“Then Moses asked God, ‘If I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what should I tell them?’ God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:13-14
Olney Baptist Church (OBC) in Maryland hosted their third annual Father-Daughter Dance on June 18. The church skipped last year’s dance due to
COVID-19. This year they scheduled it for later than usual, switched the venue to outside, and dubbed it “An Evening Under the Stars.”
OBC Senior Pastor Brian Tubbs said schools in the area used to host father-daughter dances but stopped. The church then decided to continue the tradition. It was a good decision. Tubbs said, “This has been enormously popular.” Youth Pastor Kyle Engle added, “I have had parents email me and mention that even though they are not religious, this is an event they look forward to each year. We have had other events with a higher attendance but never close to this many unchurched at one time. When you arrive at the event and do not recognize 85% of the people there, you know you have reached the community.”
Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Children and Youth Consultant Kris Buckman attended the dance and shared, “It was great to see girls and their dads spending quality time together. They were treated to limo rides, photo ops, Italian ice, and snacks. The rest of us were treated to bad ‘dad dance’ moves! It was a gorgeous evening. I love that OBC is gifting fathers in their community with intentional time with their daughters!”
Leave Your Seat Sunday
The Church at Severn Run (CRS) had their monthly “Leave Your Seat Sunday” on June 27. There was a morning worship service available, but the church also offered members a chance to go and serve in the church and community.
June’s opportunities included washing cars, cleaning up an area on the church property, and sorting and folding donated clothing for giveaways.
One group, including 26 adults and eight children, went offsite and teamed up with Marley Glen School (MGS) in Anne Arundel County. According to the school’s website, MGS serves approximately 150 students. It provides a half-day pre-school program for students with or without disabilities and a full-day program for students ages 5-21 with moderate to severe disabilities and special needs.
The church asked the school staff to make a wish list on Amazon and then church members bought and donated the items for the classrooms. On Leave Your Seat Sunday, volunteers then delivered the items and set them up as needed.
They also lent a hand with cleaning, freshening, painting, and other jobs to help teachers and to make the school environment a bit cheerier.
Some of the team prepped and painted brick walls white and some classroom doors bright blue.
Others helped cut laminated materials for teachers. “We even had projects for kids to do. They painted rocks for a rock garden, and they washed sensory toys,” said Allison Fournier, who oversees the church’s kids ministry. Fournier, the team leader for the offsite group, also serves with The Banquet Network.
Sycamore Hill Church, Hockessin Campus in Delaware is having “Summer Hang” gatherings to provide opportunities for families to fellowship.
Each week they have a different theme. They’ve had an outdoor Mexican Food Night and a bike rally. Upcoming plans include a bounce house night.
Senior Pastor Jon Boulet said the goal of the “Summer Hang” is to offer something fun for kids and for parents to have time to visit together. Families bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Boulet emphasizes the idea of simplicity in light of the challenges of COVID-19. “We want things simple to execute, like food trucks and ice cream.” A potluck will be about the most difficult thing they’ll plan, he said.
Response has been good, averaging at least 50 attendees.
They’ll plan more for the fall, but in the summer, Boulet said, “We want to get used to being together again.”
Bethany Music Center (BMS), a ministry of Bethany Church in Ellicott City, Maryland, invites children and adults to register for private music lessons.
Choose from voice, piano, electric, acoustic and bass guitar, viola, violin, cello, upright bass, and drums. Lessons are virtual, with some in-person classes for select instruments. For more information and to register, visit BMS online.
First Baptist Church of Rockville in Maryland will celebrate their bicentennial with revival services featuring the music group “Poet Voices,” led by Phil Cross, an award-winning Southern Gospel singer and songwriter, and special speaker Rusty Price. Price is the pastor of Camino Church (CC) in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also the founder and president of World Reach, Inc. and the Camino Community Center. According to CC’s website, Price and his family have served as missionaries in Cuba and Latin America for two decades. Services will be at 7 p.m. on July 30 and 31 and at 11 a.m. on August 1.
“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that — it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” — Charles Spurgeon
“The size of the church does not determine its significance. The size of the mission determines its significance.” — Vance Pittman, senior pastor of Hope Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, during the 2021 Southern Baptist Convention SEND Conference
In December 1846, the Maryland Baptist Union Association (now the BCM/D), seeking to plant churches where they would be most useful, chose the area of Cumberland in Western Maryland.
George F. Adams and Franklin Wilson surveyed the area. “They found five or six Baptists there and sought to secure a suitable lot on which to build a church edifice in the future, but found no landowner willing to sell or lease ground for a church …”
The board appointed a missionary to Cumberland — Benjamin Griffith, a licentiate of the First Church of Baltimore. “He secured a small room over an engine house, where he preached and made known to his hearers his object to organize a Baptist Church. He found one gentleman and five ladies, who agreed to unite with him.”
On June 22, 1847, Benjamin Griffith, Travis Coppage, Harriet R. Stevens, Sarah Weldon, Matilda A. Wardwell, Catherine Durham, and Sophie Kuhn met for that purpose. Griffith became the first pastor and First Baptist Church of Cumberland had their first baptism in January 1848 (adapted from History of Baptist Churches in Maryland).
Cover photo: Teens huddle for prayer at Skycroft Conference Center’s “Crossings” camp (photo by Mark Dooley).