July Events

June 29, 2015 in Upcoming Events

Please see our Calendar for all the latest information!

Joyful Noise Practice ‑ 6:30 PM Wednesday, July 1st and 29th, in the Sanctuary.

“What’s the Bible?” Study ‑ 10:00 AM Thursday, July 2nd, 16th and 30th, in the Fellowship Hall.  What is the Bible?  How did it come to be?  What’s in it?  How do we read it?  This Bible study explores the background, content and contexts for reading, understanding and applying Scripture to life in light of God’s ultimate revelation in the Son, Jesus Christ.

Beans & Booms ‑ 5:00 PM Saturday, July 4th, at Lakeside Park.

Adult Sunday School ‑ 9:00 AM every Sunday in the Fellowship Hall.

Worship ‑ 10:00 AM every Sunday in the Sanctuary.  On July 5th, we will celebrate Communion and an offering will be taken for Back to School 2015, which provides school supplies to kids from low-income families.

Diaconate ‑ 6:30 PM Wednesday, July 8th, in the Fellowship Hall.

Ruby’s Pantry Food Distribution ‑ Thursday, July 9th, at Grace Christian Church (1596 4th Street).  Call Cheryl Meyer at 920-923-5292 if you would like to volunteer.

Yard Sale and Brat Fry ‑ 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Saturday, July 11th, at church.

Punch Fellowship ‑ After worship Sunday, July 12th, in the Fellowship Hall.  Hosted by the Bondes.  Everyone is encouraged to stay for light refreshments!

Admin Team Meeting ‑ 5:00 PM Monday, July 13th, in the Fellowship Hall.

“Lamplighter” Deadline ‑ Noon Monday, July 20th.

From the Pastor’s Desk: The Gift of Hospitality

June 29, 2015 in From the Pastor

(With thanks to J. from our Friday Night group for the conversation that got this rolling in my mind.)

I have an admission to make, one that those of you who know me well will realize it’s a bit embarrassing and difficult to share: I didn’t really get into J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a teenager.  I read it, but I didn’t really “get” it.  Those who have only seen the movies may not realize just how much time Tolkien spends describing just walking.  It took me a number of years before I had the ability to begin to really appreciate just how deep and powerful a story he had crafted.

Because it is a story about a journey.  And though there are many mighty figures in that story – warriors and wizards, elves and dwarves and all the sorts of figures that are staples of that genre today (and that’s no coincidence, by the way) – for all of that, the true heroes of the story are not the ones the world sees as the most powerful, but two small people (hobbits) named Frodo and Sam, whose strengths aren’t in combat and skill, but loyalty, perseverance and humility. Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering Our Vision

June 29, 2015 in Missions & Ministry

A year and a half ago, we had a vision retreat at Camp Tamarack at which we asked this question: What ways can we carry out Jesus’ mission collectively and/or individually; especially in our areas of passion?  We came up with ideas that we grouped under these headings:

  • Mentor Youth and Parents
  • Create “Third Space”
  • Pursue Mission Opportunities
  • Support Hurting People
  • Advocate for the Marginalized
  • Create Multi-Generational Environment
  • Feed People
  • Communicate Lovingly with God and Others
  • Incubate Relationships
  • Care for the Body of Believers
  • Increase Public Awareness of MBC
  • Support Spiritual Learning
  • Continue the Conversation
  • Improve Buildings and Grounds

We’re continuing to explore these as a church and are looking for people who have a sense of calling in one of these areas.  If you have an idea for a ministry, funding is available to help you get started.  Talk to Pastor Brian or someone on the Diaconate to find out how to launch your ministry idea!

Missionary Profile: Lori & Matt Mann

June 29, 2015 in Missionary Profile

mann_lori&mattLaos is one of the poorest countries in the world and a target country for pedophiles and human traffickers.  Because of poverty, lack of education, and desperation, Lao street children, slum children, and children in impoverished families are targets of organized sex trafficking syndicates, both locally and internationally.

In Laos, Lori and Matt work with street children, slum children, and girls who have been sold or are at high risk of being sold to human traffickers.  In order to help protect and restore these children, the Manns are involved in five main interventions: a day time drop-in center for street and slum children; residential care for boys who were brought off the street and for girls who were victims of human trafficking or are at high risk of being victims; a scholarship program for children who would otherwise be sent to the city to beg; and raising community awareness about issues such as child abuse, child exploitation, and human trafficking.  In Thailand, Matt is also involved in leadership development and rural community development.

Pray for Lori and Matt as they seek to reach out to needy children in Thailand.

Yard Sale and Brat Fry

June 15, 2015 in Missions & Ministry, Upcoming Events

Our annual Yard Sale and Brat Fry is coming up on Saturday, July 11th, from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  This fun event includes food, music and lots of good deals!  Funds raised by the event will go to three organizations: Parent LIFE of Badgerland Youth for Christ (http://badgerlandyfc.org/ministries/ministry_page/parent_life/), which works with expectant and parenting teens; the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation(http://www.umdf.org/); and Heart For Lebanon (http://www.heartforlebanon.org/), which serves Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Beirut and the Beka’a Valley in Lebanon.  Invite your friends!

Summer Fellowship Events

May 27, 2015 in Upcoming Events

Beans & Booms ‑ 5:00 PM Saturday, July 4th, at Lakeside Park, near the intersection of Doty Street and Frazier Drive.  Come hang out for food and fellowship 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 fireworks.

Yard Sale and Brat Fry ‑ 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Saturday, July 11th, at church.  Donated items may be left in the downstairs Fellowship Hall.

Annual Baseball Outing ‑ Friday, August 14th at Fox Cities Stadium.  The Timber Rattlers are playing the Peoria Chiefs, with fireworks after the game.  Sign up on the bulletin board in the entryway by July 21st if you would like to attend.  Tickets cost $10.50/person ($8.00 for handicap seating).  Tailgating starts at 4:30 PM; the game is at 7:05.  Talk to Rick Behlke for more details.

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’ — why White Cross bandages matter

March 16, 2015 in Missions & Ministry, Uncategorized

White Cross bandages

At Memorial Baptist Church, one of the ministries we hear about fairly often is that of the White Cross – involving collecting funds for medical supplies, and tearing and rolling sheets for bandages.

What we don’t always hear is the impact of these efforts; how they are used and the difference they make.

A recent journal entry from Katherine and Wayne Niles who are ABC missionaries serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo tells the story of a massive shipment of White Cross supplies, and how they are used.  Read all about it at www.internationalministries.org

Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. James Reeves – Healing the Wounded Heart

January 26, 2015 in Podcast

On Sunday, January 25, Rev. Dr. James Reeves, spoke at Memorial Baptist Church about developing ways for the church to address the role of the transformation and healing of the heart in becoming more like Jesus.

(Audio File from his message at Memorial Baptist Church – January 25, 2015)

Rev. Dr. James Reeves leading a Memorial Baptist Church Retreat at Camp Tamarack

Pastor Reeves speaking to a group during a retreat teaching the core concepts of ways to minister to the heart


More information: http://www.jamesmreeves.com/Welcome.html

And because we have had several people curious about his book Refuge, which some of us at MBC have been reading and engaging prior to this retreat, we want to provide a link to it through Christian Book Distributors or Amazon

From the Pastor: “Connections”

May 27, 2015 in From the Pastor

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.”  (Romans 12:4-5)

Paul uses many images to describe the church, but the one Paul uses the most is that of a body – the body of Christ, of which we are members.  Yet the kinds of membership we’re most familiar with are very different than what Paul meant.

Most memberships are something we join at our personal preference.  Some are explicitly designed around benefits we want; we could become a member of an exclusive country club, or a member of the “potato chip of the month club” (note: this is apparently a real thing; thanks, Google).  We can become members of groups because we share an interest and want to spend time together.   Or we could become a member of an organization whose focus is serving; there are lots of amazing groups in our community doing good work.  Many groups meet a number of those needs – providing benefits and services we want, fellowship, and service.  This isn’t a bad thing ‑ but it’s not what Paul meant.

When Paul talks about being members of a body, the image is not structural but organic – my fingers didn’t choose to be part of my body, they just are.  Likewise, in Paul’s other major image of the church – that of God’s family/household – we don’t choose our brothers or sisters any more than we choose our parents; we just are!  We might want to say Paul is just being theoretical, but in his letters, he uses this image while writing to local churches full of ordinary folks from different backgrounds, to remind them that when they became followers of Jesus, they were brought into a new reality, a new family, a new body together.  In other words, to be a Christian is to be part of the body of Christ – a member of the church universal – whether we live that out or not in connection with a particular group of Christians. Read the rest of this entry →

Missionary Profile: Dwayne & Janet Doyle

May 27, 2015 in Missionary Profile

doyleDwayne and Janet Doyle have been appointed to serve as associate development workers in central Asia.  The nations of this region became independent following the collapse of the Soviet Union around 1991.  Many of these republics have a dominant religious population and have suffered from civil war, revolution, ethnic conflict, corruption and religious persecution.

Dwayne works in a village facility connected to an orphanage where boys ages 7–21 participate in a year-round sports club.  Janet teaches English in the same village at a language center and runs an English club at a school for 1st through 11th grade students.  Dwayne and Janet are working towards starting home fellowship groups among an indigenous unreached people group.

Interserve is one of the oldest international, interdenominational mission agencies in existence. As associate development workers, the Doyles are employed by Interserve and are appointed to work in association with IM as well.  Using this type of joint appointment in addition to standard appointment enables IM to support the mobilization of greater numbers of American Baptists into God’s work throughout the world.

Please pray for the people of Central Asia.

From the Pastor: Mission and Vision

April 27, 2015 in From the Pastor

It happened again just a few days ago.  Someone who had never stepped foot in a Baptist church before asked (in so many words) if we were those “fire and brimstone” folks.  Once more, I thought about the need to put in parenthesis below our church sign: “We’re not that kind of Baptist.”

Of course, it begs the question – what kind of Baptist are we?

In some ways, that’s tough to answer; we come from all kinds of denominational, political and social backgrounds.  We have different views on many of the hot button topics of our time.  We are engaged in all kinds of different ministries throughout the community and within the church, many with wide participation, but none that we can point to and say, “This.  This is what we do as a church, the ministry we’re known for.”  Honestly, I’m fine with that.

Because it is far more important to me that we come together around our core, the things we agree on as a community that represent the heart of our faith.  We find it in our statement of faith, but put simply, it is a living trust in the God who is revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ, whom we encounter through the Holy Spirit and in Scripture.  One of our core values as a church has been to live out the saying attributed to St. Augustine:  “In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, freedom.  In all things, love.” Read the rest of this entry →

Christian Education Update

April 27, 2015 in Sunday School

The flowers are blooming, the grass is green and the weather is warmer.  May also brings the end of our Sunday School classes and Children’s Church for the start of summer.  Please take the time to consider joining one of our classes as there is always something to learn.  We want to thank all of our teachers for doing such a great job in composing very thoughtful and meaningful lessons.

May also brings the departure of our friend Elena Fryer.  She is a wonderful teacher and will be greatly missed by the children but we wish her well and God bless in her move.  We would also like to welcome Sarah as the new teacher for our Preschool/Kindergarten class. Read the rest of this entry →