I write to you today early this morning from a hotel room in Nashville, where I’m here alongside a handful of other young pastors within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We have joined with hundreds of others for a conference called Q Ideas — think TED Talks for the culturally-sensitive Christian evangelical lot! The conference is designed for church and industry leaders to be inspired and equipped to engage our culture, particularly in a cultural moment where hard conversations and divisive rhetoric abounds. With engaging speakers, intriguing dialogue, and off-site experiences, the conference is already piquing my imagination for the work of ministry.
It is a testament to you, dear church, that many of the stories I’m sharing with my colleagues about how we continue to navigate hard conversations together are hopeful and holy. In a time where deep dialogue around our facilities and mission could spark anger or heated disagreement, we continue to come together in love, encouraging one another with reminders of our unity and our deep love for First Baptist. In a season where impending change could dissolve us in anxiety or fear for what lies ahead, we gather in relentless hope for what will be, trusting in the guidance of God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
That’s why I celebrate the recent presentations of our Special Committee on Facilities and Mission, who have laid before us a scope of Phase One of our building project. No, it doesn’t accomplish all we’d like to do — yet. But it guides us ever more faithfully in the ways of sustainability, flexibility, and health, securing for us a future that we can step into with ‘resurrecting boldness’! (Speaking of — if you missed Paul Baxley’s sermon from Sunday with the same title, go to our website and watch! It will be the best use of 20 minutes you’ll have all day!)
If you were unable to attend these recent presentations regarding Phase One, please take some time to read more about the project, which you can do by picking up a handout around the building or on our website at this link: https://firstonfifth.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SCFM-Presentation-to-the-Church-on-Phase-One-4.4.18-2.pdf
As questions arise for you, you can share them with me (email@example.com or 336-722-2558, x116) or Gary Knight, Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or better yet, bring those questions with you to our Quarterly Church Conference on April 18 at 6:15 pm.
The God of new life is with us and among us! For that, I say ‘thanks be to God!’
Together in the work of Love,