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October Monthly Newsletter World Communion by Jason Edwards

Christians across the globe celebrate this every year on the first Sunday in October. Whether in our sanctuary or with others in downtown Liberty, our celebration has largely been contained by morning worship as we receive symbols of Christ’s body and blood from the Lord’s table. This is good, though this year I’m wondering if this Sunday might serve as an October call to action, one shaped by the meanings of World Communion.

Communion in our context is first and foremost Eucharist. When you hear this word, you may simply think of it as another Christian tradition’s designation for the Lord’s Supper. It is, but this name contains within it a call to action we ought to heed. It comes from the Greek word used in the telling of the Last Supper: “The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας), he broke it, and said, "This is my body…” The word Eucharist literally means thanksgiving. I know it’s only October, but perhaps this year we shouldn’t wait for the turkey to prompt our practice of gratitude. We’re learning, after all, that gratefulness is key to cultivating joy.

A “communion” is also an intimate fellowship. People sometimes talk about communing with nature. We don’t often refer to a meaningful meal with family or great friends as “communing” with one another, but the reference works. (Hey kids – come to the table – it’s time to commune!) Beyond that, a communion can also be a group that experiences an ongoing connection because of what they hold in common. As a church and as a Church, (big C and little c) we have this sacred inheritance.

We are mysteriously interconnected to one another at a local and global level by the power of the Holy Spirit. What might it mean for us to practice that aspect of World Communion this month? Perhaps it’s time to read stories of suffering Christian brothers and sisters from places like Sudan. This may be the perfect month to share a meal with people whose ethnic or economic reality offers a different worldview than your own. We may want to spend this month attempting to be completely open to others, no matter how difficult that might be. At Second Baptist, we continue to celebrate our recent decision to make our church membership as open as our communion table. What if our hearts could open up a bit more too? It seems to me our hearts can always stand to open up a bit more too. What might that look like for you?

Finally, World Communion is about our common commitment to the Good News. Paul writes “for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) Christians all over our world are connected because we have been swept up into this Holy Communion with God and others by the saving, redeeming, unifying, life-giving power of Jesus Christ. That’s not just something worth celebrating, that’s worth sharing. Who might you invite into Communion this month?

With Thanksgiving,

Jason Edwards
Senior Pastor

Posted by Jason Edwards at Monday, September 25, 2017 | 0 comments
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The gifts he gave were that some would be gardners

We may be guilty of sometimes forgetting that this is God’s gathered community and its God’s Spirit that moves and works in each person here. For example, some people fretted when the Cain’s followed a calling to give leadership at Grace Baptist Church. Who would do our lawn!? To be sure, we knew we would miss them from this community for many reasons but this was something to which several persons gave voice. Of course, it didn’t take long after they left for the beautiful yard around our building to begin to look as shabby as someone needing a haircut (I looked in the mirror earlier today). Probably many people noticed the lawn but that Spirit moved and worked in Greg and Linda Greason to do something about it. They stepped up, waded and weeded their way in. We all, immediately noticed that God was at work in the lawn again! This time through servants we know and love as Greg and Linda. In my preparation for ministry, I heard more than once that if God needs a work done, someone is being called to do it. It makes sense because there is much to be done and a place for everyone to do what God has gifted him or her to do.

Submitted by Connie McNeill

Posted by Connie McNeill at Friday, September 22, 2017 | 0 comments
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Are You a Hall of Famer? by Larry Gregory

Are you in a Hall of Fame?  Maybe you are, and you don't know it. I make them up in my world, and one of them is the 2BC Custodial Hall of Fame. During my years at Second Baptist, there have been many individuals work the Custodian position, but only the select few make it to the 2BC Custodial Hall of Fame. 

One of the members is Don Reed. Don was in this post when Ellen and I came to Second Baptist. Don was the greatest!  He was everything to everybody, and he did well at it. Another person in my 2BC Custodial Hall of Fame is Billy Alspaugh. I never met Billy, but I have heard many stories that were all good. I know he was loved by the congregation, so I am sure he is a 2BC Custodial Hall of Fame member.

As with any Hall of Fame, one does not get inducted easily. There is usually at least a five-year block of time for one to become eligible. Jerry Springs is certainly a nominee, but it is a little early to induct him. Jerry brought the Custodial position to a new level after Don. Jerry, like the other two, was certainly loved by the congregation and I see him with his name on the wall one day in the future.

Have you met Ken Slater?  Ken is the new guy on this block of God's Green Earth. He brings experience with him and a fresh outlook. Ken is doing a great job, and I look forward to the day when each member of the congregation loves him just like the others. When you see Ken, welcome him to the church, and we'll see together how far Ken takes this position to the next level.

Submitted by Larry Gregory

at Thursday, September 21, 2017 | 0 comments
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