Thats my magic number for February.
On Friday, February 20th of 1997, fifteen years ago, I entered the back door for my first office day as your pastor. The image is still vivid. The door was at the bottom of a stairwell and perfect for catching rainwater, which occasionally made for a wet meal in the fellowship hall. The temporary secretary greeted me, we chatted, and she assured me she was not interested in the permanent position. Nothing personal. Im sure. The Personnel Committee had not yet been formed, so the deacons established my pay as molasses and kegs of nails. In a spurt of generosity, they threw in one new car tire as a Christmas bonus. (I was assured by the deacon chairman that this was a competitive salary for the region.) Jay, of course, was already here, but at the time he only weighed 120 lbs. We shared as much of our molasses with him as we could through that first winter, because his weekly compensation was tied to the average daily temperature in January. As you see, he put on weight.
You might think that two guys sitting around eating molasses and praying for a heat wave might have daydreamed about other places. We didnt. In fact, we spent no time thinking about other people and other stories. Why? Well, we did not have to invent a meaningful mission; we had one. We did not have to keep long-distance friendships to cope with loneliness; we went to church with our friends every week. We were the rare ones to arrive at preacher luncheons without longings for more spiritual people. In fact, we normally were the guys interrupting complaints of closed congregational minds with stories of risk and reward (faith and blessing in Bible vernacular.) We talked about changing small things like buildings and worship hours for the sake of Great Things. We talked about Gods work in the present.
Those were great days trickling into frantic weeks and pooling into great years. There have been few What ifs and not a days regret for trusting God for your work in me and my work in you. Best of all, because it is not inevitable, the years have allowed me to understand fully why Paul begins his letters, First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you That is a gift of gifts.
The next platelet drive occurs February 5 at 12:30 PM in the fellowship hall. This unique donation creates a needed life-staple for those in medical crisis and is an expression of our support for Kameron Nab during his days of need. Please contact Lisa Nab for details (732-9208).
The annual Gods Special Little Hearts walk (Owentons First Baptist Church) is upon us February 18th. Hannah Robbins leads a fair gathering of family and church folk for the childhood heart-defect fundraiser. Contact Chas Robbins for details.
February is a big month for the churchs youth. Sunday nights are dedicated to big events to share our generosity and explore Christ. The events include the annual Super Bowl party, the music of Anthony Mossburg, open microphone night, and a Nerf Nite. Parents and snacks are welcomed.
Supper Club brings us together to deepen friendships and allow room for newer people to make friendships. Well advertise soon the next gatherings for the last Friday in February (24th). Anyone with interesting ideas can contact Bro. Chris or Jay. (For the record, insurance concerns ruled out deacon jousting. Disappointing, I know.)
Childrens Church continues to be a great use of our Sunday morning time for the children. Consider joining Jay and other parents for this lively worship hour in the youth room. The children are a treasure among us and worthy of all attention we can give them.
Have you considered stretching your wings and joining others in a Bible study? Sunday School classes, Wednesday eve Bible study (6 PM), Wednesday mens breakfast (6:30 PM), Saturday morning study for men (see Jay), and youth breakfast groups allow for community and spiritual growth. Very few times rival these for doing the hard work of Bible teaching and life application.
Take some time this month to share your appreciation for the leaders/servers in the church. From greeters to musicians to Sunday School teachers we need these people and benefit much by their service.
Church family with birthdays in February can now be found on the Church Calender page of the website.