The Weekly Epistle 6/16/21

To say that there is confusion today around human sexuality would be an understatement.  It saddens me to see how God’s great gift of human sexuality has been twisted.  At times, it downright angers me to watch our children wrestle with misguided information from the media and the messiness that exists for them because they are bombarded with lies about human sexuality. 
 
Genesis 1:27 informs us that, “God created us male and female.”  Male and female reflect God’s created order and God’s perfect design for a monogamous marital relation between one man and one woman.  Further in Genesis 2:24 marriage between a woman and a man is declared to create a “one flesh” union (see also Matthew 19:5).  This one flesh union between a man and a woman is to be a picture of the union between Christ and His body, the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).  This is one reason that I even cringe to hear the phrase, same sex “marriage,” for that is an oxymoron that goes against a biblically defined marriage.
 
As we know, all of life from the creation to the created beings have been affected by the fall.  That includes our sexuality.  What was created good has been damaged by sin.  Homosexuality is not what God intended.  All acts of homosexuality are sinful in the sight of God (Genesis 19:4-11; Judges 19:22-25; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11).  We cannot then equate biblically a committed heterosexual relationship within marriage with a committed homosexual relationship. 
 
It is the gospel that offers grace and forgiveness to all sinners.  In the church there are people from all walks of life who have one thing in common- we are redeemed, and our identity is now “in Christ.”  Paul says to the believers in Corinth, “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves not the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”  That is quite a list.  But then he adds, “And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirt of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). 
 
That is what you were!  That suggests that all sinners are welcomed into the family of God.  That means that a change takes place of identity and lifestyle when a person comes to faith.  That means that while we cannot condone homosexuality and will not compromise the biblical standard for sexuality, we are to welcome unbelievers from all lifestyles with the hope of introducing them to the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.  Furthermore, we are to treat everyone, including those who identify as LGBT, with love and dignity while pointing them to the truth of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As one evangelical church puts it, “We will be welcoming but not affirming.”
 
There are many reasons I chose to touch on this in this epistle.  Not only because it is such a pervasive topic in our culture today that the church must be prepared in its response, but also because I want to hold up God’s good gift of biblical marriage.  Let’s celebrate marriage which mirrors the bond between Christ and His Church.  Let’s recognize and rejoice in our Creator’s design of our sexuality as male or female as a gift from Him. 
 
And church, let’s pray for the marriages of our church.  Let’s pray for each other that we will walk in wisdom, truth, love, and gentleness as we encounter individuals who are confused about their sexuality.  Let’s walk in the transforming power of lives changed by the gospel!
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Two Voices
Proverbs 1:10-33

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Men’s Study on Mentoring

A new men’s study on mentoring will begin Saturday July, 10th from 7am-8am and will run for 4 weeks. 

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavilion from 10 am – 4pm. Please begin signing up at the back counter. We have a limit on attendees, signups are required. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration.

On Goal Soccer Camp

On Goal Soccer Camp begins next Tuesday, have you registered yet?
Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2021
Location: Leavitt Park, Laconia
Ages: Entering grades K-9
Click Here to Register: Registration Site
There is still time to register! Praise God we have over 100 kids signed up!
Our largest camp yet!

Volunteers needed for On Goal

We could still use some extra hands assembling lunch boxes on Friday morning and Saturday morning. Please email the office if you are available to help office@ebclaconia.com

Need financial assistance?

Scholarships available! Please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at office@ebclaconia.com

The Weekly Epistle 6/9/21

“Practice makes perfect.”  Is that true?  If I repeatedly do a certain skill, then does that mean I will improve on that skill?  When one of the basketball players I am coaching wants to improve their shooting and practices every day by taking 50 shots twice a day will she attain her goal?  Will she get better at shooting?  Not necessarily.  
 
Improvement would assume they are practicing the right things, the right way.  If that player’s form were off no amount of repeating a bad shot technique would make her a better shooter.  On the contrary, she would actually form a bad habit that would make her shot worse.
 
I think you know where I am going with this.  What kind of habits are we forming in our lives?  What disciplines are we practicing?  Allow me to return to basketball for just a minute longer.  What any player (and this translates into any skill) is hoping to achieve by practicing the right things, the right way, is that those habits become a part of who they are.  That after a while, they become so woven into their play on the court that they do it almost without thinking about it.  
 
Isn’t that how it works with forming spiritual habits?  That they become a part of who we are, so that more instinctively we pray. They are woven so deeply into the rhythm of our lives that they carry us in those times when we are struggling.  What kind of habits are you forming in your life that move you closer to Him?  It might be journaling or fasting or practicing solitude or regular Bible reading and prayer or meditating or memorizing scripture.  
 
It might be meeting together with your church family for edification.  Have you thought of that as a spiritual habit?  In the book of Hebrews, it says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).  Why is meeting together so important?  Several answers for that.  But in that Hebrews passage it is for the purpose of spurring one another on toward love and good deeds.
 
But did you notice, we can actually get out of the habit of meeting together.  One thing the pandemic taught us is that we don’t have to meet in the church to be the church.  That is the plus side.  We were able to attend Sunday worship without leaving our homes.  
 
The downside to that, is it meant that we can attend Sunday worship service without leaving our homes.  I have talked to other pastors, and they too have seen that some people in their church are getting out of the habit of meeting together.  I want to spur you on toward love and good deeds.  My heart goes out to those who may be forming the habit of not attending.  In love, I want to extend this invitation: “You are needed here.  You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”  (Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
 
We do need every part of the body.  As people have returned, my heart has been blessed to overflowing.  It was so encouraging to see 30 men at the men’s breakfast this past week.  It was a great time of fellowship.  The food was awesome!  Men, be on the lookout for two four-week studies coming up- one in July on mentoring and one in August on how to study the Bible.  
 
Don’t forget, church, prayer 30 is tonight (6/9) from 7:00-7:30 in the gym parking lot.  Praying together is one habit worth forming at EBC.  Hope to see you soon!
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Wise Up
Proverbs 1:1-9

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Prayer 30

Prayer 30 meetings tonight from 7pm-7:30pm.
Mark your calendars with the other dates: July 14, August 11, & September 8.

Men’s Study on Mentoring

A new men’s study on mentoring will begin Saturday July, 10th from 7am-8am and will run for 4 weeks. 

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavilion from 10 am – 4pm. Please begin signing up at the back counter. We have a limit on attendees, signups are required. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration.

On Goal Soccer Camp

On Goal Soccer Camp is coming soon! Have you registered yet?
Important Camp Details:
Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2021
Location: Leavitt Park, Laconia
Ages: Entering grades K-9
Early Bird Discount: Save $10 when you register before May 23rd!
Click Here to Register: Registration Site
***Note: This is a NEW registration site, so all families will need to create a new account even if your kids have been to camp before.
Need financial assistance? Scholarships available! Please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at office@ebclaconia.com

The Weekly Epistle 6/2/21

    Dust. Nothing but dust. That’s all we would be left with if there was no rain—a proposition empirically proven by the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s. The American prairies were ravaged by a drought that lasted nearly ten years. The lush landscape of America’s topsoil turned lifeless, and the amber waves of grain fell desolate. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people found themselves unexpectedly hungry, thirsty, homeless and displaced.

 “…He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…”—Matthew 5:45
 
     As modern readers, we tend to interpret this passage negatively. We tend to see rain as a bad thing, the great foe of picnics and outdoor weddings. But the notion our Lord had in mind was quite the opposite. Jesus saw rain as a good thing. Jesus saw rain as a necessary thing. Our Memorial Day weekend may have been foiled by rain, but did you know that before the torrent wreaked havoc on our four-day weekend, the annual rain level in New Hampshire was down by two whole feet? Last week my grass was brown and dead. This week it is lush and green. Last week the flowers in my garden were limp and wilting. This week they are full and vibrant. That’s what rain does; it brings forth life. The frontiersmen populating the Great Plains in the 1930s would have been delighted to have a Memorial Day weekend like the one we just had. 
 
     I am sure you can see where I am going with this. It’s all about perspective. God sends a little metaphorical rain into our lives, a sickness, a breakup, an unexpected pregnancy, or some other hardship, and we writhe in our foiled plans. However, God sends these rains knowing they will bring forth life and growth if we just entrust ourselves to his care. Consider what Jesus said through the apostle James. 
 
     “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”—James 1:2-4
 
     For life to grow and flourish, into that life, a little rain must fall. Don’t despise the rain the Good Lord sends into your life because it is that very rain that will bring forth the life that resides within the dry and hardened soil of your heart.
 
Blessings, 
 
Pastor Dan 

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The End
Daniel 12

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

New Sermon Series

“Wise Up!”
Book of Proverbs
Coming 13th 

On Goal Soccer Camp

On Goal Soccer Camp is coming soon! Have you registered yet?
Important Camp Details:
Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2021
Location: Leavitt Park, Laconia
Ages: Entering grades K-9
Early Bird Discount: Save $10 when you register before May 23rd!
Click Here to Register: Registration Site
***Note: This is a NEW registration site, so all families will need to create a new account even if your kids have been to camp before.
Need financial assistance? Scholarships available! Please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.

Want to give to the On Goal Scholarship fund? 

Make a donation on our Online Giving platform and select “On Goal Scholarship Fund.” Thank you for helping kids in our community go to camp!

On Goal Meal Trains

Meals are still needed, please click on the link to sign up and provide lunch or dinner for the On Goal coaches.

Click HERE to sign up to provide lunch for the coaches during the week
Click HERE to host the coaches in your home and provide them a meal.

Prayer 30

Prayer 30 meetings meets next Wednesday June 9th from 7pm-7:30pm.
Mark your calendars with the other dates: July 14, August 11, & September 8.

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavillion from 10 am – 4pm. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration. 
Mark your calendars!

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at office@ebclaconia.com

The Weekly Epistle 5/26/21

Behind the Scenes!  This past Sunday in our study in Daniel, I directed us to chapter 10 which gave us a peek behind the scenes to the activity in the unseen world.  There is a conflict going on in the heavenly realms in which all the forces of evil are attempting to thwart the purposes of God.  We know, of course, that Satan and the fallen, evil angels are no match for God.  There is a limit to what they can do.  God’s plans will prevail.  
 
I want to share with you some ways that we can see evidence of God’s work at EBC.  This is a look behind the scenes, if you will.
 
God continues to bring new people to the church.  Each week there are new faces, and on many occasions, people are returning after their initial visit and calling EBC their home.  Praise God!  Let me encourage you, regular attenders, that when you see a new person introduce yourself.  I know that at times, due to covid and the two services, you may feel embarrassed to learn that the person has been coming here for a while.  Most people understand when that happens, and it is better than that newcomer leaving without being touched by a warm personal greeting.  Take the risk.  I have said before, most newcomers I talk with feel very welcomed.  Keep it up!
 
Also, there have been some people new to the faith over the last several months.  God has given me the privilege of leading two individuals to the Lord over the last few months, just one this past Sunday.  I share that so you can rejoice with the angels in heaven.  I also share that to encourage you to pray for the salvation of the lost and as you have opportunity speak of the good news to others.  Honestly, my part in leading these two individuals to the Lord was the “easy” aspect of evangelism.  Somewhere along the way, others had been praying for these individuals and done the hard work of planting and watering.  Only in heaven will you hear the stories of how your prayers and work of sowing seeds have been answered.
 
Praise the Lord for the people returning to worship each Sunday.  More and more people are comfortable attending once again and my heart is so blessed by that!  I hope this trend continues.
 
It was exciting to hear that over 70 kids have registered for on-goal soccer camp this year.  And there is still a month to go.  There has been a positive response for hosts homes for the coaches and helping with the other needs for that week.  Please stop by at the on-goal service tree to see what items you can provide for that week.  More help is needed for meals and the picnic.  
 
I am looking forward to the church picnic this year which will be at Ellacoya State Park on August 28.  I have had a few already talk to me about getting baptized.  One new believer said to me recently, “I can’t wait to be baptized.  I would have done it this past winter in the lake if I had to.”  Isn’t that awesome!
 
There is a freshness in the air, and it isn’t just the warmer weather.  As we enjoy the summer season, do it together.  Serve together, worship together, share meals together, pray together, laugh together, for the Christian journey is a lot lighter when we do it together!
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

A Look Behind, A Look Ahead
Daniel 11

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

New Sermon Series

“Wise Up!”
Book of Proverbs
Coming 13th 

On Goal Soccer Camp

On Goal Soccer Camp is coming soon! Have you registered yet?
Important Camp Details:
Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2021
Location: Leavitt Park, Laconia
Ages: Entering grades K-9
Early Bird Discount: Save $10 when you register before May 23rd!
Click Here to Register: Registration Site
***Note: This is a NEW registration site, so all families will need to create a new account even if your kids have been to camp before.
Need financial assistance? Scholarships available! Please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.

Want to give to the On Goal Scholarship fund? 

Make a donation on our Online Giving platform and select “On Goal Scholarship Fund.” Thank you for helping kids in our community go to camp!

On Goal Meal Trains

Click HERE to sign up to provide lunch for the coaches during the week
Click HERE to host the coaches in your home and provide them a meal.

Men’s Breakfast

Men save the date for the next Men’s Breakfast Saturday June 5th at 7am at EBC. Sign up at the back of the sanctuary or contact the office to RSVP.

Prayer 30

Prayer 30 will pick back up over the summer on Wednesday nights from 7pm-7:30pm.
Mark your calendars with these dates: June 9, July 14, August 11, & September 8.

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavillion from 10 am – 4pm. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration. 
Mark your calendars!

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at office@ebclaconia.com

The Weekly Epistle 5/19/21

Leading people to life’s greatest goal.  That is the mission of On Goal Soccer Camp.  On their web page it states, “On Goal soccer camps combine intense skills and competitive paly in a fun and exciting atmosphere that kids love.  On Goal coaches from around the world have encouraged players to love soccer and love God.”
 
Each year since 2015, EBC has hosted On Goal soccer camp for the purpose of reaching families in our community for Jesus Christ. This year On Goal soccer camp is June 22-26. It is for ages K-9th grade.  We will end the week at camp with awards and picnic on Saturday. The picnic this year will be a box lunch format with the hope that families will hang around the park to eat and meet the coaches, staff, and EBC family.  
 
There are several ways you can help.  You can open up your home for a couple of the coaches to sleep each night (and provide a simple breakfast).  Contact Donna Green if you would like to host.  You can provide a lunch for the coaches or dinner at your home at the end of the day for the coaches.  See the meal train link below.  Check out the “On Goal service tree” Sunday for items we will need throughout the week.  Also, we need help with the picnic.  Contact Karen Bassett if you would like to help with this or any other questions you may have.
 
One other way you can help is provide scholarship money for our campers.  Each year there are many requests for financial help for families to send their kids to camp.  Any gift is helpful.  You can give online or drop money in the offering box at back of the sanctuary (mark your gift: “Scholarship”).
 
Leading people to life’s greatest goal.  That is what we are about at EBC as well.  As your pastor, along with elders and ministry leaders, we continually look for ways to best accomplish our church’s mission of making disciples by leading people to knowing Jesus and then helping them grow in knowing Him better.  Ministry leaders are in the process of determining the events and activities we are to be about doing in our next fiscal year that runs from September 1 thru August 31.  I have asked each ministry leader, and I am doing it as well, to list activities under four categories, “Definite do, desire to do, delay to do, and don’t do.”  Please pray for us as we seek the Lord on the main things we ought to be doing as a church.  
 
With this in mind, at the upcoming men’s breakfast, I will be sharing my vision with the men of the church for God’s call on us as men in serving Him and the local church.  Men, if you haven’t signed up, please do so asap.  There is a signup sheet in the back of the church or contact me or the church office to reserve your place at the breakfast on Saturday, June 5 @ 7:00 in the fellowship hall.
 
I remind you to set aside our “Prayer 30” dates: June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8.  We will come together for 30 minutes of prayer from 7:00-7:30 on these Wednesday nights outside at the gym parking lot (inside the gym if necessary).  We need to seek the Lord on several matters as a church, so I invite you to join with brothers and sisters in Christ for prayer.  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Behind the Scenes
Daniel 10

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

New Sermon Series

“Wise Up!”
Book of Proverbs
Coming 13th 

On Goal Soccer Camp

On Goal Soccer Camp is coming soon! Have you registered yet?
Important Camp Details:
Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2021
Location: Leavitt Park, Laconia
Ages: Entering grades K-9
Early Bird Discount: Save $10 when you register before May 23rd!
Click Here to Register: Registration Site
***Note: This is a NEW registration site, so all families will need to create a new account even if your kids have been to camp before.
Need financial assistance? Scholarships available! Please email ongoal@ebclaconia.com for an application.

Want to give to the On Goal Scholarship fund? 

Make a donation on our Online Giving platform and select “On Goal Scholarship Fund.” Thank you for helping kids in our community go to camp!

On Goal Meal Trains

Click HERE to sign up to provide lunch for the coaches during the week
Click HERE to host the coaches in your home and provide them a meal.

Men’s Breakfast

Men save the date for the next Men’s Breakfast Saturday June 5th at 7am at EBC. Sign up at the back of the sanctuary or contact the office to RSVP.

Prayer 30

Prayer 30 will pick back up over the summer on Wednesday nights from 7pm-7:30pm.
Mark your calendars with these dates: June 9, July 14, August 11, & September 8.

Church Picnic

Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th from 10 am – 4pm. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration. 
Mark your calendars!

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at office@ebclaconia.com