Nov 2014 News letter

SPIRIT SPARK
November 2014


SOME THOUGHTS FROM THE TRANSITIONAL PASTOR
I thank my God every time I remember you, Philippians 1:3

At last night’s study of Matthew 6 we reflected about the meaning of “treasures in heaven” (v.26, 27). We hear those words in church but the seven of us gathered around Lois Squire’s table tried to pry that term open and chew on it. The discussion went on and I sat back with great pleasure. Those who were there didn’t look my way for a quick answer. And that’s what genuine fellowship and study of the Scriptures should be all about.

The discussion focused on relationships. When good, they are treasures indeed! And when relationships strain they teach us patience. They challenge us to listen carefully as well as speaking clearly and truthfully. What joy there is when the challenges are met and the ties of love deepen and become stronger! These become heavenly treasures when we recognize with thanksgiving how such are the gifts of God. So in this month of Thanksgiving I’m grateful to be able to say that I truly do thank my God when I remember First Baptist Church.

I’ll be formally joining First Baptist this month (assuming you’ll have me in). Even though the days I will spend as your pastor will probably end before the expiration of my contract in May, I want to have my American Baptist identity with you and will support First Baptist with prayer and financially. I’ve decided that the years of the long commute should end by May at the latest. That said I want to be cast my lot with this church. When the new pastor arrives, I won’t be available for pastoral duties any longer and I will be like a member who lives away. We have quite a few of them don’t we? I’ll read the news, pray, and send my donations.

Something good is happening here and I believe God is just beginning the work. There are more heavenly treasures to mine and to share as we grow in love. It’s challenging work, but the outcome love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control – the fruit of the Spirit! Let these grace out Thanksgiving tables this November.





MISSIONS COMMITTEE ENCOURAGES VOLUNTARY THANKSGIVING DONATIONS
TO AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCHES OF VERMONT AND NEW HAMPSHIRE

We are a part of a wider American Baptist family. The body that touches us most frequently is the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire. As we search for a pastor, they have given us assistance and Rev. Dale Edwards is available to provide pastoral care for our pastor as well as find resources that help our ministries. Through our region, we are involved in planting new churches and helping older ones find new life.

During November please consider making a gift to the region by writing a check and noting “ABCVNH” on the memo line. It’s another way to recognize that our mission work begins at our own doorstep.

MARY MARTHA FELLOWSHIP NEWS

The Mary Martha Fellowship meets on the second Sunday of each month with exceptions in July and August. Each woman in the congregation is invited to participate. We have many projects that would benefit from more hands on deck. At the present time we are working on our White Cross Quota which is a mission project and we will be putting together school kits and rolling bandages.
At our December13 meeting, we prepare about ten baskets for some of our members to whom we'd like to give some extra attention. If this project interests you we can use all sorts of items such as: stamps, cards, pens, pencils, small amount gift cards, food items, etc. Imagine what you might need or want if you didn't get a chance to shop very often.
The other project we work on in December is the Holiday Project which is sponsored by the Interfaith Council. We usually ask for a family with four children and buy clothes and sometimes toys for them. Occasionally we donate money to the project for the purchase of food.

COMMUNITY FOOD SHELF
Our congregation is well represented on the Community Food Cupboard and our church is asked to provide volunteers to man the food shelf on Wednesdays and Thursdays.during the month of December. Glenna will announce this in church. Glenna Taxter, Jim West and Mary Keyes are our representatives.

INTERFAITH COUNCIL NEWS

The Interfaith Council of the Northshire meets once a month and is the umbrella organization for several smaller community efforts; Neighbor to Neighbor, Auto Angels, Faith and Nature Camp, Summer Lunch Program, The Storage Unit, The Emergency Needs Fund and the Interfaith Holiday Project. They also arrange to have several community worship services during the year, Martin Luther King Service, Easter Sunrise Service, and Thanksgiving Eve Service.
One project that is a money raiser for the Emergency Needs Fund is the annual meeting, pot luck dinner and auction, starring Bill Drunsic as auctioneer. This will take place on Sunday, November 23rd at Israel Congregation beginning with the annual meeting at 5:00 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the auction about 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. Please try to attend this fun event. Many interesting and useful items are available for Christmas shopping, etc. I f you are able to attend this pot luck dinner, the Israel Congregation asks you not to bring meat items. tunafish, salmon are ok. vegetables, sweets ,fruit, dairy all ok.

The other big event coming up is the Thanksgiving Service to be held at Christ Our Savior, St. Paul's Parish Church at 7:00 p.m. on November 25th.

Announced at our last Inter-faith meeting was an invitation to the community to attend a Thanksgiving Dinner that will be hosted by St. Paul's Church. Everyone in the community is invited and they will be serving dinner from 12 to 3 on Thanksgiving Day Ed Sossi of St. Paul's Church is in charge.