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

Feb 2015 news letter

​                                                                                     SPIRIT  SPARK
                                                                                      February, 2015

                                                                       Some Thoughts from the Transitional Pastor
                                                                                Renewal Comes By Surprise

         Our recent trip to South Africa was a time of surprising spiritual renewal.  I knew I needed a rest but God knew what kind of rest – and what kind of readjustments I needed.  As we were coming out of the fog of jet-lag Sara invited some of her friends over to say hello.  They were truly remarkable. A friend, Liz, had introduced Sara to St. Francis Anglican Church. She has found a spiritual home there and Liz served as a part-time priest. 
         Liz marched in with a piece of Masonite board, tape, a piece of molding, and two cans of paint.  She said Grandpa needed a project to do and that making a blackboard for Lincoln would fit the bill.  I looked at Liz and thought, “Now here’s a woman who understands what this pastor needs.”  Ten hours of sleep is all well and good – and it’s enhanced with a project that takes a little time for a number of days (oil paint dries slowly). Thanks Liz, and God bless you.
         We worshiped at St. Francis on Advent Sunday 4 and on Christmas Day.  Though the service was much more structured than the usual First Baptist fare, a sense of informality and a loving community came through.  It was nice to receive such grace. 
         Then came the remarkable day when I took some risks and climbed a mountain by myself.  I never expected to climb another mountain and the whole project seemed foolhardy.  But I just had to do it.  The cool breeze I felt when I came to the last fifty yards of the climb felt like the breath of God across my weary sweating face.  I believe people have holy moments and can discover holy places during their lives.  They come quite by surprise.  Jacob had his Bethel.  I’ll always have Mt. Elandsberg.
         What I’m trying to say by all this is that God can remake us through the acts and presence of other people – people like Liz and Father Tim.  The hospitality of spirit we found at St. Francis and the way they embrace three of our dearest blessed Kathy and me. 
         Spiritual rest and renewal come by being quiet and by well-directed activity.  Matthew tells us that a paralyzed man was healed when Jesus saw the faith of the men who carried them (Mt.9;2).  People in God’s Church play a huge role in spiritual renewal.  They may come from half a world away – or from the corner of Main and Bonnet Street.  I’ve found God in both places.
         Christmas is long-gone and Lent is soon upon us.  Ash Wednesday is February 18.  May we carry each other whether we know we are doing it or not.  May God provide paths we can see and do that will renew our love for God and for the world in which we live.
                                                                                OTHER CHURCH NEWS
          The Mary Martha Fellowship will be meeting this coming Sunday, February 8, at 8; 30 for refreshments and a business meeting followed by a discussion of basket party ideas. The Mary Martha Fellowship will be holding a basket party on March 14.
          Pot Roast Dinner The next big Mary Martha project is The Pot Roast Dinner which will be held on February 28 at 6 p.m.  Mary Keyes is in charge and as always your help is needed.  This dinner menu is pot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, peas, gelatin salads, homemade rolls, cheesecake and apple crisp with ice cream. Wait-staff, potato peelers, dishwashers, table setters, cooks and providers are needed. The cost for adults is $12 and $6 for children eight and under.  Martha Thompson will be taking reservations at 802/362-3473.
The Diaconate will be meeting next Wednesday, February 11and welcoming two new members and saying good-bye and thank you to Dottie Sundquist and Edith Sargood who served as chair  for the last year .  Martha Bowen and Lindy Mylott will serve as our new deacons.
          One of the jobs that the Diaconate is responsible for is the coffee hour held every Sunday after church.  Mary Martha Fellowship jumps in on the second Sunday of each month.  Any help that you are giving now or would be willing to give is certainly appreciated, such as providing goodies for the refreshment table, helping to set up and clean up,etc. The Diaconate is also responsible for greeting people as they arrive for worship and if not many deacons are there, trying to greet and set up the refreshment table can be difficult.
  Prudential Committee will be meeting on February 17 and Maurie Hill as a new member. Jim Comar will return.  The Christian Education Committee, Missions Committee, Pastoral Relations Committee and Stewardship Committee will all reorganize in the near future.  A complete roster of officers and committee members can be found in the Annual Report.  It’s available in the vestry.