“Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord. You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me. This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.” Psalm 139:1-5
Sunday Fun Nights
Bayside Baptist Church (BBC) in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, will show “The Secret Life of Pets” from 5:35-7:35 p.m. on Sunday, August 2, on the church lawn. The event is part of an ongoing outreach they call “Family Fun Nights,” times for the church family to come together and fellowship, to invite friends, and for unchurched neighbors to visit with their families. The church will provide shaved ice and popcorn.
Members have the Fun Nights about two times a month. Past gatherings included a barbecue dinner night, and a “We Sing for Ice Cream” evening, where the church served up sundaes and music on a hot summer evening. They plan to have a church picnic soon.
Administrative Assistant Kassandra Brown, a church member for over nine years, said attendance has been great, with 70-80 people attending. Interestingly, some of the folks coming for the Fun Nights are visitors who began watching services streamed online during the time of COVID-19 meeting restrictions.
“Once we went online, we began to reach people in the community and in other states and countries,” Brown said. She added that some people who moved to the area before or during COVID-19 were looking for a local church and found BBC online. Others lived in the area and didn’t realize the church was there and began watching online. “Ever since we opened our doors again we’ve had a new visitor or new family and some are staying and participating,” she said.
Those planning to attend the movie night can register online.
Caring for local law enforcement
In response to issues about conflict in society, Covenant Church in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, is being proactive and reaching out in love to those serving in law enforcement
Senior Pastor Joel Rainey said, “The George Floyd murder once again brought tensions to the surface that have existed for decades between the African-American and law enforcement communities. Our pastors understood from the start that we have a responsibility to shepherd both of these groups — as both worship side by side in our church every Sunday.
“So, while we can’t be — and have not been — silent about systemic injustice and the continual challenges our African-American brothers and sisters face, we also can’t ‘pick teams.’ Moreover, much of the vitriol and hatred that in response to George Floyd was aimed at the law enforcement community in total was unhelpful, unacceptable, and sinful.
“It felt to us as though too many people were failing to see the humanity behind the badge.”
The church decided to do something tangible to demonstrate their care, so on July 14, the church elders provided a catered barbecue meal for local law enforcement workers.
“We went out to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, with the blessing of the Sheriff, and served the men and women who came in between shifts. Members of the Sheriff’s office, along with law enforcement from three other municipalities in the county and state police who help protect our county, came and enjoyed the meal.
“I had the opportunity to tell them there is a church in Shepherdstown that loves them and is praying for them,” said Rainey.
The church has been active throughout the COVID-19 season. In addition to caring for law enforcement, members have served over 12,000 meals since mid-March.
Georgia Avenue Baptist Church (GABC) honored high school graduates online and during an outdoor service.
Pastor Tim Bonner said, “Honoring graduates from high school, college, and higher education is an annual GABC tradition.” This year, the church honored them three ways — during their Sunday morning conference call service, on a videotaped service, and at an outdoor in-person service.
Each graduate or a family member submitted a biography about the graduate with some personal information, graduation information, and future plans.
A choir member read the biography of each person for the online venue. At the outdoor service, a choir member read the biographies and each graduate received a certificate of congratulations as well as a gift. Bonner prayed for all of the graduates.
Virtual PGBA Fall Meeting
The Prince George’s Baptist Association will have their annual Fall Meeting online. the association urges leaders to mark their calendars for the event, which will include online fellowship, sharing and updates.
“I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: ‘Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.’” Augustine of Hippo
Cover photo shows Joy Gaither, ministry/events coordinator at Bayside Baptist Church, serves ice cream to guest (Photo from Bayside Baptist Church’s Facebook page, used with permission).
Cooperating BCM/D churches may email stories and photos to BaptistLIFE staff for publication consideration.