We’re a Growing Church

photo (40)In one week, we will start our new elementary Sunday School class!

We are excited to add a place for our elementary-aged children can meet and grow together. We are also excited that this means that their parents can attend our adult Sunday School class.

 

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This Sunday we will also start our Firehouse Fundraiser to support our continued work for Emmanuel’s Table this fall. If you are live in or around the Lexington area. Please visit the Firehouse Subs this week across from the Lexington Hospital on 378. After you order say you are at Firehouse to support Emmanuel’s Baptist Fellowship. Thank you for helping us help our neighbors in need!

As we prepare for the Fall and this new season for us as our church, we thank God that we are a growing church!

 

Emmanuel’s Table: Adding a Leaf

I can remember preparing for celebration dinners at my parents’ house and my mom asking my dad to get another leaf out of the front closet to add to the dining room table. I knew when I saw that leaf coming out of the closet that there were going to be members of the out of town family who would be joining us to eat. I knew the tables would be set with tablecloths and name cards, and I knew there was going to be good food.

Emmanuel’s Table has provided our fellowship the opportunity to set our tables with white tables cloths every week and enjoy preparing vases full of flowers, pitchers full of lemonade, coffee urns, and a table full of food to open our doors to our neighbors. Through Emmanuel’s Table, we have fed 53 people some on our campus and some who we were able to bring food to as well as getting to know 20 local business owners and managers as we partnered together to offer food to our neighbors in need. We are excited to continue to partner with our 378 community as we move to hosting Emmanuel’s Table once a month after this Wednesday’s last weekly meal.

We are even more excited that our neighbors at Victorian Lake Mobile Home Community called us when their funding was cut to help provide back to school supplies for their residents. We all have unexpected events that cause us to need help.

Taking the time this summer to meet and greet our neighbors and set the table each week has helped us form new relationships and new partnerships. In fact, we have already received donations from some of our partners to help host a fall event for our neighborhood. Adding a new leaf to the ministry we have been doing by setting Emmanuel’s Table each week has helped us better understand who are neighbors are and their needs, and also has helped us understand how friendly our neighborhood is to those in need. What a blessing to be a part of the 378 community!

Back to School Drive

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We are so excited that our neighbors at the Victorian Lake Mobile Home Community called us to ask if we could help them with school supplies because the money that was used to support some of the residents as their children started school was suspended. It’s amazing for us to think just a month ago, we didn’t know our neighbors nor did we know what they needed. By opening our doors on Wednesday at lunch that has changed.

Thanks to Emmanuel’s Table, we have been able to meet our neighbors across the highway. Each week, we have met new people in this community and asked them to spread the word about Emmanuel’s Table. By going to them and inviting them to extend the table that has been set in our church thanks to our partners each Wednesday, we have¬†gotten to know our neighbors and their needs.

We took the first load of school supplies from our school supplies drive across the street yesterday afternoon. We were so glad that we were able to bring some items before school started and will continue our work next week as school starts.

It would have been easy for us to assume that our neighbors needed school supplies and begun this collection earlier, but if we had done that, then we might have interfered with the work the property manager had done for years to help her residents and to develop community among the residents. By waiting and listening, we were able to provide supplies that were normally given in a time of need and partnering with the property manager to continue her work to unite the residents of this community.

It’s easy for us as Jesus’s disciples to jump ahead when we start a new outreach program or to bring our assumptions to the work we have been called to do, but when we do, God’s work begins to be clouded by our need to be affirmed in our own assumptions rather than God’s work reflecting a God who is worthy of praise.

Psalm 133 begins:

How good and pleasant it is when brethren live in unity.

We miss the opportunity to live in unity and in mutual respect with our neighbors when we make assumptions about¬†who they are and what they need. We gain the opportunity to live in unity and see God’s miraculous work when we listen to our neighbors needs, and then respond to those needs as God leads.