“He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Matthew 28:6 (KJV)
Showing love to first responders
White Marsh Baptist Church in Perry Hall, Maryland, with the desire to bless their local first responders during this COVID-19 season, bought $600 worth of $5 gift cards to local fast-food restaurants. Following a call to local stations to determine how many responders served over the weekends, Senior Pastor Dave Tierney and Chairman of Deacons Pat O’Shea delivered the cards to local police and fire companies.
“We told them we were praying for them and that we appreciate all that they do,” Tierney said. He added that under usual circumstances, these men and women deal with a lot. During the current pandemic, they are overwhelmed, and the church wanted to show them love and concern.
Bible immersion ministry useful in COVID-19 environment
Patricia Nordstrom, a member of Olney Baptist Church in Maryland, and the founder and director of The Bible for Food Ministry said that while many are learning to use online resources, she has for years been using Zoom and weekly phone contact to connect with those to whom she ministers. She shared how she has used these tools and how they can confer comfort and hope in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nordstrom said she developed strong discipline skills and lost 70 pounds through a secular multi-step eating disorder program, but she found that the anxiety and problems of life remained.
At that time, she was what she now calls a “traditional” Christian, living on the fringe. When a friend challenged her to read through the Bible in a year, she used the discipline she had learned to not only read the Bible but also to study it, to “immerse herself in the Word.” That changed her life and she says she gave herself totally to Jesus. She discovered that healthy eating and discipline is all part of God’s plan for our lives. She has kept her weight down for 30 years. She wrote two books and now does seminars and online Bible studies to help others find the truth through immersion in the Scriptures.
“I use Facebook to let people know about the meetings, prayer time, and Bible studies,” she said. For her online meetings, she takes prayer requests and prays for half an hour. For the next half-hour, her group studies the Bible, sharing their thoughts and what God has revealed to them about the passages, and then has a wrap-up.
She likes Zoom, which gives her control, and she can share the screen easily and let people see her. “My main focus in not talking but bringing the Word,” she said.
Nordstrom emphasizes follow-up. She records personable studies on YouTube and sends them by email and she makes personal calls. “I keep in touch. I set time every afternoon to reach out to people,” she said. “If they’re not there, I leave a prayer with them — a message on voicemail — or tell them I’m thinking of them and remind them to get into the Word.
“Jesus is peace and the world can know Him. I want them to remember that. I want them to keep their focus on Him and not the stuff that’s going around in the world,” she added, referring to COVID-19.
“If we keep our focus on Him, He will tell us what to do and how to do it in an excellent way. And He’s got great timing,” she said.
Drive-up food distribution
Bayside Baptist Church in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, operates a drive-up food distribution from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. Clients remain in their vehicles and volunteers deliver the food. They also receive a Bible study devotional for use during the week.
The church welcomes food donations. They have bins set up outside of the church building for non-perishable food items.
Clients, and others, are also encouraged to email prayer requests or to call the church office, 410-257-0712.
Sharing worship from home, a demonstration
Trevor Chin, the executive pastor and co-founder of Epiphany Church in Baltimore, and his wife, Melissa, shared some “Behind The Scenes” technical tips on Facebook which showed how they lead worship from their home. Several folks asked questions and received answers from Trevor. In the video, he said, “The one thing I’m realizing is that you have to be intentional, you’ve got to be creative, you’ve got to use what you’ve got, move stuff around …”
In 1967, the Delaware Association formed with six churches and two chapels.
In 1969, the Baptist Convention of Maryland consisted of 20 associations in 11 states, comprised of 385 churches with 93,897 members. The name of the Maryland Baptist Convention changed to the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) in 1984.
In 1984, the BCM/D also established a partnership mission with Burundi, Africa.
Martin Luther’s approach during a plague in the 1500’s
“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me and I have done what He has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”