If you’re like me, you have loved the testimonies shared in worship by many of our fellow congregants, sharing their stories of how First Baptist has become their boundless home.
Deb Watkins “loved First Baptist because they first loved me.” Carlos Mir shared of how First Baptist is for him a beacon in our community, one he has seen intimately through his camera’s viewfinder over the years. Brent Greene recalled his years serving among us, trusting that we are moving from one end through transformation into a new beginning. Darlene Guerry remembered her father (former Associate Pastor of Missions Ron Rice), my son Silas, and all of us in between who are joining together to reposition our church so that we can better serve the city of Winston-Salem. Smitty Smith proclaims what their family knows to be true that God is at work at First Baptist, using all ages to listen, learn, and grow for the sake of the kingdom of God. Meredith Smith gave us an image of the building blocks — invisible but very tangible — that have and will continue to form our church’s foundation: love, peace, joy, hope, faith, patience, kindness, partnership, trust, listening.
These stories will be joined by those of two more (Tom Moore and Kim Wilkinson) on this final campaign Sunday, as together we turn our attention to how we might respond to God’s story unfolding among us. This Sunday, our children will lead us, bringing forth their financial commitments and prayers to A Boundless Home campaign, each coin representing a sacrificial reminder that God invites us all regardless of age.
In your stories, in the delightful clank of our kids rounding up of money for their church, in the love you freely give and return to one another, in our church’s shared hopefulness that stubbornly persists despite the odds, I hear God: beckoning, calling us forward in deep faith, bold courage, and trust of the One who deserves our very best.
Throughout this campaign, we’ve said a great deal about our church: who we are, where we’re heading, what it takes to get there, how each of us might have a part. We’ve told stories and shared testimonies, we’ve discussed funding and tackled heating solutions. We’ve also heard others outside our fellowship sharing their opinions to us or about us. Some might say we’ve gotten it all figured out, and some think we haven’t a clue. Others might call us a scrappy underdog. Still more might be indifferent to it all.
But. But… in all the noise and the clamor, amidst the stories and the words, God looks at our church and all who call her home with the warmth and pride of a parent, beaming upon the faithful whose stories of love unfold each day, with one word ringing first in the divine soul:
Together in the work of Love,