The Weekly Epistle 9/21/22

Church Family, 
The culmination of our year-long initiative to join the Evangelical Free Church of America is just around the corner! The elders have called a special business meeting for Thursday, September 29, 2022. They will present a threefold motion, including the following three items.

  • That “Living Hope Lakeport” be adopted as our new church name from this point forward, for this body that is currently known as Evangelical Baptist Church (“An Evangelical Free Church” will appear as subtext on some signage and printed communications).
  • That Living Hope Lakeport willingly affiliate with the association known as the Evangelical Free Church of America.”
  • Approve the church’s revised Constitution and By-Laws with a revision date of September 1, 2022, that includes such changes as the new church name, our affiliation with the Evangelical Free Church of America, the EFCA Statement of Faith and a number of grammatical, typographical and formatting revisions.”

Upon the passing of the motion, the leadership will initiate the logistical process for changing our name. We will be presented and accepted into membership with the EFCA at the district conference on October 28, 2022.
                       To learn more about The Together Initiative, click here
                       To learn more about the name change, click here.
I am so excited to enter this new season of life and ministry with you!
Blessings, 
Pastor Dan

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

The Hope of Love
I Peter 1:22-2:3

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

EBC Kids Volunteer Training Brunch

EBC Kids volunteer training and encouragement brunch will be held Saturday, November 5th, form 10 A.M.to 12 P.M. in the Fellowship Hall. Please sign up at the counter!

Community Group Sign-Ups

Sign-ups for community groups will be available September 25th at the ministry counter. 

Special Business Meeting

There is a special business meeting scheduled for Thursday September 29 @ 7:00 to vote on joining the Evangelical Free Church, the name change, and the constitution and bylaws that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.

Revised Church Constitution

Pick up a copy of the revised church constitution and bylaws with changes that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.  They are available at the ministry counter.

Discovery Class  

A four-week discovery class will begin on October 23 at 9:00 AM held in the fellowship hall. This class is for those who want to learn more about who we are as a church.  If you desire to become a member of the church, then this class is required for membership.  

Ushers and Greeters Needed

We are looking for some friendly faces to join the hospitality team as ushers and greeters. This is a great opportunity to serve the body and guests of our church. Please email Susan Lyle at susan.lyle@gmail.com for more information. 

Local Outreach 

Our Local outreach team is hosting a pizza and dodgeball night on 10/15.  This is co-ed for ages 10-up.  This is an opportunity to bring a friend for a fun night and positive exposure to EBC. Further information to follow.

OWLS

Please join the OWLS on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. for a Good Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, accompanied by Mary Collins and Rob Tacker, in Fellowship Hall.  If you are among those who cherish the “Golden Oldies,” you’ll enjoy this rousing round of song, followed by a dessert social.  

The Weekly Epistle 9/14/22

An old farmer showed up at the prestigious Kentucky Derby with his mule.  Many looked on with amazement while others laughed and shouted ridiculing remarks at the old man.  Finally, someone approached the old farmer and said, “What are you thinking?  You can’t enter that mule in this race.  This race is only for the finest thoroughbreds in the country.  Besides he cannot possibly win.”  
 
The farmer quickly replied, “Oh I am not entering my mule in this race to win.  I just thought a little exposure might do him some good.”  
 
Does your exposure around other Christians do you some good?  Do you come away from time spent in the company of God’s people stirred up, passionate, and more excited to live for Him?  That is how it should be.  As we gather as a church family, we really ought to rub off on each other in a positive way.  
 
In Hebrews 10, verse 24 it says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  The purpose is clear as to what is to happen as we gather.  We are to spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  That is the goal.  But we don’t reach this purpose by accident.  Just because we are all in the same room at the same time doesn’t mean we are reaching that goal.  It doesn’t even mean we are having fellowship.  We think people gathered together equals fellowship.  Does it?
 
The idea behind “let us consider” is, pay attention to; look closely at; think carefully about and/or take notice of someone.  It is to think about our brothers and sisters in Christ and considering what they need in order to grow in their walk.  
 
As you get ready for worship on Sundays, how much thought do you give to what others might need from you?  As you enter the doors of the church, how much of your thinking is about others?  How much do you consider how to spur someone on to love and good deeds?  How much do you consider being a blessing to others that will push them forward in their faith?  
 
I am not saying that every conversation has to be heavy.  Light conversation and sharing of common interests are connecting points.  We need those.  But we also need to be about the business of putting courage into each other to face the challenges of the week ahead.  
 
Let me encourage you again, if you are not a part of a community group, would you consider joining a group this year.  Sign-ups for new groups will begin soon.  There are also existing groups open for you to attend.  Speak to Rob Tacker or one of the pastors or contact the office if you want to know more about community groups.  
 
But whether to join a group or not, remember the wonderful opportunity we have to nudge people toward love and good deeds.  A little exposure around others in the family should do us all some good!  
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Holiness
I Peter 1:613-21

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Momentum Announcement

Momentum Youth Ministry will not be meeting in the month of September.

Community Group Sign-Ups

Sign-ups for community groups will be available September 18th & September 25th at the ministry counter. 

Special Business Meeting

There is a special business meeting scheduled for Thursday September 29 @ 7:00 to vote on joining the Evangelical Free Church, the name change, and the constitution and bylaws that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.

Revised Church Constitution

Pick up a copy of the revised church constitution and bylaws with changes that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.  They are available at the ministry counter.

Discovery Class  

A four-week discovery class will begin on October 23 at 9:00 AM held in the fellowship hall. This class is for those who want to learn more about who we are as a church.  If you desire to become a member of the church, then this class is required for membership.  

Ushers and Greeters Needed

We are looking for some friendly faces to join the hospitality team as ushers and greeters. This is a great opportunity to serve the body and guests of our church. Please email Susan Lyle at susan.lyle@gmail.com for more information. 

LOST & FOUND

We have a number of “Lost & Found” items now located on the security counter. Please check and see if anything belongs to you. Thank you!!

Mark Your Calendars

Local outreach ministry is hosting a table at this year’s Multicultural Festival in Laconia this Saturday, September 10th from 10-3. 

OWLS
Please join the OWLS on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. for a Good Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, accompanied by Mary Collins and Rob Tacker, in Fellowship Hall.  If you are among those who cherish the “Golden Oldies,” you’ll enjoy this rousing round of song, followed by a dessert social.  Please RSVP to Norma Phillips at 
normaandwilbur@comcast.net no later than Friday, September 16th, so that adequate food and materials can be provided.

The Weekly Epistle 9/7/22

Hi Church,
Suppose you entered a race and as you got set in your starting block you asked the runner next to you, “How long is this race? I mean, how far is it to the finish line?”  What if his answer was, “Oh!  There’s no finish line.  You just keep running.”  Would you bother running?  Who wants to run in a race that has no finish?
 
Sometimes in the Christian race we lose sight of the finish.  There is a finish line.  You may not be able to see it, but there is one.  
 
The beautiful part is that the One who has begun the work in us will bring it to completion.  God finishes what he starts.  As I touched on the word, “elect” and “chosen” this past Sunday from 1 Peter 1:1-5, that truth ought to bring comfort to our hearts.  Since it was God doing the work in us to bring us to salvation it is up to God to get us to the finish.  
 
In Romans 8, Paul says this, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (see Romans 8:29-30).  Glorification speaks to the completed work in us when we reach heaven.  What is interesting about this word, “glorification,” is that the tense Paul uses indicates something of the past.  From God’s vantage point, it has already happened.  
 
The work God has begun in you will reach its completion.  That’s a fact.  I know it raises all kinds of other questions, like what about the one who once professed the name of Christ, yet walked away?  Or, what about the person who took the name Christian but didn’t live like it?  Are these individuals guaranteed a finish? Do we have any part in the process?
 
Here again we must live in the center of biblical tension (that I have spoken of frequently).  The Bible teaches both free will and God’s sovereignty in our salvation and sanctification.  It may not make sense to us, but both can be true in the mind of God.  Both must be true because the Bible teaches both.  
 
Also, when we talk about God finishing the work in us, it is speaking to genuine believers.  God offers no assurance of salvation for those who live contrary to His teaching.  Jesus said, “Many will say to me on that day…then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’”  A genuine Christian will bear fruit.  A genuine Christian will be repentant over sin.  A genuine Christian will do the good works which God prepared in advance for them to do.  A genuine believer will not trample the grace of God.  
 
Those who truly belong to God should walk in assurance, not doubts.  Those who are His will be kept to the end.  Jesus says in John 10:27-28, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they will follow me.  I will give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (read all of John 10).  
 
Believer, God has you!  He will get you to the finish line- carry you over it if He must.  So, keep on running!  
 
Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Painful Joy
I Peter 1:6-12

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Communion 

Communion will be celebrated this Sunday

Momentum Announcement

Momentum Youth Ministry will not be meeting in the month of September.

Special Business Meeting

There is a special business meeting scheduled for Thursday September 29 @ 7:00 to vote on joining the Evangelical Free Church, the name change, and the constitution and bylaws that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.

Revised Church Constitution

Pick up a copy of the revised church constitution and bylaws with changes that reflect our becoming an Evangelical Free Church.  They are available at the ministry counter.

LOST & FOUND

We have a number of “Lost & Found” items now located on the security counter. Please check and see if anything belongs to you. Thank you!!

Mark Your Calendars

Local outreach ministry is hosting a table at this year’s Multicultural Festival in Laconia this Saturday, September 10th from 10-3. 

OWLS
Please join the OWLS on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. for a Good Old-Fashioned Hymn Sing, accompanied by Mary Collins and Rob Tacker, in Fellowship Hall.  If you are among those who cherish the “Golden Oldies,” you’ll enjoy this rousing round of song, followed by a dessert social.  Please RSVP to Norma Phillips at 
normaandwilbur@comcast.net no later than Friday, September 16th, so that adequate food and materials can be provided.

The Weekly Epistle 8/24/22

It happened again this past week.  I was sharing with someone not from this church about our transitioning as a church to become affiliated with Evangelical Free.  The comment was then made, “The order of the words is unfortunate, in that it is Evangelical Free.”  I want to repeat what I wrote then so that there is greater understanding as to the origin and meaning of “Evangelical Free.” 
 
Years ago, when I was serving as pastor in Portland, Maine, my dental hygienist knowing I was pastor of an Evangelical Free Church was puzzled by the name of the church.  So, she asked, “Does Evangelical Free mean that it is free of Evangelicalism?”   That seem to make sense to her like “caffeine free” is free of caffeine and gluten free is free of gluten.  I gave a rather brief and concise answer since I was sitting in a dentist’s chair with her hands in my mouth.
Perhaps many ideas come to your mind around the name, ‘Evangelical Free.”  Does it mean we don’t have to give because it is free?  That isn’t it either.  Some of you have expressed concern that “Free” sounds “new agey” or open to any and every teaching.  This is not the case at all.  On the contrary, the EFCA has stood solid over their history to hold to the essentials of the faith without wavering.  
What does Evangelical Free Church actually mean?  Here is a quick explanation.  
1. “Evangelical” = gospel centered.  The word “evangel” simply means good news of Jesus Christ.  The Evangelical Free Church from its origins have been all about spreading the good news of Christ to a lost world.  
The Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) will only increase our ability to demonstrate the presence of Christ and proclaim the message of the gospel throughout New England and beyond, by equipping our church, helping to develop our leaders, and supporting our efforts to carry out our mission.
2. “Free” = self-governing.  With roots in Scandinavia, the Free Church broke away from the state because of their conviction that the local church should be autonomous and free to govern its own affairs.  That is true of us as a Conservative Baptist Church, so nothing changes here.  EFCA looks to work cooperatively with us in what we are doing rather than impose on us a certain way ministry must be done.  We are free to carry out our mission and strategy for ministry, but with resources and support needed to multiply our mission.  
3. “Church” = the local body of Christ.  Often, I greet you on Sunday morning with the words, “Good morning, church.”  Obviously, I am not speaking to the building, but to the spiritual body of Christ in which Jesus Christ is the head.  The word “church” simply means called out.  As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been called out of the world and sin into a relationship with Christ.  We are also called out in that we are no longer a “part of the world” but “in the world” to bring the good news to the lost.  
I hope that gives you a better understanding of the meaning behind the Evangelical Free Church name. 
One other thing, if you signed up for the church picnic (this Saturday) and your plans have changed, then please contact the church office asap.  If you haven’t signed up but would like to attend, then you will need to make reservations with Ellacoya State Park.  Blessings, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

One Nagging Question
Genesis 50:15-21

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Looking Ahead

Church picnic and Baptism is August 27 from 11:00-4:00 at Ellacoya State Park.  It will be held rain or shine.
 
Mark your calendars for our next business meeting on TuesdayAugust 30 at 7PM.   

Community prayer time at Laconia High School on Sunday, September 4th @ 1pm.  Join with local pastors and leaders to pray for our community, students, and teachers as a new school year begins.
 
Local outreach ministry is hosting a table at this year’s Multicultural Festival in Laconia on Saturday, September 10th from 10-3.  If you would like to help with face painting, manning the booth, or setup-take down please stop at the ministry counter and sign up.

The Weekly Epistle 8/10/22

God is faithful!  Throughout our study in Joseph, a recurring theme is the faithfulness of God.  Will you pause to recount the ways you have seen His faithfulness in your life, even in the last 3 months?  
 
It was encouraging to hear from the Filberts this past Sunday.  Please continue to keep them in our prayers as we partner with them as they coach and train other missionaries.  
 
Speaking of coaching, I have had the privilege over the last 12 years to speak into Paul Mackey’s life.  Paul and Kiki (and boys) serve in Japan.  We partner with them as a church in their ministry in Tokyo.  Here is an update from them.
   We’ve seen God bless and provide for our family, most notably in providing a new apartment for us to live in, but also in His faithful work in the church and in our relationships here.  We will be moving about five minutes away by train (10 by bicycle) to a beautiful, convenient community called Shoin Jinja Mae that is close to another church family with boys around the same age as our boys (they’re good friends). Finding a place like this that is affordable and still close to the church was a lot of work, and shows God’s faithful provision for us in this season. 
 
  When we arrived in Tokyo in December of 2020, the church here was in rough shape. COVID and other difficulties had taken their toll on the church, and 2021 was filled with a lot of very difficult challenges for the church, including losing their pastor. We have loved this church for a long time (Paul first came to Dendoukan in 2010), and it was difficult to walk with the church through so many challenges since coming here, but we are so thankful to say that God has been doing great work here in Dendoukan. We keep seeing more and more people return to church, new people join the church, and members are getting more and more involved in caring for one another and serving in the church together. 
 
  In addition to getting to be a part of God’s faithful work in His Church here, we are so thankful that He has given us so many relationships with non-Christians here in Tokyo. Please praise God with us that, in a culture where it’s often difficult to meet new people, He has given us a wealth of relationships with non-Christians. 
 
  Thank you so much for being a part of God’s faithful provision for us to serve Him
here in Japan. Thank you for keeping the people of Japan in your prayers. We’re so
thankful for all of you.

In Christ, The Mackeys

 
This is only a portion of the letter recently sent by the Mackeys.  You can follow them on Facebook or contact the church office to subscribe to their newsletter.
 
Remember the “Together Initiative” Q & A time this Sunday (between services).  This is an exciting time as we move towards joining the Evangelical Free Church.  Also, the church picnic and baptism is a great opportunity to connect with each other and grow us as a family (please sign up at the ministry counter).  
 
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian

Looking Forward

Sermon Direction

Lesson in Forgiveness
Genesis 45-47

Link to This Sunday Worship Service

 

Communion Sunday

We will be celebrating communion this Sunday.

Office Closed

The office will be closed next week.  If you need to contact someone, you can contact Pastor Dan or one of the Elders – Gary Cobis, Bill Miller, Rob Tacker, or Mark Petrozzi.

OWLS

As the OWLS look to another year of fun, fellowship and exploration, 
we’d like to invite anyone aged 55-100 to join us in a round of 
conversation, hosted by Patsy Tacker on Friday, August 26, 2022 at 1:00 
p.m.  We want to hear your ideas for activities that interest you to 
guide our thoughts in developing a schedule of events for the coming 
months.  If you plan to attend, please bring a small item that is a clue 
to things you enjoy – examples of hobbies, photographs, etc.  To help in 
planning refreshments (there will always be food!), we would greatly 
appreciate your reply to this email no later than Friday, August 19th.

Looking Ahead

Church picnic and Baptism is August 27 from 11:00-4:00 at Ellacoya State Park.  

Together Initiative Q&A
The elders will host a Q&A for those interested in learning more about our church’s initiative to join the Evangelical Free Church of America. The Q&A will occur in between services this Sunday, August 14, in the fellowship hall. To help us provide you with the best answers, we are extending an opportunity for you to submit your questions before the meeting. Simply visit https://forms.gle/TnXbo2MtFyRTfdVr7 to submit your questions. Also, please visit laconiachurch.com/togetherfor more information on the Together Initiative. You’ll find a bunch of helpful information about the initiative there. 

Mark your calendars for our next business meeting on Tuesday, August 30.