The Weekly Epistle 1/15/20

Every human being is made according to God’s image.  Every person has that status.  Imago Dei (Image of God) was an important aspect to the Civil Rights Movement even if the leaders didn’t always communicate that as well as they could have.  It’s why Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, ‘There are no gradations in the image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the image of God’” (“The American Dream”).
 
Not only does this weekend mark the 25th anniversary of Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr’s, life and legacy, this weekend is also when churches mark as Sanctity of Life Sunday.  The two events have this in common- we proclaim that every human being, of every gender and every race and every social class — the healthy, the dying, the unborn, and the disabled — every person has been crowned with indisputable dignity from the hand of the Creator.
 
We live in a day and age where life is cheap.  People are seen as objects, people are used for others’ own advantage, and people are not cared for and cherished.  As I have written around this time in previous years, I reiterate;  
 
Human life is a gift from God to be cherished from the time of conception until natural death. God is directly involved with human life at every age and affirms its value under all conditions. As followers of Christ, it is imperative for us to maintain this same high regard for life. We are to call society to embrace the value of human life and to affirm the dignity and worth of all. Society should guarantee the rights of the unborn child, the dignity of the elderly, and the care of the handicapped and where it does not, then it is our responsibility to foster a higher morality. We are to defend the defenseless and that includes the modern-day slavery of sex trafficking and to challenge the biases of our culture and the devaluing of life in all its forms.
 
In other words, all life is sacred for every single human being bears the image of God.  So we must be pro-life from the womb to the tomb.  As followers of Christ, we don’t have to choose between speaking into moral behaviors and promoting the gospel.  We can speak truthfully within the context of the redemptive power of the gospel.  And as Peter reminds us in speaking of the reason for our hope that we must, “do so with gentleness and respect.”
 
The message we are to proclaim is that while our humanity is tainted by sin, in Christ, our humanity can be restored by His grace.  As our worship song goes, “If there’s one thing we know, there’s no story You (God) can’t redeem.”  
 
We will hear of one man’s story of God’s redeeming work at the men’s breakfast on Saturday, January 25.  Men, be sure to sign up this Sunday if you haven’t already.  
 
The “Created for Connection” marriage conference that we will host is Friday night, April 3 and all day Saturday April 4.  There will be a key note speaker and workshops offered.  Cost will be $20 per couple and financial assistance is available for anyone who needs it.  Also, mark down “Prayer 30” on February 16 and “Fellowship of Prayer” on March 15.  More details to come!
 
Have a blessed week!  Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Too Few…Too Many

Genesis 37 – Exodus 1

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Read Through the Bible in a Year Plan

We have created a reading plan for you to read through the Bible in a year that goes along with our current sermon series, The Greatest Story from Cover to Cover. Pick up your copy this Sunday at the Ministry Counter.

OWLS

Do you have cabin fever from all the snowy and cold weather we have had over the past few weeks?  We think a trip to Johnson’s Steak and Seafood on Wednesday, January 22nd might help!  We will meet at the church at 11:30 to travel to New Durham.  All OWLS are welcome to come and enjoy a great time of fellowship and food.  If you feel you will be able to attend, let one of us know although we do not need an accurate number.  They are flexible, but we do like to give them an approximate number ahead of time. Should the weather be bad we will go on Wednesday the 29th
Jay and Bette – 528-4458 or 759-3780
Norma 848-7203 or 783-0211

Men’s Breakfast

Men’s Breakfast Saturday January 25th 7am-8:30am
Sign-up this Sunday at the Ministry Counter.

Prayer Events
Save The Dates

Prayer 30 February 16th
Fellowship of Prayer March 15th
More details to come.

Save The Date

“Created for Connections”
Marriage Seminar at EBC for the EBC family. 
April 3-4. More details to come.

EBC Kids

Please pray for the EBC Kids Ministry. Volunteers in nursery, teachers and helpers in all age groups are needed. For more information please contact Mary Whitman 540-986-6626 or mflain@libery.edu

Meal Train

A meal train has been set up for Jim and Donna Dube to help out with meal’s during this month while Jim and their daughter Christina undergo surgeries. You can sign up by clicking on this link: https://mealtrain.com/v9nwk6

Celebrate Recovery
5th Annual Fundraising Rally

Thursday January 23rd 6pm-7:30pm Pitman’s Freight Room Laconia.
$12 per person or $20 per couple. All proceeds go to Water’s Edge Church to support Celebrate Recovery. 
Meal. Music. Live Testimony. Recovery News.
Any questions contact Shaun Dutile
 shaun@watersedgecofc.com or 603-366-8727

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. 

The Weekly Epistle 1/8/20

A Sunday School teacher asked her class of third graders, “What is gray and has a long bushy tail?”  Class was silent.  “Ok,” the teacher went on, “It lives in trees and likes to eat nuts.”  Still nothing, so the teacher continued.  “It loves to jump from branch to branch and chatters and flips its tail when it is excited.”  Finally, one boy tentatively put up his hand.  The teacher breathed a sigh of relief and called on the little boy.  “Well,” said the boy, I know the answer is Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me.”
 
It’s an old joke I know.  But for Christians the “right” answer seems to always be Jesus.  There was a billboard down south that had the words, “Jesus is the answer” written in big bold letters.  Somewhere along the way, someone came along and wrote these words under that statement, “But what are the questions.”
 
Do we know the questions people are asking?  And when they ask, do we know how to answer?  Peter in his first letter spoke of the importance of living in such a way that people ask us to give the reason for the hope that lies within us (I Peter 3:15).  How prepared are you to share how Jesus is the answer in your life?  What is He the answer to?
 
If asked what the Bible is all about, “Jesus” would be the correct answer.  We kicked off our series this past Sunday in tracing the storyline of the Bible.  Sixty-six books written by over forty people over a period of 2,000 years yet it all fits together to point to the Bible’s main subject of the salvation God offers through Jesus Christ.  We left off with humankind a mess!  Sin’s ripple effect on all people is in great need of an answer.  We will pick it up in Genesis, chapter 12 this Sunday.  Check out in the announcements the section of Scripture to be read for this Sunday.  I will also make available a reading chart for those of you who want to go deeper each week and to include other passages if you want to read through the Bible in a year.  
 
There are plenty of tools available online for reading the Bible through in a year if you wanted to research it.  One tool online is the blue letter bible reading program, chronological plan.  Also, I have used the “Daily Bible in chronological order, 365 daily readings” by Harvest house publishers.  The objective isn’t necessarily accomplishing reading the Bible cover to cover in one year as much as creating the discipline of getting into God’s Word daily.  Can it make a difference in our lives, the more time we spend in the Word of God?  Will it have an effect on my life?  Check out this two-minute video:  https://vimeo.com/380063273
 
Blessings to you, church, in this new year.  Let’s commit to reading and obeying His Word and see what happens in our church this year.  Let’s see what happens to our witness as we live and declare, and the Jesus is the Answer!
 
In His Grip, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The Blessing People Need

Genesis 12-36

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Read Through the Bible in a Year Plan

We have created a reading plan for you to read through the Bible in a year that goes along with our current sermon series, The Greatest Story from Cover to Cover. These will be available on the Ministry Counter this Sunday.

Community Group Sign ups

We have created a reading plan for you to read through the Bible in a year that goes along with our current sermon series, The Greatest Story from Cover to Cover. These will be available on the Ministry Counter this Sunday.

OWLS

Do you have cabin fever from all the snowy and cold weather we have had over the past few weeks?  We think a trip to Johnson’s Steak and Seafood on Wednesday, January 22nd might help!  We will meet at the church at 11:30 to travel to New Durham.  All OWLS are welcome to come and enjoy a great time of fellowship and food.  If you feel you will be able to attend, let one of us know although we do not need an accurate number.  They are flexible, but we do like to give them an approximate number ahead of time. Should the weather be bad we will go on Wednesday the 29th
Jay and Bette – 528-4458 or 759-3780
Norma 848-7203 or 783-0211

Men’s Breakfast

Men’s Breakfast Saturday January 25th 7am-8:30am
Sign-up this Sunday at the Ministry Counter.

Save The Date

“Created for Connections”
Marriage Seminar at EBC for the EBC family. 
April 3-4. More details to come.

EBC Kids

Please pray for the EBC Kids Ministry. Volunteers in nursery, teachers and helpers in all age groups are needed. For more information please contact Mary Whitman 540-986-6626 or mflain@libery.edu

Meal Train

A meal train has been set up for Jim and Donna Dube to help out with meal’s during this month while Jim and their daughter Christina undergo surgeries. You can sign up by clicking on this link: https://mealtrain.com/v9nwk6

Celebrate Recovery
5th Annual Fundraising Rally

Thursday January 23rd 6pm-7:30pm Pitman’s Freight Room Laconia.
$12 per person or $20 per couple. All proceeds go to Water’s Edge Church to support Celebrate Recovery. 
Meal. Music. Live Testimony. Recovery News.
Any questions contact Shaun Dutile
 shaun@watersedgecofc.com or 603-366-8727

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. 

The Weekly Epistle 12/31/19

A little Bible trivia.  
What did Adam say on the night before Christmas?  “It’s Christmas Eve.”
What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?  “He was Ruthless.”
What was one of the things Adam and Eve did when they were removed from the garden?  “They raised Cain.”
What book of the Bible gives support for men to make coffee?  “Hebrews” (say it slowly).
How long did Cain hate his brother?  “As long as he was Abel.”
What Bible character broke all 10 commandments in one act?  “Moses” (remember when he came down the mountain with the two tablets of 10 commandments?).
How do we know that Abraham was a very smart man?  Because he knew a Lot.
 
Ok, groan, groan, groan!  I am sure I just opened it up for you to share one of your Bible puns with me.  In all seriousness, how well do you know the Bible?  If you had to boil down the message of the Bible in one sentence what would it be?  Do you know how the stories and events of the Bible fit together with that sentence?
 
I am excited about our next sermon series beginning this Sunday.  For the next several months, we will be looking at the story of Redemption from cover to cover.  In one sense, I am biting off more than we can chew.  But I am confident that we will grow in our understanding of God’s revelation to us and see its powerful relevance to our lives each week.  We will take large chunks of scripture each week, so I would encourage you to read as much of the section as you can in advance,  If you choose to do this, then by the end of the year you would have read through the entire Bible.  For this Sunday, our focus will be Genesis chapters 1-11.  
 
In other happenings, the men will be having a breakfast on Saturday, January 25.  Sign up will begin this Sunday.  Monday night basketball has begun again and started up strong.  If you are able to assist in this relationship building opportunity with those from our community then see Justin Whitman or contact the office.  If you want to show up and play, bring a friend with you.  
 
As the new year begins, look to strengthen your resolves and consider ways God wants you to serve, grow, give, and invest in the lives of others.  Community groups is a great place to grow your friendships with others in the church.  If you aren’t presently in a group, signup this Sunday to begin connecting with others at EBC.  
 
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for a new year walking with our faithful God who promises to be with you every step of the way!  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

God Has A Plan

Genesis 1-11

Last Sunday’s Sermon

 New Sermon Series

“The Greatest Story From Cover to Cover”
Begins this Sunday 

Prayer Builders

Prayer Builders will be meeting this Sunday from 10:20-10:40 in the room behind the stage.

Community Group Sign ups

A new daytime community group will begin Thursday January 9th at 1pm at the home of Roger Allen in Belmont. Brad Smith will be facilitating. 
Sign ups will be this Sunday for all Community Groups that will resume in January

Men’s Breakfast

Men’s Breakfast Saturday January 25th 7am-8:30am
Sign-ups begin this Sunday.

Save The Date

“Created for Connections”
Marriage Seminar at EBC for the EBC family. 
April 3-4. More details to come.

Celebrate Recovery
5th Annual Fundraising Rally

Thursday January 23rd 6pm-7:30pm Pitman’s Freight Room Laconia.
$12 per person or $20 per couple. All proceeds go to Water’s Edge Church to support Celebrate Recovery. 
Meal. Music. Live Testimony. Recovery News.
Any questions contact Shaun Dutile
 shaun@watersedgecofc.com or 603-366-8727

EBC Kids

Please pray for the EBC Kids Ministry. Volunteers in nursery, teachers and helpers in all age groups are needed. For more information please contact Mary Whitman 540-986-6626 or mflain@libery.edu

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. 

The Weekly Epistle 12/18/19

John 3:16 and sports!  Many have been confused around the meaning of signs that have John 3:16 on them that show up behind football goal posts, or basketball backboards, or even behind home plate in baseball stadiums.  “Is this some riddle?” they wonder.  Or “what does this verse have to do with sports?”  
 
The one credited with the rise of John 3:16 is a man who gained notoriety by taking “drawing attention to yourself and getting filmed at sporting events” to a whole new level. Throughout the 1980s, Rollen Stewart traveled 60,000 miles a year as a full-time spectator, living out of his car, and using television’s obsession with athletics as a vessel for promoting his faith. In doing so, he made the Bible passage a fixture of professional sporting events.  Unfortunately, ”Rainbow Man” as he was called due to his frizzy rainbow wig he wore, made some bad choices that landed him with three consecutive life sentences.  
 
While I am troubled by Stewart’s method of evangelism and his poor choices, the message of John 3:16 is the hope for Stewart.  The message of John 3:16 is much bigger than Rollen Stewart.  It was never about sports.  Perhaps there is no other single verse that captures the heart of God more succinctly than John 3:16. It powerfully summarizes the greatest news ever given to people.  
 
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 
 
Have you dwelled on this one verse lately?  This is a great time of year to reflect on the coming of Jesus.  Corrie Ten Boom wrote, “Who can add to Christmas?  The perfect motive is that God so loved the world.  The perfect gift is that he gave His only Son.  The only requirement is to believe in Him.  The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
 
We share this life together as a church.  The other night at the Christmas extravaganza brought much joy to my soul to see the church family sing, laugh, eat, and have fun together as we celebrated the birth of our Savior.  And as we went out to sing throughout the neighborhood and to some elderly members of our church, hearts were touched by the presence and voices of EBC.  It was so encouraging to see the responses from many of the neighbors as they went from curious to blessed.  One neighbor made sure to get a picture of the EBC carolers.  
 
Thanks to the many hands that pitched in to make it such a beautiful night.  Don’t forget about the Christmas Eve Service Next Tuesday @ 6:30.
 
Oh!  If “surfer dude” visits us again be sure to make him feel welcomed.  He will be easy to spot- his hair is a bit unusual and likely he will have orange lips from the cheese curls!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Connecting The Dots To The Person

Isaiah 9:1-7

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Advent 

Advent comes from the Latin adventus which means, “coming.”  The main event is the coming, or birth, of Jesus our Savior.  As the saints of old anticipated with great expectation Jesus’ first coming, we too eagerly anticipate His return.  The four weeks of Advent represent the remembering of the thousands of years God’s people were longing for the coming of God’s salvation.

Christmas Eve Service
“The Perfect Christmas”

Tuesday December 24th at 6:30 pm

Next Week’s Happenings

There will not be a Weekly Epistle next week due to the holiday. 
The office will be open Tuesday 8am-3pm and Thursday 8am-4pm.
Pastor Brian will not be in his office from 12/25-12/29

Coming in the New Year

“The Story of Redemption from Cover to Cover”

EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped make this evening a success! 

EBC Kids  

Please pray for the EBC Kids Ministry. Volunteers in nursery, teachers and helpers in all age groups are needed. For more information please contact Mary Whitman 540-986-6626 or mflain@libery.edu

New Day time Community Group  

There will be a new daytime community group that will begin in January. More details to come!

7 Things Every Church Member Needs To Know About Charitable Giving  

Available at the Ministry Counter.

Giving Envelopes  

2020 Giving envelopes are available for pick up at the ministry counter. Pick up yours this Sunday.

Trajectory REC Basketball

Trajectory REC Monday Night Basketball is Back and BETTER than ever! Beginning Monday’s from 7pm-9pm at the gymnasium.

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. 

The Weekly Epistle 12/11/19

“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose.  And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.  Olive the other reindeer.”  Who?  Who is Olive?  I am sure there is a caroler out there who thinks one of the reindeers is named Olive.  You might hear this uttered, “Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly.”  I don’t think that is how it goes, but someone likely has sung it.  Or as one child sang Silent Night!  Holy Night! It went like this, “Sleep in heavenly peas, sleep in heavenly peas.”  Heavenly peas?  I hope they are better than earthly peas.  And of course, there is “round John Virgin.”  
 
While there is some confusion around the wording of songs sung in the Christmas season, you will also find great spiritual truths taught in them as well.  Ok, not in Rudolph or one of my favorites, ‘Drummer Boy,” but there is a richness to be found in some of them.  The problem is, we can sing them without thinking about what they are saying.  
 
I agree with J.C. Ryle who wrote, “Familiarity with sacred things has an awful tendency to make men despise them.”  If you grew up singing the Christmas carols (as I did), attending Christmas Eve services year after year, and you knew that if you answered “Jesus” to every question in Sunday School you would be right most of the time, then you run the risk of being bored at Christmas!  That’s right, I did say bored at Christmas.  
 
David Mathis with Desiring God ministries put it this way, “It’s possible to become so familiar with Jesus that we know him as a Sunday school answer rather than a mind-blowingly great, heart-meltingly beautiful Lord, who makes His claim upon our lives, to whom we owe everything, who alone gives us lasting joy, and who deserves all our worship.”  
 
When we think of Jesus this way, how can we possibly be bored at Christmas?  Familiarity doesn’t have to lead to contempt, it can lead to greater joy!  When we see Jesus for who He really is, it leads us to worship which leads us to a greater longing to know Him more.  Will you commit to knowing Him better this Christmas?  Will you open your heart to seeing Him for who He really is?  Between now and Christmas Day, read through at least one of the four gospels (Mark might be the best choice).  As you read, let your mind be engaged with who Jesus is!
 
Speaking of Christmas carols, we will go Christmas caroling this Sunday.  We will also enjoy some food, a skit, and fellowship with one another as we celebrate as a church family the birth of our Savior!  The sign up is very strong!  This is going to be one great night!  
 
We continue our sermon series this Sunday on Connecting the Dots this Christmas which will finish up at our Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 6:30. In some ways, there will be a continuation of that theme as we move into the New Year looking at the story of redemption from cover to cover.  God’s plan of salvation is more than a New Testament idea.  It had its beginnings as far back as the book of Genesis.  
 
I am getting ahead of myself.  I need to brake for Christmas to see the One who brought us peace.  And all who come to Him will find rest for our souls!  We really can sleep in heavenly peace because the Savior has come!  
 
Peace to all, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Connecting The Dots To The Servant

Isaiah 42:1-9 & Mark 10:35-45

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Advent 

Advent comes from the Latin adventus which means, “coming.”  The main event is the coming, or birth, of Jesus our Savior.  As the saints of old anticipated with great expectation Jesus’ first coming, we too eagerly anticipate His return.  The four weeks of Advent represent the remembering of the thousands of years God’s people were longing for the coming of God’s salvation.

Christmas Eve Service

Tuesday December 24th at 6:30 pm

Communion

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday.

EBC’s Christmas Extravaganza

Join us this Sunday, December 15th from 4pm-7pm for a family friendly Christmas Extravaganza. This is a church ministry wide event. This evening will be filled with a chili & cornbread dinner, Christmas caroling in our neighborhood and to our shut in’s, story time, cookies, cocoa and more! For those interested, the story book we will be reading will be available to purchase that evening. 

Trajectory REC Basketball

Trajectory REC Monday Night Basketball is Back and BETTER than ever! Beginning Monday December 16th from 7pm-9pm at the gymnasium.

7 Things Every Church Member Needs To Know About Charitable Giving  

Available at the Ministry Counter.

Trajectory REC Basketball

Trajectory REC Monday Night Basketball is Back and BETTER than ever! Beginning Monday December 16th from 7pm-9pm at the gymnasium.

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.