Another wonderful Camp Wightman Church Retreat is over! Once again, we were blessed with fellowship, fun, food, and worshipful festivities! It is so meaningful to witness people grow in faith by spending time with God and one another. Thank you, God, for the gift of a Camp Wightman church retreat.
The Board of Directors of International Ministries officially expressed its long-term commitment to supporting Syrian refugee and IDP communities in the recent International Ministries Resolution on Syrian Refugees. The resolution paves the way for a focused mobilization of human and financial resources to pray for, meet the needs of and prepare to receive Syrian refugees.
As a first step in this next stage of response, IM has sent an additional $10,000 in OGHS emergency funding to provide immediate relief for Syrian refugees and IDPs. Of this grant, IM partners Hungarian Baptist Aid and the Union of Baptist Churches of Serbia have each been given $5,000. The aid will be used to supply food and water, clothing, shelter and medical clinics. Future OGHS grants will support the efforts of all IM partners who are providing relief to Syrian IDPs and refugees.
FOR FULL STORY, CLICK HERE
Excerpt from sermon on 09/20/2015:
It’s 2,000 years later but, just like the original disciples, we can also be thickheaded! We forget what greatness is measured by in the Kingdom of God. We get seduced by our culture, which tells us that greatness is measured by success, or money, or beauty, or talent, or intelligence – by something we possess rather than by something we give. But Jesus teaches us that that’s not how the love of God works. God doesn’t love us more if we’re more successful, or more rich, or more beautiful, or more talented, or more intelligent than others. God loves us no matter what we are or what we have. And the only thing that greatness lies in is giving that love of God to others, especially to those who don’t know the love of God because the world doesn’t give it to them.
FULL SERMON HERE
Excerpt from sermon on 09/13/2015:
As I was working on this sermon this week, I could not help but think of the refugee crisis and the millions of people who are desperately seeking asylum and a place to live without fear for their lives. According to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in a report at the end of 2014, “the number fleeing war and persecution hasn’t been greater since World War II . . . More than 60 million people have been displaced by conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere, and the violence is expected to drive hundreds of thousands more to seek asylum this year and next."1 In a sermon about having open hands and open hearts, about receiving and releasing each other with love as we all live and move and have our being in God, these refugees, who are leaving a beloved place because of persecution and arriving at strange places in hope of redemption, deserve our attention. After all, the infant Jesus fled with Joseph and Mary from Bethlehem to Egypt due to persecution from Herod, who was going to find and kill him (Mt 2:13-18). How we treat those who are in desperate need matters, as Jesus made clear in his parable of the sheep and the goats. Just because we are in the United States and are not immediately affected by an influx of refugees does not mean we should not attend to them. Not only should we care because our faith requires us to care (“whatever you do to the least of these you do to me”), we should care because this crisis is an opportunity to show what Christianity is really about: extending the love of God outside of the doors of the church and into the world, and inviting those outside the doors of the church to come in and be loved.
FULL SERMON HERE
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW, which is a beautiful testimony of what the God of Jesus Christ can do with we poor souls who often feel helpless in the face of violence and suffering. Please listen to Miriam's song, especially, which begins at 4:40. You will be blessed.
Monday, October 26, 7:00 p.m.
Members can also join the Facebook Group for additional updates and fellowship!