Another Pastoral Epistle 1/2/19

Happy New Year!

I came across this poem which I found to be very appropriate to this time of year when resolutions are made.

I spent a fortune on a trampoline,
A stationary bike
And a rowing machine;

Complete with gadgets
To read my pulse,
And gadgets to prove
My progress results,

And others to show
The miles I have charted,
But they left off the gadget
To get me started.

Know the feeling? Companies and corporations pay considerable money for consultants to come in and fire up their personnel. They continue to look for ways to get their employees motivated. A little motivation can go a long way. What motivates you? As a follower of Christ, what should motivate you?

We will look at motivation as we come to stewardship month. What is stewardship month? It is to follow the logic of our existence and to whom we owe it. The God who owns it all and is the Creator of all has given us the awesome yet sobering privilege of caring for that which He has given us. That includes our money and possessions, but not only our money and possessions. He has given us abilities, time, spiritual gifts, experiences, people under our care, all to be used for Him. We are stewards and care takers of all that he has given us.

While I know that you are disappointed we are continuing our break from our study in Revelation, I hope you can share the excitement with me in looking at the Old Testament book of Haggai. This is a great book that ties into stewardship month. But in a different way than you may think. It speaks to motivation. It challenges our priorities. It calls us to step up for it is time to give God first place, rather than what is left over. It answers, “what’s next” for the people of God.

You will be hearing more about our “what’s next campaign.” You will be hearing about buildings, expansion, facility upgrades, but it is all connected to our vision as a church. What is next for EBC in growing deeper and having greater impact? What’s next for the church to grow and for each of us to grow in our relationship with Christ, in our spiritual disciplines, closer to each other, and grow in our efforts to reach the lost for Christ? Those questions are the reason for addressing facility needs. Our facility facilitates our goals, objectives, and resolutions.

As we turn the page to 2019, let’s get started on what we believe God wants of us. More than that, let’s stay with it to completion. Not sure who said it, but it has stuck with me: “The greatness of a person is determined not by what it takes to get him going, but by what it takes to stop him.”

Staying the course,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“It is time to consider our ways”
Haggai 1:1-15

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Prayer Builders

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

ELMM

The next meeting of the Military Ministry (ELMM) will be Saturday January 12th@ 0800. In the fellowship Hall. Veterans, retirees, active duty military, men, women and all denominations are welcome. Please come join us in fellowship, prayer and discussion of our common bond of those who serve.

Communion

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday.

2019 Giving Envelopes

Sign up sheet will be available at the Ministry Counter this Sunday if you are interested in beginning to use or continue to use giving envelopes. Envelopes will be available for pick up on Dec 30th.

What’s Next for EBC

Coming in January

New Sermon Series

We are continuing to take a break from our study in Revelation to take a look at the book of Haggai for the month of January to tie into our What’s Next Campaign.

Sunday Morning Bible Study
Portraits of Jesus

Exploring and encountering the truth of Jesus and its relevance to today’s world. Great class for those who are exploring the truth of Jesus or for those who want to know more deeply the One in whose face we see God!

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

Another Pastoral Epistle 12/19/18

Merry Christmas,
A battle is upon us again this Christmas. I am not talking about whether to say, “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” The battle isn’t over letting your kids believe in Santa or not. It is a battle of expectations. Will we allow wrong expectations to overshadow the real joy of the season?

Many people will experience the “Christmas hangover.” Not from too much eggnog, but the one that hits after the stockings are empty, the presents are opened, the food is consumed, the family leaves, and the decorations come down. It is then that many are hit with, “Is that it?”

The answer is not found in foregoing all expectations. Nor is it to suppress excitement. I love this time of year. There are certain traditions that I look forward to. So, trying to distance yourself from any nostalgia or good feelings around the season is not the way to go. But a little expectation management might be required. What does that look like?

First of all, don’t project your expectations of the way you want things to be on to others. Secondly, hold on to your holiday plans loosely. Consider the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary. Little went as they expected. Did Joseph ever expect to be wrestling with the decision to divorce his wife? And what about all the unplanned detours that took them to Bethlehem then to Egypt and then back to Nazareth. Did they expect that their baby boy, this Holy child, to be born in a stable? Pause to remember that our plans may not go as we want, but our Sovereign Lord is in control!

Lastly, wrap your expectations around the celebration of that amazing moment in time when the one who knew no sin came as a baby into this world to meet our greatest need of forgiveness! Rejoice in our loving Savior whose plan for us is perfect. He is our hope. Whether this season is filled with excitement for you or a hard time as you remember your loss of a loved one, it is all exactly as God planned. He doesn’t make mistakes. We can place all our expectations into the hands of our Sovereign Lord who is lovingly directing all that happens. Let the God of hope fill you with His peace and joy this Christmas season. Even on December 26th.

Merry Christmas, Church! Spread that joy to all.

Expecting a wonderful time of worship with you this Sunday and on Christmas Eve as well.

Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“Christ Came… Grace Appeared” John 1:1-18

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Links to watch Advent videos

Week one
Week two
Week three

Christmas Eve Service

Join us Monday night, December 24th, for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service @ 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Office Hours

Pastor Brian will be out of the office December 25th-28th The office will be closed on Christmas Day, and will be open regular hours during the week: Mon, Wed, & Thu 9am-2pm.

Momentum

MSM will not be meeting again until the New Year.

2019 Giving Envelopes

Sign up sheet will be available at the Ministry Counter this Sunday if you are interested in beginning to use or continue to use giving envelopes. Envelopes will be available for pick up on Dec 30th.

What’s Next for EBC

Coming in January

Portraits of Jesus

Coming in January, an 8 week bible study on Sunday Mornings

Meal Train for the Whitman Family

A meal train has been set up for Mary and Tim Whitman as they welcome home their new baby boy. You can sign up HERE.

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

Another Pastoral Epistle 12/12/18

Inspire. Enlighten. Encourage. Enlist!

That is our theme for our Missions’ Conference on February 8-10, 2019. We hope that everyone will join us as we are inspired and enlightened by the local and global missionaries that we support. We will be holding a men’s breakfast, a woman’s brunch, and a prayer night. On Sunday morning, there will be a variety of workshops to choose from as several of our global and local missionaries will be speaking. Childcare will be provided. More details to come as we get closer. Please contact a member of the Global Missions Team with any questions.

When we think about it, Christmas is a model for missions. Jesus said, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). As Jesus was sent so are we. Jesus’ incarnation is totally unique and not repeatable. But we are “sent ones” to announce a Savior who was sent into the world to save sinners. That message still needs to be told. So missions still exists!

We are in the middle of the advent season. As we light the candle each Sunday, we have been focusing on one of the gifts Jesus has brought us. If you have missed either of the last two Sundays and the lighting of the advent candle, a video has been posted on the EBC website. See link below. Don’t forget about our Christmas Eve Service on December 24 at 6:30.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas we are remembering the heart of the Christmas story, summed up in three words, “God with us” (Immanuel). Our Immanuel has come! The God who is for uspromises to be with usin whatever confronts us. Knowing He is with us gives us confidence and boldness to get on with what He has called us to do. He is with us always!

We rejoice with Love INC and the many who benefitted from the Christmas Blessing Project this past Saturday. Approximately 60 people heard a presentation of the gospel and will have an opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts this Saturday. Keep praying that God adds to the seeds planted to bring people to Immanuel!

Take time to share your story of God’s presence in your daily life with others this Christmas season! Look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Blessings,
Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

“A Dream Come True”
Matthew 1:18-25

Last Sunday’s Sermon

Communion

We will be celebrating Communion this Sunday.

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 canceled, it will say Early Service on WMUR)

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 Whitman Family

A meal train has been set up for Mary and Tim Whitman as they welcome home their new baby boy. You can sign up at: Meal Train web site

Christmas Eve Service

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

What’s Next “For EBC”

Coming in January

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