The Weekly Epistle 11/13/19

“Prayer is hard work.”  That thought occurred to me as I was praying with other leaders around the table at our weekly prayer time.  Scriptures use words like, “wrestling,” and “agonizing” and “labor” to describe prayer.  St. Benedict of Nursia coined the phrase, “Ora Labora” to speak of prayer.  The slogan, “Ora Labora” comes from two Latin words, “Ora” meaning pray and “labora” meaning work.  To pray was to work and to work was to pray.  
 
When we pray, we are fighting against our inner struggle to view it as inactivity.  We really do have to push through the attitude that we aren’t doing anything when we pray.  There are emails to write, phone calls to make, people to meet, and spread sheets to create.  There are many practical things we must do.  What happens?  Prayer gets preempted.  Prayer is work.  Some might even say it is the most important work we will do all day.  
 
Another reason it is such hard work is because we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).  When we pray, we are in the midst of a raging spiritual battle in which souls are at stake.  No wonder it feels like work when we pray.  It is work!  Hard work.  Our chief work!  
 
When I think of posture of prayer my mind goes to arms stretched out and hands open.  It is a picture of surrender- we give up our human efforts and openly submit to God.  Whether we physically position ourselves that way in prayer, it is to be the posture of our hearts.  
 
It was back in 2010 and I was talking to the Lord in prayer as I walked around the church in Westerlo, NY.  I cried out, “Lord, I am in over my head in leading this church.”  And I heard his still voice say to my spirit, “That is right where I want you!”  10 years later, in a different church, in a different location, with different people, I am still in over my head.  Church, so are you.  We must pray.  
 
In 2020 I will present to you opportunities to pray as a church.  For now, pray.  Gather others with you to pray.  It is work, but do not grow weary in it.  
 
Check out what is happening in the church to the end of the year.  I do ask that you set aside Sunday evening, December 15 for our Christmas Extravaganza.  We will be singing Christmas carols to our church neighbors and others, enjoying hot cocoa, celebrating together our Savior’s birth, and fellowshipping as a church family.  
 
Of course, we should not zip past Thanksgiving for Scripture repeatedly calls us to give thanks.  We are to be the most thankful people around for we have abundant life in Christ Jesus.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
 
In continual need of Him, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Continuing and Convinced

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Last Sunday’s Sermon

New Sermon Series

Connecting the Dots This Christmas
Begins December 8th

Business Meeting

We will have a business meeting on Thursday 11/21 at 7pm. We will be voting on Mark Petrozzi as Elder.

Momentum Mid-Week Hiatus

Over the past six years, we have had a great team of volunteers who have served the youth of EBC faithfully from week-to-week. Alas, all great things must come to an end. Many of our leaders have had to move into new seasons of life and ministry. We’re sad to lose them, but so thankful for their service. With that, the youth ministry will also move into a new season. In preparation for this new season, Momentum Student Ministries is taking a break from our mid-week program to focus on team development and will return sometime after the new year. 

Communion

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday.

EBC Key Inventory

If you have a key or keys to EBC, please contact Corianne at the office with the following information: the letter M, S, G and the number on the key and any other keys you have. Email to corianne@ebclaconia.com by 11/11.

Cancellation Procedure for Sunday Mornings

In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, timing of the weather event, and whether roads, walkways, parking areas will be cleared. A decision will be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or both of our services. Events in the afternoon or evening will be dealt with separately. EBC will notify of cancellation using the following:  WMUR TV, Church website news feed www.laconiachurch.com , Email (weekly epistle list), and EBC public and private Facebook pages. 

Women’s Ministry Gratitude Dinner

Join the Women’s Ministry on Friday 11/15 from 7pm-9pm as they gather together and give thanks, enjoy a delicious meal, and fellowship together.

Operation Christmas Child 

We will begin collecting Operation Christmas Child boxes beginning November 17th.The hours for collection that week will be 11/18-11/22 4pm-6pm at the gym. 11/23 and 11/24 12pm-5pm and 11/25 11am-5pm. Any questions please contact the office or Jay and Bette Moreau.
You can still pick up your boxes this Sunday at the Ministry Counter.

Save the Date
EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday December 15th from 4pm-7pm join us for a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. This is a church ministry wide event. This evening will be filled with a chili and cornbread dinner, Christmas caroling in our neighborhood and to our shut in’s, story time, cookies, cocoa and more!

Adult Bible Study

Sunday mornings at 9am we are offering an adult bible study meeting in room 102. This study is on the book of James, “Faith that Works”.

The Weekly Epistle 11/6/19

I sat across from two Jehovah Witnesses in my living room discussing passages of Jesus’ divinity.  I was attending bible college at the time, so I was ready to persuade them of the divinity of Christ.  They had an answer for everything I threw at them.  I suppose I had an answer for everything they threw my way to disprove that Jesus is God.  As we were wrapping up what appeared to be nothing more than a waste of time, I asked them if they knew for certain they would go to heaven.  “No one can know for certain, “one of the men answered.  “I know for certain,” I countered.  “Then you are arrogant!”  he stated.  
 
To a Jehovah Witness or any works-based salvation, there is no assurance.  How can a person know when they are good enough or done enough to be saved?  What is good enough?  51%?  90%?  Is it being good enough most of the time?  And what does “most of the time” mean?  Who decides the criteria?  Will God grade on a curve?  
 
This is the beauty of the gospel.  It is all of grace!  I can know for certain I am saved because it rests on what Jesus has done for me and that He will keep me to the end.  
 
Martin Luther said this, “The most damnable and pernicious heresy that has ever plagued the mind of man is the idea that somehow he could make himself good enough to deserve to live with an all-holy God.”
 
R.C Sproul had this to say about salvation by grace and not works, “Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our salvation.  We like to think we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.”  
 
Does a deserving attitude ever slip into your thinking?  Do we, at times, think that we are better than those who are lost?  Do we get some sense we must have done some things right to be considered a child of God?  We must continually fight these thoughts to fully appreciate God’s grace.  Ever wondered where you might be today if it weren’t for the grace of God?  Bask in His marvelous grace.  It is truly amazing!  
 
Then extend that grace to others.  Be grace-filled!  Show kindness to someone who doesn’t deserve it and can never earn it- that’s grace.  “But what if the recipient of that grace abuses it?  What if they take advantage of my kindness?”  Some will.  It has been said, “If no one abuses grace in your church, then grace isn’t being preached enough.”  You can think on that.  
 
Have you noticed?  When it comes to grace, God thought it was worth this risk.  I am thankful He did!
 
Kept in the grip of His grace, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Impress or Impact

2 Timothy 3:6-13

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Business Meeting

We will have a business meeting on Thursday 11/21 at 7pm. We will be voting on Mark Petrozzi as Elder.

Bulletins

We will no longer be handing out bulletins at the door. They will be available as you walk into the sanctuary on a table behind the sound booth.

Sunday AM Church Doors

We have begun using the doors located on the side of the building (Washington St side). Please feel free to utilize these doors moving forward.

EBC Key Inventory

If you have a key or keys to EBC, please contact Corianne at the office with the following information: the letter M, S, G and the number on the key and any other keys you have. Email to corianne@ebclaconia.com by 11/11.

Women’s Ministry Gratitude Dinner

Join the Women’s Ministry on Friday 11/15 from 7pm-9pm as they gather together and give thanks, enjoy a delicious meal, and fellowship together.

Operation Christmas Child 

We will begin collecting Operation Christmas Child boxes beginning November 17th.The hours for collection that week will be 11/18-11/22 4pm-6pm at the gym. 11/23 and 11/24 12pm-5pm and 11/25 11am-5pm. Any questions please contact the office or Jay and Bette Moreau.
You can still pick up your boxes this Sunday at the Ministry Counter.

Save the Date
EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday December 15th from 4pm-7pm join us for a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. This is a church ministry wide event. This evening will be filled with a chili and cornbread dinner, Christmas caroling in our neighborhood and to our shut in’s, story time, cookies, cocoa and more!

Adult Bible Study

Sunday mornings at 9am we are offering an adult bible study meeting in room 102. This study is on the book of James, “Faith that Works”.

The Weekly Epistle 10/30/19

Does a person have more faith by believing something that isn’t promised to us in the Word of God?  I ask this, because we often hold someone up as a person of great faith when they claim great things of God.  For example, can a student believe that God will give them an “A” on an exam?  Can a person believe God will provide them with 10 acres of land if they have great faith?  Can a person claim healing for themselves or someone else and call that great faith?  When does prayer become presumption?  
 
This is a bigger subject than one epistle can cover.  Suffice it to say, our faith is not in prayer, but faith in God!  To claim things that weren’t written for us or because we believe they will happen is misplaced faith.  Many Christians have been disillusioned because they were told the answer to their prayer didn’t come because they lacked faith.  This is often applied to matters of physical healing and that physical healing is always God’s purpose.  That all we have to do is call out our illness; to name it, affirm it, and make it our own and it will be our own.  People that say such things are misguided at best and at worse deliberately counterfeit.  On the authority of Scripture, people cannot and should not make such categorical claims.  I could give many examples to you to prove that it isn’t always God’s purpose to heal (in this life) but will only give you the example of the apostle Paul.  
 
In 2 Corinthians 12 it is recorded for us that Paul pleaded with God to remove the “thorn in his flesh.”  Although it is unclear as to the nature of the thorn, it is very clear that his prayer was “not answered.”  What promise could Paul claim in this instance?  Not one of healing, but that God’s grace would be sufficient (read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10).  
 
We can be encouraged.  God’s grace will always be enough.  God’s power will be made perfect in our weakness.  God will give us everything we need for life and godliness.  And we will be healed in our eternal home.  We also can take comfort in the truth that God can do more than we can ask or think even for this life.  Our faith is in a big God and not faith in faith or in how great is our faith.  It isn’t “more” faith that God is after in our lives, it is acting on the faith we have, no matter how small it might be (check out Luke 17:1-6).  We must humbly acknowledge that there is much we don’t know with certainty and must trust God to do what is best all the time, even if He doesn’t deliver or heal or answer in the way we might expect (see Daniel 3:16-18).  I will leave it at that for now and trust that you will search Scriptures yourselves around this.
 
Celebration Sunday is this Sunday between services from 10:15-10:45 (no prayer builders for this month).  Our second service will begin at 11:00.  Our fellowship time will take place in the gym building as we thank God for what He is doing through your gifts to the what’s next campaign.  
 
Our trunk or treat has been moved to Friday since the forecast for Thursday is calling for heavy and steady rain.  We are doing our best to get word out, but you can pass it on as well.  I hope that this change to Friday doesn’t impact the number of cars decorated for this outreach event as I still think there will be a great turnout from the community.  
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Warnings We Dare Not Ignore

2 Timothy 3:1-9

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Trunk or Treat

Due to the forecast of heavy rain Thursday, we have moved Trunk or Treat to Friday November 1st from 5pm-8pm.
If you have signed up to help out in any way and this date conflicts, please reach out to the office, Bethany Miller or Laura Hollenbeck as soon as possible.

Celebration Sunday

This Sunday November 3rd we will be having a Celebration in between services to praise the Lord for the updates we have made to our facility to date! Our services will be at 9am and 11am. Fellowship time in between services held at the gym.

Bulletins

We will no longer be handing out bulletins at the door. They will be available as you walk into the sanctuary on a table behind the sound booth.

Sunday AM Church Doors

We have begun using the doors located on the side of the building (Washington St side). Please feel free to utilize these doors moving forward.

Meal Train

A Meal Train has been set up for Paul and Jeannie Melnick. Jeannie fell on Sunday and broke her leg in a few places. She will be going in for surgery Friday. Please click this link HERE to sign up and provide them with a meal. 

OWLS

Wednesday, November 6th, is the day that the OWLS will be packing their Operation Christmas Child boxes. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 2:00.  We have the materials to fill them, but as usual you are welcome to bring additional items if you so desire. We will enjoy refreshments as well. See you then. Jay, Bette. Norma

Women’s Ministry Gratitude Dinner

Join the Women’s Ministry on Friday 11/15 from 7pm-9pm as they gather together and give thanks, enjoy a delicious meal, and fellowship together.

Save the Date
EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday December 15th we will be hosting a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. More details to come.

Adult Bible Study

Sunday mornings at 9am we are offering an adult bible study meeting in room 102. This study is on the book of James, “Faith that Works”.

The Weekly Epistle 10/23/19

“Pastor, what are your thoughts on Halloween?”  I am glad you asked!  I realize it has pagan roots, but then again so don’t other holidays, so I am not sure if that is enough of a reason to not participate in it.  At the risk of sounding simplistic, I think there are three perspectives on Halloween.  Some people see Halloween as evil and that as Christians we should renounce it.  Then there are those who have their children dress up as princesses or “Woody” from Toy story and go door-to-door saying, “Trick or Treat.”  There is a third perspective and that is to sort of redeem Halloween and use it to penetrate our culture, so they have their kids dress up as some Bible character.  
 
If you believe Christians should have nothing to do with it and renounce it as evil, I respect that!  If you believe you can enjoy that day and see it as innocent fun, then you should have the freedom to do that.  I lean towards the third position, without the dressing up like a Bible character part.  I see it as an occasion to identify with our community.  If we can use that holiday for good, then let’s seize that opportunity. 
 
That is what Trunk or Treat is all about.  It is one small way to engage our culture and to be a presence in something that is important to the world.  I have talked with people who remember our church as the ones who host Trunk or Treat or On Goal or Monday night basketball.  Those type of events do connect with our community. 
 
So, if you can join with us on Halloween by decorating your car, or providing candy, or a fire pit, or soup, then jump on in!  Stop by the ministry counter this week to sign up or to pick up personal invitations to hand deliver to people you know. We passed out hundreds of invitations to our Trunk or Treat event at Pumpkinfest and are anticipating a high volume of people stopping by on Thursday, October 31, from 5:00-8:00.  
 
On another note, don’t forget about Celebration Sunday on November 3.  There will be a time for refreshments down in the gym building from 10:15-10:45 in recognition of the projects that have been completed to this point through the What’s Next campaign.  The only change in the schedule on that Sunday, is the second service will begin 15 minutes later at 11:00.  If you are second service attender, then come early that Sunday for fellowship and remembering God’s faithfulness.  Actually, I would encourage you to come early each Sunday for fellowship in-between services.  It is a good time to connect with others, enjoy some Wayfarer coffee, and other goodies!  
 
A showing of the movie, “Unplanned” is this Friday night in the worship center from 7:00-9:00.  It is a pg-13 rating, so parents will need to determine whether it is suitable for their children.  You can check out the trailer and reviews online.  Aspire ministry is sponsoring this event.  
 
Look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we continue in our sermon series from 2 Timothy on “Legacy: Living a life that lasts.”  Also, we will hear an update on the “What’s Next” campaign.  I love worshipping with you each Sunday as together we lift up God’s excellence in song, words of praise, giving, remembering the gospel, and learning together from God’s Word!  
 
All for His glory, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Flee and Pursue

2 Timothy 2:20-26

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Unplanned, The Movie

Aspire Women’s Center invites you to attend a screening of the movie, Unplanned, this Friday, October 25th at Evangelical Baptist Church.  Unplanned is the true story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director complicit in thousands of abortions until, one day, she saw something that changed everything.
Admission is free – a freewill offering to benefit Aspire will be taken.

Celebration Sunday

Sunday November 3rd we will be having a Celebration in between services to praise the Lord for the updates we have made to our facility to date!
Our services will be at 9am and 11am. 

Trunk or Treat

We will be hosting our 4th annual Trunk or Treat!  
October 31st from 5pm-8pm, bring your kids by the gym parking lot for some extra fun!  This is a great way to get to know our church neighbors and them us.
We would like to have our parking lot full of decorated trunks for a safe place for kids to enjoy the evening. If you would like to participate and decorate your car trunk you can sign up this Sunday. There are also other ways you can help make this night special by donating cider, candy, or making a soup or chili for our participating families to have for dinner that night.  Other items needed are fire pits, lighting and portable generators. 
Signup this Sunday at the Ministry Counter and see Laura Hollenbeck with any questions.

Meal Train

A Meal Train has been set up for Paul and Jeannie Melnick. Jeannie fell on Sunday and broke her leg in a few places. She will be going in for surgery Friday. Please click this link HERE to sign up and provide them with a meal. 

OWLS

Wednesday, November 6th, is the day that the OWLS will be packing their Operation Christmas Child boxes. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 2:00.  We have the materials to fill them, but as usual you are welcome to bring additional items if you so desire. We will enjoy refreshments as well. See you then. Jay, Bette. Norma

Save the Date
EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday December 15th we will be hosting a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. More details to come.

Dominican Republic Info Session

For those interested in going on the next missions trip to the Dominican Republic, January 31-February 10, 2020, please join Justin Whitman after 2nd service on Sunday 10/27 in the Fellowship Hall.

Community Groups

We have a host home for a day time community group, but we still need a facilitator. If you are interested, please see Tim Whitman or contact the office

Adult Bible Study

Sunday mornings at 9am we are offering an adult bible study meeting in room 102. This study is on the book of James, “Faith that Works”.

The Weekly Epistle 10/16/19

Worship is invitational. 
 

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.”
 
Psalm 100:1-2

 
When we are exhorted to worship we are invited to participate in the glory and goodness of God. We are invited in by his lovingkindness and faithfulness for us.

Moreover, we are invited into a collective experience. 
 

“We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
 
Psalm 100:3
 
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.”
 
Psalm 100:4


While moments of private praise are good and sweet it is incumbent upon every Christian to enter the preverbal gates of God’s court. Why? Because we’re not just being invited into God’s presence, we’re being invited into the greater community of the saints. 

This weekend we have a special opportunity for you to enter into the greater community. 
 
Evangelical Baptist Church, Lakes Region Vineyard Church, and Real Life Church are sponsoring a community worship night at Evangelical Baptist Church on Sunday, October 20, from 6:00-8:00 PM. The joint worship team will kick off the night with a set of songs. We will break to pray for the churches of New England, then wrap up the night with another set of worship songs. Please join us! 50 Washington Street, Laconia.

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Avoiding Catastrophe

2 Timothy 2:14-19

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Community Night of Worship

Come out for an evening of worship with other local churches this Sunday October 20th at 6pm here at EBC. 

Unplanned, The Movie

Aspire Women’s Center invites you to attend a screening of the movie, Unplanned, on Friday, October 25th at Evangelical Baptist Church.  Unplanned is the true story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director complicit in thousands of abortions until, one day, she saw something that changed everything.
Admission is free – a freewill offering to benefit Aspire will be taken.

Celebration Sunday

Sunday November 3rd we will be having a Celebration in between services to praise the Lord for the updates we have made to our facility to date!
Our services will be at 9am and 11am. 

Trunk or Treat

We will be hosting our 4th annual Trunk or Treat!  
October 31st from 5pm-8pm, bring your kids by the gym parking lot for some extra fun!  This is a great way to get to know our church neighbors and them us.
We would like to have our parking lot full of decorated trunks for a safe place for kids to enjoy the evening. If you would like to participate and decorate your car trunk you can sign up this Sunday. There are also other ways you can help make this night special by donating cider, candy, or making a soup or chili for our participating families to have for dinner that night.  Other items needed are fire pits, lighting and portable generators. 
Signup this Sunday at the Ministry Counter and see Laura Hollenbeck with any questions.

Save the Date
EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Sunday December 15th we will be hosting a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. More details to come.

Dominican Republic Info Session

For those interested in going on the next missions trip to the Dominican Republic, January 31-February 10, 2020, please join Justin Whitman after 2nd service on Sunday 10/27 in the Fellowship Hall.

Community Groups

We have a host home for a day time community group, but we still need a facilitator. If you are interested, please see Tim Whitman or contact the office

Adult Bible Study

Sunday mornings at 9am we are offering an adult bible study meeting in room 102. This study is on the book of James, “Faith that Works”.