NewsLetter and Events
AFBC February 2018 NewsLetter
From the PASTOR:
Have you ever considered observing Lent?
What is Lent? Lent is a period of setting aside time to spiritually prepare for Easter and grow closer to God. Christians set aside time in preparation for Christmas which is known as the season of Advent. Unlike Advent, Lent is the period where Christians draw closer to our Lord and realize our sinful condition and our need for a Savior who we can place our hope in. To meditate on what our Lord did for us on the cross of Calvary. Pointing us to the hope we have in the resurrection through Jesus Christ and the eternal glory to come.
Lent is modeled after the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness in times of prayer and fasting (Mathew 4:1-2). Lent lasts 40 days and this year begins on Ash Wednesday which is February 14 th. The purpose is to examine your life in relationship with God’s word and to make a commitment to change any areas of your life that you have not surrendered over to the Lord.
Observance of Lent begins with fasting and prayer. Fasting is denying yourself something in order to be more in communion with the Lord. Jesus gives instruction on how to fast. He says when you fast, not if you fast (Matthew 6: 16-18, 9:14-15). We fast in this life because we believe in the life to come.
Fasting is voluntarily going without food or some other regularly enjoyed good gift from God for the sake of some spiritual purpose. It may be sacrificing for example; sweet tea, Facebook, soda, replacing thirty minutes of television with devotion and prayer or no gossiping. For myself I am going to commit to no eating after dinner. There goes the popcorn and peanut butter and crackers.
Plan what you will do for a spiritual purpose in place of the thing you are fasting from. The point of Lent is to better focus our hearts and minds on Jesus as we approach the Easter celebration. As a result through the observance of Lent, may the time leading up to and including Easter take on a whole new significance and meaning for you.
I hope you will join us in observance of Lent as we prepare to grow closer to God and thank him for his sacrifice for our sins. If you have never done so why not try it?
There are many Scriptures for Lent. Here are a few selected ones.
Joel 2:12-14, Psalm 51:1-17, Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 6:1-6, Matthew 6:16-18, Philippians 3:10-11 and Hebrews 12:2-3
THANK YOU NOTE from WMU and AFBC
As the new calendar year for 2017 started on September 1, one big change was noted.Faye Burcham our WMU Director for over 15 years gave up her duties to help in other ministries within the church.Faye has faithfully served and led the WMU leading us to help others in all areas including Children’s Home, Storehouse for Jesus, Operation In As Much, Supporting Baptist Men, Outreach, etc. BBQ’s, Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon just to name a few.She led WMU meetings as well as WMU Focus Sunday’s and served on numerous committees.Faye, thank you so much for your service and dedication as WMU Director.We love you and appreciation what you have done and continue to do at Advance First Baptist Church.
Sincerely, Your WMU and AFBC Family
Each month, the Baptist Men meet for fellowship and local mission discussion/opportunities.
Each January is a special month for our Baptist Men’s Group. This year marks the 84th year that Baptist’s Men’s Day has been recognized. On January 27th, we enjoyed a Church wide dinner prepared by the men. Forty plus of our Church Family enjoyed the food and fellowship. I want to personally say thanks for all that were involved in providing this meal to our members. Sunday, January 28th was a great day as well. The men joined together to form an all Men’s Choir. We had a little bump in the road regarding the service that had been arranged. Our guest speaker informed us Saturday evening that he was at home sick with Flu like symptoms. Thanks to John Parker, Rick Brown, and Danny Corker for stepping up and sharing their testimonies with such short notice. Each of their testimonies were touching and show us once again that God is Good!
We are now preparing for our Spring Chicken BBQ that will take place on March 24th. As you can imagine, big events like this take a tremendous amount of prep work and require several volunteers to make it a success. Mark Campbell and Sue Crater are assembling the team. If you would like to participate please let Mark or Sue know. Our goal is to sale 800 plates this year. Tickets were handed out on February 4th. Please see or call Mark if you need more. Mark can be reached at 336-745-7185.
On February 15th the NC Baptist Convention will host the Region 5 Missions Rally in Winston Salem. A sign up sheet has been place in the vestibule. We will leave AFBC at 5:15 pm. Dinner will be served at the Missions Rally. Check with Mark or Rodney if you have questions.
Over the past three months we have been working on several different projects.One item that has been on the agenda is Family Promise of Davie County. We are down to four active deacons and have had to add to our families.Last year we were visiting people on Saturday morning and it is in the plans now to do so as soon as the weather warms up.Obviously, we need your prayers and support.
I do ask that you have anything you need, please contact your deacon and he will be happy to assist you.We at many times don’t know without being told.
Thanks, Carl Lewis
I would like to begin with a statement from a German during the period of WW 2.“Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. It remains an abstract idea, a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God but omits Christ as the living Son. … There is trust in God, but no following of Christ. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
And count the costs of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
It will cost you acceptance, it will cost you promotion perhaps at times. It will cost you an easy life. You will have to discipline yourself, you will have to buffet your body. You will have to say “No” to temptation, and you will have to say “No” to this world.
You will have to break with the crowd. You will have to be willing to stand alone for Christ. You will have to be willing to walk to the beat of a different drummer. And to step out of the crowd even if no one follows after Jesus Christ.
You would be willing to stand if you were the only person in the world for Jesus Christ. That’s the cost factor. You will have to be willing to suffer persecution for Christ, and let me tell you, it will come. It might even cost you your life.
If you are truly a disciple, you will suffer persecution and attacks from many different areas of your life. Some of us have setup boarders to protect us from certain parts of our daily lives but be careful attacks can often hit you in your suit.
We are currently offering a discipleship training class at Church that is very strong and teaches truths that most Christians have never known.This is because it is from the Old Testament. The ones that are in the class have said to me that they are glad to be there and are learning new things.
Classes are good because the Greek word for a disciple is mathetes,” or “adherent,” as opposed to a “teacher.” In the ancient world, however, it is most often associated, with people who were devoted followers of a great religious leader.
If we look at the first Disciples, they did not have a worry-free life.What did it cost them? It cost them everything, including their life.
Think about it. Carl Lewis
Children’s Ministry is for children and their family in grades 1 st through 6th to come together to fellowship with one another. Last quarter the children and Youth had a wonderful time skating in Clemmons. We had a total of 20 kids and 7 adults that went. This was our biggest group so far. In March we are thinking about having an ice cream social and play games at the church. We have a couple of ideas for our next outing that will be announced later.
John and Shannon Parker
CHILDREN's HANDBELLS and CHOIR
Wow, our group continues to grow every week! We currently have between 14 - 15 children and in fact, we have grown so much that we have had to split the group. The younger children are being led by Dot Freidt and Aileen Hendrix while the older children are led by Shana Corker and Janet Hellard. We all meet together at 6:00 pm every Wednesday night to play Handbells and then at 6:20 pm we split into the appropriate age group to sing. The children will be singing during the service on Easter and will be singing in the Fifth Sunday Night Worship which will be held Sunday, April 29th.
Servants of Christ,
Shana Corker, Dot Freidt, Aileen Hendrix, Janet Hellard
JAM (Jesus And Me)
JAM is off to a great start! We normally have around 10 children that come every Sunday night from 5:00 - 6:30 pm. We continue to have Bible Study which is led by Pastor Rodney Hellard. The children have a great time learning how God created everything and sent His son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Luann Collins, Dot Freidt, and Shannon Parker are helping the children with projects for the Haiti mission team to take with them to give to the children in Lascahobas, Haiti. The children have also worked on projects to give to church members. Janet Hellard is helping the children prepare for Bible Drill Competition which consist of learning the Books of the Old Testament, scripture memorization, and fill in the blank scripture. The children will be showing you what they have learned at the
Fifth Sunday Night Worship which will be held Sunday, April 29th.
Can you tell how proud we are of these children?
Dot Fried, LuAnn Collins, Shannon Parker, Rodney Hellard, Janet Hellard
We are working on a great study for the youth to really focus on their journey with God. It is called First Hand Faith Discovering a Faith of Their Own. Of course the youth know all of the right answers when asked questions about God and faith. But do they truly understand the answers they give? They give the answers they are taught by their parents, pastor, and other people of the church. This study helps the youth truly understand the teachings of God and make it a faith of their own. To truly give themselves and their problems to God. To make a transformation from relying in themselves to giving themselves up and relying totally on God. This study helps them make this journey of transformation.
The youth are having a great time working on their own journey together. We have done some fun stuff together like roller skating as a trip, which is fun for all ages. But we are also figuring out ways to go out and do missions in our community. The youth are really excited about spreading the word of God to the community.
We would like to thank the church for their support and prayers. If you would love to come out to see what a great time the youth have learning about God and figuring how they can impact others, we would love to see you.
Matt and Aileen Hendrix, Youth Directors
The outreach committee will be busy over the next few months with several events. We will be hosting a Family Easter Celebration on Saturday March 31, from 1-3 pm. This event will include a Family scavenger hunt, an Easter story, crafts and snacks, a photo booth and Easter egg hunt. This event is open to all ages. We are asking for donations of plastic eggs and small items to fill the eggs with. (candy, stickers, erasers, bouncy ball etc.)
On Sunday April 29th,we will hold a Community Worship night. This will be a night for individuals in the community to come together and praise our Lord and Savior through song, music and testimony. We will be sending out more information about this.
Ramonia's Touch made comfort pillows at Christmas for our members that have lost loved ones in the last year. We will continue to make skirts, tops and shorts for children in missions. We have just began making feminine pads for hygiene training for Haitian teenage girls. On Saturday, February 3, we hosted an All-Day sewing event. It was a wonderful turnout with many new faces. We also had the opportunity to work with some of the youth at the church,, some even learned how to operate a sewing machine for the first time. We were so proud of them! We were all thankful to everyone that attended and thank them each for their generous assistance in helping us to achieve our goals. Continue to pray for us that we will always remain God focused and make much of Him in all we do!
Debbie Jones, Ramonia's Touch
The dates for our VBS will be June 18 -22, 2018. Our theme will be Babylon- Daniels Courage in Captivity. We will learn how Daniel and his friends kept their faith in a faithless culture and how we are not much different from them.
In October 2017 the Good News Club that we sponsor at Cornatzer Elementary School started up it’s 6 th year. The difference this year was that Vickie Edwards and myself decided to co-lead this program.In doing so we had access to information about each child. After reviewing the registration forms we realized that only ½ of the children had documented that they attended church either regularly or periodically.This literally started the wheels rolling.
I talked with the students that we knew did not attend church and simply asked if they would like to go.If their answer was “yes” with the help of prayer and the Holy Spirit giving me the boldness I needed I started on a journey of getting some of the children into church, by whatever means it took.When the parent or guardian would come to pick up the child, I would simply tell them that I had wonderful news, that their child wanted to attend church and we would help get them to and from.
God started working immediately, that very night we had 1 new child attend, the next week 4 more and the next week 2 more, then came the siblings and now even a grandmother. We have had as many of 7 of the unchurched Good News Club children in our church at one time.What a blessing and it’s not over yet !
Carl and I started out doing it in our own vehicle until the night we had to stuff four in the back seat of his truck and we decided it was time to get the church van “on the road again”.When we reached stability in those that would attend regularly we decided it was time to make it an official “Van Ministry” and reach out to others for help.We currently have 4 couples that will be rotating on two week intervals, Carl and I will be doing Wednesday nights and filling in on Sunday when needed.Pastor Rodney and Janet do Sunday nights for JAM.These children have also become involved with hand bells, children’s choir and activities outside the church.
I attribute the start-up of this journey to Sunday, October 1 st, when the church bathed the Good News Club in prayer and each of you took the name of a child to pray for.This is God answering those prayers.
We still have a lot of work to do and a lot more children to reach.Our goal is to get the children there, get them involved and the parents will follow. If you are interested in assisting with the Van Ministry, it’s not too late, just let us know.Let them be a blessing to you like they have for us.
Please keep this ministry and the children in your prayers.There are so many opportunities.We give God all of the credit, we are just his vessels and we are the only exposure to Jesus Christ that these children have.
Carl & Sarah Lewis, Van Ministry Coordinators
It has been a good year so far for WMU. Our new calendar year started in September and so far we have helped with the Fair Ministry, visited the Southern Supreme Fruitcake Store outside of Asheboro, helped with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and supported several other ministries within the church. WMU led the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and our church family donated 222 lbs. of food which was donated to the Church of the Ascention.We also celebrated Women’s Focus Sunday in February and our ladies held our morning Worship Service.We are looking forward to working in other areas in the upcoming months including supporting Outreach with our annual Easter Event, working with Baptist Men to host a BBQ chicken fundraiser for Local and International Missions, support of the NC Baptist Children’s Home, etc.We are planning some future events and outings for the ladies to be discussed at our next meeting.
We meet the first Wednesday evening of each month at 7 PM.We have devotions, an update on what has happened and plan our future events.We would love to have you join us.
Sue Crater, WMU Director
The 2018 tutoring program is going well.We have 9 students enrolled from 1 st to 7th grades.We continue to tutor for Shady Grove and Cornatzer students on Tuesday evenings from 6 pm to 7 pm.We face some challenges sometimes such as having enough people to tutor, new ways the schools are teaching in certain subjects, etc. but the blessings we receive from helping these students is worth each and every challenge.I enjoy Tuesday evenings because I know I’m going to learn something new.Our last tutoring session for this session will be May 15, 2018.I want to thank each and every person who has stepped up and helped tutor this year and a special thank you to Pastor Rodney for setting the rooms up each week so we are ready to start on time.Without each one of you giving your time we could not make this ministry the success it is.
Sue Crater, Tutoring
Good News Club
We are having a great year with the Good News Club. It’s hard to believe that we will only meet 10 more times before we wrap up another year. We are holding steady at around 33 students. We are currently doing the series of God’s Plan in Action: The Early Church and we are also concentrating on learning the books of the Bible. We are very blessed to have Carl Lewis and Ray Edwards taking turns doing the Bible lessons each week, Faye Burcham and Rita Barks, sharing in the memory verses, Ray and Vickie Edwards doing the music, Sue Crater and Rodney Hellard doing the Mission Story and LuAnn Collins assisting with Sheparding. Janet Guttenberg was with us until her move to Florida. Of course we cannot leave out Rick and Donna Brown who do the snacks.
On December 13 th we had a birthday party for Jesus and we had approximately 20 family members attending. All of the students were surprised with a Bible, donated by the Gideons; a DVD of the movie “Jesus” and a prayer rock handmade by Vickie and Ray. Each week the children have an opportunity to put their prayer requests in our “God Can”. These requests are sent out to certain people that are our prayer warriors for the children. Since the program began over 5 years ago we still have the same prayer warriors. If you would like to be a prayer warrior please let Sue Crater know. You would be amazed at some of the requests these children have and it’s obvious that the prayers are working.
On January 31 st we had a surprise visit from the Western Piedmont Executive Director of the Child’s Evangelism Fellowship, Linda Harrison. Linda was very complimentary of our Club and the Leaders and offered no recommendations. Although we have not had anyone to accept Christ, the leaders spent time each week counseling 6-8 children and answering questions, giving them reassurance and praying with them. Please continue to pray for these children, for at least half of them this is the only exposure to Jesus Christ they have.
Sarah Lewis & Vickie Edwards, co-leaders
The Sunday School classes will be starting "The Gospel Project" over again beginning next quarter. If you have any old material, please give it to me. We will store them for use at a later time. Through the rest of the quarter, we will be studying "The God Who Sends" from the book of Acts. We are commissioned by God to take the good news to the world.
We have several new members to join since the start of 2018. Average SS Attendance is 53. Please plan to attend each Sunday and invite those that have not attended lately.
Dolores Hendrix, SS Director