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discover it, experience it,
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
WELCOME TO 2019!
Each year at FBC Arlington is filled with significant events and memorable experiences as we follow The Jesus Way together as a church family. This past year has been no exception. We spent the entire year of 2018 exploring the theme, Finding Your Way. Let me remind you of our journey:
Finding Your Way . . .
. . . through the Bible
. . . on the Jesus Way
. . . in Relationships
. . . towards Spiritual Maturity
. . . in Ministry
. . . around the World
. . . to Bethlehem
We began 2018 with a sense of renewed energy and hope. Our new Sanctuary opened in the Fall of 2017. We have “lived into” this new room in our corporate worship life as a church. It has been a great year in worship.
On February 11, 2018 – we broke ground on our new Preschool/Children’s Education Building! It was a great day of celebration as our families gathered on the construction site and celebrated our future together. We gathered there later in the year for a time of dedication and commemoration. Families scattered across the foundation of the new building, wrote Scripture on the steel beams, and prayed God’s blessings upon the future ministries that will be housed in this new facility. Again – it was a memorable experience.
We initiated several changes in our infrastructure this past year in our church. After the approval of the recommendations from the Governance Task Force, we welcomed the new Great Commission Council and the new Advisory Council to our church’s leadership structure.
The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) really began its work together once the new year commenced in 2018. The ELT was created earlier --- but our team joined the Personnel Committee for the first time on a regular basis in 2018. And Barry Rock, Curt Grice, Josh Stowe, and I now serve as voting members on the Advisory Council.
We also elected the new Worship Ministry Assessment and Search Committee and it began its work in 2018. This committee has already had a significant recommendation approved by the church. That recommendation has created two new positions in our Worship Ministry: Minister of Worship (Classic) and Minister of Worship (Contemporary).
We also re-organized our Business Office and created the new position, Executive Financial Officer. After a significant search, we hired Phyllis Lisby to serve in this new role in our church’s operational structure.
And – we created a new position in our Hospitality Ministry and we have welcomed Katie Seelye to this new role.
After a very meaningful Faith at Home event this summer, we kicked off a new Family Ministry emphasis at FBCA. We have re-vamped our Wednesday night schedule with the implementation of MIDWEEK. While this new ministry program has room for improvement, it has proven to be successful on numerous levels.
And – we have been blessed by the work of our Leadership Committee in 2018. We have focused on assisting our church members in discovering their spiritual gifts, leadership style, and personality type. Over 600 adults have taken the Assess Me evaluations. Most of our Adult Bible Study classes have been studying the commensurate curriculum as well.
Again, 2018 has been a significant year for our church. And now, we are facing 2019! What will this year hold for us? We know we will officially open our new Preschool/Children’s Building this summer. We also will welcome new team members to our Worship Ministry. We will see what else this year holds.
discover it, experience it, proclaim it
Our theme for 2019 is: HOPE: discover it, experience it, proclaim it.
We will take the entire year to explore the meaning the hope we have as believers. We will discuss how to build our lives on that hope, and how to share that hope with our world.
What is “hope” according to the Bible? Perhaps we might refer to hope in the Biblical sense as “a confident expectation.” The term itself is rarely found until the epistles in the New Testament. As such, hope is usually tied to the resurrection of Jesus and His impending return.
Our hope is also deeply connected to the promises of God. We can trust God. We can trust His Word. Consequently, we can have hope because of the trustworthiness of His nature.
In his book, The Soul of America, Jon Meacham offers the beautiful insight that hope is the opposite of fear:
The opposite of fear is hope, defined as the expectation of good fortune not only for ourselves but for the group to which we belong. Fear feeds anxiety and produces anger; hope, particularly in a political sense, breeds optimism and feelings of well-being. Fear is about limits; hope is about growth. Fear casts its eye warily, even shiftily, across the landscape; hope looks forward, toward the horizon. Fear points at others, assigning blame; hope points ahead, working for a common good. Fear pushes away; hope pulls others closer. Fear divides; hope unifies.
-Jon Meacham, The Soul of America, p. 16
To Meacham’s point – the Bible has much to say about fear. How many times are we told to “fear not” in the Scripture! God is not a God of fear—He is a God of hope!
We place our faith in God. We believe He keeps His Word. His promises are sure. Max Lucado’s newest book is entitled, Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God. He asks a poignant question in the first chapter: “The question is not, will God keep his promises, but, will we build our lives on them?” (p. 8)
Our hope is secure and unshakable! We will give the entire year exploring this timely and meaningful reality. Praise God – we have hope in Christ!