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40 Days of Prayer - Daily Devotions Begin on 3/4/19

Preparing Ourselves for God’s Calling begins on March 4th. As we enter this period of transition at Calvary, please join us in Forty Days of Prayer. You are invited to pray every day for 40 days.  We are seeking God to prepare ourselves for His calling, for His vision for our church and our new pastor. Because we fully trust in God's faithfulness, we are confident that He will lead us into discovering His perfect will. May we encounter God through our praying these 40 days. It’s not too late. You can sign up here to receive daily email devotions and prayers.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." —Jeremiah 29:11

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Transition Team Announcement 1/31/19

The Transition Team has posted a 1/31/19 update that can be found on the Transition Information page. You can read the update below as well.


Transition Team Update 1-31-19

Here is a list of the Transition Team’s immediate and long-term goals. We are well on the way of getting a short-term Interim Pastor in place and moving on to the next step. Check in for additional updates on our link on the church website. Thank you for your prayers and support!

I. Short-term Interim Pastor and Pulpit Supply - March 3- May 26 (Memorial Day weekend):

Pulpit Speaker – 8:30 and 11:00 service each Sunday

The Transition Team believes that a consistent presence in the pulpit to lead the church after Bob’s final Sunday and through the Lenten season and Easter is needed.

A short term Interim Pastor will preach at two services each Sunday morning with no other pastoral duties except preaching on Sunday. (The college services will continue with Niki Hays leading until classes conclude in the summer as usual.) The Transition Team has a “deep bench” of substitute speakers in addition to staff to fill in on any Sunday the short-term interim might have a conflict.

II. Options for Creation of Congregational Profile and New Pastor Profile Documents:

The Transition Team has begun assembling data about our church and community that need to be in a congregational profile. We still need input from the church, and think that large-scale congregational conversations and surveys need to be done in order to complete the creation of a profile that reflects who we are, and who we are looking for.

Once we secure our short-term interim pastor, the Transition Team sees completion of these documents as its next task.

Options we are considering:

                1. No outside facilitator/drafter - Calvary does it on its own. There are a lot of resources available for churches wishing to undertake this project internally.

                2. Hire outside facilitator/drafter with experience with churches which have undergone a transition or leadership search.

III. Long-term Interim Pastor

After Memorial Day weekend, the Transition Team will again need to have preaching lined up for the open-ended time between then and the ultimate call of a pastor. If the short-term interim pastor has been successful, and is interested in continuing, the Team may request an extension of the original commitment, but the Transition Team is also scouting out other possible interim candidates to serve the church going forward during this time.

 Other questions? You can contact us at  CBCtransition@calvarybaptistchurch.com



Wednesday Evening 1/30/19 Activities Canceled

All evening activities scheduled for Wednesday, January 30th have been canceled due to the weather. Sanctuary Choir practice and College Bible Study are included in the cancellation. The ROC will be open from 6:00am until 5:00pm on Wednesday.

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Afternoon Tea Reception for Marilyn 1/27/19

Join us on Sunday, January 27th at 2:00pm for an Afternoon Tea Reception and Program in Fellowship Hall celebrating and honoring Marilyn Fightmaster as she retires after 47 years of ministry as our church pianist.

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Afternoon Tea Reception for Marilyn 1/27/19

Join us on Sunday, January 27th at 2:00pm for an Afternoon Tea Reception and Program in Fellowship Hall celebrating and honoring Marilyn Fightmaster as she retires after 47 years of ministry as our church pianist.

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Special Dates for January/February 2019

Sunday 1/27/19
Marilyn Fightmaster’s
Afternoon Tea Reception - 2:00pm in Fellowship Hall
Celebrating and honoring 47 years
of ministry as our church pianist.
(more information to be announced)

Sunday 2/17/19
Dr. Baker’s Retirement Celebration Dinner - 5:00pm in Fellowship Hall
(more information here)

Sunday 2/24/19
Morning Reception for Dr. Baker in Fireside Room
(more information to be announced)
Dr. Baker’s Last Worship Service
Combined Worship - 11:00 in Sanctuary

The Calvary church calendar
Weather Policy

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Transition Information Update 1/6/19

The Transition Team has updated the Transition Information page with an announcement distributed on Sunday, January 6, 2019 in Sunday School folders, the 11:00 worship bulletin, and in early worship. The Transition Information page can be viewed here. The printable announcement document can be found here.

Service of Remembrance 12/16/18

All are invited to join us on Sunday, December 16th at 6:00pm for a special service of quietness, scripture and candles. We will remember those who are not among us this year as we ask the Spirit of God to bring us needed healing.  All are welcome to a reception following the service in the Conference Room.

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The Many Moods of Christmas Service 12/16/18

Join us on the Third Sunday of Advent, December 16th at 11:00, for “The Many Moods of Christmas,” a service for choir and orchestra. The worship service will feature traditional Christmas music and hymns for orchestra with our Music Minister Warren Howell, Organist/Harpsichordist Dr. Kevin Raybuck, Pianist Marilyn Fightmaster, the Sanctuary Choir and the Handbell Choirs.

Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Silent Night
Patapan
Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)
Joy to the World
What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella
Angles We Have Heard On High
Gesu Bambino
O Little Town of Bethlehem

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Pastor's Paragraph 12/6/18

Pastor's Paragraph—December 6, 2018

W.E. Sangster, noted British Methodist Minister, once described the Advent season as follows:
 
What is Advent? . . . It is the first gleam of Christmas; it is the promise of his [Christ’s] coming; it heralds the entrance of the Divine into human history; it is heaven descending to earth . . . It is as though a trumpeter had taken his stand upon the turrets of time and announced the coming of the King. “Get ready,” he seems to say. “Get ready. He is coming.”
 
Let me encourage you to be present for worship throughout the Advent season as we “get ready” to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Last Sunday (December 2) was the first Sunday of Advent. We: gathered for worship in our beautiful “decorated-for-Christmas” sanctuary (thank you Joye Smith and our Decorating Committee); lit the first Candle (the Candle of Hope) in our Advent wreath; sang hymns of Advent and Christmas; reflected on the message of “Christmas 2018: Some Assembly Required”; and welcomed three new members into our church family.
 
This Sunday we will light the second candle in our Advent Wreath (the Candle of Peace). We will focus on the role that Mary played during that first Christmas. The message based on Luke 1:26-28 is entitled “Mary: Seconding the Motion.” At the conclusion of the service, we will receive a special offering for the Calvary Christmas Project  which this year will make “Christmas” possible for 130 families in need, including about 400 children. Our Sanctuary Choir will lead us during the worship service on December 16th, the third Sunday of Advent when we will light the Candle of Joy. This service provides a good opportunity for you to invite someone (or several someones) to come to church with you. The Christmas music shared by our gifted choir will be joyous, inspirational, and Christ-honoring.
 
Sunday December 23rd is the fourth Sunday of Advent this year. We will light the Candle of Love (completing the lighting of the outer circle in our Advent Wreath) which will signify that our preparation and “getting ready” to celebrate the gift of Christ Jesus coming to earth and entering our world should be nearly complete. During this service, we will also celebrate the baptisms of eight new Christians!
 
The highlight of Calvary’s Advent Season will be our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion service beginning at 6:00 p.m. This for many of us is our favorite worship service of the year. Through the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible, the singing of Christmas hymns, the lighting of the Christ Candle – the center candle in our Advent Wreath, the celebration of communion, and the always meaningful Candle lighting tradition, we will put the finishing touches on our “getting ready” for Christmas 2018. 
 
So come and celebrate the season of Advent with your church family. Come and give thanks for the birth of God’s Son.
 
Advent Blessings,
Bob
(Pastor’s Paragraphs can be found here.

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Transition Information Update 11/30/18

The Transition Team has updated the Transition Information page with answers to additional frequently asked questions as well as a Sunday School announcement flyer that will be distributed to classes on Sunday, December 2nd. The Transition Information page can be viewed here.

Pastor's Paragraph 11/15/18

Pastor's Paragraph—November 15, 2018
This coming Sunday, November 18th, is Thanksgiving Sunday at Calvary. It is also Commitment Day, a day when we have the opportunity to demonstrate our gratitude to the Lord. Specifically, we are asking each member  of our Calvary family to demonstrate his/her gratitude to God in the following ways:

  1. By being present. Our presence at Bible study and worship is a tangible way of demonstrating that God is certainly worthy of our worship. So plan to be present (and invite a friend to come with you). Those members who cannot attend are encouraged to listen to our morning worship service as it is broadcast over the radio (WVLK/590) or to live stream our service by going to the church website.

  2. By making a confidential commitment to the 2019 church budget.  Commitment cards have been mailed to our church members. Commitment cards will also be available in the sanctuary as well as in the church office. There will be a designated time during the morning worship services this Sunday when the commitment cards will be received. If you cannot be present this Sunday, please mail or bring your commitment card to the church office.

  3. By giving a generous offering to support the Lord’s work through our church in 2018. We are currently behind in our budget giving. Giving to the church budget provides the financial resources which are needed for CBC to carry out our God-given mission. No one church member (or even several church members) can provide enough money in order for our 2018 budget of $2, 169,812 to be met. However, if every CBC member will practice good stewardship and “do his or her part” then more than enough financial resources for the work of our church will be given.

  4. By praying daily for our church during this period of transition and (after February 28th) during the upcoming interim period. Pray that all Calvary members will “step up” during this upcoming season of change so that even during the interim period (so that especially during the interim period) CBC will do her best in being the church that God will continue calling us to be.

I look forward to seeing you for Thanksgiving/Commitment Day worship this Sunday morning and at the Family Thanksgiving Feast this coming Sunday night!
 
 
Blessings,
Bob

 

Thanksgiving Schedule Through 11/25/18

Highlighted Dates for Thanksgiving Holiday
Office, ROC & Gym Schedule Changes

(Refer to Complete Church Calendar for More Information)

Thursday 11/22
Thanksgiving - Office & ROC Closed

Friday 11/23
Office & ROC Closed

Saturday 11/24
Office & ROC Closed

Sunday 11/25
Worship at 8:30 & 11:00—Bill Owen
Youth Choir at 5:00pm with Fellowship Event
HopeBells at 5:00pm, No PraiseRingers Practice
RITI at 6:00pm

Dr. Baker's Retirement Announcement 9/13/18

Pastor’s Paragraph—September 13, 2018

Dear Calvary Baptist Church Family,

Just over 27 years ago on July 21, 1991, I was called to be your pastor. Little did I know at that time as a then 38 year old minister that God would call me to remain as your pastor until my retirement.

I am writing to share with you that I will retire from the pastorate at the end of February, 2019. My final Sunday as your pastor will be February 24, 2019.

It is with mixed emotions that I make this announcement: sad to say good-bye to a church that I dearly love; grateful for the gracious God-given opportunity that I have had to be the pastor of such an amazingly gifted and Christ-centered congregation; anxious about the prospect of being retired (will I really be 66 years old this coming February?); and yet excited about what God has in store for me during my retirement years.

While I do not know my exact retirement plans, I do hope to do some preaching, some teaching, some writing, a bit more golfing, and to spend quite a bit more time with my family – my wife, my children, my children’s spouses, and my grandchildren (I have told you that I am a grandfather, haven’t I?).

I am announcing the date of my retirement now in the hope of giving our church family ample time to begin making preparations for the upcoming interim period and for the search process through which God will provide a new pastor for our church. At this coming Sunday’s (September 16th) quarterly business meeting, the church Personnel Committee will be making some recommendations/suggestions regarding possible steps that our congregation can begin to take now in order to best utilize the transitional period that is before us.

I pray that we will dedicate the closing six months of our time together to be the best congregation on mission for the Lord Jesus Christ that we have the potential to be. So what can each of us do between now and the end of next February? Let me make these suggestions: 1) Be faithful in worship and Sunday School attendance; 2) Give generously of your time, talents, and resources; 3) Pray for our church daily; and 4) ask God to use your life in His service during this transitional time.

Thank you for the privilege of being your pastor. Ministering to and with you these past 27 years has been the highlight of my ministerial career. Thank you for praying for me (especially during those “rough patches” in 2008 when I had open heart surgery and in 2009 when I was hospitalized for clinical depression). Thank you for loving my wife and my family. And thank you for being the church that you are – a “Christ-centered caring church family in the center of our community” committed to loving the Lord our God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind.

As I announce my retirement, I want to acknowledge how much I value the ministers on our church staff. More than fellow ministers, they are my friends who in so many ways are like family. How fortunate I have been not only to minister with them but to be ministered to by them! How blessed Calvary Baptist Church is to have such talented and dedicated church staff ministers!

Before closing this letter, I want to express my special appreciation for my wife. Deborah has been and continues to be an incredibly gifted reading specialist and literacy coach, a fabulous mother and grandmother, an always well prepared Sunday School teacher, a faithful sanctuary choir member, and an “always there” ministry partner. God blesses me, encourages me, and inspires me through her. A better wife and ministry partner I could not have! Thanks, Deb!

And now – in the words of Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we the congregation of Calvary Baptist Church will abound in hope.”

Your blessed and grateful pastor,

Robert G. Baker

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Praying Through the Church Roll

Pastor's Paragraph -- March 1, 2018

Several years ago, our ministerial staff engaged in a project called "Praying Through the Church Roll."  The purpose of this ministry project was to pray specifically for every Calvary member (and household).  We prayed for approximately twenty households each week until we had prayed through the entire church roll.

During the season of Lent as we approach Holy Week and Easter Sunday, our ministerial staff feels led to pray through our church roll once again.  Our format will be slightly different this time.  Instead of praying through the church roll alphabetically, we will be praying for the members of a particular Sunday School class each week.  We will also systematically pray for all church members who are not currently enrolled in a Sunday School class.

You will be notified by email several days before the Tuesday staff meeting during which our ministerial staff will be praying for you.  Prior to the staff meeting, you will be contacted by one of our ministers to see if you have any particular prayer requests.  These requests (which will be held confidentially) will assist us as we pray for you (and/or your family) specifically.  In addition, you may email any prayer requests you have to bob@calvarybaptistchurch.com.

At our staff meeting on Tuesday, March 13, we will begin this prayer project as we pray for members of the Ecton and the Keystone Sunday School classes.  The members of these classes will be contacted prior to March 13 to learn of any particular prayer requests that they might have.

While we will be praying through the church roll approximately twenty households per week, please know that anytime you have a prayer request (whether it is the week that we are praying for your class/group or not), you can email that request to me or call me at the church office. 

James 5:16 declares that we are "to pray for one another."  May we follow this scriptural practice as we seek to be a praying church.

Blessings from your pastor,
Bob

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Prayer Point 2/22

From the Calvary Prayer Team

"Be encouraged to cheerfully offer intercessory prayer, by remembering that such prayer is the sweetest prayer God ever hears.  Remember, again, that intercessory prayer is exceedingly powerful. 
 
What wonders it has accomplished!  When you are favored to draw very near to His throne, and the King says to you ‘Ask, and it will be given to you,’ let your petitions be, not for yourself alone, but for the many who need His aid."
 
                     C.H.Spurgeon,    “Morning and Evening”

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