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St. Paul’S BaPtiSt ChurCh croft

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Newsletter The Rev. Wayne E. Croft, Sr., D. Min, PH.D.

Beginning a New Year Before the New Year Begins It is hard to believe that we are preparing to enter into a new year, 2016 thus far has been a challenging year for many. We were again faced with troubling acts like the murders of young unarmed African American men, the shooting of police officers in Dallas, as well as mass murder in an Orlando, FL night club, the momentary crash of the stock market when Britain voted to leave the European Union, the terrorist group ISIS continual inhumane acts, witnessing our neighbors in Haiti once again encounter another devastating hurricane, new Ebola cases in Africa, a Presidential election that left half the world numb and shocked, and let’s not forget the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali and Gwen Ifill; to name a few. It once again, has been a trying year. To know that we are about to usher in a new year without having some form of closure towards the misfortunes we experienced in 2016 is a little unsettling. However, whether we are ready or not a new year is upon us. Although we have no idea of what awaits us in this coming year, we do know that God always brings us through, one year after the next and the evidence of this reality is we are still here. I am personally glad that Advent comes before we begin a new year. Advent reminds me of the hope, peace, joy, and love Christ brings to our life and the world. It appears that Advent always comes when we really need it. This means for those of us who follow the liturgical calendar and not just the world calendar, we begin a new year on the first Sunday of Advent, which occurs the last Sunday in November, before the world celebrates a New Year on the first day of January. In other words we begin a new year of hope, peace, joy, and love before the New Year begins. For us today in the 21st century, standing on the brink of yet another new year, we need Advent and the Christ child before a new year is ushered in. Advent invites us to prepare ourselves for the coming Christ so that the world and we may be changed by God’s love and mercy. We need Advent and the Christ child who will open our eyes and hearts to new hope, renewed peace, rekindled joy, and rejuvenated love. We desperately need a glimpse

St. Paul’s Baptist Church Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza, 1 Hagerty Boulevard West Chester, PA 19382


of God's plan for us. We see a world full of mistreatment, injustice, war and violence. We see a nation struggling in the midst of financial concerns. We see a nation that is divided on so many terms; racially, politically, economically, etc. We see global poverty and hunger on the rise, and closer to home we find people, including family and friends, losing jobs, relationships, homes, and security. We need a glimpse of salvation, just a glimpse to give us hope. Who could think of a world more in need of hope, peace, joy, love, and some direction? Advent is a time of waiting and expectation and patience. Advent is a time of looking ahead with anticipation and hope. Thus it is my hope that you have begun to secure a glimpse of hope, peace, joy, and love for you, our church, and this world. I hope you began to celebrate before the New Year begins the limitless possibilities God has to offer us in 2017 in spite of what happened or did not happen in 2016. Dear Lord, we thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon us. We thank you for sparing our lives regardless of how fragmented some of our lives may be at this present time. We are grateful that you and you alone will provide us with a New Year filled with new opportunities and possibilities. Awaken us to the reality that the hope, peace, joy, love, kindness, and grace that we offer to each other are not the only truly valuable things in this life, but that they are the means through which we can all work to create a better new year. So, awaken us‌ Awaken us to each other. May this new year that is upon us be the year we see violence, oppression, hatred, hoarding, power, and privilege with eyes wide open. May we be attuned to your will and calling on our lives and for our nation. Help us, most of all, to grow spiritually and closer to You. It is only then that we can better serve You and our neighbor. Help us to be better than we were in 2016. Give us hope in times of despair, peace in times of peril, joy in spite of what we encounter, and love that will never be severed by anything or anyone. It is in Your name we ask, pray and rejoice. With Limitless Possibilities, Pastor

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A Look Back at 2016

...but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on 3 to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:13-14

To God be the Glory! There were so many events that happened in our world , community and church this year. We highlighted a few and showcased some of the beautiful men, women and children of St. Paul’s Baptist Church. Happy New Year! Lesly A. Jennings Editorial Director


Our Pastor’s Fourth Anniversary And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15

Martin Luther King Day of Service Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; Psalms 82:3—4

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Silence Is Power March When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. Proverbs 21:15

Women’s Retreat

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Robe Dedication Then I will praise God's name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30

Usher Day Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord 1 Corinthians 15:58

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Jazz Vespers

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You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. Amos 6:5

We Welcome You –Friends , Family & Neighbors “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:7


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Special Thanks to: Sister Cynthia Eaton Brother Wayne E. Croft Jr. Deacon Vaughn I. Jennings Sr. Brother Ruben Robinson Sister Lisa Smith Sister Rita Waters

SPBC Newsletter 2016 Year in Review  
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