Elementary LEGOS Small Group Everything is AWESOME … when you are having Bible Study with LEGOS!! There will be a new Summer Elementary Small group for youth in 1st – 5th Grade that teach on Jesus’ parables using LEGOS! Times and dates to be announced! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on email list to receive updates.
Junior & Senior High Small Group Jesus commissioned us saying “Go therefore and make disciples…” This small group will be for the summer for youth in Junior and Senior High where they will go out on different outings every other week. Some of these outings will be to going out to hike or out to the lake while others will be mission trips like helping at Midwest Food Bank or visiting people in Nursing Homes. Each outing will have correlating Bible Study/Devotional! Please contact Michelle if interested. Outing Times to be announced!
Summer Reading Program! On Tuesdays in July and August, FBC will be hosting a summer reading program for youth ages 3 through 5th grade from 6-7pm. We would like to be able to break up the youth into small groups with adults, if not one-to-one so need volunteers. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex, or email the church office at email@example.com You can volunteer for all the Tuesdays or just specific ones.
Calling all kayaking or other paddling enthusiasts! A summer fun group for adults (18 years and older) is being coordinated for outdoor adventures at Dawson Lake, Moraine View State Park. Boats are available for rent at the park. If you have your own kayak, canoe or paddle boat, you can launch it there also. Depending on how long you’d like to be on the lake, you can begin paddling at 1 or 2 p.m. The group will break for a guided conversation and refreshments at 3 p.m. This season’s topic will be Finding Peace In Trying Times with guidance from Max Lucado’s book Anxious for Nothing. No homework required! Dates scheduled include the Saturdays of July 2, 9, 30, and Aug. 6. If you are interested in joining this small group, contact Jennifer Devine, Gabrielle Hastings or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As FBC and many churches have responded to the deep need of the church as a whole to pursue racial reconciliation and racial justice, we are excited to share information about ongoing efforts from the E-Free Church in Bloomington to bring multiple churches together in this work.
This summer, they have started a reading group on the book: Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison, and three members of FBC attended the initial meeting this past Tuesday. The readings and conversation afterward was powerful, honest and grace filled, an invitation for the church to embrace the work of doing a better job than the world around us of reflecting God’s vision of community.
Each session will begin with a 5-minute summary of the chapter, an hour of small group discussion, and a 20-minute large group time of sharing.
You are invited to meet Sue Hegarty, Global Servant for International Ministries in Costa Rico, on June 29th. Sue will share a brief message during Vespers, followed by a light supper and presentation hosted by the Missions Committee and ABWM who have supported Sue and her work for several years. Be sure to put your name on the sign- up list in the Narthex, or contact the office to reserve your Costa Rician supper!
Sue’s ministry in Costa Rica is two-pronged. She works with the Baptist Federation to strengthen the ministries of churches and their pastors by teaching classes, Bible studies and workshops. Sue is a liaison with American Baptist mission teams that visit Costa Rica to develop fraternal relationships and assist with ministry projects. She also works with Nicaraguan immigrant women, many of whom are dealing with situations of domestic violence, at the same time they are starting over again in a new country. Sue provides assistance with issues such as legalizing their status, housing, skill-training and education as well as providing emotional and spiritual support for these women and their children.
Join us for Vacation Bible School! We will be time-traveling to an ancient Jerusalem where we will share dinner together, venture into Bible Studies and visit the marketplace! Shopkeepers in the marketplace will teach the youth crafts, share snacks, and play fun games! Come join us for this time-traveling adventure to where Jesus walked to the cross for us!
Back 2 School Alliance (BTSA) is a group of volunteers and community partners dedicated to supporting students in need. Since 1999, they have been working hand in hand with Bloomington District 87, Normal Unit 5, and Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to bring students and community together by putting backpacks and school supplies into the hands of the children who need them most.
The Missions Committee will be collecting school supplies during the month of May. Why now when school is almost over? Well, they need supplies for close to 6000 students and it takes time to sort, pack and prepare these supplies for distribution.
They will accept all school supplies but here is what is needed the most:
16-32 crayon packs
White board markers
You can drop off your donations anytime in May in the big red tub under the Missions Committee bulletin board. We will have a hands-on mission moment the last Sunday in May. Stay tuned for more details on this fellowship-mission project.
It’s hard to believe this is just around the corner, but things are still on track for me to be joining Rev. Patty Bilyeu and Rev. Rob Kirbach on a trip to Hungary from April 19th through the 27th. We’ll be meeting with American Baptist Global Servants and local Baptist agencies to explore how we can build a healthy long-term ministry relationship between churches in the Great Rivers Region and our ministry partners in Hungary. We’ll also be working out how to equip and smooth the way for future mission teams to operate without creating a logistical burden on local ministry partners.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who has asked questions, offered support and encouragement, and to everyone who is lifting up this trip in prayer. Sadly, as some have asked – Gabrielle is not able to come along this time, but has a full list of projects and fun things to do, along with eating a much higher proportion of healthy things.
While I am gone, in case of an emergency, please contact Pastor Cheri or the church office (309) 662-4253.
Some specific prayer requests:
Tuesday: Please pray for travel mercies, including some sleep on the plane!
Wednesday – Thursday: Please pray for our time in Budapest, for our meetings with Carmella Jones and the Hungarian Baptist Union, and for their ministries.
Friday-Monday: Please pray for our drive to Debrecen, our time with Jon and Amanda Good, with Larry and Becky Stanton, and for their ministries and communities.
Tuesday – Wednesday: Please pray again for travel mercies as we return to Budapest and prepare to fly home.
Please pray for wisdom and discernment as we listen to those who minister in Hungary; to hear what God is doing through them, opportunities to partner, and ways we can learn from what they are doing.
Please pray for those who are fleeing war in Ukraine, and for the church as they make God’s love visible in providing care and support.
Please pray for our awareness of what God is doing around us and in us during this time.
Please pray for our health and well-being as we go, and for our families at home.
In response to the war in Ukraine, we are seeing the worldwide body of Christ step up in prayer and in acts of compassion that bear witness to the way of Jesus in the face of evil. Read about how ABC connections are caring for refugees, encouraging Ukranian church leaders, and how we can be involved in prayer and support.
As of February 28, the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health have changed their guidelines for wearing masks indoors. The church board agreed to continue its policy of consistently following the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines for COVID as best practices for the church. This means masks are encouraged, but no longer required in the building. Because some may feel uncomfortable not masking in a group setting, Barker Hall will be reserved for people who wish to be in a mask only setting during worship.
After discussing masking with the LOGOS CARE team and parents of Little Logos, it has been decided to go to a masks optional situation for LOGOS. This is supported by the Church Board. We understand that these changes will be welcomed by some and others may experience some level of discomfort with this change. Please know that if you decide to wear a face covering in the church for yourself or your loved ones, you should do so without hesitation, and be supported in that decision. The Church Board appreciates the love and understanding the congregation has shown to each individual with respect to masking and distancing. Please continue to be respectful of the decisions of others with regard to masking. We are all children of God. If you have questions or feedback about this issue, please feel free to discuss them with a Board member or Pastor Brian.
Through the season of Lent, Pastor Cheri has prepared a series of daily devotionals that invite us to ‘Consider the Psalms’. New YouTube videos will be posted daily at 7:30AM, Monday – Saturday until Easter.