Tuesday, May 30, 2017

LBC Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast 2017

Flags lined the path, honoring
those who gave their all in
service of their country.
On Monday, May 29, 2017, Lansdowne Baptist Church served our community in two ways. 1. Those who ran in the 5k race and attended the parade alike (and any other hungry person looking for great pancakes who showed up) were served a wonderful, tasty pancake breakfast meal. 2. We raised money through this fund-raiser breakfast for our Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship money for graduating local high school seniors heading for college. We are blessed with very capable volunteers who give of their time and talents to make this meal happen every year, weather permitting. It is wonderful to have this opportunity both to serve and break bread with our neighbors, strengthening our community and sense of connection, both of which God encourages. 



A friendly greeting at arrival and hearty blessing on the way out.
A rare quiet moment in the kitchen before the action began.
Two cooks are seen in the foreground.
The man on the left has a special talent.
When cracking eggs, he can toss an egg into the air, fist bump it,
catch it, and crack it one-handed into the bowl. 
Serving


Remembering and honoring all those who served in the armed forces
and gave their lives in action. As John 15:13 states: "No one has greater love than
this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." 
It was a personal treat to spend time in conversation with Mayor Anthony Campuzano and his wife. Being a contractor himself and me a former contract archaeologist, we were able to swap some really interesting stories. 

Included are some photos of the event and the parade associated with it. It was a terrific day. 

Marching band
Civil War Reenactors 


Take a Moment to Revel in God's Creation

I was headed out the door this morning, a head full of schedules and to-do lists following all the Memorial Day weekend duties, and was stopped dead in my tracks. I was stopped by this beautiful little tableau outside my front door. I had to pause from all the busyness to enjoy a little bit of God's handiwork. I left with a smile and a better sense of what matters. The moment reminded me of Genesis 1:31:

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. 

How true. Enjoy a moment and feel the gratitude that comes from being surrounded by such wonders, small and large, each and every day.

American Baptists Have Always Taken Strong Stands on Justice Issues

In the attached article from The Christian Citizen, the American Baptist Home Mission Society stood against the evils of slavery during the American Civil War. They resolved for themselves and to President Abraham Lincoln:
Resolutions were adopted declaring the rebellion “a crime against civilization, humanity, freedom, and God,” recommending, “That we tender to the President of the United States and to those associated with him in the Government, the assurance of our entire confidence and our earnest sympathy with them in their efforts to maintain the integrity of the Republic; of our prayers for their success; of our readiness to sustain them by the sacrifice of property and life; and of our hearty assent to the policy of conquering disunion by the uprooting of slavery — its cause.”
To read more, see: https://medium.com/christian-citizen/american-baptist-home-mission-society-stood-with-abraham-lincoln-against-slavery-e2c03f2059c

To learn more about American Baptist Churches USA and our predecessors, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/what_we_believe/our-history/

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Living Between Expectation & Experience



Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear spoke to Lansdowne Baptist Church about how we may assist individuals who have been incarcerated and their families. It is an important and powerful message. He also has something to say to those who would dismiss prisoners as "bad people" who should be ignored. Please watch.

At the end of the sermon, Rev. Dr. Trulear invited individuals with family members in prison to come forward for a prayer. This was a powerful moment for everyone as ten people came forward. One person was in tears, feeling until that moment that she was suffering alone. That prayer is not recorded here as those people were not asked in advance if they cared to be filmed.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

LBC Beginning Conversations on Diversity

Beginning Thursday evening, May 25, 2017, Lansdowne Baptist Church will be holding a series of conversations exploring diversity in our church and our community to see how better we may bridge the gaps that divide us and our community. All in our church and community are invited to join us. Tonight we will be exploring answering God's call. Consider yourselves called.

For a recent event in Philadelphia that explored this issue courageously, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/05/courageous-conversations-in.html

Courageous Conversations in Philadelphia: Sharing Stories of Race

This event, dealing with racism and sponsored by some pretty influential groups in Philadelphia, attracted 175 people and a fascinating panel. These were courageous folks willing to be uncomfortable together and explore a topic currently attempting to tear humanity apart. Included in the link below is a recorded version of the entire event. I recommend giving it a listen. A powerful early topic of conversation is in believing other people's stories, the stories of people who live lives different from your own. We need to believe the stories of others, especially their challenges and tragedies in the face of racism, and act in ways that help them.

Here are some Bible verses that show how it has always been God's intent to reach out to all people everywhere. Check out: Genesis 12:1-3; 1 Chronicles 16:23-34; Psalm 96:1-3; Isaiah 56:6-7; Matthew 9:35-38; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 4:16-19; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8; and Revelation 7:9. I recommend reading these passages all together to get the sweep and breadth of God's vision. It will not take long. Ask yourself after reading these passages, how does reaching out to others different from yourself fit into the big picture of what God wants us to be doing?

Here is the link to both several written stories and the recording of the event to listen to: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/education/item/104158-courageous-conversations-sharing-stories-about-race-and-pledging-to-practice-more

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Scripture Reading for Sunday, May 21, 2017

Today's Scripture reading is Acts 17:22-31. In the sermon we will explore what we can learn about communicating with others from Paul's short sermon to the philosophers of Athens. There's a lot of ground to cover there, especially in a divisive age.

Acts 17:22-31: Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’ 29Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” 

Intrigued? Join us at 11 this morning to discover the secrets in plain sight here. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

310th Annual Philadelphia Baptist Association Meeting

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Philadelphia Baptist Association, the oldest religious association in the United States, celebrated 310 years together. To celebrate we explored various aspects of poverty and how to deal with it in our churches in and around Philadelphia. One member (many being pastors) from each church was asked to sign a historical document before the end of the proceedings, The Baptist Principle of Association. It was a beautiful and meaningful day.

It reads:
...we who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.  --Romans 12:5, NRSV

1. Being led by the Spirit, we create together, that which we cannot achieve alone.
2. Baptist Associational Life is understood as autonomous member congregations building connections for a common mission in Christ Jesus.
3. Being mindful of our diversity, we acknowledge our need for being connected as autonomous congregations and we will create and maintain safe spaces of mutuality, respect, support, and learning.
4. We will make quality relationships among our congregations our highest priority, so that we may experience the aliveness of our kindred spirit in Christ Jesus.
5. Our appreciation of Christian hospitality drives our commitment of being supportive of and fully present with one another.
6. We hold ourselves accountable for listening to member churches not currently active in associational life and for seeking to engage them in our work as their gifts are critical to our well-being.
7. With regularity and through a variety of methodologies, we seek to discern the leading of the Spirit as our congregations strive to make a difference in the world today.
8. We are mindful that people will become invested in and committed to that which they have a hand in creating.
9. We will pay attention to the ways that we gather (settings), and ensure to the best of our ability that members in every sector of the Association feel invited and represented in our life together.
10. We will intentionally focus our conversations on possibility, generosity, and restoration of community.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Church Work Day, Saturday, May 13, 2017: Rain or Shine!

No leaf removal this time! 
Lansdowne Baptist Church will be holding a church work day this Saturday, May 13, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., even if/when it rains. There is plenty of work to be done inside our buildings so nobody who comes will be left idle. Our God-given talents will be put to good use ... and, who knows, some of us may discover a passion for some type of work we have yet to try. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear Spoke Sunday May 7, 2017

On Sunday morning, May 7, 2017, Rev. Dr. Harold Trulear spoke to congregants, friends, and visitors to Lansdowne Baptist Church. He discussed the plight of prisoners incarcerated in our justice system. Rev. Trulear challenged assumptions we have concerning prisoners, reminding us all of some very prominent individuals in the Bible who spent time jailed, including Jesus, who would go on to be executed by the state. We were called upon to realize that God sees people by their whole lives, not a single moment and single mistake. Redemption is possible. Life moves on beyond some moment in which law is broken and a person jailed.

We are called to help those who are jailed and their families, all who suffer through this process. It was an extremely powerful message. At the end of the sermon Rev. Dr. Trulear made an altar call for anyone who had a family member incarcerated. Roughly ten people came forward and a powerful time of prayer followed.

This was a moving, meaningful message that will soon be made available in DVD form for those who need to hear it. Listen for the message concerning Polaroid Land Camera snapshots and DVD's from God's perspective, which makes us consider the span of someone's entire life. It's powerful indeed. The opportunities for individuals and churches to serve are great. 

To explore what might be done, visit the following organization: Healing Communities: http://www.healingcommunitiesusa.com/

To hear the sermon, see this post: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/05/living-between-expectation-experience.html

Monday, May 8, 2017

On The Road



Sermon based on Luke 24:13-49, the familiar story of the two disciples heading down the road to Emmaus on Easter morning, sure that all is lost. It has a lot to say about how Jesus comes after us when we lose hope. Check it out, especially if you find yourself muttering, "we had hoped" and feeling crushed.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast Back Monday, May 29, 2017

Lansdowne Baptist Church is holding its much-loved pancake breakfast following the 5K run in Lansdowne, PA, on Memorial Day. Breakfast will be served from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, May 29, 2017.

The cost for the pancake breakfast is $7.00 per person for adults; $5.00 for children (12 & younger); and $20.00 for families of 5 or less (immediate family only). The food is fantastic and the funds raised go to a good cause.

The funds raised support our Aaron Royal Scholarship Fund, which provides two graduating high school students from the William Penn School District (and/or members of Lansdowne Baptist Church) who are heading off to college with scholarship money from LBC. This is one of the many ways we support are community.

Lansdowne Baptist Church is located at 17 East LaCrosse Avenue, Lansdowne, PA 19050.

Come hungry and enjoy the breakfast our terrific cooks create and help our local students.

To see what happened and a few parade images, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/05/lbc-memorial-day-pancake-breakfast.html


Continuing to Invite the Lansdowne Community

Neighborhood Watch cat
kept watch on me.
Thursday, May 4, 2017, was such a beautiful day, I spent some time out in the community, delivering invitations to worship with us Sunday morning to roughly one hundred homes and apartments. If I haven't gotten to your neighborhood yet, I'll get there. Everyone who does not already have a church home is more than welcome to join us for Sunday worship. 

Lansdowne Baptist Church is part of the American Baptist denomination, which is currently one of the most diverse denominations in the United States. 

This Sunday, May 7, 2017, we have a special guest minister: 

On Sunday, May 7, 2017, Reverend Doctor Harold Dean “Doc” Trulear will provide the sermon for the 11 a.m. service at LBC. He is an American Baptist minister who is the Director at the Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Reentry Initiative. Rev. Dr. Trulear will introduce us to how communities of faith may become Stations of Hope, assist families of individuals affected by the criminal justice system, and the individuals themselves. Please come and invite anyone you know whose family has a member incarcerated or returning from incarceration.

Rev. Dr. Trulear explains how faith communities may be trained to provide family support and reintegration and how faith communities may walk with the returning citizens (connect returning citizens to resources that will help set attainable goals), helping them connect with their faith (provide spiritual support), open their hearts to these returning citizens (foster positive relationships), embrace them (extend open and affirming fellowship), provide understanding (collaboration with family and friends to rebuild relationships), and advocate for political change on a local, state, and federal level.

Please join us for this special guest speaker and invite anyone you know whose family has been affected and could benefit from the information provided.


For more on Healing Communities, see: http://www.healingcommunitiesusa.com/



Monday, May 1, 2017

Children of Light



Sermon based on Ephesians 5:8-14 during Lent on March 26, 2017. The Ephesians had been people of darkness before their introduction to Jesus. They were people living in the darkness of ignorance, prone to folly, lies, loss of God's truth, deaf to God's prophets, prone to impurity, lust, greed, hard-heartedness. They were violent and criminal in their responses, living in misery. No longer. They are reminded they are to be children of light. Find out what that means and how we can live in the light too.