series of eight paperback “Keystone Stables” books for our young readers.  Doris Harrison has read all eight of them; the plots involved kids’ encounters with horses.  Titles include:

A Horse to Love

On the Victory Trail

Southern Belle’s Special  Gift

Summer Camp Adventure

Leading the Way

Blue Ribbon Champ

Whispering Hope

The Long Ride Home