Posted on : Thursday July 7, 2022

“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Letters for Graduating Seniors
SonRise Church in Berlin has a unique way of honoring and encouraging graduating seniors. Youth Minister Ethan Holloway said youth naturally develop special relationships with their leaders. “We want youth to know that as they are transitioning to adult life those relationships can still exist.” Before students graduate, Holloway has them ask a youth leader to write a letter to them. Holloway said these letters encourage and wish students well, give Godly advice, and let students know the friendship will continue as they move into adulthood.

Youth worship time at SonRise Church in Berlin, Maryland. (Facebook photo used with permission)

A special night is designated for the seniors where they are honored and receive gifts. This year, the church presented students with the book “Dangerous Prayers” by Craig Groeschel, as well as a large bag of candy and cards with well wishes signed by members of the congregation.

Afterward, they enjoyed a time of fellowship with games.

Regarding incoming sixth-graders, Holloway said he reaches out to the families and sends notes inviting them to the group. Holloway explained that they trickle in, often because they are a bit nervous. As they come in, they are introduced with a one-on-one welcome.

Passionate Church Members
New Covenant Baptist Church in Rockville is celebrating their second anniversary on Sunday with guest preacher Steve Petit, the director of “One in Christ,” based in Alachua, Florida. Also, the church will have a thee-session workshop on “passionate church members,” also led by Petit. The first is at 10 a.m. o July 9, “A Passion for What God Says,” followed by “A Passion for What is Possible” at 11:30 a.m.; and then the concluding, “A Passion for Oneness” at 1:30 on July 10.

Sports Camp
East Baltimore Graffiti Church is in the midst of its gospel-centered summer sports camp running through July 29 for kids ages 4-14. The camp includes basketball, football, and dance. The church provides lunch, moonbounces, and weekly snowballs. There are weekly dance performances and end-of-camp basketball and football tournaments. Also, there will be a school supply giveaway at the end of the camp. Register online.

Surf Camp
Ocean City Baptist Church (OCBC) has a unique outreach to vacationers and international students who work in the area for the summer — surf camp! OCBC Member “Salty” Selt owns the “Endless Summer” Surf shop on 3708 Coastal Highway. Selt, a surfer for years, had the vision for the camps. He donates at least 40 boards, and his time every Wednesday during the summer. Participants get free surf lessons, hear a short devotional, and are invited to join Pastor Sean Davis or other leaders in prayer.

Last week there were over 50 surfers including locals, visitors, and students from five different countries.

Men’s Health
Prince George’s Baptist Association will have a “Repairer of the Breach” fellowship at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church. The topic will be men’s health.

Pop-Up-Food Pantry 

Members of North Glen Community Church (NGCC) in Glen Burnie are starting a monthly pop-up food pantry from 10-noon beginning on July 23. The church is working with the Maryland Food Bank and Severn Covenant Church (SCC). After seeing a notice about SCC’s pop-up pantry, members of NGCC contacted the church and SCCC not only gave counsel but volunteered to partner with the church and run the first pantry with NGCC members assisting and learning. In addition to non-perishables, they’ll have produce, meats, as well as diapers, and hygiene products.

Members of NGCC are using the pantry as an outreach to their community, and to offer opportunities for hands-on ministry for the whole church.

Summer Fellowship
Canvas Church, Salisbury, is taking a break from small groups and is having a variety of summer seminars — church history, suffering well with mental illness, and Financial Peace. They’re also having game nights including frisbee golf.

Drive-In Movie Date Night
Riva Trace Baptist Church (RTBC) in Davidsonville will have a drive-in movie night on July 15, starting at 9 p.m. featuring “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” The movie is free. The rain date is July 26.

Pastoral Assistant Kimberly Roberts describing the event said, “It’s like an old-fashioned drive-in. You park on the lawn and watch the movie on a big screen. It has been an incredible outreach for us.” The church fills containers with movie souvenirs, along with church coffee mugs, t-shirts, and other goodies then have drawings for the baskets. Roberts said she and Senior Pastor Dennis Gray interact with guests, offering the drawing tickets, which viewers can complete and drop at the concession stand. The church uses the information to do a survey and then asks if those visitors would be interested in other events. RTBC has many outside visitors registered for Vacation Bible School this summer, and they believe many are from the movie nights.

Survey results also indicated people are interested in more date nights and marriage conferences.

Free Handicap Lift
Smithsburg Valley Church removed their Freedom Lift System, TrustLift 750 handicap lift and is offering it free to any church that has this need. Email Pastor Allen Youngbar or call 240.527.9991

Quotable Quotes
“There was once a fiddler who played so beautifully that everybody danced. A deaf man who could not hear the music considered them all insane. Those who are with Jesus in suffering hear this music to which other men are deaf. They dance and do not care if they are considered insane.”
Richard Wurmbrand, Victorious Faith

History Bites
1847 — Franklin Wilson became the first (now BCM/D) Executive Director. Wilson aspired to the calling of pastor in his early life. He accepted the pastorate of the church William Crane founded, then called High Street, but throat trouble ended his preaching career prematurely. He resigned in 1852 after only four years in the pulpit.

He was the first state executive director of the Maryland Baptist Union Association and served forty years at this post, 1847 to 1887. After leaving the pulpit, he turned his energies to the office of executive secretary and editor of the Maryland Baptist paper, The True Union (now BaptistLIFE). He stayed faithfully at the first post long enough to see the Union Association grow from sixteen churches and 1,802 total members to fifty-six churches with 11,484 members. In his day, Wilson was second in influence in Maryland only to Richard Fuller.

2012 — Native New Orleanian Fred Luter was elected by acclamation Tuesday, June 19, as the first black president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Featured photo: SonRise Church youth leader Rob Christinck reads an encouraging letter to a high school graduate (Facebook photo used with permission).