First Baptist Church St. Simons Island

Discipleship

From the Children & Family Pastor – July 25th, 2014

As the summer comes to a close, I would like to express our deep gratitude to our summer intern, Robert Pulliam. He has done an incredible job serving in many capacities at our church over the last two months. He helped lead children’s church, led the missions rotation and juggled fire at Vacation Bible School Camp, ran media at Choir Camp, chaperoned at Passport Kids Camp and helped with Monday Mystery Trips. May we continue to lift him up in our prayers as he continues to listen to God’s calling on his life as Youth Minister of Monticello Baptist Church in Monticello, Georgia. He will begin in this role in late August. We are so happy for him. We know he will continue to do great things.

It is a crucial and important time for our children as they start back to school. We want them to know that they have the love and support of their church. On Promotion Sunday, August 10th, we have many things in store for them. At the beginning of the service we will recognize children who are beginning kindergarten and present them with their very own Bible. During the children’s message we are having a Blessing of the Backpacks. Children will wear their book bags down front for the children’s message and we will pray with them. Following the 10:30 a.m. Worship service we are having a parent meeting to discuss activities and programs for children for the upcoming church year. Also, don’t forget that on Sunday, August 3rd, we are having our special “senior breakfast”. This is where we will take out the 4th and 5th grade Sunday school class for breakfast during Sunday school to celebrate those who will be moving up to the youth group.

From the Youth Pastor – July 25th, 2014

If there is one thing that my first full week here has demonstrated it is that we have an awesome church, filled with awesome people, and the young men and women of our church are hungry for depth and eager to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. What a great combination!

This past Sunday we started “Juice with Jesus” a series in Sunday School where we will be diving into the life and teachings of Jesus. Join us this week for Sunday school, drink some juice, eat some breakfast, and become strong as Jesus encourages and challenges us. We will be making a slight change to SYTYCD night. This week, we will still meet on Wednesday, July 23rd. In the future, however, instead of watching it on Wednesdays when it airs, we will be watching it on Thursday nights, beginning July 31st. No, you do not have to dance! Come and fellowship with us at our house! If you need our address, let me know.

Only two more Gathering Place Main Events left for the summer. If you are going to join us for dinner this Sunday, please let me know by Friday, July 25th so that I can give the person supplying dinner an informed estimate of how much to prepare. Meet at the church at 6:30pm. Our goal will be to get there by 7:30pm.

If anyone is interested in providing dinner for our Gathering Place event, I am still looking for someone to do August 3rd, our last one of the summer. Thanks to the Joy Sunday school class for providing our dinner this last Sunday.

New Youth Minister

During the June 1st worship service the congregation unanimously affirmed Jusin Moser as the new youth minister at FBCSSI. Below is a little information about Justin:

I am the lucky husband of Ellie and the honored father of Micah and a baby due this December! I graduated from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas with a B.S. in mathematics and a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. Afterward, I attended McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University in Atlanta and earned my Master of Divinity in May. God has blessed me with many opportunities to minister to and with youth. I volunteered with a youth group my freshman year of college, spent a summer as a counselor at Kanakuk Kamps in Missouri, coached basketball in a Christian homeschool sports organization, and organized sports leagues for a variety of ages as an intern at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, GA during seminary. I enjoy family time, playing with my son, anything sports, the outdoors, reading anything from teen fiction (I am a sucker for Hunger Games, Divergent, and Harry Potter) to adult non-fiction, to books on theology, youth ministry, culture, and biblical studies. I love college basketball, especially March Madness, and I am an avid Kansas University and Wichita State fan. Despite my enjoyment of college sports, I really do not care too much about college football (please don’t cast me out!). Wherever God takes my family and I in the future my prayer is to be faithful to God, proclaim the gospel, live the Kingdom, and be influential in the lives of people as I live for Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace!

Justin

Dorcas Group Update – May 2014

Where have the Dorcas Ladies been? They’ve been sewing, sewing, sewing!

Missionaries and mission teams are gearing up to “go and tell”, and many of the Dorcas Group’s little dresses, little boy shorts, ditty bags, and man bags will go with them.

In March 2014, going with the Fussells and their clean water initiative in Haiti and the Dominican Republic were 50 little dresses with panties, 50 ditty bags, and 5 man bags.

Later in March, the Zimmer family, missionaries on the island of Yap, were furloughed and getting ready to go back to their mission. Through contacts with our sister group in SC, they were invited to SSI to receive items from the Dorcas Group. They spent one night in the Mission House. With Sylvia Martin as hostess, the family attended our Wednesday night services and presented an informational program and video about their mission.

After the Wednesday night service, the Zimmers and their four younger children met with Dorcas members in the Dorcas Room. They took the items with them that Dorcas had made for their mission so they could get the items to the container which would be shipped back to Yap with goods collected on their furlough. Their oldest son will remain here in the States to attend college.
Sent to Yap with the Zimmers were:

  • 50 little dress with panties
    50 little boy shorts
    50 ditty bags
    4 boxes of scraps and trims for a lady on one of the outer islands who pieces together scraps and makes skirts

Lori Adams, with whom Dorcas has sent items to Haiti before, came in person to present a program about her mission to the Dorcas Group on April 24th. The small Baptist Church she attends has built an orphanage, and continues to make trips in January and May to continue serving the people in Haiti. This is Lori’s 4th trip. This trip she is taking with her a limited supply of items because she has only 2 suitcases and a 50 lb. limit.
Dorcas ladies packed and sent with Lori Adams for this trip to Haiti:

  • 10 man bags
    60 little dresses and panties
    40 ditty bags
    44 little boy shorts

Mark Kreikemeyer of Alpharetta Baptist Church is going back to Venezuela to Bread of Hope mission in May. He has requested items
again from Dorcas, and will be receiving 100 dresses and panties, and we hope to complete as many little boy shorts as possible.

Lastly for their Alaska Mission, items were sent to Shiloh Baptist Church, Americus in January 2014. The team that was going took 50 ditty bags, 3 man bags, 7 sheets, 2 new pillow and blanket sets for children, 6 pieces of heavy fabric to be used for outer garments or bedding. These have been Dorcas Group’s international projects since January 2014.

Meanwhile, on the local front, many items have been shared with individuals and agencies here at home:

  • 17 bibs to Hospice and individuals in home care
    81 ditty bags along with personal hygiene items to Faithworks for distribution in their homeless and street ministries
    7 walker bags to individuals in nursing homes or home care
    2 catheter covers to Hospice
    15 “fidget” blankets for Alzheimers patients in nursing homes and home care
    10 neck pillows to Hospice and home care
    3 cancer caps, 6 flannel blankets, 5 lap robes to Karen’s House of Hope

During these last four months the Dorcas Group has also been given generous donations of sewing supplies; but fabric is being cut into little dresses, ditty bags, bibs, fidget blankets, and our other items at an amazing rate.

Therefore, if you find fabric tucked away that you know you’ll never get around to using, please remember the Dorcas Group always needs fabric. Remnants are welcomed because they make great ditty bags. When you do your spring cleaning, remember Dorcas. Old jeans, boys, girls, men’s and women’s, make great bags!

Hearts to seek Him. Hands to Serve Him.

Easter Eggs

“Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are
all the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8.

A child asked one Wednesday night, “What does Easter eggs have to do with Easter?” This is an excellent question because the answer brings clarity to the importance of this season of the church year. Easter eggs symbolize new life. New life happens all around us in the spring. We see flowers blooming and chicks hatching. However, new life isn’t just happening all around us. God wants new life to happen within us. The word Lent actually means “spring”.

In the last sentence of a Lenten sermon Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor says, “In making our journey through the wilderness, by faith instead of fear, we may find that Lent just might be Easter in disguise.” She is saying that while our destination should not be overlooked it often becomes our only focus. Our journeys make us into the people we are. This week as we prepare our hearts and minds for Easter may we be reminded of the importance of our journey of faith. May we allow God to continue to mold and shape us.

I Lift My Eyes Up to the Mountains

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121

This past weekend I went skiing with my sister in Vail, Colorado. I have skied many other places but skiing here has always been a dream of mine. Therefore, when my sister found out that she was going to move out there for a few months to do a clinical for her last semester of physical therapy school, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to make this dream a reality. The scenery was far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. When I first got off of the ski lift at the top of an over 11, 000 foot mountain I was utterly amazed. Mountains continued in the distance as far as my eyes could see. When you take in a view that powerful and majestic you cannot help but think about how incredible God is to be able to create such a beautiful masterpiece. It reminded me that if the God in whom we believe can create this than God can take care of us. What worries are we carrying around with us that we need to let go of and give to God?

The Spartan Race

This past Saturday I ran in something called a Spartan race. The race has fifteen obstacles and lasts for over four and a half miles. I ran this race with eight of my friends from college and high school. The race was very difficult; it was probably the hardest physical thing I have ever done. Towards the end of the race I got real close to walking away. But as I looked at my teammates I realized that we are all in this together, quitting was never an option. As I think about our Christian walk, I am sure we all feel the same way sometimes. Life gets hard and we want to give in or give up. Just remember that we are all in this together. Your family in Christ is there to help carry you along the way and you are there to carry them.

Lessons From an Olympian

This past Sunday I preached at Haddock Baptist Church and one of the stories shared in the sermon was about Louis Zamperini. To my surprise, as I was watching television last night I saw an advertisement for a new movie that will be directed by Angelina Jolie about the story of his life. One lady at Haddock asked if I would send her his story so that she could share it with people at the jail where she speaks. That gave me the idea to also share it with you. I believe his story of strength and perseverance has the ability to inspire us all.

Louis Zamperini was a track prodigy. He set a United States track record that was unbroken for 19 years, and an NCAA mile record that lasted for 20. By 1940, he was an Olympic 1500 meter favorite and was predicted to be the first person to break the four-minute mile. But World War II cancelled the Olympics, and Zamperini became an airman. When his plane crashed in the Pacific he survived only to become a prisoner of the Japanese. They beat him, starved him, conducted medical experiments and enslaved him. Once they heard he had been an Olympian, they were going to force him to race hoping to humiliate him. If he refused they threatened to beat the other prisoners.

The guards summoned a Japanese runner to face him and Zamperini had no hope or intention of winning. Not only was his broken body in no condition for running but he knew that if he won he would probably be put to death. As they started the race he says that other captives began to gather around and watch. For that small amount of time he saw the hollowness leave their eyes and their spirits become uplifted. Zamperini saw it in their faces… they needed him to win. On the final lap, as they cheered, Zamperini pushed past his rival and won the race. He said the last thing he heard before he was clubbed unconscious was the chorus of voices shouting in triumph.

Louis Zamperini, now at the age of 97, would not have done that differently. He could have easily felt sorry for himself and thought his journey had come to an end. But he allowed God to use him to bring light into a very dark place. How can we be a light in our world?

Lent is Coming

On March 9th, we will begin the season of Lent. The Lenten season lasts 40 days and leads us into the Easter season. During this time we are reminded of the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert for 40 days. We know the devil tempted Jesus three different times in this story. The first temptation is found in Luke 4:3-4.

It says in Luke 4:3-4, “The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, “One does not live by bread alone.”’ The devil wanted Jesus to turn the stones into bread. I like how Jesus made it clear that nothing was wrong with bread but that bread is just simply not enough.

We need certain things in this world to live but to really live we need God in our hearts. God must be our foundation and the center of our lives. Sometimes we may have bad days and feel like we are in a wilderness all alone but we can remember that God is with us…and God is all we really need.

Dear God, Thank you for helping us in the good times and in the bad times. Help us to lean on You as our rock and our foundation, and not the temporary things of this world. It is in Christ name we pray, Amen.

Five Functions of the Church

As we are beginning our church’s “Caring for the Cornerstone Campaign” we can reflect on the functions we are to carry out as a church. The five functions are: worship, teach, fellowship, evangelize and serve. I would like to invite us to read the Scripture below and reflect how we carry these out at First Baptist Church Saint Simons Island.

1 Chronicles 16:29 says, “Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.” It tells us that the church should worship.

Matthew 28:20 says, “…teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” It tells us that the church should teach.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” It tells us that the church should fellowship.

Mark 16:15 says, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” It tells us that the church should evangelize.

1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” It tells us that the church should serve.

Dear God, help us to always have You as our focus here at First Baptist Church Saint Simons Island. Help us as we worship, teach, fellowship, evangelize and serve. It is in Christ name we pray, Amen.