Showing posts with label service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label service. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nothing Too Wonderful for God


Sermon based on Genesis 18:1-15, focusing on hospitality, Abraham, Sarah, and God. Exploring closely how God's insistence on hospitality impacts upon all of us today during incredibly tense, inhospitable times. Includes current crises playing out in our community. Please watch, share, pray, and act.

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 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. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Feasting with Friends Dinner: April 1, 2017

The Lansdowne Baptist Church, 17 East LaCrosse Ave., Lansdowne, PA, is preparing to hold its annual Feasting with Friends event.  It will take place this Saturday, April 1st (no fooling) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the church's upstairs fellowship hall in the education wing.  In years past, by the grace of God, the event has been a wild success, and we are hoping that it will be even better this year. We ask that you come and break bread with us, joining as we feast with friends, which is an intimation of what to expect in the heavenly banquet to come.

During the meal, Rev. Jeff Snyder will speak to those gathered on the strength to be found in gathered community. We thank everyone in our community, businesses and individuals alike, who make this meal happen, providing everything necessary to ensure people are well fed.  

If you are interested in attending, please contact the phone number, 610-626-0637, and be sure to let the church know how many will be in your party. We want to make sure nobody goes away hungry. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sheep or Goats This Year, 2017



Sermon for New Year's Day 2017, based on Matthew 25:31-46, asking the question, will we be sheep or goats? What choice will we make in 2017. What does it mean to be sheep or goats?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Our Job Never Changes: Sermon for November 6, 2016



Sermon based on Matthew 22:36-40, the greatest commandments. No matter the situation (even in a contentious election season), Christians are called to love God and neighbor. Doing so transforms the lives of those who attempt this very tall order and those who are on the receiving end of that love. Give it a try. Jesus challenges you to do so.

One small correction: reference to a "Roman Candle" should be a fountain. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fresh Vegetables Donated to Lansdowne's Interfaith Food Cupboard

A small men's group in our church, guiding our church's youth in planting (and soon in harvest), have seen to it that this year Lansdowne Baptist Church has five raised bed gardens in our side yard facing the Lansdowne Avenue. We are so impressed with God's great abundance displayed in the many vegetables and flowers coming out of those garden beds.

Some of the vegetable plants & flowers
of the raised beds are visible in the
background.
We were pleased to be able to donate two baskets of vegetables (not quite but almost our first fruit from these beds)--tomatoes, egg plants, cucumbers, and green peppers--to the Interfaith Food Cupboard. We look forward to doing more with the harvest as the season moves forward. Today's harvest was a very small portion of what is ripening on the plants.

As the psalmist wrote in Psalm 67:6-7: "The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What Must I Do Jesus



Sermon based on Luke 10:25-37, the parable of the good Samaritan. This sermon also dealt with the deaths of two African Americans at the hands of police officers, the subsequent killings of five officers at the hands of a sniper or snipers, and how Christians respond in light of Jesus' teachings.

Please follow this sermon up with the powerful statement from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies: http://abhms.org/about-us/news/end-police-killings-innocent-black-lives/

Monday, May 2, 2016

Who Was I?



Sermon based on Acts 11:1-18 in which Peter, minding his own business in Joppa has an extraordinary vision, challenging his understanding of what is clean and proper. After that shocking moment, he is called by three Gentile men (Gentile grossly defined as "not us") representing the Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter and his crew are called to Caesarea to confer and eat with Cornelius and his family. Back home in Jerusalem, a faction of Christians are angry with Peter and insist he explain himself. A powerful moment comes when Peter sums up with the powerful question "who was I that I could hinder God?"

An exploration of the power of the Holy Spirit and consideration of where the Spirit might be leading us today. Listen, pray, and consider making Peter's question your own.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tax Services for Seniors and Others with Limited Incomes

I have recently been asked if tax services are available for seniors on fixed incomes. There is good news in this regard, the answer is YES. In fact, this is good news for all those with limited incomes of under $53,000 a year. 

Here is a link to the IRS's explanation of their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, found across the US. This site will explain the program and help you find a location near you. See: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Free-Tax-Return-Preparation-for-You-by-Volunteers

As Matthew 7:7-8 states: 7“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Candlelight Service

On Sunday, December 20th, 2015, at 7:00 in the evening, you are invited to Lansdowne Baptist Church's annual Christmas Candlelight Service.  This inspiring service includes a service of nine lessons and carols. The lessons span from Genesis, Isaiah, and Micah in the Old Testament to Matthew, Luke, and John in the New Testament. Follow the story of God's love for humanity, a love so strong that nothing we could do would destroy it, from the very beginning through the joyous birth of Jesus, the Messiah, who would show us the way home to God and declare in word and deed how much we are all beloved children of God. Following the lessons and carols is a truly unique message during which the light of Christ is shared throughout the church sanctuary, taking a single point of light at the pulpit out throughout the gathered people, sharing Jesus' love and message until the sanctuary, once dark, is lit by candles. By that soft glow, Silent Night is sung to end a beautiful, inspiring, and memorable evening sure to give you the real Christmas spirit. Come and join in this profound moment of worship and peace.



Monday, October 12, 2015

What Must I Do

Sermon based on Mark 10:17-31, in which the "rich young ruler" as he has so often been called asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus' response is a call to us all to a new way of living in the here and now. Jesus also messes with the social order, as you will see.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Christian Clowning: One Pastor's Experiences

Sometimes, you get into this gear and
start to wonder ... especially when
you can't find the right hat.
I started Christian clowning years ago when asked if I would perform for a Vacation Bible School session.  I am an outgoing person. I enjoy performing for others. I really enjoy presenting a positive message of faith and joy to people. So, I agreed to give it a shot. Library research came next and I was impressed by the long, colorful, and meaningful history of the clown. Did you know that the fool, the court jester of the Middle Ages, the clown walking on the knife's edge, was the only person who could tell a king his plan stinks ... and would be listened to if skillful enough.

So, I became Joyful Noise, one very amateur but enthusiastic Christian clown. I have performed sporadically over the years. In recent years I have begun to question whether to continue. I've reached a point where when only the white face is applied and I smile the laugh lines so highlighted look a little terrifying. I question my judgement as a middle aged pastor about continuing to carry on in this way.

Then I hit the boards, see kids and adults light up with smiles and laughter and I'm hooked all over again. A clown, Christian or otherwise, has a grand total of about ten seconds when the face paint and costume will give the clown a little grace. After that, the clown needs to make sure to present an appealing invitation to play to the audience ... or leave. Skits come quickly, one after the other, with the clown keeping true to the character developed and, in the case of Christian clowning, to love for God and neighbors (especially those neighbors in the room at that moment).


Why the colorful face? Excellent question: it is symbolic. For the Christian clown, the white covering most of the face is symbolic of death (ew, right?)! The colors added represent laughter (inspired by faith in God and God's promises to us) in the face of death. It's powerful, really.

One pastor who clowns far more regularly than I do states that often people in hospitals will give up concerns to his clown that they would never share with their pastor. It's true. That is the power of the clown, when the clown is well done, open, and friendly.

Clowns allow us to recognize our own humanity. Clowns allow us to admit how often we make mistakes, how often we fall down, and they show us that, yes indeed, we can get back up and try, try again. Clowns also allow us to present truths in a wonderful way that is creative, memorable, and fun. It really is an invitation to play that leads to some pretty wonderful and blessed interactions both in churches, hospitals, out in the community, and elsewhere. It's a great responsibility as well.

One of the most wonderful things about clowning is getting to learn from your audience. The other day I had children learning to practice juggling with me (a little playful practice at discipline) using a single wiffle ball tossed from hand to hand. At the end of that little time together I gave each child one of those balls as a little reminder of our time together. One child came up to me and solemnly shook his head. He handed the ball back to me and said seriously, "It would only get broken at home." Each child quietly nodded and returned those balls to me. To me, those were simply really inexpensive tokens to use once and give away. To those children, they meant far more. It's hard to continue when so moved. You can't dab your eyes wearing that face paint, ya know.



So, for now, I'll continue to use the costume and put on the face paint. I'll go on being Joyful Noise and making one as well, as long as God wants me to do so. Who wants to join me?

For more, you might like to see: http://worldclown.com/clown-ministry/

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feasting with Friends 2015: Another Spirit Lifting Success

Psalm 133, verse 1, reads, "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" This annual event reminds me of that verse. 

Wonderful volunteers were ready and well-organized to make the experience meaningful as well as hunger satisfying. Contributors had provided enough food to send many home with meals for others. Around 100 friends from around Lansdowne came to dine with us. It was a fantastic meal and a great community gathered to break bread together. There are no words to adequately describe the feeling of that warm community. 

As the pastor, it was my privilege to make a few remarks. Here is a part of what was said. 
It is like Paul speaking of the body, the membership, in 1 Corinthians said, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” Today, in this body, we are many members with different talents, different backgrounds, different histories, and yet here we are one community, for a short time at least. If we combined all those talents and worked as one, imagine what wonderful things we might accomplish. 

... Today, we are touching each other’s lives here in these all too few hours of food and fellowship. It is a beautiful thing, a wonderful moment, a real gift from God. I am glad you all came.

This is also a small hint at a prayer Jesus himself made to God for his disciples, and by extension, for us all. Jesus prayed, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” It is a beautiful prayer, that one day we might all be one. We are not there yet, but meals like this certainly do not hurt. It reminds me of the book of John in which God loved all of humanity so much God send Jesus to tell everyone, everywhere that this is true. So, let me end with a broad statement for everyone here, no matter your background, no matter your history, no matter your faith, I say to you, you are the beloved of God. It has been very good to break bread with you today. I hope you have found this experience to be a blessing. I know we here at the church have. When you leave here today, may you go in peace and be a blessing to everyone you meet. Who knows what communities you might create and what amazing things you’ll accomplish together?

It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We look forward to repeating the experience again next year. We hope you will bless us with your presence so we may break bread and enjoy community together in 2016.
We'll save a place at the table for you in 2016!



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day of Service

If you live in the greater Philadelphia area and are hoping to take part in a public service project for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Monday, January 19, see the following link for opportunities available throughout the region: http://www.mlkdayofservice.org/ 

May you find great blessings in helping others on the Day of Service, and throughout the year.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Annual Meeting Approaches

Lansdowne Baptist Church members and friends: please mark your calendars for our rapidly approaching Annual Meeting. This very important meeting for our church will be held after worship on January 25th. Please plan to attend and help us determine our course for the upcoming year. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Help for Those in Need

The holidays are difficult times for those in need. Here are a few of the organizations in Philadelphia helping to make a difference for Thanksgiving day, 2014.

Check them out and see how you can help ... or be helped. If you are struggling this year, our prayers are with you. With God, you are also never alone.

Here are those organizations links for you to check out:

http://www.mannapa.org/manna-blog/
http://www.uac.org/thanksgiving-basket-program
http://www.mowaa.org/
http://unitedforimpact.org/uploads/ways-to-engage/documents/Holiday-Network-Opportunities.pdf
http://www.philabundance.org/?gclid=CPPp4omx-ooCFQqgYgodxmiPqA

Places you can help:

http://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?r=msa&categories=39&l=Philadelphia%2C+PA%2C+USA

Organizations that help out all year 'round:

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=Philadelphia&state=PA

Working with one of these organizations to help alleviate hunger may well be a better use of our time than heading to stores on Thanksgiving day.

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.
~ 1 Chronicles 16:34


Monday, November 17, 2014

Who Will You Serve





Stewardship sermon based on Joshua 24:14-25. It was a challenging question for the people of Israel back in Joshua's day and remains just as challenging for us. The "little g gods" may have changed, but the importance of the challenge and the response of each of us remains the same. God bless you as you ponder the question.

For a creative little piece on stewardship by a friend and fellow pastor, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/10/daily-vlog-299-made-to-give-60ssss.html

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Interfaith Food Cupboard of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, Needs Help

This information arrived on October 30, 2014, concerning the needs addressed just for the month of October: 


  • We provided emergency food for: 180 adults
  •                                                  162 children
  •                              for a total of: 342 people
  • We gave each a nine meal supply of food (three days), so we provided 3078 meals!!
Now here is the local need in the William Penn school district served by the Interfaith Food Cupboard: 
  • You can see that our number of requests have DOUBLED, while the food and money donations have dwindled   
  • WE NEED lots more food—so if you can help, we would be grateful!!
Here is a description of their efforts and their contact information: 

  • We service families in the William Penn School District (Aldan, Darby Borough, Colwyn, East Lansdowne, Lansdowne and Yeadon). We are here to help with emergency food needs! Call us at 610-622-0800, option 4 for more information. We are located at the First Presbyterian Church in Lansdowne, PA and are open on Monday and Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00p.m. This is not a walk in service so please call ahead to register as a client. Please bring proof of residency to register. You will need to provide your own transportation. Unfortunately, we cannot deliver to you.
You may also check their Facebook page for additional information: https://www.facebook.com/interfaithfoodcupboard/info

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 World Mission Offering

During September and October, American Baptist Churches USA receives the World Mission Offering, an essential source of support for the entire work of International Ministries, including support for current global personnel and  the recruitment of new missionaries. Your gifts to the offering can be directed for the support of particular missionaries, like Sue Hegarty, who are doing Christ-like ministry and changing lives in more than 70 countries around the world. We invite you to participate in the offering this year and to give generously.

You can give here at Lansdowne Baptist Church in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. We will be glad to have you join us and support these missionaries. You can also follow the link here and give to the ABC-USA missionary of your choice: http://www.internationalministries.org/give 

To read about the work of missionary Sue Hegarty, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/09/missionary-sue-hegarty-reflects-on.html