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