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2BC BLOG

Page 8 of 42

Finding Community in MOPS by Julia Mees

I think almost everyone’s looking for a way to be a part of something bigger than themselves. A way to find greater meaning, common ground, and community. One place where I always feel a part of something bigger than myself is at MOPS. Together, this community of moms forms something much stronger than each of us alone. 

I remember what it was like to have a new baby and to be learning the ropes as a stay at home mom in a new town.  I just didn’t feel like mothering should be done in isolation…I needed friends, and my daughter needed friends too. We needed a group of people going through a similar phase of life. When I was invited to MOPS and realized that there were so many other moms out there who I could learn from and go through motherhood with, I was SO excited. And so I had the courage to go back, month after month, to that room where I knew very few people, but would slowly create lifelong friendships.  I always think back on that feeling of excitement and am quick to talk about MOPS and invite anyone who I think might love this community. I truly want everyone in our area to feel welcome in our MOPS group and feel like they belong here. MOPS is not an exclusive group…there’s no invitation needed. You don’t have to be a member of Second Baptist. You don’t even need to be religious. MOPS International is a vehicle for moms to find support in faith and friendship, and to grow in faith and friendship as well…from whatever your starting point is. I hope that if you’re reading this and you could use a little more friendship, laughter, fun, and support in your mothering experience, you’ll email me and become a part of our group. MOPS is about strengthening women so that we can be the best moms we can be, and so that no mom is ever alone. Drop me an email! 

Submitted by Julia Mees, MOPS Steering Team

at Wednesday, September 20, 2017 | 0 comments
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Opening Windows by Pam May

David and I have a new house.  Since closing, we have made some discoveries about the house, and we also think we have gained a little insight into the previous owner.  We believe she was extremely security conscious.  One reason we think this is that at every door there is a sign letting everyone know that the house is security monitored by ADT, Rollins, Securitylink, and there may be others; I can’t remember.  David also thinks that for reasons of safety, the previous owner had the windows painted and caulked shut.  There is not a window in the house that we can open.  One of the projects I am working on in my spare time is to strip paint and caulk from around the windows.  It’s quite a job.

One discovery David made, hiding in a closet, was a screen for the front door.  He put it in, and we have some fresh air!  We can feel a breeze.  I can smell the flowers from the flower beds right outside the door.  I can hear the birds.  I can hear the kids walking by after school.  Who knew a little screen would be such a blessing.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from the Old Testament, and it begins “Fear not for I am with you, be not afraid for I am your God.”  I also love the message the angel gave to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be for all people.”  Jesus also modeled for us a life of not fearing “the other” or people that are different from us.

I wonder how many times we miss a blessing for ourselves or others because we are afraid and start painting and caulking closed the windows in our lives.

So, let’s get busy, and get to work to start prying up those windows.

Pam May

Pam serves Second as Ministry Assistant for Office Support.

at Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | 0 comments
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A Note from Pastor Jason-September Newsletter

A Historic Move

I’m so proud of you.

At our July Church Conference, we made a historic move toward greater inclusion and ecumenism. After voting to accept the Deacon Baptism Task Force’s report and recommendations, we voted to amend our church membership policy. Until now, our policy (like the majority of Baptist churches in our world) has stated that only followers of Christ who have experienced believer’s baptism by immersion could be church members. At our meeting, you opened the doors wide for followers of Jesus from any Christian tradition to become full members of our church by affirming both their commitment to Jesus as Lord and the present meaningfulness of their Christian baptism. Baptists strongly value soul freedom, so this decision is quite baptistic.

I’m as proud of the way we came to this decision as I am enthused by the decision itself.

Our recent process has been well documented. Following a retreat focused on baptism, the Deacon body engaged in a year-long study of baptism and church membership, which prompted them to develop a process for our church to engage this topic deeply as well. This included a Sunday lunch presentation, a Sunday morning Bible study series, a Wednesday night study series, numerous distributed baptism stories from our congregation, a formal survey of our congregation’s views on the subject, multiple Q & A sessions, a reflection time for the Task Force and then a formal report with recommendations (still available to you) which was formally accepted by the Deacon body, the Church Council and finally, the Church.

The process alone was impressive. It was thoughtful and thorough. It took time, but difficult issues are worth our thorough, thoughtful attention. We are well aware that some churches have lost many members and experienced much pain as they wrestled with these issues. Your grace and openness throughout was beautiful. And honestly, I wasn’t surprised.

I wasn’t surprised because this way of being is part of our congregational ethos and I wasn’t surprised because this process was actually prompted by your empathy and compassion long before that Deacon retreat in 2014. I specifically remember your feedback during our 2010 visioning retreat with Tom Sine. In public share times, people mentioned concern about loved ones who could not be members here because they felt a second baptism would diminish the meaningfulness of their first. For them, not being baptized again was a matter of Christian conviction. Months later, after we adopted our mission statement, values, and the B’s (Belong. Believe. Become), some of you came to me (and I assume to each other) and said things like “if we really mean “belong,” shouldn’t we amend our membership policy?” Many of you have been wrestling with this for quite some time.

Relationship and reflection led to questions of concern, rooted in compassion. This prompted study. So much study. So many conversations. So much processing, filled with so much listening. Real listening. And it was all, from beginning to end, rooted and grounded in love.

I’m so proud of you.

From beginning to end our Deacons have said they wanted to develop a model for how our church might engage in any difficult dialogue. I think they have. And I hope it will serve as more than a model for future congregational conversations.

In the midst of potentially conflictual conversations, I have observed a Spirit in you, and between you, our world needs to experience more often. Concern. Compassion. Thoughtfulness. Listening. Real Listening. Love. Grace. Our world desperately needs so much more of this. And, this is how Jesus wants us to embody life in this world. If this is not our normal mode of operation, perhaps we need to amend our policy.

With a grateful heart,

 

Senior Pastor

 

Posted by Jason Edwards at Friday, August 25, 2017 | 0 comments
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