“… Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20b-21
Jingle & Mingle
Leonardtown Baptist Church had a “Jingle & Mingle” Christmas gathering. The “Jingle” referred to the lively Christmas music led by the adult and children’s choirs, and the mingling took place afterward as folks enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies and warmed themselves by fire barrels while chatting with others.
The church also had a live nativity scene with actors, as well as a few sheep and a cow.
Multiethnic Christmas Celebration
Transformation Church (TC) in Wilmington, Delaware, had its annual “Community Christmas Delaware” on Dec. 11. “We want people to hear the joy of Jesus at Christmas,” said Pastor Chandra Rudrapathi. This year, the church had multilingual singing of Christmas carols in Tamil, English, Telugu, Hindi, Chinese, and Punjabi. In addition, children and youth performed skits.
This is an annual event for the church, but this year, several other ministries, including Prayer Fellowship, Manna House Indian Fellowship, and Delaware Tamil Prayer Fellowship participated. Jon Limm, minister of discipleship at Sycamore Hill Church in Wilmington, Delaware, shared a devotional on a “Door of Hope,” and “Purpose of Life.”
TC members prepared and served homemade American and Indian foods, including spicy biryani, a festive, flavorful dish with 16-18 spices. They also served vegetarian dishes for Indian Hindus who attended.
Rudraphti said he was especially encouraged when the other participating churches/ministries said that they will partner next year to help sponsor the event.
Along with the celebration, the church has been regularly caroling in their Newark area. Rudraphti said they’ve already visited at least 14 non-Christian homes, friends, and colleagues of church members. They sang and Rudraphti shared a very short message. “We stood in front of idols and pictures of their gods, and we told them very clearly that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, and there’s a reason He came to this earth.” Rudraphti said all of the people they visited were warm and welcoming. Several invited the group in for refreshments.
Carolers will continue to go out, with plans to sing at a shopping center, a train station, and local apartment complexes.
Christmas Party Proposal
First Baptist Church of Brunswick (FBCB) Associate Pastor Justin Wycoff began ministering at the church shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. He began teaching youth on Wednesdays and quickly bonded with the teens. “They have become ‘my kids.’” he said. So, when he and another youth worker, Maggie Miller, began dating, the students enjoyed making good-natured fun of them, Wycoff said with a chuckle. “When we got serious, and I knew I was going to propose, I knew I had to include the youth somehow,” he said.
When Miller had to be away for a week, Wycoff, with the youth, plotted the surprise proposal and decided it would happen during their upcoming youth Christmas party! With their families scattered across several states, Wycoff decided to stream the proposal online.
Miller was aware a proposal might be coming, but not when. Wycoff had the kids do a game, as usual. Then on the second game of the evening, he blindfolded Miller and told her she had to interpret the words on signs that the kids would be holding up. Of course, the words were, “Will you marry me?” And when Wycoff removed Miller’s blindfold, she immediately said yes.
O’ BCM/D Christmas Tree
For the past several years, BCM/D’s office Christmas tree has had a theme, thanks to Facility Support Specialist Adron Dozat. One year, the tree branches held photos of church planters. Another year, Dozat cut out extra information about Lottie Moon to make a garland. This year, the tree shows handmade crafts, some from WorldCraft, a non-profit ministry supporting people around the world who are impoverished and exploited.
Margot Painter assisted Dozat this year but gave credit to Dozat’s God-given art ability and his creativity. Dozat is also the artist who prepares the Bible Time Fun Pages each week for baptistlifeonline.org.
Christmas Walk of Wonder
Bethany Church (BC) in Ellicott City had their annual “Christmas Walk of Wonder,” featuring decorated trees that tell the story of Christmas, a manger scene with live animals, local musicians sharing holiday music, hot cocoa, and other concessions to keep folks warm. This year, they added an ice skating rink.
Minister of Music Sherrie McKay said her favorite part about the walk is seeing families stop to admire the trees and read together about each one. Every tree had a theme and narration — Mary, Bethlehem, shepherds, the angels, the Magi, and the cross. Finally, The Life Tree represented Jesus. McKay said, “It’s the biggest, most spectacular tree in the whole yard.”
Over 1,000 people visited the church for the event.
- Join us 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on January 6 at BCM/D’s Columbia office for a Church Planting Leadership Development Cohort. We want to equip and encourage pastors to lead their congregations while developing leaders within those churches. Click the link for registration information.
- Our Minister’s Tax Seminar from 9:30 a.m. – noon is one of our most popular BCM/D training events! Get the latest updates on 2021 taxes. This is specifically designed for pastors, staff ministers, and church treasurers. This year you can participate in person or online. Click the link above for more information and to register.
On Dec. 14, 1840, Charlotte (Lottie) Moon was born. She devoted her life to missions in China (adapted from sbchistory.com).
In 1998, the BCM/D entered into partnership agreements with Ontario, Canada, and Mississippi (taken from https://bcmd.org/about-us/history/history-highlights/).