Posted on November 28th, 2010
This Sunday, we had our “Hanging of the Greens” service, in which we decorated our sanctuary as part of our advent preparation. In the service, we had scripture readings that (fore)told the coming of Christ, interspersed with advent hymns and special music by our children, sanctuary and bell choirs. Celia Jo Young and her grandchildren lit our first Advent candle, and members both young and not-so-young participated in decorating the sanctuary.
For more pictures of the service . . . Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 23rd, 2010
Celebrate Advent with us as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
First Sunday of Advent, November 28
Hanging of the Greens, 11 a.m.
Second Sunday of Advent, December 5
“Hopeful Repentance” 11 a.m. – Service of Believer’s Baptism
Third Sunday of Advent, December 12
“Joyful Revolution” 11 a.m. – Parent/Child Dedication & Communion
Christmas Pot-luck Dinner, 5 p.m.
Christmas Caroling, 6:15 p.m.
Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19
“An Inconvenient Love” 11 a.m.
Christmas Eve, December 24
Communion & Candlelight Service, 5 p.m.
Posted on November 23rd, 2010
Pastor’s Column published in The Informer (FBC’s Newsletter for December, 2010)
Once again, Advent is upon us, the season in the church calendar consisting of four Sundays before Christmas. We often think of Advent as a time of preparation for Christmas. There are Christmas trees and decorations to put up. Shopping lists and shopping trips to be made. Parties and church gatherings to attend. Presents to buy and wrap. Cards to write and mail. Families to visit. Guests to host. Meals to prepare. Whew! I’m getting exhausted just listing all these “preparations!” Advent has become such a hectic time for so many of us. We get so busy “preparing for Christmas” and laboring under the expectations of family and friends regarding how Christmas ought to be observed, that when December 25 finally arrives, we are physically and emotionally drained.
But what if Advent is not so much a time when we prepare for Christmas than it is a time in which God prepares us for Christmas? Let me suggest three ways in which God can prepare us for Christmas this year.
First, repent! Advent is a time of repentance, but I’m not necessarily talking about sack cloth and ashes. “Repentance” literally means “to change one’s mind,” to change the way we think, believe and behave about things. Specifically, Advent may be God’s way to prepare us to change the way we think about the holidays so that we are freed from having to do what we’ve always done. If the hecticness of this season is not working out for you, perhaps it is time to rethink how you want to spend the days leading up to Christmas.
Second, wait! In our culture of instant gratification, patience and waiting are long-forgotten virtues. But Advent is a time of waiting, as our spiritual ancestors waited thousands of years for Jesus to arrive, and as we still wait for the second coming of Christ. When we’re stuck standing in a long check-out line, or driving behind a slow car in the passing lane, let us ask God to quiet our hearts and to live into the rhythm of God’s time and not ours.
Third, look! Instead of just looking for Santa or the amazing bargains to be had on Black Friday, let us have eyes to see Jesus in the ordinariness of every-day life. Where is Christ at work in your family, your work place, your neighborhood, and your community? When our eyes are focused on Jesus, many of the other things vying for our attention may not seem so important any more.
“Prepare the way of the Lord,” proclaimed John the Baptist as he announced the coming of Christ. May we do the same in our lives this Advent.
Preparing and waiting, Michael
Posted on November 14th, 2010
This Sunday, fourteen Longwood and Hampden-Sydney students led our Sunday morning worship. Sara Thompson, our ministry intern, organized and planned the service, and Aaron Van Allen, a Hampden-Sydney sophomore, gave the message. After the service, our College Committee hosted a luncheon for all our students and their adopted parents.
For more pictures . . . Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 12th, 2010
Hands 4 Christ
Hands 4 Christ is a one day missions opportunity that involves youth from Baptist churches across Southside to meet together, serve others in our community through various activities like repairing homes and raking leaves, fellowship with youth from other communities of faith, and spend a day volunteering their time for the good of others. Hands 4 Christ will be held at Crewe Baptist Church on November 20th, 2010. The schedule and additional information can be found below. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on November 1st, 2010
On Sunday, November 14, our college students will lead in our morning worship. College students from Longwood university and Hampden-Sydney College will read scripture, pray, present special music, and lead in congregational singing.
Aaron Van Allen (pictured left), one of our Hampden-Syndey students, will be giving the message.
After the service, there will be a free luncheon in the Fellowship Hall for all our students and their adoptive parents.
Posted on November 1st, 2010
Pastor’s Column published in The Informer (FBC’s Newsletter for November, 2010)
Last Sunday (October 24) at our called business meeting, the members of Farmville Baptist in attendance voted unanimously to approve the Stewardship Committee’s recommendation in the financing of our roof repair. As I said in my sermon last Sunday, one of the blessings that we have is a beautiful sanctuary, but we also know that our roof needs fixing and restoring. A couple of Sundays ago, several people came up to me after the Southside Baptist Association meeting expressing their admiration for the beauty of this space. I was almost tempted to reply, “Why thank you! Would you like to contribute to keep it that way?” With this vote, it is now the responsibility of every member of Farmville Baptist to contribute to this cause. As Chuck Daniel said in worship yesterday, our roof is a challenge that has the potential of bringing the church together and making us stronger as we address this important issue in our church. I have no doubt that God will see us through this physical transformation.
I also have no doubt that God wants to see us through a spiritual transformation of this congregation. I believe that the physical restoration of the building of Farmville Baptist can be a reflection of a deeper spiritual restoration and revival of the people of Farmville Baptist. During this time of physical restoration, God invites every member of Farmville Baptist to also be spiritually renewed. A beautiful building is nothing without a Spirit-empowered people to animate it.
For over a year now, our church has been on a spiritual transformation journey, which calls for nothing less than the transformation of our lifestyles so that we become more faithful disciples of Jesus. In the coming weeks, I will be approaching several of you to join with me in a ten-week discipleship course called a “Discipleship Huddle Group.” I have been involved in a huddle group with seven other Virginia Baptist pastors over the last two months, and this group is making a difference in my spiritual walk. The huddle group that I’ll be leading will not replace our spiritual journey prayer groups, but I hope it will be a logical next step as we involve more people in the total transformation of Farmville Baptist Church for the glory of God!
Journeying on, Michael