“In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.’” Luke 1:26-28
Christmas at Princess Anne
First Baptist Church of Princess Anne (FBCPA) will have a live nativity from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 16-18. Live actors will portray Luke’s Christmas account outside. The church is on a major highway, allowing many people to see the nativity as they pass. Church members will have Bible tracts available for those who stop by. Cheryl Nelson, the church’s secretary and treasurer, said the community’s response to the live nativity is usually very good.
On Dec. 12, the church will have its annual children’s Christmas program and on Dec. 19 they will have an adult Christmas Cantata. Both will be at the 11 a.m. worship service.
The church participated in Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child, packing over 80 boxes. Several women purchased supplies for the boxes. Then, members gathered on a Saturday to assemble and pack the boxes. While most of the women worked inside, men worked outside, adding landscaping to flowerbeds and doing work on a new extensive playground and recreation area.
Merry Christmas Laurel
First Baptist Church of Laurel will have a huge Christmas Festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m on Dec. 11. They’ll have a live nativity scene, a Christmas Shoppe, cocoa, and cookie decorating, pony and sleigh rides, games, bumper bubbles, and a photo booth. And it’s all free!
They are hosting the event to show their love for the Laurel community.
Christmas Bible Journey
For the Christmas season, Towne Baptist Church (TBC) in Joppa is having a “Christmas Bible Journey.” Starting Dec. 1, TBC Church Pastor Nathan Kaspar, church members, and friends began reading a chapter of the book of Luke each day through Christmas Eve.
“We started it last year during COVID-19, trying to have it be something everyone can be a part of. We found it to be a special way to get people involved going through the Scripture,” Kaspar shared.
Everyone in the church is welcome to read — children, youth, adults, and couples. “The more the merrier,” Kaspar added.
“Scripture brings people together, especially during the pandemic when things were more shut down. Hearing and seeing others take part in reading the Scripture is special, especially during this season,” he observed, adding that hearts seem to be softer during Christmas.
“It’s something simple,” Kaspar said. With profound possibilities.
Severna Park Baptist Church (SPBC), Bay Life Church in Pasadena, and Trinity Bible Church (TBC), a non-denominational church in Severna Park, formed a youth co-op and meet from 6:30-8 p.m. on Wednesdays for meals, games, and Bible studies.
SPBC Pastor Dave Brown organized the group before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The group meets at SPBC the first two Wednesdays of the month and at TBC on the remaining weeks and they rotate responsibilities between the three churches.
This year they began using “The Seven Checkpoints” (from a book by Andy Stanley). They focus on authentic faith, spiritual disciplines, moral boundaries, healthful friendships, wise choices, ultimate authority, and others first. Each month, for seven months, leaders focus on a different “checkpoint.”
“Using it for just seven months gives us some room in the other months to do book studies and some flexible topics like — now we’re doing the Christmas studies,” Brown said. Through December, teens will also decorate Christmas cookies together, watch movies, and do a wrapped gift exchange.
Brown said co-op leaders plan to study Genesis, Acts, and Romans next year.
Each week, they see 12-20 students. “It’s a good consistency,” Brown said. The number is small enough for bonding and camaraderie, large enough for games, allows visitors to be more comfortable, and gives a sense of excitement.
Though primarily just a Wednesday group, they did go to a corn maze earlier this fall and they took a dozen student to summer Fuge Camp in Ridgecrest. “That group really bonded through that week,” Brown said.
Leaders from the co-op communicate throughout the week, and individual church youth leaders communicate with volunteers. They use Facebook as a central “hub.”
Brown emphasized the co-op isn’t to replace youth ministries for the churches but to add to them.
Clinton Baptist Church, in partnership with George Washington Hospital, Rodham Institute, MedStar, and Chick-Fil-A is hosting a health fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 11. Visitors will be able to get COVID-19 shots for adults and children, as well as booster shots, flu and shingle vaccines, health and dental check-ups, colon screenings, mammogram testing, and several other health checks and services. There will also be booths for Veterans Assistance, Employment Assistance, WIC, and more
Church of the Harbor (CoH) in Essex will have a CoH Friendly Coffeehouse from 6-9 p.m. on Dec. 10. Enjoy a variety of coffees and pastries, listen to music, or take a turn with a song yourself. It’s open mic!
“Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul, though upon the surface, a rough tempest may be raging, and there may be little apparent calm.” Charles Spurgeon
“I have always contended as a leader that the Word of God is never open to compromise or change, but all of our methods must be placed on the table for constant evaluation. We have this moment. We cannot afford to waste it or to miss opportunities to witness for Him because of our stubbornness or unwillingness to change, even when change is uncomfortable.” David Lee (a former Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) executive director)
1785: First Baptist Church of Baltimoretowne organized on land by Jones Falls, where the Shot Tower now stands (adapted from BCM/D’s History Highlights).
1915: W. H. Baylor became Executive Director. Baylor led the way for Maryland’s own progressive era. The scope of the Maryland Baptist Union Association’s (now BCM/D) ministries increased rapidly under Baylor’s leadership. During Baylor’s term, Maryland Baptists fulfilled the admonition of Deuteronomy 26:13 by making significant progress in the care of widows and orphans as well as the foreigner and stranger. Baylor presided over the transition to a new age in Maryland Baptist life.
Cover photo: Girls from FBCPA’s youth group helped to pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (Facebook photo used with permission).
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