First Baptist is pleased to announce a new ministry initiative: God's Clothesline! This project is the idea of Carl and Terri Desjarlias. Please see the video below which will fill in the rest!
To engage with the waiting and watching of Holy Saturday, we invited people to go for a walk in creation to search for signs of hope and signs of life, and to send their pictures in. The pictures below are some of what we received. This time of year in Cranbrook is bursting with the forerunners of spring, which reminds us of the truth and beauty of the resurrection. The dead foliage of winter make a way for the vibrancy of life in spring in a most spectacular way.
As far as we know right now, here's how services through Holy Week and Easter are going to look:
Palm Sunday (March 28) will be streamed live at 10:30
Tenebrae (Thursday, April 1) will be a recorded podcast. We encourage you to listen to this service in the evening for the extinguishing of candles. The link and more info for this will go out on Thursday, April 1.
Good Friday (April 2) will be streamed live at 10:30.
Holy Saturday (April 3) keep your eyes peeled for an invitation to a practice from the FBC Art Group (more info coming soon).
Easter FAMILY SERVICE (April 3) will happen over ZOOM at 10:30 on Holy Saturday. Natasha E. will contact families directly with the link and more info.
Easter Sunday (April 4) will be streamed live at 10:30.
This Year's AGM is taking place via Zoom on Wednesday, March 10th, at 7pm! Please contact the office if you need the link, or to let us know you will be attending. If you would like to go over the Annual Reports from 2020, click here for the link.
As you may have heard already, we are modifying our usual tradition of taking sticky notes with the names of children in our church to pray for daily during Lent, and opening it up to the whole church.
This year, we are asking you to sign up, on your own or with your spouse or family, and you will be given someone or a couple or family to pray for. The sign up is confidential, and we will directly let you know who you have been assigned, so that you can keep it a secret surprise if that's what you prefer. We ask that you commit to praying for your individual/couple/family daily, and even consider sending them a note of encouragement at some point.
The reason that we want people to participate is to foster meaningful connections in our community, and because we believe in a God who hears and answers our prayers. Just imagine what it would look like for a community of people who are consistently praying God's will over each other's lives... imagine the positive impact that could have on so many people!
The reason we do this over the season of Lent is to focus on others rather than ourselves, as we consider the selfless love of Christ that propelled him to the Cross.
If you would like to participate, please contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org before February 16th!
Join Pastor Natasha once again as she puts on a virtual family service!
Join Pastor Natasha as she hosts a family service video for December 6th!
Check out the video below for an important update from the Elder's Board. Due to the current pandemic and changes that are going on in our world, we as a church are also looking forward to changing in some ways. It may not be an option to continue doing church the way we always have, but we can look forward to changes with hope and anticipation. We do not fully know the ways we will need to change yet, but we ask for prayer in navigating these coming changes, and maintaining hope that God will continue to bring his kingdom in powerful ways, and use our church as a light in our community. You also can maintain hope in your heart that "there is one who holds the future," as Cory mentions in his update. So please partner with us in praying for wisdom, insight, and direction in this unforeseen time.
Thlipsis and Doxa
These two words are not simply a couple bad names for a new hamster, they are foundational words that pertain to our faith:
Tribulation and Glory
Granted the word tribulation brings up end times debates and itself is a word that is rarely used. Furthermore, when we accompany it with “glory”, an overused word for religious people who don’t like the thought of tribulation, I may seem like I am trying to confuse you rather than encourage you.
So, here goes. Let us expand tribulation to mean pain, suffering, pressure and being afflicted somehow or another. When we follow Jesus, our lives are (or should be) directed by different set of principles, morals, values, and goals, that pertain to God’s kingdom. All of these will be counter cultural, so when we try and live them out or when we go through something in the world, we will feel the pressure of this difference. It might take the form of pressure at work or school when you don’t partake in gossip or slander, but in fact stand up for it. It might mean that you continue to outwardly hope and trust in a good God, when cancer claims another loved one, and all those around you ask, “What kind of a God let this happen?”. There are many forms of this pressure and trouble. However, behind the scenes, and more accurately, at the centre of who you are, God is working out a counter cultural revealing of how powerful and brilliant God really is. For during the “thlipsis” you are going through God’s weight or substance of Glory is being amassed to be revealed one day; as if God one day will reveal through what you have gone through that His love, purposes and faithfulness could not be stopped by the afflictions of this world. It may be in your lifetime, it may be at another time, but assuredly we can trust the Bible when it says that Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33), and we are one with Him and his overcoming (Gal. 2:20). So, the encouragement is this. No matter the trouble and affliction you are going through, be patient (Rom. 12:12), it is developing endurance in you (Rom. 5:8), and God’s love can still be found in the midst of it (Rom. 8:35). And what is more, the hope and glory that will be revealed through what we have endured will be understood and celebrated at the centre of who we are, by the Holy Spirit. As the Apostle Paul declare: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
May the strength and counsel of the Holy Spirit guide in this.
We wanted to let everyone know that Aaron successfully completed the ordination process. He went before the examination council yesterday to answer their questions. Aaron was very thoughtful and insightful as he responded. Many of the people on the council commented on the paper Aaron had written and what a great job he had done. The council unanimously affirmed Aaron and hence he was ordained as Reverend!!! Thank you Laird and Annalee Siemens for reading the letter of affirmation on behalf of our church and making the official motion for his ordination. Thank you also to those who tuned in via zoom and were blessed by the experience. The elders will be planning a service of affirmation of Aaron's ordination in the near future, so please stay tuned for details.
Once again - Congratulations Aaron.
Pastor Kevin, on behalf of FBC.