Showing posts with label communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label communication. Show all posts

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

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.

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/

Thursday, May 4, 2017

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/



Friday, February 17, 2017

Relief for Local Fire Victims: Collection Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Click on photo to enlarge and read details

Bell Avenue Elementary Auditorium is collection site at 1000 Bell Avenue, Yeadon, PA.

Update: I arrived at the collection site at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. The busy crew there had received a great turn out from the community and the family will have clothes and children's toys to replace what was lost. I was very pleased when a woman dropped off clothing at Lansdowne Baptist in response to this notice. The Yeadon emergency service personnel will be collecting additional donations on Monday if you are still looking to participate.

Update 2/21/17: You can donate money to the families impacted as well. See the following:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24, 2017, Annual Business Meeting

Tonight at 6:00 p.m. come for our potluck dinner, fellowship, and our annual business meeting at 7:00 p.m. We will cover the year that has been (a busy and exciting one), the changes that are coming, and the new year ahead. Members and friends of LBC are welcome.

If you wish to help set up for the dinner and meeting, please arrive at the church at 4:30 p.m. If you can stay afterwards to help reset the Westphal Hall, it will be much appreciated.

Fishers of People



Sermon based on Matthew 4:12-23, in which Jesus moves to Capernaum, gathers his first disciples, and we explore what discipleship means. Further, the sermon includes the discipline of non-violent communication as one way to be modern-day fishers of people. Are you in? How will you respond when Jesus asks you to "Follow me" and states, "I will make you fishers of people."

Monday, October 17, 2016

No Scaredy Cats



Sermon based on 2 Timothy 1:6-10, delivered on October 2, 2016. The letter encourages Timothy to emulate the fearless faith of his mother and grandmother. It's still excellent advice.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Domestic Violence Workshop: October 8, 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.

Introducing a New Constitution in 2016

The Constitution and Bylaws committee has completed their multi-year project, working faithfully to present the congregation with a proposed new Constitution and Bylaws. The changes in structure of leadership presented will allow for greater participation, the encouragement of many small group missions, and will far better reflect the congregation as we are today.

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

Outdoor Service Held, September 18, 2016

Kicking off our new fall season and our return to an 11:00 a.m. worship hour, we decided to do things differently. Despite the overcast skies and a small chance of rain (there was some around 2;30 p.m. but we were long gone by then) we forged ahead, setting up 40 chairs on the lawn, a portable pulpit, and electric piano our musician borrowed from a friend (and for which we were thankful and impressed), and a table with fruit in the back. Why the fruit, you ask? Simple: worship is sweet. That fruit was a pleasant reminder of Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

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. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Stephen Ministry Workshop Opportunity

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, a workshop on how to minister to those in grief using the Stephen Ministry approach will be given at the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The church is located at 8000 Saint Martin's Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118. Three workshop sessions will be given on: 1. Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief; 2. An Introduction to Stephen Ministry, and 3. How to Care in a Distinctively Christian Way.

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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016

LBC Prepares to Attend the National Night Out 2016

Lansdowne Baptist Church intends to participate in the National Night Out in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. The event takes place on Tuesday, August 2, 2016, at the Highland Avenue Parking Lot from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. We have participated in this meaningful evening for the past two years and look forward to making this our third. We hope to see you there. Children who stop by may get to blow giant bubbles again this year.

The Lansdowne Police Department describes the event as follows:

The Lansdowne Police Department, Lansdowne Fire Company, and the Lansdowne Business and Professional Association are again partnering to present National Night Out -- a free, all-ages, community evening to fight crime through community and civic involvement. The evening, which takes place from 6 to 8 pm in the Highland Avenue parking lot, features free food, games, a moon bounce, local vendors, and more! Be a part of America's night out against crime! 







Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pastor Walking Neighborhoods with Invitations

The green shows where invitations have been delivered so far
In an effort to get to know the neighborhoods around Lansdowne Baptist Church better, and provide personal invitations to come worship with us, our pastor has taken to the streets. He is walking the neighborhoods when time and weather permits, leaving personal invitations on doorknobs everywhere he goes. Of course, he never leaves an invitation at a house where a "No Solicitation" sign is present as irritating folks is not his intent.

So far over 640 personal invites have been delivered with more on the way. An additional 80 were handed out along the parade route during the 4th of July parade. He intends to keep this up, wearing down shoe leather in order to extend the invitation to come worship God with us, meet Jesus Christ, and be transformed by God's Holy Spirit. At this point, Lansdowne Baptist has been having an increase in visitors and our pastor is being discussed by folks around town. As a confirmed extrovert, he is also having a wonderful time meeting great people everywhere he goes.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pastor Takes Over Lansdowne Baptist Church Facebook Page

Some of us at a recent fellowship event
It takes time to get different aspects of one's ministry all gathered up and running. I just stumbled across a Facebook page I'd established for myself back when I started and had pretty much abandoned when I found very few members were on FB. That appears to be slowly changing so I have gone back, dusted off my FB page, and in the process discovered that Lansdowne Baptist Church has a local page as well, which I will now try to bring up to speed as moderator.

If you are curious and want to see what we're up to, feel free to check out: https://www.facebook.com/LansdowneBaptistChurch/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Marching in the 4th of July Parade in 2016


Lansdowne Baptist Church intends to celebrate the 4th of July by marching in the Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, parade once again. Last year we handed out fliers, pulled a wagon full of information about us, and used a bubble wand to create gigantic bubbles for the amusement of the crowd (and ourselves to be absolutely honest). 


Here's the order of events for the day, straight from the Union Athletic Association of Lansdowne:

Parade & Festivities Schedule & Fireworks Display
2016 Theme: “Lansdowne Celebrates the Arts”
2016 Parade Grand Marshal: Jayne Young

8:15am: FLOATS – Assemble on E. Greenwood Ave., between Lansdowne & Highland Aves.* (See prizes below)

8:30am: BICYCLES & TRICYCLES – Assemble on E. Greenwood Ave.between Lansdowne & Highland Aves.*

INDIVIDUAL MARCHERS – Assemble on E. Greenwood, between Highland &
Wycombe Aves*

MARCHING GROUPS – Assemble on E. Greenwood, between Highland & Wycombe Aves*
8:40am: SMALL WAGONS – Assemble on E. Greenwood Ave.between Lansdowne & Highland Aves.*
9:00 AM: PARADE BEGINS at E. Greenwood & N. Wycombe Avenues. From Wycombe, it turns onto Stewart Avenue, then turns right onto Lansdowne Avenue. The parade turns right again onto Essex Avenue and concludes at Penn Wood High School football field. At the field, music, introduction of our Parade Marshal, a few short speeches, foot races, and prizes await; also, free water ice for the kids.
10:30am: Presentation of parade prizes and foot race awards.
12:00 Noon: Lansdowne Boys & Girls Clubs All-Star baseball games begin. Girls play at the high school field, Boys at Ardmore Avenue field.
7:45 PM: Musical entertainment begins. Our Disk Jockey spins favorite tunes for everybody. Dancing is encouraged. Hotdogs, water ice, soda, cotton candy and pretzels are on sale at the concession stand. Attendees should plan to arrive early to find a place on the field or a seat in the bleachers.
9:00 PM: Fireworks Begin! The Union Athletic Association of Lansdowne proudly presents an awesome fireworks extravaganza. Many small towns have had to discontinue this expensive part of the day, but Lansdowne has managed to keep the tradition for more than one hundred years!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Two Powerful Statements From American Baptist Home Mission Societies After Orlando

The American Baptist Home Mission  Society describes itself as follows
As part of American Baptist Churches USA, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) answers God’s call to live out Christian faith through ministry that strengthens congregations and connects with communities beyond church walls—ministry that encourages and nurtures disciple-makers who shout the Good News of Jesus Christ and impact our world with God’s love.
In the wake of the terrible shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, a previously safe haven for members of the LGBT community, ABHMS released the following: http://abhms.org/about-us/news/american-baptist-home-mission-societies-stands-lgbtq-community-wake-orlando-massacre/

Further, the ABHMS makes this statement about gun violence: http://abhms.org/about-us/news/abhms-urges-american-baptists-advocate-gun-violence-prevention/

Please read and prayerfully consider.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Standing with Those Who Suffer & Mourn in Orlando

The congregation of Lansdowne Baptist Church stands with and prays for the victims, their families, and friends in the LGBT community in the wake of Sunday's horrid attack in Orlando, Florida. May God provide each and every one of you with strength, comfort, and healing. Human as we are, we have trouble speaking clearly through our grief, our outrage at this terrible injustice and atrocity, and our sorrow. So, in troubled times, Jesus' Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11) offer a powerful message for us when we cannot speak clearly ourselves:
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Let me leave you with a hymn for anguished spirits: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/03/be-still-my-soul.html

Please read the statements from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies as well: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/06/two-powerful-statements-from-american.html