Another Pastoral Epistle 8/7/18

“Sunshine without rain makes a desert.”  That Arab proverb reminds us that all living things can’t live on sunshine alone.  We all understand the need for rain.  Without rain, drought conditions make it ripe for the latest wildfires burning across California.  Please pray for the thousands affected by this deadly blaze.  
 
Without rain, things dry up.  Sunshine without rain makes a desert.  That is true for our spiritual lives.  Without storms our souls are at risk of drying up.  I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah.  All was not well for him.  There is an entire book written about his experience with storms. Have you read through the Old Testament book of Lamentations lately?  Why read a book of laments?  That would be just too depressing.  In Lamentations we find these statements;
   
   “All the people groan”
   “My groans are many”
   “My heart is faint.”
   “See, how distressed I am”
   “My eyes overflow with tears.”  
   “I am tormented within”
   “My eyes fail from weeping”
 
Why would anyone look to this book for edification? I admit, it isn’t as fun to read as say the book of Ruth or the book of Esther, but it is rich in its usefulness to our lives.  The Bible meets us where we live life.  It has room for every element of human experience including overwhelming human sorrow. Do you know sorrow?  
 
Lamentations does not offer quick and easy solutions to the suffering we are experiencing.  It will not give you cheap cures.  But it can show you how a loving and gracious God can work through even the most painful moments in your life.  It is in the book of Lamentations that we find those familiar words, “His mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.”  
 
Be honest, when are you most likely to speak of God’s faithfulness?  Under what conditions do we sing with enthusiasm, “Great is thy faithfulness”? For Jeremiah, it was when he was at the lowest of lows.  These words came after, “I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.” It is on the heels of these words, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”  (Check out Lamentations 3:1-20).  
 
When the storms come into our lives; when the rain falls, “call this to mind,” Jeremiah says in verse 21, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions (his mercies) never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”  He then puts his finger on why he can praise God in the storms- verse 24, “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’”
 
So when the rain of life comes remember that the Lord is your portion and without the rain your soul would dry up.   God is faithful to speak to you in the storm. Great is God’s faithfulness! Always!
 
Sufficient in Him,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“When to be intolerant of tolerance”
Revelation 2:18-29

Link to View Last Sunday’s Sermon

video

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday Aug. 11 @ 0800 in the Fellowship hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. So please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

Financial Review Meeting

A Financial Review is an opportunity to learn in more detail our budget for the coming year in a discussion format. Budgets are still available on the back Ministry Counter. 
August 12th9:50-10:25 Room 104

Communion

We will be sharing communion together this Sunday. Please consider donating to EBC’s deacon’s fund. This fund helps those in need in our congregation as well as in our community.

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

Tuesday August 14th “Armor of God” led by Anna Yasharian

Baptism Class

August 19thfor those under 12
August 26thfor ages 12 and older
Meets in Room 104 9:50am-10:20am

Discovery Class

Sundays @ 8:30am for 4 weeks starting September 9thMeeting in the Fellowship Hall
This class is for those who desire to become members or anyone who would like to learn more about our church.

Church Picnic

Will be held on Sunday, September 9that Opechee Point after the 2ndservice. 
Bring some chairs, a picnic for your family and outdoor games to share! 
Baptism will take place between 2-2:30pm weather permitting.

Another Pastoral Epistle 7/25/18

A week from Sunday, Larry and Lula Filbert will be visiting with us.  We have had the privilege for several years partnering with them as they serve with Pioneers.  To help you get reacquainted with them before they visit with us on 8/5, I have included an excerpt from their latest newsletter.

Pastor Brian

Hi everyone, 
July is our month to take some down time and we will be taking a vacation to visit our kids in Kentucky for a week.
 
Please pray for us in the weeks ahead as we ask God to continue to show us specific steps he wants us to take moving forward.  We believe he is calling us to dig in and keep going.  Pray that God will open a door for our message as we continue to seek to reach out in the Lancaster community, and pray that He will bless our efforts in ongoing training and coaching relationships with field workers.
 
We have also had to take a pay cut as our account has gone into the red for the first time in 33 years.  Please pray God will give us wisdom on how to address this financial issue.  
 
Other prayer needs and updates:
1. Training with new appointees:  We had a great time and a lot of good discussions together.  This workshop really helps them grapple with our western ministry paradigms. They are encouraged to wrestle with how we normally do ministry over against a more multiplicational ministry objective.  We also were affirmed by several Area Leaders that they have appreciated the fact that new missionaries are coming to the field with this training in hand and that it has really helped them to jump in much sooner than those that come without it.

2. Affinity Group Catalyst meetings:  The second set of meetings was a huge encouragement to us.  We heard reports of many movements happening in various parts of the world.  (More about this in our next Filbert Focus Update).  We were greatly encouraged to keep persevering and not give up!

3. Pioneers’ Church Planting Movement Think Tank:  The final meetings also went very well.  There was a lot of open, grace-filled discussion of vision and passion and process.  God answered your prayers in giving Larry boldness to speak into the discussion.  A general consensus was that our organization needs to do a better job at coaching field personnel, as it is critical to workers’ longevity, fruitfulness and pursuing best practices (rather than being frustrated).  It was left to individual fields to implement coaching systems for their personnel.

We are praising God for answering your prayers. Thank you again for partnering with us! 
 
L&L

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Avoiding Compromise, Affirming Christ”
Revelation 2:12-17

Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

Guest Worship Leaders

Please welcome Nate and Julia Mailly who will be leading worship this Sunday.

No EBC Kids Available on Sunday, July 29th

Due to a shortage in volunteers, there will not be classes for grades Pre-K – 4th on Sunday, July 29th. Nursery will still be available during both services for 0-5 year olds. EBC Kids needs more teachers and helpers! Please email Mary Whitman or phone her (540-986-6626) if you are able to serve in this vital ministry once per month.

Office Closed

The office will be closed next week since Corianne will not be in the office.

OWLS

The OWLS will now be sailing aboard the Doris E next Wednesday August 1st. Please contact Norma, Jay or Bette with any questions.
Jay and Bette Moreau 582-4458 or 759-3780 
Norma Phillips 783-0211 or 848-7203

Love, INC.

Love INC is hosting a Community Awareness Fundraising Event this weekend at Rafferty Auto Sales, Rte 106 Belmont (former AutoServe). This is a 3 day event. Visit their website for more details. Bring food, pantry, or personal care item for a free hamburger or hot dog. Come out to support a great cause in our community!

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

Tuesday, July 31, “Kingdom Woman” led by Tracey Petrozzi.

Financial Review Meeting

A Financial Review is an opportunity to learn in more detail our budget for the coming year in a discussion format.
August 12th, 9:50-10:25 in Room 104

Baptism Class

Coming in August. Details to come!

Church Picnic

Save the Date!!! Sept. 9th
Details to come!

Another Pastoral Epistle 7/18/18

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  That verse from 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us that down to the most menial, routine task our objective is to bring honor to our Lord.  
 
I am sure you are familiar with the film Chariots of Fire.  It is based on the true story of two British runners competing in the 1924 Olympics. Eric Liddell is a devout Christian and one of the finest runners in the world. Eric’s sister, Jennie, wants him to leave competitive running to join the family on the mission field in China. Jennie feels Eric is putting running ahead of serving God, and she questions his commitment.
 
In one scene, Eric attempts to help his sister see his point of view. Eric announces with a smile, “I’ve decided I’m going back to China. The missionary service has accepted…”
Jennie interrupts him. “Oh, Eric, I’m so pleased.”
 
Eric continues, “But I’ve got a lot of running to do first. Jennie, you’ve got to understand. I believe that God made me for a purpose, for China. He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure. To give it up would be to hold him in contempt. You were right; it’s not just fun. To win is to honor him.”
 
Let’s not think in compartmentalized terms that certain activities are sacred and others secular.  Followers of Christ should view all that we do as good for something and good for someone. No matter where we go and no matter what we do we do it all for the glory of God.  Running off to a restaurant after worship is not to be any less spiritual than our time in worship. The Bible makes no such distinction between secular and sacred.  My way of serving the Lord in full-time work should not be seen as the primary way of serving and anything less than that is secondary. 
 
Church, wherever you are and whatever you do, be faithful.  Whether you are baking bread, or raising little ones, or listening to customers’ complaints, or drive for a living or work in an office or get up each morning to the same routine, be faithful.  “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” And Paul adds in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
 
I am so encouraged by your enthusiasm each Sunday as we worship.  My heart is refreshed by the many who are dedicated to the work of the Lord that goes out from this church.  Take that with you as you go to the bank, the store, the beach and whatever else is part of your day. 
 
Often if I drive to the office on route 11, I pass a man from our church (Richard) who is praying or singing, likely even preaching.  What catches my attention is his joyful enthusiasm in his daily routine of walking! And I can’t help but think of Jim Elliot’s words, “Wherever you are, be all there!”
 
Striving to be all there in all things,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Troubled but Triumphant”
Revelation 2:8-11

Link to View Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

OWLS

Join the OWLS as we cruise aboard the oldest floating post office, the “Doris E” on July 25th.The Sophie C is being refurbished. We will eat lunch as we cruise around the lake. We need to know if you prefer an egg or chicken salad sandwich. (We still have your previous sandwich choices, but if you want to change it please let us know). Bring your own drink or you can purchase one on the boat. We will depart EBC at 10am. 

We will also stop at the Kellerhaus after as they have $1.00 cones (1 scoop) on Wednesdays!

Please RSVP by July 23 
Jay and Bette Moreau 582-4458 or 759-3780 
Norma Phillips 783-0211 or 848-7203
Cost is $15.00 per person

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

NEW type of Bible Study series for the ladies of EBC! Every week will be a different topic and a different leader. There will be no books or study guides to purchase and you are free to join in based on your schedule and/or the topic at hand.   
Tuesday July 24th  “The Best Yes” led by Anna Yasharian.

Financial Review Meeting

A Financial Review is an opportunity to learn in more detail our budget for the coming year in a discussion format.
August 12th9:50-10:25 Room 104

ASPIRE

Thank you, church, for your donations to Aspire’s Baby Bottle Blessings fundraiser. EBC raised a total of $2,224.34 towards the fundraiser for a grand total of $11,636.78 and counting from other participating churches.  Praise the Lord!
Please bring back your baby bottle if you have not returned it yet.

EBC Kids

Please pray for EBC Kids! We are expanding this Fall and adding a new classroom for kids downstairs. We therefore need more helpers and teachers to serve once a month! Please pray for us as we grow and pray for more volunteers to join our team. Please email Mary Whitman or call her at 540-986-6626 if you are interested in serving in this growing ministry!

Baptism Class

Coming in August. Details to come!

Church Picnic

Save the Date!!! Sept. 9th
Details to come!

Another Pastoral Epistle 7/11/18

What a privilege to serve as one of your pastors at EBC!  As this month marks my third year serving here, there are many reasons I feel that way. I am deeply thankful for your continued trust in my leadership and your earnest, faithful prayers for me.  Often, I am asked, “How can I pray for you?” While my desire is to be as transparent as possible there are times when I can only answer in general terms.  
 
I, and the leadership team, need you to intercede for us that God would continue to protect us.  I am not one to “find a demon under every rock” so to speak, but there is a spiritual battle confronting us with more intensity as of late. It is always going on, yet there are times when the heat seems to be up and the attacks seem to be more apparent and blatant.  We are in such a season.  Satan’s roar can be heard, so I would ask that you pray for us, for the church, and for God’s work to flourish as our God works all things out for our good and for His glory!
 
I don’t want you to read more into what I am saying, but that you are aware that one of the greatest things you can do for the leadership is to intently pray on our behalf.  Good things are happening at EBC.  New people are visiting each Sunday.  Many of those visitors are returning each week.  And some of those new people are inviting others to join them at church.  I am encouraged in knowing that God is adding to our number of strong believers, but also those who are seeking out the claims of Christ.  God is providing for us financially.  He is raising up more people to get involved.  People are growing here at EBC.  Praise God!
 
Even though we continue to be an imperfect church and must continually work through our family dysfunctions, I am confident we are moving in the right direction.  That being said, your leaders strive to discern God’s continued direction for this church.  We desire to do the right things the right way, so there is always room for improvement. Yet our resolve is to be about making disciples.  How we do that changes, but the process remains to be following the 4E model for discipleship: Engaging, establishing, equipping, and evangelizing.  
 
Your prayers are needed as we seek to follow this model well and have the wisdom to know what needs to change in order to be more effective in advancing the kingdom.  We are in constant need of His wisdom in leading, shepherding, feeding, and protecting God’s flock here at EBC.  Continue in prayer for conversions, strengthening of the church, and spiritual progression of your elders and pastors.  Continue to pray that this is a restful and refreshing time for Pastor Dan and his family.  
 
This call to prayer is not only for the leadership but for each other.  Paul, in his treatment of the armor of God, ended on the note of prayer.  In Ephesians 6:18, he said, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”  
 
Praying for you,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“#1 Get back on track: Love God, love truth”
Revelation 2:1-7

Link to View Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

OWLS

Join the OWLS as we cruise aboard the oldest floating post office, the “Doris E” on July 25th.The Sophie C is being refurbished. We will eat lunch as we cruise around the lake. We need to know if you prefer an egg or chicken salad sandwich. (We still have your previous sandwich choices, but if you want to change it please let us know). Bring your own drink or you can purchase one on the boat. We will depart EBC at 10am. 

We will also stop at the Kellerhaus after as they have $1.00 cones (1 scoop) on Wednesdays!

Please RSVP by July 23 to Jay and Bette Moreau 582-4458 or 759-3780 or Norma Phillips 783-0211 or 848-7203

Cost is $15.00 per person

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday July 14th @ 0800 in the Fellowship hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. So please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

Communion

We will be sharing communion together this Sunday. Please consider donating to EBC’s deacon’s fund. This fund helps those in need in our congregation as well as in our community.

Women’s Ministry Bible Study

Women’s Ministry asks you to BE ON THE LOOKOUT! We have a NEW type of Bible Study series coming SOON for the ladies of EBC on Tuesday evenings at the church from 6:30pm – 8:00pm. The NEW part is that every week will be a different topic and a different leader. So there will be no books or study guides to purchase and you are free to join in based on your schedule and/or the topic at hand. It is our prayer that this new series will provide the flexibility needed for our EBC ladies while making it possible for more people to get the support & encouragement needed in our daily life. Our first Tuesday will be July 24th and the topic is “The Best Yes” led by Anna Yasharian. We’ll see you then!

Aspire Baby Bottles

There are still quite a few baby bottles that have not been returned from the Baby Bottle Blessings Fundraiser. If you have not yet returned a baby bottle that you took back in May, please bring it back to church this Sunday and Lisa Bauman will gladly collect it from you.

EBC Kids

Please pray for EBC Kids! We are expanding this Fall and adding a new classroom for kids downstairs. We therefore need more helpers and teachers to serve once a month! Please pray for us as we grow and pray for more volunteers to join our team. Please email Mary Whitman or call her at 540-986-6626 if you are interested in serving in this growing ministry!

Worship Service Live Stream

The Library will now serve as a “Cry Room” for parents with children who need to step out. You can now go watch the entire Worship Service live. Located downstairs next to the Fellowship Hall.

Church Picnic

Save the Date! Sept. 9th
Details to come!

Another Pastoral Epistle 7/3/18

True Freedom! What is freedom? What does it really mean to be free? Some might say that freedom is the ability to pursue happiness with minimal constraints imposed by others. Some might answer that freedom is the right to do what we want to do.

July 4this the day we Americans set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. And we should. However, our greatest freedom is found in another citizenship. We belong to a far better country. In Hebrews “hall of faith” chapter it says of the people who walk by faith that “they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). Earlier in that same chapter it is said of Abraham, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Hebrews 13:14 says, “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.”

Our citizenship is in heaven! Being citizens of a better country frees us from trying to make this one the kingdom of heaven. Being citizens of heaven, we know that there is a greater freedom than to be free in the American sense. Jesus said, “If you remain in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). This is the freedom we are to promote. While there is a place for us to defend our constitutional rights, our primary focus is our kingdom mission; to bring as many Americans (and beyond) to the better, lasting country.

David Mathis, executive editor for Desiring God Ministries, writes, “Let’s be profoundly grateful for the freedom we have in this country to recruit for the true one, and let’s be unashamed to seize upon our fellow Americans’ desire for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and show them in whom such joy is truly found.”

Church, enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations with family, friends, food, and fireworks. Let it lift our hearts in praise for our Christ-bought freedom from the guilt of sin. Let our lives reflect that our greatest joy is in knowing Him who has set us free…we are free indeed!

Citizen of a better country,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Jesus has not given up on the church” Revelation 1:9-20

Links to Last Sunday’s Sermon

audio
video

Meal Train

Dave and Shannon Dyer have a meal train set up for them. Please consider helping them out during their time of need, as Dave is recovering from surgery. SIGN UP HERE!

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday July 14th @ 0800 in the Fellowship Hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. So please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

EBC KIDS

Please pray for EBC Kids! We are expanding this Fall and adding a new classroom for kids downstairs. We therefore need more helpers and teachers to serve once a month! Please pray for us as we grow and pray for more volunteers to join our team. Please email Mary Whitman at mflain@liberty.edu or call 540-986-6626 if you are interested in serving in this growing ministry!

Worship Service Live Stream

The Library will now serve as a “Cry Room” for parents with children who need to step out. You can now go watch the entire Worship Service live. Located downstairs next to the Fellowship Hall.

Church Picnic

Save the Date! Sept. 9th Details to come!