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

The Stewardship of Mercy and Grace

What a wonder of a day was last Sunday. I have heard from so many of us of the sense of spiritual renewal and inspiration we found through the work of the Spirit during worship and through our new friend, Kyle Matthews. To be about the work of the Lord, we need times of renewal and communion. Thank you for your prayers and presence. Being together in Christ inspires and paints a picture of heaven’s joy realized on earth.

What an adventure these remaining Sundays of October promise. In the churches of my growing up, stewardship time seemed disconnected from the meaning of ministry, mission and person-to-person service in Jesus’ name. Thankfully, I have been blessed by congregations who held closely the importance of stewardship of financial resources, not as an end to itself, but as an important structure undergirding our ministry, mission and service in Jesus’ name. Our Stewardship Team has made fine plans to help us think about ministry, mission and service and how we, together, can contribute financially and with the whole of our lives. I hope you will make every effort to think and pray through the broader theology of what it means for God to entrust human beings to find ways to make ministry happen. For my part, I am working on four sermons I pray will lead toward an embrace of our partnership with God in life and ministry. Pray with me, won’t you, that the Spirit will help us grow in new ways to be more like Jesus. [Sermons:]

The Expectations of Grace / Matthew 20:1-16 / October 8

The Church of Our Best Ideals / Acts 4:32-37 / October 15

Life Is a Sacred Journey / Colossians 1:1-14 / October 22

The Peace of Christ and the Pain of the World / John 14:18-27 / October 29

What terrible news to wake up to on Monday. And, what can we do in response to the evil that took so many lives, brought suffering to thousands in Las Vegas, and shocks the soul? In the immediacy of today, I find my soul needs to be honest and grieve deeply over what has happened and what is happening around the world through the actions of violent people. For now, I am praying for those wounded and grieving, and for the first responders and the medical professionals who work valiantly to save life. I know they, too, will need help healing from the traumatic realities they have witnessed. I am praying for people of faith to be fearless in caring for others and not to be afraid to be “salt and light” for Christ serving this broken world with abandon.

In facing times like this, I often return to a small book written by Ann Weems, Presbyterian poet laureate and liturgist. The book, Psalms of Lament, is a powerful collection of poems Ann wrote as she grieved the tragic death of her son on his 21st birthday. She had entered a darkness where, for a while she could not find God. Later, she shared the collection with her friend, Walter Brueggemann, who encouraged her to share it with others. And so, this honest, helpful book was born. At the beginning, she writes these words:

In the quiet times this image comes to me: Jesus weeping.

         Jesus wept,

                  and in his weeping,

                           he joined himself forever

                           to those who mourn.

                  He stands now throughout all time,

                           this Jesus weeping,

                                    with his arms about the weeping ones:

                  “Blessed are those who mourn,

                           for they shall be comforted.”

                  He stands with the mourners,

                           for his name is God-with-us.

         Jesus wept.

                  “Blessed are those who weep, for they shall be comforted.” Someday. Someday God will wipe the tears from Rachel's eyes.

                  In the godforsaken, obscene quicksand of life,

                  there is a deafening alleluia

                  rising from the souls

                  of those who weep,

                  and of those who weep with those who weep.

                  If you watch, you will see

                  the hand of God

                  putting the stars back in their skies

                  one by one.

In seasons of grief and in times when chaos and darkness have seemed to have the upper hand, this image of God-with-us has power for me, too. Times will come to all when the best we can do is try to stay near one another and, as we are ready, allow ourselves to be loved by those who can see, humbly, the stars of God a bit clearer, and who can love us with compassion rooted deeply in the heart of God.

In the immediacy of right now, for the church, there may be no more important part we can play in tragedies small and large than to love the world in and through its pain and be present as Christ was present to the world. In doing so, we may find God coming near and learn what our ancient brother Paul was trying to say when he wrote to the church in Corinth that “The greatest of these is love.”



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.
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.
Come Serve our Free Friday Breakfast
Friday, October 13th

We could use a few extra hands next Friday!  Please arrive by 8:15 am.  You can help by serving food, providing refills on drinks, and by warmly greeting and talking with our Friday morning guests.  

For more information, please contact Carol Johnson.
Donation Collections

The Children of FSBC are collecting white socks and washcloths
for our NEST and Community Meal ministries throughout the year.  

You can put donations in the boxes located in the Fellowship Hall.
Questions? Please see Stephanie (
Thanksgiving Baskets

We are collecting donations for Thanksgiving Baskets for GAM (Ghent Area Ministries).
Please see the bulletin board or visit Sign Up Genius (click here) to sign up for items to bring in.  Right now our sign ups are in the hopes of filling 6 to 10 baskets.

If you have any questions, please see Carol Johnson or Stephanie Van Leeuwen.
Thank you to everyone who brought dishes for the Congregational Meeting & Potluck.

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
Men's Book Club
October 16, 2017
6:30 p.m.

The Reformation of the sixteenth century was a vast and complicated movement. It involved kings and peasants, cardinals and country priests, monks and merchants. It spread from one end of Europe to the other, and manifested itself in widely differing forms. Yet in spite of its diverse and complex character, to start to understand the Reformation you need know only one name: Martin Luther. Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther remains the definitive introduction to the great Reformer and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this towering historical figure.

Questions? Please contact Ken Bryant:
Membership Matters - October 15th

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.

For more information contact Bob Guffey:
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.

October 8: December 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 - Michele Weigle
Please contact Stephanie Van Leeuwen if you would like to volunteer.
Serving in Worship
Offering Team 
Jack Ferguson
Kim Winslow
Paul Winslow
Deborah Antony/David Davis
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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