This is one of my “Thank you” columns to let some of you know of the gratitude of the rest of us!
Thanks to Brandon Woods and our wonderful FBC Orchestra. You do a fantastic job leading us in worship every time you play. Your hours of lessons, practice and rehearsals are a gift to us and to God. Thanks!
Thanks to those who serve as our Ushers and Greeters. You welcome people here every Sunday and make them feel welcome and at home even if it is their first visit! Thanks!
Thanks to our Hospitality Committee for making so many events special for us all. Your willingness to prepare snacks, meals, etc. enhances our fellowship every time you bless us with your work! Thanks!
Thanks to our Church Library staff. They do a great job providing good reading for all ages in a safe and wonderful environment. Thanks to all of you for a wonderful job!
That’s just a few who need thanks. Do me a favor and say “thanks” to someone who works in the trenches of our church this week.
I look forward to seeing you in your place on Sunday as we consider “I love giving life!”
Yesterday we thought together about how we can love giving our “influence.” We have a wonderful number of people who are able to do that through the public sector of our region. Let me tell you about some of them.
Last week I joined a great group of First Baptist folks in attending the investiture ceremony for our own Cliff Corker as the new United States District Court Judge for East Tennessee. As I listened I was surprised to hear that Cliff is the first U. S. District Court Judge from Kingsport. What a great “first” for our city and our church.
Cliff joins a long line of First Baptist people who have provided and currently provide leadership to our region. Our own Chris McCartt is our new City Manager. Chris is off to an excellent start in leading our city administration. Jeanette Blazier served as our Mayor for six years, joining a long line of FBC folks to serve in that position.
Our own Lyle Ailshie and Richard Kitzmiller are part of a distinguished group of FBC folks who have led the Kingsport City Schools. Carrie Upshaw is serving another term providing good leadership to KCS as the Chair of the Board of Education. We have a good number of administrators, teachers, principals, coaches and support personnel who provide a Christian witness through their work in multiple school districts in our region. I know as I type that I am surely missing some folks but I want everyone who serves in our region to know of our prayers as they serve with dignity and distinction. They are on the front lines of being “ambassadors for Christ.” Thanks to each of you for all you do! We are praying for you as you lead us.
This Sunday we will consider how we can love “giving.” I hope you will be here with open ears and an open heart as we consider just how our giving can become a matter of love,
Penny and I spent a few days in the mountains last week. On a couple of those days I went for hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the hikes was crowded with people. I must have seen at least 100 people in a couple of miles. Though the views were spectacular, the sound of so many people seemed to diminish it a bit.
My other hike was longer and deeper into the mountains. I went up a little-known trail named the Porter Creek Trail. I encountered a group of science majors from UT and a couple of classes of students from area schools on the lower part of the trail. But as I moved on up the trail it grew much less crowded. I only saw two or three people in more than a mile. Though the views were not as spectacular as they were on the crowded trail the experience was much different, and better. I could hear the waters of the creek making their way off the mountain down toward the Pigeon River. I could hear the leaves rustling. And if I was careful to listen, I could almost hear the voice of God saying, “Be still and know that I am God.”
You may not go on a hike this week, but you will probably need a little “alone” time with God. Find a quiet place if you can and just “listen” for God in nature and this gorgeous part of the world we inhabit. Then let’s get together on Sunday as we hear Paul’s “Parting Words” to the Christians in Colossae. I look forward to seeing you then,
A few more “thank you” notes to people in our church who are making a difference:
THANK YOU to Chester Sink and the Finance Committee for a job “well-done” in preparation and presentation of our 2020 Church Budget. This committee has been diligent and faithful in their work and have give many hours to the task. Thanks to all!
THANK YOU to Larry Gillenwater and the Nominating Committee as they work to prepare a slate of deacons for the 2020-2022 term. Larry and his team have been working all year on Sunday School teachers, deacons and church officers. They will be working on church committees this winter. The Nominating Committee’s work never ends and it is done well!
THANK YOU to our entire congregation for your faithfulness in stewardship. We have given nearly $500,000 to mission causes in the last year. You are superb! I can’t say enough good things about you to others. I am so happy to be able to serve God alongside you!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we consider what it means to be “ITNOJ.” Come see if it applies to you!
We are in the closing months of our first year of the implementation of our most recent Visioning effort. This year’s theme focuses on helping our church reach younger people. We are doing that through a number of special events. I want you to know of just a few of those events.
Last week we had a magnificent Food Truck Rally. Our campus was filled with FBC family members and people from throughout our city and region. It was a terrific effort to invite people onto our campus in a way that allowed us to be good neighbors and build good relationships with people who may be far from our faith in Jesus. To Danny Silvey and all who made it happen – thanks for a job well done.
Two weeks ago we had our first “Night of Worship” on a Wednesday night. It was a joyous multi-generational evening of worship. Brent Nowell and our Praise group did a magnificent job in leading us to worship in a contemporary manner. Thanks to Brent and all who led and all who attended.
We are also adding more Fifth Quarter experiences following D-B home football games. Thanks to Mark Sumrall and all the wonderful youth workers who are making this happen. I have been really pleased with how many parents of our youth are coming up with great ideas for future activities for our youth as we attempt to reach beyond our walls to make a difference in our region.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we consider “Where is your mind?” If you are among the great number who will be traveling for Fall Break in area schools, be sure to join us by Facebook Live from wherever you are traveling. We’ll be here worshipping God and hoping all of you will join us, in person or through the miracle of modern technology!