Seeking to transform  lives  by  worshiping  God,  building  relationships,  developing  disciples,  and  serving  our  neighbors.

Advent Is for Getting Ready

The function of Advent is to remind us what we’re waiting for

as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter

to remember the things that do.”

-Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year

    Christmas is coming and I am not ready. I am not ready for red and green. I am not ready for candles and wreaths. I am not ready for parties and presents. Christmas is coming and I am not ready.
    Does it arrive much faster these days?
    Does the earth spin the seasons ’round more quickly?
    When I was a child, Christmas Day could not come soon enough. Now it seems we’ve just been singing Easter hymns and I find my kitchen counter covered with gift catalogs and grandchildren’s wish lists.
    I am too busy for Christmas. My schedule is filled with people and places and proceedings. My life is so full and moves so fast — yours, too — and I feel like the abrupt arrival of the holidays might leave me with some kind of cosmic whiplash.
    That is one reason why, long ago, the Church established Advent. Advent is the season of getting ready, of walking deliberately towards Holy Christmas Comings and Incarnational Communion.
    Advent baptizes us into hope, promise and paradox. It challenges our sense of the way Wall Street and Madison Avenue and professional athletes, entertainers and politicians sell and tell us life “really is.” It shapes us toward the truth of grace and agape-love and joy found in manger and cross.
    Advent slows us down. It prepares us to listen and to see. It gets us ready for the rare moment: “...not the moment when there is something worth looking at but the moment when we are capable of seeing.”

Looking toward Bethlehem,

Bob Guffey

In this Issue:
Join us this Sunday
for Sunday School at 9:45 am and 
Worship at 11 am.

Interested in our Upcoming Events or Opportunities to Serve? 
Click on the picture above to visit our Sign Up Genius page. 
You can sign up or get more information about specific events. 
Please contact Stephanie with questions.
Parking for Missions

To see a list of needed dates and times and volunteer to help you can click here or visit the bulletin boards in the Fellowship Hall.
Questions? Contact Joelle (
N.E.S.T. - A Time To Serve

It is that time of year when we begin preparing to serve our community by hosting NEST the week of January 17th-24th.  Sign ups are available online by clicking here and can also be found on in the Fellowship Hall.

As we prepare for this special time of service, we will be collecting the following items.  These can be dropped into a box in the Fellowship Hall or in Stephanie's office.

Items to Donate:
Travel Sizes / Hotel Products
Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Feminine Products
Finger foods for the Canteen
Magazines & Books
Leftover Halloween Candy
Toilet Paper
Gently Used Coats & Adult Clothes

If you have any questions about NEST, please contact Carol or Stephanie.

If you would like to place a poinsettia in the sanctuary for the Christmas season, please contact the church office. The cost of each plant is $8.00 and we need to know how many and who they are in honor or memory of.  Please place your order by December 8th.  Poinsettias can be taken home following the evening Christmas Eve service.

Being a part of a community means that we share in one another's joys and pray for one another in times of need.  Please see below if you or someone you know is in need of prayer, visits, or phone calls. 

If there is a specific way we can pray for you or someone is missing from this list (with their permission), 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.
Bountiful Blessings, next door to our church building along Bank Street, will be moving out by the end of 2017.  Freemason Street Baptist Church owns this building and as a church, we need to decide what to do with this building and land.  If you have ideas or dreams about what directions we might go with this asset, please share your ideas with the Council.  If you have skills to help us assess ideas put forth, we are interested in knowing that too.  You can reach the Council at
Congregational Meeting & Potluck

December 10th

Mark your calendars for this important meeting!
Together, we will consider the budget and election of Deacons and Church Council.
More information will be coming later this week.
Our Updated Church Calendar can be found at:

If you have an event or meeting that needs to be added to the calendar, please email
New Sunday Morning Study:

Theological Imagination for an Unsettled World

On Sundays in December, the Pastor’s Sunday School Class will be working on tuning our spiritual ears and hearts toward hearing what the biblical texts are actually saying amid a world of voices competing for allegiances, some using the scripture to support that which the scripture was never intended to support. Our study will be based on the writings and theological insights of Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary. Our principal text is the Bible. Sign up by emailing, or showing up on Sunday mornings at 9:45 a.m.
Prospective Members Class

Interested in joining FSBC?
Want to know more about being a Christian, being a Baptist Christian, or being a part of the Freemason Street Baptist family of faith?
Then, join us for this 1-session class led by Pastor Guffey.

Sunday, December 3rd

For more information contact Bob Guffey:
Christmas Stockings for Women-in-Crisis

This year we have been asked to provide 15 stockings for the Women-in-Crisis.  Items to go in the stockings include hats, gloves, stockings, makeup, gently used ladies costume jewelry.  We have been told not to include candy.
There will be a box in the Fellowship Hall for your items.

All of the women in the church are invited to attend a stocking stuffer party on December 11th at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Pattie Adams.  
For more information contact Pattie (


Join us as we fellowship together while baking cookies for our Christmas Eve service, making Christmas cards for our homebound, creating Christmas keepsakes,
and sharing a meal together.
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.

December 3:  August 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 - Volunteer Needed
Worship - Jaime King
Please contact Stephanie Van Leeuwen if you would like to volunteer.

Serving in Worship
Offering Team 
Jane Bailey
Jaime King
Will King
Jack Ferguson

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:
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