Welcome to First Baptist Church of Manchester Center, VT "The Community Church"

April 2014 Spirt Spark


April 2014

A Few Thoughts from the Pastor

"The Kingdom of God is like ------"
The time of seeds and sprouts will soon be here and it brings the kind of
language Jesus loved to use when he wanted to describe God's rule. In Mark 4 we read
of Jesus comparing the reign of God to a farmer sowing seed and harvesting a crop, and
of mustard seeds becoming something way out of proportion with their puny size.
That's what Jesus says the reign of God is like but that doesn't stop us from
thinking that big numbers, budgetary, and social influence aren't what matter. Spiritual
prosperity, if we're to believe Jesus, has a lot more to do with humble things being put
into God's hands to be put into God's earth for a result that comes in God's good time.
In other words, size doesn't matter; faithfulness does.
We have been exploring the four Gospels in our baptism class. The class has
noted over and over again that Jesus was a lot more concerned about kindness and
truth than he was those who were obsessed with power and prestige. Points well
We're going to be entering another phase of this transitional journey we've been
on. We don't have as much money as we'd like to have; but so what? We have enough
resources to have me continue effectively with fewer "billable hours." We have a great
sense of spirit and a growing number of people who are willing to give time and effort to
love God and their neighbors through First Baptist Church. More people are discovering
that thinking outside the boxes of past practice leads us to find God alive and working in
our midst. The search committee is starting to evaluate the profiles of people who
might become your next pastor.
Things are changing and things -the right things - are growing stronger at First
Baptist. God willing, the inevitable challenges will be met and overcome. This tiny seed
of faith that we place in Jesus' hands will grow to become a shelter and a shade to all
who seek it. Let us rejoice in God's protective presence and open ourselves to share
Remember this. Easter's message is that even that which seems discredited and
dead can take on a life that is beyond our imagination for its goodness. Neither Christ
nor his Church is dead or discredited. Things are changing but these constants are there
for us to honor and celebrate.


The Passover Seder is not technically part of our Holy Week but it certainly is connected with
Easter in that Jesus was celebrating Passover, a Jewish holiday at what Christians call The Last
Supper. This year, the Israel Congregation has invited our congregation to attend the
community Seder on Sunday, April 6th at 5:00 p.m. Please call Martha Thompson if you plan on
attending at 362-3473 and she will notify Israel congregation office.


Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, April 13 with traditional palms and music at 10:30 a.m.


On Thursday, April 17, at 5:30 p.m. the church is invited to participate in a Maundy Thursday
event which begins at 5:30 p.m. with a pot luck supper followed by a service to commemorate
The Last Supper at 7:00 p.m.
The supper is truly pot luck so bring a hot dish, salad or dessert. If you don't have time to
prepare something bring chips, pickles, or cottage cheese, etc. or just yourself. Beverages and
bread will be provided. Serving will continue until 6:15 for people who cannot come earlier
followed by a time of fellowship and tidying up.

Friday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. we will be in worship to mark Good Friday and a remembrance
time of Jesus final hours on his way to the crucifixion.

Saturday morning members of Mary Martha fellowship meet at 9:00 a.m. to prepare the
bouquets for the Easter Cross which graces our sanctuary on Easter and then is displayed on
the church steps. Refreshments will be provided.

EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE at Dormy Grill, tentatively scheduled for 7:00 a.m. Any change oftime
will be announced in church. Rev. Jordan (Skip) Dickinson will deliver the message and Jeff
Linebeck provides the music.
EASTER BREAKFAST-Immediately follows the Sunrise Service. Details of this event are pending
further planning.
The day has arrived that we have been waiting for. Come join us for music, a wonderful
message, the decorating of the cross and fellowship. Our service begins at 10:30 a.m. No coffee
hour on that day as we assume people will have other plans.

There are certain jobs that need to be taken care of during the week and any help that can be
given is greatly appreciated. Jim Johnson takes care of many of these things but we're sure he
would appreciate a helping hand.
The floral cross to be decorated needs to be brought upstairs.
Tables need to be set up Thursday afternoon for the Maundy Thursday Pot Luck Dinner about
4:00 p.m. as well as other preparations for the dinner. (Tablecloths, coffee, setting buffet table,
ovens turned on, etc.)
3.Thursday evening the stage and sanctuary need tobe cleared for The Good Friday service
following the Maundy Thursday event. Jeff often helps with this but many hands make light
4. On Saturday while the bouquets are being made, the sanctuary needs to be prepared for the
Easter service.
5. If there is an Easter Breakfast, MMF members help set the tables.

People wishing to place flowers in church for Easter should notify the office by Wed. the 16th
for inclusion in the bulletin. There will also be a sign-up sheet in the vestry. Peggy Brockett at
Lily ofthe Valley, 362-7181, has again offered to deliver lilies (or whatever) to the church for
Easter at $12 per plant. These are high quality lilies that hold up well. Ordering the lilies is your
responsibility. Please let Peggy know by Friday before Easter so she can have them delivered all
at once.