The Weekly Epistle 4/7/21

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity (or love).”  The thought behind this is that when it comes to the teachings of Scripture and the gospel we are to major on the majors and minor on the minors.  The challenge then is to not make every issue one of major importance.  Our attitude as followers of Jesus should be unity around the essentials, extend freedom to one another on areas of disagreement around the non-essentials, and always respond in love!
 
It is on this foundation that the Evangelical Free Church has formed its statement of faith.  I hope that you have picked up a copy of the comparison of our present statement of faith with Evangelical Free’s statement of faith.  If you haven’t heard by now, the elders are recommending we join with the Evangelical Free Church of America.  
 
My introduction to the Evangelical Free Church was while I was attending Bible college in Maine.  As my wife and I checked out churches in the area, we first visited some Baptist churches since that is what we were most familiar with.  But we also looked into the Evangelical Free Church in Portland and the only thing we knew about it was that Chuck Swindoll was a pastor of a Free Church in California.  And since he was solid, it was worth checking out.  It was from that moment in 1984 that we joined, then served as volunteer youth leaders, and then I took a position as youth pastor which eventually led to my co-pastoring that church for a total of 21 years.   
 
You may know as little as I did about the Free Church before becoming a part of it.  On occasion, someone would ask me, “What does Evangelical Free mean?  Does it mean that the church is “free” of evangelical, like caffein-free?”  I can assure you that isn’t what it means.
 
Come on out this Sunday evening @ 6:00 to hear more about the Evangelical Free Church.  The New England District Superintendent, Sam Huggard, will be available to answer your questions and educate you about the Evangelical Free Church and the benefits of affiliating with them.  Whether you are a member or not a member, plan on attending this informal meeting this Sunday night @ 6:00 in the sanctuary.  
 
Just a reminder that as of this Sunday both first and second service will follow the same mask requirements of wearing them to and from your seats.  Nursery and EBC kids will be offered in second service only.   
 
I was encouraged to see many new faces this past Sunday and the return of other regular attenders not only this past Sunday but over the past few weeks.  It also encouraged my and Dan’s heart to see several of you step up and help with hospitality and staffing of our kids’ programs.  If you would like to help with hospitality contact the office or Pastor Dan.  If you can help in the nursery or EBC kids, then contact Victoria Mansfield or the office.  
 
Hope to see you this Sunday as we continue in our study in Daniel and worship our Risen Lord together!  He is risen…he is risen indeed!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Waiting for the Victory
Daniel 7

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

EFCA Q & A with Sam Huggard

Join us this Sunday, April 11 at 6pm for a Q & A with EFCA District Superintendent, Sam Huggard, concerning EBC’s potential affiliation with Evangelical Free Church of America.

Sunday Services

We have lifted the stricter mask guidelines for first service. Both services will follow the same mask guidelines of wearing masks to and from your seats. This change has been made to better serve the overcrowding in 2nd service.

EBC Kids

EBC Kids is back up and running. Nursery – Grade 5 is provided during second service. If you would like to volunteer to serve in this ministry, please contact Victoria Mansfield at victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com

Hospitality Team

As you know, finding a seat on a Sunday morning can be challenging, especially when you are new to a church. Our Hospitality Team is in need of more greeters and ushers for Sunday mornings, to welcome you as you come to church. In addition, we will soon begin serving coffee in between services. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the office or Pastor Dan at dan@ebclaconia.com

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email Corianne at: corianne@ebclaconia.com 

The Weekly Epistle 3/31/21

Recently Adam Hayes taught a Sunday Bible Class that focused on two Psalms.  I asked him to share some of his notes with me on his teaching in Psalm 73.  This will feed your soul.  
 
“You may be familiar with the popular call and response that goes “God is good all the time… all the time God is good.” Maybe you’ve heard this call from a pulpit or a friendly fellow church member and following your cue you respond accordingly. This exchange can be a pleasant reminder of God’s goodness and maybe a little bit holier than a “how ya doin’?” But what happens when we step outside the church and find living a life of righteousness proves to be limiting or puts us in the way of suffering? Even worse, what happens if we then look around and see those living in defiance of God prospering? When the wicked call out against God and yet succeed, can we still respond with “all the time, God is good”? 
 
Tucked away in the middle of the Psalms, chapter 73 tells of this inner struggle from the perspective of a man named Asaph. Asaph was a Levite and worked as one of King David’s chief musicians in the temple.  While being a Levite could be a cause for pride, it was God’s design for Israel that the Levites would not receive a portion of the land or other provisions that were divided among the other eleven tribes. God’s command was that the other tribes would bring their food offerings and tithes to the temple and He would give a portion of each to the Levites. However, at this time in Israel, the adoption of other gods and idol worship were on the rise. This of course meant that the number of those who were faithfully giving at the temple was declining. In that decline, the Levites who relied on the tithes and offerings of others for their well-being began to feel the squeeze of poverty. 
 
The distress of this led Asaph to almost stumble in his faith of God’s goodness. He pointed out that the wicked did not feel the pangs of hunger, they weren’t being faced with troubles, and they were even openly mocking God to prove to others that their prosperity was untouchable. They were living with an ease that Asaph found enviable. He complained “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence” (verse 13).
 
How often have we raised a similar complaint? Or how often have we heard the youth in the church struggle this way? When we begin to dwell on the ease with which those outside of the faith seem to be living, we’re stepping onto a slippery surface. The things that the world holds up as the pinnacle of human experience (i.e. money, influence, and personal freedom) can draw the eye of any believer. What’s needed in those most tempting moments is a new perspective. Asaph openly confessed that he remained bitter and confused “until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end” (verse 17).  Only when we approach God with our struggles do we position ourselves in the way of wisdom. Asaph’s newly received wisdom reminded him that the lives of the wicked are fragile and over in a moment, prosperity could not keep them from being touched by death. Therefore, if every life ultimately ends in death, what follows is of the most importance; this leads Asaph to proclaim to God, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” (verse 25). 
 
When the temptation to envy the ease or prosperity of those who live for themselves lays heavy on you, submit it to prayer and then remember that all they possess is like a vapor but all that God so graciously gives His children is eternal. God is good all the time…” 
 
Thanks, Adam!  Blessings to you church, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

An Easter Start
John 21

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Good Friday

Join us for our Good Friday service on Friday April 2nd at 7pm.

Sunday Services

Beginning this weekend and continuing on, we will lift the stricter mask guidelines for first service. Both services will follow the same mask guidelines of wearing masks to and from your seats. This change has been made to better accommodate the overcrowding in second service. 

EBC Kids Starts This Sunday!

EBC Kids starts back up this weekend. Nursery – 5th grade will be provided during second service. Nursery will also be provided during first service for Easter Sunday.

EFCA Q & A with Sam Huggard

Save the date, Sunday, April 11th at 6 pm for a Q & A with EFCA District Superintendent, Sam Huggard, concerning EBC’s potential affiliation with Evangelical Free Church of America.

LAST CALL: Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term missions trip? EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects. This would be a 9 day trip in or around August. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team ASAP.

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email Corianne at: corianne@ebclaconia.com