Weekly Letter from the Pastor — May 22

Dear FBCD Family:

May 21 was a momentous day in the life of our church, culminating a very busy and meaningful week of ministry at FBCD.

The church voted unanimously to call Kristen Koger as the new full-time Minister to Families with Children. As I said in the business session Sunday, I think this is a major step forward for our church in every way, not just in terms of ministry but also as a symbol of our renewed vitality, unity, and financial strength.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — April 18, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

What a glorious Easter Sunday morning. This was my first opportunity to preach on the holiest day of the Christian calendar, and seeing what must have been 500 of you gathered together for worship in the two services certainly warmed my heart. Christ is Risen! And, as I tried to say, the evidence that he is risen is found not "just" in the Bible or in tradition but in glimpses of resurrection in our own lives, in the world, and in our community of faith. I hope you catch such glimpses this week.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — February 27, 2017

Dear FBCD Family:

As I enter my sixth month as your Interim Pastor, I am grateful to God for you, dear church family. As more and more visitors come our way on both Sundays and Wednesdays, guests are impressed by the warmth, friendliness, and Christian devotion of our congregation. We are starting to see folks join our congregation – we had two young ladies join us in the last two weeks in Fresh Start. More are considering joining. Family, keep doing what you are doing – keep being who you are!

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — February 20, 2017

Dear FBCD Family:

Two things are coming to an end along with February. I want to say a word about both.

We launched First Baptist University on January 11 with the hope and prayer that church members and visitors would respond to an entirely new approach to Wednesday nights. We had been averaging maybe 35 folks for supper, prayer, and Bible study. I thought that we had the resources in our church to offer a university-type program with multiple exciting and meaningful options in areas of Christian thought, pastoral care, and wellness.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — February 12, 2017

Dear FBCD Family:

On Sunday we explored how both Jesus and Paul prayed. As your pastor, I was brought up short by the challenge that Matthew 6:7-13 and Philippians 1:9-11 carried for me. That is one of the most amazing things about being a pastor — first you are challenged by God's Word and Spirit, and then out of that place of challenge you attempt to offer what you have been shown to the people you serve.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — February 7, 2017

Dear FBCD Family:

It was very special to have so many families and boys associated with Boy Scouts join us for worship on Sunday morning. FBCD has sponsored a Boy Scout troop since 1927! I am not aware of anything we are doing (besides worship and studying the Bible!) that we have done for that long. It is quite a heritage. I was glad to meet members of the Greenway family, who have played such a large role in sponsoring and supporting our FBCD Boy Scouts over many years. Thank you!

Weekly Letter from the Pastor —January 30, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

 

This week finds me jetting off to Penn State University for an all-day speaking appearance there on Wednesday, so I guess you all will have to do FBU without me this one time. After that visit I will go to northern Virginia to see my 87-year-old father, as well as my sister and brother-in-law.

But I will be back for Sunday to speak on the theme of “Keeping Our Covenants,” the 4th message in my series called “Things Christians Do.”

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — January 23, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

It is hard to describe how much FUN church seems to be these days at FBCD. I think the last time church was this fun for me was in high school.

Take Sunday morning, for example. When in my sermon in Fresh Start I said that "Psalm 7 + Matthew 5 = Romans 12," all the scientists and mathematicians in the room just fell out laughing. And then in Sanctuary, when I read Psalm 7:6, which says "Rise up, O Lord," and then someone started snickering thinking of the relevance to the big Falcons playoff game, we all laughed. (Congratulations to our Falcons!) Maybe what we are finding is joy—joy in our shared experiences, joy in our restored sense of unity, and joy in putting our shoulders to the plow and serving Christ together. In any case, Sundays are happy again, and I am grateful to God.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — January 17, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

 

I can tell you that I have had few experiences in ministry to rival the meaningfulness of baptizing Jackson Anand on Sunday as the FBCD church family gathered around to support him. It is truly a holy thing to be a pastor, and to be a participant in moments in which God's grace is so clearly felt. Let us all continue to pray for Jackson as his young faith develops. And let us all be reminded of the meaning of our baptism, in which we affirmed our belief in Jesus, our gratitude for his salvation, and our promise to follow him as Lord.

Weekly Letter from the Pastor — January 9, 2017

Dear FBCD Family,

 

I begin by thanking Shelley Woodruff for preaching on Sunday while I was in New Orleans at the Society of Christian Ethics. I understand that The Great Storm of January 2017 was tolerable and that most were able to make it to church. I am indeed impressed by the strong sense of duty so many of our church members feel to be in church if at all possible -- churches are built and sustained by people with that kind of commitment. So thank you.