Thursday, September 29, 2016
On Saturday, October 8, 2016, the Philadelphia Baptist Association’s (PBA) Domestic Violence Learning Community presents, a domestic violence workshop titled “Institutions: Hiding Behind the Lipstick: Silence No More.” The program takes place at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Germantown (41 W. Rittenhouse Street, Philadelphia) at 11 a.m. This is a free event.
This is a theatrical presentation addressing the institutions of Domestic Violence, including bullying in school, mental illness, drug addictions, incarcerations, religious bondage, and more.
The desire is to continue to educate PBA churches about this epidemic, with the intent of helping "each one, reach one" person who might be suffering from domestic violence in their local congregation.
The findings and proposed changes will be presented on Thursday night, September 29, 2016, with dinner at 6 p.m. and presentation at 7 p.m. Members and friends of Lansdowne Baptist are encouraged to attend.
This is an exciting time for our church. Let's all enjoy it together.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
What followed for this suburbanite was the equivalent of a small scale treasure hunt. Joe and I searched among the tomato, pepper, cucumber, and egg plant leaves and stems. We found quite a few ripe vegetables ready for harvest and the promise of many more to come. Before long, we were laughing at the abundance God had presented us. The harvest was heading off to people who needed fresh vegetables. I was startled at the number of pollinators among both the decorative and vegetable flowers. Life abounded in the garden.
Since that day, it has been my repeated pleasure to offer up fresh vegetables to hungry people who show up at the church doors. It is amazing what has come from the garden our youth planted in the early summer. We are still looking forward soon to a week when the children will return to the garden to harvest some of the vegetables for their families and themselves. That will be a sweet day, and it is coming soon.
Here are some recommendations for having a prayerful time in any garden from the Godspace Community Blog site: http://godspace-msa.com/2016/09/22/top-5-ways-to-pray-in-the-garden/ You are welcome to explore these prayerful options in the LBC Youth Garden any day you like.
Worshiping outdoors allowed us a change of scene we don't often have and, more to the point, offered us a chance to share our faith with our community in word and song. One congregant told me that quite a few people paused in their walks to look and listen. A few drivers slowed or came to a stop briefly on our side street. Hopefully some of these neighbors will feel encouraged to come worship with us soon.
While it can be very "exciting" worshiping out in the natural world where weather an so quickly change, it was a refreshing start to the new season. We hope you will join us soon.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Come out and join us in our joy, worshiping our wonderful God.* Bring a friend along to enjoy this outdoor worship experience. All are welcome!
*Our Sunday school classes for children and adults will begin the following week, September 25, at 9:45 a.m. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us for Sunday school as well!
To find out how our outdoor service went, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/09/outdoor-service-held-september-18-2016.html
Friday, September 9, 2016
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines perfectionism as follows:
1. a : the doctrine that the perfection of moral character constitutes a person's highest good; b : the theological doctrine that a state of freedom from sin is attainable on earth
2: a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable (see: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perfectionism)
As Dr. Davidson stated, we need to stop placing heavy, unrealistic expectations on ourselves and instead of attempting to manage everything ourselves, turning control over to God instead. If we do not, we come to dislike ourselves when we don't meet those expectations. As a result, we will project that negative attitude upon others, making our dissatisfaction with our own imperfections about them rather than dealing with the issues honestly ourselves.
Humility is the antidote to the myth of perfectionism that eats away at the heart of our spiritual lives, drowning that life in depression, sinking us into despair. If we feel we need to be perfect, we will certainly fail at the things we try, whether they be physical, intellectual, or spiritual matters.
For me, the key observation was and remains "Perfectionism kills the ability to move forward. We won't try if we can't be perfect." That's what happens when we accept the corrosive myth of perfectionism.
Author Joshua DuBois, referencing the parable of the shepherd searching for the lost sheep in Luke 15:4-7, remarks in The President's Devotional, "[Our God] is not a God who loves the righteous--because none are righteous, none. He's not a God who values those who have it all together, because who among us really does?" None of us manages to get through life without stumbling. None of us is perfect.
Finally, author Kirk Byron Jones in his book, Rest in the Storm, warns that we cannot expect each other to be able to address (perfectly or otherwise) all of the problems we face in our sojourn through life. Jones quotes Dr. E.V. Hill's consideration of this matter. While this is a warning for pastors, once again it is good advice for everyone, "Now we need to be careful. Sometimes the expectation that we meet all these demands convinces us that we can. This can give us a messianic complex that is destructive to the preacher and the preacher's family. This messianic complex can work on us so that we can feel bad about not being able to solve all the problems that are brought to us. This is a horrible addiction. There is glamour and glee in thinking that you have the answer to many problems and feeling that others think so. It is very seductive, and we can become addicted to it. And it is subtle; we want to endear people to us, but this can lead to people expecting too much from us, and us expecting too much from ourselves."
Let's all be humble. Let's all admit we are not perfect beings. Let's lower the expectations a bit, Let's get away from the idea that anything short of perfection is unacceptable. We'll all be healthier for that.
Wishing everyone peace ... and a healthy does of humility ... so we can all move forward together.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
This is an excellent opportunity for church leaders and those who are interested in caring ministries. The cost is $15 per person or $50 per congregation (four or more church members). Registration takes place at www.stephenministry.org/workshop or call Stephen Ministries at (314) 428-2600.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Somewhere between 50 and 60 people showed up, including members of our community who are always welcome to drop on by. Members and regular attenders brought their friends as well. A wonderful time was had by all. We set up a couple of tables inside the office wing for those who wanted air conditioning, but those tables were largely ignored. We American Baptists are a hearty bunch.
We also had a pleasant surprise from the group that built and maintains the LBC Youth Garden. They revealed the new automated watering system that drip feeds the vegetable plants and flowers in all five of the raised garden beds. Well done, gardeners!
To see the "first fruits" of our gardeners' labors, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/08/fresh-vegetables-donated-to-lansdownes.html
As long as the weather cooperates, we will hold that first Sunday service returning to our 11 o'clock hour out on the lawn. It will be a special service for us. If you find yourself in the neighborhood and see us worshiping there on the LBC lawn, feel free to join us. You will be most welcome!
A small group of us went on a walking prayer on Saturday, August 20th, at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, near Philadelphia International Airport. In this watery bird sanctuary we basically focused all our senses on the natural world around us. It was startling what happened in those quiet moments. Speaking from my own observation, standing out on a bridge over the wetlands, at first, as the mind settled, I became aware of the plant life, then the largest of birds standing out in the water. It did not seem like there was all that much going on and I was tempted to get back into motion, to move along, to stride busily off to the next location. Instead, I was still and began to see all the rest of the life that was there. Birds, large and small, flew and rested all over that wetland site, fish nipped at insects skimming over the water’s surface, a warm breeze blew past, the smells of nature became present, and all the songs and calls of the natural world came into my attention. It was surprising how abundant and diverse the life all around us was, when we took the time to notice. God was very much present in that quiet time. We had scheduled that walking prayer, and we did walk quite a ways, to last one hour. At the end of that hour, to honor our time, we called the walk officially to an end. Then we walked on together for another hour. It was a powerful experience. We left the refuge feeling refreshed.
|Met some bird watchers who told us more about what |
we were seeing
As Job 12:7-10 reads, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.”
The walking prayer did get us back in touch with God, drew our attention away from the busyness of our daily lives, and left us refreshed. Lansdowne Baptist Church will hold this experience again in the future for all adventurers who would like to go forth into nature and as Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God."
|Next time, let yourself be in this location to meet God.|
For more images of the refuge, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/07/walking-prayer-saturday-august-20-2016.html
~Rev. Jeff Snyder