Archive for category Announcements
Things are coming along with the Ishtar Gate! We’re very excited to be presenting a Vacation Bible School at Bedford Road Baptist Church this year. Our theme is Babylon: Daniel’s Courage in Captivity.
A couple of our elders and a crew of guys (and one lady) are building some pretty impressive sets for the kids to really get the Babylon experience. A group of ladies have been assembling costumes, marketplace shops, and a snack bazaar. It’s gonna be awesome!
That being said, we do invite people to take a step of unity and community in becoming voting members of the congregation. Personally, I wish there was a better term for this, but there isn’t, so we use it. This is NOT a “join our club” membership. It is a covenant we take together, renewed twice a year, to make extraordinary sacrifices that should be the norm. (Sadly, they are not.)
The covenant includes a statement:
“to commit our hearts, work and resources to making this vision a reality.”
This is the essence of true membership in a congregation. It is the commitment to get off the chairs and into work.It is the commitment to GIVE – not because we want to but because we step up as followers of Christ and OWN the vision he has given us.
In the coming weeks, we will be entering a teaching series from Romans 12 entitled “PART_S”. It is one of those series that is sure to offend people who are not putting Christ and His Church in their proper place in their lives. It will irritate people who think of church as just something they tack on when it is convenient. It is guaranteed to flumox and stir-up those who casually commit to the church and then expect to control it through their influence.
Below is the covenant we make together as members of the congregation. We take it very seriously, and it will be mentioned a lot during this series.:
Having accepted Christ as our Savior, we unite together as a congregation – committed to the beliefs of our Statement of Faith and submitted to the leadership of our elders, as guided by the teachings of Jesus.
Taking Christ as our Master, we embrace without reservation Jesus’ vision for this congregation – creating environments where people encounter Jesus and journey together – and covenant with both Christ and with our fellow believers to commit our hearts, work and resources to making this vision a reality.
We covenant together to follow Jesus Christ as our model:
- Resolving conflicts with others in this congregation peacefully, in a way that demonstrates our love to those inside and outside our fellowship.
- Honoring others by honoring Christ above all else in our lives.
- Serving both those inside and outside of the church with a humble spirit.
- Living and speaking the Gospel, as the Holy Spirit prompts us to do so.
- Seeking God’s glory in all things.
God enabling me, I will strive to consider my covenant of membership, renewing my covenant annually.
My responsibility will be to notify the Senior Pastor and Elders of Bedford Road Baptist Church if at any time I can no longer commit to this covenant, or if I have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding Bedford Road Baptist Church.
Our congregation’s merger was in the Nashua Telegraph again today. The article had a couple of small misnomers (for example, we don’t call our worship services ‘mass’) but it was still a decent writeup.
You should check it out!
After discussing the candidate name of The Church on Bedford Road, the elders had enough of a sense of direction from the congregation that we chose to alter the candidate name to BEDFORD ROAD BAPTIST CHURCH.
As I’ve told many people, I could pastor Cardboard Box Baptist Church, as long as the congregation was behind the vision Jesus set before us. I am excited that we are nearing the end of this naming journey, and I look forward to discussing this option with everyone!
Along with the announcement of the name, we also talked quite a bit about our vision and how we will map out our ministries in the coming few months. If you missed it, head over to the website and download the message from Sunday.
The candidate name is:
The Church on Bedford Road
The elders felt that this is the way most people know us. It is a familiar way to refer to our congregation, and it communicates far more to the community about our commitment to Merrimack and the greater region. Whenever you’re talking to someone who lives in Merrimack about the church, they almost never know the name. But if you say, “You know, the church on Bedford Road”, there is instant recognition.
It also fits our regional perspective on ministry. Think about it. If someone is going to come to church with you from Nashua, they have to come up the Everett Turnpike. They will turn onto Bedford Road at Exit 12. If they’re coming south from Manchester, how many times have we had to say, “You can’t take the Everett. There’s no southbound exit to Bedford Road.“
We chose this name for a few other reasons. Believe it or not, the term Baptist is in the subtitle for these reasons, and none of them are because the term Baptist is unpopular. In point of fact, some surveys show that people prefer when congregations identify themselves with a historical tradition.
- Most importantly, the term Baptist is a designation for believers. We have included it in our name but in a subtitle because we feel that communicates our commitment to the historical Baptist doctrine without crowding the name.
- The name “Bedford Road Baptist Church” simply doesn’t flow. It is hard to say, and we would wind up referring to the church as either BRBC (a very awkward acronym) or “Bedford Road.”
- What’s more, calling the church “Bedford Road Baptist Church” would place the geographic designator and the theological designator before the most important part of the name – that we are a part of the Church of Christ.
If you’re wondering why we did not go with the other geographic designator that has been kicked around – “Reed’s Ferry” – it is because people who live in the Reed’s Ferry area of Merrimack know that there are “Reed’s Ferry ____” all over the place – lumber yards, convenience stores. We did not want our Church – part of the greatest, most awesome movement ever to exist on the face of the earth – to get lost in the white noise of a name everyone associates with something else.
Believe it or not, we’re pretty much all there is on Bedford Road other than residences. We ‘own’ the street. We’re it for stuff on Bedford Road, so if we put it out there, people will know immediately who we are.
We are now three months into the merger of Heritage Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Church. Here are some quick thoughts on what we’ve learned:
- Never discount the potential of an ‘older’ congregation. The men and women of Grace have just absolutely gone above and beyond in bringing things together. We’re all still feeling each other out and testing tolerances, but we have seen people working together on everything and anything.
- Leadership in community (i.e. elder ‘rule’) rocks. Having many different perspectives is perhaps not as ‘decisive’ as some pastors like to be, but it is far more thoughtful and when we bring stuff to the church, it has been thought and prayed through by more than one person. I love it.
- Having fun together is still one of the best ‘team building’ activities a church can do. Yesterday, we had lunch with two couples – one from Grace and one from Heritage – and I laughed so hard I almost puked. The best way to get to know people is to spend time with them and just be yourself. They talked; we talked. It was great.
- Easter is something absolutely awesome. We’re getting ready for Easter, and let me tell you, our church is JAZZED. We’re planning on having over 100 folks. We’ve gotten coverage from the Union-Leader and the Telegraph. And even the reporters seemed excited about what is happening.
- Naming a merged congregation is HARD WORK! We’ve been through literally hundreds of suggestions, and it is hard to embody the nature of our congregation. At our next elders’ meeting, we’re going to be making a ‘short list’ for the congregation, and we’ve got a few likely candidates, but wow is this hard.
Here is the logo for one of the suggested name: Faith Walk Fellowship. What do you think?
Believe it or not, this weekend is the beginning of daylight savings time. Remember to turn your clocks FORWARD one hour or you will be seriously late for worship, and we want you to be there with us this week.
This Sunday, we finish up our series on Ephesians called “1+1=1″ and introduce our EASTER SERIES, entitled “RISE”. We are also going to continue our collection to help Kathy and Emily Rentz with their missions trip to Russia!
So, turn your clocks forward and get up on Sunday ready to see what God is doing!
With the extensive damage to our state in the now three days of wind storms, there are a lot of folks without power and heat. As the Church, we have an opportunity to touch the lives of folks and extend some grace. I’d encourage you to reach out to others in your area and offer what help you can provide. Take a moment to look through the church phone directory and contact those in our church who live close to you and make sure they’re alright.
Here is a listing of the towns that have been impacted – http://nuwnotes1.nu.com/apps/mediarelease/psnhpr.nsf/2AE29E31B31AA7608525733E0066786A/B9810956A3BB0BF0852576D700100F45
Also, please be praying for Peter Lindsay. He is a line worker for PSNH and will be away from his home for at least a week doing repairs.
Erik DiVietro, Senior Pastor
Grace Baptist Church (Formerly Heritage Baptist Church & Grace Baptist Church) 67 Bedford Rd, Merrimack, NH 03054
Office – (603) 424-9623 :: Mobile – (603) 716-6055