Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hope. Show all posts

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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

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.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Prepare the Way: Second Sunday of Advent 2016



Sermon based on Matthew 3:1-12, in which John the Baptist points us in the right direction to get ourselves properly prepared for Christmas. This is an important message to approach humbly, with an open mind, and our defenses down. Being in right relationship with God and humanity is the challenge of a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rejoice For Those Found, Sermon on 9/11/16



Sermon based on Luke 15:1-10, in which Jesus provides parables about how determined God is to find the lost. We should do likewise and rejoice when the lost are found. We should never withdrawal from others based on fear. This sermon reflected, in part, on the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Disaster Aid: West Virginia, Indiana

Here is what American Baptist Home Mission Societies has done to aid West Virginia and Indiana following recent severe weather events: 

Severe storms in Indiana and West Virginia June 23-24 have caused significant damage in two American Baptist regions now in need of prayer and relief/recovery efforts.
In Indiana, the storm’s force destroyed buildings, disrupted utilities and closed roadways in and around Brookston, designated in a state of emergency. Federated Church of Brookston, an American Baptist congregation, is serving as a hub for relief activities, including American Red Cross efforts.
Heavy rain that crossed West Virginia particularly impacted the state’s central and southern regions. The number of American Baptist churches damaged by the flooding is still to be determined, but several have confirmed major damage.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Disaster Relief office has released $10,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing funds to the West Virginia Baptist Convention and $2,500 to American Baptist Churches of Indiana/Kentucky for coordination of community recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

End of School Year Bash Was a Blast!

Lansdowne Baptist Church kicked off our summer season with our annual End of the School Year Bash. We had a great deal of fun with our congregational family, friends, and neighbors (just so you know, when LBC holds an outdoor event on our most wonderful piece of property--the lawn at the corner of Lansdowne and East LaCrosse Avenues, you are invited to join us there). The day started off with a brand new project, our youth raised bed vegetable and flower gardens (it was three beds that day, but due to God's abundance and the powerful movement of His Holy Spirit, we now have four beds). The children and youth planted our vegetables in anticipation of the coming harvest. We plan to share the produce with our kids and the local Interfaith Food Cupboard this fall, God willing. We had lunch using our locally famous lemonade stand. Then the pastor did a little Christian clowning and discovered the fun of involving more of the audience in the performance. This was followed by some terrific games (the flying disc toss trying to ring traffic cones was particularly popular with kids and adults alike). Then came our next new event, a pony ride for the kids. Some children were so in love with this event they rode that pony four or five times in the hour she was with us.

I want to take a moment to say a great big thank you to everyone who made this event so successful and memorable. All of your hard work and preparation and involvement are greatly appreciated. We could not do this without each and every one of you.



It was a blessed day and we look forward to doing it again next year. Who knows what new things we'll have added by that time? Come and find out. You are always welcome.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Powerful Statement from Our Denomination Following the Shootings in Orlando

American Baptist Churches USA is the most diverse denomination in the United States. Our churches have a great deal of autonomy, we are equally divided between Democrats and Republicans, and we have varying interpretations of particular passages that have been the focus of recent cultural and religious debated.

Yet, in the midst of turmoil, our leadership provided the following powerful message of love. Please follow this link and read: http://www.abc-usa.org/2016/06/17/abc-interim-general-secretary-addresses-orlando-shooting/

A few highlights:
We offer our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of the horrible tragedy in Orlando. We extend love to those of our family directly affected. We grieve with our American Baptist brothers and sisters who are part of the LGBTQ community. My message to them is, never mistake our debates and disagreements with the depth of our love for you as part of our family. To the rest of the ABC family my message is, even in the midst of profound disagreement, let us love as Christ loved. 
~Interim General Secretary Dr. Susan Gillies


Following Gillies remarks, Rev. Judy Fackenthal said, “As President of ABCUSA, I concur with Interim General Secretary Susan Gillies that any act of violence against any part of the human family is fully outside the vision of God’s gracious love for all people. While American Baptists may not agree on a wide variety of issues, we claim God’s love as a just and all-encompassing love. I pray for the people of Orlando, particularly the LGBTQ community as well as the Hispanic community that has been particularly affected by this horrific violence. May we work together to seek to end hate and the outcomes associated with it.”


“The events of last week hurt me deeply, as a Christian, Baptist and as a Puerto Rican,” said Dr. Josue D. Gómez-Menéndez, vice president of ABC. “At this time I would like to express my solidarity with all the people who are suffering from the effects of violence, misconceptions and separation. In the end what we discover in the depth of love is that we find our essence and human reality, our claim to the dignity of the human being and our real choice to reflect Jesus in every step.”

Friday, June 10, 2016

Penmanship Epiphany

Years ago, my grade school teacher told me to loosen my grip on my pen if I wanted better penmanship. It has taken me all these years to realize she was asking me to following the often repeated biblical admonition, "Do not be afraid." If I'd just loosen up a bit, trust in the guidance given and tools received, life (and penmanship) would improve markedly. Sure enough, a looser hold on a pen and life brings greater results. However, white knuckling it through writing and life are hard habits to break!

Wishing you all the blessings of a life far freer of fear. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

I Will Be With You





Sermon based on Isaiah 43:1-7, in which the prophet assures the people
of Israel that, despite their exile among the fearsome Babylonians, God
remains with them and will lead them forward. The same applies to the
church today. God is calling us forward into new fields of ministry. To
survive, we must move forward, following God's call, assured that God
loves us and goes with us.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Freed and Provoked

A sermon based on Hebrews 10:11-14, 23-25. As the author of Hebrews
declares, working together we can free ourselves of the fear that
threatens to overwhelm us. We can also provoke each other to greater
acts of love.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Finding Peace in Trust



Sermon based on Job 38:1-7: like Job (and unlike his friends) we can find peace by placing our faith in God and God's ways. It beats trying to go it alone or believing what society might have to say about us, especially in difficult times.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Experiencing the Pope's Weekend in Philadelphia

The Pope’s visit to Philadelphia was a joyous event that was long anticipated by everyone in the city. Part of what it meant for the many employees in the Food and Nutrition Department at Philadelphia Hospital was a long weekend away from home. We were requested to sleep over in the building from Thursday, September 24th, until Monday, September 28th. There were many concerns with the situation, including sleeping accommodations, showering, meals, work hours, laundry and the like. Weekly “Papal Visit” employee meetings took place regularly starting in August, and the closer we came to the event, the more at ease everyone seemed.

The Hospital did a great job organizing our workforce and taking care of those concerns. Clean linen, brand new air mattresses and pillows, and gift bags were among the items given out. Free meals, bingo and other games, movie nights, theater-screen-sized television with feeds for all the events, and even NFL football broadcasts, helped everyone adjust to the sacrifices made to ensure a smooth operation during the minor Center City shutdown that took place. I have to commend our “PA Hospital Papal Visit Committee” for their efforts. It was amazing to see the teamwork from all departments during the long weekend.

Between working ten hours a day, providing ‘round the clock meals for all of our “stay-over staff,” I actually had the opportunity to attend the Saturday’s Pope Ceremonial events, around the Ben Franklin Parkway area. There were so many people of different faiths in attendance, including Jews, Baptists, Muslims, and Buddhists, along with the Catholics, and that’s just naming a few, in attendance to experience this global event. I could hear people having conversations about the Pope, Catholicism, religious beliefs, gay marriage, and many other issues. Some very deep and important discussions were taking place, sometimes between complete strangers. There was a spirit of love, unity, and respect that seemed to be present in the air and once the Pope arrived, there was tremendous excitement in actually seeing him in person as he passed by the crowds lining the streets. For me, it was a highlight of my long weekend.


I finally got to go home on Monday afternoon. I was tired, and my feet were sore, but I felt good. I was very proud of my co-workers, and also proud of a few thousand random people on the Ben Franklin Parkway, that happened to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience with me.


~Will Thompson

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Prayers and Thanks Following the Fire of June 11, 2015

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

On Thursday, June 11, rescuers from the local fire departments of several towns, police officers, and members of the Red Cross converged on the fire at the Stratford Court apartments in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, around 7 p.m. When the pastors of the Baptist and Presbyterian churches arrived on the scene, everything was under control. The fire was out, the area was secured, and the residents of the apartment complex had been removed to shelter for the night. It was all handled in a professional manner and everyone this pastor encountered was courteous and professional. 

In the days that followed, the Red Cross made sure all of the residents of the apartment complex, working in cooperation with the apartment complex managers, had a safe place to shelter in the weeks to come while the apartment complex is being restored. 

God bless the dedicated men and women who worked so hard to contain the fire and provide shelter for the residents. Thanks to all of them for their air of calm professionalism, which helped keep everyone safe. 

We pray for all those displaced residents. May you all have peace in the midst of what was a dangerous situation. May God restore calm to your lives. We stand by you in this difficult time. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Letter Carriers' Food Drive

On Saturday, May 9, our postal carriers are asking people of good will to set out bags of non-perishable food donations by your mail box. The postal carriers will then deliver these much needed groceries to local food banks for prompt stocking and distribution. There are far too many people in the United States currently suffering under conditions of "food insecurity," especially children. These children and their families simply do not have enough food available and, given their stressed circumstances, often do not know where their next meal is coming from. You can help food banks address this dire situation with your donations.

In Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, May 9, the Interfaith Food Cupboard at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne, PA, will be looking for strong volunteers to help bring in the donated groceries as they arrive from these dedicated postal carriers. For more information about the Interfaith Food Cupboard, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/10/interfaith-food-cupboard-of-lansdowne.html

Thank you for your support. God bless you and your family.

Friday, March 20, 2015

God Loved the World



When the gospel writers spoke of salvation from God, consequences to humanity of accepting or rejection God's action was always a secondary issue. Primary in the authors' minds was that God did what God had done out of love for humanity, love for all the world. It is a message of good news that has, sadly, often been misused. Please pay particular attention to the message concerning human judgment on the salvation of others found near the end of the sermon. May you have peace. If you like what you hear and find yourself near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on a Sunday morning, please stop in for the worship service. You will be warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

American Baptist Home Mission Societies - Documentary



American Baptists, touching many lives in many ways, bringing the good news and living lives that heal. Come and see what we are all about.

Peace!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good News



There is surprisingly, wonderfully good news for you coming from a long ago prophet who appeared long after the age of prophets was thought to be done. He brought news of the coming of one who the people of Israel had longed for over many generations. We live in a different world because of this news.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reflections on the Christmas Season

“Hark the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born king’. Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” ~Charles Wesley 

        Welcome to another Christmas season. Welcome to our celebration of the moment when the world changed forever. Luke 2:1-20, especially 8-20, is my favorite rendition of the Christmas story. For me, I cannot hear or read the shepherd’s experience with the angels in the field without thinking of my childhood and A Charlie Brown Christmas, in which Linus, the crew’s pint-sized theologian explains the meaning of Christmas to a distraught Charlie Brown using this passage.

        There are the shepherds, out watching their flock in the field at night, social outcasts based on the “earthy” way they make a living. Yet, outside of Jesus' family-to-be, these are the first people among the nation of Israel to hear the “good news of great joy for all the people.” Assured not to be afraid of the angel’s visitation (a good thing considering the angelic choir that will soon appear), they are told of the birth of a Savior, Messiah, and Lord. Such powerful titles these are, the titles for a king. And yet, this king will be found wrapped in bands of cloth in a manger. Peace among those whom God favors refers to the nation of Israel, a people set apart, for whom this message was first delivered. Luckily for us all, while Jesus began by fulfilling Jewish prophecy, in time the reach of Jesus’ good news would extend much farther, and that joy and peace right along with it.

        Immediately after hearing this message and choir, those shepherds headed off to find Jesus. Their world had changed and they wanted to find the source of that change. They never questioned that a Savior, Messiah, and Lord would also be one who was submissive and humble too. What a wonderful leap of faith, given how loaded those three words were with expectations across many centuries for the nation of Israel. When the shepherds arrived and told their tale, no doubt with great enthusiasm, the people were amazed. I wonder if they were more amazed by the tale or the messengers? But Mary treasured and pondered those words, as we all should. Finally, the shepherds returned to their world, their night on the hillside with the sheep, to a world that would never be the same because of the birth of Jesus: Savior, Messiah, and Lord.

        Wishing everyone peace, joy, and wonder this Christmas season as we celebrate Jesus’ birth once again. 

~Pastor Jeff Snyder

What Is Advent?

Welcome to the season of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. Advent, comprised of the four weeks prior to Christmas, is a season when we remember all God has done for us. We look back to the newness God brought into the world with the First Advent, the birth of Jesus. How Jesus’ entry into our world changed everything! It is the season when we look ahead to Jesus’ return and the reign of peace and justice that will come in that much anticipated Second Advent.

Over these four weeks, we light the candles of the Advent wreath. The evergreen wreath reminds us of God’s eternal love for us all. The four candles around the wreath represent hope, love, joy, and peace. The central candle, the last to be lit, represents Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to bring us hope, love, joy, and peace. It is a beautiful reminder of all Jesus has done for us and all that will yet be done. God bless you in this wonderful, meaningful season of Advent.