To seek to transform  lives  by  worshiping  God,  building  relationships,  developing  disciples,  and  serving  our  neighbors.
“Another Truth about God”

Valentine’s Day has me thinking of gifts of love and the greatest gift of God’s love, Jesus. One of the important steps in the adult faith journey is growing in awareness of God’s love and coming to accept the truth that God wants us to live lives transformed by the realities of God’s love. Amid a lot of self-loathing that is practiced as religion, the gospel is truly astounding, good news that proclaims:

1. God’s loving presence has come near in Jesus who revealed the depth of God’s love through the cross and resurrection;

2. God’s love invites us to give ourselves to God who truly does love us (you, too) (John 3:16);

3. Living into God’s love means growing to become your true self;

4. Learning to love as God loves means you can love others, and love them so as not to hold them so close they cannot become who God wants them to be, too; and,

5. Loving as God loves means taking the downward path to excellence – following the way of Jesus who we have heard tell disciples then and now: “Greater love has anyone than to give their life for their friends” (John 15:13) – just before they will hear themselves called God’s friends.

The challenge for us comes in clearing space in our spirits to hear and accept that this truth about God is, indeed, true. My experience has been that the predominant culture of our times discourages us to accept this truth about God. Consumerism, tribalism, fame, family dysfunction, greed and fear are more likely to encourage inauthenticity, instead, and dissuade our acting on what we know to be true.

James Martin, SJ, in his book, Becoming Who You Are, quoting Thomas Merton, writes of the alternative, the spiritual journey, in this way: as “discovering myself in discovering God.”

What does this mean on a practical level? And how does one put that insight into action? Simply put, one attempts to move away from those parts of ourselves that prevent us from being closer to God: selfishness, pride, fear, and so on. And one also tries, as far as possible, to move toward those parts of ourselves that draw us nearer to God. In the process, one gradually finds oneself growing more loving and more generous. One also trusts that the very desire to do this comes from God.

That is, the desire for our true selves to be revealed, and for us to move nearer to God, is a desire planted within us by God. Our personalities are not eradicated as much as they are made fuller, more real, and finally more holy.

Love that redeems and puts us on the path to holiness is something we need, don’t you think? It’s something this old, broken world sorely needs. It’s the Love that calls us from sin and shame. It’s the truth we have seen in Jesus who showed us the deep true love of God from the cross.

On the journey, alongside,

In this Issue:

Join Us this Sunday for 11 am Worship.
The Unreasonable, Radical Jesus
Matthew 5:38-48
for The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

Join the FSBC Quilters and help make fleece blankets to donate to CHKD’s babies, children, & teens.  No previous sewing skills needed.  We will show you how to cut, sew and finish a blanket.  We only need a few to sew, but many hands are needed to finish the blankets!

When:  April 1, 2017 from 1 pm to 4 pm
Where:  FSBC Fellowship Hall
What to bring:  fabric scissors (if you have some)

All fleece will be provided.  
Our goal is to make 20 blankets on April 1st.

For further information contact
Nancy Clagett -
Jane Bailey -
Amazon Smile

Many of us shop at Amazon on a regular basis.  Did you know that by typing in one extra word, you can donate a percentage of your purchase prices to a nonprofit?  Simply visit!  You can choose from a variety of nonprofits, including Freemason Street Baptist Church!  Each time you shop, be sure to type in to make your purchases.
Jacox Elementary School

Each morning, the students at Jacox Elementary stream in through the front doors and are warmly greeted by name, handshake, and even a hug from their principal, Dr. Cumberbatch-Smith.  They have asked community members to come dressed to impress to meet and greet their students from 9:00 am - 9:30 am.

It is 30 very well-spent minutes. ~Deborah

If you are interested in spending a brief 30 minutes starting your day off with hundreds of smiling kids, please contact Stephanie (!
Being a part of a community means that we share in one another's joys and pray for one another in times of need. 

If there is a specific way we can pray for you, please let us know.  You can do so by writing or calling the Church Office.  Please let us know whether your prayer request is private (for the ministerial staff and prayer team), for the Deacons, or for the congregation.
To learn more about our Church Council, please visit

Please note the Church Office is Closed on Monday, February 20.

If you have an event or meeting that needs to be added to the calendar, please email

Join Us!
February 28th
6 pm
Fellowship Hall
Summit on Adult Christian Education & Spiritual Formation

Bob Guffey, Pastor, and Jane Bailey, Christian Formation Chairperson, invite all current and past teachers and leaders of Adult Sunday School, Bible study and small groups to gather for a one-time, one-hour meeting on Sunday, March 5, 2017, from 3:00-4:00 p.m. for a conversation on where we have been in this significant ministry area and to dream together toward what’s next.
Join us in Melton Hall Room 203. No reservations required.

Coffee Hour
When it's your birthday month, it's your turn to help by bringing in refreshments for coffee hour and helping set up and clean up. Thank you so much to all of our hosts and coordinators who provide for this mission each Sunday morning.

19:  March  Birthdays
Children's Volunteers
We appreciate all of our volunteers, but especially those that help out in our children's area.  Because of their help, our parents and guardians are able to attend Sunday School and Worship services.  If you are willing to help serve in this way, please let us know!  A background check is necessary.

Sunday School - Jane Bailey
Worship - Volunteer Needed
Deadline for Church Newsletter Information - Mondays by 5 pm
Deadline for Church Bulletin Information - Tuesdays at Noon

Information should be sent to :
Susan (
and Stephanie (
Freemason Street Baptist Church
Phone: 757 625 7579  |  Email: