Martha Stearns Marshall Day of Preaching

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Christina Pittman was our preacher for the Martha Stearns Marshall Day of Preaching at Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship. Although we have a woman pastor, it is important to our congregation to join with congregations all around the country during February to support women in ministry.

What a blessing it was for us to hear Christina’s words and about her own ministry context!

Ministering in Moving

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Our lives at Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship have been pretty busy this last 10 days. Yes, it has only been 10 days since we started renovations on our new space and started to pack up our memories and materials at our old place.

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When we realized that we were going to have to downsize quit a bit to move to the new space, we knew we needed to have a yard sale, and we knew we were going to be donating to our partner ministries who also work to support Lexington community. What we didn’t realize is the stories we would hear from the people we met. When we realized that we were going to have to downsize quit a bit to move to the new space, we knew we needed to have a yard sale, and we knew we were going to be donating to our partner ministries who also work to support Lexington community. What we didn’t realize is the stories we would hear from the people we met.

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We have met chaplains of the detention center, Lexington Medical Center, and the Salvation Army as we have offered to share and donate book studies and Bible study materials we have already used. We have met fellow believers in the Little Free Library as we have donated boxes of books donated to us to other free libraries. We have supported Lexington Interfaith Community Services’ Thrift Store and have returned the generous support they have given us with Emmanuel’s Table. We have done what we do best, partner with our neighbors in ministry in order to transform Lexington community and offer hope and healing to those in need.

We have also met three single moms for whom our nursery equipment that we don’t currently need has been an answer to prayer after fleeing dangerous home situations with their children. We have met young professionals looking to add a couple of pieces of furniture to their brand new apartments. We have met soon-to-be first time moms and soon-to-be first time grandmoms who were looking for a couple of toys and maybe an outfit or two for their children. And as we have worked beside each other, some of our new members have met and ministers to some of our older members.

Change is always hard whether it’s moving from one place to another or changing our perspective of what our own community looks like. The change we have experienced in the last 10 days have changed us and helped remind us that no matter what is going on in our lives as individuals or as a fellowship, there is always a chance to minister to our neighbors.

 

Let There Be Light

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We have lights in our new sanctuary!

This is significant not only because it will be the first time that we have worshipped in a space that doesn’t have fluorescent lights, but also because it means we are on the last stage of renovations for our new space.

While the lights and flooring were going in yesterday, we had a yard sale at 4766-B Sunset Blvd, the place we have worshipped for over 10 years. What we discovered is that there are a lot of people in our community that we don’t know and who don’t know about us. These are people who we have connections and shared experiences with. These are people who are our neighbors.

This month has already been packed full with the communicating with the many groups who co-use our space to invite them to join us in our new space as well as advertising and preparing a yard sale, a bake sale, and a silent auction. As we do these things we are moving towards the light of our future as a fellowship and as followers of Christ.

Starting and Re-starting: The Beauty of Church

On Saturday, we began the renovations a new place for us as a church. It’s interesting that the lectionary passage for the week that started this new journey for us as church was Genesis 1:1-5:

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Renovations

We have a new understanding of formless void as the walls of a former hair salon and soon-to-church were knocked down. The kitchen and cabinets were also removed in addition to the old tile.

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As we sat to eat lunch together, sharing table fellowship, we realized we were recreating a space. We were creating something new out of something old. And isn’t that what Creator God invites us to do as God’s people? Yes, in the beginning God created, but each time there is night and there is day, we are invited to join in the creation process transforming what is old into what is new. We are invited to start and restart everyday as God’s people who are trying to bring the kingdom of God here on earth. We are invited to create light in a dark world or in a dark building in which all the lights have been removed in order to be replaced.

LightsWe can’t wait for the new lights to be in place, for the new walls to be built, for the new kitchen to be installed, but even more we can’t wait to be the light of Creator God as we restart as God’s people on our journey to transform the world.