Another Pastoral Epistle 12/5/18

Have you thought about how strange everything about the birth of Jesus was? Whatever people expected Jesus’ coming would look like, no one imagined it to look like it did.

Even though Old Testament prophecy predicted a virgin would conceive and bear a son, I am not sure they took that to mean that a virgin would miraculously become pregnant with God. Did anyone imagine that when the long-expected Messiah would be born it would be in some dingy cave used to house animals? Did anyone expect that the little town of Nazareth would be the place the Messiah would be raised up? Then there are the shepherds, some magi who were akin to astrologers. And who ever thought that “Immanuel” literally meant that God would become flesh and pitch his tent on planet earth?

Immanuel… let that sink in. The heart of the Christmas story can be summed up in three words, “God with us” (Immanuel). We will be taking a break from our sermon series in the book of Revelation to focus on God with us and the difference those three words make on our lives. There will be a Christmas Eve service on Monday, December 24 at 6:30 with a candlelight celebration concluding our time together. Hope you can make it!

What’s next? That is the question we are asking as we seek what God has for EBC in the new year. That question applies to all areas in the life of the church. In a very specific way it applies to changes, upgrades, and enhancements to our God-given facility. We will be unrolling more of the details around this in January. Tying into this, I am also excited about working through the book of Haggai in the month of January. For now, the call is to pray! Soon we will be asking you to make a commitment to prayer around the “What’s next” campaign.

What about our study in the book of Revelation? Hang on, we will be returning to it in February after the “Inspire, enlighten, encourage, enlist” conference on February 8-10. What is this conference all about? Stay tuned!

I wish you all could have heard the excitement in the room this past Sunday in the fellowship hall with the welcome luncheon. Between this welcome luncheon and the previous one two months ago, we had a total of 44 people (including children). God continues to bring to EBC a beautiful mix of young families, singles, empty nesters, middle age couples with kids, and people from all stages on their spiritual journey. He does arrange the parts, doesn’t He?

See you Sunday, if not sooner, and don’t forget, members, the business meeting on Thursday night in the fellowship hall at 7:00.

I know it is a bit cliché, but let’s not forget the reason for the season!

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“When People Look BIG and God Looks small
Isaiah 7:14; 8:1-10

Last Sunday’s Sermon

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),
  • EBC public and private Facebook pages.

*(If 1st service is cancelled, it will say Early Service on WMUR)

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday Dec. 8 @ 0800 in the Prayer Room behind the stage. 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. (Please note that this a personal ministry and not an EBC church ministry)

OWLS

OWLS will enjoy the One Voice Concert entitled “Heavenly Peace” on Sunday, December 16th at the Inter-Lakes Community Auditorium in Meredith. We will meet at EBC at 1:45 to travel to Meredith for the 3PM concert. Contact us with any questions.

Meal train for The Hardy Family

A meal train has been set up for Bethany and Alex Hardy as they welcome home their new baby boy. You can sign up at: mealtrain.com

Christmas Eve Service

Candlelight service 6:30pm – 7:30pm December 24th

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/28/18

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” as the song goes. Thanksgiving has passed and leftovers are finally finished. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Vendors have set up their Christmas tree stands and stores have begun their decorating. Snow on the trees and the newest snowfall sets the scene for a white Christmas. Yes! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or is it?

Maybe it is just me and it is one of those I am getting older moments, but I don’t seem to see as many nativity displays as “back in the day.” Some of the Christmas songs don’t mention the Savior’s birth at all. And there was already a Santa sighting. Ok! I don’t want to be that person who bemoans what is missing this Christmas season. I want to be that person who celebrates the gift of Immanuel: God with us! Christ came so that we might know what it is like to have God with us.

The heart of the Christmas story can be summed up in three words: God with us! After this Sunday, we will take a break from our sermon series in Revelation to rejoice in the truth of a God who is with us. Advent begins this Sunday. It is Christ’s arrival (advent) that is the starting place for the right look of Christmas. Be festive this Christmas season. Be intentional in your celebrations, family time, and getting together with others this season. And be filled with the hope, peace, joy, and love of His presence with you each and every day!

Since we want this season to be a time of celebration, we will keep the capital campaign low key over this season. However, we do want to emphasize the need for prayer for our “What’s next” team. We will keep that before you in preparation for the rolling out of God’s building plans for us and our study in the book of Haggai in January that answer what’s next for us at EBC. I am super excited about this time in the life of EBC as we align ourselves with what God is building here. If you missed the sermon the Sunday before Thanksgiving, it would be helpful for you to listen to it online. In that sermon, the foundation for the upcoming building campaign is laid as we looked at 2 Samuel 7.

Prayer builders will meet this Sunday at 10:20 in the room behind stage. Also, this Sunday is the Welcome Luncheon for all those who have started attending EBC within the last year or two. That might not be you, but perhaps there is someone you can invite or bring to this luncheon.

Church, you are doing an amazing job helping newcomers feel welcomed here. I hear time and time again from visitors that we are a friendly church. That is the kind of climate we want to keep developing. And as you have heard me say before, let’s not only be known for being friendly, but making friends.

Spreading the look of Christmas in all we do,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“A Woman and A Dragon Pt 2” Revelation 12:7-17

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Gym Building

The Gym Building is currently closed to everyone until Monday. 12/3. We had mold removal and the chemicals are not safe to breath in. Please contact Bill Wixson with any questions.

New Service Times

1st service 9am and 2nd service 10:45am.
Fellowship time in between 10:15-10:45.

Prayer Builders

Will meet this Sunday 12/2 from 10:20am-10:40am in the room behind the stage.

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, Email (weekly epistle list), and EBC public and private Facebook pages.

ATTN Network Coaches

Please return your packets to the office as soon as possible. Thanks!

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

All EBC Kids volunteers are encouraged to come for this time of refreshment and training. Saturday 12/1/18 from 9:30am-11:30am

Newcomers Luncheon

If you are new to EBC in the past two years, you are cordially invited to our upcoming welcome luncheon for new attenders on, Sunday, December 2nd. This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with other newcomers and members of the EBC family. The luncheon will be held after the second service, 12pm. We hope to see you there. Please email the office (office@ebclaconia.com) to RSVP

Women’s Bible Study

“Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. Tuesday 12/4 from 7pm – 9pm we will begin with week 1. You can still pick up your books at the Ministry Counter this Sunday. Books are $10.

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday Dec. 8 @ 0800 in the Prayer Room behind the stage. 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. (Please note that this a personal ministry and not an EBC church ministry)

OWLS

OWLS will enjoy the One Voice Concert entitled “Heavenly Peace” on Sunday, December 16th at the Inter-Lakes Community Auditorium in Meredith. We will meet at EBC at 1:45 to travel to Meredith for the 3PM concert. Contact us with any questions.
Bette and Jay Moreau lfd21jay@metrocast.net 528-4458 or 759-3780
Norma Phillips normaandwilbur@comcast.net 783-0211 or 848-7203

Business Meeting

December 6th@ 7pm

Christmas Eve Service

Candlelight service 6:30pm – 7:30pm December 24th

Save the Date

Missions Conference February 8-10, 2019

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/21/18

“Give thanks in good circumstances, for this is the will of God.” Wait! That isn’t what First Thessalonians 5:18 says. It says, “Give thanks in most circumstances.” Wrong again! It says, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God.” Certainly “all” can’t mean “all.” In the original language, it still means all. How is it possible to give thanks in all circumstances especially if our circumstances are horrible? When life seems to be one disappointment, one difficulty, one discouragement after another, how can we possibly obey this command?

Let’s visit the upper room where Jesus shared a last meal with His disciples. You will recall that Jesus took bread, and just before he had broken the bread it says, he gave thanks. Jesus knew what was about to happen. He would feel the full wrath of God for the sin of the world. He would encounter physical pain, verbal abuse, betrayal, and be misunderstood. He was about to endure a living nightmare, yet He gave thanks!

Hebrews 12 sheds more light on the source of His thanks. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God.” Jesus’ eyes were on his future joy. His focus was beyond the cross to the promised joy that would result from it. When we find it challenging to give thanks in our circumstances, look to the joy set before us. It has been said this way, “If the joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there’s no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.”

So give thanks, church, give thanks! In ALL circumstances! Someday God will complete the work in you. Someday you will be raised from the dead to never die again. Someday you will see Jesus, be with him, and fully enjoy all the benefits of heaven. And for now, God promises to give you the grace you need for every circumstance and meet all of your needs! Give thanks!

EBC Kids has set up a table for you to show your appreciation to those who serve so faithfully in that ministry. So, if you or one of your kids could take just a few minutes to write out a “thank you” they will be collected and shared at the EBC Kids Training and Encouragement Brunch on December 1. Stop by at one of the tables this Sunday!

As I stated in last week’s epistle, consider ways you can express your thanks to someone. Say thank you to the store clerk, waitress who served you, person who held the door open for you, the one who prepared your meal, did the dishes, works with you or for you, and on it goes. Nurture a thankful heart. It is contagious!

And did that verse say, “Give thanks only on Thanksgiving Day”?

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for you!
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“A Woman and a Dragon” Revelation 12:1-6

Last Sunday’s Sermon

New Service Times

1st service: 9am 2nd service: 10:45am. Fellowship time in between 10:15-10:45.

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.

ATTN Network Coaches

Please return your packets to the office as soon as possible. Thanks!

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning next Tuesday, 11/27, 7pm-9pm. “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

All EBC Kids volunteers are encouraged to come for this time of refreshment and training. Saturday 12/1/18 from 9:30am-11:30am

Newcomers Luncheon

If you are new to EBC in the past two years, you are cordially invited to our upcoming welcome luncheon for new attenders on, Sunday, December 2nd. This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with other newcomers and members of the EBC family. The luncheon will be held after the second service, 12pm. We hope to see you there. Please email the office to RSVP.

Business Meeting

December 6th @ 7pm

Save the Date

Missions Conference February 8-10, 2019

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/14/18

I recall my personal struggles as a young follower of Christ praying publicly. Especially praying for missionaries. My “go to” prayer was, “God bless the missionaries.” That isn’t a terrible prayer, but it did feel a bit too general. How could I really rejoice in answered prayer? How was this strengthening my faith as I prayed for them?

A few years later, my eyes were opened to the prayers spoken in Scripture. Not only the long prayers of Daniel, Nehemiah, David, and Jehoshaphat, but specific requests in the letters of the New Testament. There is Philippians 1:9-11 and Colossians 1:9-11 and Paul’s request for prayer at the end of Colossians for an open door for evangelism and the clear words to speak. These prayers teach us how to pray. Scripture is full of examples!

I came across one again just this week. In Romans 15:30-32, Paul requests prayer for safety, positive reception of the gospel, and a refreshing visit with the saints in Rome. Now that is something we can pray for our missionaries, for the church, and for each other. One thing is certain about praying Scripture- we know that this is God’s will.

Church, I pray for you consistently. I pray that we know the power of the risen Christ that lives in us. I pray that we embrace truth over all the other “voices” that compete with that daily. I pray that God’s bride remains pure, steadfast, faithful, and growing in love with Jesus. My prayer for you is that we excel in giving, serving, worshipping, and loving. An almost daily request is for an increasing dependence on Him as we remain in Christ.

The prayers found in the epistles often include one common feature. They begin with thanks. And the thanks are often for the church. So, as we pray for each other and for the church, the challenge is to begin with thanks. Who can you thank God for today? Consider the church family and pause to thank God for specific individuals and for what God is doing at EBC.

I would add to not only give thanks to God for those people, but also practice expressing your thanks to them. So often we have thankful thoughts, but for one reason or another, not share them with words. But when we do, others are encouraged, it can stir them up to love and good deeds, and it helps to create a climate of gratitude in our church. Gratitude can be as contagious as grumbling and complaining. And who knows the power of your words of thanks in lifting a wounded or weary soul? Who can you speak your words of thanks to this week? Say, “thank you” to someone today!

I thank God for you! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

With thanksgiving,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“What’s God Building?”
2 Samuel 7

Last Sunday’s Sermon

New Service Times

1st service 9am and 2nd service 10:45am. Fellowship time in between 10:15-10:45.

Operation Christmas Child

This week is Collection Week for packed shoe boxes. Drop off at the gym 11/12-11/19, Mon – Fri, 4pm-6pm and Sat 1pm-4pm.

New Community Group Starting

In an effort to meet the expanding desire of EBC’s members and regular attenders, we are pleased to announce another Community Group to be hosted in Gilford on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Cobis’. Please contact Tim Whitman at tawhitman@liberty.edu or 540-986-6625 to be connected to this group or any other group!

Love INC

Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser November 17th. Pick up your wreaths at the EBC Gym this Saturday from 12pm-2pm Order yours today! Call 366-1525.

Momentum

MSM will NOT be meeting next Tuesday 11/20/18

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning Tuesday 11/27, 7pm-9pm. “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is. Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

All EBC Kids volunteers are encouraged to come for this time of refreshment and training. Saturday 12/1/18 from 9:30am-11:30am

Newcomers Luncheon

If you are new to EBC in the past two years, you are cordially invited to our upcoming welcome luncheon for new attenders on, Sunday, December 2nd. This will be a great opportunity to meet and connect with other newcomers and members of the EBC family. The luncheon will be held after the second service, 12pm. We hope to see you there. Please email the office (office@ebclaconia.com) to RSVP

Business Meeting

December 6th@ 7pm

Save the Date

Missions Conference February 8-10, 2019

Another Pastoral Epistle 11/7/18

On November 11, 1918, in a railway carriage in Compiengne Forest in France there was an agreement (armistice) between the Allies and Germany to end World War I where 116,516 American soldiers lost their lives. Major hostilities were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11thday of the 11thmonth. What the United States previously observed as Armistice Day was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954. Veteran’s Day honors those who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces. I thank God for the service and sacrifice of over 20 million veterans in this country! It is a day we remember the scars that veterans have received in battle.

Do you have any scars? I am not talking about military battle wounds, but scars that remind you of something. One scar I have on my left arm reminds me of a box cutter that just missed one of my veins when I was stocking shelves working at a supermarket years ago. It still sends a shiver up my spine thinking about it. Scars remind us of something. It might be the birth of a child that reminds you of the gift of life. It might be a scar from a surgery that reminds you of the life you enjoy today. Any scars?

My mind goes to the Apostle Paul who said, “I bear in my body the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:17). Paul had physical scars as a soldier for Jesus Christ. I don’t have any of those to show you. Many around the world do have scars because of their faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We will visit this some more as we come to Revelation, chapter 11 this Sunday. Suffice it to say now, do others see the evidence of Christ in your life? Do you have “scars” as a soldier of Jesus Christ?

11/11 is not only Veteran’s Day it is the Sunday our service times change. Our first service will be at 9:00 and second service will be at 10:45. There are some practical reasons for making this change, but I do hope that the reduced time between the two services encourages more fellowship, not less. I cannot stress enough the importance of the time between two services to mingle and catch up with each other.

The change supports our mission. It ties into our purpose in adding the second service in the first place. Our adding of a second service was intended to fill the empty chairs so that more people could engage in the life of God’s people and the worship of our great God and to sit under the teaching of God’s Word. Praise God for the increase of an average of 40 people each week since adding the second service. Most of that growth has happened in the second service, so it is time to see how God grows the first service. May God add to the number of people being saved and to the number of people getting involved in the life of EBC.

Praise God for the 250 kids that walked through our trunk or treat last Wednesday. It was such a blessing to see the church family enjoying the time together and hearing the appreciation of our guests. Several adults expressed thanks. One neighbor stopped to share a prayer request with me. It was a great night!

Hope to see you this Sunday! Come early to check out the ministry displays around the worship center. Praise be to our Savior for His nail-scarred hands!

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“From Witness to Worship” Revelation 11

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Service Time Change

This Sunday, November 11th, we will have new service times.
1st service will begin at 9am and 2nd service will begin at 10:45am.
There will still be a fellowship time in between approx. 10:15-10:45.

Operation Christmas Child

You can still pick up your Operation Christmas Child boxes at the Ministry Counter in the back of the Sanctuary this Sunday.
Collection times for the packed boxes will be during the week of 11/12-11/18 Mon – Fri 4pm-6pm and Sat 1pm-4pm.

Ministry Fair

This Sunday 11/11 we will have our Ministry Fair. Stop by the Ministry Tables to see what ways you can get involved here at EBC.

Office Closed

The office will be closed Monday 11/12

New Community Group Starting

In an effort to meet the expanding desire of EBC’s members and regular attenders, we are pleased to announce another Community Group to be hosted in Gilford on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM at the Cobis’. Please contact Tim Whitman at tawhitman@liberty.edu or 540-986-6625 to be connected to this group or any other group!

New Women’s Bible Study

The Women’s Ministry invites you to a 4 week Bible Study beginning Tuesday 11/27, 7pm-9pm.

“Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” will lead us through the 4 weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love). The study offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus. We will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is.

Sign up at the Ministry Counter beginning this Sunday.

Love INC

Annual Christmas Wreath Fundraiser November 17th.
Order yours today! Call 366-1525.

The Team meeting to go over all the details about the Christmas Blessings Project will be tomorrow November 8th at the Lakes Region Vineyard Church from 6:30pm-8:30pm. If you are being called to volunteer in any way, would like to donate, or have any questions about this event please email: info@loveinclr.org or call the Love INC office at 603-366-1525.

Click HERE to see details on ways to volunteer.