The Weekly Epistle 4/21/21

“Courage is knowing what not to fear” is a quote attributed to Plato. I would lean more towards saying that wisdom is knowing what not to fear. In Psalm 37, David wrote what is categorized as a wisdom psalm in response to fear of evil and violent people. His first piece of advice was simply to not fear them. Why not? Well for starters, wicked people will “fade like the grass”, which calls to mind the mortality of the wicked (verse 2). That bit of wisdom may help someone to hold on until the bad people have moved on; but it isn’t exactly encouraging for life in the moment. 

In verses 3-8 David continued to list several ways those living in the presence of God are free to live in response to fear; he says “Trust in the Lord and do gooddwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture, delight yourself in the Lord, commit your way to the Lord, be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act, refrain from anger, forsake wrathand twice he says to fret not yourself.” This call to be active in life may seem impossible to someone paralyzed by fear of danger, in fact it’s the exact opposite of their desire to hide away. However, it’s only by trust exemplified in both action and solitude that God’s goodness will become apparent in fearful situations. 

For those who are in Christ, they have been given strength by the Holy Spirit to carry out their calling in the face of fear because of the living and lasting hope that has so graciously been given to them in Jesus Christ. While the plans and actions of evil people can appear unimpeded, it’s important to remember David’s temporal perspective but also his eternal encouragement of God’s faithfulness when he says “the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble (verse 39)”. 
Peter later reminded us of this when he wrote “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”(1 Peter 4:19). We can know that evil and violent people are not to be feared because though they may harm the body they cannot harm the soul. For those in Christ their souls and eternal security are untouchable from evil schemes. This promise frees us to live abundant lives; therefore, let this piece of wisdom be an encouragement, we know what not to fear. 
Thanks to Adam Hayes for this great reminder!  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Why?
Habakkuk 1 – 2:1

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

New Sermon Series

“Wise Up!”
Book of Proverbs
Coming in June

Communion

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday. If you are worshipping with us from home, please be prepared to celebrate with us.

Office Hours Next Week

Pastor Brian will be out of the office from 4/22-5/3
Due to school vacation, the office administrator will be out of the office next week. You may contact the office during the week by email Corianne at corianne@ebclaconia.com

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th.
We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration. 
Mark your calendars!

On Goal Soccer Camp

June 22nd – June 26th
Register today at www.ongoal.org
K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are also available. 
Visit www.laconiachurch.com/ongoal to volunteer or donate to the scholarship fund. 
We already have donation requests coming in.

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

Prayer and Praise

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

The Weekly Epistle 4/14/21

The Quakers have a saying, “An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”  That person who is gruff has a story.  That person who comes across as arrogant and self-serving, has a story.  That person who continues to be a victim of self-affliction, has a story.  I am not suggesting that gives them an excuse for their behavior, but it just may provide an explanation.  There often is a lot more going on in the people we meet than we see on the outside. 
 
Recently, I was meditating on a verse in 1 Thessalonians.  It says, “We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (5:14).
 
What strikes me about that verse is the specific way we are to address where the person is at and what the person needs.  That assumes, first of all, I know what it is the person needs.  Secondly, once I know what they need, then I am to respond accordingly.  Is the person idle?  They need a warning from me.  Is he timid?  I need to put courage into him.  Is she weak?  I need to come alongside of that person to help them take the next step.
 
Thirdly, this informs me of the wrong kind of action that might actually be detrimental to them.  What might happen if I give a warning to one who is timid or weak?  Likely, it would lead to discouragement or even despair.  Or if I encourage or help one who is idle, I might actually enable that person to continue to live irresponsibly.  
 
So, I must take a step back to determine what is it this person needs from me right now.  It goes along with the edification principle of Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  
 
I still have a long way to go on this, yet desire that my words give life to others not death that Proverbs 18:21 speaks about.  The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about the timing of our words.  Proverbs 15:23 puts it this way, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply, and how good is a timely word!”  It isn’t just what we say, but how and when we say it that matters.  This requires understanding, sensitivity, humility, and wisdom.  
 
Speaking of wisdom, this summer sermon series, “Wise Up!” we will be taking a look at the book of Proverbs.  We will spend most of our time in the first 9 chapters, but then will choose a few certain topics to explore in greater detail throughout the book of Proverbs.  
 
Well, back to the passage in 1 Thessalonians 5.  There was one other command that I didn’t touch on.  Be patient with everyone!  Everyone?  Good thing I don’t have to work on that one.  Haha!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Are We There Yet?
Daniel 8

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

New Sermon Series

“Wise Up!”
Book of Proverbs
Coming in June

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th.
We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration. 
Mark your calendars!

On Goal Soccer Camp

June 22nd – June 26th
Register today at www.ongoal.org
K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are also available. 
Visit www.laconiachurch.com/ongoal to volunteer or donate to the scholarship fund. 
We already have donation requests coming in.

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 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 

The Weekly Epistle 3/24/21

The power to grow in our relationship with Christ is wrapped up in one word.  It is at the heart of how we can live the way God wants us to live.  It is the way we can be changed to the image of Jesus Christ.  It is one word- a two letter word.  It is the word “IN.”  It is a favorite term in Paul’s letters to the church.  He uses the preposition “in” over 160 times to describe our union, identification, oneness, and personal relationship with Christ.  
 
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Co. 5:17).
“We are filled with the fruit of righteousness in Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:11).
“We have access to the Father in Christ” (Eph. 2:18).
God causes us to “Triumph in Christ Jesus,” (2 Co 2:14).
“He who remains IN ME,” Jesus says in John 15, “will bear fruit.”  
 
We can’t get any closer than in!  And because there is such a close relationship, He gives us all the resources we need to live our life each day for Him.  “We have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (EPH 1:3).  Because Christ is in us and we are in Him, we have the power to obey Him, witness for Him, serve Him in the church, love others, and grow more and more like Jesus.  
 
We share all that Christ does and has and is! We need to believe this to be true and live like it each day.  We are to conform all of life to our “in Christ” identity.  That means, we don’t have to yield ourselves to sin anymore because we are in Christ.  That means, we don’t live in defeat, but in victory.  That means, the voice of truth we listen to about who we are comes from our identity in Christ and not what others say about us.  
 
So, as you seek to live out God’s Word in your life, first take in the amazing reality of your union with Christ.  No matter what the world throws at you, you are in Christ and Christ is in you!  No matter what happens at your job, you are in Christ and Christ is in you.  No matter what your diagnosis is, no matter what people try to do to you, no matter what others say about you, no matter what turn of events mess with your dreams and plans, you are in Christ and Christ is in you.  When you are in Christ Jesus nothing can stand against you!  And Colossians 3:3 says, “Your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  You are secure!  
 
Below you can check out some other verses that speak of the breathtaking reality of our union with Christ.  
 
Prayer 30 tomorrow night (Thursday) @ 6:30 is open to everyone!  The business meeting will follow our prayer time at 7:00.  If you can’t make it in person, checkout the zoom link below.
 
We will be having an in-person Good Friday service at 7:00 on Friday, April 2.  We will have two Easter services at 9:00 and 10:45 with both services following the same mask guidelines (see below).  EBC kids will begin again on Easter Sunday for second service only.  Nursery for Easter Sunday will be offered in both services.
 
It is a beautiful time of year as we celebrate our new life in Jesus Christ and anticipate that day when all those who are united to Christ will rise to live again!  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Caught in the Act
Daniel 6

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Sample verses that speak to our union in Christ

Romans 6:23
Romans 8:38-39
1 Corinthians 1:2
1 Corinthians 15:22
2 Corinthians 1:20
2 Corinthians 5:21
Galatians 3:26
Ephesians 1:4
Ephesians 1:7
Philippians 4:7
Philippians 4:19
2 Timothy 1:9

Business Meeting

Thursday March 25th 7pm
Prayer time at 6:30 pm

Business Meeting Zoom 

If you are unable to attend the business meeting in person and prefer to attend via zoom, use this link to participate: ZOOM LINK

Child Dedication

There will be a child dedication on Sunday, April 11. If you are interested, please mark your calendars to meet with Pastor Brian on Sunday March 28 between services (10:15-10:30)

Good Friday

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

Easter Sunday Services

For Easter Sunday, the mask requirements will be the same for both 1st and 2nd services. Masks are required to be worn to and from your seats only. EBC Kids will take place during 2nd service only and nursery will be provided during both services.

Ushers for Easter Sunday

As you probably know, finding a good seat on Easter Sunday can be challenging. As such, we need extra hands on deck to help guests find seats and muscle around chairs as needed. If you would like to volunteer to first or second service or both, please email Pastor Dan at dan@ebclaconia.com

Save the Date

Q & A with Sam Huggard about the E Free affiliation. April 11th at 6pm
More details to come.

Upcoming Missions Trip

Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission 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.

Prayer and Praise

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