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If you would like to participate in The Descendants Project, pledge cards are available at the Connect Kiosks and at Pledges can be dropped in the offering on Sundays or in the boxes attached to the 3D model. Thank you!




Joel Bakal shares his journey of searching for a better ending to his story and finding Jesus along the way.

18 COVER STORY: A FAMILY CHRISTMAS What is Christmas all about at Bay Area Community Church? Lead Pastor Greg St. Cyr illustrates our desire to help families grasp the wonder of the Incarnation, fight consumerism and worship Christ at Christmas, and reach those whom Jesus loves and died for.

8 PAT’S EDITORIAL: TRUST FALL God calls us not to a blind faith in Him, but an ongoing, reasonable trust. Teaching Pastor Pat Linnell unpacks how we can tell we’re really trusting God when life feels a little risky as we seek to obey Him.

We appreciate your comments and questions. Please email us at and a staff member or elder will respond within 48 hours.

MAGAZINE CREDITS EDITOR Meredith Thompson ART DIRECTOR Josh Shirlen ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Arianne Teeple ASSISTANT EDITOR Jocelyn Sacks LEAD DESIGNER Josh Burgin GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jake Williams CONTRIBUTORS Andy Smith Joan & Melissa Stefun Michele Rollins Steve Onken

On the cover: Greg St. Cyr on the set of The Family Christmas Show Photo by Josh Shirlen

Gathering Times: 8, 9:30, 11:15 a.m.

ELDERS Bill Smith Chris Heacock David McPeak Don Wiley Greg St. Cyr J. Upton John Taylor Keith Riniker Ken Gilmore Roger Ishii Tim Grossman Tom Dalpini Tom Hogan Warwick Fairfax

884 Chesterfield Rd. Annapolis, MD 21401


BAY AREA LEADERSHIP Brent Squires, Student Ministry Pastor – Brian Hopper, Missional Community Pastor – Casely Essamuah, Global Missions Pastor – Craig Fadel, Easton Campus Pastor – Ed Kelley, Executive Pastor – Gail Wiles, Children’s Ministry Director – Greg St. Cyr, Lead Pastor – Janet Graves, Women’s Ministry Director – Jerry Shirlen, Financial Administrator – Jocelyn Sacks, Missional Community Director – Josh Shirlen, arts – Leanne Lane, Care Network Director – Lynn Dutton, H.R. Administrator – Meredith Thompson, Communications Director – Pat Linnell, Teaching Pastor – Rachel Perry, Connecting Director – Ron Dutton, Operations Director – Tres Cozad, Technical Director –

For a comprehensive list of all BACC staff, elders and deacons, please visit DE C E M B E R GO&MAKE 3

Dear Bay Area family,


As we enter the Advent season, I want to share my two favorite Christmas poems with you. First, the backstory. A man named Augustine lived a life of partying, sexual immorality and stealing. At age 18 he had a live-in lover and fathered a son. In an effort to fill his restlessness, he went on to pursue education, rhetoric and logic. His mother, Monica, was a devout believer who never ceased to pray for him. Later, in “The Confessions,” Augustine would write, “When I turned away from you, the one God, and pursued a multitude of things, I went to pieces.” At the age of 30, Augustine moved to the city of Milan and met Ambrose. Ambrose had been a popular Roman governor who left his position, gave his wealth to the poor, and became the bishop of Milan. Because Augustine was a teacher of rhetoric, he enjoyed listening to Ambrose. One of the issues that Ambrose labored to make clear was the true meaning of the Incarnation. His famous poem, “Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth,” captures his convictions:

Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth, And manifest Thy virgin birth:

O equal to the Father, Thou! Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;

Let every age adoring fall;

The weakness of our mortal state

Such birth befits the God of all.

With deathless might invigorate.

Begotten of no human will, But of the Spirit, Thou art still The Word of God in flesh arrayed,

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright, And darkness breathe a newer light, Where endless faith shall shine serene,

The promised One to man displayed.

And twilight never intervene.

Forth from His chamber goeth He,

All laud to God the Father be,

That royal home of purity, A giant in twofold substance one, Rejoicing now His course to run.

All praise, eternal Son, to Thee; All glory, as is ever meet, To God the Holy Paraclete.

- Ambrose of Milan


As Augustine spent time with Ambrose, the Light began to penetrate the darkness of His heart. A short while later, Augustine placed his faith in Jesus Christ and found the life for which he had been searching. Not to be outdone by his mentor, Augustine sat down and penned what would become my favorite Advent poem, which he appropriately titled “Christmas.”

Maker of the sun,

He is wisely speechless.

He is made under the sun.

Filling the world,

In the Father he remains,

He lies in a manger.

From his mother he goes forth.

Ruler of the stars,

Creator of heaven and earth,

He nurses at his mother’s bosom.

He was born on earth under heaven.

He is both great in the nature of God,

Unspeakably wise,

And small in the form of a servant.

- Augustine Two-thousand years have passed since the birth of Jesus; 1,600 years have gone by since Ambrose and Augustine wrote their poems. Yet the message remains the same: The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. It’s a message that we continue to proclaim today. Every day, particularly during the Christmas season, we have the opportunity to be an Ambrose to an Augustine. As we enter into celebrating Jesus’ birth, who in your life needs to understand the true meaning of the Incarnation? With whom do you need to share the gospel, or invite to one of our gatherings during the Christmas season? Excited to celebrate our Savior’s birth with you and your Augustine,

Greg St. Cyr Lead Pastor

Greg St. Cyr is the Lead Pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a monthly contributer to GO&MAKE.


By Ed Kelley


ecky Aske. I hired Becky at my church in Seattle back in the late ‘90s to be the Children’s Ministry Director. She had a degree from Multnomah College of the Bible in Child Development, and was a solid believer with a great personality. As we worked together, she and I just saw life and ministry the same. In fact, out of all the folks on our staff, she and I philosophically agreed most often and openly debated very controversial issues while still remaining colleagues and friends. She knew her practical theology well. She was extremely intelligent, loved books and learning, and was by far and away my favorite guest that I would have on my Seattle talk radio show, “Controversy Corner.” Approximately two years into her tenure on staff, she came into my office and explained she had to go to Denver for a week, out of the blue. As I inquired as to why, she started to cry. Like, a lot. She proceeded to tell me that her son was graduating from high school. My jaw dropped to the ground. Becky was 32, maybe 33 years old and single. I knew she had a first-grader from her previous marriage, but wasn’t she too young to have a high-school senior? I had never heard about her son, and she had never brought him up. She told me that his adoptive mother had called and they wanted her there to celebrate the event. I then learned the story of “Carl.” Carl was the product of rape. When she was 15 or 16, Becky went through hell with her family for all the obvious reasons. She then told me the battle she had regarding abortion versus adoption versus keeping the baby, with a very unsupportive family in the mix. It’s quite the story. An hour later, I had learned something very significant about my Children’s Ministry Director, and she was still hurting 18 years later. At the same time, she was very proud of “her oldest” – her son, Carl, who had turned out to be a musician and an artist. She had spent the previous week getting to know him through the adoptive mother’s words and pictures. Becky was going to be involved with a son she never really knew! Life has some pain doesn’t it? Becky had to navigate some very, very complicated issues in her life at the ripe old age of 16, and now at 33 she was navigating other emotional choices: “Will he like me?” “Will I like him?” “What do I say about giving him up?”

The good thing about the situation is that it didn’t ruin Becky overall; she went on to make real differences in people’s lives. She served for 10 years at our church in Children’s Ministry, and was dang good at her job! She now has traveled with Carl to conferences, seminars and churches and told her story to thousands around the country. As the years went on, we remained close, though our viewpoints constantly diverged in several theological areas. She loves debate and is quite intense, and I can tell you there were several more times of tears in my office that had nothing to do with her personal story! She married a great guy, James, and seems extremely happy to this day. Frankly, I’m glad. She deserved some peace in her life. Bottom line: I have a lot of respect for Becky. She chose life, which is good. In her case, she chose adoption. But, she understands those who don’t choose either of those, both physically and philosophically. I think we intrinsically know that abortion is a bad thing. Period. No gray for me, at least. But I know the pain that comes with any decision like that, and that pain can last a lifetime. I suppose that’s true with making any choice. If you’re someone who has had to endure the pain of giving a child up for adoption, or choosing an abortion, or struggling through single parenthood very early on, I hope the Beckys of the world are a testament that God can create silver linings that far outstrip our emotion, fear and doubt – and choices. I am pro-life in the strongest sense. It’s a moral issue for me. But silver linings abound in bad calls and tough situations. Sometimes they give us a platform to empathize with others; sometimes it is the strength one gets from tragedy itself; and sometimes that silver lining is just named “Carl.”

Ed Kelley is the executive pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a monthly contributer to GO&MAKE.


wo years ago I dropped a kid. It wasn’t my finest moment for sure, but it happens to the best of us. I was leading a weekly morning devotional time for a group of homeschool students from kindergarten through fifth grade. As usual, I was incorporating an object lesson. That day’s lesson was about faith, so I had a young third-grade girl named Sarah join me on stage for a “trust fall.” Trust falls are not all that creative, as they seem to be a common team building activity at awkward corporate retreats and such. But the children needed some explanation, and as I was facing the kids, explaining a trust fall, Sarah unexpectedly followed my instructions a little too early: She straightened up, closed her eyes, opened her arms, fell backwards behind me and… slam. I wasn’t expecting a head injury that morning, and neither were the other 60 kids as their mouths gaped open watching this debacle unfold. One thing is for sure, Sarah believed that I was going to catch her. She was exercising faith in my ability to do that. Although she fell backwards blindly, her faith wasn’t blind. She knew me, could see me to be steady-handed, and usually on time, so she took the leap of faith and trusted me with the results. Unfortunately the outcomes were a bruised head (hers) and a bruised ego (mine). I haven’t used a trust fall as an object lesson since that day. And although the results were not what I had hoped for, Sarah was still a great example of faith. She just went for it, uncertain of the outcome.


No matter where you might find yourself on your spiritual journey, this kind of faith is something that we are all called to. God calls us not to a blind faith in Him, but an ongoing, reasonable trust. You can tell you are really trusting God when life feels a little risky as you seek to obey Him. Where there is little risk, there is likely little faith. Let me explain. God has revealed himself in the amazing power and order in the universe. He has revealed himself in our conscience as we have a notion of good and evil. He has revealed himself by speaking through the prophets and authors of the Bible. And ultimately He has shown us He is real and He cares by sending Jesus to dwell among us and to be God’s sacrifice for human sin and rebellion. Although God is a spiritual being and we cannot see Him, he has revealed himself at great length. Therefore when we trust God for our salvation, futures, protection and provision, we are not blindly trusting in an invisible sky fairy; we are placing our faith in a God who has quite reasonably revealed Himself.

By Pat Linnell

“...I dropped a kid.” The Bible says, “without faith, no one will see the Lord.” You could also say that without steps of faith, no one can walk with the Lord. The life that God calls His children to is a life of faith adventures. This will not sit well with most church folk. If you are comfortable in your position, or in your role, or in your seat or pew, to the point that you don’t really need to trust God for much – something is missing. Living a life that honors Jesus in this world is usually counter-cultural, difficult and risky. Some of us are living in the afterglow of yesterday’s faith. If your biggest steps of faith are in the rearview mirror, so might be your effectiveness for expanding God’s Kingdom. God calls us out to accomplish new things. Flowing from grateful hearts because of His divine accomplishment of salvation that He freely gives us, He calls us out to new ways of living, new ways of relating to others, and new goals for our future. He speaks to us through His Bible, and He whispers to us through the Holy Spirit, inviting us to step out

where He is, on the edge – on the centerstage of his redemptive plan for the world. He tells us to open our eyes of faith by closing our eyes, turning around, opening our arms and falling backwards. The good news is that God never gets distracted, or isn’t ready. He is always there, ready and waiting for you to experience the thrill of being caught in His loving arms – an experience only possible by faith.

Pat Linnell is the teaching pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a monthly contributer to GO&MAKE.



BOOK: Abortion Toward an Evangelical Consensus AUTHOR: Paul Fowler and philosophical discussion, when the other party doesn’t really know well the position they’re espousing.

A bortion may be the most debated

subject in America over the past 35 years. Personally, I have no trouble stating my position on the topic, but I do recognize the difficulty in discussing the topic with many people due to personal, emotional, existential issues darkening the door of the discussion. In other words, many times a logical, reasonbased analysis is mottled because of the personal experience of one or the other hearers/talkers. Personal experience sometimes trumps reason. There are two things that drive me nuts in regard to that: 1) when folks change their theological convictions and doctrines because of what they experience as if experience drives what is doctrinally true; and 2) when folks are vehement on the topic of abortion but haven’t really looked hard at Scripture and/or reasons for their pro-position (life or choice). The problem with the second point is that it’s hard to really get down deep into a conversation on the topic, which is basically a theological


Well, do I have a book for you. It’s a Critical Concern Book, which is Multnomah Press’s effort to focus on important contemporary issues with major theological, societal or personal implications. Multnomah was a division of Multnomah College of the Bible (University now, I think) out in Portland, Oregon. Great school. I have recommended it to many a student. The book is called “Abortion: Toward an Evangelical Consensus.” The author, Paul Fowler, was a minister in the PCA and a professor of New Testament at Columbia Graduate School in South Carolina. He has degrees from Wheaton and Columbia, and a Ph. D. from the University of Edinburgh. He’s also studied at the University of Munich. He’s a scholar! The book is well written and really has no attitude whatsoever. In fact, one can easily read this book in a day or two due to the great flow and simple pathway he takes. He talks about why we can’t agree on the topic, what the issues really are, and answers biblically “What is a Person?” He then runs through what Scripture teaches about life, death and the unborn. Finally, he tries to break down barriers to

consensus with a great chapter on “Are we missing something?” The book is heavily footnoted as you would expect from a professor; that’s important, as you may want to go further in your study of the topic. Though an old book (you may have trouble finding it to purchase, but I found it in several libraries including Georgetown University), the key issues raised are still the same today and it fills a void of knowledge to this highly emotional debate. I recommend trying to find a copy and engaging the topic through the lens of Scripture. I fully believe in Christians being in the public square engaging society on issues of societal concern. I just want them to be well informed for the discussions that normally ensue. This book would help anyone be prepared to answer all the critiques from the Christian left on the issue of abortion. Enjoy.

- Ed Kelley Executive Pastor

holy land WALK IN THE


Are you interested in taking a Biblical tour of the Holy Land with Executive Pastor Ed Kelley this spring? The 11-day trip, “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus,” is scheduled for April 24 - May 4, 2017. Join us on Sunday, December 4 at 11:15 a.m. in The Loft to learn more about the trip and how to register. Already decided you’re going? Register at using tour code Kelley17.

Did you know

we have books in the loft ? * You are welcome to check out books selected by our pastors and ministry leaders. When you’re done reading, be sure to return them to The Loft.


noon 12 GO&MAKE D E C E M B E R


JAN. 7




As men and brothers, we stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder, facing into the wind of everything life hurls against us - not out of obligation for one another, but out of a common drive to live and walk in truth together.

God ‘n Grits is an opportunity for you to meet other men, gather around good food and conversation, and maybe walk out with more than just a full stomach and a few laughs.

Over 100 men gathered on November 12 to share a meal, pray with one another, build relationships, hear from Pastor Ed Kelley, dig into Scripture together and experience genuine community.

LOCATION Bay Area’s auditorium






issional Communities are designed for multiplicity. As relationships are formed and MCs grow, over time, new people are enfolded as groups break off and multiply. That’s how one new MC, launched in early September 2016, got its start. Led by Jake and Sarah Wieduwilt and Brendan and Lydia MacBride, the Croftonbased group comprised largely of married and single young adults has already grown to roughly 25 members who meet each week and have quickly formed close relationships. A couple months into leading their new MC, the GO&MAKE editorial team asked Jake and the MacBrides how God has been working in their group as they love Him (UP), one another (IN) and their neighbors (OUT) together. Here’s what they had to say:


Q: HOW DID YOUR MC GET STARTED? BRENDAN: When I first started coming to Bay Area, I went to an MC a couple times with Lydia, and it always seemed like there were 40 people there. I thought, “Man, I this age group really needs another MC!” I kept thinking about it, but was too busy to figure it out. One day Jake came up to me and asked me if I’d be interested in coleading an MC, and I was like, “Yes!” JAKE: With MCs, what you have to keep in the forefront from the beginning to the end of the MC is this idea that even though you’re starting, learning, meeting new people and getting to know them, there should always be a mindset of, eventually one or two of you in this room is going to lead another MC. That’s a good thing that already we’ve been doing.

Q: HOW DO YOU ALL PRACTICE “UP,” LOVING GOD BACK, TOGETHER AS AN MC? BRENDAN: We had a worship night recently. Two of the women in our group organized it all; we did it at our house, and our whole living room was packed with people. It was awesome. People aren’t in worship settings that are that small that often, so I think it went really well for our group’s first time as people are still getting to know each other. JAKE: And it wasn’t just worship – we had a focused time of prayer for The Descendants Project and the search for a worship leader, and read verses together. Now one of our members is texting me all the time, “When are we going to do the next worship night? I want to lead it!”


the macbrides

the wieduwilts

LYDIA: We have dinner together the first week of every month. One week everybody shared their testimonies, and it was long but awesome – we really got to know everyone pretty quick. We have a Facebook group, so if somebody needs help with something or needs prayer, they ask. The girls and guys have private prayer pages so we can be praying for each other – it’s good to know that I can always text them, ask them to be praying for me, and it’s cool to be praying for them throughout the week too.

JAKE: We’re having spaghetti tonight! On a typical “IN” night, we show up, hang out, have something good to eat, open in prayer, do a narrative-style study of Scripture, then split and do guys’ and girls’ time.

Q: WHAT ABOUT OUT? HOW ARE YOU ALL LOVING YOUR NEIGHBORS? JAKE: As an MC, every other month we celebrate birthdays with residents at the Light House shelter, which means we show up after dinner and bring balloons, cake, plates and napkins, and sing “Happy Birthday” to everybody whose birthday is that month. LYDIA: And we bring some gifts. Following in the footsteps of another MC, we go around to everyone and ask if they have any prayer requests that our MC can be praying for. I talked to a couple people for about 15 minutes about what’s going on in their lives, some really tough situations. We’re not just celebrating people’s birthdays, but being a friend to some people.

Q: AFTER EVERYONE LEAVES ON MONDAY NIGHT, WHAT DOES BEING IN AN MC LOOK LIKE THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK? BRENDAN: One of the guys posted in our Facebook group that he needed help with something he was doing at church, and people showed up and helped him. Another one of the guys posted that he needed help, and people went and helped him too. During the week, I feel comfortable sharing with the guys in the group about what’s going on in my life. LYDIA: Being in Student Ministry, I’m disconnected from the church family on Sundays. Missional Community has given me a church family outside of Student Ministry. Everybody is in different places in life – we’re not all married couples or singles – but we’re helping each other get through different areas in our lives and with our families. Missional Communities are groups of people who span every age and stage of life that live life together as extended family doing three things: Loving God back (UP), loving each other (IN), and loving their neighbors (OUT). If you would like to get plugged into a Missional Community or find our more about them, go to bayareacc. org/missionalcommunities.





bout a year ago, Joel Bakal – dad to two teenage daughters – began thinking about his legacy. An accomplished businessman who helps companies survive and thrive financially, Joel doesn’t lack superlatives for his resume, but he wondered what impact he could leave for his children and their children. “How would I be described to the grandkids? I didn’t like the story the way it was,” Joel shared recently. The son of an Iraqi-born Jewish father and a Catholic mother who converted to Judaism soon after they were married some 50 years ago, Joel left God and Judaism behind in his early 20s. Back then, in Joel’s understanding, Jesus was “the bearded guy up on the cross that half my family believed in – not fiction, but not what I believed God to be. My God was different.” His path in life reflected a lack of spiritual direction – wanting to be liked and accepted more than anything else. Along the way, he married Liz and they had two daughters, 14-year-old Lyndsey and 12-year-old Delaney. Three years ago, Joel lost his mom. He explained the legacy she left was “being a giver, not a taker.” Even on her deathbed, she was upset about receiving help. And though he never asked her, he always wondered about her conversion. “I always could understand why someone would recognize Jesus as Messiah; that’s the next logical step,” he said. “But for Mom, she had to walk back that decision.” His mom’s passing, he would later reflect, was the first point along his journey toward Jesus the Messiah. As time went on, Joel realized that although he was satisfied in his job, he wasn’t happy. Something was missing. He thought maybe if he understood mankind better, he could figure it out. And he figured that the ultimate history book was the Bible, so he bought the Bible as an audiobook and began to listen. He made it from Genesis into the major prophets, maybe Isaiah (he thinks), but it wasn’t clicking. Around the same time, he started attending Bay Area sporadically with Liz and their daughters – Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and a few other Sundays throughout the year. Earlier this year, a colleague showed Joel a prayer card. “I want you to know

that I’m praying for you,” this coworker told Joel. The words “hit me like a thunderbolt,” Joel said. “I know how much his faith means to him, and the kindness that he showed in thinking about me in that way … It was an impact that was hard to describe.” He jumped ahead in the Bible and began to read the gospels, intrigued and recognizing that something was happening, though he wasn’t quite sure what it was yet.

RETURN TO THE LORD YOUR GOD, FOR HE IS GRACIOUS AND COMPASSIONATE, SLOW TO ANGER AND ABOUNDING IN LOVE. – JOEL 2:13 During Bay Area’s Solid Food teaching series this summer, Joel heard the sermon about the Holy Spirit and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He explained, “It shined a light for me in regard to the Holy Spirit that I had never gotten before … at that point I started really, seriously considering Jesus.” He started attending Bay Area more regularly during the Life Verse series, and as he heard our pastors’ stories he began to read the book of the prophet Joel, his namesake. (He’s grateful, he says, that he wasn’t named Isaiah, since Joel is a much shorter read.) The prophet Joel’s call to the people of Israel is straightforward: “Return to the LORD” (Joel 2:13). It’s like the words were spoken directly to Joel – whose mother had chosen his name decades before, the name that had led him to that verse. Still walking this journey toward Jesus, Joel picked up Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ.” After reading about the Jews of Jesus’ day and the history surrounding their denial of Jesus as Messiah, Joel realized that he needed to take a step of faith and accept Jesus into his life. He reached out to his friend Chad, a fellow

Bay Area attender. “I needed to speak to someone to make sure I wasn’t having a midlife crisis or something,” Joel shared. Chad had attended Bay Area’s Share the Gospel training, and he drew out the gospel presentation on a napkin for Joel while he shared his own story of trusting in Jesus. Chad also shared that about a year before, he was praying and felt that he was meant to help bring Joel closer to the Lord – it was the same time that Joel had started walking this path toward Jesus. A few more conversations, a couple of Learning Communities, and soon Joel shared his journey and his decision to trust Jesus with Liz – something he had kept secret from her so that he knew he was ready to take that step on his own, a free decision unfettered by thoughts of disappointing his wife. His journey to faith in Jesus was complete, and his journey of a life lived trusting in Jesus is just beginning. As his sense of identity as a Jesusfollower has grown, baptism has been on Joel’s mind. He’s been considering Jesus’ identification of his followers as “the light of the world” in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14). In midNovember, Joel responded to a Sundaymorning invitation to come forward and be baptized, to publicly proclaim his faith in Jesus, the Messiah. He’s following God’s lead “into the open light as a disciple.” What is life like now for this new follower of Jesus in search of a legacy? The story is best told in his own words: “That personal success left me wanting – what am I leaving to my descendants, what is my legacy?” Joel shared. “Understanding that salvation comes through Jesus – I have a different peace now. We’ve joined a Missional Community and already met outstanding people who I consider friends. I’m understanding better the whole meaning behind the fellowship – why we gather and what that means. I want to come; I get to be here; I get to sing. [Jesus], before all others, is the person I’m meant to follow, to emulate, to please, to worship. He is the path to salvation. Without some sense of purpose, it’s empty inside. I can see that emptiness being pushed away and that has only come because of Jesus. What’s this all for? I see now what it’s all for – it’s for His grace.” DEC E M B E R GO&MAKE 17

by Greg St. Cyr


memories. We all have them. For me as a child it was traveling to visit grandparents on Christmas Eve, connecting with cousins, singing carols around the player piano, eating way too much, watching adults drink too much, impatiently waiting for Gramps to pass out gifts from Santa Claus, and then heading off to midnight Mass. What is Christmas all about at Bay Area Community Church? Ultimately, we want to exalt Jesus during the Christmas season. We do this by pulling out all the stops to help you and your family grow spiritually, and by helping you reach out to those who do not know the love of Jesus. Here is a bit more of our thinking behind Christmas. First, we want to help you grasp more deeply the mystery of the Incarnation. We do this by providing fresh and creative gatherings during Advent. Year after year of telling the same old story can become just that, “the same old story.” If there was ever a story worth re-telling well, it’s the story of the Incarnation. The birth of Christ should never be boring! Our goal is that every person who comes to Bay Area during the Advent season would leave with a fuller grasp of God’s amazing grace expressed in the Incarnation. This is why our creative team puts hours of thought, prayer and hard work into communicating the timeless message of the birth of Jesus in a fresh and unexpected way. As followers of Jesus, the wonder of the Incarnation should never cease to overwhelm and motivate us to live our lives for Jesus. Next, we desire to help your family make lasting memories around the birth of Jesus. Family memories at Christmas are a good thing. Yet we know that it is often difficult to bring Jesus meaningfully into the holiday season. That’s why we want to help families not only connect relationally but also grow together spiritually. What better time to do this than Christmas? Having great gatherings during Advent and an inspiring Christmas Eve celebration are a huge help for families seeking to make Christmas more about Christ than gifts under the tree. Our consumeristic culture bombards us during the holidays, but we are committed to helping your family counter that pressure through ministries that creatively focus on the birth of Jesus! As a result of this commitment, we’re adding another Advent element this year, “The Family Christmas Show!” In the spirit of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” a new episode of the show will air each day starting December 1 through Christmas Day. We hope you’ll tune in online and share it with your friends and family. Finally, we want to reach out during Christmas to our family members, friends and neighbors who do not truly believe in the story of the Incarnation. There is no other season of the year, with the possible exception of Easter, that your friends and family are more open to attending church.

LET THESE FACTS SINK IN: Only 14.7 percent of Marylanders attend church on any given Sunday. Yet, according to LifeWay Research, 61 percent of adult Americans attend church during Christmastime. Of those who said they do not attend church during Christmas, a majority of them ( 57 percent) said they would attend if someone they knew invited them to church! This alone is a reason for us as a church to invest heavily in communicating the message of Christmas in an excellent way that challenges, convicts and inspires others to believe in Jesus. Anything less than that is missing an opportunity. Helping you personally grasp the wonder of the Incarnation, enabling your family to fight consumerism and worship Christ at Christmas, and reaching those whom Jesus loves and died for – that is Christmas at Bay Area. So what’s our plan this year? Will it be cement walls? Perhaps trees growing through walls? Or maybe the church filled with mirrors and white lights? While it’s true that our creative arts team has a reputation for coming up with new and unusual ideas for how to communicate the importance of Christmas, this year’s theme, “A Family Christmas,” will feature more traditional elements that remind us of celebrating Christmas with family. The messages will focus on Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels and most of all, God’s Son who took on flesh. We hope it will be breathtakingly beautiful and God-exalting. Our prayer is that you will be moved afresh by the glory of the Incarnation, that your family will build another Christ-focused memory, and that some of your non-believing friends will come to know the One who invaded humankind to save them from their sins.

“ She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” - Matthew 1:21 DE C E M B E R GO&MAKE 19



by Josh Shirlen

arlier this year, as we planned for the Christmas season, one common memory that surfaced in relation to the concept of “family Christmas” was the advent calendar. Some had used a wall hanging with a cute mouse that advanced each day toward December 25, while others had a wooden box or tree with little doors that opened each day to unveil a special treat. What excited us about this tradition was the sense of great expectation for the upcoming celebration. It was out of our appreciation for this holiday tradition that the idea for “The Family Christmas Show” was conceived. We decided to take the tradition of a family interacting with the advent calendar and reimagine it as something new and exciting for 2016 by creating a show in the spirit of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Each day of the advent season, families can watch a new episode of the show and see lead character “Pastor Greg” open a new door of his advent calendar, welcome special guests, and interact with friends in the Land of Imagination. Our hope is that the show will be entertaining and educational for everyone who watches, but most importantly that it builds excitement in all viewers for the great celebration of Christ’s birth to be had at Bay Area.


Watch The Family Christmas Show starting December 1 at The Creative Arts team would like to give a special thanks to Johnny Reno, Bob Candela, Cooper Yelton, Hugo DeCesaris and Dave Mitchell for their contribution to building “The Family Christmas Show” set and this year’s Christmas experience.


SEAT CHRISTMAS EVE RESERVATIONS IT’S HERE, THE BIG NIGHT. You’ve got the whole family together, your guests from out of town and your neighbors you’ve been reaching out to. For weeks, you’ve been looking forward to the Christmas Eve gatherings, praying for those you’ve invited to encounter Jesus as you celebrate His birth. As you walk toward the auditorium the anticipation builds and you think, “I wonder what the the decorations will look like and what songs we’ll sing?”

auditorium. Last year, we introduced seat reservations and they were a huge success. They nearly eliminated overflow all together. So, this year we’ll have seat reservations again as well as two additional gatherings to accommodate the many people God is bringing to Bay Area in 2016.

You’re told, “I’m sorry, the auditorium is full, but there are still seats available in the overflow.”

In order for everyone who regularly attends Bay Area, and the many guests we look forward to meeting each year, to participate in our Christmas Eve gatherings in the auditorium, we need to evenly disperse attendance over the various gathering times. That is precisely what seat reservations help us do. By telling us when you’d like to come, we can better communicate which gatherings are getting full so you can choose one with enough room. To the extent that we can spread out over seven gathering times, we will see fewer people in overflow.

The ABC sitcom “The Middle” depicted this common bigchurch misfortune. The Heck family, in comic exaggeration, ended up watching Christmas Eve on a TV in one of the children’s ministry rooms. While we try to make our overflow environments as inviting as possible, we desire that everyone in attendance would be able to have the best worship experience possible. This means pre-planning to make sure there is room for everyone to attend in our


HOW WILL IT WORK? This is NOT a ticket system. You will not need a seat reservation to attend any of our gatherings; they are all open to anyone. However, a seat reservation is highly recommended, as it will give us the opportunity to help evenly disperse people over our gatherings, and it will give you the best chance of getting a seat in the auditorium. Beginning November 27, seat reservations will be available through our website,, and in person at Bay Area. In the lobby, simply stop by the Christmas Eve kiosk and let us know how many seats you’d like and for which gathering. We’ll email you the reservation. Print it out and bring it with you on the night of the gathering. On the night of the gathering, the doors will open for those with seat reservations 45 minutes before the gathering begins. The reservation will expire 15 minutes prior to the start of the gathering, at which point the doors will open for all in attendance, with or without a seat reservation.

For more about seat reservations, see the FAQs on the next page. DEC E M B E R GO&MAKE 21


No, reserved seating simply gets you into the auditorium. You can choose whichever seat you like when you arrive.

Seating is limited in our facility. Reserved seating allows us to create a better experience for everyone. We issue FREE Christmas Eve seat reservations to avoid overcrowding and to balance out attendance across the gatherings.



WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A RESERVED SEAT? No problem! The auditorium will open to anyone present (with or without a reserved seat) 15 minutes prior to the start of each gathering.

WHAT IF ALL THE RESERVED SEATS ARE GONE? CAN I STILL ATTEND? Absolutely. If the auditorium becomes full before you get a seat, you can watch the entire gathering from the overflow.

No, 15 minutes prior to the gathering all open seats are available to be taken. Therefore, to ensure you get your seat please arrive early.

WILL MY RESERVATION GUARANTEE THAT MY GROUP WILL GET SEATS TOGETHER? No, there is no guarantee for the arrangement of open seats. Our goal is simply to provide enough seats. If you are attending with a large group we recommend you get enough seat reservations for the group and arrive early to secure seats together.

DO I NEED A RESERVED SEAT FOR MY CHILD? Any person, regardless of age, that requires a seat should get a seat reservation.

WHAT IS “OVERFLOW?” We refer to additional seating in the building but not in the auditorium as overflow. These spaces see the gathering live through a streamed video. On Christmas Eve, the Chapel will serve as overflow.

HOW CAN I GET A RESERVED SEAT IF I DON’T REGULARLY ATTEND BAY AREA? Reserved seats are open to anyone at anytime through our website,

HOW WILL A PERSON WHO DOESN’T GO TO BAY AREA KNOW TO GET A SEAT RESERVATION? Anyone who doesn’t attend Bay Area will call the church or check the website for gathering times. Seat reservations will be recommended at those points.



WHAT TIME DO DOORS OPEN FOR RESERVED SEATING? Doors open 45 minutes prior to the gatherings.

HOW DO I CANCEL A RESERVED SEAT? If for some reason you will not be able to use your seat reservation, you can cancel or change your reservation through Alternatively, you can call the BACC office at 410-544-2222 during office hours and we will be happy to help you. We appreciate the cancellation of unusable reservations, as it opens up the seats for someone else.

HOW CAN I RESERVE A SEAT FOR A FRIEND, CO-WORKER OR NEIGHBOR? Simply reserve a ticket via the website or at Bay Area. A copy of the reservation will be emailed to you. You can forward the reservation to your friend or print it out and deliver it to them.




lder Roger Ishii’s life journey testifies to the power of the prayers of a faithful mom. Raised in a small northern New Jersey town near New York City, Roger grew up in fairly typical fashion. However, having been to a couple of funerals by the time he was a teenager, the question of what happens when people died, and the fear of his own death, were not merely fleeting thoughts for Roger. Roger’s mom prayed for him since his birth, and hosted a women’s Bible study in their dining room. She would routinely leave materials there after Bible studies, perhaps to capture the interest of her son. At the age of 14 or 15, Roger didn’t have much interest in spiritual things, labeling the dining room the “fanatical area of the house.” Nevertheless, the questions lingered, and one day in God’s amazing sovereignty, while Roger was home from school feeling ill, he wandered into the dining room and picked up the Billy Graham “Steps to Peace with God” tract that explained in detail the bridge gospel illustration. It depicted Roger’s complete inability to reach across the chasm between God and man created by sin, and Jesus’ atoning work to bridge the chasm and provide salvation by grace through faith. God’s Spirit moved in Roger’s heart, and he responded to the message and received Jesus as his Savior. Following his graduation from high school, Roger attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he got involved with the Navigators campus ministry. During that time, his mentor encouraged him to



read missionary biographies; God was preparing him for the ministry to which He would call him. God used Isaiah 43:4 powerfully in Roger’s life to call him to missions: “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Roger continued in the ministry of the Navigators throughout his five years of active duty. His focus was discipleship of other sailors and seeking out missionaries at his ports of call to extend encouragement and provide spiritual refreshment. The Lord used this time to set the table for Roger to pursue full time ministry. The end of Roger’s tour of duty with the Navy did not mark the end of Roger’s tour of duty with the Navigators, as he has served as a fulltime staff person in the ministry ever since. He presently heads up Navigators at the University of Maryland, focusing especially on international students of unreached people groups. Roger and his wife, Shelly, came to Bay Area Community Church in 2010, following a split in the church they were previously attending. As they were seeking the Lord about a new church into which they could sink their roots, a friend recommended Bay Area. The Ishiis visited and eventually settled into Bay Area, becoming Ministry Partners shortly thereafter. It wasn’t long before Roger and Shelly were leading a Missional Community, and in 2013 Roger was nominated to join the elder team. He was installed the next year and is

presently in his third year of his term as an elder. He describes his participation on the elder team as a privilege to serve alongside men of God who are likeminded and like-hearted in their passion for following Jesus and helping those in the church do the same. He is blessed by the rich fellowship and authentic engagement that characterize the meetings among the elders. For Roger, serving as an elder has been an affirmation of Psalm 133:1, which says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!” Roger views his primary role on the elder team as that of mentoring members of the body, especially men dealing with issues of sexual purity, helping them find freedom in the power of Christ. When he is not mentoring or discipling brothers in the Lord, you might find Roger hiking, canoeing or kayaking. He also enjoys fishing, though “fishing for men” is definitely more within his wheelhouse. Roger and Shelly have been married almost 28 years. They were married in the USNA Chapel and reside in College Park, within walking distance from the University of Maryland where Roger ministers. Shelly is a counselor in a Christian counseling group. Together, they enjoy the outdoors and tending to their 55-gallon home aquarium full of fish.




Joan and Melissa Stefun travelled to India in August with two others on a short term mission trip. They spent 10 days partnering with local church leaders to pray for the ministry of ICBM and conducting a sports camp for children. Below, they share how their team saw God at work through Bay Area’s global partners in the southern region of India.

astor Mark had been praying for three days. The new church in Aruku Valley, India, was in crisis. A man in the village had recently accepted Christ and began attending with his unbelieving wife. Villagers had warned him of the consequences of no longer serving the local spirits in which they believed, but he continued worshiping Jesus. Today was the Sabbath day and everyone had gathered to worship when the man’s wife began to act in a highly unusual way. The congregation and the entire village fled in a panic, believing that it was the work of an angry spirit. Only Pastor Mark, his wife and the man remained. The town was deserted. A witch doctor came to attempt to set things right, but to no avail. The pastor, his wife and the believing man prayed earnestly for three days, asking God to intervene. They continued to ask God to let them be free of oppression. On the third day, their prayers were answered. It became clear that God had the victory. All the people in the village returned and peace was restored. This was one of the many stories we heard while on our short term mission trip to India. We were meeting with the pastors of Aruku Valley, a mountainous part of India where tribal people live – most of whom fear and worship spirits their ancestors have long believed in. This community has low literacy and little infrastructure, and few have access to technology. They plow their fields with oxen. Spiritual activity is a part of their daily reality. This one pastor, who refused to give in to fear, instead prayed for three days and broke generations of oppression. Their faith left a strong impression on us, and we will forever remember this vivid example of God’s power and faithfulness. This commitment and strong belief in prayer is what has given the pastors of this area the strength to

continue sharing the gospel in a hostile environment. Bay Area global missions partner Pastor Samuel and the ministry he leads, International Cultural Bible Ministries (ICBM), support these pastors in tangible ways during trials like this through counseling and prayer. ICBM connects pastors to others in their region and travels all over South India to provide theological training to pastors in remote areas. Through Pastor Samuel’s leadership, ICBM also plants churches, builds orphanages and leads conferences to strengthen believers in areas where there is hostility toward Christians. The day we heard this story, we also heard from 12 other pastors from the Aruku Valley region. They shared their stories of how God was working, but also about difficulties they faced. The spiritual battle that rages against the souls of the people they serve is real. They also face opposition from people of other religions and the government on a daily basis. Every day requires prayer and trust in the Lord for this battle. Along with all those other struggles, many of the newly established churches have no building and are unable to meet during monsoon season. We realized that these pastors depend on God on a daily basis in a way we rarely do. Leaving that meeting, we were all sobered but encouraged. We were amazed at the tremendous growth in churches and new believers this region is experiencing. It sounded like something out of the book of Acts. During a course at Bay Area called Perspectives, we learned that areas of the world that had little gospel exposure have seen miraculous growth in recent years. Areas of the world that had little or no Christian witness 30 years ago are now seeing many come to Jesus through the faithful witness of a few. We saw the same thing here. These pastors are part of a larger movement of what God is doing to bring many

to Himself. Just 10 years ago, there were only a few pastors in the vast, mountainous region of Aruku Valley. Now the region has 13 pastors with churches growing exponentially. Still, we were aware of the difficulties these pastors face and were freshly challenged to pray consistently for the work there. Prayer was an important element in every aspect of the trip. We served at a youth camp where we led small groups of eight to 12 young people. There, we met orphans and understood the challenges they face being without a mother or father in India. Many Indian children lose their parents due to car and construction accidents. In a very familycentric culture like India, it is uniquely difficult to be an orphan. That’s why Jesus was such a great encouragement to them and some accepted the Lord while at the youth camp. We were able to pray with them, and continue to pray for them now that we are back in the U.S. knowing that Jesus has and will continue to have a profound effect on their life and joy. Going on this missions trip, we realized we could be a part of what God is doing in India by praying consistently for these pastors and for the ministry of ICBM once we got back home. D. L. Moody said, “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” We came to serve for 10 days, but the impact has changed our lives. We want to partner with ICBM on a long-term basis by praying for them. On this missions trip, we saw firsthand what God is doing and how we can lock arms with our brothers and sisters in India through prayer. Not only can we pray individually, but as a church family. In community, we can share our burdens for mission through prayer, and share in joy when we see our God act in ways above and beyond our prayers. We are truly grateful to have gone to India and hope many more can experience what we did as we saw God’s work expanding through prayer.





F E B R U A R Y 1 7 - 1 9 A WEEKEND CONFERENCE FOR COLLEGE-AGE STUDENTS Register at the Student Ministry Kiosk or online at Questions? Email Bryan McFarland (





Sometimes life hands us struggles: loss of a loved one, serious illness, parenting difficulties, divorce, addiction and many other challenges. These struggles can feel isolating, yet God never intended that we walk through them alone. He is in the business of comforting, restoring and renewing all things for His glory. Your circumstances are not beyond that; He longs to reach you with His redemption and grace. We want to walk with you through this season of life. The Care Network is a free, confidential, Jesus-centered ministry that assists those seeking help. We provide hope and healing through a variety of resources both inside and outside the walls of Bay Area. Let’s partner through these struggles together. Email to get started

BAPTISM Wo u l d y o u l i ke t o b e b a p t i z e d ? For more information... • K-5th: contact • 6-12th: contact • Adults: contact CELEBRATE RECOVERY Celebrate Recovery (CR) is for anyone seeking a richer life through worshipping God and being in community with others. Don’t let your hurts, habits or hangups keep you isolated. Join us on Monday nights at 7 p.m. for community, worship and teaching. Info: HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND INVITATION If you or a loved one is in the hospital or homebound we would love to serve you. Contact us so that we can learn how to be of assistance. Info: or 443-837-3718 NEW GRIEFSHARE PROGRAM AT BAY AREA Have you benefited by attending a GriefShare program after the loss of a loved one? Perhaps you have a heart for those who are in the grief process. We are in the process of starting a GriefShare ministry at Bay Area in 2017 and are looking for those interested in being a part of this ministry. Info:

CONNECT WITH BAY AREA If you’re new or just have a question, we’d love to meet you and help you get plugged in. Look for a member of our connect team in a black shirt in the lobby after each Sunday gathering or visit us online at


CAREER ASSISTANCE Are you unemployed, just starting a career, or trying to discover what God has uniquely wired you for? Partner with expert Jacques Fox and identify a career path that’s right for you. Info: MARRIAGE MINISTRY UPDATE The Bay Area Marriage Ministry recently partnered with, an organization that has developed a marriage strategy for churches. We are implementing this marriage strategy by inspiring large group experiences,

empowering small groups, and equipping individual couples. Our Marriage Ministry will host three to four large-group events per year, such as the Great Date Night in February; three to four small-group events such as marriage-focused Learning Communities or weekend retreats; and three to four events for individual couples, such as date nights that include KidCare. Stay up to date on these events and receive a link to the MarriedPeople Monthly Ezine by signing up for Bay Area’s weekly email update at Info:

CHILDREN’S MINISTRY TRUNK OR TREAT HIGHLIGHTS It was a fantastic night at Trunk or Treat this year with over 5,000 people in attendance. Your participation in creatively decorating 60 trunks raised $1,250 for our Local Outreach Partner We Care and Friends. Twelve new families visited Bay Area the following Sunday for the first time after being invited from the event. Thank you to all who came to Trunk or Treat. See you next year!

MARRIEDPEOPLE NIGHT OUT - DECEMBER 10 Do you want to understand your spouse better and have fun doing it? Come learn about respect and love in marriage and how to put the “happily” back into happily ever after on Saturday, December 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. KidCare is available for ages infant - 10 years old for $5 per child. Register at PREMARITAL MENTORING Are you newly engaged? We want to partner with you as you establish a strong, Jesus-centered life with your future spouse. Through Premarital Mentoring you’ll be paired with marriage mentors (couples who have been married for 10 or more years) who will equip you with tools and resources you’ll need to succeed in marriage. Info: MARRIAGE MINISTRY TEAM - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Our marriage ministry team seeks to encourage and equip couples to start and stay strong in their marriages. If you have a passion to help strengthen marriages and have been married for 10 or more years, come be a part of this ministry. Read more at or email to get involved. TEMPORARY HOUSING FOR PREMARITAL COUPLES Occasionally, couples who are living together enter our Premarital Ministry. We believe strongly that the best way to honor God before marriage is to remain pure and live separately. We’re looking for folks who have space in their homes that could be used on a temporary basis in order to fulfill this desire. Connect with us:

MEN’S BIBLE STUDIES MEN’S MORNING BIBLE STUDY Tuesdays from 6-7:30 a.m. in room 236 at Bay Area. Info: Dennis at MEN’S EVENING BIBLE STUDY Sundays from 6-7:30 p.m. in room 235 at Bay Area. This study is geared toward helping men draw closer to Jesus while discussing and discovering God’s answers for the challenges men face at home, work and in society. Info: THE LINE: MEN’S MONTHLY BREAKFAST Men, join us on January 7 from 8-9:30 a.m. in the auditorium for The Line: God ‘N Grits, a men’s monthly breakfast. The Line is an opportunity for men of Bay Area to gather around good food and conversation, and maybe walk out with more than just a full stomach and a few laughs. Info:

WAVE RIDERS Come join our Wave Riders play group on Monday, December 12, at 10 a.m. at Bay Area Community Church as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. This will be a sweet time to spend with friends as your little ones play, listen to Christmas music, and work on a special activity together. For more information go to waveriderplaygroup. Info: NURSING MOTHERS Children’s Ministry offers two locations for nursing mothers during Sunday gatherings. If you would like a quiet place to nurse, please come to our Tidal Pool area and you will be directed to a room equipped with glider rockers. If you would like a place to nurse and hear the gathering during the 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. gatherings only, visit our Children’s Welcome desk and you will be directed to our Director of Children’s Ministry’s office. DEC E M B E R GO&MAKE 31


DISCOVER BAY AREA - NEWCOMER LUNCH New to Bay Area? We’re glad you’re here. You may have questions about who we are or what we believe so join us on December 4 at 12:45 p.m. in the Bay Cafe for Discover Bay Area. Enjoy a free lunch and hear from a few of our pastors and staff about our mission, values and how you can get plugged in. No RSVP necessary, and kids are welcome. Hope to see you there. Info:


GLOBAL MISSIONS PERSPECTIVES COURSE There is an upcoming opportunity to learn about God’s heart for the nations by taking the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course. This class helps believers from all walks of life see how they can get threaded into God’s story of redeeming people from every tribe, tongue and nation to Himself. It isn’t a class about missions, but a course on how every believer can be intimately woven into the story of God using His people to be a blessing to all the peoples of the earth. The course will run Jan. 10 - May 9. Info: SHORT TERM MISSIONS Are you interested in global missions or thinking about participating in a short term mission trip in 2017? Learn more: To support any of Bay Area’s short term global mission trips, go to

LEARNING COMMUNITIES Learning Communities are intended to strengthen your Biblical knowledge, character and/or practical ministry skills. They are also an opportunity to get to know others at Bay Area on Sunday mornings in an environment of learning and interaction. Sign up at learningcommunities.

MISSIONAL COMMUNITY TASTER Are you new to Bay Area or looking to get connected in community? Join us for our Missional Community Taster on December 11 at 12:45 p.m. in The Warehouse. We will introduce you to our version of mid-sized groups that will help you continually grow spiritually, relationally and missionally. Lunch and KidCare are provided. RSVP at mctasterrsvp. Info: See you there!

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES KIDCARE TEAM MEMBERS Our KidCare team has a need for individuals who have a heart for kids. We provide KidCare for all ministries and various events year-round. If you are interested in joining our team of paid workers, contact KidCare Coordinator Dax at dax.clinkscale@ or visit the Children’s Welcome counter on Sundays for more info. HUMAN RESOURCES ACCOUNTANT Ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree in accounting and have a minimum of three years’ experience working in a finance office environment. A clear understanding of intermediate-level accounting principles, solid experience working with Excel and other MS programs, and a good understanding of general accounting processes including payroll are required. For more information, contact Jerry Shirlen at 32 GO&MAKE D E C E M B E R

STARTING POINT JAN 15 - MARCH 5 AT 9:30 A.M. IN THE DOCKS, ROOM A What is the Bible and why is it trustworthy? What story does it tell? How can we know why we are here and what happens when we die? Who is Jesus - really? Ask all these questions and more as we begin our discovery of the Biblical Christian faith. If you have questions, this is your starting point. MARRIAGE JAN 15 - FEB 26 AT 11:15 A.M. IN THE DOCKS, ROOM A Every married couple is unique. They are an “US.” Whether they are loving their US, wondering if their US is going to make it, or somewhere in between, every couple at some level wants to become their best US. Over the course of this series, couples will discover what habits they currently have, and what habits they can start to develop to become their best US. SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY JAN. 15 - MARCH 5 AT 11:15 A.M. IN THE DOCKS, ROOM B Dig into key Biblical doctrine in this course designed to cover eight important topics of what followers of Jesus believe. Who is God? What is the Church? How does God speak to us? Why did Jesus die? These and other questions will be answered comprehensively from Scripture as we work together to learn and apply these truths. MAN UP FEB. 5 - MARCH 26 AT 9:30 A.M. IN THE DOCKS, ROOM B Learn and apply the Bible to your life as you connect with other men who are seeking to follow Jesus. This time allows us to speak more bluntly to topics that particularly affect men.

FINANCIALS Annapolis Campus Operating Budget Financial Update As of November 15, 2016 New Fiscal Year Began September 1, 2016 Fiscal Year Giving Goal

$ 4,792,000

YTD Received YTD Goal YTD Actual vs. Goal NOV To Date Received NOV To Date Giving Goal

$ $ $ $ $

Outstanding Building Debt (as of 10-31-16)

$ 3,565,672.90

886,459 907,792 (21,333) 180,461 198,382

2.3% Behind

For weekly financial updates, go to financials. Please indicate any designated gifts on the memo line of your check or use the drop-down box online to select your desired giving fund. Note: You will need to donate via check if the fund to which you wish to give is not listed online. All undesignated checks will go toward the general operating fund.

How Can I Participate In The Descendants Project? Pledge cards are available on Sundays at the connect kiosks and online at For gifts other than cash, contact our finance team at How Can I Continue To Support BAY AREA’s Building Funds? Giving Methods eCheck: Go to to give online through your checking account through a one-time or recurring donation on My Bay Area. Personal Check: Write “Building Fund” on the memo line and drop it in the offering basket on Sunday or mail the check to Bay Area (884 Chesterfield Road, Annapolis, MD 21401). Bank Check: Process through your bank’s Bill Pay service online for a bank check to be sent to Bay Area. Be sure to note “Building Fund” on the memo line.

WOMEN’S MINISTRY THE WELL At Bay Area, we invite women to join us on a spiritual journey in community with others. Like the woman at the well in John 4, Jesus meets us where we are and invites us into a deeper relationship with Him. For more information or to register for The Well Bible studies below, stop by any connect kiosk on December 4, 11, 18 or January 8, or go online to bayareacc. org/women/spiritualgrowth.

GIDEON BY PRISCILLA SHIRER WEDNESDAYS, JANUARY 11 - APRIL 5 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. When we hear the name Gideon, most of us think about his 300 soldiers or a fleece spread beneath the evening sky. But Gideon’s story tells about God and His great love for His people, and His strength operating despite, and even through, their weakness. If you’re ever felt insufficient, ill-equipped, incompetent or outnumbered, then this study is for you to help unlock the full experience of His strength working in you. Cost $15. Info: Laurie Gregory at WEDNESDAY MORNING KIDCARE KidCare available for ages birth - preschool with preregistration for The Well on Wednesday mornings only, January 11 - April 5 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Cost $60/one child, $80/for 2+ children. Space is limited. Registration is not final until enrollment is confirmed by Dax Clinkscale at dax. THE ARMOR OF GOD BY PRISCILLA SHIRER TUESDAYS, JANUARY 10 - APRIL 4, 7-9 p.m. All day, every day, an invisible war rages around you - unseen, unheard, yet felt throughout every aspect of your life. The enemy’s battle plan depends on catching you unaware and unarmed. If you’re tired of being caught off guard, this study is for you. Find out how you can be “dressed for the occasion” with the armor God provides to His children. You will develop a personal prayer strategy as your action plan for victory. Cost $15. Info: Darby Cate at A BEGINNER’S BIBLE STUDY WEDNESDAYS, JANUARY 11 - MARCH 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m. TUESDAYS, JANUARY 10 - MARCH 14, 7-8:30 p.m. God cares about you far more than you realize. So much, in fact, that He wants you to know who He really is -someone greater than whatever caricatures, fears, lies and misconceptions you may have believed all your life. What we believe about God influences everything about us. In this group we will read chapters from two books by Bill Hybels: “The God You’re Looking For” as well as looking at Scripture in “Psalms, Volume 1: Encountering God” each week. Order both books from and bring to class. Info: Wednesdays, Jody Yearwood; Tuesdays, Janet Graves QUILTS FOR KIDS Join us to make quilts using donated fabrics for kids in shelters and hospitals. We usually meet the third Saturday of the month from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in room 235. This month we will meet on December 17. Come and learn to sew or learn to sew a new pattern. Kits will be available. Please bring your sewing machine, sewing supplies and your lunch. If you would like a quilt kit, have a quilt that you would like to donate, or have questions, contact Janet Hogan at WOMEN OF LEGACY (55+) This group of women meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month for a time of encouragement, prayer and serving from 10:30 - noon in The Warehouse. On December 12, we will have a special Christmas Lunch. For more information, contact Cedulie Sanchez at


CHRISTMAS WOMEN’S OUTREACH “Winter Wonderland: How God meets us in the winter season of our lives.” On December 11 from 1-5 p.m. we will serve a dinner with a Christmas program for over 100 women at Curtis Bay Community Center. Join us to help bake and prepare the dinner menu ahead of time, serve the meal at the event, and prepare details for the crafts and program. For this outreach, we will partner with Drink at the Well, a nonprofit that serves women through mentoring, job skills, Bible studies and more. Info: Missi Smith or janet. WOMEN’S QUIET RETREAT Women you are invited to come away for a quiet retreat with the Lord to “Behold His Glory” on Saturday, January 21 from 8 a.m. 12 p.m. noon at BACC. During our morning together we will learn about spiritual practices you can use and practice in your time alone with God and have an opportunity for creative expression through collage. Registration starts in January. Info: Jocelyn at

LOCAL OUTREACH LOCAL OUTREACH SERVING OPPORTUNITIES Missional Communities often don’t know how to get involved with serving locally. We’re here to help. There are many organizations in the Annapolis area that will be blessed by your involvement; we’d love to connect you with them. Go to to fill out an involvement form. GIFTS FOR CHILDREN Want to join us for Gifts for Children, our annual effort to bless local children with Christmas presents, this year? Fill out our short form at DEC. 4: Sign up to sponsor a child, turn in gifts purchased DEC. 11: Last day to turn in gifts

ISRAEL TRIP ISRAEL TRIP Join Executive Pastor Ed Kelley and his wife Susan as they host an 11-day Biblical tour of the Holy Land in Israel, April 24 May 4, 2017. With an Israeli tour guide, the Kelleys and Pastor Dan Lloyd, the group will walk in the footsteps of Jesus and re-live Old and New Testament events. Participants will also explore modern Jewish history and gain a vast understanding of Roman history. Additionally, the trip will include a boat ride on the sea of Galilee, snorkeling in the Red Sea, a float on the Dead Sea, communion in the Garden of Gethsemane and baptisms in the River Jordan, and will visit locations including Jerusalem, Tiberius and Masada. The cost for the trip is $4,200 allinclusive (meals, round-trip air, first-class hotels, bus rides, guides, tips, transfers and taxes included). We’ll stop in several places to teach through the happenings of the Scripture. The Bible will never be the same! To learn more, email Pastor Ed at or attend an information meeting on December 4 at 11:15 a.m. in The Loft. Already decided you’re going? Register soon at using tour code Kelley17. 34 GO&MAKE D EC EM B ER

OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE AMBASSADOR TEAM: Serve as an ambassador by helping newcomers get connected. If you have a passion for people and Jesus, and have been attending Bay Area for at least six months, the ambassador role is for you. Info: AUDIO/VIDEO TEAM: We’re looking for a few more passionate, committed people to partner with our Sunday production team. Info: CHAIR MINISTRY: Serve on the chair set-up/tear-down team. Info: BAY CAFÉ & ESPRESSO BAR: Do you love coffee? Enjoy hospitality? Join our team in the Bay Cafe and/or espresso bar. Info: COMMUNION TEAM: Opportunities to serve our church family include baking allergen-free communion bread once a month or assisting with preparation or cleanup during one of the three gatherings on communion Sunday. Info: DEEP BLUE BUDDIES: Have a heart to serve children with special needs? We’re looking for dedicated volunteers to partner with children on Sunday mornings in The Deep Blue. Info: ELEMENTARY SET DESIGN TEAM: Do you have a gift with design and decor? Serve through design and setup of our Elementary Large Group spaces with new themes once a month.Info: GOLF CART DRIVERS: Looking for friendly folks to pick people up in the back of the West parking lot before gatherings to ease their walk into the building. Those interested must be 21 or older and have a clean driving record. Info: HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND VISITATION: Interested in being part of a team reaching those hospitalized or homebound? Info: PARKING MINISTRY: Serve by directing traffic and greeting people as they arrive at church. Info: parking@ SAFETY TEAM: Are you passionate about safety or have experience in security, law enforcement, EMS or First Responders and want to serve in this area? Info: USHERS: Be a part of creating a welcoming environment by serving during Sunday morning gatherings. Info: Michael at WOMEN’S MINISTRY: Serve on one of our event planning teams or in discipling other women. We would love to get to know you and see how your gifts can be used. Info:

STUDENT MINISTRY CLUB 678 Club 678 is our once-a-month hangout for middle schoolers. Middle school students are welcome to join us Friday, December 9, from 7-9 p.m. for a Christmas Luau-themed Club 678. Students are encouraged to dress up in Hawaiian shirts or Christmas attire for the event. The night will include Christmas-themed games. Students are encouraged to invite their friends and can bring money for snacks. Info: HIGH SCHOOL LATE NIGHTER High school students are welcome to join us for the High School Late Nighter on Friday, December 16, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The event will include laser tag and the new Star Wars movie. Students can register online or at the student kiosk on Sunday mornings. Info:

COLLEGE MINISTRY YOUNG ADULT MISSIONAL COMMUNITY Our desire is to see our young adults connect in community where they are loving God, serving others and growing spiritually together. Missional Communities are a great opportunity for young adults ages 18-25 to do this on a weekly basis. Email bryan. to get plugged in.

EASTON CAMPUS HAPPENINGS DISCOVER BAY AREA New to Bay Area Easton? We’re glad you’re here. You may have questions about who we are or what we believe so join us on the first Sunday of the month following the 10 a.m. gathering for Discover Bay Area. Hear Campus Pastor Craig Fadel share about who we are as a church, our story, our vision for making disciples, and how you can get plugged in. No RSVP necessary, and kids are welcome. CHRISTMAS EVE GATHERING AT 6 P.M. Come join us for our first Christmas Eve gathering at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 24. This will be a time for families to worship together and spend an hour celebrating the birth of Jesus. We will be at the Milestone (our normal meeting space): 9630 Technology Dr. Easton, MD 21601. NO CHRISTMAS DAY GATHERING - ONLINE ONLY Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, we encourage everyone to spend time with family and friends. Of course, we hope to see you on Christmas Eve, but there is no gathering on Sunday, December 25. Tune in online for a Christmas message at

LEARNING COMMUNITIES Learning communities are opportunities to grow in your Biblical knowledge, character and/or practical ministry skills. Look for Learning Communities exclusively for young adults ages 18-25. Info:

PRAYER MINISTRY Jesus lived a life of unceasing prayer that connected Him to the Father. We too long to be devoted to prayer. Our Prayer Ministry is comprised of individuals dedicated to gathering in prayer for all aspects of Bay Area life: our gatherings, communities, pastors, missions and so much more. Some of these individuals are also available to pray with you on Sunday mornings after each gathering (front and right of the Chapel stage). Read more at Info:

GATHERINGS SATURDAY NIGHT SINGALONG Our next Saturday Night Singalong is coming up on Saturday, December 3. Join us at 6 p.m. as we celebrate the Incarnation through Christmas songs and worship. It will be a great evening of singing, testimony and prayer with our church family.

All gifts are due by December 11 If you missed the opportunity to sponsor a local child or you want to do more, stop by the kiosk on a Sunday morning or visit



Profile for Bay Area Community Church

Go & Make Issue #38 (Dec. 2016)  

Go & Make Issue #38 (Dec. 2016)  

Profile for bayareacc