February 25, 2021

Dear Church Family,
We hope this email finds you well and abiding in Christ. Below are several informative midweek updates as well as links to recent content.
Worship
If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here and last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here. Last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Finding Our Way” is available here. You can view last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here. If you missed our Ash Wednesday service, you can view it here.
Bible Study
Pastor Noel Schoonmaker continues to lead “Galatians in Slow Motion,” a verse-by-verse investigation of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Today’s lesson on Galatians 2:4-8 is available here.
Journey to the Cross: Musical Meditations for Lent
This Sunday, February 28, a special video worship service led by our church organist, Dr. Mary Beth Bennett, will premiere at 6:00 p.m. A link to the service will be sent via email this Sunday so that you can view it. The service, which consists of scripture readings by ministerial staff and organ selections by Dr. Bennett, is designed to facilitate spiritual reflection as we move through the season of Lent toward the cross of Christ. A preview of the service is available here.
Easter Lilies
Since our plans for Easter are different this year, as announced in yesterday’s churchwide email, our approach to Easter lilies will be slightly different. Easter lilies will be available for purchase in memory or honor of loved ones, but instead of displaying the lilies on the platform in the sanctuary on Easter morning, the lilies will be displayed at the outdoor gatherings on Easter afternoon. More information about Easter lilies will be forthcoming in subsequent church communications.
Virtual Baby Shower
Our Supervisor of Events and Maintenance, Billy Petruska, and his wife, Katie, are anticipating the birth of their first child, a baby girl, very soon. Many have expressed a desire to celebrate with Billy’s family in some way, so we are glad to provide an Amazon Baby Registry link for Baby Girl Petruska here. We would especially like to stock their diaper and wipe shelves with all the sizes she will need as she grows and also to provide gift cards to help them get the last-minute items babies need right before and after they enter the world. We will provide a container under the porte-cochere at the main church entrance from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each weekday through Monday, March 1 for you to drop off any gifts you do not wish to purchase directly from the registry. If you are dropping off a gift card, you can call the office (740-7101) when you come by so we can get it from you directly. We rejoice with Billy and his family!
Special Events During Lent
We encourage you to mark your calendars for the following special events during Lent.
February 28: Journey to the Cross, Part 1: Musical Meditations for Lent with Dr. Mary Beth Bennett; this video will premiere at 6:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.
March 14: Journey to the Cross, Part 2: Musical Meditations for Lent with Dr. Mary Beth Bennett; this video will premiere at 6:00 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook,
April 1: Maundy Thursday Worship Service: 6:00 p.m. live-stream in the Sanctuary,
April 3: Easter Take-Home Kit and Egg Hunt Kit Drive-Thru Event: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Hymn Discovery
On Fridays, our Minister of Music and Worship, Taylor Vancil, has been releasing a series of videos called “Hymn Discovery” in which he plays hymns and offers devotional comments about them. Given the special organ service this weekend, there will be no “Hymn Discovery” video this Friday, but you can check out last Friday’s video here.
CLC Health Update
Recently, a student who attends our Creative Learning Center (CLC) tested positive for COVID-19. Our CLC leaders have notified the Henrico Health Department, and CLC is following their guidance. Since CLC has been operating with strict safety protocols, including grouping students into pods that stay together all day without interacting with other students or staff, the exposure is limited. Please join us in praying for this student to recover swiftly.
Scripture
As we walk with Christ this week, let us embody Ephesians 6:10: “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his power.”
In Christ,
Your Ministerial Staff

February 17, 2021

Dear Church Family,

 

Ash Wednesday greetings to all! Following are several midweek updates, including a link to today’s Ash Wednesday service and a link to this week’s Wednesday Bible Study.

 

Worship

 

Our special pre-recorded Ash Wednesday worship service will premiere today at 6:00 p.m. here. It will be available for viewing thereafter at the same link. Please be sure to find the order of service here so that you can worship along with us interactively. Please also check out a video we made here to help you prepare the ashes for imposition at your home. If you missed our online worship service last Sunday, you can find it here. Last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Recognizing Authority” is available here.

Bible Study

 

Our current Wednesday Bible study entitled “Galatians in Slow Motion” continues this week with a lesson from Pastor Noel Schoonmaker on Galatians 2:1-3. You can view it anytime here.

 

Lent Take-home Boxes

 

If you have not yet picked up a Lent Take-home Box (one per household), we encourage you to pick one up under the porte-cochere at the main church entrance facing Gaskins Road. We have limited boxes remaining and they will be available until 6:00 p.m. today.

Scripture

May Psalm 51:10 be our prayer as we begin our Lenten journey: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”

 

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

February 10, 2021

Dear Church Family,

We have several midweek updates to share, including a link to today’s study of Galatians, an announcement about Ash Wednesday worship, and information about two drive-thru events this weekend.

 

Worship

Last Sunday, we continued our new sermon series entitled “Formed by Following: Authentic Discipleship” with a message on “Counting the Cost.” You can find last Sunday’s Well service here and last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here. You can also find Tom Mitchell’s sermon from The Well here and Noel Schoonmaker’s sermon from The Sanctuary Service here. Last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking it Down with Pastor Noel” is available here.

 

Bible Study

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker continues to teach a verse-by-verse study of Galatians. You can find today’s lesson on Galatians 1:20-24 here.

 

Emerge Drive-thru Event

Our Emerge women’s ministry invites you to pick up chocolate truffles this Saturday, February 13, between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. To participate, you must register here by today, February 10. Make sure to drive-thru the porte-cochere, the entrance off Gaskins Road, to pick up your box of truffles.

 

Ash Wednesday Worship

On February 17, we will premiere a pre-recorded Ash Wednesday worship service at 6:00 p.m. The video will be available thereafter, and we encourage everyone to observe Ash Wednesday by participating in this special service with us. A link to the service will be forthcoming closer to the date.

 

Scripture

As we move forward in our walk with God, let us reflect on Christ’s teaching in Matthew 6:33: “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The Lord bless you and keep you!

 

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

February 3, 2021

Dear Church Family,

 

We hope this email finds you well. A new edition of our church newsletter, The Ideal, is scheduled to go out tomorrow. Here are a few updates and resources in the meantime.

 

Worship

If you missed worship last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Double Love” here. You can also find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Bible Study

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker continues to teach a verse-by-verse study called “Galatians in Slow Motion.” Today’s lesson on Galatians 1:15-19 is available here.

 

Truffle Drive-thru Hosted By Emerge

Follow along with Chef Adam, video here, as he teaches us how to prepare Valentine’s Day dinner. Then purchase all the ingredients, listed here, and cook along with Adam! Chocolate Truffles made by Chef Adam are available for pick up via parking lot drive-thru on Saturday, February 13 from 11:00 a.m. to Noon. To participate, you must register here. Registration ends February 10.

 

Scripture

Isaiah 40:31 offers encouragement for the living of these days: “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

 

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

 

January 27, 2021

As we move further into 2021, we want to offer a more comprehensive update on what is happening at church. We know there are too many opportunities for any single individual to engage them all, but we hope each person will find a few opportunities that can help you stay connected to church and growing in your faith. Regardless of which activities you choose to engage, we think you will find the following reports about various areas of our church life to be informative and encouraging.
Worship
Since case numbers remain high in our local area, we plan to continue holding Livestream worship for the time being. This Sunday, January 31, we will begin a new sermon series entitled “Formed by Following: Authentic Discipleship.” The series is scheduled to run throughout Lent and into Eastertide. It will examine scriptures and topics that are foundational for following Christ. If you missed worship last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Interpreting Disaster” here.
Bible Study
Our current Wednesday Bible Study series is called “Galatians in Slow Motion.” This verse-by-verse video exploration of Galatians taught by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker is scheduled to continue through much of the year. New lessons are posted on Wednesdays on our church Facebook page at 3:00 p.m. Today’s lesson on Galatians 1:11-14 is available here. Another opportunity for Bible Study is the weekly post-sermon video conversation between Tom Mitchell and Pastor Noel Schoonmaker called “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel.” Videos are posted on our church Facebook page on Sunday afternoons. You can find last Sunday’s episode here.
Music
The new year has brought many exciting events to our music ministry. Our fifth-grade choristers are embarking on “Hymns of the Heart,” a hymn memorization campaign with their directors, Judy Mawyer and Wanda Kensinger. Our new Minister of Music and Worship, Taylor Vancil, has begun a weekly video series entitled “Hymn Discovery” that airs each Friday on our church Facebook page. You can find last Friday’s video here. In an effort to re-engage our Sanctuary Choir, monthly Zoom meetings (rehearsals) will be held on the last Wednesday of the month. Finally, our esteemed organist, Dr. Mary Beth Bennett, will present Journey to the Cross: Musical Meditations for Lent – a musical experience intertwined with scriptural reflections premiering virtually on February 28 (Part 1) and March 14 (Part 2) at 6:00 p.m.Spiritual
Formation
Twenty-two people are currently participating in the Race, Class, and Kingdom of God study series. The series consists of thirteen videos, a workbook, and other resources to help us become aware and active in the ministry of reconciliation to which all Christ-followers are called. Along with the individual study, two facilitation groups will meet regularly to pray, discern, and respond to the ways in which the Spirit is at work through the series.Missions
Our Loaves and Fishes food distribution ministry continues to grow and thrive under the leadership of Ginger Johnson, Marilyn Harold, and a cadre of dedicated volunteers. We appreciate the continued support of the congregation by donating food or funds to support this important way in which our church is participating in the Mission of God to love our neighbors and reveal the Kingdom of God. In addition, we want to thank you for generously supporting our ongoing West Virginia mission partnership and our many other missions.
Children
Our Children and Family Ministry brought spiritual formation into homes for Advent with our Advent Take-Home Boxes to encourage spiritual practices and formation for families during Advent and Christmas. We were thrilled to have children lead in worship for our Children’s Choirs Christmas Program that was aired on our church YouTube Channel and brought worship and joy to our congregation and community. Families participated in drive-thru events for Advent and 2BCKids Christmas gifts. They also rang jingle bells during our first ever “Jingle Bells and Jammies Zoom Event” with WeePraise. We continue to gather via Zoom and pre-recordings for Sunday School and Children’s Choir, and we closed out the year by celebrating our newest 2BCKids born in 2020. We look forward to continuing our online connections and our Lent and Easter Drive-Thru and Take-Home Events coming soon!
Students
Second Student Ministries remain active in the new year. Students have maintained a weekly Zoom call for Sunday School since early in the pandemic. In February, our Minister of Students, Ben Brown, will be launching an outdoor Bible study on Sunday afternoons entitled: “What is the Bible, and How do we use it?” This study will offer some helpful tools to students for Bible study and also give an opportunity for students to safely gather in person with masks and social distancing. The spring will provide students with more mission opportunities including a special mission emphasis in March and the replanting of Grace Garden to provide fresh produce for the Loaves and Fishes food pantry this spring and summer. Ben also continues to offer a weekly “Beloved Wednesday” video for students. You can find a recent video here.
Senior Adults
Second Cousins, our senior adult group, is delighted to be continuing their outreach by mailing Sunday School curriculum and devotionals as well as cards and letters. Our “Driveway Devotionals” are taking a turn toward the Loaves and Fishes food pantry ministry. We are organizing a day for dropping off bags of food for the food pantry. If you are interested in organizing a Driveway Devotional food drive, please email Kathi T. here. Our Valentine’s Day outreach is coming together thanks to the creativity of our children from CLC. They are creating valentines which will be mailed with our Valentine Devotional to senior adults. Flowers are being distributed to homebound members and also taken to nursing care facilities in memory of our loved ones.
Emerge Women’s Ministry
In January, all the women in our church were mailed a copy of the “Take Courage” devotional written by the women of Second Baptist. If you didn’t receive this devotional, please call the church office at 740-7101 and we will be sure you get a copy. On January 31, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., you will be able to watch our own Chef Adam demonstrate how to prepare a wonderful Valentine Meal on our church Facebook page. We will top that off with a drive-thru event to pick up the dessert. Chocolate truffles await those who drive-thru the church parking lot at the main entrance under the porte-cochere on February 13 from 11:00 a.m. until noon. Plans are being made for our Emerge Retreat on May 1 at Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center. Plans are also being made for a new Mission to Widows. More information will be coming soon.
Creative Learning Center
Our CLC is in full swing! We currently have 122 students enrolled in the preschool and another 33 elementary students who are doing their virtual learning with us. We have implemented mitigation strategies to keep our staff and students healthy and safe at school: keeping pods of children together, wearing masks, and utilizing carpool for all students. We are truly meeting a need for childcare in our community and continue to receive positive feedback from CLC parents who are so thankful we have been able to remain open. We are always looking for people who might want to be added to our substitute list. If you are interested, please email our CLC Director, Ainsleigh Gaskins here.
Arabic Language Ministry
The Second Baptist Arabic Language Ministry has been conquering these difficult times and has found multiple ways to adjust. One of these ways includes two Zoom meetings five days a week, an hour for children and an hour for adults focusing on Bible readings. Another way has been our outreaches. We distribute Bibles in different languages several times a month. This has been very effective and successful in spreading the word of God. We have also been holding a virtual meeting every Saturday night to take the place of our in-person meetings. We could not do this without the help of the Second Baptist Church community. We are very thankful and pray for better times ahead.
Portuguese Language Ministry
The Second Baptist Portuguese Language Ministry has been active and faithful despite the limitations eventuated by the pandemic. We praise God for several new church members we have recently welcomed, including the Gama family, who are serving with the Music Team, and the Neves family, who are involved with our youth group and Marriage Ministry. After attending a baptism class, six people were baptized on December 27, 2020. We praise God for the life of Eloá, Lívia, João Vitor, Samuel, Eric, and Fátima. In terms of our Bible reading program, we finished the first campaign to read the entire Bible during the year, and we began this journey once more in January of 2021. On weekdays at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., we hold a Zoom meeting with Bible meditation and prayer time. We are also holding virtual worship services on the weekends until we can return to in-person worship.
Spanish Language Ministry
The Second Baptist Spanish Language Ministry is operating virtually right now. We are having prayer meetings via Zoom and are forming small groups of four to continue providing discipleship, doctrine, and communion. These groups are praying together and having conversations about daily aspects of life. We have formed a group of four men for the purpose of talking about family issues and how we can handle them in Christ. We are working on our mission plan for 2021 by having interviews with two missionaries from Mexico in two different states. We are focusing on our ministry to children and also continuing our work with people who are victims of human trafficking in Spain.
Nepalese Language Ministry
Our Nepalese-Bhutanese congregation led by Pastor Joseph Pradhan has been worshipping with us on a trial basis as a small, family congregation since 2018. We have received word from Pastor Joseph that his family has relocated their place of residence to another area of Richmond. Correspondingly, they have decided to relocate their place of worship and will no longer be worshiping at Second Baptist Church. Pastor Joseph expressed great thanks for the partnership with Second Baptist and for the opportunity to worship in our facilities. We pray God’s continued blessings on Pastor Joseph and his congregation in their new endeavors.
Scripture
Amid the many uncertainties of the present time, the steadfast love of God remains certain and constant. Psalm 136:26 says, “O give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Thanks be to our loving God, who never leaves us nor forsakes us.
In Christ,
Your Ministerial Staff

January 20, 2021

Dear Church Family,

We hope this email finds you well. Here are some midweek updates and opportunities from 2BC.

Worship

We are currently holding online worship only. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here and last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here. Last Sunday’s sermon from Pastor Noel Schoonmaker entitled “A Personal Text” is available here. You can also find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

Bible Study

Today we release the second video in our new Wednesday Bible Study series called “Galatians in Slow Motion.” This verse-by-verse investigation of Galatians is being taught by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker. You can find today’s lesson on Galatians 1:6-10 here.

Hymn Discovery Video Series

This Friday, January 22, our new Minister of Music and Worship, Taylor Vancil, will begin leading a “Hymn Discovery” video series. Each Friday, on our church Facebook page, we will release a video in which Taylor shares a hymn and some devotional thoughts. Be on the lookout for a link to these videos in our Saturday morning emails.

Financial Update

Thanks be to God for the generous and faithful giving of our church throughout 2020! Here is the financial summary as of December 31, 2020.

Church Business Meeting

Our church business meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be conducted virtually via Zoom and all church members are invited to participate. We will send a link to the meeting and further information closer to the date.

Scripture

Amid the difficulties of the time, it is helpful to reflect on Psalm 125:1-2: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.”

 

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

 

January 13, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ. Here are some midweek updates on what’s happening at 2BC.

Worship

We are currently holding online worship only. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Misfortunity” here. You can also find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

Bible Study

Today marks the beginning of a new Wednesday Bible Study video series called “Galatians in Slow Motion.” This verse-by-verse investigation of Galatians is being taught by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker. You can find today’s lesson on Galatians 1:1-5 here. Please encourage family and friends to participate with us in this online study.

Missions

Among many other missions, both local and afar, we continue to hold our “Loaves and Fishes” food distribution ministry two Fridays per month. If you want to contribute groceries to this mission, please just leave them outside the main entrance to the church and we will offer them to neighbors in need of food.

Church Business Meeting

Our church business meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 7 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be conducted virtually via Zoom and all church members are invited to participate. We will send a link to the meeting and further information closer to the date.

Staff Health Update

One of our support staff members recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is following all proper health protocols. The exposure which led to the employee contracting the virus occurred off-campus and the employee has not returned to campus since the exposure. Therefore, there was no exposure at the church. We invite you to pray for all of our staff as we continue serving the church while carefully attending to our health and safety protocols.

Scripture

We encourage you to pray for our nation this week and to keep in mind 1 Chronicles 16:11: “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.”

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

January 6, 2021

Dear Church Family,

 

Welcome to our first midweek update of 2021.

 

Worship

 

All who plan to attend worship in person this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. are required to register here by Friday at noon. If you missed worship last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Grieving with Hope” here. You can find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Bible Study

 

A new churchwide Bible Study entitled “Galatians in Slow Motion” will begin by video next Wednesday, January 13. I have been studying Galatians for the last few years, and I look forward to teaching through the letter verse by verse over the coming months. This “slow motion” approach will afford opportunity to study details of the letter that are often overlooked in a quick reading. I encourage you to join me for this online study. You can find today’s Bible Study video, a brief preview of the Galatians study, here.

 

Music Ministry Update

 

We are excited that Taylor Vancil has begun work as our Minister of Music and Worship. This Sunday will be his first Sunday leading worship in The Sanctuary Service. We welcome him and his wife, Sarah, as well as their children, Selah and Wesley, with gladness and gratitude to God.

 

Scripture

 

On the Christian calendar, today, January 6, is Epiphany. This special day commemorates the magi’s visit with the Christ-child as reported in Matthew 2:1-11. These “wise men” followed the bright star until they found the light of the world himself. Let us reflect on Matthew 2:11: “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.”

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

December 23, 2020

Dear Church Family,

 

Believe it or not, this is the last Wednesday update of 2020. Please be sure to check out the important information and resources below.

 

Christmas Eve

 

We hope you will worship online with us on Christmas Eve. The Well will be livestreamed at 4:00 p.m. here and The Sanctuary Service will be livestreamed at 5:30 p.m. here (with special pre-service music starting at 5:15 p.m.). We encourage you to prepare your candle in advance to sing “Silent Night” with us. We also encourage you to use the hashtag #2bcSilentNight to post photos of you singing along.

 

Sunday Worship

 

We will livestream only one worship service this Sunday, December 27 at 11:30 a.m. If you plan to attend this service in person, please register here before Friday at noon. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “A Christmas Play” here.

 

Bible Study

 

In place of our typical Wednesday Bible Study, we are having brief Advent devotional videos featuring Christmas songs. In this week’s video, Pastor Noel Schoonmaker shares an original song entitled “Little Baby Boy.” You can view it here. For an in-depth discussion of scripture and theology, check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas Devotional

 

We are pleased to offer a new devotional for the twelve days of Christmas (December 25-January 5) written by Dayna Schoonmaker. You can find this inspiring, testimony-based devotional here.

 

Children’s Christmas Program

 

Our annual Children’s Choirs Christmas Program debuted in video format last Sunday to great acclaim. You can view the uplifting program here.

 

Wednesday Night Dinner Schedule

 

There will be no Wednesday Night Dinner to go on December 23 or December 30. Dinner pick-up will resume on Wednesday, January 6.

 

Church Office Hours

 

The church office will be closed December 24 at 1:00 p.m., December 25, December 28, December 31 at 1:00 p.m., and January 1.

 

Wednesday Update Schedule

 

There will be no Wednesday Update email next week on December 30. The next Wednesday Update email is scheduled for January 6, 2021.

 

Emerge Devotional

 

Women of Second Baptist, please be on the lookout for an end-of-year mailing from Emerge Women’s Ministry. In late December, you will receive “Take Courage,” a devotional for January. Thirty-one women from our church family have written courage-inspired devotionals with accompanying scriptures. We hope it will help you start your new year with courage and conviction!

 

Year-End Giving

 

Are you planning to make donations to Second Baptist in late December that you plan to claim on your 2020 income tax return? If so, following are some things you need to know. Donations must be delivered or mailed and postmarked on or by December 31, 2020 in order to claim a charitable contribution deduction for 2020. Checks that are placed in the church offering during the first worship service in 2021 will not qualify for a charitable contribution deduction in 2020, even if the check is predated to 2020 or was actually written in 2020. Checks that are written, mailed, and postmarked in 2020 will be deductible even if they are not received until 2021. If you plan on dropping off cash or a check to the church office, please remember that the office closes at 1:00 p.m. on December 31, 2020. You may also drop it in the plate on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Online donations must be received by midnight on December 31, 2020.

 

Scripture

 

As we move closer to the celebration of Christmas, let us reflect on Titus 2:11-14: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

 

Grace and Peace,

Your Church Staff

December 16, 2020

Dear Church Family,

 

As we move deeper into the Advent season, here are some updates and resources pertaining to our church life.

 

Worship

 

If you plan to attend in-person worship this Sunday at 11:30 a.m., please be sure to register here by Friday at noon. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “A Baby Changes Everything” here.

 

Bible Study

 

In place of our typical Wednesday Bible Study, we are having brief Advent devotional videos featuring Christmas songs. In this week’s video, special guests Bruce and Gail Schoonmaker offer a beautiful rendition of the Appalachian carol, “I Wonder as I Wander.” You can view it here. For an in-depth discussion of scripture and theology, check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Children’s Christmas Program

 

This year, our annual Children’s Christmas Program will be presented as a (pre-recorded) livestream video this Sunday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m. on our church YouTube channel. We hope you will tune in and enjoy the delightful music of our children. We will send a link for the livestream video in this Saturday’s email.

 

From Our New Minister of Music and Worship

 

Advent greetings, Second Baptist Church!

Sarah, Selah, Wesley, and I are eager to join you in Richmond at the first of the year. Our preparations are well underway for the coming move and though our house may be lacking in typical holiday decorations, atop our moving boxes is a giant, bow-tied present—our future home in Richmond! Since our wonderful time with you in mid-November, we’ve felt nothing but deep gratitude from the affirmation and welcome you have extended us. As the days draw nearer, we look forward to a wonderful new beginning in 2021.

Merry Christmas!

Taylor Vancil

 

Scripture

 

As we reflect on the coming of Christ, let us contemplate Mary’s words to Gabriel in Luke 1:38: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

 

 

Grace and Peace,

 

Your Ministerial Staff

December 9, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We hope you sense the gift of Christ’s peace during this second week of Advent. Below are some updates and resources pertaining to our church life.

Worship

If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “The Genesis of Jesus” here. If you plan to attend our 11:30 a.m. Sanctuary service in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon.

 

Bible Study

In place of our typical Wednesday Bible Study, we are having brief Advent videos featuring Christmas songs. This week’s video is a rendition of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” offered by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker and his daughter, Maggie. You can find it here. For an in-depth discussion of scripture and theology, check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Christmas Concert

On Monday, some of our outstanding musicians offered a half-hour musical program of glorious Christmas music for Second Cousins. You can listen to the audio recording here.

 

Children’s Christmas Program

This year, our annual Children’s Christmas Program will be presented as a (pre-recorded) livestream video on Sunday, December 20 at 6:00 p.m. on our church Youtube channel. Please mark this date on your calendar so you can enjoy the delightful music of our children. We will send a link to the livestream closer to the event.

 

Generosity Campaign

We thank God for all who have made pledges to our generosity campaign. If you have not yet submitted a pledge, we encourage you to do so before Sunday by mailing a pledge card to the church office or by clicking here.

 

“O Holy Night” Video

Five of our church members who compose the vocal group “TWENTYSEVEN” have offered a beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night” in the form a professional music video. You can view it here.

 

Christmas Services

We are currently planning three Christmas services (with plans subject to change due to the ever-changing situation with the pandemic). On December 23 at 3:00 p.m., we are planning an outdoor family-friendly service. On December 24, The Well will host a Christmas Eve service at 4:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center, and The Sanctuary will host a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. Both Christmas Eve services will be livestreamed so you can participate from home. Due to legal restrictions and safety regulations that limit our seating capacity, reservations will be required to attend any of these three services in person. You can request reservations here. Limited seating remains, and reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis until safe seating capacity is reached.

 

Drive Thru Christmas Event for Foster Families

We are preparing to host the Henrico and Richmond City Department of Social Services Drive Thru Christmas Event for Foster Families in our area. Instead of having our large Christmas Store as in past years, this year, due to Covid precautions, each foster family will receive a gift card to buy last-minute Christmas gifts for their family. An anonymous donor has generously agreed to match gift card fund donations up to $500. Please let our finance office or Katie Vance Lucas know if you’d like to participate in this amazing challenge by donating towards the gift card fund.

 

“Race, Class and the Kingdom of God” Course

Do you want to have a gospel-driven understanding of racial justice? Do you want to be formed and empowered to ​​​​participate in racial healing and reconciliation? If so, we invite you to participate in the study Race, Class and the Kingdom of God. This resource was created by Arrabon, an internationally known, Christ-centered, Richmond-based non-profit. The series is designed to provide the tools to understand, discuss, and do something about the divisions we experience. The study has a 101 component lasting six weeks, and a 201 component lasting seven weeks. The modules consist of videos, a downloadable workbook, and other resources. To find out more about Arrabon and this study series, visit here. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here by Friday, January 8. We will launch the series later in January and also establish regularly occurring “catch up” Zoom calls where we can digest, talk, ask questions, and pray in community. Questions? Contact Tom Mitchell here.

 

CLC Health Update

Yesterday, a student who attends our Creative Learning Center (CLC) tested positive for COVID-19. Our CLC leaders have notified the Henrico Health Department, and CLC is following their guidance. Since CLC has been operating with strict safety protocols, including grouping students into pods that stay together all day without interacting with other students or staff, the exposure is limited. Please join us in praying for this student to recover swiftly.

 

Scripture

Zechariah voiced a beautiful prophecy of Christ that we commend for your reflection this week as we celebrate the Advent virtue of peace: “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).

 

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

 

December 2, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We have entered the season of Advent amid a difficult period in history. Still, the light of hope shines in Christ. Below are some updates about what is happening at church.

 

Worship

If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, last Sunday’s Well service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Getting Ready for the Day” here. You can also view last Sunday’s episode of Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel here. If you plan to attend worship in person at 11:30 a.m. this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon.

 

Bible Study

Today’s Wednesday Bible Study is a brief reflection on “Away in a Manger” led by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker. You can view it here.

 

“O Holy Night” Video

Five of our church members, who form the vocal group “TWENTYSEVEN,” have offered a beautiful rendition of “O Holy Night” through a professional music video. We encourage you to view it here.

 

Christmas Concert

Join Second Cousins and Friends for a free 30 minute Christmas Concert presented by Mary Beth Bennet, David Esleck, Al Regni and Chase Peak. The concert will be held in the Sanctuary at 1pm on December 7. Please make your reservations with Patty at 740-7101 in the church office. There will be CD’s available after the concert and if you would like one, please let Patty know.

 

Poinsettia Dedications

If you are interested in giving a poinsettia in honor or in memory of a loved one, please click here to fill out and submit the form online. The price is $12 and the deadline for ordering is this Sunday, December 6. The poinsettias can be picked up after the 5:30 p.m. worship service on Christmas Eve, by those who dedicated them.

 

Christmas Services

We are currently planning three Christmas services (with plans subject to change due to the ever-changing situation with the pandemic). On December 23 at 3:00 p.m., we are planning an outdoor family-friendly service. Masks and social distancing outdoors will allow safe congregational singing. The service will involve scripture readings, prayers, and Christmas carols. (In case of inclement weather, we will move the service indoors and forego congregational singing.) On December 24, The Well will host a Christmas Eve service at 4:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center, and The Sanctuary will host a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. These services will feature Christmas music offered by soloists or small ensembles as well as a brief homily. At the conclusion of each service, the congregation will recess outdoors to sing “Silent Night” together by (artificial) candlelight. Both Christmas Eve services will be livestreamed so you can participate from home if you choose. Due to legal restrictions and safety regulations that limit our seating capacity, reservations will be required to attend any of these three services in person. You can request reservations here. Limited seating remains, and reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis until safe seating capacity is reached.

 

“Race, Class and the Kingdom of God” Course

Do you want to have a gospel-driven understanding of racial justice? Do you want to be formed and empowered to ​​​​participate in racial healing and reconciliation? If so, we invite you to participate in the study Race, Class and the Kingdom of God. This resource was created by Arrabon, an internationally known, Christ-centered, Richmond-based non-profit. The series is designed to provide the tools to understand, discuss, and do something about the divisions we experience. The study has a 101 component lasting six weeks, and a 201 component lasting seven weeks. The modules consist of videos, a downloadable workbook, and other resources. To find out more about Arrabon and this study series, visit here. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here by Friday, January 8. We will launch the series later in January and also establish regularly occurring “catch up” Zoom calls where we can digest, talk, ask questions, and pray in community. Questions? Contact Tom Mitchell here.

 

Scripture

Isaiah 9:2 proclaims Advent hope: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lie in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.” Let us walk in the light of Christ and his glorious love.

 

Peace,

Your Ministerial Staff

 

November 25, 2020

Dear Church Family,

As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow we are so grateful and thank God for each of you. We pray this week you are able to take some time to reflect, even in this difficult year, on all the many things God has done in and among us this year.

As we look forward to Advent beginning this Sunday, please take some time to view our updates and opportunities below!

Worship

This Sunday we will begin a new sermon series entitled Expectant, Anticipating Advent. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon here. If you plan to attend 11:30 a.m. worship in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon.

 

Christmas Services

We are currently planning three Christmas services (with plans subject to change due to the ever-changing situation with the pandemic). On December 23 at 3:00 p.m., we are planning an outdoor family-friendly service. Masks and social distancing outdoors will allow safe congregational singing. The service will involve scripture readings, prayers, and Christmas carols. (In case of inclement weather, we will move the service indoors and forego congregational singing.) On December 24, The Well will host a Christmas Eve service at 4:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center, and The Sanctuary will host a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. These services will feature Christmas music offered by soloists or small ensembles as well as a brief homily. At the conclusion of each service, the congregation will recess outdoors to sing “Silent Night” together by (artificial) candlelight. Both Christmas Eve services will be livestreamed so you can participate from home if you choose. Due to legal restrictions and safety regulations that limit our seating capacity, reservations will be required to attend any of these three services in person. We will begin taking reservation requests here. Initially, each person will be allowed to request reservations for one of the three worship services. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis until seating capacity is reached.

 

“Race, Class and the Kingdom of God” Course

Do you want to have a gospel-driven understanding of racial justice? Do you want to be formed and empowered to ​​​​participate in racial healing and reconciliation? If so, we invite you to participate in the study Race, Class and the Kingdom of God. This resource was created by Arrabon, an internationally known, Christ-centered, Richmond-based non-profit. The series is designed to provide the tools to understand, discuss, and do something about the divisions we experience. The study has a 101 component lasting six weeks, and a 201 component lasting seven weeks. The modules consist of videos, a downloadable workbook, and other resources. To find out more about Arrabon and this study series, visit here. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here by Friday, January 8. We will launch the series later in January and also establish regularly occurring “catch up” Zoom calls where we can digest, talk, ask questions, and pray in community. Questions? Contact Tom Mitchell here.

 

Missions

West Virginia Christmas Mission Gifts are due on November 30, the Hobarts will be in Room 104, First Floor in the Educational Building, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm to receive and collect your gifts. If you have questions or comments, please send them to Bruce Hobart. His phone number is 804-986-7282. For more information click here.

The Oregon Hill Baptist Center & South Richmond Baptist Center Christmas Store gifts are due on Monday, November 30 OR Tuesday, December 1 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) Deliver individual bags with unwrapped gifts for each child (name of child on their bag) to The South Richmond Baptist Center Gymnasium (St. Paul’s Church) , 700 East Belt Blvd., Richmond, VA 23224. More information can be found here.

 

Scripture

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

The Lord be with you!

Your Ministerial Staff

 

November 18, 2020

Dear Church Family,

We thank God for last weekend when our church voted unanimously to call Taylor Vancil as our new Minister of Music and Worship. We also thank God for each member of our Music Minister Search Committee, which did outstanding work. Here are some updates and opportunities pertaining to our church life.

 

Worship

If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, and last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Dismissal: The Sending and the Blessing” here. You can also find last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here. If you plan to attend 11:30 a.m. worship in person this Sunday, please register here by Friday at noon.

 

Bible Study

Today, we conclude the “Spiritual Practices” Bible study series with a lesson on the practice of thanksgiving led by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker. You can view it anytime here.

 

Christmas Services

We are currently planning three Christmas services (with plans subject to change due to the ever-changing situation with the pandemic). On December 23 at 3:00 p.m., we are planning an outdoor family-friendly service. Masks and social distancing outdoors will allow safe congregational singing. The service will involve scripture readings, prayers, and Christmas carols. (In case of inclement weather, we will move the service indoors and forego congregational singing.) On December 24, The Well will host a Christmas Eve service at 4:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center, and The Sanctuary will host a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. These services will feature Christmas music offered by soloists or small ensembles as well as a brief homily. At the conclusion of each service, the congregation will recess outdoors to sing “Silent Night” together by (artificial) candlelight. Both Christmas Eve services will be livestreamed so you can participate from home if you choose. Due to legal restrictions and safety regulations that limit our seating capacity, reservations will be required to attend any of these three services in person. We will begin taking reservation requests this Sunday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m. here. Initially, each person will be allowed to request reservations for one of the three worship services. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis until seating capacity is reached.

 

Advent Drive-Thru

All are invited to participate in our Advent Drive-Thru this Sunday, November 22 from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Families can pick up an Advent At Home Box, and everyone is invited to bring items for our Christmas mission project. We are collecting filling snacks (e.g., granola bars, juice boxes, peanut butter crackers) and basic new clothing items (e.g., winter hats, gloves, underwear, socks) to send to mission partners at Metro Baptist Church in New York City to assist persons who are housing-insecure. For the Drive-Thru, please enter the parking lot at the River Road entrance and proceed forward. You will find church staff stationed on your left near the church office and playground, and you will be able to pick up Advent boxes and drop off donations. Please remember to remain in your vehicle at all times.

 

“Race, Class and the Kingdom of God” Course

Do you want to have a gospel-driven understanding of racial justice? Do you want to be formed and empowered to ​​​​participate in racial healing and reconciliation? If so, we invite you to participate in the study Race, Class and the Kingdom of God. This resource was created by Arrabon, an internationally known, Christ-centered, Richmond-based non-profit. The series is designed to provide the tools to understand, discuss, and do something about the divisions we experience. The study has a 101 component lasting six weeks, and a 201 component lasting seven weeks. The modules consist of videos, a downloadable workbook, and other resources. To find out more about Arrabon and this study series, visit here. If you are interested in participating, please sign up hereby Friday, January 8. We will launch the series later in January and also establish regularly occurring “catch up” Zoom calls where we can digest, talk, ask questions, and pray in community. Questions? Contact Tom Mitchell here.

 

Scripture

As we walk with God this week, let us remember that “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). The Lord be with you!

In Christ,

Your Ministerial Staff

November 11, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Today, we thank God for our veterans as we remember them in our prayers. To all of our veterans at Second Baptist Church, thank you for your service!

Here are a few midweek updates.

 

Worship

This Sunday, November 15, we will introduce our candidate for Minister of Music and Worship. He will provide music in both The Well and The Sanctuary Service. Anyone who plans to attend the 11:30 a.m. Sanctuary Service in person must request reservations hereby Friday at noon. If you missed last weekend, you can find last Sunday’s Well service here, last Sunday’s Sanctuary service here, last Sunday’s sermon entitled “Baptism: A Strange Way to Start” here, and last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

 

Bible Study

Our Bible Study series on “Spiritual Practices” continues today with a lesson on “Confession” led by Pastor Noel Schoonmaker. You can view it here.

 

Generosity Campaign

Please be on the lookout tomorrow for an important Generosity Campaign email. If you have not yet submitted a pledge for 2021, you can do so here.

 

Welcome Weekend

Please be on the lookout for an important email this Friday that will provide information about our candidate for Minister of Music and Worship as well as information about this weekend when we will welcome him and his family.

 

Scripture

As we walk by faith the remainder of the week, let us remember Colossians 3:17: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

 

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

 

November 4, 2020

Dear Church Family,

In this midweek update, we want to offer a few links for worship and Bible study and then share our plans for Advent and Christmas Eve.

Worship

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 “The Lord’s Supper: Around the Table” here. Last weekend’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” is available here. If you plan to attend worship in person this Sunday, please register here.

Bible Study

Our current Bible study series is focused on “Spiritual Practices.” Pastor Noel Schoonmaker is leading this week’s lesson on “Service,” which you can view here.

Advent and Christmas Eve

Advent is about preparation. While the Advent season is not yet among us, we are busy preparing, and we want to share our plans with you. These plans are subject to change, of course, but we currently envision carrying them out.

 

Advent Worship Services

During the four Sundays of Advent (Nov 29-Dec 20), we plan to continue our current Sunday pattern of livestreaming The Well at 9:00 a.m. and The Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. We will have in-person attendance at The Sanctuary Service each Sunday.

 

Children’s Christmas Program

In place of our annual Children’s Christmas Program, a video edition is in the works. We look forward to our children leading us in worship by way of a special video presentation that will be made available to the congregation online.

 

Outdoor Christmas Service

On December 23 at 3:00 p.m., we plan to hold a special outdoor Christmas service. This will be a family-friendly service in which we will spread out on the church lawn to worship while bundled up in festive attire. Masks and social distancing will provide us with a safe opportunity to praise our Savior through congregational singing outdoors. This service will consist mainly of scripture readings, prayers, and Christmas carols. (In case of inclement weather, we will move the service indoors and forego congregational singing.)

 

Christmas Eve Worship Services

On December 24, The Well will host a Christmas Eve service at 4:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center, and The Sanctuary will host a Christmas Eve service at 5:30 p.m. These services will take a different shape than usual because we will not engage in congregational singing indoors. However, each service will feature Christmas music offered by soloists or small ensembles as well as a 10 to 15-minute homily. At the conclusion of each service, the congregation will recess outdoors to sing “Silent Night” together by (artificial) candlelight. Both Christmas Eve services will be livestreamed so that you can participate from home if you choose.

Due to legal restrictions and safety regulations, the seating capacity for our December 23 and December 24 worship services will be limited. Therefore, reservations will be required to attend these services in person. We will begin taking reservation requests for the December 23 and December 24 worship services on Sunday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m. You can request reservations online at a link to be provided in a subsequent email. Initially, each person will be allowed to request reservations for one of the three worship services.Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis until seating capacity is reached. We will send another email reminder before November 22 with the link to the reservation page.

As you make your own plans in preparation for Advent and Christmas, we hope you will include worshipping with the church, whether by livestream or in person. The Advent season fosters expectation and hope for the birth of the Messiah, and this year our hope burns bright as ever for Christ to be born anew in all of our hearts.

 

In Christian Love,

 

Your Ministerial Staff

October 28, 2020

Dear Church Family,

Here are a few midweek updates and reminders.

Worship

If you plan to worship with us in person this Sunday at 11:30, please be sure to register here by Friday at noon. 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 “Tithes and Offerings: Principles of Gospel Giving” here.

Bible Study

Our Wednesday Bible Study will return next week. For today, I would recommend that you view last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here. You could also view the Bible Study from last week here.

Generosity Campaign

If you have not seen last Friday’s “Generosity News” video led by our students, I encourage you to view it here. If you have not made a pledge to the 2021 budget, you can do so here.

Music Minister Search

We are excited to anticipate the Welcome Weekend for our music minister candidate on November 14-15. Please mark your calendars.

Book of Reports

If you want an updated copy of the annual Book of Reports complete with corrections, please email Kathy Driver here or call her at the church office (740-7101).

Baptism

We plan to begin having baptisms in the baptistery again next month. If you are interested in being baptized, please email me here or call me at the church office (740-7101).

The Lord’s Supper

We plan to begin having The Lord’s Supper in person again this Sunday at our 11:30 Sanctuary Service. Each worshipper will be able to pick up an all-in-one Communion packet on the way into the sanctuary. If you are worshipping with us by livestream in The Well or The Sanctuary Service, please prepare the elements at your home so you can take the Lord’s Supper with us remotely.

Scripture

I would commend for your reflection Psalm 62:6: “God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.” May God hold you fast and hold you steady, today and always.

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

October 21, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I hope this email finds you well. Here are a few quick midweek updates.

Worship

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 “Music: Sacramental Songs” here.

Bible Study

Our “Spiritual Practices” Bible Study series continues today with a lesson on “Generosity” led by Tom Mitchell. You can view it anytime here.

Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel

If you missed last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel,” you can view it here. Audio files of past episodes are available here.

Business Meeting

This Sunday, October 25, we will hold our annual church business meeting via Zoom at 4:00 p.m. All church members are welcome to participate by clicking the link in your email.

Park and Praise Youth Event

This Sunday, October 25, all middle and high school students are invited to the church lawn and parking lot by Spence Hall for Park & Praise. Students and chaperones will gather for worship, safe games, and a lesson from 5:00-6:00 p.m. All students are invited to bring a beach towel to assist in social distancing while eating at Park & Praise.

At 6:00 p.m. students will safely be able to order and pick up food from the Reggie’s Grill food truck on campus. As a best practice measure for eating at Park & Praise, all participants should follow these guidelines:

  • maintain a social distance while in line for the food truck;
  • keep your mask over your nose and mouth until seated and ready to eat;
  • place your beach towel down and maintain a 6-foot social distance from others while eating.

Scripture

Here is some biblical inspiration for our walk of faith this week: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Mt 5:6).

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker

October 14, 2020

Dear Church Family,We continue to move forward with clear-eyed faith, being “patient in affliction” amid the present pandemic (Romans 12:12). Below are several updates pertaining to various areas of our church life. I hope you will read them to stay informed about what’s happening at Second Baptist Church. I also encourage you to read this month’s edition of The Ideal which will be published later this week. It will include multiple articles not covered in what follows.

Worship

We continue to livestream two services each Sunday, The Well at 9:00 a.m. and The Sanctuary Service at 11:30 a.m. This weekend, we plan to continue our “Elements of Worship” sermon series with a message on music. If you plan to attend The Sanctuary Service in person this Sunday, please be sure to register here. 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 “Sermon: The Ministry of the Word” here.

Bible Study

Our current Wednesday Night Bible Study series is focused on “Spiritual Practices.” Today’s video lesson led by Rev. Katie Vance Lucas highlights the practice of celebration. You can view it anytime here

.Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel

Each Sunday afternoon during the “Elements of Worship” sermon series, Tom Mitchell and I are breaking down the sermon in a video Zoom conversation. You can check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down” here.

Gather on the Grass

All are invited to join us for an afternoon of prayer and praise on the grass. We will gather in the courtyard in front of the sanctuary this Sunday, October 18 at 4:00 p.m. Please bring your lawn chairs and blankets for sitting. Socially distanced plots (10 feet apart) will be mapped out on the grass for you to stay safe. Masks and distancing will be required at all times. To attend, please register here.

Annual Business Meeting

Our annual church business meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday, October 25 at 4:00 p.m. Church members can participate by clicking here at that time (Meeting ID 956 5573 9376) . The agenda will include Nominating Committee recommendations and a vote on the proposed 2021 budget. The annual Book of Reports will be emailed to church members in PDF format this weekend. Hardcopies will be available under the porte-cochere beginning this Sunday, October 18.

Financial Update

Gratefully, our generous giving continues. If you wish to make a gift to the church, you can do so here. Below is the financial summary through September 30, 2020.

Children

Our Children’s Ministry kicked off Fall with a back to school drive-thru event. It was wonderful to see everyone on campus safely in their cars and we were able to distribute packets for in-home learning. For Sunday School, we have been offering a recorded lesson for younger children and two separate Zoom calls for elementary aged children each Sunday. On Wednesdays, we are using Google classroom to create a virtual learning experience for music and missions. You can find an example here. Rev. Katie Vance Lucas continues to connect with children and families in new ways including socially distant lunches, porch visits, and attending outdoor sporting events that children are involved in.

Students

Our Minister of Students, Rev. Ben Brown, has created a series of videos called “BeLoved Wednesday.” In previous times, “BeLoved Wednesday” was a midweek gathering, and now this video series offers brief lessons to educate and edify students and parents. Each lesson ends with the benediction, “Be gentle with this year, be kind to yourself, and know that you are beloved.” You can view a “Beloved Wednesday” video here. Last month, Second Students hosted the first outdoor “Park and Praise” event with great success and participation, including over 50 students and volunteers. Students were overjoyed at a safe opportunity for fellowship, fun, and worship.

Senior Adults

The Senior Adult Ministry, Second Cousins, are devoting themselves to embracing the great outdoors and fellowshipping with one another at “Driveway Devotionals.” Additionally, “Souper Thankful Thursdays” with homemade soup by Chef Adam will be delivered to our Second Baptist friends and neighbors in October and November. We are also planning a “Gather and Gaze” field trip to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on October 16 at 1:00 p.m. You can register here to participate with Kathi T. We will meet at the Gardens at 12:45 p.m. and our timed, free tickets are for 1:00 p.m. There are sculpture displays of Wind, Waves and Light, Art in Motion, and also large-scale, stainless steel sculptures that move and change with the wind.

Missions

We are excited to debut the new missions page on our church website which offers a comprehensive overview of the local, regional, and international missions in which our church is involved. Please check it out here. In terms of regional missions, God continues to do amazing things through the West Virginia Shoe Mission and the generosity of Second Baptist Church. Bruce Hobart has purchased 800 pairs of shoes for underprivileged students in McDowell County, WV. In addition, Second Baptist has continued providing funds for the mission and food programs of Emmanuel Baptist Church in War, WV. We have also provided amazing fleece blankets and contributions for the West Virginia Secret Santa program to take place this December. Locally, our Food Pantry ministry continues to meet the needs of those who are food insecure. At the drive-thru food distribution on the second and fourth Fridays of the month, we are distributing almost 100 bags of groceries and food gift cards.

Generosity Campaign

Our generosity campaign this year is called “Reconnect and Grow in Grace.” The Generosity Committee has set goals for a $2.1 million operating budget in 2021 and 310 total pledges, both of which represent increases over the current budget year. You can pledge online right here.

Small Group Gatherings in Spence Hall

Beginning Monday, October 19, small groups of 20 or less church members will be able to meet in Spence Hall on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for the purpose of prayer or Bible study. Given the cleaning requirements for such meetings, only one small group meeting will be allowed per day. Masks and distancing will be required at all times. For more information, visit here.

Small Group Gatherings in the Prayer Garden

We continue to allow small groups of 10 or less church members to gather in the Prayer Garden for the purpose of prayer or Bible study on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.. We are now allowing Saturday group meetings as well (without restroom access). You can sign-up for a meeting in our beautiful Prayer Garden by contacting our church Administrative Secretary, Patty Dimowski at pdimowski@secondbaptistrva.org or 740-7101 (ext. 1145).

Emerge Women’s Ministry

Our “Taste and See” Bible Study is back! We will be meeting on Tuesday, November 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Spence Hall. We will taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8). Join us as we explore scripture together concerning salt and how it impacts us and our walk with Jesus. We will taste different salts as we explore Scripture. Register with Kathi T. here.

New Testament Challenge 2021

In 2021, our staff will be challenging all church members to read the entire New Testament in a span of 12 months. We will publish a schedule of readings you can follow to read the New Testament between January 1 and December 31. It amounts to five chapters per week, or one chapter per weekday. As you can see, this is quite doable and could greatly enhance your personal walk of faith or your family devotional life. More info will be coming soon.

Closing Prayer

Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” I pray that God would continue to give us heartfelt love for each other and for our neighbors so that all will know that we serve a loving Savior.

In Christ,

Pastor Noel Schoonmaker and Staff

October 7, 2020

Dear Church Family,

I hope this email finds you well. Below are a few links to help you stay connected to Christ and church.

Today’s Wednesday Bible Study video continues our series on “Spiritual Practices” with Rev. Kathi Traficanti exploring the practice of “hospitality.” You can view it anytime here.

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 “What is Worship?” here.

You might also check out last Sunday’s episode of “Breaking It Down with Pastor Noel” here.

All are invited to “Gather on the Grass,” an outdoor worship service on our church campus on Sunday, October 18 at 4:00 p.m. To register to attend, click here.

Our annual church business meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday, October 25 at 4:00 p.m. Church members can attend remotely by accessing the link in your email at that time.

Next week we plan to offer an elaborate Wednesday email update with news and information pertaining to several dimensions of our church life. For now, may “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Phil 4:23).

In Christ,
Pastor Noel Schoonmaker