Update September 16, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Five quick things I want to mention in this midweek email.

1.     Wednesday Night Bible Study

Today we begin a new Wednesday Bible Study Series on “Spiritual Practices.” I will offer the first lesson live via Zoom right here at 7:00 p.m. (meeting ID: 852 3131 5257; Passcode: 2bcstudio). If you prefer to view the video later, we plan to post it to our church Facebook page on Thursday.

2.     Wednesday Night Supper

Today we also begin a new approach to Wednesday Night Supper. If you ordered your meal by Monday at midnight, you can pick it up today between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the main entrance facing Gaskins Road. Please enter the parking lot from Gaskins Road and drive through the circle under the porte-cochere to receive your tasty take-and-heat meal.

3.     Sunday Worship

If you plan to attend The Sanctuary Service in person this Sunday at 11:30 a.m., please register here by Friday at 5:00 p.m. If you missed last Sunday, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “God’s Triunity” here. Please also remember to access the “At the Table” video here so you can have a Lord’s Supper Service at your home.

4.     Back to School Drive-thru

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the awesome turnout and copious donations of food and school supplies at our Back to School Drive-thru last Sunday! It was a joy to see you, and your generous donations will help us bless the community through our ongoing local mission efforts.

5.     Blessing

Here is a blessing for everyone, especially those still adjusting to a strange and challenging new school year. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

 

Update August 26, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Below are some important updates for worship and study for this week.

Worship

Our worship schedule for this Sunday, August 30, will remain consistent with previous weeks. The Well Service, which is live stream only, will begin at 9 a.m. Online Sunday School will meet at 10:00 a.m. and the Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. If you plan to attend the Sanctuary Service in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon. Of course, we are very glad for you to view either service online, and we especially encourage all who are “high risk” to worship with us online rather than in person.

Bible Study

This evening, August 26, Ben Brown will post a video Bible study about the Lord’s Prayer. He’ll be referencing a teaching tool found in Mike Breen’s book, “Building a Discipleship Culture.” Breen has broken down the parts of the Lord’s Prayer into a hexagon shape showing people all over the world the way that Jesus taught us to pray. All are invited to view it on our facebook page.

Closing Prayer

Our prayer for you this week is from Psalm 31, “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

In Christ,

Your Ministry Team

 

Update August 19, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Below are some important updates for worship and study for this week.

Worship

Our worship schedule for this Sunday, August 23, will remain consistent with previous weeks. The Well service, which is live stream only, will begin at 9 a.m. Online Sunday School will meet at 10:00 a.m. and the Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. If you plan to attend the Sanctuary Service in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon. Of course, we are very glad for you to view either service online, and we especially encourage all who are “high risk” to worship with us online rather than in person.

Bible Study

This evening, August 19, Tom Mitchell will post a video Bible study regarding the text and context of Exodus 34:1-10. This is one of the most powerful passages in the Old Testament where God tells Moses, and us, who he is and what he is like. As we will see, God’s Old Testament “self-portrait” looks remarkably like Jesus. All are invited to view it on our facebook page.

Closing Prayer

Our prayer for you this week is from Ephesians 3:14-17. “For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.“ Amen.

In Christ,

Your Ministry Team

 

Update August 11, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ our Savior. I hope this email finds you well.

If you missed last weekend’s services, you can find last Sunday’s Well Service here and last Sunday’s Sanctuary Service here. Last Sunday’s sermon, “The Christian Version of the Golden Rule” is available here.

I would also encourage you to check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

This week’s Wednesday Night Bible Study, led by Rev. Katie Vance Lucas, will be available on our church Facebook page by 6:00 p.m. today.

This Sunday, August 16, Tom Mitchell will bring the sermon as we continue our sermon series entitled, “Anchored: Scriptures to Steady the Soul.”

As we endure the many challenges of 2020, “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

 

Update August 4, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Below are some important updates, including a change for The Well taking effect this Sunday.

 

Worship

Beginning this Sunday, August 9, we will shift The Well to an online only service. The service will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end around 9:55 a.m. The reason for this change is that we have found that the overwhelming majority of Well worshippers are viewing the service online while very few are attending in person. Making the service online only will allow for a fuller worship service with more songs that does not have to be limited to forty minutes in length. The Core Team for The Well, which provides leadership for the service in a variety of ways, suggested this change to the staff, and we think it will prove beneficial.

The rest of our schedule will remain the same this weekend, with online Sunday School at 10:00 a.m. and the Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. If you plan to attend the Sanctuary Service in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon. Of course, we are very glad for you to view either service online, and we especially encourage all who are “high risk” to worship with us online.

 

Bible Study

This evening, August 5, I will lead the eighth and final session of “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course.” It will be a live session via Zoom at 6:00 p.m. I plan to offer a 25 to 30-minute presentation on “Doing Justice,” which will focus on Micah 6:8 among other scriptures. Participants will then have the opportunity to submit questions through the “Chat” feature for an interactive learning experience. All are invited to participate by clicking the link below at 6:00 this evening.

https://zoom.us/j/94879348070?pwd=RnlWQWxmS1FRUTdiWlR5UDBmUG5OQT09

Meeting ID: 948 7934 8070

Passcode: 586452

 

Mission

A mission update email is set to go out tomorrow (Thursday, August 6). Please be on the lookout for the latest opportunities to participate in our ongoing missions at Second Baptist Church.

 

Closing Prayer

My prayer for you this week is from Hebrews 13:20-21:Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

 

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

 

Update July 30, 2020

 

Dear Church Family,

 

We thank God for your conscientious efforts to stay connected to Christ and church during this difficult time of physical distancing when we have shifted the vast majority of our church life online. As you will see in the updates below, we continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

 

Worship

 

We are growing in worship through our current sermon series “Anchored: Scriptures to Steady the Soul.” Having recently focused on John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-10, we will turn our attention this Sunday to Isaiah 40:31. If you plan to attend worship in person this Sunday, please register here before Friday at noon. Of course, we are glad for you to continue worshipping online, and we especially encourage those who are “high risk” to worship online. If you missed last Sunday, you can find last Sunday’s Well Service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary Service here, and last Sunday’s sermon “Saved By Grace” here.

 

Bible Study

 

We are growing in Christian education through Zoom Sunday School and our current Wednesday evening study, “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course.” To catch up on video lessons, visit our church Facebook page. Additionally, if you missed last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel,” you can find it here.

 

Mission

 

We are growing in our mission outreach as the needs of our neighbors grow. The Loaves & Fishes Ministry continues to provide food and grocery gift cards for drive-thru pick up every second and fourth Friday. We are serving more people than ever, and the church has been generous to replenish our food inventory and give generously to this ministry. This past week, Pastor Andre from the Portuguese Language Ministry joined us and we were able to pray with and for many of those receiving food. As part of our West Virginia Ministry partnership, the Prayer Shawl Ministry is providing an opportunity for the whole church to take part in creating festive fleece blankets that will be given to kids in West Virginia at a “Secret Santa” Christmas party. Beginning Thursday, July 23, there will be containers on the benches in front of the Main Commons entrance filled with No-Sew Fleece Blanket kits, instructions, and card stock for creating personal Christmas cards. After completing the blanket and making a homemade Christmas card for the child, please return the completed kit to the designated bins on the benches in front of the Main Commons doors. If you have questions, please contact Robinette George (804-647-9195), Tiffany Dawson (804-938-9926), or Vickie Ritter (804-347-3815).

 

Children

 

Our children have been growing in grace and knowledge as they continue to develop spiritually. We recently finished a wonderful week of Virtual Advocacy Camp focusing on food insecurity, creation care, housing insecurity, racism, and education with virtual and hands-on experiences. We also hosted a “Raising Kids with Hearts for Racial Justice” Zoom seminar in partnership with our Student Ministry, and we will be hosting small group coaching sessions every Tuesday in August along these lines. We continue to offer front porch visits with Katie Vance Lucas, cooking with Chef Adam online, Sunday School on social media and Zoom, and hands-on mission opportunities. We are working constantly to provide care for families and children, especially as we look toward fall planning.

 

Students

 

Second Students continue to grow in Christ during this time of social distancing. Middle school, high school, and college students gather weekly for Zoom Sunday School. In early July, Paule Houngbeke and Braxton Kemp led students in a powerful conversation about race, and we’re hopeful to have more healing and enlightening conversations like this in the future. Julie Long, a minister and parenting coach, led parents of Second Baptist Children and Students in a conversation about parenting race-conscious kids. Second Students have maintained a weekly book club on Wednesday mornings called the “Brunch Bunch.” This group is discussing the book Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren. Ben Brown has visited several homes to share desserts with more than a dozen students at a safe distance through the “Driveway Desserts” ministry. More dates and desserts will be available soon for August meetings. Students and volunteers are hopeful for possible outdoor gatherings in the fall for worship opportunities and a special event welcoming rising sixth graders.

 

Senior Adults

 

Our senior adults continue their spiritual growth as well. With summer in full gear and fall fast approaching, our seniors are gearing up to meet and greet one another on our driveways for “Driveway Devotions.” We will be joining together in different neighborhoods with the friends and families of Second Baptist. We have plans to meet in the Crossridge Neighborhood, the Parke Neighborhood in Goochland, and in the Lakewood community. We will be setting up outside with our lawnchairs, our drinks from home, and our love and encouragement for our fellow neighbors to share and connect with one another. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, or would like to do something in your own neighborhood, please email Kathi Traficanti and she will see about making Driveway Devotions happen in your area.

 

Staff Update

Our staff is growing in grace and has recently grown in size, too. Our Financial Administrator, Griendora “G” McDowell, has been preparing for some time to move away from the forefront of handling our day-to-day financial matters. G has been working toward her calling of community outreach work to assist people of color, primarily in the area of economic empowerment. While G is not yet completely stepping away from a role in the Finance Department at Second Baptist Church, we are happy to introduce our new Lead Finance Administrator, Ms. Tawanna Priest, who just began working with us on July 22, 2020. Tawanna will continue part-time in training for now, but beginning September 1, she will take the lead role as Finance Administrator, and G will reduce her hours. With the many twists and turns presented by COVID-19, we are not sure when G will completely step away, but we obviously want her to feel welcome as long as she desires to stay. She will give proper notice to staff and congregation when that time comes. We hope you will join us in making Tawanna feel welcome at Second Baptist Church.

Closing Prayer

We encourage you to grow in grace individually through personal Bible reading and prayer, even as we continue to grow collectively as a church. Our closing prayer this week comes from Ephesians 3:16-19: “I pray that, according to the riches of God’s glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

In Christian Love,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker and the Church Staff

Update July 22, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I hope you are finding ways to stay connected with God and church this summer. Here are a few opportunities to keep in mind.

If you plan to worship with us online this weekend, wonderful. If you plan to worship with us in person, we’d be glad to see you if you would please register here by Friday at noon. All who attend in-person services are required to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth and to keep a distance of at least six feet from others at all times.

If you missed last Sunday, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon “A Midnight Verse” here. You can also find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

On Wednesday evenings, I continue to teach “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course” by way of video. I plan to have this week’s lesson posted at 6:00 p.m. today on our church Facebook page.

Please be on the lookout for an email update about missions that we plan to send out tomorrow.

My prayer this week is that we would all continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

Update July 15, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Our first re-gathering efforts seemed to go pretty well last Sunday. If you plan to attend in-person worship this weekend, please register here by Friday at noon.

Please note, however, that we are perfectly happy for you to continue worshipping online from home. I cannot emphasize enough that we are not asking anyone to return to in-person services. In fact, we encourage all who are high-risk to stay home and worship online, and we enthusiastically support all who choose to continue worshipping online for any reason.

If you missed last weekend, last Sunday’s Well service is available here, and last Sunday’s Sanctuary service is available here. You can find last Sunday’s sermon, “There is a Balm,” here. This Sunday, I plan to begin a new sermon series entitled “Anchored: Scriptures to Steady the Soul.” We will start with a passage that serves as an anchor for many of us: John 3:16.

On Wednesdays, we are continuing our online study called “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course.” I recently posted this week’s lesson, “A Theology of Racial Reconciliation,” here. It features a detailed examination of Ephesians 2:11-22.

I hope you are taking time to claim joy in Christ amid the burdensome times we inhabit. When I was young, my mother would often say to me, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

 

Update July 8, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Here are some important midweek updates about what’s happening at Second Baptist Church.

Worship

If you plan to attend worship in person this Sunday, July 12, please register here as soon as possible. If you are in the high-risk category, or if you have any hesitation about returning to church for any reason, we encourage you to stay home and worship online for now.

If you missed last Sunday’s livestream services, you can view last Sunday’s Well service here and last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here. You can find last Sunday’s sermon “Praying Toward Peace” here, and last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

Bible Study

Join me this evening at 6:00 for a “Conversation about Race with Rev. James M. McCarroll, Jr.” This will be a live Zoom conversation that will not be recorded. You can participate by clicking here at 6:00 p.m. today. This conversation is part of our ongoing study, “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course.”

Mission

“If you’re at the store, buy one more,” as in one more bag of groceries. You can drop off bags of food outside the main church doors on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to support our Loaves and Fishes food ministry.

Closing Prayer

Here is a verse that has blessed me, and I hope it will bless you: “I have set the Lord continually before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

Update July 1, 2020

Dear Church Family,

In Philippians 3:12, Paul writes, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” At Second Baptist Church, we are pressing on despite the many challenges of 2020. I encourage you to read the updates below pertaining to various areas of our church life.

Worship

We are pressing on in worship. Our plan is to begin re-gathering for Sunday services on July 12 with The Well at 8:45 a.m. in the FLC Gym, the Portuguese Language Ministry Service at 10:30 a.m. in Spence Hall, and the Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Sunday School will be held online only at 10:00 a.m. and the Arabic Language Ministry will be held on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. in Spence Hall. Livestreaming will continue so you can worship from home if you choose. We are not asking anyone to come back to church but rather offering the opportunity for those who are ready to return. If you are in the high-risk category, or if you have any hesitations, I would encourage you to stay home and continue worshipping online for the time being. If you missed last Sunday, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon here.

 

Bible Study

We are pressing on in Christian education. The next video lesson in “Gospel and Race: An Introductory Course” will be posted in the next several days, and we will notify you when it is available. Next Wednesday, July 8, I will discuss race with Rev. James M. McCarroll, Jr., Pastor of First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN in a live Zoom conversation at 6:00 p.m. I hope you will plan to join us for this live conversation that will not be recorded. If you missed the first lesson on “Gospel and Race,” you can view it here. If you missed last week’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel,” you can find it here.

 

Mission

We are pressing on in Christian mission work. Every second and fourth Friday of the month, the Loaves and Fishes ministry continues to provide food and grocery gift cards for drive-thru pick up at the main entrance of the church. Our average food distribution has grown from 35 bags to 90 bags during the pandemic. The church has been generous to replenish our food inventory and give generously to this ministry. A faithful cadre of volunteers prepares the food bags and lovingly greets our guests, many of whom have become familiar friends. We have been able to pray with people, celebrate the birth of children, and give hope to those suffering during this challenging season. Additionally, the church has continued to provide sandwiches, protein shakes, protein bars, and goodies to front line health care workers. Last week, we delivered food to another critical care unit at St. Mary’s Hospital. It is a blessing to be able to bless those who are caring for the sick in our community!

 

Children

We are pressing on in our Children’s Ministry by continuing to find creative ways to connect with children and families. Recently, we honored our fifth graders and their transition to Student Ministry by delivering Bibles to them at their homes. It was a joyful occasion with their fourth and fifth grade Sunday School teachers, Katie, and their families. As we move into summer, we continue to offer Sunday School for preschoolers and elementary school children on Facebook and Zoom. Katie has also started social distance front yard visits with children and families that will continue throughout the summer along with digital offerings online. We are excited to host a virtual Advocacy Camp July 13-17. This year’s camp will look different but will be a wonderful virtual experience. Kids will learn about needs and opportunities related to healthcare, race, education, creation care, housing, and food insecurity. It will include activities, Zoom check-ins with Katie and other ministers, family hands-on experiences, prayer experiences, and a chance to do several projects as a family. This is a free camp and anyone can participate. Just email Katie by Monday, July 6 to sign-up.

 

Students

Second Student Ministries are pressing on and remaining active, although much is different about this summer. In a typical summer, our students would be at Passport Camp in Danville, Virginia during this final week in June. Instead, Passport has engaged students with weekly videos, energizer dances, and pastoral charges for missions. Students from Second Baptist submitted videos that will premiere this week for “Questions of the Day” and the Variety Show at Passport. On Thursday, July 2, Second Students are invited to a Conversation about Race that features church members Braxton Kemp and Paule Houngbeke. This live Zoom conversation will allow students a space to listen, learn, and ask important questions about race. Additionally, an online sign-up is circulating with dates for Driveway Desserts. On the specified date, Ben will contact your student and enjoy a dessert at a safe distance in your driveway. Ben is looking forward to drinking 20+ peach milkshakes and catching up with your student!

 

Senior Adults

Our Senior Adult ministry continues to press on. Rays of sunshine are peaking through in people’s lives as they send thank you notes like the following for our Thankful Thursday soup and bread delivery: “Thank you so very much for the delicious soup and bread. It was so good. So good that it’s all gone! Coming home to warm bread and soup was so therapeutic during these challenging times!” We continue to deliver soup, bread, and pastries to our grieving or at-home seniors and friends. We have several “delivery angels” who are such a blessing as they make deliveries. We appreciate the generosity of the Panera Bread Company which continues to donate bread to us. We use the bread for our Loaves and Fishes ministry as well as an accompaniment to our Thankful Thursday recipients. The staff at Panera have reached out to let us know how delighted they are that the bread is being used in such a loving way.

 

Music Minister Search

The Music Minister Search Committee (MMSC) is pressing on as well. The committee pushed hard through the middle of May to finalize the candidate profile and pass the torch to our consultant, Dr. Matt Cook, who began seeking candidates on our behalf. To date, between Dr. Cook’s work, our church website, and word-of-mouth referrals, we have collected more than 60 resumes. We will soon begin narrowing down this pool to the top ten candidates. COVID-19 has left its impact on our process since March, complicating our committee meetings and communications with potential candidates. Nonetheless, our resolve remains strong, and we look forward to continuing our work to discern God’s call for our next Minister of Music. We are planning to post the “What We’ve Heard from You” aspect of our search on the church website along with the Candidate Profile. Although we are beginning to narrow down our candidate pool, if you know of someone you would recommend to apply, please have him or her email a resume to musicminister@secondbaptistrva.org. – Todd Mawyer, Chair of MMSC

 

Staff Update

As we press on in our staff ministry, we want to make you aware of an adjustment in responsibilities. On July 1, Tom Mitchell’s job title will change from “Director of Missions and Outreach” to “Director of Discipleship and Missions.” Tom will transition from part-time to full-time and will begin leading our adult education ministry while continuing to head up our mission efforts. Also, on July 1, Rev. Kathi Traficanti’s job title will change from “Minister of Adult Education” to “Minister of Senior Adults.” Kathi will continue in a part-time capacity leading our ministry to seniors and the Emerge Women’s Ministry. We thank God for Kathi and Tom and the many gifts they bring to our staff.

 

Closing Prayer

As we continue to press on in faith, individually and collectively, here is an apt prayer: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken…Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:1-2, 8). Indeed, as we press on in the strength of God, we will never be shaken!

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker and The Ministerial Staff