Metairie Baptist Missive for June 24, 2015

VBS WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!

What a great week! Vacation Bible School was a tremendous success and God definitely blessed the time/effort. We at Metairie Baptist owe a great deal of thanks to so many who helped make the week a wonderful time as the children “journeyed off the map” and learned to follow Jesus as their guide. If you were around the church last week, you heard lots of singing, laughing, and teaching. It was a great week. Though I hesitate to single any out for appreciation, let me try and express thanks to some:

*A special thanks to Leah Weaver and Kathryn Burns. They really pulled it all together as the co-directors of VBS. Over the past months, they have invested countless hours into the planning and throughout the week they dealt with numerous details – and the entire time they kept the VBS on track and effective!

*Thanks to all who volunteered! Without your help, VBS would never happen. Thank you for giving of your time and efforts – and for modeling Christlikeness in front of the children throughout the week.

*Thanks to parents and adults who brought the children. As I mentioned on Sunday, the children can’t get to church by themselves so we are thankful to parents and other adults who felt it was important enough for the children to be brought to MBC.

*Thanks to you who donated items/supplies – your donations helped make the week not only effective, but affordable. Your investment will reap greatly in the lives of the children in the days ahead.

*Thanks to all who prayed throughout the week. Ultimately, any good thing that happens will be the result of God’s work – and I thank you for interceding on behalf of the children and volunteers throughout the week.

Now I ask that you join me as we continue to pray that the seeds planted in Vacation Bible School within the hearts of the children will continue to grow. We rejoice over decisions that have been made and pray that God will give us wisdom as we seek to nurture those decisions.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: The Life of Paul

Make plans to join us in the sanctuary tonight at 6:10 p.m. as we continue our study on “The Life of Paul.” Over the past weeks, we have discovered some about Paul’s early life as well as his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Join us tonight as we continue thinking about those days immediately following his conversion which led up to his being commissioned by the Holy Spirit as a missionary! If you were not able to make it to the previous studies, join us tonight – you’ll be able to pick right up where we are as we continue forward. Remember as well that we have activities for all ages tonight – and don’t forget to come early to enjoy our fellowship supper.

Sunday, June 28th

I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Make plans to join us as we study the Word in both Sunday School/Bible Study and during the morning worship service. During the morning service, we will be looking at Hebrews 7: Melchizedek! Pray that God would use the service for His honor in our lives – and invite others to join you!

Church Council/Business Meeting

Sunday night at 5:00 p.m., we will meet as a church in the Fellowship Hall for our monthly Business Meeting/Church Council. Join us as we discuss our financial matters and other business issues (including the new AC unit needed for the education building). In addition, we will begin talking through some matters related to our new church year which will begin in August. Come hear about the possibility of a new mission project as well. In addition, this is the time for you to have the opportunity to raise questions or to offer suggestions. After all, you make up the church!

Memorial Service for Bill Goynes

We were saddened and surprised to hear of the passing of Bill Goynes. I know you join me in continuing to pray for Mary, Jason, Jordan, and Joel – as well as the extended family and friends impacted by Bill’s passing. The memorial service will be held at Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home on Friday, June 26, 2015. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., followed by a service at 12:00 p.m.

Reflections on the SBC Meeting in Columbus

Personally, I wanted to thank you for your prayers while I was away at the Southern Baptist Convention Meeting last week in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, I have attended more conventions than I can remember. I do so usually as an employee of the SBC due to my serving at Leavell College/New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. But I am also glad to be able to do so as a representative of Metairie Baptist. This year the convention was extremely unusual. There were few matters of debate and controversy (which is a nice change). The emphasis was upon prayer for our work in the United States and in the world, as well as prayer for the renewal of God’s church. A different spirit was noted among those attending as there was an anticipation of God’s speaking throughout the preaching and the reports. One of my favorite moments of the convention was the time of prayer for spiritual renewal and kingdom effectiveness which took place on Tuesday night. Over 5,000 people gathered together that night at the convention hall for the purpose of prayer and praise – it was a tremendous night. In my opinion, if we keep this as our focus, we have better days ahead for the SBC. Like all denominations, the SBC is in a period of decline. Last year over 2,000 churches were started in the United States through the North American Mission Board. Despite these great gains, during that same year over 3,700 churches closed their doors. We live in a world that needs to know of the hope that is found in Christ – only through individuals who are committed to Christ and through churches who are committed to Kingdom effectiveness will be able to spread this great hope to those who need to know. You may be asking, “So what does this mean for MBC?” It simply means that we must continue the journey of growing individually in Christlikeness, of being a church that stays focused on matters of discipleship, and of determining that we will continue to reach out to those who need to know of Jesus through intentional ministry.

I am thankful for you and will continue to pray for you! If I can pray specifically for you, please let me know. You can reach me at thomas.strong@metairiebc.org or 504-835-2611.
On the journey,
Thomas

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