eLink and bulletin for Dec. 10-17

                   (Click to join live stream)

Scripture this Week: 2 Peter 3:8-15




Upcoming at FBC:

**All Red Links will take you directly to that event *
Remember –To make sure your event is added to this Calendar, please make sure dates and times are sent to the office No later than Wednesday of each week!

THURSDAY, December 7
Meet & eat @ 11:30 am
Vespers Planning Meeting @ 4:45 pm
Worship Staff Planning @ 5:45 pm

SATURDAY, December 9
All Church Workday @ 9:00 am

SUNDAY, December 10
Coffee & Conversation @ 9:30 & 11 am
Worship Service @ 10:00 am  
FBC Small Groups @ 11:15 am
Advent Music Small Grp @ 11:15 am
Bible Study @ 6:00 pm 2 Peter 3:8-15 (Zoom)

MONDAY, December 11
Ukulele Jam @ 5:15 pm
Trustees Meeting @ 7:00 pm

TUESDAY, December 12
Advent Book Club @ 6:00 pm  

WEDNESDAY, December 13
Crusaders @ 11:00 am
LOGOS @ 4:15 pm Hawaiian Christmas
Vespers Service @ 5:45 pm

THURSDAY, December 14  
Advent Food Small Grp @ 1:30 pm
Board Meeting @ 7:00 pm

SUNDAY, December 17
Handbell Rehearsal @ 9:15 am
Coffee & Conversation @ 9:30 & 11 am
Worship Service @ 10:00 am  
Advent Music & Crafting Small Grp @ 11:15 am
FBC Small Groups @ 11:15 am
Caroling with Koinonia @ 3:00 pm
Sun Night Bible Study @ 6:00 pm Galatians 3:23-29 (Zoom)



Our Zoom Link

Our church Zoom ministries will use one link for all regular meetings: 

Church Accounthttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/3096624253
Meeting ID: 309 662 4253 (same as the church phone number)
Used for the Sunday Prayer, the Wednesday Bible Study, and the Koinonia Class
To Join Zoom meeting by phone dial: 1 312 626 6799, then when prompted, enter the Meeting ID number, followed by the # key.      

Technical Notes on the Worship Livestream:
         * Recordings of the worship service are usually available on our YouTube Channel immediately after the service ends.

In the event of livestream disruptions:
        * Try completely exiting the program/tab or app and the rejoining from the front page of the website or using this link: https://www.youtube.com/user/FBCBloomingtonIL/live



Coming Up At LOGOS:

Wed. December 13 – Hawaiian Christmas @ 4:15 pm
You can choose to wear Christmas themed clothing.
FOR LOGOS schedules and calendars Click here!


Caroling with Koinonia

Our Koinonia class has invited LOGOS to go caroling with them! They are caroling Dec 17th, meeting at the church at 3pm. Lyrics will be handed out and everyone will be divided for travel. Following the caroling, we meet up to go out to eat. If a LOGOS youth would like to join, we ask that a parent go caroling with them. Please RSVP to Gretchen at so they can divide the groups evenly.


Adult Choir schedule
Rehearsals- Will be held in the choir room on Weds., unless otherwise announced.

        Date                                                    Time
    Dec. 20                                         7:30-8:30 PM

         Date                                               Anthem
   Sunday, Dec. 3                       And the Glory of the Lord by G. F. Handel
   Sunday, Dec. 24                     Hallelujah Chorus by Handel
   Sunday, Dec. 24 (evening)     In the Bleak Midwinter arr. Brad Printz

Click on the anthem title to hear a recording of the piece.

Listening Sessions Update
The Board held listening sessions in September 2023. At the meeting a revised chart was provided on how the officers, committees, and teams are connected and communicate. The chart was well received and had favorable feedback, to find out more about the listening session conversations and proposed board changes, click here


Open House at the Hastings’ Home
Pastor Brian and Gabrielle are hosting an open house at their home on Saturday, December 16 from 3:00 – 7:00 pm.  Please be welcome to drop by anytime during the open house for conversation and light refreshments.  They are located at 303 Victor Place in Normal.




Contact Us

 – Office Hours –
Mon -Thurs:        9:00am –   1:30pm
Fri:                        9:00am –   11:00am
Office Phone:   (309) -662 -4253

Church Officesecretary@fbcblm.org / (309) 662-4253
Pastor Brian: brian@fbcblm.org / (920) 924-6857
LOGOS Director: michelle@fbcblm.org / (618) 303-3630
Praise Team Leader & Vespers Coordinator: Allison@fbcblm.org / (309) 846-0403

Mission Connection Opportunities



Ways to Support and Connect with Faith in Action’s Ministry to Area Seniors:



FBC Community Partner volunteer Opportunities 

 Recycle for Families. Recycling Furniture for Families has been privileged to serve almost 25,000 men, women and children since 2002. We are in search of new volunteers as well as people that may be in need of our services. We are a not-for-profit organization helping those in need obtain gently used furniture We continue to serve the individuals and families of McLean County who are in need of those basic household items that most of us take for granted. If you are aware of anyone that may be interested in our services or willing to help our cause, please feel free to contact us.

Safe Harbor Homeless Shelter
For over 12 years a small group of FBC members have faithfully purchased, prepared and served a meal once a month at the Safe Harbor Shelter in downtown Bloomington. It only takes a couple of hours if you cook and less than an hour if you serve of your time.

For more information about these FBC mission opportunities contact the office

Faith in Action
Are you ready to brighten an older adult’s day?  With Faith in Action, volunteer drivers, shoppers and friendly visitors choose when and how often they volunteer. Have you completed a Volunteer Interest Form? To register for Volunteer Orientation, email Stacey@bnfia.org or call (309) 827-7780.

Upcoming new volunteer orientation dates

        • Nov. 14, 2023 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (2nd Tuesday)
        • Dec. 5, 2023 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
          2024 Orientations
        • Jan. 9, 2024 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM (Second Tuesday)
        • Feb. 6, 2024 1:00 PM – 3:30 PM
        • March 5, 2024 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
        • April 2, 2024 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

      **If these dates are inconvenient, please contact the Volunteer Coordination team (Stacey and Mary) to discuss options

      In need of Gift cards 

      Faith in Action is in need of gift cards to local businesses in order to offset expenses volunteers incur driving seniors on long distance medical trips. Sams Club, Walmart and Maier are especially appreciated.  Any amount from $5 – $100 is fine.

      Please give gift cards to Virginia Jordan-Benson or Carolyn Wetzel or take or mail to Faith in Action at 600 E Willow St, Ste 201, Normal, IL.  61761.


      Local Community Mission Opportunities

      Consider volunteering with PATH. The team is always looking for compassionate, respectful, and responsible prospects to join. PATH offers the following volunteer opportunity:

      Crisis Line/ 211 Volunteers – Spring (usually beginning in early February), Summer (usually starting in mid-June), and Fall (generally beginning in mid-September) Click for more information

      Midwest Food Bank
      Midwest Food Bank is structured to provide service opportunities and operate through the work of volunteers. Our volunteers are more than our hands and feet; they are fundamental to the success of our organization. They collect, sort, pack, and distribute food and disaster relief donations, and remind us every day that our mission could not be achieved without them. Click for more information

      Home Sweet Home Ministries
      Home Sweet Home Ministries demonstrates Christ’s love through innovative approaches that instill hope, restore lives, and build community. Our vision is for our ministry to be a ministry of refuge and renewal powered by Jesus Christ. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the way we serve those in need at Home Sweet Home Ministries. Every year, volunteers dedicate thousands of hours of service to accomplish our mission and vision. Click for more information


Youth Ministry Events!

Upcoming Youth Events: 

♥Reading Program- On Mondays through July 31st, FBC will be hosting a summer reading program for youth ages 3 through 5th grade from 6-7pm. Youth will be able to read with adult volunteers or play games/activities that help reading skills. Youth can join any time in July! 

♥Elementary Mini-Golf Trip- On July 9th, following the 10am Worship Service, there will be a lunch and Mini-golf trip for 1st through 5th graders. Please RSVP to Michelle@fbcblm.org by July 6th!

♥Junior/Senior High Lake Day- Following the Worship Service on July 23rd, 6th through 12 graders are invited to Paul and Helen’s lake house for swimming, lunch, boating, and more fun activities! Please contact Michelle@fbcblm.org to RSVP and let us know if you youth needs a ride. There will also be a campfire sing along so feel free to bring your fretted instruments!

Vacation Bible School August 6th through the 10th, Food Truck Party will be coming to First Baptist Church! All youth ages 3 (potty trained) through 5th grade are welcome to join in the party from 4:30-6:45pm each night. Sixth graders through adults are also able to join in the party as volunteer leaders! Please check out more here. 

One Great Hour of Sharing- Love Remains


“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

OGHS supports disaster relief, ministries to displaced persons, and development projects of the American Baptist Churches and it partners. FBC participated in a special collection in March to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. According to Lisa Rothenberger-Winter, World Relief Officer, ABC-USA the response was, “Unprecedented. Across six countries, Baptists spontaneously opened their churches, homes, camps, etc. to shelter some of the millions that have been forced to flee their homes…Within days, more that 1000 places were made ready – 600 within Ukraine – for all that are migrating to sleep, eat shower, and receive a word of hope. … Amanda and Jon Good in Debrecen Hungary opened their home to host families, providing space and radical hospitality when their church is at capacity hosting other refugees. And Larry Stanton is traveling to the border weekly with IM partner, Hungarian Baptist Aid, modeling the best of what it means to serve alongside a partner – doing whatever needs to be done. Our funds are following our relationships – foundations of trust, support and mutual accountability that were established in times of stability.” (ABC-USA OGHS publication 2022) The most recent amount the Great Rivers Region has raised is $48,587.11.

The response to the Ukraine crisis is just ONE aspect of how OGHS offers help to those hurting. OGHS has responded to Covid19 relief, building schools for children in Liberia, working with partner Lutheran World Relief providing blankets, hygiene supplies and clothing to families in Yemen, supporting immigrants from Central America finding a new life in Indiana, and helping with hurricane relief in Louisiana. Prayerfully consider supporting this annual offering. Click here for more information or to learn how to help 

Breakfast Fellowship- All Are Welcome


 Saturday, March 12, 2022  @  9:00 AM

All Are Welcome to Join us on ZOOM


Speaker: Don Mahannah from INtegRIty Counseling

INtegRIty Counseling is a community-based, non-profit counseling agency located in the heart of Bloomington’s west side.
They do not have a set fee for counseling, but instead, use a pay-as-you-can method and ask clients to contribute what they can.
We use qualified professionals and

counseling interns who donate their time to see clients.
People cannot easily address emotional or mental health issues on their own.
Emotional and mental problems affect economic and physical health.
Poverty, unemployment, family issues, peer pressure and neighborhood conflict can cause abuse, neglect, low self-esteem, depression, addiction, trust issues, violence and other problems that limit self-growth.

Contact: Daniel Schuetz @dschuetz11@gmail.com



Welcome to our new Praise Team Leader, Allison Benton!

On behalf of the First Baptist Church board, we are excited to share that Allison Benton has been hired as our Interim Praise Team leader, with an additional role in coordinating our new Wednesday Evening Vespers Service that is scheduled to begin on September 22.  Allison has a Bachelor’s degree in Worship Arts from Greenville University, is a member of First Baptist and has a long history of participation in our worship ministry.  She has a great love for the Lord and seeing the church thrive.  

Springfield Baptist Church Camp

LSBC Offers a safe, nurturing  environment for your family. Our directors and counselors are extensively vetted., and background checked.  Staff and Lifeguards are CPR and first aid trained and we have a medical doctor on call.

Encompassing nearly 40 acres,  LBSC walking trails, outdoor sports, boating, fishing and in ground pool.  Our directors and counselors provide excellent biblical teaching, fun games, and time for worship and devotion. All designed to build a relationship  with Christ and with each other. Check out their website for more information

The C.E. Committee reminds you that scholarships are available to all who attend camp. 50% of the camp fee can be covered by FBC for all children and youth campers.

Connecting with Others: Sharing meals, sharing life

Food is a necessity of life — and a meal shared with others can be life for the soul.

Our human interactions with and around food are a universal experience and are likewise found throughout scripture.  Sometimes those meals are life-changing; from Abraham and Sarah setting a feast before three strangers who will share good news, to a Passover feast eaten hurriedly in anticipation of God’s saving work, to the meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before his crucifixion…

In our lives today, meals are both an ordinary experience and one with the potential to experience God’s presence is made tangible.  How might we lean into that potential, both in our the lives of our homes/families and among our friends and wider community?

Some quick thoughts:

  • Use a meal as an opportunity not only to connect with friends but to get to know new people.  Invite someone you don’t know as well.
  • If family meal time has become scattered – what would it look to prioritize that time at least a few times a week?
  • Another building block would be to use conversation starters or short devotional times as part of the meal.
  • Remember that at the core of this is loving one another where they are at.  It is important to stay open to spiritual opportunities and deeper conversations – but the goal is not “getting people to come to church” or a aiming for some kind of conversion conversation.  Let God do that work.  People are not projects for us to work on, but are beloved by God whatever happens or doesn’t happen in a specific moment.


Ideas and Resources for Gathering around the Table:

(links provided are not a blanket endorsement of all content and perspectives found within them; take/adapt what is useful)

Small Group Meal Resources:

Meal Ideas — something to get some friends together and try: http://sneakyspoons.com/2012/01/small-group-meal-ideas.html

Incorporating meals into existing small groups: https://www.smallgroups.com/articles/2009/sharing-meal.html

Family Resources: 

Simple conversation starters provided monthly by the UMC https://www.umc.org/en/content/get-them-talking-discussion-starters-for-families

50 Table Talk Questions (general questions that open up conversation)

The challenge of leaning into difficult subjects around the dinner table:

Religion and Politics at the Dinner Table: Challenging the Old Maxim

Tips for Having Challenging Conversations – Some really good practical advice here


Connecting with God: Worship Through the Week

Worship is more than what we do for an hour on Sunday — join us as we explore what worship is and share ideas and resources for connecting with God through our practice of worship through the week.

Articles on worship through the week:

Devotional time: exercise for the soul

Devotional Resource List:

Check back as we’ll be adding to this through the week! 


Pray As You Go: https://pray-as-you-go.org/  (also available as a mobile app)

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.   A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.  Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.  [Brian’s note: this resource comes from the Jesuit community but broadly helpful across Christian traditions.]

Common Prayer: https://commonprayer.net/

Common Prayer is a tapestry of daily prayers inviting faith communities from around the world to pray, sing, and act together. At this site, you’ll find prayers for every eveningmorning, and midday that celebrate the best of the Christian tradition and engage with the most pressing issues of our world today.


Some of the books I’ve found helpful for devotional purposes:

Celebration of Discipline – Richard Foster

Celebration of Discipline is a classic that explores multiple facets of an ongoing life of worship expressed in many different habits and exercises.  From the ‘inward disciplines’ of Fasting, Prayer, Meditation and Study, to outward and corporate expressions; this book will encourage and invite us deeper into scripture-based practices for a life in relationship with God.