Posted on April 30th, 2009
On April 24-25, members of our Spiritual Transformation Journey Initiating Leadership Team (pictured above) attended our first cluster retreat at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Led by congregational coach Bill Moore, we joined the leadership teams from West End Baptist in Suffolk and Patterson Ave. Baptist in Richmond to learn more about what this “Spiritual Transformation Journey” is all about.
Here’s what we learned:
- This is a spiritual journey to rekindle our first love for God.
- We lose our passion for God when we become distracted by the “noise” and the busyness of our everyday lives.
- The way to rekindle our love for God is to concentrate less on doing things for God and to focus more on being with God, communing with Jesus and abiding in God’s Spirit.
- We commune with God through prayer, Bible reading, silence and meditation as individuals and as a community.
- When we center ourselves in God and in Christ, we have a better chance to hear and discern what God wants us to be and to do.
- When the whole church embarks on this journey, our church’s spiritual life will be transformed and we will gain a clearer vision of what God wants us to be and to do as a church.
- God is already at work in leading Farmville Baptist into His preferred future. We just have to be still, and listen, and then follow!
On the journey – Michael
For more pictures of the retreat . . . Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 30th, 2009
Here are some thoughts from our Initiating Leadership Team members regarding what they think this spiritual journey is about.
“The retreat was a heart-opening experience that helped me understand God’s desire for a closer relationship with me. I grew spiritually and I am excited about my future and Farmville Baptist Church’s future. The spirit of our church is alive and the adventure that we are about to take with one another will certainly honor every member that blessed our church before us. I am excited to seek God’s will by being still and just ‘being” in God’s presence.” – Crystal Cupp
“In the Sunday School text for April 26 (Acts 9:40), before Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, he knelt and prayed. The spiritual transformation journey that Farmville Baptist has now begun urges our entire congregation to PRAY FIRST and then see what God leads us to DO. We were reminded throughout the weekend retreat that in order to hear from God, we have to be still and listen. Transformation will commence when we first seek God’s will.” – Ken Copeland
“‘Be still . . . and know that I am God.’ Once we can establish and embrace a church-wide journey together, only then can we maximize Christ’s impact on our community.” – Don Kyper
“At the retreat, I realized that we must fully accept that Jesus lives in us and just as he did when he was here on Earth, we must continue to seek effective ways to bring all people closer to God. I learned that we all can be prophets if we live our lives secure in the faith that we are doing God’s will. I look forward to forming my prayer triplet so that I can share with them what I experienced initially on this transformation journey and hopefully be able to benefit from their commitment to the transformation process. And I ask God to let our prayers rise like incense and give us the ability to inspire this congregation, so that as a church we may implement his will with boldness and confidence.” – John Slade
“I feel that the journey on which we are about to embark, as a congregation, is going to be a very uplifting experience. It will be a journey on which we will not only grow closer to God but closer to each other. As we turn the planning of our mission completely over to God, our vision will clear, our bearings will be sharper and our hearts happier. Excitement grows . . . let’s get started!” – Doris Weaver
“The word ‘journey’ can be synonymous with adventure, exploration, and expedition. These three words have connotations that convey how I feel about being on this spiritual journey. This adventure is exciting. The exploration is inside each and every one of us. The expedition is progress toward fulfilling our role in the Kingdom of God. The journey has commenced.” – Elizabeth Whiley
Posted on April 30th, 2009
Prayer is at the heart of our Spiritual Transformation Journey. In the coming weeks, under the guidance of the Initiating Leadership Team, we will organize at least seven small prayer groups. Each group will have three participants who have signed a “No-Exit” covenant, committing to meet 10 times over approximately 100 days for about 100 minutes each time. In each meeting of these “prayer triplets,” there will be a prayer guide to direct Bible reading, silence and meditation, sharing and prayer for one another. Participants will also be asked to keep a journal to record significant discussions, experiences, learning, and discernments during those meetings and in their private time with God.
Below is a sample covenant that each participant will sign:
Members of each Prayer Triplet will covenant together to:
1. Meet in prayer 10 times over approximately 100 days for about 100 minutes each time. The times and places for each meeting are to be determined by members of each Prayer Triplet. It is okay to add several extra weeks to allow for conflicts in personal and church calendars.
2. Faithfully attend each triplet gathering and do not drop out before the tenth session.
3. Be open and honest in our conversations.
4. Be positive and constructive and not let it turn into a gripe session.
5. Respect the views of those in my triplet.
6. Keep private what is shared in confidence during the meeting.
7. Pray daily for one another, the other triplet gatherings, our congregation, and our pastor and staff.
8. Be open to God’s voice and sensitive to his leading.
9. Maintain a journal to record significant discussions, experiences, learning, and discernments during the gathering of your share and prayer triplet and in your private time with God.
10. Read each week’s share and prayer study guide before the meeting.
Having read this covenant, if you are interested in participating in a Prayer Triplet, please contact the church office.
Participants will be asked to attend an orientation meeting (with their Prayer Triplet partners) on either Sunday, May 17, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., or Sunday, May 24, 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. You only have to attend one of the sessions. Michael Cheuk will lead both sessions.
Posted on April 22nd, 2009
At our quarterly business meeting last Sunday (April 15), church members in attendance approved the following members to serve on our Nominating Committee for 2012-2013: Janet Southall, Becky Kelly, Mary Jo Chassey, Kevin Dunn and David Schmidt. This committee has the responsibility for connecting people in our church community to different ways of supporting the work and ministry of Farmville Baptist through our committee structure.
The following are the committees of Farmville Baptist. If you feel that God may be leading you to serve in any of these committees or positions of service, please contact Michael or Kathy at the church office to let them know. They will pass that on to the Nominating Committee, which will take into account your desire to serve during their deliberation process.
Posted on April 20th, 2009
Yesterday, our youth led our Sunday morning worship service. It was great seeing fourteen of our youth do everything from the chiming of the hour, reading scripture and litanies, praying, giving the Children’s Lesson, doing a skit, leading congregational singing, playing the piano, and giving the message. We are very proud of your youth for leading the service and for their willingness to use the talents that God has given them to share the Good News.
Liz Chassey and Sarah Cave (pictured above, far left), two high school seniors and best friends gave the message called “Holy Neon.” They had a conversation about the journey they shared in their friendship and their faith, and how they are looking forward to God leading them into the future as freshmen at Longwood University. You can listen or download their message by visiting this link.
After the service, our youth and children sponsored a spaghetti lunch and dessert auction fundraiser that raised over $900! All proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward helping our children and youth attend Passport Kids and Passport Choices camp this summer. Many thanks to Ken Copeland, our auctioneer, and to all the members, parents, youth and children who donated desserts, cooked and served the meal, cleaned up, AND bought desserts!
For more pictures . . . Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on April 6th, 2009
Last Saturday, April 4, the Initiating Leadership Community for our Spiritual Transformation Journey met from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for our leadership training session. The Leadership Community (pictured above from left to right: Crystal Cupp, Ken Copeland, Elizabeth Whiley, John Slade, Don Kyper, Doris Weaver & Michael Cheuk) met with Bill Moore, our congregational coach, who taught us the importance of being in relationship with God before doing things for God.
We spent much of our time discussing our perspectives on where we perceive Farmville Baptist to be regarding the strength of our vision, the depth of our relationships, the quality and scope of our programs, the accountability of our management structure, and other areas of the church. That exercise provided a great conversation starter for us to share our experiences about the church. While there were some divergent views expressed, we were encouraged to find that all seven of us believe that we have good people in positions of responsibility and leadership.
We also learned about the life cycle and stages of congregational development and we shared our take on what life cycle stage we think Farmville Baptist is presently. There was consensus that Farmville Baptist is on the “aging” side of the congregational life cycle, probably in the “empty nest” stage. We are in need of a renewed vision for the church to draw us into the future that God has for us.
It was a wonderful time of learning and fellowship and we pledged to pray for one another as we prepare for our first retreat at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond on April 24-25.
Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we prayerfully seek God’s leadership and direction for our lives and for Farmville Baptist Church.
Posted on April 1st, 2009
Pastor’s Column published in The Informer (FBC’s Newsletter for April 2009)
Easter is once again around the corner, and lately, I have been pondering that first Easter day. For us, more than two thousand years on this side of that miraculous morning, Easter is a celebrative reminder of the living power of God, and a confirmation of the wonderful future that we have in Christ. But as I read the Gospel accounts of Easter, I sense that there was not only joy and celebration, but also shock, confusion and doubt as the disciples grappled with the impact that Jesus’ resurrection would have on their futures and the future of their community. On that morning, those followers of Jesus embarked on a Easter Journey into an unknown but hopeful future.
I feel that we at Farmville Baptist Church also are about to embark on an Easter Journey that will take us into an unknown but hopeful future. On Sunday, March 22, a taskforce consisting of Mc Amoss, Anita Lynn, George Carter, Jim Davis and I looked over the nominations submitted by the congregation for our initiating leadership team of our Spiritual Transformation Journey. We came up with a list of church members to contact, and after personal conversations with each person on that list, I’m happy and excited to announce that Ken Copeland, Crystal Cupp, Don Kyper, John Slade, Doris Weaver and Elizabeth Whiley have all agreed to serve! They will join me in an all-day training session with Bill Moore at Farmville Baptist on Saturday, April 4. Later, we will join the leadership teams of West End Baptist in Suffolk and Patterson Ave. Baptist in Richmond on an overnight training retreat at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond on April 24-25. Please pray for the members of this team as we seek to lead Farmville Baptist in the Spiritual Transformation Journey. While I don’t know exactly the future may bring, I am excited and hopeful that this journey will lead us toward a wonderful future that God has in store for us!
On the journey with Christ, Michael