Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On the Road



Sermon based on Luke 24:13-21, in which two disciples of Jesus walk away from Jerusalem, knocking the dust of the town off their heels following Jesus' crucifixion, and heading out for the town of Emmaus. The meet a stranger on the road and life changes forever. Come and see. It's a powerful story. It also has much to say on how we ought to share our stories. Intrigued yet?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Live Stream Bible Study Coming Soon

We are called by God to try new things, to follow where God (our great and glorious change agent) leads us. I am heading in one such direction where God is leading.

At this point, I have all the technology and programming to offer up an evening live stream Bible study, filled with applications for modern life, with Bible verses read in the biblical storytelling fashion. Lansdowne Baptist Church members, friends, and all seekers anywhere interested in participating will be invited to join in.

There are a couple of experiments needed to work out the finer details and then we will jump in with both feet. At that point, we will announce when the first meeting will take place (day and time), along with the YouTube channel through which you will be able to join in. If it is set up as I envision, chatting will be possible. There will be a few Bible-based rules for those conversations, but that will come later.

As one very astute individual who is jumping in early remarked, "We won't go for perfection at first, but we will walk toward it over time." Too true. Join us early and watch the changes happen.

Through it all we'll learn together what our loving God through the Bible, that amazing library of 66 books, has to tell us about living modern life well. We will equip ourselves with that knowledge. Then we will encourage each other to act on what we've learned to help others and grow in our faith.

Watch this blog for more news soon.

Until then, walk with God.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Film Screening: Because of the War

On April 15, 2018, at 4 p.m., Lansdowne's First Presbyterian Church (140 N. Lansdowne Ave, Lansdowne, PA) is showing the Philadelphia Folklore Project film, Because of the War. It shares the story of four brilliant singers--mothers, refugees, immigrants, survivors of Liberia's civil wars--who use their music to address violence and injustice at home and in exile.

Suggested donation per person: $10 each. Reception following film. This is an open invitation from the Ministerium of Eastern Delaware County, whose member churches which agreed to contribute toward this film's screening.


PBA Clergy's 1st Annual Missiological Conversation: April 19, 2018


What is the Christian message today
…in a climate in which the lens of our moral compass
may be clouded by the constant rhetoric of intolerance, supremacy, misogyny, and jockeying for the crumbs that fall from the tables of America’s wealthy top 2%? You are invited to the PBA Clergy’s 1st Annual Missiological Conversation.


Our Missiological Conversation begins at 9:00am. Join us at the tables for a time of sharing and fellowship. Church leaders are invited to talk to one another about what we do, why we do it, and how it’s done, in the name of Jesus Christ (mission). Please see the reverse side of this flyer for the program format.

We will have two speakers to help us investigate our concern for the Christian moral compass across the Nation and in Metro-Philadelphia. They will reflect on the theme Her Faith, Her Lens!!
(Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:27-28)

              
Speakers: 

The Rev. Leslie D. Callahan, Ph.D. (PBA Speaker) 

Pastor, Saint Paul’s Baptist Church,


Philadelphia; Served on the faculty of 

University of Pennsylvania and
New York Theological Seminary

The Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. (National Speaker)

 President, Director of the Doctor of

 Ministry Program & Professor of

 African American Religious Studies

 Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School                                         

 

Date: April 19, 2018 9:00AM - 2:30PM
Sponsors: The PBA Board of Directors &
The PBA Ministers Council
Location: St. Paul’s Baptist Church
1 Hagerty Boulevard, West Chester, PA 19382

Lunch is included in the registration fee of $45.00. Contact the PBA office at 215-482-8222, ext. 10 or register on our website at  www.philadelphiabaptist.org by April 11th.

Agenda
The Annual Conversation Forum Format


·        Coffee, registration…                                                                  

·        Welcome & Introductions                     
Host Pastor – The Rev. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., Ph.D.
The Rev. Robert L. Solomon, Jr., President, PBA Ministers Council
The Rev. Julia Bruton-Sheppard – Invocation

·        Introduction of Speakers – The Rev. Dr. James E. McJunkin, Jr., Executive Minister
         
·        PBA Speaker/The Rev. Dr. Callahan  Leslie Callahan

·        Q&A with Callahan           

·        Break (silence or minimal conversation requested)                                        

·        National Speaker/The Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle                      

·        Q&A with McMickle                            

·        Lunch and Fellowship Hour                           

·        Round One Clergy Guided Conversation       
Prayer & Missiological Question: What are the challenges of a clouded moral compass regarding issues of intolerance today and what is the role of the church in the USA in addressing them?

Table Groups Shift                               

·        Round Two Clergy Guided Conversation      
Prayer & Missiological Question: How might biblical teaching/preaching help to open our eyes to clouded judgement and/or inertia and inspire action?

·        Closure Benediction                                                                              

Steering Committee Members

The Rev. Dr. Darrell R. Bradsbery, Pastor, Second Baptist- Frankford; The Rev. Dr. Derick Brennan, Pastor, Canaan Baptist; The Rev. Dr. James H. Buck, Jr., Pastor, Grace Baptist-Germantown; The Rev. Scott Dorsey, Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist-Holmesburg; The Rev. Dr. Clifford I. Johnson, Pastor, Shiloh Baptist-Wilmington; The Rev. Harold R. Jolley, Pastor, Second Macedonia Baptist; The Rev. Abdel Lastre-Nunez, Pastor, Second Spanish Baptist; The Rev. William B. Moore, Pastor, Tenth Memorial Baptist; The Rev. Angel Pagan, Jr., Pastor, Lower Merion Baptist-Bryn Mawr; The Rev. Bruce W. Petty, Sr., Pastor, First Baptist-Huntingdon Valley; The Rev. Dr. James A. Pollard, Sr., Pastor, Zion Baptist-Ardmore; The Rev. Charles W. Quann, Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist-Spring House; The Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan, Pastor, Mayfair Conwell Memorial Baptist; The Rev. Jeffrey Snyder, Pastor, Lansdowne Baptist; The Rev. Robert L. Solomon, Jr., President, PBA Ministers Council; The Rev. Dr. James E. McJunkin, Jr., Executive Minister.

A Justice That Heals - 2000



Here is a powerful story of reconciliation and forgiveness that heals. This is key to creating healing communities and church stations of hope: working together to help families of those who have been incarcerated and those in prison themselves. It is well worth watching and wrestling with by all who seek to help or who have someone in the prison system.

God bless you all.

For more on the organization Healing Communities that works to create church Stations of Hope across the country, see: www.healingcommunitiesusa.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Late to the Party



Sermon for April 8, 2018, the week after Easter, based on John 20:19-29, the story of Thomas, who arrives late to the party, so to speak, after Jesus has visited the disciples after his resurrection. Thomas has a lot of trouble believing what his friends are trying to tell him and expresses his feelings strongly. Watch and see what this means for all of us today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Have Seen the Lord



This Easter morning sermon for April 1, 2018, is based on John 20:1-18. This sermon focuses on the powerful experience Mary Magdalene has first thing in the morning, heading out to the tomb to honor Jesus at his grave. The stone sealing the tomb has been removed and human history will never be the same.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tenebrae Service Maundy Thursday


On March 29, 2018, Lansdowne Baptist Church will celebrate our Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service of hymns, Scripture readings, and candle light. The service covers Jesus' passion, the events leading up to and including his crucifixion. The service begins at 7 p.m. with a simple soup and bread meal preceding it at 6:30 p.m. Eight candles are lit, eight Scriptures are read. With the reading of each passage, a candle is extinguished, until with the final reading is done and the room submerged into darkness.

It is a moving time of reflection, taking us up to the moment of Jesus' death and leaving us there until Easter morning, when we celebrate Jesus' resurrection and all that means.

Please join us. 

Come Celebrate the Joy of Easter with Us at LBC


Lansdowne Baptist Church celebrates our Easter service at 11 a.m. in the main sanctuary. Come join in our joy as we worship the risen Savior, Jesus, the Messiah. All are welcome. Wonderful hymns will be sung and the sermon will be based on Mary's discover of the empty tomb and her belief that Jesus is the gardener when she first sees him. Beautiful moment for a beautiful day.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Feasting with Friends 2018: Basic Information Provided


At this year’s Feasting with Friends community dinner, I decided it was time to get down to brass tacks—as my grandparents used to say. With a great deal of misinformation swirling around about who we are as American Baptists, why we serve the community we serve, and who we human beings are, I felt it necessary to get back to basics. The information was well received, which warmed my heart. The meal was also fantastic as always, well received, and well staffed by dedicated volunteers from our church family and friends. 

Who Are We?
       We’re at Lansdowne Baptist are part of the American Baptist denomination. As American Baptists, we believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that the Bible is divinely inspired. That Bible is our reliable guide to Christian life and faith. We believe all Christians are called to approach God directly, free of any human go-between, and that as Christians we all have free will.
       All of us have been given special gifts by God, gifts that are intended to strengthen and improve our community as we share our unique gifts with each other. God does not intend for us to hoard these gifts, keep them “mint in the box,” or set them aside and play with that box.
       American Baptists believe in religious freedom for everyone. It was Baptists pushed out of Massachusetts who created the Rhode Island colony and declared everyone was welcome there.
       We American Baptists also believe in sharing the good news with others, both locally and internationally. We do this both in the words we speak and the actions we take. To share the good news well, we acknowledge that it is the duty of all believers to equip ourselves with knowledge and train with each other on Sunday morning, so we can live out our faith all week long.
       We American Baptists also agree that we are called to cooperate with other churches. We at Lansdowne Baptist work with Lansdowne’s First Presbyterian Church with the Interfaith Food Cupboard. As the pastor, I have also helped with their Sonrise Service early Easter morning and we at LBC have fed our Presbyterian friends breakfast afterwards.
       American Baptists also very strongly believe we are called to be Christian witnesses for justice and wholeness in a broken society, following Jesus’ excellent example. Since the movement to abolish slavery prior to the Civil War, American Baptists have been involved in every justice movement in the United States. Among them have been supporting women’s rights, including the right to vote, adopting women ministers roughly 100 years ago, supporting the civil rights movement, care of our planet and much more.
       We American Baptists also celebrate the fact that we are the most culturally and theologically diverse of all the US denominations. We embrace people from all around the globe.

Why Do We Serve?
       Why do we at Lansdowne Baptist go to all the effort to support Feasting with Friends and the other programs we are involved with to help our community and the world, people we know and those we will never meet? What is in it for us, people might well ask. Let’s turn to our reliable guide, the Bible, for some answers.
       We are called to serve by Mark 10:43-45: “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
        We are instructed to love everyone in Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” The parable of the good Samaritan, which follows this verse, illustrates our neighbor is everyone and we do whatever we can for neighbors in need.
        We are informed by Jesus that we will be held to account for our service to others, or our lack thereof, in Matthew 25:33-40: [Jesus] will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
       Finally, 1 Peter 4:10 calls us all to serve others out of the gifts God has given us: 10Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. It is amazing what the use of our gifts can draw out in others. During Feasting with Friends, our efforts draw out gifts from our own church community and from local businesses to make for a wonderful, meaningful day. We are grateful for all the blessings and mercies and free gifts from God and that gratitude makes us generous. We want to share. To quote from A.A. Milne’s character Piglet in Winne-the-Pooh: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” Or, as Psalm 23:5 puts it: My cup overflows.

Who Are We All?
       Finally, there are many folks who are ready and willing, eager even, to define us negatively. The world, or society if you like, defines us by our jobs, our credit scores, social status, skin color, gender, age, diseases, or addictions. I could go on. Needless to say, today’s world judges humanity harshly.
       But the good news is that is not who we are. We American Baptists, we Christians, work hard to see humanity as God sees us, as Jesus taught us, as the Holy Spirit guides us.
       We see everyone as a beloved child of God, one so loved God sent Jesus to tell and show all just how much they are loved. Jesus came to rescue us all from terrible, harmful ways of living that are against God’s plan and intention for humanity. God’s plan is the way of love and hope, a way filled with generosity, service, and devoid of fear. The ways in which we stray from God’s plan are referred to as sin.
       We are taught that humanity is made in God’s image and has God’s characteristics. Sadly we stray.
       However, from the very beginning God loved us and called us good. We are not the labels society applies to us. We are the beloved children of the Creator of the universe. Please remind one of your neighbors of this fact sometime today. That will be a wonderful way to love God and neighbor alike.
      
Open Invitation
**If this sounds good to you, you don't have a church of your own, and you would like to come by and worship with Lansdowne Baptist Church to see what it is like, you will be most welcome. Consider this an open invitation. God bless you on your journey.