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.
So now we make a turn to a new season in our church's life.
In preaching, we will undertake a 7-week series called "All About the Holy Spirit." This series is motivated in part by the fact that June 4 is Pentecost Sunday, but mainly because I want us to explore together one of the most neglected themes in all of Christian theology — at least outside the Pentecostal and charismatic worlds. And that is part of our challenge — most Baptists are deeply suspicious of those heavily Spirit-oriented branches of the Christian community, but in turn have failed to say what exactly we do believe about the Holy Spirit. So that is what we will try to do.
I am happy to report that two of the seven messages in the series will be offered by some of our young talent! Young Adult Minister Matt Snyder will preach on April 30 on "The Voice of the Holy Spirit," and Shelley Woodruff will speak on Mother's Day, May 14, on "The Spirit of Adoption."
Next week, April 23, we will officially re-launch Verdery Counseling Center with a word from its new director, Monique Wischusen, and a reception right after the Sanctuary service. The VCC has been a ministry of FBCD for over four decades. It exists to provide affordable, confidential, counseling services to folks in our area, based on solid Christian principles. We are confident that bringing an energetic, talented new director on board in Monique will give us the chance to raise the visibility and impact of the Verdery Counseling Center quite significantly. I am grateful to the church's Verdery Counseling Center committee for all they are doing right now to advance this re-launch of the Center.
In FBU, our spring term will end on April 26. In May, I will offer a special 5-week short course on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, assisted by Matt Snyder, who is currently enjoying/enduring a full course on that great German theologian over at Mercer with me. The textbook for the course is Theologian of Resistance, by Christiane Tietz. You can get it at Amazon here.
Our church Media Center has a nice collection of books by and about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and will be featuring those during May as well.
Have a wonderful week, dear friends.