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

Metairie Baptist Missive — Sept 17, 2014

Half way through the week already! Time keeps marching forward. This became even more apparent to me when I walked into a store the other day and saw Christmas trees!   We have had a great year at Metairie Baptist, but let’s determine that we will use this last third of the church year for His honor and finish the year strong! In the words of Paul, let’s “press on.” (Phil. 3:14)

A special thanks to all who participated in Helping Hands last Saturday. Lots of great work was done around the church – and all was definitely needed to be done! They cleaned the kitchen, worked on the fence rows, cleaned out some areas, and performed a number of other helpful tasks. I greatly rejoice in your willingness to help with the necessary tasks around the church. Thank you.

I rejoiced in the opportunity to baptize Hunter Winn on Sunday morning. He is a great young man, and we are thankful for his willingness to follow after Christ. Join me in praying for Hunter. Pray also for Nolan Lovering, who joined the church by watchcare on Sunday morning. Nolan is currently a student at the seminary and has made a decision to invest his life in Metairie Baptist while he is here. Of course, Nolan has been active at the church already (but now it is official!).

Sunday night was a meaningful time as we had the chance to participate in the ordination of Josh Grimsley and Joe Ensminger. These are two men on whom the church affirmed the call of God into the deacon ministry. I am thankful for these two, as well as all of those who are currently serving as deacons. Thanks as well to those ladies who helped with the reception afterwards.

Our Bible Studies continue tonight – join us at 6:10 p.m. for a time of fellowship and encouragement. All three studies (the ladies, the men, and the discipleship group for men and women) will be taking place tonight and you are invited to join in these. We are encouraging you to participate in these because we believe that God uses these times to help us in our walk with Him. If you have been attending, keep on coming! If you have not been able to attend a group yet, make tonight your first night!

Make plans to join us this Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for our monthly Business Meeting/Church Council. You will hear reports about the finances of the church as well as some decisions which are being made. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to be a part of discussing the plans for the future. Of particular note, we will be discussing the plans for the upcoming Fall Festival which is right around the corner! This is your opportunity as a church member to be involved in the planning and processes of the church.

We voted at the last business meeting to begin the process of replacing the roof on the education buildings. In case you haven’t noticed, the work has begun. Please pardon the inconveniences for this period. We are excited to have this project under way so that we can begin the next step of repairing the inside of the facility.

I am thankful for you. Please remember to be in prayer for God’s continued working at Metairie Baptist, and make yourself available to His use both in the ministry of the church and in your daily life. I am praying for you!

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — Sept. 10, 2014

Metairie Baptist Missive

September 10, 2014

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

               Good morning!  I find myself getting up each morning with a sense of anticipation that God is going to do a great work.  I do so with a understanding that He has not finished with my life, with His church in Metairie, and with His world.  As a result of that anticipation, I keep my eyes open and my ears listening because I don’t want to miss a single working of God this day.  My prayer is that you live each day with that same anticipation.  I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippians:  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6)

               Our hearts were saddened to hear of the sudden death of Dave Galubenski.  He was a man that God used in so many ways to encourage others through his happy demeanor and his Christlike attitude of service to others.  The memorial service was this morning in Denton, TX.  We sent flowers as a reminder to the family of our love and prayers.  Because Dave knew Christ personally, we have great confidence that he is with His Father in heaven.

               Tonight is another opportunity to study together in small groups –“The Walk:  Encouraging you on your walk with Christ.” I am so excited about what God is doing through these studies.  If you were not able to make it last week, you are encourage to come and to join one of the groups tonight.  Several opportunities are provided: 

               *A women’s study led by Terry Dickson.

               *A men’s study led by Patrick Weaver.

               *A discipleship study for men and women led by myself.

In addition, remember that our preschoolers, children, and youth will be participating in studies during this time.  Signs will be posted so you will be able to find your place tonight – make plans to come and join us at 6:10 p.m. tonight!

               Saturday is a special Helping Hands day at MBC!  All are invited to meet at the church at 8:00 a.m. on this Saturday, Sept 13.  The purpose of the day will be to give the kitchen a thorough cleaning since it has been used by so many various groups (and is in need of a thorough cleaning).  Also, if you are a senior adult and you have need around your house for which you would like some assistance, please feel free to contact the office and leave a message (504-835-2611).  Helping Hands will be working to help with these needs this Saturday as well.

               This Sunday (Sept. 14) is going to be another great day at Metairie Baptist. 

               *Join us for Sunday School at 9:15 a.m.  We had 170 in Sunday School last week – make plans to join us this week.  God uses this time of Bible study and fellowship to encourage us in our lives.

               *Join us for Worship at 10:30 a.m.  Hunter Winn will be baptized during the service as a testimony of his commitment to follow after Christ.  I will continue the sermon series “Majoring on the Minors” by preaching from Zechariah.

               *Join us for Deacon Ordination at 5:00 p.m.  We recently elected two men as deacons who will be ordained into the deacon ministry:  Joe Ensminger and Josh Grimsley.  Come and affirm the work of God in the lives of these men.  A reception will follow.

               *If you are an ordained man, please join us at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday in the conference room for the Deacon Ordination Council. 

               As mentioned briefly above, this past Sunday was a great Sunday.  We kicked off the new Sunday School year with a high attendance.  Thank you to our wonderful teachers who give sacrificially of themselves each week as they study and prepare for the teaching opportunity.  Also, thanks to all who made the breakfast a special time last Sunday.  If you received an “apple” with a student’s name on it, don’t forget to pray for them!

               I look forward to seeing you tonight!  God has graciously given us the fellowship at Metairie Baptist to encourage us – don’t miss out on the encouragement and the work of God in your life!

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — September 3, 2014

 

Metairie Baptist Missive

September 3, 2014

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

               Good Wednesday Morning!  I trust you are doing well.  This is both a busy and an exciting week at Metairie Baptist.  My prayers have been consistent for you – that you would grow in a deeper knowledge of God and His desire for your life.  The opportunities that are taking place at MBC this week will encourage you to know Him more.

I have greatly enjoyed the past weeks of being able to lead Bible Study on Wednesday night.  As we have studied, we have discovered not only more about the life of Jesus, but we have been confronted with what it means to be a disciple, a daily follower of Christ.  We will return to Mark at some point in the future to complete the study, but tonight begins a new series!

We are referring to our Bible Study opportunities as “The Walk” because each study is designed to encourage you in your daily walk with Christ.  Three opportunities are being offered on Wednesday night beginning tonight:

*Patrick Weaver is going to be leading a study for men entitled “Autopsy of a Deceased Church.”  The purpose of the study is designed to encourage you to be an active part of the ministry and life of the church.  You’ll be challenged to find your place in the church and to be reminded that the church exists to bring God the glory He deserves.

*Terry Dickson will be leading a women’s Bible study entitled “Seed.”  The ladies will be encouraged to look towards the Word of God which is implanted within one to give hope and help for daily living.  Come and be encouraged to be the person God has designed you to be.

*I will be facilitating a study entitled “The Disciple’s Cross.”  We will be studying what it means to be in a relationship with Christ – to abide in Christ daily.  This study will provide the challenge of a daily experience with Christ as we work through our study workbook together.  Both men and women are invited.

I am confident that God is going to use these Bible Study experiences.  As a result, I want to encourage you to make plans not only to attend tonight, but to be a part of these in the upcoming weeks.

In addition to the studies tonight, we are offering additional opportunities for study and encouragement.  Specifically, I wanted to remind the ladies of our church that a new Ladies’ Bible Study is being held on Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. in the Parlor.  Lisa Drumm will be facilitating this study which is designed to encourage and to challenge.  This study will begin this Sunday, Sept. 7.

The “New Day” is this Sunday, Sept. 7.  We have called it a “new day” because it is the start of the new church year.  We will begin with a Fellowship Breakfast at 8:30 until 9:15 a.m.  During this time, you will be given the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship and to make a commitment to pray for our students throughout the upcoming year.  Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m.  Our children and youth will be promoting to their new classes this week.  If you haven’t been a part of this Bible Study/fellowship opportunity, I encourage you to begin this week.  If you have come regularly, keep the commitment!

Don’t forget the special presentation of “3 Women, 3 Paths, One True God” which will take place in the sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night, Sept. 6.

I look forward to seeing you tonight.  Be certain of my prayers for you.  If I can pray specifically with you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

On the journey,
Thomas