DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
News for Blue Ridge Baptists
Lottie Moon - the namesake of the international missions offering - has become something of a legend to us. But in her time Lottie was anything but an untouchable hero. In fact, she was like today's missionaries. She was a hard-working, deep-loving Southern Baptist who labored tirelessly so her people group could know Jesus. Why was the offering named for this early missionary?
In 2013 Southern Baptists celebrate 125 years of annual giving to support international missionaries. More than 3.5 billion has been given to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, whose namesake inspired the first collection of gifts in 1888 so the world might know Christ. Then, as now, every penny you give to Lottie Moon supports missionaries as they share the Gospel overseas.
Throughout her career, Lottie Moon wrote numerous letters home, urging Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement and support. One of those letters triggered Southern Baptists' first Christmas offering for international missions - enough to send three new missionaries to China.
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You gave $149.3 million to the 2012 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. It surpassed the previous yearâ€™s offering of $146.8 million by more than $2.4 million and marked the third-highest amount given in the offeringâ€™s 124-year history.
MEET JOHN SUMPTER - New pastor at Myersville Baptist Church. See page 4 for more information.
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Missionaries Need Prayer From Bruce Conley Your Director of Missions
From the time I was a small boy - I was aware of the presence of good and evil in the world. When I became a teenager, and felt the call of Christ to repent of my sin and follow Him, I became even more aware of the presence of good and evil in my own life. Then as a young man - I became a police officer. I began to see the evil side of our world with shocking clarity. I remember thinking on more than one occasion as a young Christian "The struggle between good and evil has never been so clear to me - I am witnessing it every day!" So here we are again ... at the time of year when we challenge our church members to give financially to support International Missionaries through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. I wonder if - as we give - we truly know the sacrifice that many of our missionaries make to perform their calling in a far off place. I also wonder if we ever think about the struggles between good and evil that many of them experience as they serve the Lord in those lands. In 2010, a Chinese pastor and his wife were murdered at Penglai Christian Church, where Lottie Moon served in the early 1900s in Penglai, China. They were both in their 80's and counted it an honor to serve in the church that Lottie helped to start, and was closed for 49 years after communists came to power at the end of World War II, reopening in 1988 with only 20 people. In time - the church reported 300 baptisms multiple years in a row, and at the time of their pastor's death - there were 3,600 members. The church eventually outgrew the original structure that Lottie Moon served in, and built a modern 1,500-seat sanctuary next to it with the help of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga. To this day - Pastor Qin and his wife are mourned and fondly remembered, and Penglai Christian Church continues the legacy that Lottie Moon helped to start so many years ago. As your Director of Missions ... I think it is important that as we sacrificially give to the LMCO for international missions, we also realize the need to bathe in prayer those who serve in some very difficult places - and who encounter the attacks of the evil one more than we care to admit. Hardship for many of our missionaries - is a expected part of the journey. Please .... this Christmas ... PRAY for our missionaries. Pray for a hedge of protection around them and their families. Pray for a bountiful harvest of souls in exchange for the sacrifices of the faithful. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
! ! ! Bruce Conley Director of Missions, BRBA
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO THE
PASTOR AND CHURCH STAFF APPRECIATION JANUARY 11, 2014 BRUNCH Blue Ridge Baptist Association would like to invite all our pastors and church staff members and their spouses, to our annual Appreciation brunch at Ceresville Mansion, 8529 Liberty Road in Frederick Maryland. The Brunch begins at 10:00 am and lasts until about 1:00 pm. Each year the event starts with a time of fellowship over a lovely meal. We then enjoy a Yankee swap gift exchange. This is where you bring a gift that you may have received yourself, but donâ€™t necessarily wish to keep it for yourself. The event ends with a time of entertainment and worship. This year, we are pleased to feature Brett and Erin Berry from the ministry Inseparable Lives. They specialize in the production of unique entertainment and education events that help couples expand their vision of what is possible in the marriage relationship and acquire tools and strategies that bring that vision to life.You can find out more about Brett and Erin and their ministry at www.inspeparablelives.com. There is no charge to attend this event. Please RSVP for this event by December 21.You may do so by contacting Mae Argilan at (240)818-98760 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is always a fun event, we would love to see as many of our pastors and church staff as possible.
Ministry Spotlight John Sumpter, Pastor of Myersville Baptist Church I grew up in Maryland. While I was a kid my family attended Crofton Baptist church. During my summers in elementary school I would go with my church to the “boys camp” at Skycroft. That is where I realized that I was a sinner and I needed Jesus as my Savior. When I was 17 years old I asked the Lord to send me a Christian girlfriend and future mate. Four years later I married Adrienne. We have been married for 22 years, and have 6 children – one girl, one boy, and two sets of twin boys. I didn’t surrender to the call to gospel ministry until the age of 26. Since then I have served 8 years bivocational as a youth pastor at Arundel Baptist Church. At the end of that 8 years my wife and I stepped out on faith with our three little children and left for Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. In one week in July of 2003 my grandfather died, my mother in-law was diagnosed with cancer, and the house we were moving into was not going to be for rent anymore. On top of that I did not have a job to provide for my family. I am grateful to report that in 3 weeks God provided a full-time youth pastor position, a parsonage for my family to live in, strength to do my grandfather’s funeral, and an operation on my mother-in-law that completely got rid of the cancer. God is so good! While attending Liberty Seminary we were able to start a youth and children ministry at Calvary Baptist in Lovingston,VA. Through that ministry God has sent two students on the international mission field and one student into full time youth ministry. This past spring I accepted the call to be the pastor at Myersville Baptist Church. It has been an adjustment. My family left a lot of friends, a big AWANA ministry Upwards Basketball, a large youth group, and a community we loved. But we are excited and hopeful about what God is going to do in and through Myersville Baptist Church. And I’ve already experienced the acceptance and support of the ministers in Blue Ridge Baptist Association through the monthly prayer breakfasts. We will settle on our home at the end of November, and it is another time in our life where God showed up ‘just in time’. I am passionate about my relationship with Jesus Christ, my wife, kids and others. I look forward to being a part of reaching people with the good news of Jesus Christ in Myersville. I love going on international missions trips, good coffee, and grilling out. I am a die-hard Redskins and Terps fan, and rollercoaster rider. I love to read, play basketball with my sons, and watch movies with my family. That being said, my heart’s desire is just to love God and people, raise up leaders, and be kingdom focused.
December 2 - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Christian Skate Night at Turner Skate Palace on Virginia Ave. in Hagerstown. January 6 - 6:00 - 8:00 PM - Christian Skate Night at Turner Skate Palace on Virginia Ave. in Hagerstown. January 18, 2014 – Youth Leadership Roundtable @ Skycroft 9-11 AM. Come for the breakfast, stay for the conversation. January 19, 2014 – BRBA Youth Night @ Skycroft. In the gym @ 6-9:30 PM.
! OUR FLEET OF VEHICLES IS MOVING Effective January 1 - all BRBA loaner vehicles • 15 passenger shuttle bus • 12 passenger Ford van • block party trailer • mobile billboard trailer ... will be moved from SKYCROFT to BATTLEFIELD BIBLE CHURCH - 7708 Sharpsburg Pike Fairplay, MD 5 miles south of I-70 - (exit 29) on Route 65 past the Maryland House of Corrections. Reservations are still handled by Mae in the BRBA office at (240) 818-8760 or email@example.com.
VEHICLE USE Van Policy: There is a suggested minimum donation of $25, however we do ask that you consider sending an additional small contribution to go into a fund to assist the association with our operating expenses - $50, $100, etc. Our address is: 20810A National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713. We suggest that you give us a 2-weeks’ notice to reserve the van for your outing if at all possible. For insurance purposes we require a copy of the driver’s license of whoever will be picking up the van - a pdf can be emailed to Mae (firstname.lastname@example.org). The van will have a tank full of gas in it, and we ask that you return it with the gas tank topped off. It should be returned in the same place you found it, unless other arrangements have been made. All vehicles must be returned cleaned up of any trash, and in ready condition for the next church's use. You will find the vehicle at Battlefield Bible Church. The key is in a lock box located on the vehicle. When you reserve the vehicle, you will be given the lock box combination. If you have any questions please call Bruce Conley (301-821-0370).
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Block Party Trailer Policy: As with the vans, there is a suggested minimum donation of $25, however we do ask that you consider sending an additional small contribution to go into a fund to assist us with our operating expenses - $50, $100, etc. Our address is: 20810A National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713.
! We suggest that you give us a 2-weeks’ notice to reserve the party trailer for your event. !
The key is in a lock box located on the vehicle.You will be given the combination when you reserve the trailer. If you have any questions please call Bruce (301-821-0370).
Before you return the trailer we ask that you clean and organize the contents for the next rental. If it is in bad shape when we get it back, we will have to have it detailed by someone and will charge your church an additional $50 fee for that service. On board the trailer are the concessions -- popcorn, sno-cone, cotton candy machines -moonbounce, sound system, easy-up canopy, folding tables and chairs, a few games -- i.e. bean bag toss.
Individual items may be removed from the trailer for independent use only with approval - and only if they are promptly returned to the trailer for storage after your use is complete.
! Event Calendar !
Dec. 1-8 - WEEK OF PRAYER FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS (Lottie Moon) Dec. 4 - Pastor's Holiday breakfast at the RED BYRD in Keedysville Dec. 7 & 14 - ESL Workshop - First Baptist Church of Laurel, MD (BCM/D) Dec. 21 - Homeless Persons' Memorial Day (BCM/D) Dec. 25 - CHRISTMAS DAY!! Jan. 1 - 31 "CALL TO PRAYER MONTH" in the SBC Jan. 3-5 & 10-12 RE-BOOT WINTER YOUTH RETREATS Skycroft Conference Center Jan. 1 - New Year's Day Jan. 1-5 - (suggested) JANUARY BIBLE STUDY Jan. 10 - Church Planter Orientation Day & Tax / Legal Seminar BCM/D Jan. 11 - BRBA Minister / Staff / Spouse appreciation brunch at Ceresville Mansion Jan. 15-16 - Church Plant Assessor Training - BCM/D Jan. 14 - Worship Leaders Boot Camp East - Salisbury, MD (BCM/D) Jan. 17 - Worship Leaders Boot Camp West - SKYCROFT CONFERENCE CENTER (BCM/D) Jan. 18 - BRBA Youth Leadership Rountable - Skycroft Conference Center Jan. 19 - BRBA Youth Night - Skycroft Conference Center Jan. 19 - SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE SUNDAY Jan. 20 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Jan. 23-25 - Ministers & Mates Retreat - Rehoboth Beach, DE (BCM/D) Jan. 27 & 28 - Soul of the Servant Retreat - SKYCROFT CONFERENCE CENTER (BCM/D) Jan. 28 - Minister's Tax Seminar - BCM/D
! ! ! ! ! ! ! Birthdays Mae Argilan - Dec. 5 Jan Musgrove - Dec. 8 Everett Powell - Dec. 15 Fred Argilan - Dec. 22 Wendell McClellan - Dec. 30 Thom Smith - Jan. 4 Sandy Marsico - Jan . 13 Rina Fox - Jan. 16 Roger Rich - Jan. 16 Gail Scheffers - Jan. 23
Anniversary Alan & Billie Joe Myers Jan 8
In the Churches Tri-State Community Church - Hancock had a very smooth opening day for their Good News Bible Club session at Hancock Elementary on November 7. 21 students were in attendance.They will be meeting every Thursday after school. The mission lesson for the next couple of months is on the life and ministry of Lottie Moon. West End Baptist Chapel - Hagerstown will host a Christmas Eve Candle Light service featuring southern gospel singer Randy Simpson at 5pm, all are welcome! New Hope Church - Inwood has now paid off their land, and is looking into construction options for their new church facility. Pleasant Valley Baptist Church - Rohrersville will be serving the homeless at the Hagerstown Rescue Mission with a worship service and a meal — Sunday, December 1 at 7:00pm Christmas Caroling at the Inn Boonsboro for Holiday In Boonsboro— Saturday, December 7 from 11:00am to 2:00pm They are also collecting clean, gently used clothing (men's, women's, boys, girls and infant). They will be donated to the Hagerstown Rescue Mission. River's Edge Ministries - Martinsburg has adopted 4 families in the Martinsburg area who are in need to help them have a very happy and joyous Christmas season. The church will also host a couples date night on December 7 at 6 PM at the Yellow Brick Bank in Shepherdstown. Valley Baptist Church - Jefferson will host a Christmas dinner at 5 PM on December 7. Smithsburg Valley Baptist Church - Smithsburg will have a children’s Christmas celebration and Parents day out from 12:30 to 4:30 PM on December 8.
Fellowship Baptist Church - Middletown hosts an IRON MEN Breakfast, Every 2nd Saturday Morning at 8am. A guys-only time of scriptures, socializing and support. Get to know the fellows at Fellowship and enjoy some free food at the same time! Women of Fellowship Women’s Breakfast, Every 4th Saturday Morning at 9am Not to be outdone by the men, the Women of Fellowship Baptist Church gather for breakfast and devotional time at the end of each month. Children are welcome but NO men allowed! Game & Entertainment Nights – Every 3rd Saturday of the month, 5:30-8pm. Join us for familyfriendly board games, video games, snacks, and maybe even some faith-friendly comedy! First Baptist Church - Frederick is collecting clothing for the fall and winter seasons in order to provide a clothing drive. For the past 4 years they have partnered with Waverley Elementary School and they have identified families in this community to help for Christmas. This year they will run the Mitten Tree Program for these families. FBC Frederick is committed to making every child’s Christmas special. NorthStar Community Church - Ijamsville will be having a Santa’s Workshop and make a Gift Day at their ministry center on December 7 from 11 AM to 3 PM. There will be a church Christmas dinner at Ceresville Mansion from 6:30 - 9:30 PM on December 8. Cost is $25 per person. Join NorthStar for their Children’s Program on Sunday the 15th.
! To kick off LOTTIE MOON emphasis in our association, the Director of Missions is presenting 2 awards for excellence in giving to the LMCO in 2012. VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH received the award in BRBA for Top Per Capita Giving to last year's offering to help international missionaries, and SOUTH END BAPTIST received the award as the Top Giving Church in BRBA. THANK YOU TO ALL THE CHURCHES who participate in this very important missions offering during the Christmas season!
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to all the churches in BRBA who have given sacrificially to support the ongoing work of LOCAL MISSIONS through this local Baptist Association!!! We could not do what we do - with YOU! If your church is behind in supporting local missions through BRBA, please do what you can to catch up by the end of the 2013 calendar year.
2013 ASSOCIATION GIVING BY MEMBER CHURCHES
Pray for the mission team that is now assembled from many different BRBA churches that will be going to SANTO DOMINGO in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC March 8-15, 2013. Pray for them as they minister to impoverished people along side of Samartian's Purse ministries, and working with a local church in that region. Pray for Dr. Will McRaney, our new Executive Director of the Baptist Convention of MD/DE, and for all the churches in our convention that God would lead in the coming year in a BIG way as we all attempt to follow Him and do His will. Continue to pray for Erin Youngbar (Smithsburg Valley) and her family for strength, physical healing, and patience. Erin continues her battle with brain cancer, and needs our spiritual and emotional support during this extremely difficult time. Pray for our region's newly appointed Church Planting Catalyst - Dr. Joel Rainey. Joel will be responsible for church plant coordination between NAMB and the local DOM's for Mid-Maryland, Blue Ridge, and Western Associations effective January 1, 2014. Pray that many people would be reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ as a result of the many Christmas events, programs, and outreach ministries that happen over the Christmas holiday season. Remember people you know are more likely to come with you to church at Christmas than any other time of the year! First Baptist Church - Brunswick is beginning a renovation project to install two new bathrooms, painting and replacing carpet on their main level. Please pray that things go smoothly so the task can be complete before Christmas. Please pray for Kenny Heath's (Director of Western Association) mother who is in the hospital in Greenville, NC - recovering from emergency surgery for bleeding on the brain. Pray for Don Yost, husband of Cindy Yost, Administrative Assistant for the Arundel Baptist Association, who is still going through chemotherapy for cancer. Pray with Thanksgiving for the Christ child - the greatest gift ever given, born to save mankind from our sins.
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! 20810A NATIONAL PIKE BOONSBORO, MD 21713