As we continue in our desire to be an irresistible place where our neighbors and community can see the love of Jesus lived out, I want to encourage each of you to consider being a part of this year's Trunk O' Treat outreach. The date for this event is Saturday, October 27th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. There are many ways for you to be involved. We need set-up and tear-down volunteers, individuals to donate candy, hot dogs, buns, etc., food runners, kitchen volunteers and a couple of people to help run the popcorn stand. However, the most important need is for people to commit to bring their cars, decorate their trunks, maybe have a game for kids to play, but most importantly, simply show the love of Jesus to each family who pays your trunk a visit! This Sunday, there will be sign-up sheets for candy donations, trunk volunteers, as well as some of the other areas I mentioned. Consider helping us love our neighbors through this fun event!
This coming week will be a busy one for our campus. This Sunday, Parkside Kids, the new name for our children's ministry, will be hosting a training/orientation meeting from 11:45am to 2:00pm. Lunch and childcare will be provided. This meeting is for anyone who is interested in loving the kids that God brings to our church each Sunday.
On Wednesday, our monthly Adults on Mission group will be meeting from 10:30am to noon in the Fireside Room. We will be praying for both local and global missions, as well as hearing from Pastor Norm on how God has been using him to encourage missionaries who serve overseas. Join us as we thank God for his faithfulness!
As I close this edition of TAB, I want to talk briefly about the concept of seasons. Just as nature recently transitioned from Summer to Fall and will soon make another transition to Winter, so too, our church has gone through multiple transitions over the last several years and we are preparing for another transition, as we move from being known as First Baptist Church Beaverton to Parkside Fellowship. With both seasonal and church transitions, changes are a part of the process. In the midst of the leaves changing color, a church member may too decide its time to make a change and leave his or her church. As the temperature outside gets cooler, things inside the church may be heating up as the need to add staff or ministries collide with finances.
FBC is about to experience one of these "seasonal" changes. After 14 years serving as our church administrative assistant, I have asked Cheryle Douglas to step down from this role. My desire to make a change at this crucial time in the life of our church is my belief in the importance that those who serve on our church staff, be fully invested and active members of our church. Cheryle and her husband Marc are currently members of New Life Baptist Church in Hillsboro. While no one questions Cheryle's love for FBC, I believe it is important that she not be torn between her "job" at FBC and a desire to volunteer at her home church. I have seen her struggle to balance her commitment as a paid staff member of FBC and the needs of kids at New Life. This is why I have decided to make this change.
I asked Cheryle to write down what she will miss most about serving on staff at FBC and I thought I would share it with you.....
"Reflecting on my time spent serving the Lord, the staff, the church members and the Beaverton community as First Baptist Church Ministry Assistant, several blessings come to mind. I have been blessed to serve alongside staff as we shared Jesus through prayer, tears, sweat and laughter. I have been blessed by the membership as they rallied around Marc and I as we experienced health challenges, financial challenges and losses in our family. Also, I am blessed for the opportunities to serve the Lord with our Hispanic, Korean, Bhutanese, and Chinese brothers and sisters. My heart is overflowing in gratitude and praises for God’s faithfulness for these opportunities to get to know more of the family of God this side of heaven. I am excited to see what the Lord has for First Baptist, (Parkside Fellowship) for sharing Jesus in Beaverton. Please pray with me to stay focused on God as He leads me on the path He has for me. Psalms 92:12-15 sums up the desire of my heart. In the American Standard Version the verses read: 'The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Yes, I long to still yield fruit in old age being full of sap and very green so that I can declare that the Lord is upright, He is my rock and that there is no unrighteousness in Him'."
Cheryle's last day with us will be Friday, November 2nd. Please take time between now and then to stop by the office and let her know how much she has meant to both you and our church family. I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Thanks Cheryle. I know God has an amazing opportunity just waiting for you to step-up and fill-in the gap!"
In the interim, Laura Small has agreed to step-in and help fill this role on a temporary basis. I am confident that Laura is more than capable of keeping me in line during this transition. Thanks Laura for being willing to jump in during such a crucial time in the life of FBC.....soon to become Parkside Fellowship!
See you Sunday.
This week, we will continue to "tag-along" with the nation of Israel on their trek to the Promised Land. Last week I shared by belief that their journey was less about the destination and more about the preparation. Like the Israelites, we too find ourselves in a season of preparation as God leads us into a future filled with hope and excitement.
As we prepare for the role God wants us to play in the future of His church, I want to share an excerpt from a book by author, Philip Yancey. The book is titled, Vanishing Grace, and addresses the need for the church to return to a Good News filled with grace AND truth. I shared this at our last church council meeting and thought I would share it with you as well. As you read, be thinking about what God might be asking you to do in building an irresistible church, with an irresistible message about Jesus Christ!
"As I read accounts of the New Testament church, no characteristic stands out more sharply than diversity, the primary testing ground of grace. Beginning with Pentecost--a gathering of people from many countries--the Christian church dismantled the barriers of gender, race, and social class that had marked Jewish congregations. Even Paul marveled over the radical change.
Diversity complicates life, and perhaps for this reason we tend to surround ourselves with people of similar age, economic class, and outlook. Church offers a place where infants and grandparents, unemployed and executives, immigrants and blue bloods can all come together. Where else can we go to find that mixture.
Diversity, however, succeeds in a group of people who share a common vision. In John 17, Jesus stressed one request above all others: 'That they may be one.' Paul's letters repeatedly call for unity and to end divisions. The existence of so many denominations worldwide shows how poorly Christians have fulfilled that goal. Major church splits have occurred over such issues as what kind of bread to use in the Eucharist and whether to make the sign of the cross with two or three fingers. We have not, in fact, been faithful stewards of God's grace.
Ideally, the church should be a place that reminds us of lasting truths: that God intends the best for us, that sin and failure are inevitable but forgiveness is guaranteed, that a supportive community bears burdens and comforts the needy. A pastor friend of mine did a series of sermons on the phrase 'one another.' He found twenty-nine uses of that phrase in the New Testament which, taken together, show what a true community would look like. They include the following:
Love one another.....Forgive one another.....Pray for one another.....Bear one another's burdens.....Regard one another as more important than yourself.....Do not speak against one another.....Do not judge one another.....Show tolerance for one another.....Be kind to one another.....Speak truth to one another.....Build up one another.....Stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
I wonder how different the church would look to a watching world, not to mention how different history would look, if Christians everywhere followed that model."
See you Sunday.
Celebration is one of the hallmarks of the people of God. From the creation of the world, to the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, to the return to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity, to the birth of Jesus, to the good news in Jesus' teachings, to the resurrection of Jesus, to the gift of the Holy Spirit--God's people have been a people of praise and celebration in response to the mighty acts of God.
C.S. Lewis said, "Joy is the serious business of Heaven."
The Apostle Paul wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice."
After teaching on the need for obedience, Jesus told his friends that his aim was that they should be filled with joy, but not just any kind of joy: "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete."
As Christians, we have greatly underestimated the necessity of joy. In Nehemiah 8:9-10, Nehemiah said to his grieving congregation, "This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.....Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
People who want to pursue joy especially need to practice the spiritual discipline of celebration. This is the primary reason that we see much emphasis placed on feast days in the Old Testament. Times of feasting were to be transforming experiences--just as times of meditation and fasting were. Celebration generally involves activities that bring pleasure--gathering with people we love, eating and singing. Spiritual celebration means doing them while reflecting on the wonderful God who has given us such wonderful gifts. When we celebrate, we exercise our ability to see and feel goodness in the simplest gifts of God. We are able to take delight today in something we wouldn't have even noticed yesterday.
So how do we pursue joy? Begin now. The psalmist says, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." He doesn't say, "Yesterday was God's day, let me rejoice in what God did." Nor does he say, "Tomorrow will be better, I'll just endure until then." This is the day the Lord has made, with all its shortcomings, I will rejoice and celebrate it! If we don't rejoice today, we will not rejoice at all. If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will still be waiting when we die. If we are going to rejoice, it must be in this day.
In preparation for Sunday, go wash your face in a bath of praise. Pick up your Bible and read Psalm 146, then join us on Sunday as we continue, not begin, celebrating the God of all creation, who just happens to be our Heavenly Father. Join us at 9:00am as we conclude our series titled, Brand New. Then stick around for our Concert of Prayer at 10:30am, as we take time to celebrate the faithfulness of God!
Let me close with James 1:17. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." I can't think of a better reason to celebrate!
See you Sunday.
In preparation for our all-church meeting this Sunday at 10:00am, I want to take this edition of TAB and focus on the details for this meeting. My goal is to give you the opportunity to think about, ask questions about and pray about your role as we Replant FBC.
At this meeting, we will be asking our congregation three things.....
1. Vote to approve a loan with the Northwest Baptist Foundation in order to pay-off our loan with Umpqua bank.
The original balloon payment of approximately $1.4 million was due on June 5th. Umpqua has provided us with a 6 month extension that gives us until December 5th to close the sale of our properties and secure new financing with the Northwest Baptist Foundation.
We have been approved for a loan with the Northwest Baptist Foundation, but we do need congregational approval to move forward with the loan. Here are the details of the new loan. The Northwest Baptist Foundation has agreed to loan our church $600,000 at an interest rate of 5.7% with a term of 25 years. If we combine this $600,000 with the $850,000 we will receive from the sale of the two homes, we are able to easily satisfy our debt with Umpqua.
2. Give your recommendation for a new church name based on the list below. We will be asking you to choose a "first name" and a "last name". For example, our current first name is First Baptist and our last name is Church. Another example would be, Beaverton Christian (first name) and Church (last name).
Here are the name choices:
Discovery Church, Discovery Christian Church, Generations Community Church, Generations Fellowship, Parkside Community Church, Parkside Church, Parkside Fellowship
3. Choose the service that you plan to attend, as this will help us in the planning process
To help you in making the right service choice, below are the times and a brief explanation about each service.
Our "classic" service at 9:15am, will have a more traditional church feel. The music will be a mix of hymns and classic praise songs, accompanied by the piano and organ. The message will be the same Biblically-based message as our modern service, but with a focus on the mature believer. If I were trying to describe this service to someone, it would go something like this....."Our classic service is a time for the family of God to gather together, reflect on and thank God for the salvation that we have through His Son Jesus Christ. This is done through joyful celebration as we sing the timeless hymns of the faith, followed by an inspirational message from God's Word." The "modern" service at 10:30am is designed for the new or young believer, who is discovering what it means to have a relationship with God and how this relationship fits into his or her everyday life. This is done through a combination of passionate worship led by a band, videos, live testimonies and an unapologetic, Biblically-based message.
I hope this information is helpful as we gather together on Sunday. Please don't hesitate to email or call me if you have any questions or concerns. I would be happy to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk.
Before I close, I need to share one more piece of important information with you. As much as I value the ability to provide the opportunity for individuals to give online, unfortunately the company that provides this service for us does so at a price that does not make it cost-effective. Therefore, FBC will no longer be accepting gifts online. I will continue to look for an option that is reasonably priced and let you know when that system is in place. Thanks for your continued prayers and support during this season of change.
See you Sunday.
Good Neighbor Sunday is just two days away! This is going to be an awesome day all around Beaverton, as we join with Westside Community Church and Common Ground to love our city. In case you're still wondering what Good Neighbor Sunday is all about, let me give you a brief overview. Good Neighbor Sunday is an event designed to blanket our city with the love of Jesus. We will accomplish this by rolling up our sleeves and helping where needed. We believe that Jesus cares just as deeply as we do about our communities and would want us to be seen as good neighbors. Some of the places that will be impacted include schools, senior living facilities, apartment complexes and neighborhood parks.
FBC and Common Ground will be working at Beaverton High School. The plan is to gather at FBC this Sunday, August 26th at 9:00am for an abbreviated time of worship, prayer and a challenge from God's Word. After that, around 9:30am, we will head over to Beaverton High School and put the finishing touches on their campus, as they prepare for the start of a brand new school year. The day will conclude at noon with a time of prayer for the administration, teachers and students. Because we are going to Beaverton High School immediately following our service, please come to church dressed to work.
A couple of question you might be asking are: 1) What will we be doing? and 2) What do I need to bring?. Here are the answers to both of those questions...…
1. The projects we will be working on include: painting an office, adjusting the height of around 80 classroom stools, wiping down/cleaning bleachers, hanging dry erase boards, cleaning and spray painting bookcases, cleaning-up and weeding an interior courtyard, etc.
2. Here is what would be helpful for you to bring with you. manual or electric Philip head screwdrivers, towels and rags for cleaning bleachers, window sills, windows, etc., rakes, push brooms, weeding tools and tools to hang the dry erase boards (drill, level, stud finder, anchor bolts, etc.)
Please consider joining us on Sunday for this amazing opportunity to bless the staff and students of Beaverton High School.
Finally, as we look to the Fall, on Sunday, September 2, we will begin a new series titled, Brand New. During the month of September, we will look into God's Word to help us understand what Jesus truly intended when he launched the church over 2,000 years ago. Please continue to pray for our Church Council and Grow Young Team, as they continue to process of Replanting an engaging, vibrant, growing, Biblically-based, discipleship-focused church.
See you Sunday for Good Neighbor Sunday!
Last Sunday night, around 20 people from FBC gathered in the Fireside room to pray for the future of our church. We gave thanks to God for 63 years of ministry in the Beaverton community. Several shared testimonies of how God has used our church to lead people to Jesus. Things like a strong children's ministry, Adult Sunday School classes and serving the homeless were just a few of the things that were mentioned. We concluded our time by asking for God to deliver us into a new season of influential ministry in our community.
As we concluded our prayer time, I shared some thoughts from a book titled, The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. In this book, Robert Morgan unpacks the miracle at the Red Sea, the story in Exodus 14 when the waters parted, allowing the children of Israel to escape the pursuing armies of Pharaoh. Through this popular story of God's power and deliverance, Pastor Morgan shares 10 rules or 10 ways of handling difficult times and seasons of discouragement--times when we find ourselves caught between the devil and the deep Red Sea. I thought I would take this edition of TAB to share these 10 rules with you and ask you to ponder these thoughts as we continue to pray for the future of FBC.
Red Sea Rules.
1. Realize that God means for you to be where you are. (Psalm 37:23-24)
2. Be more concerned for God's glory than your relief. (Exodus 14:3-4)
3. Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord. (Ephesians 6:13)
4. Pray! (Exodus 14:10)
5. Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work. (Exodus 14:13-14)
6. When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith. (Exodus 14:15)
7. Envision God's enveloping presence. (Psalm 139:1-18)
8. Trust God to deliver in His own unique way. (Exodus 14:21-22)
9. View your current crises as a faith builder for the future. (Romans 4:19-21)
10. Don't forget to praise Him. (Exodus 15:1-2)
As you read these rules and as we continue to pray and trust God for the future of FBC, let's not forget that it was God who brought us to this point and the same God will lead us out.
Sunday, we will continue our study of Paul's letter to the church in Philippi. We will conclude our focus on humility as we look at Philippians 2:5-11.
Finally, I was approached this week from an individual in our community, who just recently sold her home, purchased an RV and is now looking for a home for her and her RV. She has contacted several RV parks but has not been able to find a place. If any of you know of someone who has a place where she might be able to live in her RV, please let me know.
See you Sunday.
I know it's only Monday afternoon, but I wanted to take a minute, in the midst of chaos, and let you know about all the excitement that is taking place this week on our church campus.
Today kicked-off a combined VBS week with Anthem, New Creation and Global Community Church. They had almost 30 kids attend day #1 and the mission team from First Baptist in Sylacauga, Alabama, did an amazing job teaching the kids about Jesus! In addition to VBS, more than 30 kids showed-up for the first day of the PAL Kids Camp, that is meeting on our campus for the summer. Beaverton School District is providing breakfast and lunch and the volunteers come from both the police department and the school district. Finally, the kids from El Buen Pastor left this morning for their summer camp, with more than 50 kids in attendance.
In fact, if you had been at the church between 7:30am and 9:30am this morning, you would have been welcomed by about 120 kids.....plus parents! It's so fun to see our building being used to express the love of God.
Note: Young @ Heart WILL STILL meet this Thursday at Noon, for their monthly lunch. We will be using the portion of the Fireside Room where Norm's Sunday School class once met. I hope to see you there!
Have a great week!
As the school year winds-down, the same can't necessarily be said for our church calendar. In fact, the final two weeks of June will be pretty busy ones here on our church campus. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful if I filled this week's edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus, with some "Dates to Remember". So, below are some important dates and information on upcoming events at FBC:
Friday, June 15 (tomorrow): Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age @ 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. This is a great documentary looking at the impact of technology on our kids and grandkids. In our effort to "Grow Younger" this would be a great opportunity to invite a family with Junior High or High School-age kids.
Saturday, June 16th: Concert of Prayer @ 5:00pm in the Sanctuary. Join us as we cry out to God, asking Him to redeem our church for His purpose and glory.
Sunday, June 17th: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. This Sunday, as we conclude our series on Faith, our focus will be on Jesus and how the greatness of His faith was rooted in the greatness of his surrender to His Heavenly Father.
Wednesday, June 20th: Adults on Mission @ 10:30am. This month's meeting will be at the home of Troy and Lenora Smith (14285 SW Cherryhill Drive, Beaverton) Our focus will be on the kids in our community and how we can reach them with the story of Jesus.
Saturday, June 30th: Landscaping and Cleanup Day @ 9:00am (FBC Campus). Help us clean-up the exterior of our church. We will focus our attention on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings.
Sunday, July 1st: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. On this first Sunday of July, we will begin a new summer sermon series on the book of Philippians. Join us as we walk through the most intimate of Paul's letters, where he paints for us a beautiful picture of what it is to be a mature Christian.
WOW! I know your thinking, "That's a lot of dates/times and information to remember", which is why you now have it in an email and can refer to it as needed.
I hope you will take advantage of all or at least most of the opportunities listed above. Each opportunity, even cleaning the church grounds, serves to help us accomplish our mission to Preach the Gospel in Beaverton!
See you tomorrow and/or Saturday and/or Sunday and/or...…
I want to thank you for voting last Sunday in favor of selling our rental properties. Our hope is that as we sell these homes, we will be able to significantly reduce our monthly loan payment. All this will help us to further our calling to "Preach the Gospel in Beaverton". The vote was unanimous with 73 yes votes and 0 no votes. I want to give praise to God for how he is continuing to clarify for FBC, His plans for the future of His church.
As we continue to ask God for clarity in moving forward as a church, I want to invite all of you to join us on Saturday night June 16th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, for a Concert of Prayer. I also want to ask you to take time each day, between now and June 16th, to read Psalm 90:12-17. These final six verses of Psalm 90 were written by Moses as a prayer by and for people who are in need of God's grace...….that includes you and me.
In this prayer to God, Moses asks for two things. First, he prays that in view of life's limitations, in view of life's frustrations: give us the grace to live life wisely. Look at what he wrote, "teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom". Moses is asking God to help the nation of Israel "get it right", to help them live life in the awareness of their limits. I want this to be our prayer, too!
Moses goes on to make a second request in verses 13-17. In these verses, Moses prays for God to remove their limitations and frustrations, but only after he'd prayed for God to give them the grace to live in the midst of their frustrations and weaknesses. He then ends his prayer by asking God to use their hands to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This was the prayer of Moses for the nation of Israel and I want this to be our prayer today.....that we would gain hearts of wisdom, that God would continue to show His splendor to future generations, and that our hands and feet would be used to share the message of the cross.
Please block-out 9:00am to Noon on Saturday, June 30th, as we take time to do some much needed work on the exterior landscape of our church campus. The focus will be on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings. See the bulletin on Sunday for more information.
This Sunday, we will continue in our series on Faith, as Larry Annes will share how to have a rock-solid faith.....even when God says "NO"!
See you Sunday
This Sunday, we will continue are series called Faith, Hope and Luck. The first week, we talked about the dangers of circumstantial faith and the importance of having our faith anchored to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason for this is if God never does another thing in your life, never answers another prayer, never heals another illness, never performs another miracle, we can still maintain faith in our God. Why? Because our faith is not based on God showing up in our lives or in our circumstances, instead, our faith in God is based on the reality that 2,000 years ago He sent His only Son, Jesus, to walk on the earth, live a perfect life, die on a cross, predict his own resurrection, which he fulfills, and then appears to over 500 people. Our faith is based on the simple truth that God loves us.
Then last week, I gave you this definition for faith…..
Faith is confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do everything he has promised to do.
This simply means that we can, with confidence, bring all of our requests, all of our hurts, our doubts, our fears to God, knowing with absolute certainty that he can overcome any obstacle we place in front of him, but having the type of faith that trusts God to do His will……not ours!
This Sunday, we will unpack the second half of our definition for faith…..that God will do everything he has promised to do. Our focus will be on answering the question, "What has God promised to do?"
Take some time over the next two days to read Romans 8:28-39. As Paul wraps up chapter 8, he writes with full apostolic authority, "For I am sure (or convinced)". The verb is a Greek perfect tense, indicating that something occurred in the past with ongoing results to the present time. He was convinced that nothing in life, or even our archenemy, death, can keep the love of Christ from us. His own death and resurrection reveal His power over anything and everything that threatens us in the natural realm. Furthermore, nothing in the supernatural realm, including angels and spiritual forces, can harm us. God created all things, including everything in the supernatural realm, and He continues to rule over His universe.
Because God rules over everything in time and space, nothing can subvert His will, which is to bring His people to Himself, cleanse us of sin inside and out, shape us into the image of Christ, restore us to life, and allow us to enjoy "peace with God" forever! Can I get an "AMEN!"
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, is a time for you to drop by the Fireside room and ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church. Then on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to cast your ballot on whether or not to sell these properties.
See you Sunday.