The MBC Missive for December 10, 2104

Good morning! I am glad to be home and missed being with you this weekend. I had a good visit with my Mom for a couple of days while in Nashville to attend the meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As always, being home is wonderful! While away, you were on my heart and I was praying consistently for you.

Thank you to the Sanctuary Choir for their leadership on Sunday morning. I have heard that the time was a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the “impossible becoming possible” and to reflect upon the wonderful gift of Jesus. These men and women have given much effort to make the morning a meaningful time and for that I am thankful. As always, a special thanks to Carol for her leadership and for her heart for worship that is so clearly reflected in her ministry and life.

Also, thank you to all who helped with the Parents’ Night out! I know that both the children and the parents had a great evening. For those who worked, your ministry to the children and the parents was valuable. A special thanks to Leah Weaver for her hard work in coordinating the event.

We continue our celebration of Christmas this week during the worship service. Our church celebration will culminate in our time together on December 21. Our Christmas Fellowship is at 4:00 p.m. on that day, Sunday, December 21. Immediately following the fellowship will be our annual MBC Christmas Candlelight service which will be held at 5:00 p.m. Make plans now to join us and to invite your friends and family as we remember the meaning of Christmas.

Please remember to bring your items as gifts to support the Homeless Ministry. Shopping bags are located in the Orion Foyer as a collection point. Everything you give will be used to help those in need. The collection will continue throughout the month of December.

I look forward to seeing you tonight as we meet for the purpose of fellowship and Bible Study. Join us at 6:10 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
On the journey,
Thomas

The Missive for December 3, 2014

Good morning! December has arrived and with the arrival of December comes a busy few weeks ahead. In the midst of all the busyness, let’s make a determination that we will not lose the focus of worshiping God’s greatest gift throughout this time.

I am grateful for what God has been doing and continues to do at Metairie Baptist. Two weeks ago, we met as a church for our Thanksgiving Gathering on Sunday night. The fellowship during the time was wonderful. The purpose, though, was to cause ourselves to remember and to be grateful for who God is and for all He has been doing in and through MBC. It was a great time of reflection and a time to stand in awe of God – as well as to be amazed at all His work at MBC. Let’s make a commitment to be faithful to Him in all of our lives and to press forward with the ministry to which we have been called as Metairie Baptist.

Many activities fill our calendars in the weeks ahead. Let me remind you of a few of these (for a complete listing, please look at the church calendar and the weekly bulletin):

*Parents Night Out – This Friday night, December 5, from 5:30 until 9:30 p.m. Bring your children for a fun night at the church and enjoy some time accomplishing other tasks (such as shopping) or enjoying a quiet meal. Your children will be provided with a time of structured fun and entertainment. Children 6 months to 6th grade are welcome for this event. For more information, contact Leah Weaver or the church office.

*Ladies Cookie Swap – This Saturday, December 6, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the home of Pat Trembley.

*Directory Portraits – This Friday evening and Saturday morning. If you did not have your picture taken for the latest directory, you can have one made for the directory update. Contact Brenda Jenkins or the church office for more information.

*”When Earth Received Her King!” – This Sunday, December 7 during the Morning Worship Service. The Adult Choir will be presenting this Christmas worship musical which will remind us how the impossible becomes possible. Invite your friends and family as well as we join together in focusing upon the reason for our Christmas celebration.

*The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Post Office – NOW OPEN! Bring your Christmas cards for church members to the church, donate 25 cents per card, and leave them for your friends to pick up. All the proceeds will go towards the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. Don’t forget to stop by regularly and see if you have any cards!

*Stocking the Pantry for the Homeless Ministry – We are collecting staple items for the homeless ministry throughout the month of December. Large gifts bags are in the Orion Foyer where you can leave your donations. All types of items are needed and a list is available in the church office/Orion Foyer. You can bring items such as chicken noodle soup, peanut butter, or coffee. Please do not bring industrial size but regular family sized items. These items are used to prepare the ministry meals that are given out on Saturdays.

*Christmas Fellowship and Candlelight Service – December 21. The Christmas Fellowship will occur from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon – and the purpose of this time is to provide an opportunity for you to fellowship with the church family. Be certain to invite your friends and family. The Candlelight Service will take place immediately after the fellowship at 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This service is always a special time to stop and to reflect upon the real meaning of Christmas through songs and through Scripture.

*New Year’s Eve Eve Celebration Led by the Mobberly Youth Choir – that is right – not a duplication. On Jan. 30th (the Eve of New Year’s Eve), we will be hosting a youth choir who will lead us in worship on Tuesday night, prior to New Year’s Eve. The Mobberly Youth Choir will provide a great opportunity for us to gather together. Make plans to be a part of this special worship opportunity – Tuesday night, Jan 30th.

This is just a sampling of the many events and happenings in the next few weeks. Don’t miss these opportunities for fellowship and ministry.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Due to the busy Christmas season calendar, we are moving Business Meeting to Wednesday night, Dec. 17, at 6:10. Please note the change and make plans to be in attendance.

I look forward to seeing you tonight. We are meeting as one group for the next few weeks. I will be leading the Bible Study tonight on Galatians 4 – “Just the Right Time.”

Be certain of my prayers for you.

On the journey,
Thomas

The MBC Missive for November 5, 2014

The words that are instantly on my mind this morning are “Thank you!” Thank you to all who helped in so many various ways to make the Fall Festival 2014 a success. First, a great thanks to Daniel Guagliardo and Nolan Lovering for their leadership. Thank you as well to all who helped by manning the inflatables, helping with registration, hosting a “trunk,” serving food, praying for others, mingling to show the love of Christ, and a host of other ways. In each of these actions, you demonstrated a true Christlike love that is evidenced in a servant attitude. Well done! Though the weather turned cool, the crowd was great and the quality of the conversations was really good. A special thank you as well to those who made donations. We had several businesses who supported us and we will identify them in the days ahead as we express thanks to them. A great deal of gratitude goes to those who prayed for this ministry event. This festival was truly a church event in which the church gathered together for ministry. Well done! Well done!

A reminder to the men not to miss Breakfast and the Arts this Saturday beginning at 8:00 a.m. This not only will provide an opportunity to expand some of our horizons (by becoming an amateur artist for the day), but the time will provide a great opportunity for fellowship and encouragement with other men.

On Sunday, the Deacons will be meeting at 5:00 p.m. This is a regularly scheduled meeting. One of the items for discussion will be the proposed budget for the upcoming year. A responsibility of the deacons is to provide input to the Stewardship Committee, and this meeting will provide that opportunity. Other matters of ministry importance will be discussed at the meeting as well.

Don’t forget that November 16 will be our regularly scheduled Business Meeting/Church Council at 5:00 p.m. At this meeting, the entire church will have the opportunity to hear the 2015 Budget Proposal from the Stewardship Committee and to provide feedback. According to our stated process, the church will then vote on the approval of the budget the following Sunday (November 23) during the morning worship service without discussion.

Please join me in praying as we make preparations for the new year of ministry – 2015. Pray for the budget preparations but also pray for the ministry preparations (realizing the two are intricately connected). God has done a great work over this past year and with great anticipation I am looking forward to seeing what He is going to do in the year ahead.

I look forward to seeing you tonight. Join us as we enjoy a fellowship meal (lasagna!) which will be followed by our Small Group studies at 6:10 p.m.

Be certain of my prayers for you.

On the journey,
Thomas

MBC Missive for October 29, 2014

“So the world will know, the saved will grow, and the church will go.”

Good morning!  Can you believe that we are in the very last week of October 2014?  The reality of this year quickly coming to an end hit me the other day when I walked into Lowe’s and discovered all the Christmas decorations.  Admittedly, the decorations are out too early (in my humble opinion), but it true that the holiday season which surrounds the end of our year is upon us.  How have you been able to use this year for His honor?  If we truly believe that God is worthy, then we should likewise believe that every ounce of our energy and every moment of our day should be lived in such a manner that we strive to bring honor and glory to Him.  Thankfully today is a new day – so let’s capture this day and live in such a manner that God receives the honor He deserves.

I want you to know that I am so proud of our youth!  Over this past weekend, they had a weekend retreat in which they were encouraged in their walks with Christ.  In addition, they handed out fliers for the Fall Festival and visited some of our church family members.  They are a great group of young people – and personally, I am encouraged each week to see them participating in worship (on the front row!).  Join me in praying that God would bless their lives, guide their steps, and make them aware continually of His love for them.

The big news of the week is that the Fall Festival is this Friday (Oct. 31) from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.  We have been making many preparations and now is the time to implement those plans.  First and foremost, we need you!  Please make plans to attend the festival and come with a willingness to help in whatever way is needed.  If you haven’t had a chance to sign up, you can contact the church office (or check in the Orion Foyer tonight) to sign up.  In addition, we need candy – lots of candy!  Please bring individually wrapped candy so we can give out of the abundance to the children in attendance.  As you come, remember that you represent the church so take the opportunity to greet and to meet those visiting from our neighborhood.  A FINAL REMINDER:  The reason we do this is to take this opportunity to demonstrate to our neighbors that we are here and that we want to demonstrate Christlikeness to them through ministering to them and their families.  Would you join me in praying diligently during the upcoming days that God would use this night of ministry?

A special thank you to those who helped place invitations to the Fall Festival on the doors of our neighbors during the blitz last week.  Thanks for your effort in helping to get the word out!

If you have been preparing a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child, please know that we will be collecting the boxes this week.  Bring them to MBC on Sunday – we will collect them and pray for God’s blessings upon them during the morning worship service.  Can you imagine a child opening a box containing gifts at Christmas when they were anticipating another year of not receiving anything?  Can you imagine the children discovering the story of Jesus’ birth and the hope that is found in Him?  What a great opportunity to share Christ’s love with others – so if you are able, bring your boxes by this Sunday!

We have several other opportunities coming up this month which you will be hearing more about in the days ahead.  Put these on your calendar as you prepare for the month of November:

*Men’s Ministry:  Breakfast and the Arts will be held on November 8, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

*Helping Hands Thanksgiving Baskets will be put together and delivered on November 22.

*The Thanksgiving Gathering for the entire church family will be on Sunday, November 23 at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

*Budget discussions will take place during the month of November:  The Deacons will review the budget on November 9, the church will discuss the budget during the Business Meeting on November 16, and the entire church will vote on the budget during the morning worship service (without discussion) on November 23.

Don’t forget to join us tonight for our small group studies and make plans to be at church on Sunday.  Each time we meet is an opportunity for God to speak to us, to encourage us, and to direct us.  Don’t miss out on what God wants to do in your life and through your life.

On the journey,
Thomas

The MBC Missive for October 15, 2014

Isn’t the weather absolutely wonderful? To me it is a reminder of the refreshment that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Often times we have long spells of intensity in life, but then comes that refreshing work of the Spirit within our lives that both restores and provides renewal. I trust that today that as you seek after God’s direction for your life and spend time with Him that He will renew and restore you.

A special thank you to all who helped make Sunday’s New Member Luncheon a success. We enjoyed a great time of fellowship and encouragement as we welcomed our newest MBC members. Bob and Betty Frechette gave an extra special effort to make the event meaningful – and for them we are thankful. If you were unable to attend, keep watching because we will be planning another in the upcoming months.

The Fall Festival is almost upon us – October 31 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.! Please help us make the final preparations. Would you be willing to help in one or more of the following ways?

  1. We need volunteers to participate in the Fall Festival Blitz on Saturday, Oct. 25 beginning at 10:00 a.m. Our goal is place an invitation on the doors of our neighbors so that they know they are invited.
  2. We need people to volunteer their trunks – specifically to decorate their trunks for the “trunk or treat” portion of the evening. A sign-up sheet is available in the Orion Foyer. You can talk with Daniel for more information.
  3. We need volunteers who will help staff the ministry event. You can help by serving food, participating in registration, providing oversight for the inflatables, serving as greeters/minglers, or working in the prayer booth. Sign-up sheets are available in the Orion Foyer.
  4. We need candy – lots of candy! A collection spot is located in the Orion Foyer. We would like to have individually wrapped candy that can be given to the children who come to the festival.

Let me remind you that the reason we do this is to provide ministry to our community by reminding them that we as a church are here to minister and to let them know of the hope that we have found in Christ. Please join me in beginning to pray now for this ministry opportunity. Also, I would encourage you to make plans to join us for the Fall Festival on October 31, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daniel Guagliardo and Nolan Lovering are coordinating this event so if you have any questions, they are more than happy to help.

Our Church Council/Business Meeting has been rescheduled – we will be meeting on Sunday, Oct. 26. Make plans to be a part of this time of ministry planning and evaluation which begins at 5:00 p.m.

I look forward to seeing you tonight. Our small group studies continue at 6:10 with our fellowship meal beginning at 5:00 p.m.

In closing, Jana and I wanted to express our appreciation to you for the recognition and gift on Sunday for Pastor Appreciation. I am thankful to God for allowing me to be your pastor. I find it hard to believe that over 11 years ago I began as your interim and that I have been your pastor for almost 10 years. I rejoice in God’s working at Metairie Baptist and look forward to being a part of what He is going to be doing in the years ahead.

On the journey,
Thomas

The MBC Missive for Oct. 8, 2014

Good afternoon! I am rejoicing over God’s working in and through Metairie Baptist Church. On Sunday, we found reason to rejoice as God led five people to make decisions on Sunday – Norman, Priscilla, Adam, Phoenix, and Tray. Join me in praying for these five that God would use Metairie Baptist to encourage them and that they would find a place of ministry through Metairie Baptist.

Thank you to all those who donated food for the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home. Your donations were picked up on Monday and taken to be sorted. By giving to this food drive, you have helped to provide a safe and healthy environment for many children throughout the upcoming year.

A few reminders for the days ahead:

*New Member Luncheon: We are hosting a new member luncheon on Oct. 12 (this upcoming Sunday) immediately following the morning worship service. If you have joined during the past six months or were unable to attend the previous luncheon, please makes plans to be a part of this time. You can make your reservations by responding to this email or by calling the church office at 504-835-2611. The purpose of the luncheon is simply to welcome you officially to the church and to answer any questions you might have about Metairie Baptist. It will be a great time of fellowship as well!

*Operation Christmas Child: We are currently participating in Operation Christmas Child. If you have taken a box home, don’t forget to use the days ahead to fill it up so you can bring it back to the church by the first Sunday in November (November 2). Boxes are still available if you would like to fill additional boxes or lead your Sunday School class to complete boxes as a group. This is a great way to remember that Christmas gives us a unique opportunity to minister to others.

*Fall Festival: Plans are well under way for our annual Fall Festival which will be on Oct. 31 from 6-9 p.m. You can help by signing up in the Orion Foyer to sponsor a trunk for the “trunk or treat,” to assist with the preparation and serving of food, to help with registration, to provide assistance with the inflatables, and a host of other ways. We also need candy – lots of candy! A box is in the Orion Foyer for the purpose of collecting individually wrapped candy which we will be giving to the children of our community.

*Fall Festival Blitz: In preparation for the Fall Festival, we will be putting invitations on the doors of our neighbors. Make plans to join us on Saturday, Oct. 25, to walk our neighborhoods and let others know of the special night planned for them.

*Business Meeting/Church Council: Because of events happening in our neighborhood, we have moved the October Business Meeting/Church Council to Oct. 26th. This is one week later than normal but we believe this will provide a better day for all to participate.

Please join me in continuing to pray for the family of Maxine Jackson. We had a meaningful time of reflecting upon her life yesterday at her memorial service. It was a time of worship and thankfulness. I am appreciative also of the many who helped host the meal as a time to encourage the family and friends.

I look forward to seeing you tonight. Don’t forget that Bible study/small group study starts at 6:10 p.m. You don’t want to miss what God is doing at Metairie Baptist on Wednesday night!

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — September 24, 2014

Good morning! We had another great weekend at Metairie Baptist, as well as a great week. And it looks like it is going to be a busy few weeks ahead. At church council on Sunday night, it became apparent that we have many events and opportunities in the upcoming days. Let me point some of them out (and this list is not comprehensive – I will continue to unveil them over the next weeks).

THE BIG VISIT: Mitch will be leading in this outreach event and would like for all to join us on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. During this time, we will be making multiple attempts at meeting some of our neighbors, contacting those who have visited, and encouraging some of our members. Everyone is invited and there is something everyone can do: write cards, make calls, or participate in visits.

FALL FOOD ROUND UP: Fall is here and along with it comes the annual Fall Food Roundup benefitting the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home! Dr. Hancock, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, reminds us, “Our annual Fall Food Roundup is a great example of how Louisiana Baptists have demonstrated the day-to-day kindness of providing food for the children God has placed in our care. Thank you for your willingness to serve Jesus in this practical way. You literally help to feed our children for an entire year through your faithful participation in this event. You may contribute any commercially canned or processed foods, dry goods, paper products, toiletry items, cleaning supplies and money. The money received from the Roundup will be used to purchase milk, bread, eggs, meat, and fresh produce needed throughout the year.” There is a drop off site ready for your donations in the Orion Foyer as well as a list of suggested items. Remember that average family sizes are needed, not large industrial sizes. Metairie Baptist pick up date is Monday, Oct. 6, please bring all donations by Sunday the 5th and remember to pray for these children and all of those who so lovingly provide for them. “For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat….” (Matthew 25:35)

NEW MEMBER LUNCHEON: On Sunday, Oct. 12 after the morning service, we will be hosting a luncheon for all those who have joined the church since the last luncheon or who were unable to participate in the luncheon last time. The purpose is to enjoy the fellowship and to provide some general information about the church and ministries. The Men’s Ministry has graciously agreed to host this event! If you would like to attend, you can make your reservations through contacting the church office at 504-835-2611 or emailing Sharon at sharon.kirk@metairiebc.org.

FALL FESTIVAL: Our annual Fall Festival is coming quickly. Sign-up sheets will be in the Orion Foyer so that you can begin now to make preparations as to how you are going to help with this most important ministry.  Daniel Guagliardo and Nolan Lovering will be coordinating the event this year. Ministry teams are being developed so you will have plenty of opportunity to help (registration, hosting a trunk, preparing and serving food, overseeing the inflatables, etc.). Many more details to come – but remember that the Fall Festival will take place on Oct. 31 from 6-9 p.m. Among other matters, we are encouraging you to bring individually wrapped candy to the church throughout the month of October which will be used at this event.

FALL FESTIVAL BLITZ: This year we are going to make certain our neighbors know about the Fall Festival by placing invitations on their doors. This blitz will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 10:00 a.m. All are invited to help pass out the invitations — and invitations will be available for you to give out to your family and friends.

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD: We began our participation in the Operation Christmas Child ministry this week. If you were unable to be at church on Sunday, we still have boxes available with information in the church office. Our goal is to have as many individuals, classes, and groups prepare boxes as are able. On November 2, we will collect the boxes, though you can bring them to the church whenever you are finished packing your box. This is a great way to experience the joy of giving that will help us prepare our hearts better for the upcoming holiday season.

In addition to these mentioned above, we have other great opportunities of which you will be hearing more. Included in these, are the following:

*Our Ladies Retreat to be held on Oct. 3-4 at Metairie Baptist.

*Our Youth will be hosting a Spaghetti Fundraiser on Oct. 5 after the morning service.

*Our Men’s Ministry will be attending the Loyola Football game for the purpose of fellowship on Oct. 11.

As you can see, we have much going on in the month of October. I am fully aware that not everyone can do everything. I am asking, though, that you pray and seek out what God is calling you to do. Once you have discerned God’s direction, join us on the journey!

I look forward to seeing you tonight. We will have our fellowship meal at 5:00 p.m. which will be followed by our Discipleship Groups at 6:10 p.m. You are both encouraged and invited to be a part of these happenings/ministries.

I have enjoyed the opportunity to preach through the Minor Prophets: “Majoring on the Minors.” Last week I completed this series by preaching on Malachi. This upcoming Sunday I will begin a new series on Hebrews. This series will begin on Sunday morning and will continue until Thanksgiving when we will take a break. The series will then resume in January. I am aware that many of you have been studying Hebrews on Sunday morning, so this sermon series should reinforce those truths that you have been learning. Come ready on Sunday to hear God’s word to you – and pray that God will challenge and direct your life through the time together on Sunday.

May God bless you richly!

On the journey,
Thomas