Welcome Home!

homecomingsundayIf it has been a little while (or maybe a long while) since you’ve been to your spiritual home, we’d love to welcome you back any time, and especially Sunday October 21. You are loved. Come as you are. Welcome home!

An open letter to any and all who we haven’t seen in a while:

We miss you! Your church family and friends here at First Baptist Church truly miss having you and yours among us, so we’d love to have you join us for our “Homecoming Sunday” which will be October 21 at 9:30am. You are loved. Come as you are. Welcome home!

I know there’s lots of possible reasons to move on from a church, but I also know there’s many ways God can lead you back. So if there has been anything that I, or we as a church family, have done or said (or not done or not said) that have made you feel unwelcome, I would love for the opportunity to make amends. Like any family, we can often have things that come between us, but God enables us to reconcile and once again join in the mutual love and support we all need. We all need each other to grow in our faith and serve and worship Jesus together.

I will soon mark my third year as Pastor of First Baptist Church. Many aspects of our church life have stayed the same, and many have changed. We still worship God every Sunday at 9:30am and enjoy coffee and snacks afterward. We have child care and Sunday School for the little ones each week. We still host our tag sales and bazaars. We still host many nonprofits that benefit our community. We still happily welcome anyone who comes through our doors.

And yet you may notice some differences. We have quite a few newer folks with us these days, both old and young. The music on Sunday mornings is now a blend between older and newer styles. We still sing the old favorites with the organ, and we also sing newer songs with guitars and the piano. Our new organist/pianist is Charlie Marshall, and he is a wonderful musician. I do my best to bring a compelling and relevant teaching from the Bible each Sunday, emphasizing the amazing grace that Jesus gives us for our everyday lives. Jesus died and rose again for us, so we can follow him with joy, and by the power of the Holy Spirit we can truly make a difference in our lives and our community. We are digging into our Bibles and growing deeper in prayer, and God is doing good things in and through us. We are seeing the lost become found, and God is changing lives!

We are also growing in our faith together in our weekly Bible Study as well as our vibrant Youth Group, and we continue to reach out to our community, sharing the love of Jesus with our friends and neighbors, as well as the addiction and recovery community through our Mercy Street gatherings. I know God has great things in store for us and our community, one way or another. What I would love to find out is how you can be a part of God’s good plan for us!

I would love nothing more than to see you grow in your faith in Jesus and your relationship with God. It is truly life-changing and soul-enriching. Yet one thing that the Bible, and my own experience, makes clear is that we need each other to faithfully follow Jesus and experience spiritual growth. Are you sensing God calling you back to your spiritual home? If there’s something in the way, I’d love to talk and pray about that together. This is not about worldly power, money, or significance. This is about finding and staying on the path of following Jesus. Only in him will we find true faith, hope, and love. Will you join us? We hope to see you October 21, or any time.

You are loved. Come as you are. Welcome home!

Humbly yours,

Pastor Bob

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