Posted on May 30th, 2007
On June 10th through the 14th, Farmville Baptist will be transformed into “Galilee-by-the-Sea,“ a seaside village where we will step back in time to experience the life and ministry of Jesus.
Members of Farmville Baptist and Zion Hill Baptist Church are joining forces to offer this VBS. The Fellowship Hall will become a bustling marketplace where shopkeepers set up booths to welcome kids to create projects. Children will learn some of the crafts and skills of Jesus’ day, such as carving stone, making ropes, weaving fishing nets, and working with wood.
We’ll also be heading outdoors to play with marbles, baskets, and even (kid-friendly) bows and arrows! At other times, we’ll enter the Synagogue to learn about Jewish traditions, we’ll sing in the Sanctuary, or we’ll see the Bible come to life in dramas that unfold before our very eyes.
We hope you’ll invite your friends to Galilee – and whether you have kids or not, we invite you to stop by and see us, and see Jesus in a whole new way.
The Vacation Bible School will take place from Sunday, June 10, through Thursday, June 14, from 6 – 8 p.m. On Sunday, June 17, we’ll celebrate our week during 11 a.m. worship. Children ages 3 through those who have completed the 5th grade are invited to attend the VBS.
You can download the registration form here or you can call the church office at (434) 392-5041.
Posted on May 28th, 2007
Pastor’s Column in The Informer (FBC’s newsletter) – published May 2007
In my May newsletter column last year, I recalled our “Envisioning FBC” town hall meeting that we had in which we discussed a three-year plan for charting our church’s future. We agreed that during the first year, we will focus on connecting with one another through intentional fellowship. In the second year, we will center ourselves, learning who we will become as a church. And the third year will present the challenge of making that new identity a reality.
Even though we still have work to do in connecting with one another, this year, we are focusing on “centering,” in which we will affirm our church’s identity, core values and beliefs, and discern God’s mission for us. Helping us do that is a team of twelve people who have covenanted with me to meet periodically perhaps for the next six months to pray and discern God’s direction for us as a church. This team consists of George Carter, Ken Copeland, Gail Cave, Peggy Cave, Jack Davis, Jim Davis, Tammy Dunning, Don Kyper, Anita Lynn, Farrah Schmidt, Gene Watson, and Nancy Vick. There are many others who are well-qualified to be on this team, but twelve is a good stopping point! I also believe these folks represent all segments of our church while bringing a diversity of perspectives and concerns.
As a way to begin this discerning process, we are reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger, who make the case that many churches have become too “cluttered,” consumed with activity, busyness, and even conflicting programs while overlooking God’s simple process for making disciples. Church members and clergy alike become burned out by “doing things” with little idea as to how each activity fits into the vision and mission of the church.
On May 6 and 20, this team will meet after worship to discuss the ideas of this book. If we find that the book’s ideas merit further investigation and implementation, we will continue to meet in the summer, with the goal of prayerfully clarifying our church’s mission, communicating and instilling this mission to all members of the congregation, designing a discipleship process that supports our mission, and aligning and focusing all our ministries and programs into this discipleship process.
As you can tell, this is a big undertaking! It will take work. It will take faith. It will take many honest conversations with the congregation. But I believe it will be worth it. And you can do your part by praying for this team as we meet. I firmly believe that God has some incredible things in store for Farmville Baptist. May God honor our attempt to take a step of faith to begin this grand adventure!
Journeying on, Michael
Posted on May 25th, 2007
Welcome to the world, Celia! We are thrilled that you’re here! Well, not as thrilled as your mom, since you were about a week overdue!
Celia Willow Dudley was born Monday, May 21 at around 7 a.m. Congratulations to proud parents John and Kelly, and happy brothers Gabriel and Lucas!
May God bless you all during these exciting days ahead!
Posted on May 24th, 2007
Yesterday we had a memorial service for Emma Lee Patteson, one of our life deacons and a matriarch of Farmville Baptist for many, many years. At the 11 a.m. service, the sanctuary was full of people paying their last respects. The Rev. Dr. William Klein, former pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Roanoke assisted in the service and voiced a beautiful pastoral prayer. Dr. David Klein, Bill’s son and Emma Lee’s son-in-law offered an eloquent eulogy. There was a lot of love and thanksgiving there in the sanctuary that morning–both for Emma Lee and for the God that she loved and served.
While I did not know her during her more active years, she blessed me so much just with her kinds words and warm smile. I’ve heard so many stories about her legendary hospitality and her active ministry in the life of this church. She will be greatly missed.
The above picture was taken after the Hanging of the Greens service November 3, 2006. It shows Emma Lee (center) with her son-in-law David and her daughter Beverley Anne at either side. Our hearts and our prayers are extended to Emma Lee’s family during this time.
Posted on May 24th, 2007
Last Sunday, I had my good friend the Rev. Jack Averill come preach at Farmville Baptist. As the sole pastor of a church that averages 110 in worship, while being a husband to one wife and father to two children, I find that I need a break from preaching every now and then. Not that I usually “take a vacation” during the weekends that I don’t preach. For example, last Saturday, I spent the afternoon reading and ranking over forty resumes applying for our open position of Associate Pastor. I helped to get our house ready for our Preschool Picnic. I planned the service and I was in worship this Sunday; I just didn’t preach.
Sometimes I feel guilty for not preaching. “You’re slacking off,” I tell myself. But I do it anyway for self care and to be spiritually fed by others. I also want my congregation to hear from some really good preachers.
This Monday, I received the following email from a couple who is new attending the church:
“We have enjoyed each of the guest preachers you have invited to speak. We think you are to be commended for sharing the pulpit with other pastors.”
A perspective from the pew that I had not thought much about. What about you? As a pastor, do you “share the pulpit?” As a regular worshipper in a church, do you like having “guest preachers” every now and then?
Posted on May 24th, 2007
So here goes. I’m experimenting with being a “blogging pastor.” (Well, I actually started being a blogging pastor several months ago at mikesmusings.wordspress.com). Why? Well, first it’s because I’m a geek. I’m not a “bleeding edge” techno geek, but, being a former electrical engineering major in college, there’s still a part of me that likes learning new things technological like html, css, website design, Photoshop, etc. Second, and more importantly, it’s because I’m finally becoming convinced that blogs might be a good way to “tear down the veil” separating “clergy” and “laity.” So many times, pastors are placed upon a pedestal and the people in the pews never really see the real person behind the pastoral persona. Also, many times, we don’t see the heart and soul of a church. A blog might serve as a “window” into the heart of a church. That all sounds good – but who knows what will actually happen? Hence this experiment.
I hope this isn’t just a passing fancy, a jump on the blog bandwagon. I’ve resisted a long time starting a blog. I’m way too busy to spend hours in front of a computer. So we’ll see how this goes.