I love the exciting in-between time when Sunday School classes let out and worship is yet to begin. As folks filter into the sanctuary from the classrooms it's nice to see who has arrived for worship and is already seated in the pews. Today it seemed like everyone was pumped. There was a lot of chatter going on. We ran only a few minutes behind as we waited for the stragglers to be seated.
Pastor Lynn began with prayer requests. BBC was happy to hear that William is home from Duke and we continue praying for his recovery. After prayer the Congregation sang "Indescribable" followed by a second time of greetings and then a rousing "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart." You just gotta love Ms Debbie as she leads the hymns, sometimes asking the men to sing, sometimes the ladies. You have to watch her though, because you never know when she might hold a note out!
Our Sound Guy had a rough moment as he tried to move the projector during the Offering; Satan jumped in, knocking over a whole bunch of CDs and more. Sound Guy never missed a beat and scooped everything up in time for the Joyful Noise Choir performance of "He Touched Me." Beautiful job, Choir! Unfortunately we missed recording it on two fronts.
Pastor Lynn brought us another message on Church Values based on Acts 2. Some of those values include:
Following the Invitation two ladies came forth to accept Jesus! It's so exciting to see folks come to Jesus!
We observed Communion after worship, having postponed it from last week when Pastor Lynn was out of town. It was a beautiful time especially as Thanksgiving comes closer.
It's like a new day, a fresh beginning, square one. Last week we voted in a new preacher; this week we started our new church life. And it was awesome! We had several visitors in the house today, and folks were still excited after the Fall Festival held the evening before. (Perhaps some visitors came as a result)?
We started with prayer requests followed by the congregation singing "Only A God Like You" which fairly pumped everybody up. Then we sang a classic hymn, "I Stand Amazed In The Presence." (Just thinking about that possibility gives one goosebumps)!
After the offering the Joyful Noise Choir sang "Revive Us Again," a fitting message for a beginning kind of day. Even Pastor Lynn joined in! What a blessing to have a musically inclined minister!
Then he presented his message, Our Church Values, or what we truly believe. He brought to mind that our first love must be purposely directed and that we should be focused on who Jesus is and what He has done. When we do that we will Love Him.
Pastor Lynn shared that love for Christ begins to fade when we substitute:
You can hear the whole sermon HERE
The service moved on as Pastor Lynn grabbed his guitar and we sang several songs of love to Christ. Then we sang a verse of "Just As I Am" for the invitation. The Hardaway family and Mr. Jordan came forward and joined the church. A rousing Amen from the congregation firmly sealed it. We're excited to see BBC grow and what is in store for us as Jesus takes us to a new level.
A perfect Fall day that was just perfect to be in church. That's what today was. Sunday School started at 9am. What a delight to be able to study God's word among friends! Next was a brief scurrying around during the interim between Sunday School and worship, when folks greet each other before the service starts, younger children are deposited into the able care of the Nursery, the Sound department makes last minute system checks, the pianist starts playing softly as the last worshipers wander in to find their seat before the 10am hour begins.
The Praise Team began the service with the Contemporary hymn "Counting On God" which later our guest speaker, Lee Barbary, said fit in perfectly with his message. Next was the real Greetings when everyone in the Sanctuary got up and visited briefly with each other, hugging and chatting. A classic hymn was sung, the offering taken and then the Joyful Noise Choir sang "Rock Of Ages," another timeless classic hymn.
The message shared today was entitled "Core Values" and centered around Faith, Hope, and Love. We went through each, defining and challenging ourselves to practice living these three values in our own lives. Three reasons as to why we are told to practice Core Values:
Our day began on a sad note when we learned that our dear sweet Gloria Whitehurst has graduated to be in the presence of our dear Lord. A member of Blackwater her entire life, God blessed us with her dynamic piano skills for over 40 years. The number of lives she touched can hardly be counted. She truly embodied Proverbs 16:32a - "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty" because she hardly ever had a harsh word or thought towards anyone. She will be sorely missed.
We also learned that Pat W. lost a cousin early Sunday morning and that Ms Chrystal F.'s brother-in-law had passed earlier in the week. So many families are experiencing loss and grief. We ask everyone to pray for God's peace during their time of sorrow.
The Joyful Noise Choir gave their 2nd performance of the new church year, singing "Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus." Beautifully done, the dedicated participants really enjoy singing the 'old' songs. The BBC congregation seems to never tire of hearing the great classic hymns many have grown up with.
After Dr. Hardaway's message the invitation was sung. Four children who were recently Baptized came forward, requesting membership into the BBC family. A resounding "Amen" by the congregants was the expressed vote and welcome. Congratulations to Jack, Wyatt, Grace, and Emily!!
Things are moving along at BBC with regards to the pastor search. Last week's announcement by the Pastor Search Committee that Dr. Lynn Hardaway was being proposed as candidate led to a potential contract to be handed out today. Now everyone knows what BBC is expecting and looking forward to. Absentee ballots were dispensed to those members who will not be able to attend next Sunday's vote, being held after church. But before we get to that there will be a Meet and Greet on Saturday night at 7pm to meet with the Hardaway family and ask any final questions the congregation may have.
Please pray for God's perfect will for our church.
BBC is a warm and welcoming family of like-minded believers who come together to worship our amazing God. Since 1774 BBC has served the Blackwater community and while steeped in tradition we also blend in a bit of contemporary to transition to an exciting future. We'd love to have you join us!