The Weekly Epistle 6/15/22

Several years ago, EBC held an open forum to brainstorm ideas for community outreach programs. Many ideas were proposed, but one stood above them all. Of the approximately 50 people who attended, the vast majority overwhelmingly agreed that the church should start an AWANA program. Within weeks the idea was greenlit by the eldership. 
 
It’s been nearly seven years since that meeting took place. Not one child from our community has known the joy of running around an AWANA circle. Not one child from our community has memorized even a single Bible verse. Not one child from our community has heard the life-giving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
 
                    Of course, this begs the question, why? 
 
                    Why did such a great idea fail to gain traction?
 
                    The answer is simple. 
 
Good ideas only lead to good outcomes when people with good ideas invest themselves in the outcome. In other words, it’s one thing to have a good idea; implementing a good idea and seeing it through to completion is another thing. Unless you’re willing to invest your time and energy into your idea, you should have no reasonable expectation that your idea will come to fruition. Jesus isn’t going to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” because you had a good idea. He’s going to say “Well done” because you faithfully invested yourself in the mission of his Kingdom. AWANA failed to gain traction because no one invested themselves in the idea. 
 
                      Now, please, listen to what I am saying and not what I am not saying. 
 
I am not suggesting that we should have started an AWANA program back then, and I am not trying to guilt anyone into starting one now. I am not writing this epistle to shame anyone who attended that meeting. I am simply pointing out that if God puts an idea in your heart, you need to invest yourself in that idea. 
 
                       You need to invest yourself for the sake of Christ. 
 
                        You need to invest yourself for the sake of his Kingdom.
 
Now, maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I am not an idea person.” That’s okay. You don’t need to be an idea person to invest yourself in the Kingdom. You just need to be a committed person who seeks to faithfully and consistently invest yourself in the work God has for you. 
 
If you are an idea person, you must take serious stock of yourself before proposing your idea to the church. Ask yourself, “Do I have the time, energy, and personal fortitude to give this idea my all?”
 
Regardless of whether you’re an idea person or not, I encourage you to join us this Sunday for Pastor Brian’s sermon, “It Takes A Church”.  Pastor Brian will encourage every person in the body to assume their individual responsibility in order for the full body of Christ to function properly here at EBC.
 
See you Sunday,     Pastor Dan

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

It Takes a Church
1 Cor. 12:14-27

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Aspire Baby Bottles

The baby bottles for Aspire are due to be returned this Sunday, Father’s Day.  Plan to bring yours with you.

OWLS (Older, Wiser, Loving Seniors)

Have you heard of Love INC (In the Name of Christ)? Do you know what they do?  Do you remember our project in December of preparing wrapping paper, bows, tape, etc. for their Christmas Blessing Project?  Stephany Cameron will explain to us how these were used to bless people in our community.  Join us in the Fellowship Hall on Friday, June 24th at 12:30 for lunch, fellowship and to learn about Love INC.

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA

For a preview of the five benefits to EBC  of joining, please check out this resource: https://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits/.

On Goal soccer Camp is Coming Soon!

As the host church for On Goal, we are looking for volunteers to support camp needs in various ways.  Camp Dates: June 28th – July 2nd at Leavitt Park, Laconia.    Register at: https://www.ongoal.org/camp-page-laconia. Financial assistance is available, please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.   Questions? Email Karen Bassett at ongoal@ebclaconia.com.

Mark Your Calendars

Next Prayer 30 June 22 at the gym parking lot at 7pm.
Annual Church Picnic at Ellacoya Saturday, August 27th.  More info as it gets closer.

Coming In July…

Summer sermon series “Master Design” on the life of Joseph.

The Weekly Epistle 6/8/22

Becoming a Christian is always personal, but it is never private.  In the Northeast, we pride ourselves on being independent.  That isn’t all bad, but it doesn’t reflect the attitude of the New Testament.  Believing without belonging might be American but it does not resemble what we see in the New Testament church.  
 
The finished work of Christ on the cross and resurrection must be applied personally.  The beauty of the gospel is that it also unites us to all others who are united with Christ.  Salvation was never meant to be “just me and Jesus.”  If we believe, we are to belong.  
 
Don’t underestimate the encouragement that is spread through those interactions.  As Hebrews 3:13 reminds us, “Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Wow!  Words of encouragement have the power to keep each other from being overcome by sin.  Hebrews 10:24 in the context of gathering together says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  
 
Do you see the benefit to gathering together?  It not only has an internal edifying component to it, but there is also an evangelistic purpose.  The loving unity of the church gives the gospel message its credibility.  We are to be the visible expression of our Savior’s love.  It has been said, “We inherit our brothers and sisters in Christ, we don’t choose them.”  As challenging as it can be to get along with each other, the church is God’s way of proclaiming the gospel to the world.  
 
The richness of fellowship to be realized within our church family is a work in progress.  My heart is blessed to see so many of you hanging around in between and following our worship service.  I look forward to the day when a foyer expansion allows more of those connections to take place.  
 
A building project need that the elders have identified as a top priority is renovating the entrance to the sanctuary to better accommodate fellowship and engaging newcomers into the life of the church.  The plan is to also provide a restroom on the main level of the worship center.  You will hear more on this in the future.  But monies now collected for the building fund will go first to  completion of the demolition project of  the “convent building” and then to the foyer expansion. 
 
I praise God for you!  I look forward to Sundays and anytime we are together as a church family.  Please tap into it.  Don’t miss out on discovering the riches of living out God’s purpose in true fellowship in the life of the local church.  Mark your calendars now for the church picnic on Saturday, August 27 at Ellacoya State Park.  More details to come.  
 
Also, prayer 30 is on Wednesday, June 22 from 7:00-7:30.  Joining together to pray for our community and our church is a means of fellowship.  As we pray together it strengthens our relationships. It unites our hearts around what we have in common as brothers and sisters in Christ.  
 
Hope to see you Sunday, if not sooner!  Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

When a Right May be Wrong
1 Corinthians 10:23-33

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Community Groups

The majority of community groups disband the end of June for the summer.  Dave Provan’s community group will continue meeting on Tuesdays at 2pm in the fellowship hall.  Anyone is welcome to come that would like to.

Aspire Baby Bottles

The baby bottles for Aspire are due to be returned on June 19th, Father’s Day.  Plan to bring yours with you on that day.

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA

For a preview of the five benefits to EBC  of joining, please check out this resource: https://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits/.

On Goal soccer Camp is Coming Soon!

As the host church for On Goal, we are looking for volunteers to support camp needs in various ways.  Camp Dates: June 28th – July 2nd at Leavitt Park, Laconia.    Register at: https://www.ongoal.org/camp-page-laconia. Financial assistance is available, please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.   Questions? Email Karen Bassett at ongoal@ebclaconia.com.

Mark Your Calendars

Next Prayer 30 June 22 at the gym parking lot at 7pm.
Annual Church Picnic at Ellacoya Saturday, August 27th.  More info as it gets closer.

The Weekly Epistle 6/1/22

“I may not be the man I want to be; I may not be the man I ought to be; I may not be the man I could be; I may not be the man I can be; but praise God, I’m not the man I once was.”  Those words by Martin Luther King Jr. are process words.  Most things in life are not static.  The Christian life was never meant to be static.  We can never claim perfection on this side of heaven, but neither should we remain the same in our journey with Christ.  The New Testament assumes growth.  To not grow would be abnormal.
 
I can remember my first steps as a true follower of Jesus.  The growth was exponential.  Several fleshly habits were broken.  My associations changed drastically.  I couldn’t get enough of God’s Word, church, ministry, and fellowship with God’s people.  I certainly was not the man I once was!  Praise God!  I know you too can attest to this as well in your life.  
 
Many times, since then I have longed for the early days of my spiritual journey.  You likely can relate.  But is that the normal Christian life?  Do we grow in leaps and bounds?  I think there is real danger in that expectation.  I think some have fallen away because of the slowness of growth.  Where did we ever get this idea that the path of sanctification would be faster?  
 
A book that had tremendous impact on me years ago was Eugene Peterson’s classic book, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.”  In that book, Peterson challenges a society obsessed with the immediate and quick fixes.  Anytime I see an article or a book or a sermon with the title that begins with “Ten keys to..” or “Five easy steps for…” I cringe.  
 
I considered writing a book on discipleship called, “Ten million steps to holiness.”  I doubt that would be a best seller.  Who wants a plan that would take ten million steps to achieve it?  
 
We need a little spiritual realism.  Peterson is correct.  It is a long obedience in the same direction.  Our expectations need to shift from the immediate to the gradual.  However, this is not an excuse for complacency or procrastination.  There should be changes in our lives.  We should not be the same as we were 5 years ago, or a year ago.  Growth suggests movement.  We should not be OK with stagnancy that lingers.  
 
Spiritual realists understand the long view of sanctification.  Mature Christlikeness does not happen in five steps, but over a whole lifetime.  It is as Paul says, “We are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).  It is no accident that our spiritual growth is compared to farmers planting crops (Galatians 6:7), children growing up (Ephesians 4:14-15), and runners in a race (1 Corinthians 9:27; 2 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 12:1).  All of these images suggest having the long view when it comes to our sanctification.  Growth happens as God’s Word and His Spirit slowly renews us day by day.
 
Horatius Bonar puts it this way, “The Christian life is a great thing, one of the greatest things on earth.  It is made up of daily littles.”  I like that!  Daily littles.  The act of obedience standing in front of you right now may not seem to be that big of a deal.  But remember it is a long obedience in the same direction.  Holiness is one step of ten million.  Don’t lose heart, church.  
 
Seeking to be faithful in the daily littles,
 Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

All Things to All People
1 Corinthians 9:19-23

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

The Five Benefits of Joining the EFCA 

For a preview of the five benefits to EBC  of joining, please check out this resource: https://laconiachurch.com/together-post/five-benefits/

Local Outreach Opportunity

The local outreach team is sponsoring a spring cleanup day this June.  This is a way to serve your unbelieving neighbor, friend, family member.  Two ways you can help: 1. Pass on the name of someone you have contacted who could use some practical help.  2. Show the love of Christ through service by participating in the spring cleanup day in June (date to be determined).  Stop by the ministry counter for more information or to sign up.

On Goal soccer Camp is Coming Soon!

As the host church for On Goal, we are looking for volunteers to support camp needs in various ways.  Camp Dates: June 28th – July 2nd at Leavitt Park, Laconia.    Register at: https://www.ongoal.org/camp-page-laconia. Financial assistance is available, please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.   Questions? Email Karen Bassett at ongoal@ebclaconia.com.

Mark Your Calendars

Next Prayer 30 June 22 at the gym parking lot at 7pm.
Annual Church Picnic at Ellacoya Saturday, August 27th.  More info as it gets closer.