"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion...walk with me and work with me...Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." - Matthew 11:29-29 (The Message Bible)
It's been quite a busy spring for our church family. But as the heat wave swept through New Jersey even before the official start of summer, I began to feel the need to slow down. It is always good to serve God in every season, but I believe God gave us summer so we can take the time to relax, be refreshed and renewed.
In a Daily Bread devotion, David McCasland wrote, "When I think that serving God is all up to me, I've began working for Him instead of walking with Him. There is a vital difference. If I'm not working with Christ, my spirit becomes dry and brittle. People are annoyances, not fellow humans created in God's image. Nothing seems right. When I sense that I'm practicing religion instead of enjoying a relationship with Jesus, it's time to lay the burden down and walk with Him in His unforced rhythms of grace." (David McCasland, Daily Bread, "Rhythms of Grace, Wednesday, June 14, 2017)
I pray that this July and August, we will take time to slow down and learn from Jesus and find joy in learning the "unforced rhythms of grace." Have a safe and blessed summer!
Yours and Christ's,
Main Theme:Baptist Heritage and Grace
Morning Worship Service – 9:30am
TIME CHANGE: SUNDAY JUNE 25th to September 3rd
Morning Worship Service Begins at 9:30am
Sunday School Hours - Taking a break for the summer.
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10am. to 2 pm. * Please contact Pastor for appointments at other hours as necessary.
If there is an EMERGENCY in your family or you know of a need please call at any time:
- Pastor Carla (610-659-0314)or Parsonage (856-579-4767)
- Heidi Louis, Moderator (856-371-8791)
- Pat Moore (856-430-0685)
The American Baptist Men’s Group will be meeting on Sunday, June 11th at 7:30AM at the Piston Diner in Westville NJ. This will be the last one until September, 2017. Any questions, please call Don Sanderson (856) 845-3959 or Bill Sutton (856) 848-8366.
We will meet on Monday, June 12th for our end of the year picnic @ 6:00pm. at The Long’s home. We hope that you will join us. Please sign up in the Narthex. For more information see Roxanne Long or Joan Moyer.
In order to help you keep up with recent announcements and the focus of our Worship Service, on any Sunday that you are unable to attend church, please feel free to contact any of us to send you a copy of the bulletin and any inserts that might have been included. Joan Moyer, Chair, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Corann Okorodudu, V. Chair: Email: email@example.com
The Council met on June 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm. After Heidi Louis opened with prayer, Pastor Carla introduced four baptismal candidates to the Council: Julia Levy, Jessica Levy, Jennifer Levy and Maya Dove. The Council then interviewed the candidates and approved them for baptism.
Heidi and Tom Louis then updated the Council on (1) the positive investment performance of the Church’s endowment funds, (2) a report on the estimated cost to repair sanctuary windows in the baptismal area and the rear of the sanctuary, and (3) an update on the fact-finding visit and preliminary report of the engineer’s representative retained to evaluate the sanctuary heating system problems. The Stewardship Committee and Heidi also reported on (a) revised cost estimates for the renovation to the lighting fixtures throughout the church, (b) estimates for fixing the crumbling steps on the Centre Street side of the church, and (c) the need to hire a professional tree trimmers for overhanging branches posing potential problems to the roof of the church.
The Council then heard reports from AB Men and AB Women, including plans for Father’s Day, Coffee with Cops, the September church picnic, the New Jersey AB Women’s conference, the more than $1,000 raised from the yard sale, and the collection of school supplies for the Philippines. The Council discussed a report from the Fellowship Committee, and was advised that the Music report and Treasurer’s report had previously been sent to Council members electronically. Diane Bradley will be sending a financial report on receipts in the near future.
The Council received and approved several requests for use of the church facility and furniture for various events. The Council also discussed the possible purchase of a defibrillator and the installation of a handrail along the steps of the main church entrance on Jackson Street. Council endorsed Diane Bradley’s request for prayer and discernment for the future of the Camden ministry or a new ministry in its place. The Council also heard reports on issues surrounding a community VBS as well as the possibility of hosting a table at the Lot 323 event in August.
Pastor Carla's reported on the ABCNJ annual session on September 22 and 23; and the Church’s hosting of the General Secretary of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, Rev. Dr. Narciso and his wife Medy Narciso on Sunday, September 10. Her written report was sent electronically to Council members before the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned with prayer by Diane Bradley at 8:30 pm.
located at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on the corner of South Barber and Evergreen Avenues, is collecting food and household goods. Please donate food and/or non-perishables to the Food Bank, and they will joyfully take them. If you are able to purchase extra while out shopping, please bring to the Food Bank, from 9:30am to 11:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or please put them in the box in the Narthex. ** Also, remember that you can make a monetary donation to the Food Bank, and they will purchase the much needed food.
PRAYER REQUESTS- Please do not hesitate to call with any requests for prayer. Contact Diane Bradley or the church office to start the Prayer Chain.
The Annual Book Dedication time at Central Baptist Church runs from Sunday May 14th, Mother’s Day, and continues up through Father’s Day, June 18th. Several books are still looking for someone to purchase and dedicate them in memory or honor of a loved one. God Bless your willingness to support our Central Baptist Church library!
|Pastor Carla Romarate-Knipel
|Don and Judy Sanderson
||Harry, Ali, Jack, Kevin, Ellie
||The Okorodudu Family
||Mother and Dad
It is that time of year again CBC Family. The church and parsonage lawns need to be manicured for the Summer months. If you are willing to contribute to this need, please put your gift with designation for lawn care in the Sunday offering plate. Thank you.
I have decided that, for the summer issue of the Spire, I should write from the piano bench, since that is where I’ll be on Sunday mornings. Whether from the ‘loft’ or the ‘bench,’ I think we can all agree that I have a talent for making so little information sound like so much.
So, here goes…
Special Music for summer worship will be provided by the Ensemble and the Women’s Chorus. In the past, I have scheduled a ‘pick-up’ choir, with little success – it was always members of the ensemble, women’s chorus, or choir who joined us. However, if you would like to join us some Sunday, even if you only lip-sync or do karaoke, you are welcome (yes, Russ, this includes you). In addition, the Kristal Bells will be playing several times; and Pastor Dave and Florist Don have agreed to sing for special music on all sixth Sundays in July and August.
I will be taking the two Sundays at the end of July and at the end of August as vacation days. Of course, as some have noted, even when I’m in church, I seem to be ‘away.’
Thursday ‘Sandwich and a Song’ will continue to meet on select Thursdays during the summer. The date, time, and location are noted in the Sunday worship bulletin.
I was very pleased with the various special music contributions to worship in June. Our Youth Choir and the First Asian Baptist Youth Choir did an outstanding job. Thanks to Pastor Carla (who has accepted a job in the music department at Disney) for the “Jesus Loves Me” number. And the AB Men did a very good job singing on Father’s Day. As several noted, ‘can Carnegie Hall be far behind?’ And, sincere appreciation to Ralph Buck, for also contributing so much to worship that day.
We are planning a Christmas Cantata for December. I really wish some of you, who may not wish to make a commitment to the Senior Choir, would consider joining us. Please speak to any choir member, or, preferably, directly to me.
Wishing you a not-too-humid summer
Boyd Fox, Music Director
I am writing a new theme song for myself. I’m having a little trouble with the first part, but the recurring line is: “C-H-U… R-C-H… M-O-U-S-E.” There’s a great tune I’ve written for it. Bet you’ll never guess.
We observed Father’s Day in June. I don’t know if you realize that Father’s Day was initiated in a church out west, by a woman who wanted to celebrate her own single-father’s effort in raising her. It caught on, but did not become an official holiday in this country until 1972. You might also be interested in knowing that Children’s Day (which has never become an official holiday) originated in a church in Merchantville.
I learned this at church on Father’s Day. I was at our family reunion down in Centerton. We all go to worship first, then gather at the park for a picnic (other people’s food, of course!).
At worship, the pastor spoke about her father and some of the life lessons she learned from him. It got me to thinking about my own father, now gone on to glory, who taught me several lessons I have never forgotten. I’d like to share three of them with you.
First, whenever we used a public (mouse) restroom, my dad would always clean up the area when he was done. I guess this would be similar to flushing the toilet, then wiping up the sink area after washing your hands for humans. When I asked about it, he said, “Always leave the place better than you found it.” And, to this day, I follow his advice.
I never really appreciated the second thing he taught me until I was much older. He would sit me down to listen to his advice, and when I would squirm or start to object, he would remind me, “Always listen to the advice of others. You don’t have to follow it. But, you will be held accountable for your decisions, so get as much help as you can in making them.”
Dad also taught by his behavior. I used to play in the Sunday School Mouse Band at church. Every Sunday, Dad would take me to church for Sunday School, which was quite early, and stay and hear us play. Even when I was old enough to hitch a ride on my own, he would still come with me every Sunday and sit there and listen. Dad never said, “I love you” very much. I actually can’t recall hearing him ever say it, though I’m sure he did. But Dad did show he loved me by this simple act of his presence with me, even when it was no longer needed.
I hope you enjoy celebrating the life lessons you learned from your fathers or mothers or grandparents or teachers or other mentors and models. None of us is a self-made mouse (or person). And, each one of us is teaching others by our words and our behaviors every day. I hope they are good lessons we’re leaving behind.
Have a great summer!
Your friend, Chubby Church Mouse
Since our new General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Spitzer, began his work as Pastor and Leader of our denominational family, I wondered what he thought about what was going on in our country and the world. So I was glad that he has written a pastoral letter to us, his denominational family. Below is an excerpt from his pastoral letter sent on June 16, 2017. The full text is available online, on the ABCUSA website and Central Baptist Church of Woodbury Facebook page.
Dear ABCUSA Family,
The recent terrorist attacks in England, the apparently politically motivated shooting that took place in Virginia, ongoing debates over how to treat immigrants and visitors to our country, and the struggles of another Baptist denomination to take a clear stand on issues related to white supremacy remind us all that we are living in a violent and divided world that desperately needs to overcome every form of social and political discrimination and search for more just ways to live in harmony. In 2017, American Baptists gladly and forthrightly reassert our fundamental Baptist convictions regarding individual liberty, dignity and respect for all people, regardless of their racial or ethnic heritage, political or religious beliefs, or any other factor...
In the past, American Baptists have expressed these convictions in resolutions and statements, which make clear we have consistently opposed every form of racism and discrimination. For example, in 1983, the ABC General Board declared,“We, as American Baptists, believe that all people are made in the image of God and that the right to human dignity, to be respected and treated as a person without regard to race, is foundational to our faith... Racism, whether individual or corporate, is a sin against God... We affirm the diversity of races and cultures as distinctive aspects of our denomination. We accept each person as a full participant and each race and each culture as valid expressions within the life and witness of the ABC family...”
With such a rich and diverse set of resolutions and statements, how should we as American Baptists respond to the challenges we face in today’s troubled and fractured society? I suggest we not only re-affirm the statements of the past, but resolve to live them out in practical and consistent ways in our individual and congregational spiritual journeys. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying” (Strength to Love, 37). To bring our thoughts and actions in line with our expressed convictions, we must re-engage Scripture and let its message take control of our beliefs, attitudes, emotions and actions. Please consider these as a starting point in such a transformational journey:
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for a person’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires...If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (James 1:19-20, 26-27)
"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."(1 Corinthians 13:3-7)
As I reflect on these Scriptures, I glean the following challenges to help us all hold fast to our Baptist convictions while also contributing to a more harmonious American civic life:
- Commit to listen more graciously and with an open mind, especially when we are in conversation with people who hold different views than we do.
- Reject anger, rudeness, hatred, arrogance, and egotism in our dealings with others. Being prophetic is not compatible with being obsessive, abusive or insensitive.
- Do not forget that people we disagree with are still human beings, and desire respect, grace and acceptance. The Golden Rule still applies to human relationships.
- Be patient before responding to situations and people; oftentimes, first reports of an event do not convey the whole truth. Knee-jerk reactions are seldom helpful.
- Do not assume that one’s own position on an issue is the only Christian response to which all others must subscribe. We know only “in part,” as Paul says.
As American Baptists, may we, through our words and actions, “let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good deeds” (Matthew 5:16) and be drawn to Jesus Christ, our Lord!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Lee B. Spitzer
American Baptist Churches USA
Calling ALL children and parents! Summer will be coming before you know it! A great experience for your child is to attend one of the many camps offered to the children of American Baptist Churches by Camp Lebanon, located in Lebanon, New Jersey. Registrations are available in the Narthex or please ask Larry Grant for more information. Remember that Central Baptist pays half of all camperships, and if you register early there is even more savings! Hope you decide to join the fun this summer!
July 2017 Calendar
August 2017 Calendar
Have Coffee with the Police