September Events

August 27, 2014 in Upcoming Events

Please see our Calendar for all the latest information!

Deborah Circle ‑ 12:30 PM Wednesday, September 3rd, in the Fellowship Hall.  Mary Hobbs will hostess.  New members are always welcome!

Choir Practice ‑ 6:30 PM every Wednesday in the Choir Room.  New voices are always welcome; no experience required!

Joyful Noise Practice ‑ 7:30 PM Wednesday, September 3rd, in the Sanctuary.

Sunday School ‑ 9:00 AM every Sunday.  We have classes for all ages!

Worship ‑ 10:00 AM every Sunday in the Sanctuary.  On September 7th, we will celebrate Communion and an offering will be taken for White Cross, which provides medical and other supplies to clinics, community centers and missionaries across the country and around the world.

Hannah Circle ‑ 10:00 AM Wednesday,  September 10th, at Nancy Leonhardt’s house. New members are always welcome!

Prayer Group ‑ 4:30 PM Wednesday, September 10th, at the McKees’ house.

Punch Fellowship ‑ After worship Sunday, September 14th, in the Fellowship Hall.  Hosted by Dean and Jane Wendt.  Everyone is encouraged to stay for light refreshments!

“Breaking Free” Women’s Bible Study ‑ In “Breaking Free: The Journey, the Stories”, Beth Moore looks at the Book of Isaiah through the lives of the kings who ruled during the prophet’s ministry. These kings exemplify many of the obstacles to freedom with which we must deal. Using Scripture to help identify spiritual strongholds in our lives, no matter how big or small, Beth explains that anything that hinders us from the benefits of knowing God is bondage.  You will need a workbook; sign up on the bulletin board in the entryway if you plan to attend so that Kathy Bonde knows how many books to order.  The group will meet from 1:00-3:00 PM every other Monday.

Loaves & Fishes ‑ Our next turn serving the meal at Church of Peace is on Monday, September 15th.  Please sign up on the bulletin board in the entryway if you would like to provide a pan of lasagna or lasagna casserole (pans and cheese will be available), or if you would like to help set up, butter bread, register guests, serve the meal or clean up.  Lasagnas may be dropped off at Church of Peace hot and ready to serve at 4:00 PM.  We begin serving take-home meals at 5:00 and sit-down guests at 5:30.

Church Women United General Meeting ‑ 9:15 AM Thursday, September 18th, at Memorial Baptist.  All women are invited to attend!

Yarn Ladies ‑ 9:00-11:00 AM Saturday, September 20th.  Bring your own project to work on or make kid-sized hats, scarves and mittens for Back to School 2015.  Donated yarn is available in the upstairs Fellowship Hall.  Invite a friend!

Newsletter Deadline ‑ Noon Monday, September 22nd.

From the Pastor: “Reflections”

August 27, 2014 in From the Pastor

Brian and Gabrielle Hastings, July 1999

Brian and Gabrielle Hastings, July 1999 First Sunday at Memorial Baptist Church

This past summer, I’ve had the privilege of celebrating a number of milestones: fifteen years of marriage with Gabrielle, fifteen years of ministry with Memorial Baptist Church, and then forty years of turning oxygen into carbon dioxide!

With one important milestone after another each month this summer, it’s given me the opportunity to reflect on my life and ministry as well as filled me with a profound sense of gratitude for God’s presence and work in my life throughout these years and for the people I’ve been blessed to share this journey with.

And it’s to my church family that I’d like to dedicate this article, to attempt to put into words what you’ve meant to me in these years of sharing faith and life and work.

First of all, thank you for inviting me into your lives.  In my role as a pastor, you have welcomed me in as a visible sign of the presence of God who is always with us.  As a brother in Christ, I don’t take for granted the humbling privilege of walking with you through both the sacred transitions of life and all the times in between.  You’ve allowed me to be with you in some of the happiest and saddest moments in your lives, and to walk with you along the way.  I treasure those times of celebration and growth and commitment, and the memories of those who now stand in the full presence of Jesus.  Yet I also treasure the times where we simply shared a meal, watched a ball game or a movie, or stood around and talked and laughed.  These, too, are holy moments, and the way that you have allowed me to be myself as a person, a fellow disciple on the road, means more to me than I can express. Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile: Wendy Bernhard (retired)

August 27, 2014 in Missionary Profile

bernhard

Rev. Wendy Bernhard in Chapel Car Grace at the Green Lake Conference Center

What do missionaries do after retirement?  Many continue serving God in various ways.  Rev. Wendy Bernhard retired in 2013 after 30 years as an American Baptist missionary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working in theological education and youth ministries.

She lives in Elko, Nevada, where she is a member of Greater Life Church.  In retirement she is leading a book discussion group on Narnia for Adults at Great Basin College in Elko, and is active in Toastmasters, a bowling league, and the local senior citizens center.  Last year she visited churches in ten states to thank them for their faithful support of her career in the Congo and encourage them to transfer their support to other ABC missionaries.  She continues to speak in churches as requested, and would love to speak to us at Memorial Baptist some summer.

As a member of the International Ministries Board of Directors, Wendy looks forward to internationalizing her call to global missions. “I want to learn more about the work of our missionaries and partners in every country, and work with them to attain the goal of discipling the nations in a holistic way,” she says.

Wendy is spending the summer of 2014 as a volunteer at American Baptist Assembly, Green Lake.  She works as a docent at Chapel Car Grace, telling its wonderful story to all who visit it.  She is also a member of the Spurgeon Chapel team, becoming involved with visitors as needed.  In addition, she leads many of the weekly Bible study sessions for volunteers.  During the huge World Mission Conference at Green Lake in July, Wendy was the French translator.

Please pray for Wendy as she continues serving in the capacities indicated, and follows God’s call to serve in various other ways.  Thank you!

Sunday School Update

August 27, 2014 in Sunday School

Sunday school classes are about to resume!  The first day of our 2014-15 season will be September 7.

The preschool class, taught by Elena Fryer and Caroline Overzet, will focus on various stories of Jesus and other stories we read in the Bible.  The elementary class, taught by Jean Schneider and Laurel McKee, will continue the process (this study was started in May) of learning the books of the Bible and the basic stories they contain.  For these two classes, Pat Olson will again do the music and work on memory verses.  She will also work with helping the children learn the books of the Bible.  She will join us for these activities at the beginning of the sessions on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

The youth class, taught by Gabrielle Hastings, will study James, using Beth Moore’s “James: Mercy Triumphs”.

The adult class will begin the season with a seven-lesson study on dealing with sin.  The titles for the four Sundays in September are: Rethink, Recognize, Reflect, and Repent.  This class will again be led by John Overzet.

We look forward to seeing those who have been in our classes, as well as welcoming new people.  So, if you have not been involved in Sunday school, now would be a great time for you to start!  How about also inviting a friend?

Children’s Church, under the direction of Jennifer Hobbs, is also a vital part of our education ministry and will also resume September 7.

We ask your prayer support for all phases of our education ministry.  Please pray that all classes will get off to a great start and that all involved will begin a season of great spiritual growth!  Thank you!

Caroline Overzet

Education Ministry Team Leader

From the Pastor’s Desk: “Telling the Baby from the Bathwater…”

July 28, 2014 in From the Pastor

“Incremental change will get you incremental results,” cautions Carey Neuwhof in his article: 3 Things About the Unchurched America Can Learn From Canada (And 3 Things Canadians Could Learn from The US).  He describes the Canadian church’s experience as being a “canary in the coal mine” for their American brothers and sisters.  As such, he implores us to recognize the danger of being too slow to innovate how we do ministry in a changing cultural context.  “Marry the mission, date the model,” as Andy Stanley said.  In other words, the core of what God calls us to do as a church remains the same, but how we are to most effectively carry out that mission is ever-changing, and requires us to be flexible.

bathing-babySo how do we know what that looks like?   As we take a look at the things that we are doing and the changing culture we live in and ask what it looks like to be followers of Jesus who are faithfully living out our calling in our particular day and age, how do we tell the difference between the mission itself and the different ways (models) we might use to carry it out?  Or how might we let go of ways of doing and thinking about things that keep us from fully living out our calling in this present time – without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

That’s a tall challenge, but one of the first things we can do is to step back from what we are doing and take a look at the big picture – what is God doing, and why? Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile: Kyle and Katrina Williams

July 28, 2014 in Missionary Profile

williamsKyle and Katrina Williams from Everett, Washington, have been endorsed to serve in partnership with the Baptist Community of Congo at the Pastoral Institute of Kikongo.  They will assist with the training of pastors.

Together they have worked summers at a family commercial fishing site in Alaska and are homeschooling their four children.

While there are many here in the States with a high level of education, there are few willing to root themselves in places like the Congo interior, where teaching is limited and people have to travel many miles to attend church and can’t simply turn on their internet to search out interpretations of biblical text.  The village pastor and those they teach benefit greatly from inductive Bible study and the revelation that Christ is the lens through which all scripture should be evaluated.  Sometimes the Bible is not as straightforward as we are taught.  Sometimes stating this is all people need to gain a little humility when teaching others.

Pray for Kyle and Katrina and their four children as they 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.

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!