Getting Ready for Resurrection
Lent is the season of the church year in which followers of Jesus are encouraged to prepare their hearts for Easter through Bible reading and prayer, through self-examination and repentance, and through fasting from things that would distract us from the Lord. Here at Calvary, the observance of Lent will begin on February 14 with an Ash Wednesday service. This time of worship will be held in the sanctuary at 6:30 in the evening and will feature interactive prayer stations – along with an opportunity for worshipers to receive the imposition of ashes as a sign of repentance. In the Sundays that follow, our pastor will be sharing a series of sermons that he’s calling “Giving Up.” These messages will focus not on the simple pleasures that we sometimes “give up” for Lent, like drinking coffee or eating chocolate – but on the habits and attitudes that the Lord invites us to give up as He remakes us in the image of Christ. We hope you can join us as we get ready to celebrate resurrection power.
Calvary’s Missionaries to Chad to Lead Worship on February 18
Andy and Cari Robertson will be our special guests for worship on Sunday, February 18th. For the past six years, the Robertsons have been serving as medical missionaries in the Central African nation of Chad; and during those years, we have supported them with our prayers and financial gifts. Now that they’re back in the states on “home assignment,” we’re looking forward to renewing our friendship and learning more about their ministry. On the morning of their visit, Andy and Cari will speak in worship. They will also lead a dialogue time in the fellowship hall during the Sunday School hour, to which everyone is invited. Because we would like to present Andy and Cari with an additional show of support while they’re with us, we will be receiving a special offering for their ministry on Sunday, February 4th and Sunday, February 11th. If you’d like to contribute, please mark your gift “Robertsons.”
“Fresh Hope” Coming to Calvary Baptist
Fresh Hope for Mental Health® is an international network of Christian peer-to-peer mental health support groups whose mission is to empower those with mental health challenges, along with their loved ones, to live full and rich lives in spite of having a mental health diagnosis. Fresh Hope groups approach mental health recovery from a hope and faith-filled perspective. It is a mutual-help, peer-to-peer support group in which members encourage one another as equals under the guidance of a certified facilitator. The meeting format includes both a large and small group experience, where members can share as little or as much of their “journey” as they desire.
Fresh Hope is not intended to replace professional treatment such as therapy and prescribed medications when needed. Rather, Fresh Hope serves as a supplemental support and information system so that members and those who love them might develop tools to help them manage their illness on a daily basis in order to live with dignity and hope in Christ.
A Fresh Hope group will begin meeting at Calvary on Sunday nights at 7 o’clock, beginning on Feburary 11, 2018. For more information, please call 336/786-4778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GriefShare Begins on February 5
GriefShare is a weekly support group designed to provide encouragement and hope to individuals who are dealing with the death of a loved one. Using instruction from Christian professionals and group discussion, GriefShare helps participants address grief and recovery from a biblical perspective.
Our spring session of GriefShare will be held on Monday nights at 6:30, beginning on February 5 and running to April 30, 2018. For more information, please call 336/786-4778 or email “email@example.com.”
Give to Hurricane Relief Efforts
In the wake of historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast of Texas and by Hurricane Irma in Florida and the southeastern US, many members of our church family have asked if we will be collecting a special offering to provide relief for people impacted by the storms. While we are certainly willing to be a conduit for contributions, we feel that it would be most helpful for potential donors to give directly to the agencies that are best positioned to understand and to respond to the rapidly changing needs that arise in tragedies like these. Therefore, we are providing the following links to facilitate this giving:
- NC Baptist Men: Baptists here in North Carolina have a long history of ministering to persons whose lives have been impacted by natural disasters. Teams that provide food, showers, laundry facilities and reconstruction aid are already in place.
- Texas Baptist Men and/or Florida Baptist Disaster Relief: Both Texas and Florida Baptists maintain well-organized disaster response ministries, and their familiarity with the areas impacted by these storms make them an excellent choice for relief donations.
- Samaritan’s Purse: Samaritan’s Purse brings together churches and individuals from a variety of backgrounds to respond to the pressing needs of our world. This link to their man donation page allows you to designate funds for Hurricane Harvey and/or Hurricane Irma relief.
- Red Cross: The Red Cross continues to be a key player in organizing aid to persons in need.
If you have any questions about Calvary’s response to these recent disasters — or if you wish to make a contribution through our church — please contact the church office.
Easter Backpack Project
Our church family has been given an opportunity to help with a special “Easter Backpack” distribution at Franklin Elementary School. Spring Break will have kids out of school for a whole week rather than just a weekend; so the Backpack coordinator would like to send them home with extra food. We have been asked to provide 60 bags that contain these much-needed provisions. Each bag needs to contain the same items, so we are asking you to complete a bag (or bags) using the list below – and then deliver it to the church on or before Sunday, April 9. If you’d like to participate but don’t have time to shop, you can also “sponsor” a bag by donating $13 and marking your gift “Easter Backpack.”
Easter Backpack Items
[Please note: You can purchase the “name brand” or the “store brand” version of each item, but please include all
of these items and only
these items in your bag.]
- 1 – 15-oz can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti or ravioli
- 3 – 3-oz packages of Ramen Noodles
- 2 – 4-oz packages of Instant Potatoes (“Just Add Water” variety)
- 1 – 6-pack of Applesauce Cups
- 1 – 8-count box of Pop-Tarts
- 1 – 8-count box of Nutri-Grain Bars
- 1 – 8-count box of Peanut Butter Crackers
A “Bandana Blessing”
The Ladies 3 Sunday School class at Calvary recently found a creative way to “be a blessing” to members of our nation’s military. Through an organization called “Operation Bandanas” (which was established by a woman whose husband was a soldier, killed in the line of duty), they packaged 200 bandanas, each of which was imprinted with Psalm 91 and packaged with a personal note of encouragement. The ladies recruited some help for their note-writing from the girls in our Mid-Week children’s ministry, and they did all the packaging in a one-day “bandana blitz” that included pizza, fellowship and lots of fun. The finished packages were then sent to Operation Bandanas, which will distribute them to servicemen and servicewomen overseas.
There are so many ways that our God can use us to enrich the lives of others and put His goodness on display. Thanks to the members of Ladies 3 for taking advantage of one such opportunity and sharing a report with us!
Cries from the Cross
When someone important to us is approaching death, we often pay special attention to their last words. Last words can provide unique insight into a person’s life; and they can offer valuable reminders of the priorities for which that person stood. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Christians have long paid special attention to the last words of Jesus. Drawn from all four gospels, the “Seven Last Words of Christ” have offered a window into Jesus’ relationship with the Father – and have reminded us of everything that Jesus endured for our salvation.
During the season of Lent this year, we’ll be considering the “Seven Last Words of Christ” in morning worship. Each Sunday, we’ll dive deeply into one of these “Cries from the Cross,” seeking the truth that our Lord wants to teach us. If you’d like prepare for these messages by reading Jesus’ last words for yourself, the schedule will look like this:
- March 05: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:32-38)
- March 12: “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
- March 19: “Woman, behold your son.” (John 19:26-27)
- March 26: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-59)
- April 02: “I thirst.” (John 19:28-29)
- April 09: “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
- April 16: Sunrise Service – “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46-49); Easter Worship – “The Words After That.”
The Backpack Challenge Is Met!
We’re happy to report that our church family collected 6340 food items this month to support the Backpack program at Franklin Elementary. This exceeds our goal of 6000 items, and it will give this year’s program a great foundation as backpacks start going home at the end of this week. However, the news gets even better than that! In addition to the 6340 food items, we also collected $2465 in financial contributions that will be used to purchase additional food as the need arises. Thank you, Calvary, for “being a blessing” and for enriching the lives of kids in our community.
Kent Moser from Calvary delivers a load of food from the Backpack Challenge to Jennifer Stone of Franklin Elementary School
Calvary’s Uplift Praise Band will be sharing the good news of Jesus in song through a free concert that will take place at the Chick-fil-A in Mount Airy at 7 PM on Saturday, July 23rd. This will be the second event of this kind that the band has held at Chick-fil-A, and the first was a great success. We invite you to break out a lawn chair, invite a friend, and be our guest for this evening of worship and fellowship.