We had a wonderful time of worship and fellowship last Sunday as we celebrated our 38th Annual Commitment Sunday. Rev. Deb Bibler preached a wonderful sermon, and we were led to reflect on what it means to be the church to one another. Thanks to all who worked to make this day possible – from the clean up crew, to the kitchen crew, to the choir, to Lib and Hugh who helped us in remembering our roots – you all did a fantastic job!!
We are entering one of the most sacred times of the year. As we approach Holy Week, we are invited to ponder what it might mean for us to walk with Jesus on the road to the cross.
We have already had some powerful worship services during this season of Lent — most recently sharing a Biblical meal and communion this past Sunday night. I invite you to participate fully in worship this week. I believe we will have our faith both renewed and strengthened, as we remember the events of Jesus’ final days on earth.
We will have worship this Palm Sunday morning at 11 AM, and celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On Maundy Thursday evening, we will have supper at 7 PM, followed by a service of communion and a reflection upon Jesus’ passion. Finally, we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.
My prayer for all of us is best articulated by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:17 -18. He writes to those that he loves, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Fellowship Baptist Church, from its very inception, has affirmed the equality of women and men in the service of God. This belief has led us to practice and encourage openness to both men and women in all places of ministry in the Church. We recognize, however, that at the present time, not all Baptist churches are open to and affirming of the place of women in ministry. Especially lacking are preaching opportunities for women preparing to enter the ministry. Therefore, the members of Fellowship Baptist Church have created the Emily L. Weatherspoon Ministry Weekend to provide support, encouragement and a preaching opportunity for a woman seminarian. 2011 marks the sixteeth annual observance of the Weatherspoon Ministry Weekend.
This weekend is named in honor of one of the women who has enriched and inspired our life together as a church, Dr. Emily Lansdell Weatherspoon. Dr. Weatherspoon was a gifted scholar, teacher and writer who modeled the life of Christ in her service. Dr. Weatherspoon’s life is a testimony to the long standing and rich tradition of women in ministry in Baptist life.
Our 2011 Emily L. Weatherspoon Preacher is Sarah Sheehan Reddish. Sarah lives in Decatur, GA and is in her second year of the Master of Divinity program at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. She received her undergraduate degree in religion from Furman University. Sarah has thoroughly enjoyed her studies in religion and theology, especially classes in Scripture and Interpretation. Sarah’s husband Michael, is also a student at Emory, studying chemistry. When not studying, Sarah enjoys being outdoors, baking, and celebrating the power of stories. We welcome Sarah and Michael as they join us this weekend, and look forward to what Sarah has to share with us from the pulpit.
The season of Lent is a period of forty days leading up to the celebration of Easter. It is a time of spiritual preparation, a necessary prelude, as we anticipate the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. Our worship celebrations will take place whether or not we do the hard work of spiritual preparation. However, without our hearts and lives being ready, we may not experience the depth and power of Christ’s death and resurrection. As we begin this season of the year, may we commit ourselves anew to attending worship, reading scripture, praying daily, and taking on other spiritual disciplines or acts of service.