The Weekly Epistle 12/30/20

“Signs of the times,” I would hear often in my home growing up.  To the point that it became a standard joke for anything and everything that happened, “Signs of the times,” we would say.  In my lifetime there was Vietnam, Woodstock, protests in the streets, ongoing political rivalry and tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, and practice drills in our classroom in case of a nuclear strike.  And believe it or not, I didn’t live during World War II or the great depression.  But many felt times like that were either leading to the Great Tribulation and the end of the world as we know it, or that we were in the Great Tribulation.  
 
A recent survey of pastors found that nearly 9 out of 10 pastors viewed the end times prophecies as being showcased in current events.  56% of pastors believe that Jesus will return in their lifetime.  What do I think?  I am glad you asked.
 
Bottom line is I don’t know.  For those who hold to the rapture of the church, Jesus’ coming for the church is a “sign less” event.  If we believe that Jesus can come anytime, then there are no signs attached to that.  At any time from the moment Jesus ascended into heaven He could return.  The angels said to the disciples standing there, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
 
Jesus will come again!  In Matthew 24:44 Jesus says, “Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  What are we to do while we wait for His coming?  Wait with a sense of expectancy!  What are we to do while we wait with a sense of expectancy?  Invite others to come to Jesus.  
 
As we move into 2021, as a church, and as individuals, remember Jesus promised to return.  And Jesus’ final words in Revelation were, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  How soon is soon?  It has been 2,000 years.  Remember that a thousand years are like a day to the Lord, Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:8.  And Peter goes on to tell us that the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (to return) but His delay is because he wants all to come to repentance.  He loves that co-worker, that unsaved friend of yours, that difficult family member, that obnoxious neighbor.  His delay in coming provides another day for another person to come to faith.  Here is the exciting part- He wants to use you.  He wants to use me!  He wants to use EBC!
 
Our priority for 2021 is to be about the work of God in faithful and reliable witnesses for Him wherever we are, doing what He has called us to do, until He comes!  I am excited about the work we are called to do here at EBC as we move into 2021.  No amount of darkness can keep the light of Christ from shining through the church.  After we finish strong in the 1 John series, we will look at being a bright spot in a dark world from the book of Daniel (beginning Superbowl weekend).  I can’t wait for this study!
 
Hope you had a great Christmas and I wish you the very best for the new year!  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Walking With Jesus When Weary and Worried
Matthew 14:22-33

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Guest Speaker

This Sunday we are privileged to have the New England District Superintendent for the Evangelical Free Church bring us God’s Word. Sam Huggard served as pastor at the Be Free Church in Alton for several years before accepting this new position as pastor to pastors and overseeing the Free Churches throughout New England. 

Change in Service

Reminder, for the time being we are offering one in person service at 10:45 am.
Our livestream will also be at 10:45 am as well. Nursery will be provided from birth to age 5.

Giving Envelopes

2021 giving envelopes will be located at the back of the sanctuary Sunday mornings. If you are unable to make it to church to pick up your envelopes, please contact Corianne at the office to coordinate a time to pick up.

EBC Cancellations

In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services at Evangelical Baptist Church, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, the timing of the weather event, and whether roads/walkways/parking areas are/will be cleared
A decision would be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or more of our services.  Events in the afternoon or evening would be dealt with separately.  EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed: www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle email list) and EBC’s public and private Facebook page

Masks Required

Just a reminder we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building. You may remove the mask once seated.

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 12/23/20

Hi EBC Family,
We all love birth announcements.  And with social media birth announcements can be posted within minutes after the arrival of the child.  But there was one birth announcement that was earlier than that.  I mean, it was really early.  It was sent before the birth, like 700 years prior.  
 
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”  
 
No earthly king could fit the description here in these verses.  In verse 7 it says of this king that “there will be no end.”  This prophecy must go beyond any king in that day or any other human king to come.  This baby has four different names each telling us what he will do.  
 
The one born will be called Wonderful Counselor.  More accurately, it should be translated, “The wonder of a counselor.”  The first word, wonder qualifies the second word, counselor.  He will also be called, the Mighty God.  It is one thing to have wise counsel from someone, but that person may not be able to do anything about your problem.  It is another matter completely to find the wonder of a counselor who is also competent and capable to do something about your situation. 
 
He is the Everlasting Father.  This title might be a little confusing at first pass.  We don’t often refer to the second person of the triune God as Father.  Some background here might help.  In ancient near east, a ruler or king was often viewed as a father to his people.  It suggested protection.  In the same way, this child, the Lord Jesus would be the people’s protector.  He would care for his people.  Everlasting speaks more to his continue care that never comes to an end rather than a reference to his eternal being.  It isn’t a temporal rule or care, but permanent.  
 
Lastly, he is called the Prince of Peace.  Does peace describe our time?  As you look into the eyes of people you pass each day, do you see peacefulness?  Take time to meditate on these words this Christmas season.  
 
Don’t forget to join us for our Christmas Eve celebration this Thursday night @ 6:00 by remote.  Also, don’t forget our change to one service, beginning this Sunday at 10:45.  We are doing this on a temporary basis, due to the ever-changing Covid landscape and its impact on our in-person numbers right now.  
 
Church, stay encouraged!  Jesus is the wonder of a counselor who can guide us with the wisdom of God.  He is the mighty God who has the power to break those chains weighing us down through life.  He is the father who cares for us with a love that never ends.  He is the Prince of peace whose peace transcends our circumstances and conflict.  
 
Praise the one born king who was nailed to the cross, rose from the dead, and reigns forever!  
 
Blessings to you, church!  Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Love Made Known
1 John 4:7-16

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Christmas Eve Service

This year we will have a virtual Christmas Eve Service. A separate email will go out with the YouTube link and worship guide. We look forward to worshipping with you at 6pm

Change in Service

Beginning this Sunday 12/27, we will be temporarily going to one service at 10:45am. 
Our livestream will also be at 10:45 am as well. Nursery will be provided 

Giving Envelopes

2021 giving envelopes will be located at the back of the sanctuary Sunday mornings. If you are unable to make it to church to pick up your envelopes, please contact Corianne at the office to coordinate a time to pick up.

EBC Kids

Due to a lack of help and teachers, EBC kids will be suspended until further notice. If you would like to help serve in this ministry, as a teacher or a helper, please contact Victoria Mansfield: victoriayasharianmansfield@gmail.com
Nursery will still be provided during service.

EBC Directory

t’s time to update our directory! We have lots of new people here at EBC and we want to stay connected!
Please complete this google form HERE with your information so we can include you in the updated directory. If you do not want your information shared in the directory, please complete the form and note that this information is for the office only. Bette Moreau sends out birthday cards to all who call EBC home and she would like to update her birthday list as well.

EBC Cancellations

In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services at Evangelical Baptist Church, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, the timing of the weather event, and whether roads/walkways/parking areas are/will be cleared
A decision would be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or more of our services.  Events in the afternoon or evening would be dealt with separately.  EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed: www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle email list) and EBC’s public and private Facebook page

Masks Required

Just a reminder we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building. You may remove the mask once seated.

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 12/16/20

You know the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  If you know me at all, you know that I am a planner.  For example, I like to plan out my sermon series in advance.  I was looking forward to this year’s Christmas series, “What’s the Big Deal with Christmas: God is with us, God is for us, and God is in us.”  The first sermon in the series was set for this past Sunday.  Then I got sick!  
 
Mark, who is also a planner, jumped in willingly to preach on very short notice.  It was a wonderful message.  As far as my preaching the first sermon in the series, the plan was to deliver that this coming Sunday.  Then my test came back positive and I am out of commission until Monday.  So much for my plans.  Stay tune on what the implications are for this Sunday’s services.  My staying away this past Sunday protected the church from exposure to my symptoms.  
 
We are still planning on a Christmas Eve service by remote for Thursday, December 24 at 6:00 pm.  A link will be provided in next week’s epistle and on Facebook.  
 
Also, as of 12/27, we will be going to one service.  Our one service will be at 10:45 and livestream will be offered at 10:45. We are doing this on a temporary basis, due to the ever-changing Covid landscape and its impact on our in-person numbers right now.  Mark down the change for 12/27.  
 
While Covid has messed with our plans on so many levels, there is One who is not rattled one bit by all that has taken place.  God’s plans stand firm.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).  Those plans that God has for us are not interrupted by any pandemic, or human choices, or even if someone’s intention was for evil.  God has a future for us.  
 
It may be challenging to see light at the end of the tunnel.  But our hope is not in what is seen, but in the unseen.  God is working out His plans to conform us to the image of His Son and to build His church.  God has a plan!  And the beautiful thing is, we are part of it. 
 
When God promised that his people would be prosperous in Jeremiah’s day, it wasn’t a promise that they wouldn’t experience suffering or that it would end even in a short period of time.  He is promising that in the middle of their suffering God would enable them to endure it.  The promise is that suffering is not the last word.  It never is.  God’s people will prevail in the end.  That was true in Jeremiah’s day and that is true for us today.  
 
Light is coming!  In this fallen world, God guarantees that suffering will eventually come to an end. And he promises to get you to that end.  Can you trust Him with it?  
 
Keep looking up, church!
 
Pastor Brian 

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

 

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Christmas Eve Service

This year we will have a virtual Christmas Eve Service. This Sunday you can pick up your candles for our candlelight service, so we can participate in our homes as a church family.
Christmas Eve service will be held virtually at 6pm on 12/24.

Change in Service

Beginning Sunday 12/27, we will be temporarily going to one service at 10:45am. 
Our livestream will also be at 10:45 am as well. More details to come. 

Giving Envelopes

Beginning this Sunday you can pick up your giving envelopes at the back of the sanctuary. If you are unable to make it to church to pick up your envelopes, please contact Corianne at the office to coordinate a time to pick up.

EBC Cancellations

In the event of bad weather that would potentially impact services at Evangelical Baptist Church, the following will be taken into consideration: the current weather in Laconia, the timing of the weather event, and whether roads/walkways/parking areas are/will be cleared
A decision would be made by 7:30 am to cancel one or more of our services.  Events in the afternoon or evening would be dealt with separately.  EBC will notify of cancellation using the following: WMUR TV, Church website news feed: www.laconiachurch.com, Email (weekly epistle email list) and EBC’s public and private Facebook page

EBC Directory

t’s time to update our directory! We have lots of new people here at EBC and we want to stay connected!
Please complete this google form HERE with your information so we can include you in the updated directory. If you do not want your information shared in the directory, please complete the form and note that this information is for the office only. Bette Moreau sends out birthday cards to all who call EBC home and she would like to update her birthday list as well.

Masks Required

Just a reminder we are asking that you please wear a mask when entering or leaving the building. You may remove the mask once seated.

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

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