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A November Note from Pastor Jason

A Month of Thanksgiving

At some point this month, we’ll all be invited to engage in a cycle of well-being and transformation. Most likely, this will be initiated by a loved one. They’ll gaze across a table full of smoked bird, cranberries, and sweet potato casserole, and invite the grazing community to lower their voices and pay attention. Then they’ll ask you the all-important question: “What are you thankful for?” Your answer could spark a revolution.

Recent studies have shown that generosity and gratitude go hand in hand both at a psychological and neurobiological level. They are symbiotic. Together, small acts of generosity and gratitude kick-start a neurological feedback loop and an upward spiral of well-being. Simply put, speaking gratitude and sharing generously will enrich your life in tangible ways. Speaking gratitude and sharing generously will also enrich the lives of those around us.

With that in mind, may our entrance into November bring us all deeper into the cycle of generosity and gratitude. We have so much for which to celebrate. Specifically:

  • With Reformation Sunday fresh in our minds, we continue to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and all that has meant for our lives and this world. In what ways are you thankful for God’s ongoing work of reformation and renewal?
  • November marks the midpoint in our current Catalyst ministry plan, so we’ll spend time offering words of gratitude for the impact your generosity has made through the ministries of our church. And, as we look toward the future, there is much more to come. Would you prayerfully consider offering a Thanksgiving gift this month to the ministries of our church?
  • November 10-12 will be a weekend of celebration as we joyfully welcome the candidate our search committee is recommending as our next Associate Pastor of Worship and Music. I am thrilled by the work this committee has done and am so eager to experience what all their work, and what this candidate will mean for our future together. This weekend is so much more than question and answer sessions; it is an important step toward us realizing a more vibrant future in service to God and others. Will you plan to participate in the celebration?

These are just a few prompting opportunities for you to practice generosity, gratitude, and celebration in the month ahead. How else might God bring well-being and transformation into our world through our generosity? How might your acts of generosity this month serve as catalysts for God’s dreams to come true here and around our world now and for years to come?

May God show us all as we move through this month of Thanksgiving…

With Gratitude,
Jason Edwards
Senior Pastor


Posted by Jason Edwards at Thursday, October 26, 2017 | 0 comments
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Wet M&M’s, What’s Your Comfort Zone? by Dawn Thurlo Ehrmann

It’s a fact that God will take you out of your comfort zone from time-to-time and force you to grow, to trust and to love!  He did me, let me explain.

For me, my comfort zone is behind the Welcome Center Desk at Second Baptist Church. It’s safe back here. I’m protected. That is, protected from everyone except... “Children” ... I have never had children, and quite frankly, they frighten me and children instinctively KNOW this!  To them, I have a sign on my forehead that says “DAWN’S AFRAID, LET’S HUG HER, ” and they do!  They squeeze me and look up and smile precious little smiles, some without teeth (of course I look).  Then they tell me about their new adventures and what they have learned! I have learned the red gummy worms are better than the yellow ones and if you eat their heads off first, it tastes better. I’ve been offered wet M&M’s, and it’s considered rude if you don’t take it.  And sometimes it’s just fun to jump from block to block on the tile floor.

Then there are those, the shy ones, the children who stand back and watch. I wonder what they think, are they out of their comfort zones too? Those are the children who have a sign on their forehead that says “I’M AFRAID, HUG ME”……

 In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! "

Yes, my comfort zone has changed. God has pushed me out from behind my desk, and I am learning to accept wet M&M’s with a smile.

What’s your comfort zone? Would you like to step out and perhaps be a volunteer at the 2BC Welcome Desk? We are always in need of a volunteer to offer love to the child in all of us, because from time-to-time our fears will teach us to grow, to trust and to love and who knows, maybe even get a wet M&M.

Dawn Thurlo Erkmann
Welcome Desk
Second Baptist Church

Posted by Janet Hill at Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 0 comments
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Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda, by Jason Edwards

It has now been 500 years since Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg, launching the Protestant Reformation.

We emphasized this during Lent, focusing 5 midweek evensong services on the 5 “Solas” of the Reformation: Sola Fide (by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), Solus Christus (through Christ alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone).

Our study and celebration of the 500th Anniversary continues on October 29, Reformation Sunday. An interview with Ken Chatlos, sermon by Dr. Molly Marshall, and the singing of great hymns like Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress,” will surely lift our appreciation as we lift our praise to God for who God is and all God has done, is doing, and will do in our midst.

I hope you’ll join us as we continue to celebrate and ponder the impact of Christ in our world through the work of Reformation.  Perhaps you could do that this week by pondering another phrase related to the Reformation: Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda:  the church reformed and always reforming. The spirit of this idea suggests that the process of reformation is ongoing; never complete. I like this, because we serve a living God in a dynamic world. Why wouldn’t the work of faith be living and dynamic as well? The sometimes-overlooked assumption of Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda is that we reform with scripture and toward scripture. The goal of reformation is faithfulness to God and the biblical witness. I like this too.

And so, in the spirit of Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda, and with the Bible as your resource, what should be next in the Church’s ongoing work of renewal and reformation?

Posted by Jason Edwards at Monday, October 23, 2017 | 0 comments
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