You have probably started to hear some rumblings around the church about the new BAT Team. And no, this is not a church team of vigilantes working alongside Batman to fight crime in Hagerstown. Our BAT Team stands for the Building Analysis Task Team. This team has been selected to do a comprehensive analysis of our building. We do this for a few reasons:
As we enter into June, Pastor Tim and I begin our fourth year of ministry with the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren. Can you believe how fast the time flies? Each year we have marked the movement into another year of ministry by naming a focus for the new year. Hopefully, you remember that this past year we focused on strengthening our biblical call to hospitality. This focus was to prepare us for this year’s focus on being invitational.
The Art of Christian Listening by Thomas Hart
During college, Pastor Audrey was a Student Peer Minister assigned to her dorm as a trusted spiritual companion for other students needing to process their faith life. To prepare for this role, she read The Art of Christian Listening and found its instruction so helpful that she passed it along to me. Maybe this was a subtle hint for me to become a better listener. But isn’t it the case that we could all be better listeners?
Our next Congregational Business Meeting will be on May 7. As has become our custom at the May Business Meeting, Pastor Audrey and I will announcement the ministry theme for our fourth year of ministry at HCOB which begins on June 1. For this past year, we’ve been focusing our efforts on Hospitality. So before we say our goodbyes to hospitality, I want to highlight some of what we’ve learned.
God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World by Amy Oden
For the season of Lent, a significant cross-section of our congregation has considered Amy Oden’s book which pushes Christians to the depths of hospitality. This has been a useful tool in HCOB’s year of hospitality and will be available for anyone to take home and read after Palm Sunday.
The transition from March to April brings with it the hope of spring. It has always made perfect sense to me that it is during this seasonal change that we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. A season that is abounding with images of re-creation and new life is the perfect time to remember the resurrection of Jesus and the new life he offers to each of us. Holy Week is a special time in the life of the Church, carrying us from Palm Sunday to Easter morning.
We’ve all done it. Someone comes to us with something they are struggling with and instead of walking with them through the struggle we respond with a simple sentence all wrapped up and topped with a beautiful bow. “Ta-da” we say.
This year, the season of Lent begins on March 1 with Ash Wednesday. Lent is a time for us to journey closely behind Jesus as he prepares to head to the cross and the resurrection. It is a time for us to focus on our spiritual selves, our true selves in Christ Jesus.
February is one of the hardest months for those who struggle with any level of seasonal depression. It is a little strange to me that the shortest month of the year is also one of the hardest. February is one of the hardest months for those who struggle with any level of seasonal depression. It is a little strange to me that the shortest month of the year is also one of the hardest.
Our goal with this blog is to give you an idea of the books that your pastors are reading. So even though the book we are going to highlight this month is not a new book to our bookshelf, it is one that we have dusted off and brought back out recently.