November Youth News

What a wonderful Halloween party we enjoyed with our First Baptist family!  Our thanks to all those who helped us.  We had a wonderful time.  You can see pictures of the event on the church website at www.beckleyfirstbaptist.com.

Our kids are hard at work preparing for the Christmas Parade.  Mary Stover is helping us build a giant snowman that will be the centerpiece of our float.

Here are a few upcoming events.

November 2: We will help pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child at 6 pm on the 3rd floor.

November 16th & 23rd: All youth departments will make Christmas ornaments for the Youth Christmas tree during Children’s Church.

December 6th:  We will participate in Beckley’s Christmas parade.

Stay connected with our kids for lots of exciting times.  Follow us on Twitter (@beckleyfbc) and Instagram (beckleyfirstbaptist).

As always, we appreciate your prayers and support as we grow in friendship and faith!

What’s the Choir been up to?

We have begun practicing our mini-Christmas cantata “O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” which will be performed on Dec. 14th.   The music is simple and familiar and your voice is still needed and always welcome.

Our schedule for November is:

Nov. 2nd –“Remember Me”/No special music

Nov. 9th – “Lift Up Your Head Wounded Soldier/John Sellards

Nov. 16th – “Days of Elijah”/Scott Vanaman

Nov. 23rd – “For The Things He Has Done”/Sharon Volpe

Nov. 30th – ANNUAL HANGING OF THE GREENS – Ensemble, kids choir and adult choir will be participating along with other “helpers”.

 

ABW Mission and Service

by Norma Gunter

You who attend the Beckley First Baptist Church, have a great opportunity to help our GLOBAL SERVANTS around the world.  At this time the World Mission Offering, WMO,  is being received.  You can give generously (offering envelopes are on the back of the pews) to spread the gospel around the world.  International Ministries theme for the WMO is “Come over (numerous countries) and Help Us”.  When you give to the WMO you help to grow and sustain IM’s missionaries and global staff who serve in more than 70 countries worldwide.   Let’s rise to the challenge this year as we celebrate 200 years of missions, 1814-2014.

The American Baptist Women, ABW, fall rally Oct. 14th at the Breckenridge Baptist Church was a great success.  Joyce Mills, president of the Raleigh Assn., gave the call to order and the opening prayer.  Joan Clark, treasurer of the Raleigh Assn., welcomed us to the Breckenridge Baptist Church and Eula Stephens gave the devotion.  The business part of the meeting, roll call, minutes, treasurer report and reports from Personal Dev., Church and Community, & Mission & Service were given.

An interesting part of the meeting was reports on projects the different ABW’s are doing.  Our own Helen Green gave a great report on our backpack ministry.  The nominating committee gave their report and Martha Bennett is now President Elect of the Raleigh Assn.  Sharon Volpe, our ABW president, gave the offering prayer and sang a beautiful solo.

The women from our newest Raleigh Assn. Church, Sunset Hills Missionary Baptist Church, were welcomed to their first Fall Rally.

Joyce Mills introduced the guest speaker, Lisa Simmons, who is the Association Mission Support person with the WV Baptist Convention.  Lisa is a very inspiring speaker and to get us all involved she started out asking about funny things we have seen in church.  One was a pastors false teeth flying out during a fiery sermon.  She related to keep warm with a coal stove or floor furnace you have to stay close to the source of the heat and as Christians we have to stay close to God.

Eula Stephens, from the Breckenridge Baptist Church, was honored for her years of service to ABW.  I had the dedication prayer for the “Snacks For Hope” that the women donated for the patients at the Raleigh Regional Cancer Center.  We were blessed with a delicious lunch, as usual, by the women of the Breckenridge Church and I had the chance to thank John and Lisa Simmons for the great job they did with Camp Global.

The Raleigh Assn. Spring Rally will be here at FBC.  Ladies, if you have never been to a rally this will be the one to attend.  All  FBC women are invited to participate in any ABW meeting.

By the time you read this Lauren Bethel will have been here, Oct. 27, and I’ll report on her visit next month.

Making Rounds, Being Thankful

by Rev Robert A Wendel

The Thanksgiving holiday is an ideal day to take at least a few moments to reflect on those things and people for which you are thankful.  Good health is, surely, a primary blessing sought by everyone.

In October, I participated in the day-long fall conference of volunteer chaplains at Appalachian Regional Hospital.  The “good word” shared by facility administer Rocco Massey concerned the vital importance of “making rounds” walking around the floors, connecting with patients, staff and visitors as the best way to maintain a high quality of patient care and satisfaction.  Every trained chaplain learns that lesson early.

After one week of hospital duty at ARH, I try and take it all in, patient by patient, profoundly grateful for life.  But, this month I’ll be sixty-six years old and no one lives forever.  I, too, will face a day when news about my health will not be good, when, like so many in health care settings, my fears will be real as I notice my own health break down, when mortality grasps my hand and will not let go.  So, I ask, “What has being a chaplain at six different facilities in thirty-five years taught me?”

Above all, I affirm that each day I live will be acknowledged as a pure gift, a moment of time that is unique, unrepeatable that must be savored,  Second, I resolve to live each day with one primary purpose; to try and show love or respect to at least one other child of God.

And finally, the greatest gift that I can offer to my Heavenly Father is my heartfelt thanksgiving.  For it is simple gratitude that is, often, the most healing medicine to humankind and it is thanksgiving that transcends all time and death.

Saint Ambrose said “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”   Michael Levine wrote “The sign outside the gates of salvation says “Be grateful.”

The devotional speaker for the next ABC Men’s Breakfast on Nov. 8th at 8:00 am will be Rev. Jonathan Turner.

As always, we hope you’ll be able to join our fellow men for food, fellowship and some very good words.

Operation Christmas Child

by Debbie Vanaman

It’s November and shoeboxes are starting to arrive here at FBC.  Even though collection week doesn’t start until November 17th, your generosity in sharing God’s love to children around the world is truly awesome.  But we’re not finished yet.  We need one final huge push to hit the national goal of 10 million (yes that’s right 10 million) shoeboxes.   West Virginia always has a huge contribution and I am confident that this year will be no different.

On Sunday evening, Nov. 2nd at 6:00 p.m. up on the 3rd floor we will be having a shoebox packing party to pack the items that you have donated into shoeboxes.    We could always use another pair of hands.

As I said collection week starts November 17th and runs through November 24th.  During this week, I may need some help in the evenings packing up cartons. (I’ll give a shout out via email and text message if help is needed.)    If all goes according to plan, we will load up the boxes that have been collected on Saturday, November 22nd – time to be announced.  This is where I need the strong muscles of FBC.  These cartons can be heavy but with enough hands,  it usually goes smoothly.

It truly amazes me each and every year how the people of Beckley and Raleigh County come together and help spread God’s love around the world.   On behalf of myself and the Southern West Virginia team of OCC, I want to thank you in advance for packing a shoebox, working the collection center, packing cartons or loading our truck.  Without your help, prayers and your support, this mission would not be a success each and every year.

Autumn

by Doc Adkins

It’s officially autumn!  On certain recent days it seemed like winter but rest assured it is autumn.  I remember the bold autumns of my childhood in Hinton. That smell of smoke coming from the chimney. A well thought through pantry of all kinds of stuff canned from the garden. Fall apples in a bushel basket on the back porch for anyone to partake when they entered the screen door on their way into the kitchen entry of the farm house.

I recall the bright summer sunshine giving way to a deeper golden glow that casted a rich light over everything.   The soft summer breeze picked up a cool edge that rattles across the pavement with the fallen leaves.

I once heard that a tree shows its true colors only once photosynthesis has stopped and the green of the chlorophyll gives way to the gold or crimson or rustic specific to its variety. I find that so interesting–a tree spends most of the year growing and storing energy and only once it begins to rest can you see its “true colors.” 

People are often described as being in a particular ‘season of life.’ If there are parallels, our prime years would be autumn, right? At about the point we’ve passed the summer season of youth, we’ve reached the place where we can live off the wisdom we’ve gained through our experiences. We aren’t as worried with impressing anyone, even though we’ve finally developed some of our most impressive characteristics–a lack of self-consciousness, a new self-confidence, wisdom that overcomes insecurity, grace to let others make the mistakes we’ve already learned from–just to name a few.

I’m not as old as I look,  (at least, that’s what my birth certificate says,  but I so  enjoy playing the Geezer part of life.  And, I do look forward to my check in a few years). Part of me would love to look in the mirror and see unlined skin and hair.  And what IS left of it, is masked by the ever-increasing silver.  At the same time, I’m glad that I’m not the person I was in the ‘summer’ of my earlier years.

In our youth-obsessed culture it’s easy to overlook the value of growing and maturing. But just like trees grow and mature and produce fruit at the right time, hopefully, so do we.

The Bible puts it this way, Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take  or sit in the company of mockers,

But whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers”.

Wherever you may fall on the season of life’s spectrum, take time to appreciate what God has done so far and anticipate what He has ahead.

“Nourishing the Body That Nourishes the Mind”

by Joyce Mills

The backpack food program discreetly provides nutritious, child-friendly, easy to prepare food to 17 chronically hungry children in everyday backpacks to take home over the weekends and out of school time.

What a wonderful program for children which

  • Provides nutrition
  • Eases their anxieties
  • Reduces absenteeism
  • Improves attention span
  • Raises academic performance
  • Increases self esteem

There are several ways that you can help us.  We can always use donated food. For the month of October you are asked to bring cans of soup, especially Chicken Noodle and Tomato.  You can also donate money to help buy food.

You can volunteer to fill backpacks on Wednesday at 5:00pm.  You could volunteer to pick up our food orders from the Mountaineer Foodbank at the drop-off point.   You could pick up the backpacks at Beckley Elementary and bring them back to the church on Wednesday morning for a month.

We have 27 people who do specific jobs for the backpack ministry.  There are many of you who give money very faithfully each month.  Of course, there are many of you who also purchase food each month.  We always need Peanut Butter because each child gets two jars each month to go with the fresh loaf of bread provided each week.

The foods must be kid-friendly, shelf stable, easy-to-prepare, and nutritionally sound, so it is important for us to choose the foods wisely that will make up the backpacks each week.  Thanks to you who have joined the fight to feed hungry kids and we invite others to join us .

You are Invited!

You are invited and encouraged to come and meet Lauran Bethell who is a global consultant on Human Trafficking.  Her main goal is to initiate and encourage new grassroots projects addressing the exploitation and abuse of women and children, many of whom are victims of trafficking.  While based in The Netherlands, she travels extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, teaching, training and consulting.

On Monday, October 27th from 10:00 to 11:50 am the Joy Circle will be hosting a Mug and Muffin here at the church in Fellowship Hall to meet Ms. Bethell and listen to her presentation.  Bring your favorite mug and muffin and share in some fun, fellowship and facts.   Later that day at 3:45 pm the women of the Greenbrier/Raleigh Association will meet with Lauran in the parlor.   To conclude the day, we will meet at Pasquale’s Restaurant at 5:00 for dinner and fellowship.

If you can attend even one of these sessions, you will be truly blessed.

October Youth Update

Fall is officially here and with it comes some great opportunities for our kids!

September 27:  We’ll be heading to a hayride and bonfire at Pipestem State Park.  Dinner and transportation will be provided.

October 5:  Our kids will have the opportunity to meet at Okes Family Farms at 2 pm.  Bring your lunch.  Some activities available at the farm include:  face painting, corn maze and bouncy houses.  You can also purchase pumpkins at the farm.

October 29:  We have a costume party planned for 6 pm.

We are also pleased to announce the formation of the FBC Youth Council.  This group provided wonderful ideas for programming, events and attracting new kids to join our group.  The Youth Council will meet regularly and continue to provide feedback and identify opportunities.

Stay connected with our kids for lots of exciting times.  Follow us on Twitter (@beckleyfbc)  and Instagram (beckleyfirstbaptist).

As always, we appreciate your prayers and support as we grow in friendship and faith!

ABW Ministries Plans for the Fall

by Sharon Volpe

The Executive Board of the ABW Ministries met on Sept. 8th.   This was a fall planning meeting and we have several events coming up in October.   That’s right around the corner ladies!   So get your calendars ready!

Saturday, October 4th at Breckenridge Baptist will be the Raleigh Baptist Association Fall Rally.  Registration is at 9:30 and the meeting will start at 10:00.  We will be taking our church van and will be meeting at the church at 8:30 am.  Parking will be available on the college side of the church.  This is always a fun event and I’m hoping to have a large turnout. The speaker is going to be Lisa Simmons who is a very dynamic speaker and should be very interesting.

We are  asked to bring individually wrapped snacks to the meeting which will be going to the Raleigh Regional Cancer Center.  There are times when patients are there for treatment all day and they need these snacks. Each church was asked to briefly speak about a “special community service” that their church provides.  Our special service that we are highlighting is the “Backpack Ministry”.  Helen Greene and Joyce Mills will be making this presentation.

There is also going to be a special surprise presentation for recognition for 93 years of service for Eula Stephens.   This should be an exciting day for all ABW members.  Please plan to attend.   There will be a sign up sheet in the office for van riders.

We will be having an ABW general meeting on Tues. October 14th at 6:00.  Dessert refreshments will be provided.  Each of our officers will be giving a brief comment of their office and their duties.   The devotion will be “Come To The Table” by Karen Nicholson of First Baptist Hurricane.   This will be presented by our officers.  Please come out and support our ABW ministries.

Also don’t forget Women’s Day at the West Virginia American Baptist Convention.  That will be Thursday, October 16th at the Vienna Baptist Church.    

So you see ladies?  We have a very busy month ahead of us.  It’s time to get up, get out and give God the Glory!!!