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IN THIS ISSUE
14 COVER STORY: A HEART AT PEACE Bay Area is starting the new year with a teaching series on where to find genuine peace amid all life’s struggles: in a relationship with Jesus.
18 LEADERSHIP PROFILE: JASON BARTHELEMY Shortly after joining Bay Area’s staff to serve as Odenton Campus Pastor, Jason Barthelemy shares his story of coming to faith and serving for two decades in vocational ministry.
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20 A CHAPTER A DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE Life’s highest priority is cultivating a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. One of the main ways we do this is through spending time in the Word, which is why Lead Pastor Greg St. Cyr has created a 365-day Bible reading journal as a gift to Bay Area.
8 DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY At Bay Area we’re all about making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. To help everyone at Bay Area continue to grow into this kind of people, we’ve developed a new tool we believe will help each of us to grow in our spiritual journey.
We appreciate your comments and questions. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and a staff member or elder will respond within 48 hours.
Gatherings: Saturday, 5:20 p.m. & Sunday, 7:50, 9:20, 11:20 a.m.
MAGAZINE CREDITS EDITOR Meredith Thompson ASSISTANT EDITOR Abbie Hoekstra ART DIRECTOR Josh Shirlen ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Arianne Teeple LEAD DESIGNER Jake Williams DESIGNER Josh Burgin CONTRIBUTORS Brian Hopper Jocelyn Sacks Michele Rollins Trevin Hoekzema
Cover Photo by Josh Shirlen
ELDERS Barry Willhite Bill Plenge Bill Smith Chris Heacock Don Wiley Greg St. Cyr J. Upton John Taylor Keith Riniker Ken Gilmore Merrill Hoekstra Peter Godfrey Rich Heath Roger Ishii Tim Grossman Tom Hogan Warwick Fairfax
884 Chesterfield Rd. Annapolis, MD 21401
BAY AREA LEADERSHIP Allen Smith, Missional Communities Pastor - email@example.com Brent Squires, Student Ministry Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org Brian Hopper, Annapolis Campus Pastor – email@example.com Craig Fadel, Easton Campus Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org Gail Wiles, Children’s Ministry & Weekend Experience Director – email@example.com Greg St. Cyr, Lead Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org Janet Graves, Women’s Ministry Director – email@example.com Jason Barthelemy, Odenton Campus Pastor - firstname.lastname@example.org Jerry Shirlen, Financial Administrator – email@example.com Jocelyn Sacks, Missional Community Director – firstname.lastname@example.org Jonathan Madrid, Worship Leader – email@example.com Josh Shirlen, arts – firstname.lastname@example.org Leanne Lane, Care Network Director – email@example.com Meredith Thompson, Communications Director – firstname.lastname@example.org Michele Rollins, Short Term Missions Director - email@example.com Pat Linnell, Teaching Pastor – firstname.lastname@example.org Ron Dutton, Operations Director – email@example.com
For a comprehensive list of all Bay Area staff, elders and deacons, please visit bayareacc.org/leadership J A N U A R Y GO&MAKE 3
LETTER FROM THE LEAD
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really like New Year’s Day! Why? Well, the busy Christmas season is over (including our incredible 11 Christmas Eve gatherings), college football bowl games abound, we get to devour a delicious dinner of black-eyed peas and cornbread (remember, I’m from Louisiana), we enjoy lots of family time, and there’s a sense of a fresh start for another year. A fresh start… that’s what all of us can look forward to as we enter 2019. Perhaps 2018 was challenging for you. It was for me. Yet January marks the beginning of another year to walk with God, experience His love, and expect Him to use you. I’m convinced that God desires for 2019 to be a year of “more” for all of us.
is inviting you to much more. He’s summoning you, as He did His servants, to do business until He comes back. He’s calling you to be faithful, and faithfulness springs from faith in the King. Jesus has more for you this year than you can imagine. This “more” might not be what you expect it to be. Circumstances may or may not go as desired. The ultimate “more” that He offers is more of Himself: a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. As we become more like Jesus, He uses us to be about His business until He returns. That means being used to advance the King’s kingdom, and it means being rewarded with the same words of the servant who made 10 minas: “Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)
In August of 2017, while on sabbatical, I had a lifealtering encounter with the Lord. While spending time praying and fasting, the word “more” kept coming to my mind. “More? More of what?” I wondered. I was eventually led to Luke 19 and the parable of the minas. Jesus tells the story of a nobleman who goes away to a distant country to receive a kingdom and return. Before leaving, he calls 10 of his servants and gives them each a mina, telling them, “Do business with this until I come back.” Upon his return as king, he calls his servants to give an account. The first appears and says, “Master, your mina has made ten minas more.” The second comes and says, “Your mina, master, has made five minas.”
God has more for you in 2019! And through the collective “more” of all who claim Bay Area as their home, the King has awesome, breathtaking, lifealtering things in store for us together.
As I read this parable, the word “more” seemingly jumped off the page and into my heart. I sensed God saying, “Greg, Bay Area has been a five-mina church. I have more for her. Much more. I’m inviting Bay Area to be a 10-mina church.”
Answer: It does not!
My vision of what God wants to do through Bay Area was forever next-leveled on that day.
So, what is the next step God is calling you to take to enter into the life of “more”? We are here to help you grow into the 10-mina person God created you to be.
Of course, 10-mina churches are made up of 10mina people. That would be you! That means God
In June of 2003, I was talking with Warwick Fairfax, one of our elders, about God’s desire to mightily use Bay Area. Suddenly he asked me, “Greg, do you believe God wants to do great things through every person at Bay Area?” I hesitated, then sheepishly answered, “If I’m honest, no… probably just through a few.” It was then that he asked me a question that I’ve never shaken: “Why? Why does it have to stop with a few?”
You can experience the “more” Jesus has for you in 2019. That more always flows out of a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
I’m believing God for much more for you this year!
From here to the nations,
Greg St. Cyr Lead Pastor
Greg St. Cyr is the lead pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a monthly contributor to GO&MAKE.
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A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME A LETTER TO ME
a letter to me
By Pat Linnell
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t’s a new year, and for couple weeks we are hyped up on starting fresh, making changes, and making it the best year ever. I am into that. But instead of writing godly words of wisdom from a pastor to a congregation, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write to myself. This is a letter to shepherd myself, and maybe in some ways you’ll see yourself in this letter and take away some of what I need to hear too.
Dear me, You are getting older and life is going by faster than ever. Don’t miss it. Live in the gift of the present, not being critical of what is past, and don’t get all anxious about how things are going to pan out with all of your hopes and dreams. You have today, and the best thing you can do is walk with Jesus today. Step up your faith game and trust that as He has provided everything you have needed so far, He will continue to do it. Seriously, this anxious heart thing is getting old. The best parts of your days are going to be a result of the time you’ve spent with Jesus. So let each day be a product of breaking the huddle with your King. Work hard toward a better future for others, but be content with what you have. Don’t get locked into the mess when the kids trash the house, when the dog’s gums bleed on the floor, or when you realize that your house is a mashup of the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s. It is your home because you are making it a home, a place of memories and sharing, with the wife and little people that God has brought into your life as gifts. More than gifts, you all have been put together for your sanctification – each personality uniquely providing enough friction to sharpen our edges in becoming a more graceful and truthful person. You are where you are to help you be more like Jesus. Remember that the random people you will run into today have crazy things happening in their lives. Sad things, tragic things, confusing things. So when you see them be salty, be light. Lead with love and point people to a peace that passes all understanding. You are needed in the lives of others more than you know, and at the same time you are not as important as you think you are.
Take the right next step and don’t always try to figure out or calculate the destination. The Lord will reveal it in His time – and His timing is good. But there are some things you must plan and be intentional about: date your wife, be consistent with your kids, and be generous with your time and money. Take trips and make some plans, dude. Run. Rest. Repeat. Chop wood in the forest like Rocky. Dad bod is right around the corner. That sounds like a country song, but would go great with a hip-hop beat. Care more about what Jesus thinks than what other people think, and spend less hurried time in the Bible because it is a treasure that keeps on giving. Oh, and pray like prayer really works. Stop doubting that your prayers are being heard. Your Father is God, thanks to Jesus the Son. And lastly, you are not the center of the universe. There is a throne reserved for only one Person, and when you or something other than God is on it, that is where the trouble begins. 2019 is coming in hot; don’t try to live the year in your strength, but rest in His.
Love, The guy who, before too long, will be looking back on 2019 Pat Linnell is the teaching pastor at Bay Area Community Church and a monthly contributer to GO&MAKE.
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BAY AREA’S DISCIPLESHIP PATHWAY Next Steps for Ongoing Spiritual Growth
By Brian Hopper and Jocelyn Sacks
icture this. You’re on your way to the beach. It’s finally time for a vacation… this trip has been long-awaited and every minute that ticks by in the car somehow makes that sand and sun feel light years away. Will you ever get there? After endless hours, bathroom stops and children fighting over the iPad, you finally pull into the parking spot. As you open the door, you feel the hot sun and cool breeze pour over you, along with a sense of relief. Breathe in, breathe out, time to set up for the day. You’ve come a long way, but there’s still a ways to go. Grab the cooler, grab the towels, and kick off your flip flops as you step from concrete to sand. Each step takes you over the dune. It’s slow-going and you’re holding so much stuff that you feel like you’re going to fall over. Yet with each step, you climb the small peak and then you see it: that big, vast ocean. It’s beautiful yet frightening, and the crash of waves against the sand calls to you, “step in.” 8 GO&MAKE J A N U A R Y
Strangely, our spiritual journey is a lot like making it to that ocean. God is beckoning us to continue on, to take our next step, to go deeper. When we believe that life’s highest priority is cultivating a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus, we act on it and seek to take steps of spiritual growth. In fact, we believe… “The more a person grows spiritually, the better their life becomes.” Would you agree with that statement? If so, the follow-up question is, “What are you doing to better your life right now?” And if you’re not sure, maybe we can help. Hopefully you know by now that our Mission Statement is making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. To help everyone at Bay Area continue to grow into this kind of people, we’ve developed a new tool we believe will help each of us to grow in our spiritual journey. It’s called the Discipleship Pathway.
The Discipleship Pathway The Discipleship Pathway is our effort to help each of us continue to grow. It recognizes that each of us is on a journey with Jesus and He is leading us into a deeper relationship with Him. With each step we take, we not only know Him better, but also are changed. This progression of spiritual growth is not something that is new. In fact, all throughout Scripture we see a lot of language used to describe our personal growth on our journey to spiritual maturity. Most of this is a reflection of our natural lives and the way we grow physically: newborn, infant, child, adult, parent, etc.
With this as guidance and inspiration, we’ve built our Discipleship Pathway around four primary stages of spiritual development: exploring, beginning, growing and multiplying.
Spiritual Life Stages Each stage describes a fundamental phase along our journey with Jesus, and recommends certain practices that help us take the next step on our journey. These practices include reading our Bible every day, learning to pray, connecting in community, memorizing scripture, and more. These actions or habits are aimed at helping us know Jesus better and being changed as we employ them in our daily lives. Fundamental to the Discipleship Pathway is answering two simple questions: Where am I spiritually? What is my next faith step?
A Tool to Discover Where You Are Spiritually We’ve built an online assessment tool that will answer these two questions and help you establish which spiritual life stage you are in. You’ll answer 65 questions that dig into your spiritual habits and beliefs. The more honest you are at assessing yourself, the better. Once you complete the assessment, you’ll receive feedback about which spiritual life stage you’re in (exploring, beginning, growing or multiplying), as well as suggestions that are aimed at helping you identify your next step. These suggestions include both resources (so you can grow on your own) and environments to connect in (so you can grow with others).
Launching a New Environment for Growth We’re celebrating that so many of you are already plugged into environments that help you grow spiritually: gatherings on Saturdays and Sundays, Missional Communities, going on a short term mission trip or serving on a team. We’re also excited to introduce a new environment as part of the Discipleship Pathway: Growth Groups. Growth Groups are our new version of Learning Communities. We plan to offer these groups on weeknights at the church. They’ll run for 4-6 weeks, meet for an hour or two, and end in challenging you to continue in your spiritual journey or take your next step. We’ll offer growth groups specific to each life stage that will help challenge and stretch every one of us. So whether you’re just starting out and need to learn to read the Bible or start praying, or you’re seasoned in Biblical knowledge but need to grow in mentoring newer believers, we’ll have a growth group for you.
What’s Next & Discipleship Life Stages
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What’s Next? We’ve dedicated two weekends in late January to talking about spiritual growth collectively as a church family. We want to share with you our vision and help encourage each of us to take more ownership of our own spiritual growth. At that time, we’ll also launch the spiritual assessment tool mentioned above, as well as provide more information and registration details for Growth Groups. In the meantime, we invite you to begin asking God what your next step of spiritual growth might be. We’re hopeful that 2019 will be a year that grows and challenges each one of us to live more like Jesus. Life is better when we go deeper.
EXPLORING If I am asking questions about faith and who Jesus is, I am likely exploring my faith. In order to become a passionate, maturing follower of Jesus, I can take steps to understand the gospel and surrender to Jesus.
BEGINNING If I am new to a relationship with Jesus or taking my first steps of faith, I am likely beginning my spiritual journey. In order to begin as a passionate, maturing follower of Jesus, I can take steps to solidify my identity in Christ and form new habits.
GROWING If I am regularly meeting with Jesus and being changed more into His likeness, I am likely growing in my faith journey. In order to grow as a passionate, maturing follower of Jesus, I can take steps to abide with Christ and engage in ministry.
MULTIPLYING If I am continually maturing and helping others grow in their faith, I am likely multiplying my faith journey. In order to multiply as a passionate, maturing follower of Jesus, I can take steps to impact God’s Kingdom and disciple others.
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WOMEN’S SIMPLY RETREAT February 2, 2019
When was the last time you slowed down and sat with God? Saying nothing, simply basking in His glory, dwelling in His love. We invite you to experience this during a half-day retreat on February 2, 2019. Sarah Meehan de Solorzano will lead us through a deep and thoughtful morning focused on the truth of who God is, who He says we are, and how we are to respond to this. Cost is $20 per person.
SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE EVENTS
Fourth-and fifth-graders are invited to come play with us at Thrive Gymnastics in Annapolis on Friday, January 18, from 7-9 p.m. They won’t want to miss this evening of gymnastic fun inspired by the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” that will include an obstacle course, a bars/upper body strength station, a balance and agility station, and more. The cost is $15 per child, and space is limited, so sign your kids up today at bayareacc.org/register.
TYRE: THE CITY OF JUXTAPOSITION By Trevin Hoekzema
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In October, Greg St. Cyr, Paul Graves, Theil Theil, Sam Logan and I traveled to visit our global partners in South Sudan and India, and then to check out a new missions opportunity in Lebanon. To get to Tyre, Lebanon, we flew Emirates from Dubai. As I looked at the map on the screen in front of me, hearing the engines warm up to take us away from Dubai, I saw how close Lebanon was to us – it was a straight shot! Halfway through our four-hour flight, I checked the map again and saw we were taking a large detour so that we would not fly over Israel. It probably added 30 minutes to the flight. At 38,000 feet above civilization, it is easy to ignore the realities of what is happening on the ground. I remembered just how tumultuous the relationships are between all of these nations. It made me that much more determined to get into Lebanon and spend time with the missionaries in the Syrian refugee camps.
We arrived in the evening on Monday, October 22, and had our flight home booked for 48 short hours later. We did not want to waste much time getting settled, so we hit the street with Chris, our host-missionary, as soon as we got into Tyre. As we were walking down the poorly lit street together, I turned up my situational awareness. Our flight path around Israel flashed in my mind; a recent news story of the demonstrations that occurred when President Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem popped into mind next. I considered how Americans are targeted in many parts of the world for these reasons, and we were clearly a group of loud, tall Americans. We rounded a corner and started heading uphill, away from the Mediterranean Sea, up a street that had a lot of allies and doorways. I saw three men wearing black cross the street behind us, seemingly following us at pace. I dropped to the back of our pack, counting the group out of habit. “1-2-3-4-5 and me: 6. We’re all here.” My ears perked while I simultaneously listened to Chris describe his beloved city of Tyre and tuned in to the conversation of our tail. I tried to distinguish the Arabic words in their conversation, running them against the 2.5 words I know. “Darn… I still can’t understand Arabic…” I could understand Chris perfectly, though. I was charmed by his Southern accent as he talked about the history of Tyre, pointed out different political posters, and added his own colorful commentary along the way. We paused at an open space while he told us about the ancient buildings that are buried beneath the shadows of the evening. I tuned him out and focused on the approaching men in black. I re-positioned myself. The men were clearly friends, sharing brief laughs with one another. They seemed to not notice us, but I remained aware of their movements.
“Oh totally! I let my daughter walk around the city, no problem. It’s really peaceful here.” The words sucked me back to my teammates’ conversation. Almost as if on cue, the men in black walked past without even a glance or nod. I let my guard down, believing Chris, taking him at his word. Someone had just asked if he felt safe living in the city. He’s lived there for six years, raising his two teenage sons and two daughters in that environment. He’s the missionary, and I’m committed to following my own rule and one of Bay Area’s short-term missions mantras: The host-missionary is always right. If Chris says there is peace here for us and his family, I’m going to believe him. Instead, I recategorized all of that and decided to call Tyre the City of Juxtaposition. The contrasting ideas and images in the city are endless. In those short few days, I noticed an ashtray next to our colorful salad, bullet holes in the buildings of this thriving city, and 2,500-year-old architecture surrounded by 25-year-old buildings. My favorite juxtaposition of all: a group of six Americans walking around a Muslim country with no need to hide their identities as Christian missionaries. Lebanon, we found out from Chris, is a Muslim-majority country with Christian freedoms built into the governing body. Chris is openly a missionary in Lebanon and hosts teams like ours a couple times a year. We were welcomed into the country and the Syrian refugee camps with the freedom to be ourselves. And let me tell you – I cannot wait to go back. Trevin is currently a resident in Bay Area’s residency program, responding to his call to become a missions pastor. He has been a part of Bay Area’s Global Missions department for the last six years. If this story strikes a chord with you and you’d like to learn more about our short-term missions program or upcoming trips to Lebanon, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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IN 2019 By Greg St. Cyr
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hristmas is now behind us and 2019 upon us. As we enter a New Year, I am confident that 2019 can be a fantastic year for you, a year like no other, if you experience a heart at peace. You might be wondering, “how can I possibly have peace in my heart when everywhere I turn I see heartache, sickness, painful relationships and 10,000 disappointments?” Great question. Here’s some good news: On January 5/6 and 12/13, that’s exactly what we will dive into – how to have a heart peace in 2019. Genuine peace is absolutely possible if you know where to find it. It is found in a relationship with Jesus. He wants to walk with you through the most difficult trials and lead you into His lasting peace.
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Here are a few thoughts to encourage you to join us for A Heart of Peace in 2019. In order to experience true and lasting peace, several things are necessary. It all starts with knowing… • First, God is in control of our lives. He is absolutely sovereign over all the details of human history, and He is personally involved in each of our lives. • Second, God is good. He is not a trickster. He loves us with an unfathomable love and always has our very best in mind. • Third, God works all things out for good for those who love and obey Him.
“IT IS A PEACE THAT THE WORLD CANNOT UNDERSTAND BECAUSE IT IS FOUND ONLY IN HIM.”
These three Biblical anchors secure the foundation of a life of peace. If you don’t get these three down, lasting peace will be forever elusive. Yet, though these principles are absolutely true, they are not sufficient. You can nod your head in agreement and still experience deep anxiety and discouragement. Something else is needed to have a heart at peace in 2019. What is needed is absolute surrender to God. Whatever is causing you to worry and feel anxiety, you must lay it on God’s altar. The problem is that we are people who want to be in control, and the thing we try to control is our circumstances. That’s because we erroneously believe that peace is found in circumstances. But it never is. True peace is found in only one relationship: a relationship with Jesus. When you and I are anxious and frustrated, it is a clear sign that we are in charge of our lives. Rather than relying on God who is good and has a perfect plan for us, we try to orchestrate our circumstances to achieve what we want. Sadly, we believe the world’s lie that peace is found in circumstances. When circumstances are good, I experience “peace.” But when my circumstances tank, my “peace” vanishes like the morning fog on a sunny day. Let me ask you, how much control do you really have? Answer: very little. We can’t control the economy, weather, neglectful drivers, unexpected sickness, hurtful acts by friends, our children’s decisions or the bosses or neighbors we get.
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In our world of circumstances beyond our control, Jesus makes a breathtaking promise of supernatural peace. It is a peace that the world cannot understand because it is found only in Him. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 Though this peace might be beyond our understanding, it is not beyond what you can experience in 2019. Most people struggle finding peace in a couple different areas: family relationships, work and finances, and health issues. In case you hadn’t noticed, all families experience dysfunction. Adam blamed Eve. Cain murdered Abel. And ever since, we’ve had family drama. The victory in your family begins with you. Not what you say or do, but what happens on the inside of you. Until you gain a heart of peace, you will never get God’s mind and all your efforts will turn to ashes. Peace – your heart at peace – is the key to seeing your family get healthier in 2019. As for work, are there any perfect jobs out there? Let me know if you find one. Many involve less than ideal bosses, looming deadlines, long commutes or under-compensation. And finances: who hasn’t lost sleep over debt and incoming bills? You will never overcome these challenges and enter into a heart at peace apart from absolute surrender of your job and finances to the sovereign One who has the best plan for you. And what about health and death? Breast cancer, ALS, back pain, hip replacements, migraines, infertility and 10,000 other issues sneak up on us. For each of us, death looms around the corner. We ask, “Is peace possible?” Jesus responds, “Yes, yes, and a hundred times yes!” Supernatural peace is available. But it is only found in a relationship with the One who secured our ultimate peace with God – Jesus Christ. And He says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Don’t miss “A Heart at Peace in 2019.” If you apply what you will hear from God’s Word about peace on January 5/6 and 12/13, I am confident that 2019 will be a fantastic year for you, a year like no other!
Looking to take your next step at Bay Area? Whether you’re new or you’ve been here for years, we’d love to help you get connected.
TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP AT BAY AREA
If you are new to Bay Area, new to faith, or unsure what your next step is, First Step is for you! First Step is a fun, one-hour gathering where we talk about all things Bay Area and help equip you to take your next step in following Jesus. Coffee and snacks are provided. Take your first step at Bay Area by signing up today.
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JASON BARTHELEMY By Meredith Thompson
f you don’t choose Jesus, you’re going to end up like this bunny.” Though it’s been over 30 years since a Vacation Bible School teacher set a stuffed toy bunny on fire in front of him and his third- and fourth-grade peers, Jason Barthelemy will never forget the theologically erroneous illustration that first prompted him to commit his life to Jesus. Jason grew up in a good , church-going home with one sister in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area. In high school, a youth pastor helped him understand that he could have an actual relationship with Jesus – that Christianity wasn’t just about trying to avoid being burned up like the stuffed bunny. Soon after, he began to deepen his newly discovered relationship with his Savior through the influence of other believers and going on his first mission trip to Haiti. “That was pretty formative in my life, seeing God’s heart for everyone and seeing my affluence, how much my heart still needs to grow from being selfish, and realizing what matters most,” he recalled. Jason completed his undergraduate studies at Taylor University, where he met his wife of 20 years, Greta. He went to college thinking he wanted to be a doctor – admittedly, the show “ER” had just started and he wanted to be George Clooney – but soon realized that medicine wasn’t for him. During the summer, he was a natural working with students at a Bible camp, and it was there that he discovered a calling: youth ministry.
Jason then earned a Master of Divinity in youth leadership from Bethel Seminary, and has spent the last two decades working at churches with students and families. In that time, he has witnessed God working in incredible ways, noting he’s been blessed to work in dynamic, growing churches. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan recalls with gratitude opportunities to launch a student course on worldview, taking kids on Biblical tours of Israel eight times, walking with teens through challenging circumstances, and helping start an ongoing church partnership with a community in Kenya. Yet, perhaps the greatest highlight of his time working with youth is the passion his own children have developed for ministry. “They love church, and that’s always been a prayer of mine,” Jason remarked of his son and three daughters, ages 6-16. “I’m grateful for that.” Recently, the seasoned youth pastor began to feel a nudge to broaden the spectrum of people he serves in ministry. Though he’s passionate about kids and families, Jason recognized through the wise counsel of others that it was time to expand his leadership and the way he uses his gifts. Simultaneously, Bay Area Community Church was searching for a campus pastor for its soon-to-belaunched Odenton Campus. The two were a perfect fit. In November, Jason joined Bay Area’s staff as the Odenton Campus Pastor, where he plans to use his gifts of building and caring for teams, pastoring and equipping to help launch and lead Bay Area’s next campus. Sharing his vision for impacting western Anne Arundel County with
the good news of Jesus, Jason said, “My hope is that we would be able to reach those who aren’t churched, or maybe at one time were churched. I want it to be a place where people want to be – like the Annapolis Campus – where it’s engaging, irresistible.” Because of the transient nature of the area, Jason said he wants the Odenton Campus to help people be trained and sent out with the gospel, and to give the community a fresh understanding of what church is. “I want us to help people see that church is not just a building where we stand up, sit down, and sing a bunch of hymns,” he explained. “It’s actually a movement – the church is God’s tool to provide hope. It’s through His Son, but the vehicle is the church.” An avid reader and runner, Jason is entering into his new role as campus pastor with extra measures of prayer and humility. “I’d hate in a year for someone to say, ‘Jason, how did this happen? Here’s a campus!’ and for me to say, ‘Well here are our action steps…’ I really want to say, ‘God worked! God did something!’” he emphasized, highlighting a dependence on God to prosper the Odenton Campus. “We can’t do this alone. God’s gotta work for this to happen.” If you are interested in learning more about Bay Area’s Odenton Campus, or would like to be a part of it, meet Jason at an information meeting after any gathering on Saturday, January 26, or Sunday, January 27. To connect with him before then, email jason.barthelemy@ bayareacc.org
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A C H A P T E R A DAY By Abbie Hoekstra
anuary 1 symbolizes a fresh beginning – a natural starting point for new habits to form. All kinds of self-improvement methods will be center-stage, promising a changed lifestyle and new routines. This January, we can experience true transformation in our walks with Jesus by picking up Bay Area’s new 365-day journal inspired by Lead Pastor Greg St. Cyr and his frequently used statement “a chapter a day for the rest of your life.”
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“More than anything, I want us to become like Jesus, and I know that won’t happen unless we are people of the Word,” Greg said, explaining the origin of the journal. So what does reading a chapter a day look like? It involves setting aside 15 minutes a day or more to spend time receiving and responding to the Bible. Greg noted that an average chapter of Scripture can be read by the average person in 3 minutes and 45 seconds, so to say that we don’t have time to read the Bible means we simply aren’t making time in the Word a priority. This has been something that both Greg and his wife, Mary Kaye, have sought to prioritize because of the impact they have seen in their own lives. Greg encouraged our whole church family to do the same, saying, “If we spend time every day in the Word, we are going to get the Lord’s mind, experience His heart, and see our lives changed.” For Mary Kaye, her parents were a great model of what daily time in the Word looked like. As missionaries, they moved their family to places like Africa and England. In every house they lived, Mary Kaye can recall the spot where her mother sat every morning to read her Bible. Even when her mother was going through chemotherapy, she would be up every morning in her chair in the corner with her Bible. “That was her sustenance, her nourishment,” Mary Kaye reflected. In 2016, both of Mary Kaye’s parents passed away within six months of each other, leaving behind a legacy and a model for life that rendered daily time in the Word absolutely foundational. Greg recognizes that reading the Bible initially can be daunting and finding a place to start is often challenging.
So, the journal he developed not only provides a place to begin reading, but also gives structure for time in the Word and the opportunity for us to hear from and respond to God. Even further, it creates a community of people all going through the Bible together, reading the same chapter every day. Greg and Mary Kaye agreed that if our whole church embraces this, everyone will grow exponentially. “We’ll be so transformed, we could change the world,” Greg marveled. As the idea to create a journal started to form several months back, the St. Cyrs began praying about funding for the project, but they did not feel peace about any of the options they were considering. Around the same time, Mary Kaye received notice of an unexpected inheritance account from her parents. Having been missionaries since 1967, they weren’t people with much money. Yet even with their modest means, they taught their children to be generous givers. They modeled the truth that God always blessed generosity and would faithfully provide so they could keep giving.
For 25 years, Greg and Mary Kaye have been models of loving kindness and generosity for Bay Area, and for that the church is truly blessed. Available beginning December 30, the journal is a gift that the two are excited to give to Bay Area. Greg urged the church family to commit themselves to a chapter a day for the next 365 days, promising their lives will be different. Joshua 1:8 says, “You will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” by remaining in the
Without even thinking about the journal, Mary Kaye met with a lawyer to discuss the final amount of the account after taxes. It came out to be the exact amount they had been praying for to produce the 365-day devotionals for the church. Greg and Mary Kaye didn’t even have to consider it; they would use the money her parents had left behind to produce the journals. Mary Kaye said, “It’s almost like my parents are still giving, and this is something they would give to because it changed their lives. They’re not even here and they’re still giving,” she laughed. “I think this is the best way [the money] can be used. I can’t imagine it being used any other way.” Mary Kaye believes that God is going to honor this, and that people will be blessed. 2019 marks Greg and Mary Kaye’s 25th year at Bay Area. In light of this anniversary, they wanted to express their gratitude to the Lord and their church family for all the love and blessings they have received throughout the years. “It’s really an offering back to the Lord,” Greg shared.
Word. Psalm 1 says blessed is the person who stays in the Word, for they will be “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.” Greg explained that this does not mean there won’t be difficult times, but rather we will be prepared and will not crumble because we are rooted in the living Word. Join Greg and Mary Kaye this new year in committing yourself to a new habit: a chapter a day for the rest of your life!
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Peace From Here To The Nations By Michele Rollins
love to read the Christmas story. For most of my adult life, my family has had a tradition of sitting by the Christmas tree and reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth – reflecting on the true gift before we turn to the gifts beneath the tree. This year, a single verse keeps jumping off the page at me. In Luke 2:10, Luke records the angel’s first words to the shepherds as he tells them about the birth of Jesus: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
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Peace For All Men
Good news of great joy. It’s not enough to just say “I bring you good news” or “I bring you joyful news.” The significance of the birth of this Savior surpasses the language we can use to describe it. And the good news of great joy isn’t just for these unnamed shepherds, or for Mary and Joseph, or even for the people of Israel. It’s meant to be shared: “good news of great joy … for all the people.” Behind the announcement of Jesus’ birth we hear the mission of God – to redeem and to bring peace to all who put their faith in Him (Luke 2:14, Hebrews 11:6).
If you have come to know Jesus and receive this good news of great joy, then you too have a mission. Good news of great joy is meant to be shared, both with your friends and neighbors and with people all around the world. That’s what Jesus says when He invites Peter and Andrew, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), and when He commissions His followers to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and to be His witnesses “in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Jesus tells us there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:10) – one broken, beat-down person who hears the good news of great joy, receives it with gladness, and finds peace in knowing God. At Christmas we celebrate the Incarnation: God taking on flesh and dwelling among us (John 1:14). It’s a story of Jesus getting in it with us, taking off the comforts of Heaven to enter a world of brokenness and unrest – a
“Good news of great joy… for all the people.”
world at war – so that we could have good news of great joy and peace that defies understanding (Philippians 4:7). That’s one reason we’re so committed to making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations. There’s joy to be had – and I think we can all agree the world needs a little more joy. And there’s peace offered freely to a world that seems constantly in a state of war. So, in the love, joy and peace of Jesus, we go. We go to our neighbors and our coworkers. We go to South Sudan, a nation in desperate need of the peace
of the gospel, and to Syrian refugees in Lebanon who have fled their country in search of peace. We go to Poland to share the peace that is found in the grace of God rather than striving for acceptance. We go to Southeast Asia to demonstrate true peace to those who practice Islam (closely related to “salaam,” the Arabic word for peace) yet lack peace in their lives, relationships and eternal security. Joy and peace are meant to be shared. In the words of the apostle Paul: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13). As we turn the corner into 2019, we pray that you would know the good news of great joy for all people – and that once you know it, you wouldn’t keep it to yourself. Learn more about sharing the good news of great joy with the nations or join one of Bay Area’s short term missions teams at bayareacc.org/stm.
HAPPENINGS OUR MISSION Making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations
YOUR FIRST STEP New to Bay Area or want to get involved? Join us at First Step, a fun, one-hour gathering where you’ll learn about who we are, what we believe, and what your next steps are to get plugged into community and serving at Bay Area. Coffee, snacks and KidCare are provided. Take your first step at Bay Area by signing up today to attend one of the gatherings in January.
YOUR NEXT STEP If you are a part of Bay Area and are wanting to take your next step in your spiritual journey, Next Step is for you! Next Step is a twoweek gathering designed to help you grow as a disciple through community and/or serving. Join us the second Sunday of the month to connect in community or the third Sunday of the month to check out our serving opportunities. You can join either week or attend both to meet others and hear our heart behind community and serving.
BECOME A MEMBER For those who would like to learn more about partnering with us through membership in our mission of making passionate, maturing followers of Jesus from here to the nations, our next Ministry Partner Orientaion (MPO) is Sunday, March 31 from 12:30-4 p.m. To find upcoming dates or register for First Step, Next Step or Ministry Partner Orientation, go to bayareacc. org/nextsteps.
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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BAPTIZED? For more information, contact: K-5th: email@example.com 6-12th: firstname.lastname@example.org Adults: email@example.com
CARE NETWORK Sometimes life hands us struggles: loss of a loved one, serious illness, parenting difficulties, divorce, addiction and other challenges. These difficult circumstances can cause us to isolate, yet Jesus never intended that we walk through them alone. The Care Network is a free, confidential, Jesus-centered ministry for those seeking assistance. Call or email to set up a time to talk. We desire to provide hope and healing through a variety of resources both inside and outside the walls of Bay Area. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 443-837-3718
DIVORCECARE SUPPORT GROUP Mondays beginning 1/7, 6:45-9 p.m. Are you separated, in the process of divorce or already divorced? Don’t walk through this difficult time alone. DivorceCare is a 13-week support group led by trained facilitators who have experienced divorce and rebuilt their lives. Each week the group features practical information, biblical teaching and encouragement to help you move forward. Register: bayareacc.org/register
DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS SUPPORT Sunday, 1/13, 2-3:30 p.m. Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing for our loved ones and those who are caregivers. The Dementia Caregivers Support Group provides a place to connect with others who understand what you are going through. This will be a place to talk through challenges and learn about resources. Info: email@example.com
IMAGO SAFE CONVERSATIONS LEARNING COMMUNITY Sundays, 1/13-1/27 at 11:20 in Dock B Discover a proven method for spouses to communicate in a safe and loving way. Safety is non-negotiable for a thriving relationship. Come learn a new way to talk and listen to your spouse, a way to eliminate negativity,
and how to deepen your connection through affirmation. Register: bayareacc.org/ learningcommunities
GRIEFSHARE: LOSS OF A SPOUSE SEMINAR Sunday, 1/27, 1-3 p.m. in Room 237 People who are widowed haven’t just lost a loved one, they’ve lost a lifestyle. The Loss of a Spouse Seminar is a stand-alone, two-hour GriefShare seminar offering support to grieving spouses. This video-driven seminar will feature expert Christian counselors, authors and pastors speaking into this topic. Register: bayareacc.org/register
GRIEFSHARE SUPPORT GROUP Thursdays beginning 2/7, 6:45-9 p.m.
When experiencing the loss of a loved one there is a deep, prolonged impact. This support group meets weekly to help those grieving by providing a safe place to walk through this time with the support of trained facilitators who have experienced loss and come through with hope and healing. Register: bayareacc.org/register
THE GREAT DATE NIGHT Friday, 2/15, 6-9 p.m. Mark your calendars for a Great Date Night experience at Bay Area for all couples! Comedian John Branyan will entertain us. Don’t miss this hilarious evening full of fun, laughter and ministry. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided. This is a great opportunity to invite friends. KidCare is available for ages infant to fifth grade. Register: bayareacc.org/register
MARRIAGE MINISTRY SERVING OPPORTUNITIES Have you been married 10 years or more and have a desire to Serve Like Jesus in our Marriage Ministry? We are looking for couples to serve on the REFOCCUS team as facilitators to come alongside couples who desire to grow closer in their marriages. The Marriage Enrichment Team is also looking for couples to assist in a variety of events this year. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENGAGED? We want to partner with you as you establish a strong, Jesus-centered life together. Through premarital mentoring you’ll be paired with trained marriage mentors who will equip you with the tools and resources
you’ll need to succeed in marriage. Info: premarital.ministry@ bayareacc.org
COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELLNESS FAIR Saturday, 5/4, 2019 Do you work in the health or wellness fields? Are you interested in taking part in Bay Area’s first Community Health & Wellness Fair? We are looking for those who are interested in being vendors and/or being a part of planning and hosting this event for the community. Info: email@example.com
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY DIVE45 NINJA WARRIOR Friday, 1/18, 7-9 p.m.
Fourth- and fifth-graders are invited to come play with us at Thrive Gymnastics in Annapolis. They won’t want to miss this evening of gymnastic fun inspired by the TV show “American Ninja Warrior” that will include an obstacle course, a bars/upper body strength station, a balance and agility station, and more. The cost is $15 per child, and space is limited, so sign your kids up today!
COLLEGE MINISTRY YOUNG ADULT MISSIONAL COMMUNITY (AGES 18-25) Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m.
Missional Communities are a great opportunity for people to connect in community where they are loving God, serving others and growing spiritually together. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
MISSIONAL COMMUNITY Being connected with others helps us grow in our love for God, for each other, and for our neighbor. You can find out more about Missional Communities online at bayareacc.org/ missionalcommunities.
EMPLOYMENT KIDCARE TEAM MEMBERS Our KidCare team has a need for adults who have a heart for kids. We provide KidCare for all ministries and
various events year-round. Want to join our team of paid workers? Email KidCare Coordinator Ellyn at ellyn. email@example.com.
SPECIAL EVENTS TEAM MEMBERS Our Special Events team has a need for adults to work periodically for wedding and funeral events at Bay Area. Individuals will serve as liaison for the family, vendors and church staff working the events; assist with set up and take down, trash removal, and clean up; as well as opening and securing the building after the event.
SATURDAY CHILDREN’S MINISTRY COORDINATOR 20 hours per week. The Saturday CM Coordiantor is responsible for successfully implementing Children’s Ministry during Saturday night gatherings. This includes preparing environments, leading and training volunteers, and overseeing the gathering each week. For more info and to apply: bayareacc.org/jobs
FINANCIALS On June 1, 2018, Bay Area began a two-year generosity initiative called Unrivaled that will fund our ongoing ministry at all campuses, construction of our new student center and children’s addition, and expansion of Christ’s reach from here to the nations. Our two-year giving goal is $16,500,000.
FINANCIALS - ALL CAMPUSES Average weekly giving in November 2017: $351,582 Average weekly giving in November 2018: $553,247
bayareacc.org/give, or by texting BACC + amount to 30131 (ex: “BACC 50” to give $50). Info: baccunrivaled.org Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL MISSIONS SOULS CONFERENCE Saturday, 3/2 Join us for Souls: World Missions Conference. Engage with inspiring speakers, challenging content and practical tools to grow as a follower of Jesus and a world Christian. Lunch and KidCare provided with registration. Info and register: bayareacc.org/ missions
GO Take the next step in your walk with Jesus and share God’s love in one of 12 locations worldwide. Learn more: bayareacc.org/missions Interest form: bayareacc.org/stm
SEND Whether you can travel on mission this year or not, there’s still a way for you to be a part of what God is doing among the nations through Bay Area. Give: bayareacc.org/stmgive
We’re looking for committed people to pray for our missionaries and global partners. This team meets second and fourth Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Prayer Room. Info: email@example.com
Giving participation in November 2017: 804 families/individuals Giving participation in November 2018: 840 families/individuals
MEN’S MORNING BIBLE STUDY Tuesdays, 6-7:30 a.m. in room 236
MAKE A COMMITMENT
MEN’S EVENING BIBLE STUDIES Sundays, 6-8 p.m. in room 235
Our primary goal in Unrivaled is 100 percent engagement - that every person at Bay Area would ask what it means to put God first in their finances. To make a commitment, pick up a commitment card at an information counter or go to baccunrivaled.org/commitment.
You can give toward your Unrivaled commitment through the offering during the gatherings, online at
This study is geared toward helping men draw closer to Jesus, discussing and discovering God’s answers for the challenges men face at home, work and in society. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursdays, 7-9 p.m. in room 235 Join us for time in the Word and prayer, fellowship, discussion and discipleship. Info: email@example.com J A N U A R Y GO&MAKE 25
SERVE LIKE JESUS
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT SERVING AT BAY AREA?
AMPLIFY Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Below, you’ll see a list of some of our most immediate serving needs. For a complete list of serving opportunities, and to sign up, go to bayareacc.org/serve. AMBASSADOR TEAM GREETER TEAM AUDIO/VIDEO TEAM CHAIR MINISTRY ESPRESSO BAR TEAM CHILDREN’S WELCOME TEAM CHILDREN’S SET DESIGN TEAM PARKING TEAM PRESCHOOL TEAM SAFETY TEAM WOMEN’S MINISTRY USHER TEAM
MEN’S BREAKFAST Saturday, 1/20, 8-9:30 a.m. Join us for The Line: God ‘N Grits, a men’s monthly breakfast on the third Saturday of the month in the auditorium. The Line is an opportunity for men of Bay Area to gather around good food and maybe walk out with more than just a full stomach and a few laughs. Register: bayareacc.org/register
RIDES FOR MIDS Do you have access to drive into the Naval Academy? Are you interested in occasionally being called to pick up midshipmen for the 9:20 a.m. gathering? We would love your help! Info: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 240-429-6252
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Amplify is a mid-week student gathering. Each Wednesday will begin with an optional $5 dinner and hangout time at 6 p.m. The teaching portion of the evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. Each week will feature our Student Ministry worship team, Biblical teaching on a relevant student series, and grade/genderspecific breakout community groups with adult leaders. Info: email@example.com
MIDDLE SCHOOL SKATE NIGHT Friday, 1/11, 7-9 p.m. Middle school students, meet us at the Crofton Skate Zone, and bring $10 to cover the cost of entry and skate rentals. This is not a private Bay Area event.
SENIOR TUBING TRIP Saturday, 1/12, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. High school seniors are invited to join us for a seniors-only tubing trip! The cost is $40 and registration is available online and at the student ministry kiosks.
GAME DAY 2019 Sunday, 2/3, 6 p.m. Middle and high school students are invited to join us for the largest student-only GAME DAY party in Annapolis! The Big Game will be featured on the big screens, and the event will have epic amounts of Game Day foods, huge prizes and other activities. This is a great opportunity to invite new friends to Bay Area. For more info on BASM events: tim. firstname.lastname@example.org
WOMEN’S MINISTRY Register for studies and events at bayareacc.org/annapolis/women.
QUILTS FOR KIDS Saturday, 1/19, 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in The Docks Join us as we make quilts for kids. Bring your sewing machine and we will provide the quilting fabrics. Bring your lunch to eat together. Info: email@example.com
WOMEN OF LEGACY (55+)
Join this group of senior women who support one another, love Jesus, and grow in their discipleship. They meet on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Newcomers welcome!
1/14, 10:30 - noon As we start a new year, we will discuss what is the “more” you are anticipating for your life this year.
1/28, 10:30 - noon We welcome Bette Christian to speak about the how-to’s of healthy boundaries with people in our lives. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIMPLY RETREAT: “BEHOLD YOUR GOD” Saturday, 2/2, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. When was the last time you were still enough to hear God speak? We invite you to experience our annual half-day retreat for women. Sarah Meehan de Solorzano will lead us through a deep and thoughtful morning focused on the truths of who God is, who He says we are, and how to respond during this extended quiet time with God. Cost: $20.
THE WELL WINTER BIBLE STUDIES “EYE TO EYE” BY MARILYN ANDERES Wednesdays, 1/23-4/10, 9:30-11:30 a.m. This study will cover both Old and New Testament narratives highlighting face-to-face meetings that people in the Bible had with God’s love, truth and power. Seeing the God who saw them brought life-changing results in their spiritual journeys. And, the same can happen in your life as we meet God in this study. Cost: $15. Info: email@example.com
“SERMON ON THE MOUNT” BY JEN WILKIN Tuesdays, 1/22-3/26, 6:45-8:30 p.m. We will learn what Jesus meant when He taught about our becoming a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asks us the same questions He asked His original audience. How should a disciple relate to sin? To others? To the Law? How does a disciple think, speak and act? Cost: $15. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
KidCare is available for ages birth preschoolers for Wednesday morning Well participants with advance registration. Cost $60/1 child, $80/2+ children. Space is limited. Info: email@example.com
February 15, 2019 6-9 PM Mark your calendars for a Great Date Night experience at Bay Area for all couples! Comedian John Branyan will entertain us. Don’t miss this hilarious evening full of fun, laughter and ministry. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided. This is a great opportunity to invite friends. KidCare is available for ages infant to fifth grade.
SAVE THE DATE FOR THESE EVENTS
GOD ‘N GRITS A MEN’S MONTHLY BREAKFAST
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 • 8 am Register today at bayareacc.org/REGISTER J A N U A R Y GO&MAKE 27
SOULS WORLD MISSIONS CONFERENCE
M A R C H 2 , 2 0 19 AT BAY AREA COMMUNITY CHURCH TO INSPIRE, CHALLENGE AND EQUIP FOLLOWERS OF JESUS TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD.
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