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Some Questions Regarding the US Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

    Obergefell v. Hodges:  Some Questions, Options, and Resources for Churches


    Some Questions

    In June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.  That case and the court’s ruling addressed whether or not persons of the same sex could be legally married in this country.  

    Following several inquiries from churches of Dover Baptist Association, Dover’s director of missions researched information about the ruling, its implications for churches, and possible actions churches might take.  The director assumes that the church leaders’ inquiries grow out of their understanding that the Bible describes any sexual behavior outside of the marriage between one man and one woman as something other than what God, the Creator, designed.  The resources listed in this report came to the director’s attention from the church leaders who made inquiries, publications, conversations with Baptist leaders, with peers, and with Dover’s attorney, and through personal research.  The director has attempted to summarize information that helps to answer those questions in this report.  However, this summary report cannot attempt to deal specifically with all the facets related to the court’s ruling and the resulting questions for churches.  It should not be viewed as legal guidance nor as recommending any specific action(s).

    Generally speaking, the questions from Dover churches seek answers to something their leaders view as urgent.  They asked questions about what action they should take, if any, and how quickly they should take action.  Those questions are part of the conversation, but, in the director’s view, they are secondary questions.  In the director’s mind, church leaders might first ask, “Given what Christ’s followers call the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, how might Christ’s followers fulfill the mission Jesus gave us to teach, disciple, and baptize persons from all groups of people when we also understand from reading the Bible that those persons or groups with which they identify may practice or condone behavior that we understand the Bible says we should not condone?”

    In the end, Christ-followers and their congregations have several key areas to address in prayer as we ask God how to proceed:
1. Christians are called to carry the Gospel to all persons, and all persons–including those in the Body of Christ–have sinned.  How do Christians love the sinner and welcome that person into the Body of Christ without condoning the sin?
2. In the U. S., ministers may officiate at a state-recognized marriage ceremony.  In some other countries, the state recognizes a civil marriage ceremony, and ministers conduct a separate religious marriage ceremony recognized by the congregation.  Should Christians in the U. S. also make that distinction?
3. Jesus said to “give [the government what belongs to the government] and give to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25).  In the U. S., churches enjoy property tax or other tax exemptions because of the First Amendment.  If the courts were to ever say congregations and their leaders must act in a way contrary to the free exercise of their faith or risk losing that exemption, where is the congregation’s priority?
4. The Bible tells us that God gives us government and calls us to pray for those in authority over us.  What other godly choices may Christian citizens make as we fill the place God has assigned us in our civic context? 

    Some Options

    Russell Moore wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post in which he stated, “First of all, the church should not panic.”  (See “Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage” which was posted at www.washingtonpost.com on June 26, 2015.)  He also says, “We must say what Jesus has revealed, and we must say those things the way Jesus does—with mercy and with an invitation to new life.”  

    From its earliest days until now, the greater Baptist family has agreed that each congregation and each of the Baptist bodies with which it cooperates is autonomous.  Various Baptist bodies have already made statements relating to the court’s decision (and other issues) that make their stances clear while also affirming the autonomy of the congregations that form them.  For example, on June 26, 2015 the Executive Director and President of the Baptist General Association of Virginia issued the following joint statement:  
            “The Baptist General Association of Virginia honors the autonomy of the local church and of the individual believer.  Each congregation and believer will have their own statements to make in response to the decision of the Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage released earlier today.  The BGAV has, in annual sessions, challenged every congregation to be caring and respectful to all persons while affirming its commitment to the biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman.”  

    Baptist News (www.baptistnews.com) published an article about First Baptist Church of Greenville, SC on August 17, 2015.  The article stated that the church had approved the following statement:
        “In all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership, baptism, ordination, marriage, teaching and committee/organizational leadership, First Baptist, Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Given the inquiries from the churches, the director assumes that the church leaders making those inquiries would not consider such a statement as a biblical option.

    What else might a church and its leaders do?  They can do nothing.  Several groups have published resource booklets and other materials (see “Some Resources”).  The option to do nothing assumes the church will wait until some other challenge comes before the courts to further clarify what the current court decision may come to mean for churches.

    Church leaders and members might gather information.  The director found multiple sources.  When gathering information, church leaders should examine the source of the information for themselves.  The director found two summary documents which could provide information and lead to additional research.  One of those came from the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty.  The other came from Christian Legal Society.  (See “Some Resources” re both documents.)

    The summary document from the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty (“The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling:  What you need to know now”) reminds us that the First Amendment has not changed.
        “The way your church does marriage does not need to change.  The Court’s decision does not remove the separation of church and state. Churches will continue to make their own decisions about the marriage ceremonies they conduct. This was true before the decision and continues to be true. The Court’s ruling can be an occasion for houses of worship and ministers to reflect on and educate members about the relationship between the civil and religious aspects of marriage.”

    The summary document from Christian Legal Society (“Church Guidance for Same-Sex Issues:  Frequently Asked Questions”) covers more questions.  One of its answers includes the following statement (see Question 3), 
        “Distinguishing types of sin that suggests one sin is worse than another is not good theology but presents an even worse legal and public relations scenario. A church should clearly state its positive stance on Biblical marriage as between one man and one woman for a lifetime and that all sex outside of Biblical marriage is a sin and if not repented could be a bar to membership, leadership, employment, etc.  But focusing only on homosexuality or just same sex marriage could be problematic in many ways.”

    If the church decides to act, several of the resources suggest very specific actions.  Most of these relate to governing documents, policies, and even membership covenants or documents which each individual member or staff member would sign.  The director found booklets or templates for such documents from several sources (see “Some Resources”).

    Dover’s attorney raises at least three questions.  In the case of a church that has not adopted specific governance and/or policy statements, the attorney raises the question of whether that church would have the ability to successfully defend itself against a sexual orientation gender identity lawsuit.  The attorney raises a similar question if the church has adopted general but not specific statements.  In the case of a church that has adopted specific governance and/or policy statements but not applied them consistently, the attorney raises the question of whether that church could successfully defend itself against such a lawsuit.

    Jeff Iorg, on Page 195 of The Painful Side of Leadership:  Moving Forward Even When It Hurts, writes, 
        “To be sure, some issues, decisions, problems, and situations require a courageous stand.  Some things are worth fighting for!  But be sure you make a wise evaluation before you make such a momentous decision.”  
Whatever our choices, may God help each of Christ’s followers to live out the love we know in Jesus as best we can while also staying faithful to the God he revealed to us. 

    Some Resources

    The Holy Bible

    Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.  www.bjconline.org.  See the summary “The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling:  What you need to know now” for an overview.

    Christian Law Association.  www.christianlaw.org.  See “The Fundamentals of Church Bylaws” and note, for example, Page 80.  

    Christian Legal Society.  www.clsnet.org/church-guidance-webinar.  See the summary “Church Guidance for Same-Sex Issues:  Frequently Asked Questions” for an overview and the booklet “Church Guidance for Same-Sex Issues” for templates.

    Church Law and Tax.  www.churchlawandtax.com.  See, for example, “Court’s Marriage Ruling Creates Uncertainty for Churches, Clergy” by Matt Branaugh, June 30, 2015.  

    Liberty Counsel.  www.lc.org.  See “Churches and Laws Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” for an overview.  Also see other documents re church bylaws, employment and administrative policies, facility use policies, etc.  (Dover’s attorney called attention to the resources available from Liberty Counsel.)

    The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  www.erlc.com.  See the booklet “Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits:  A Legal Guide for Southern Baptist and Evangelical Churches, Schools, and Ministries” (which is essentially the same booklet available from Alliance Defending Freedom) for templates.

    Alliance Defending Freedom.  www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org.  See the booklet “Protecting Your Ministry from Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Lawsuits:  A Legal Guide for Churches, Christian Schools, and Christian Ministries” (which is essentially the same booklet available from The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention) for templates.

Click here for the PDF version

VIPCare Forms Adult Addiction Recovery Therapy Group

Recovery from chemical dependence and addiction is a lifelong journey. Treatment for the substance addictions combined with community recovery support meetings are often helpful. Some recoveries are focused on chemical use. Other recoveries focus on addiction to certain behaviors. When the first steps into abstinence and behavior change have been well established, there are often life areas that need healing:

  • Marital, family and other relationships
  • Self-view and self-confidence
  • Employment and career, work productivity, and 
  • Parent-child relating.

In order to facilitate the healing process, VIPCare is forming the Adult Addicion Recover Therapy Group, a counseling group for adults in recovery who would like to move further into the recovery journey. Rather than education or treatment, this is an ongoing means of continuing one’s work on life areas that have been weakened or strongly damaged by past chemical abuse, behaviors and resulting circumstances.

Group Leaders:
Chris Bowers, M.Div., CSAC, ASE has over 20 years group counseling experience in the addictions treatment profession, having worked in non-profit and for-profit organizations, psychiatric/behavioral inpatient facilities, and Intensive Outpatient treatment programs. He has counseling experience with adults and adolescents, and is knowledgeable about licensed or certified professionals in recovery.

Donald D. Denton, D.Min., LPC, LMFT has worked in counseling settings for over 30 years and has experience in doing therapy with veterans and others dealing with PTSD, substance abuse, marital and depression issues, and with families, teens, and children. He has led courses in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program for over ten years (VASAP).

DETAILS: The Adult Addiction Recovery Therapy Group will meet weekly on Saturday mornings, 11:30am to 1pm at 2000 Bremo Road, Suite 105, Richmond. Group fee is $75 and insurance can be submitted (depending upon the company). A potential group member must have at least 2 years in recovery with full abstinence. Group size is limited to 10 and will be mixed in gender. A commitment of 12 sessions will be required for persons to start the group; participation is open-ended after the initial twelve. Given the group purpose, no breathalyzer testing or other screening will be done, and this group is not intended for those who are mandated by law or employment. A screening interview for group involvement is required.

For complete information, please contact VIPCare at 804-282-8332 or email development@vipcare.org

http://vipcare.org/

Storytelling Concert and Workshop

 Click here to Register

Storytelling Concert, Friday, November 6, 7:00 p.m. | Storytelling Workshop, Saturday, November 7, 9:00-3:00

Discover the power of story and humor to transform lives! Rev. Geraldine Buckley, an internationally known and award-winning storyteller, will guide participants in shaping and telling personal stories. Learn ways to use stories for outreach and ministry.

On Friday, November 6, the storytelling concert will show this in practice. On Saturday, November 7, the storytelling workshop will help you learn "how to" through discussion, participation, and fun. Buy tickets to the storytelling concert, "Hilarious True Tales: Stories to Make You Laugh and Think" with Geraldine Buckley, on Friday, November 6, 7 p.m. for $7.50 per person (in advance) or $10 per person at the door. Pre-register for the storytelling workshop ($40) on Saturday, November 7, 9:00-3:00 and use your registration ticket for free admission to the storytelling concert. The first 60 members of Dover Baptist Association churches who pre-register for the workshop will receive a $15 dollar discount. (Use the discount code: "DoverBaptistAssociation" when you pre-register, identify your Dover church, and Dover will pay $15 of your $40 workshop fee.) Your workshop fee includes all materials. You will want to bring a lunch or dine on your own at the lunch break.

Click here for the PDF version.

August 2015 Church News

Ashland, First Baptist held a church picnic; held a blood drive; held a Men’s Breakfast; and several members attended a Richmond Flying Squirrels game. Several youth and adults attended Passport.

Berea Baptist Church youth held a cookout with indoor and outdoor games; and several youth attended MFUGE in Atlanta, GA.

Biltmore Baptist Church held a Tailgate Party Lunch.

Black Creek Baptist Church had a booth at the Tomato Festival with free bottles of water; several members attended a Richmond Flying Squirrels game; and several members prepared lunches for 41 homeless men during CARITAS at Mechanicsville Church of Christ.

Broadus Memorial Baptist Church collected backpacks and school supplies that will be distributed to needy children through the Church Hill Wellness Center.  Thirty-eight youth and adult leaders attended Mission-Fuge Camp at Eastern University Campus near Philadelphia, PA.  Eight students and two adults attended the Worship Arts Camp at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center in Lynchburg, VA; and the youth held a “Water Games & Grill-Out Night”.

Colosse Baptist Church held a picnic; and the church hosted Jerry Jones in concert which was followed by an Ice Cream Social. The youth traveled to Huntersville, WVA on a mission trip.  WMU helped sort items to be delivered to Standing Rock Reservation; and helped package the Alma Hunt brochures and envelopes that are sent throughout the state.

Cool Spring Baptist Church Women’s Ministry held a “Fun/Fellowship/Faith: Joy in Games” night; and several middle school students attended Christian Skate Night at Ashland Skateland.

Corinth Baptist Church sent a mission team to Nicaragua; and the Seeker’s Sunday School class hosted a Young Adult Picnic at Jamestown Beach Event Park.

Cornerstone Christian Church sent a mission team to Belize.

Deep Run Baptist Church held a river baptism at Lewisetta on the Potomac River with a meal and fellowship afterwards.

Dover Baptist Church WMU took a meal to the volunteers at the Goochland Free Clinic; collected greeting cards, etc. for the inmates at the Women’s Prison; and six children and adults traveled to Virginia Beach on a mission trip.

Emmaus Baptist Church helped pack backpacks for the upcoming Lee County mission trip; and several youth attended Passport.

Fort Lee Baptist Church WMU carried pizza and cookies to the Juvenile Detention Home for incarcerated children under the age of 18.

Glen Allen Baptist Church held their annual “Pignic”; several youth went to Bogey’s Sports Park to play miniature golf; went to Shockoe Bottom Apartments to fellowship with the senior citizens; and seventeen youth and adults traveled to Morehead City, NC for the Summer Mission Trip.

Goochland Baptist Church collected new items for Standing Rock Reservation; and the Joy Club group held a BBQ lunch with entertainment provided by the True Spirit Gospel Band.

Hillcrest Baptist Church held an Ice Cream Social.

Hopeful Baptist Church held Graduate Sunday.

Hopewell Baptist Church will hold Revival August 16-19 with Roger Roller as their guest speaker.

Hunton Baptist Church held a blood drive. The children, grades Kindergarten through 5th grade, traveled to the Children’s Museum, held Yard-Game Olympics; held a Movie Day at Virginia Center Commons; traveled to Shalom Farms; and went bowling.  The youth held a Movie Day at Virginia Center Commons; twenty-one youth attended Xfuge in Ridgecrest, NC;  went to the Science Museum; and held a “V-Ball,K-Ball, 4Square” Tourney.

Indian View Baptist Church will celebrate their annual Homecoming Sunday with Revival Services beginning Sunday, August 2 (morning worship at 11:00 a.m., lunch at 12:30 p.m. and afternoon service at 2:00 p.m.) through Wednesday, August 5 (7:30 p.m.). Dr. Billy Kain, pastor of Fork Baptist Church in Bumpass, VA will be the guest speaker; Ronnie Harris, Tommy Custalow and the Custalow Brothers Ensemble, and other special music is planned.

Kentwood Heights Baptist Church held a church picnic; and sent a mission team to Alaska.

Mechanicsville Baptist Church members joined the youth for a spontaneous, intergenerational event with dinner and a movie at Virginia Center Commons; and thirty-two youth and adults traveled to Birmingham, AL on a mission trip.

Mount Olivet Baptist Church sent several members to Bland on a mission trip; sent several members on a RAM mission trip to Wise, VA; held a River Service with worship, baptism and a picnic; and collected clothes for their Clothesline and School Supply Give-way. The “Young at Heart” Senior group traveled to the Cheese Shop and peach orchard in Stuarts Draft, VA.

Mount Vernon Baptist Church sent a mission team to Camp Guamiski; held Service Appreciation Sunday for members of the church who are police officers, firefighters, EMT personnel – both current and retired; hosted the Henrico Concert Band in a free concert; partnered with Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Innsbrook with 10% of the proceeds from sales going towards their partnership mission with Guatemala and Familia de Dios Iglesia Bautista; sent a mission team to Guatemala; and collected gently used/inexpensive new softball gloves to share with inmates of several Correctional Centers. The Women’s Ministry held a Quilting Bee; the Singles group had lunch at Red Robin; and several members of the Primetimers’ Senior Adult group traveled to the Canadian Rockies and Glacier National Park for a week. Youth activitiesfor the month included a high school beach trip, a high school pool party, a middle school adventure day, and several youth attended a Flying Squirrels baseball game.

New Bethesda Baptist Church sponsored a blood drive; several youth went bowling; and the children held a movie day.

New Highland Baptist Church hosted about 40 women for CARITAS; and sent 43 youth to Impact Virginia in Danville.

New Life Baptist Church hosted the Rivertown Boys in concert; and held a bake sale to raise money for VBS.

Northside Baptist Church held a church picnic.  Several youth and adults traveled to Atlanta, GA on a mission trip; several children traveled to Maymont Park and participated in “SOKing up some fun!” and had a picnic; and several youth went to Harbour Square and passed out groceries to those in need.

Oak Hall Baptist Church O A K Sewing Group worked on walker/wheelchair caddies for the shut-ins; worked on their “Monsters” (stuffed toys for hospitalized children); and crocheted small baby blankets for early-born babies.

Parham Road Baptist Church joined with First Baptist Church of Richmond to serve dinner for 40 ladies during CARITAS and provided breakfast and lunch for them one day; the youth held “Youth Summer and Fun”; and the “Savvy Seniors” group ate lunch at Jason’s Deli at Short Pump.

Pioneer Baptist Church Pastor Paul and Sharon Beith traveled to Lesotho, Africa; and several youth attended “World Changers” in Cleveland, OH.

Ridge Baptist Church sent several members to Standing Rock Indian Reservation with supplies; and collected school supplies for their “Christmas-in-August” project. Several youth and adults attended Seesalt Camp in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Ridge Toppers group held a picnic with entertainment provided by Homeward Bound, a country gospel group.

Shalom Baptist Church collected school supplies for the Bland Ministry Center; and held a free Family Movie Night and showed the film Paddington. The Voyager Class,kindergarten through 5th grade children, held a pool party; visited Shut-ins; went to Sweet Frog; and went to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The Senior High Girls helda cookout and sleepover; and several youth traveled to Philadelphia, PA on their “Mfuge” mission trip. The Junior High group had lunch and played games; and several children attended CentriKid Camp.

Sharon Baptist Church youth and adults went on a mission trip.

Walnut Grove Baptist Church members attended a Pops Concert at the Altria Theatre; the Senior Adult group ate lunch at Outback Steakhouse; and several youth and adults went to Everett University on a mission trip.

West Point, First Baptist Church held a “4th of July” picnic; the “55-Alive” group held a birthday celebration; and several youth and adults attended Missions Connection Celebration (MC2) at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg, VA.

Job Openings

  • Antioch Baptist Church, a traditional but future-focused church (established in 1776) is looking for a full-time ordained minister. Candidate must be a graduate of an accredited seminary school, have good communication skills, and possess the ability to spread God’s word to a diverse and loving congregation of approximately 100 per Sunday. Interested candidates are asked to send résumés to: P.O. Box 935, Sandston, Va. 23150 or antiochpastorresumes@yahoo.com
  • Corinth Baptist Church seeks a full-time Associate Minister of Education & Worship. Applications can be submitted at personnel@corinthbaptist.us. More information about the position is available on the church website at www.corinthbaptist.us/job-openings/
  • Emmaus Baptist Church seeks a part-time Minister of Youth. Please e-mail a cover letter and resume on or before June 28 to Emmausbapchurch@gmail.com
  • First Baptist Church, Richmond, seeks a part-time organist (20-25 hours per week) to accompany choirs and soloists and help lead two worship services each Sunday. The organist would prepare for and accompany regular weekly rehearsals (and extra rehearsals as needed) for the Church Choir and the Youth Choir, as well as seasonal services (e.g., Christmas Eve, Lenten, and Holy Week services) and Worship Ministry concerts. Bachelor’s degree in music required. Master’s preferred plus at least five years of service as organist on a church staff. Salary approximately $35,000 per year based on education and experience. Complete the application here or send resume to Susan Marshall, First Baptist Church, 2709 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23220, or e-mail it to marshall@fbcrichmond.org
  • Four Mile Creek Baptist Church seeks a part-time Youth Minister. Please contact Pastor Sam Grozdanov at 804-795-2044 or e-mail sgrozdanov@fmcbaptist.com.
  • Poplar Springs Baptist Church is seeking a Worship Leader to lead a worship/music ministry that includes praise teams, choirs, band, multimedia, instruments, musicians, artists, and other music considerations to create an inviting worshipful atmosphere where people encounter God. For Job Description and details please contact the church office at (804) 795-1238 or click here
  • Shalom Baptist Church will be offering a NEW casual, contemporary worship service at 8:30 am beginning October 4. We are looking for talented musicians, specifically a drummer, for our Praise Team. If you want to share your talent with us, contact Jean Dart, Minister of Music & Worship, at 691-5893 or jmdart612@gmail.com to set up an audition.

July 2015 Church News

Antioch Baptist Church held a Sunday School breakfast; held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a “Celebration of Achievements” Luncheon; and an Ice Cream Social Community Event. The youth held a Hawaiian Luau lock-in; and the Seniors went to Golden Corral for lunch.

Ashland, First Baptist Church held a Movie Night; held a Graduate Luncheon; had a booth at the Strawberry Faire; and held their annual church picnic. The youth held a pool party and end of school celebration. The men held a breakfast; and are playing horseshoes every Tuesday night through the summer.

Black Creek Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; and the Lunch Bunch ate lunch at Franco’s in Mechanicsville.

Broadus Memorial Baptist Church held Youth and Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a VBS Training and BBQ lunch; and sent 24 members to Standing Rock, SD on a mission trip. The youth held a “Schoolz Out Cookout & Hangout” for all youth and their families.

Colosse Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a VBS Prayer Walk; held a Prayer Breakfast; and held a Baby Dedication. The children held a preschool summer party; and the youth presented a concert. The YAMS group participated in a mini mission trip in the county.

Cool Spring Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday. The Trib3 Middle School Girls traveled to Short Pump Town Center and went shopping and then saw the movie Tomorrow Land. The Men’s Ministry held their 9th Annual Guys Canoe Trip at the Shenandoah River State Park. The Women’s Ministry held a “Joy in Painting” class.

Corinth Baptist Church held “Sing and Praise” for the children ages K-5th grade; held Graduate Recognition Sunday; sent a mission team to Illinois; and held Youth Summer Camp. The Young at Heart Seniors group ate lunch at Brother’s Restaurant in Providence Forge.

Cornerstone Christian Church held Youth Sunday with a spaghetti lunch fundraiser following the service; and held a family picnic. The youth and their families held a hike and picnic.

Deep Run Baptist Church held a Community Yard Sale and made $2,200 to be used for mission projects.

Dover Baptist Church Kid’s Stuff group held a yard sale; and the youth participated in a mission project.

Emmaus Baptist Church held a “Surprise” Cake Auction and raised $213.00 for the campers; held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a Pie Auction fundraiser; held a Camper Commissioning Celebration Dinner & Meditative Garden Dedication; and will be collecting school supplies for Lee County.  Several youth attended Passport; and several children and youth attended a Richmond Squirrel’s baseball game.

Fort Lee Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday.

Glen Allen Baptist Church held their annual fish fry with musical guest, Bill Lewis; and held Graduate Recognition Sunday. Several youth attended KingsFest at Kings Dominion.

Goochland Baptist Church held a baby dedication; started a youth worship service on Sunday evenings; and held Graduate Recognition Sunday. Several youth went to Raleigh, NC on a mission trip.

Hardy Central Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday.

Hillcrest Baptist Church collected $324.00 in Rice Bowl contributions; held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a Father’s Day Cookout; and several members attended the Richmond Squirrel’s baseball game.

Hopeful Baptist Church Student Ministry held a yard sale to benefit the Student Ministry mission trip; and several youth attended Imitate 2015 in Seaford, VA.

Hunton Baptist Church held Promotion, Youth, and Graduate Recognition Sunday with awards and activities; delivered Samantha Dolls to VCU Medical Center; and held a Camp Commissioning Service. The Senior Adults celebrated 41 years with a pizza party, birthday cake and ice cream. Several children attended CentriKid Camp. The youth held a Youth/Family Picnic; and several youth attended Kingsfest at Kings Dominion.

Kentwood Heights Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a meatball sub fundraiser for the mission team; and several members went to Pirates Cove MiniGolf. The Alaska Mission Team held a community car wash, held a dessert auction; and held a yard sale.

Mechanicsville Baptist Church held Missions Recognition Service; held Graduate Recognition Sunday; and several members attended a Richmond Squirrels baseball game.  The Mission Friends, RA’s and GA’s were visited by Hanover Deputy Todd Brooks and his bloodhound, Hamma, a trailing dog, who gave a demonstration of how he and Hama trailed lost and missing persons. Women on Mission held a birthday party for 30 missionaries who celebrated birthdays in the month of June. The Keenage Club traveled to Norfolk to Harborfest and took the Early Dinner Cruise on the “Spirit of Norfolk”.

Mount Olivet Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; several members formed a “Relay for Life” team and participated in the event at Kings Dominion Campground; held “Undie” Sunday; held “Sock-It-To-Me” Sunday; held a fundraiser dinner for the RAM Mission Trip; held a car wash; and held a pancake breakfast for the Zimbabwe Mission Trip. The youth performed a “shadow play”. The Children’s Ministry, along with families and friends, held a “Pumpkin Planting” Party with the donations from the pumpkins sold in the fall going towards new playground equipment.

Mount Vernon Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday. The G3 students participated in a “Mystery Destination All Nighter”. The Primetimers’ Senior Adult group traveled to Harrisonburg and visited the Shenandoah Heritage Market and the Dayton Farmers Market.

New Bethesda Baptist Church children participated in a “Day in the Park” with Pastor Todd Combee at Three Lakes Park; several children traveled to Virginia Center Commons for lunch and attended a movie; and several children attended CentriKid camp at Eagle Eyrie. The Lunch Bunch group traveled to Lowery’s in Tappahannock for lunch. The youth held a pool party.

New Highland Baptist Church held a Memorial Day Service; and held Graduate Recognition Sunday. The Senior Adults took a day trip to Tangier Island. The young people sold cookies and other items at the Farmers Market to raise funds to go CentriKid Camp at Eagle Eyrie and to do mission work at Impact VA in Danville.

New Life Baptist Church held a BBQ dinner; several children went to the Strawberry Patch; and several children went to see the movie Inside Out.

Northside Baptist Church held a “Fence Cleanup” fundraiser; held a car wash, and passed out groceries to those in need at Harbour Square. The youth held a Youth IWorship Rally with other youth groups in Mechanicsville ; and several youth VBS workers passed out door knockers to local neighborhoods. The children participated in a “SOKing up some fun!” outing and went bowling.

Oak Hall Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; held a F.I.S.H. auction dinner; and held an Ice Cream Social.

Parham Road Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; hosted the Dixie Melody Boys in concert; several members attended a Richmond Squirrels baseball game; and held a commissioning service for the youth and adults going on a mission trip to Asheville, NC. Several youth attended “M-fuge”. Northstar Academy used the Parham Road field to run a soccer camp for children with Autism and special needs.

Pioneer Baptist Church held a car wash; and held a church picnic.

Ridge Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; and Rev. Alan Ray went to Standing Rock Indian Reservation to finalize preparations for the mission trip in July. The Ridge Toppers held their June meeting with Dr. Jeff Scott, Pastor of Northside Baptist Church as guest Ventriloquist. The Children’s Ministry held “Parables and Popsicles” on Wednesday nights in June. The Caring Hearts group traveled to Williamsburg for lunch and explored Williamsburg; and held an Ice Cream Outing to Sweet Frog.

Samaria Baptist Church held their annual Carnival for Christ.

Shalom Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; hosted The Harvesters in concert; and held a Family Movie Night featuring Big Hero 6. The Children’s Department held a family cookout; several children went to the Zoo; and several children went to the Gem Mine.

Sharon Baptist Church hosted a car wash; and delivered treats to members.

Walnut Grove Baptist Church held Graduate Recognition Sunday; and held a church wide cookout. The Hearts of Joy Choir went to the Hanover Adult Center.

West Point, First Baptist Church 55-Alive group held their annual picnic

Westhunt Baptist Church held a Game Day; held a church picnic at Crump Park; held a Community Outreach; and held a Children’s Stay Day. Several members partnered with the Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Source of Light Orphanage and traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti on a mission trip. Several youth attended Kingsfest at Kings Dominion; and several youth attended CreationFest – Creation Music Festival at the Agape Farm in Shirleysburg, PA.

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Prayer Focus:


Union of Christian Baptists of Macedonia



Week of: August 23
Northside Baptist Church
Jeff Scott, Pastor


Week of: August 30
Oak Hall Baptist Church
Matt Fretwell, Pastor