First Baptist Church St. Simons Island

Month: June 2013

VBS Going Strong!

We are having an exciting week of Vacation Bible School Camp here at First Baptist Church SSI! We thank all of you for the variety of ways that you have helped (prayer, donating, volunteering) make this an unforgettable experience for children in our church and community.

Our program’s theme is “Kingdom Rock: Where Kids Stand Strong for God.” This theme is incorporated in innovative ways within each rotation: Worship, Bible Study, Crafts, Music, Missions, Snacks and Recreation. Our VBS camp leaders are incredible. They are all volunteers that share a passion for young people and a desire to help them learn about the love that Christ has for each of them. Many have taken off work and used vacation days to make this possible. Thank you!!!

This year our program also included a few special events. One I would like to talk about in this article. This Tuesday morning a group called, “Blood: Water Mission” came and spoke to our children. They are a group of 6 cyclists from all over the U.S. of varying ages of 25 to 50. They are cycling to support clean water and clinic projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Blood:Water Mission is an organization started by the band Jars of Clay. Each one of the cyclist has personally raised $1,000 for the cause in their own communities.

You may find out more about this group below. Please check out these websites and continue to pray for our Vacation Bible School Camp.

The organization facilitating the group –
Information about their trip –
The cause they are advocating –

VBS is Truth Communicated

VBS is happening as I type. It’s a unique time. There are maybe 5 or 6 generations of volunteers all pitching in to make something special for this next generation. Think about that. What other things do we do that get people from that wide a swath all working together? It just doesn’t happen. VBS is one of those things that matters.

I think that’s why we keep having generations come up and be a part of it. I’ve talked with folks and all of them have memories of their own VBS or past VBS they’ve been a part of. It matters. It mattered to the youth who are volunteering and they are making something that will matter to the next generation. There are youth walking around with kids in their groups. There are youth running rotations like crafts or the movie room. Youth will be sharing a bit about the Costa Rica Mission Trip coming up. It’s a cool time.

But why does all this matter? Is it the amazing decorations, the creative snacks, the crazy games, the silly movies and the kooky costumes? No, all that is the vehicle, the way that the message gets to the children. What matters is the truth being communicated. The truth is that Jesus loves them and is mighty to save. That is communicated in word through Bible stories, verses, and leaders. But it’s also being communicated by the love and time being showered on them this week by this church. That matters eternally!

Why Do People Run?

1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.”

W hy do people run? Today as I am preparing for VBS Camp a list of things I have to do is racing through my head and in the midst of needing to get everything done I would just like to go for a run. I love to run. There is nothing better than running on a Saturday morning with Wendy and eating at Fancy Q afterward. Running clears your head, improves your health and helps you to overall feel better.

The other night while I was running on the beach I used it as a time to talk to God. Although I ended up at the place where I started, I came back different…more focused…closer to my Creator.

The lectionary text this week is one of my favorite passages. It shows Elijah, who is feeling helpless and defeated, running. In his running he encounters the Lord and is returned to Damascus changed. He now had a vision that only God could provide.

I ask that you pray with me for next week’s VBS camp. I pray that as we rush to get everything done we hear God’s voice.

Modeling Jesus

It’s sort of the quiet before the storm around here. Next week will be VBS which means children everywhere, a flurry of activity, and my favorite part is seeing all of the volunteers who make this possible. There are great folks who year after year pour their time, creativity, and energy into making VBS as special as it is. There are people who take vacation time from work to do it. Some seasonal members consistently volunteer every year. You have people like Sylvia Martin who coordinate and provide a recharge station for the volunteers. How cool is that?

And of course, the youth help out, too. There are always youth around the kids, picking up the slack, getting mobbed by kindergarteners, and dressing up in silly costumes. It’s really a cool thing to witness. But I’ve always found the youth’s role in VBS crucial. Humans are modeling creatures. We observe others doing something and mimic what we see others doing to their benefit. College students look up to their professors, high schoolers model after college kids, middle schoolers after high schoolers, all the way down.

The youth, the teens, are modeling what all of this talk about Jesus looks like. When the children see the youth singing during worship, it’s sets the example. When the youth buy into the magic at story time, the kids buy in, too. When teens give their time and energy to VBS, the children grow up to do it, too. That’s why so many of our youth help out with things like VBS, because a few years ago, a youth was there for them.

Dorcas Group Hosts Sister Sewers

The Dorcas group recently entertained three ladies from their “sister” group in Rock Hill, SC., Wynelle Shows, Gail Moss & Cynthia Slagel, who came bearing donations of many sewing supplies. Their proximity to textile mills gives them access to remnants in abundant supply and they share that abundance generously with Dorcas sewers. They also brought 112 “little dresses” and 40 pairs of shorts to be donated to mission groups by Dorcas.

In addition to this “sister” visit, we wanted to give an update on our most recent mission activity:

  • 51 dresses (25 made by our Dorcas group and 26 made by our “Sister” Dorcas group) were picked up by Shonda Betts (Glynn Co.Teacher) to be taken to South Africa to a school with a mission of educating children in hopes of breaking the cycle of oppres-sion and poverty and creating hope. Teachers locally will continue to work replenish supplies for this school. (More info about the school:
  • 25 dresses, 4 man-bags & 4 ditty bags will go to Bread of Hope Mission in Venezuela with Mark Kreikemeier of FBC Alpharetta. (More info: Bread of Hope/Facebook)
  • 35 ditty bags & VBS Supplies (crayons, Bible coloring books, glue, etc.) were taken to Shiloh Baptist Church in Americus for their mission trip to Teller Alaska.
  • 25 ditty bags, with travel sized hygiene items went to Faithworks locally.
  • 125 ditty bags will go with our own youth to Costa Rica to be used in ministry there.

Opportunities are coming to us from far and wide. As we see what individuals and small groups do to spread hope and The Good News,

VBS – Making Memories to Help us Through Troubled Times

Last year I was visiting one of our FBC children in the hospital before she was to undergo surgery. She was nervous and to distract herself from what was about to happen she was looking at pictures on her iPod touch. She invited me to look at the pictures with her. In these pictures she looked like she was having a blast. After looking at picture after picture, I began to notice that many, if not all, of her photos were taken right here at our church or at church related events. This memory stays with me and serves as a reminder of the importance these events have on each child’s life. It encourages me to make every church event the best it possibly can be.

So, when planning this year’s Vacation Bible School Camp, you better believe we pull out all the stops. Our Bible Study, Craft, Snack, Recreation, Mission, Music and Crew Leaders are the very best. Our message and program is solid. We do our very best so that all children who attend are able to learn and experience the love of God in an amazing way. …And like this beautiful, brave little girl, these kids will be able to keep these memories with them throughout their lives and pull them out to help them in the good times and when times are a little tough.

Join us this year for VBS – June 24th through the 28th!


Last week I was flat out busy. Lots of cooking, lots of meetings, lots of commitments. “Boo hoo,” you’re thinking. “Sounds like the youth minister got a real job.” Yeah, don’t worry, I can take the jokes. But really, it was a much more hectic week than most. The youth made a video to promote Night of Joy in September, we helped out with that VBS for special needs kids over at Epworth (including cooking them a meal), and then we had the fundraiser luncheon after church on Sunday. So, last week I was busy.

This week I’m grateful. I’m so grateful to the youth who jumped in and helped with choir camp. Many of them were former campers that have now become youth and are giving back to something they enjoyed. That is so cool! Friday and Saturday some of the youth came to help with the special needs VBS. Tropical Storm Andrea kept a lot of families back in Atlanta, but our youth jumped in and made the difference between success and failure for this program. I am so humbled to watch them be a part of it. I love our youth!

Lastly, I am so incredibly grateful to the youth, parents and volunteers who made Sunday’s luncheon possible. Many parents and volunteers cooked food for us, but I want to thank Sheila Collins, Donnie Jordan, and Tom & Susan Arnold for not only bringing food but putting in the hours to make it as nice and delicious as it was. They are golden people and they made that event what it was. And of course, I want to thank all of you for coming, supporting our youth, and giving so generously of your money, too. This church is amazing and for that I am grateful this week.