The hymn The Church of Christ in Every Age has been stuck in my head this week. I listened to a recording of the hymn done by a worship pastor at a church I used to attend. In this recording he kept the words the same but changed the tune. I have to admit that I don't mind the original tune to the hymn, but I also don't love it. It is forgettable to me. But with new music, suddenly I have been singing the hymn in my head all week.
Now, you might disagree with me. You might prefer the original tune, but I don't think putting new music to old words in a bad thing even if you prefer the old. As the hymn itself states, The church of Christ in every age beset by change but spirit led must claim and test its heritage and keep on rising from the dead.
The wonderful thing about the church is that it seeks to live into the truth that is found in Jesus Christ in a constantly changing world. Jesus is still the same, but as the world changes sometimes it needs to adjust the music in which it sings the good news to the world. At its best the church can make space for both the old and new, and hopefully, each can learn from the other a little bit more about the words they sing.
- Pastor Nick
This article from our Pastor originally appeared in The Beacon, our weekly newsletter. If you would like to see what is going on around the church this week, you can view the latest copy of The Beacon here. Or, if you would like to receive The Beacon in your email inbox each week, you can contact the church office using the information below.
Costumed children, cars with trunks open, hot dogs and cookies, music, and Halloween crafts. It’s almost time for Trunk or Treat!
For about ten years, we’ve invited our neighbors to join us in our lower parking lot on the Sunday before Halloween. There’s always plenty of candy, but it’s not just about letting kids fill up their bags with goodies. It’s about providing a safe place for children and their families. It’s a time for families to enjoy watching their children have fun. It’s a time for us to get to know our neighbors and our neighbors to get to know us. It’s a time for us to talk to the families of our Kingdom Kids for more than a few minutes at pick up and drop off. It’s a time for us to make clear that being a church is about more than getting together on Sunday morning for worship.
Church is about living life together. It’s as we get to know each other as neighbors that we build up the trust that is needed to allow us to call each other friends. It’s friends who you go to when you need a hand or a word of encouragement. It’s a friend who you want to share your joys and sorrows with.
Right now, there seems to be so much division between people. Differences have not become something to celebrate, but rather something to divide us. Trunk or Treat is one of the many ways that we at Broadus want to build community and send the message that “All are welcome.”
It’s happening again this year on Sunday, October 27, 3:00-4:30 PM, and you’re invited to be part of the fun. We’ll serve hot dogs, chips, cookies, and drinks at 4:00 PM. If the weather isn’t good enough to be outside, then we’ll move everything indoors.
So, rain or shine, Trunk or Treat will happen and we hope to see you there!
On Wednesday nights we have started offering a time designed specifically for middle school students.
Do you remember your time in those middle grades?
I’m Liz and I’m one of the Middle School leaders, and I remember what it was like. For me, it meant a new school—harder classes, people I didn’t know, a more complicated schedule—and lots of questions.
I remember arriving home in the afternoons, after a long day of learning and athletics and extracurriculars and social pressures and feeling done.
Middle school also marked the time I was invited to join the Wednesday Night Youth Group at my church. Over time, this came to be a space that I explored my faith, made friends, and was offered opportunities to lead.
That was important for me. It was where I began to come out of my shy shell. It gave me conversation partners and the chance for a lot of fun.
I grew up in a pretty big youth group; Wednesday night gatherings could include a couple hundred kids, and to be honest, it was easy to get lost. I got to know some of the adults volunteering their time to teach and supervise us, but I didn’t always feel like they had time for my questions.
To be honest, having grown up in church, I was afraid having questions meant I was doing something wrong. Shouldn’t I have everything figured out?
The answer to that is, of course, no.
I have my middle school self in mind as I arrive at church on Wednesday nights. That’s part of why we (Liz Andrasi Deere, and Hayley and Adam Rose) have designed our time together to give space for questions. We want our middle school students to have a place to unwind where they can connect with adults who care about them and want to know them.
We hope students leave our time together a little more relaxed and a little more encouraged and comfortable with who they are, because we think they are really great.
So far this year our conversations have covered video games, books we love, exploring our town, and what school is like. We splurged on fancy markers, watercolor pencils, piles of gel pens, and fun coloring books to keep our hands busy while we discuss the important things in our lives. Over time, these conversations will change as our friendships deepen and we will add activities throughout the year as we discover what everyone is passionate about. We are excited to keep meeting together and there is room at the table for more to join!
We meet from 6:15-7:00 but it isn’t the only thing we at Broadus do on Wednesday nights…
Volunteers on the kitchen crew serve dinner at 5:30 at round tables in the sanctuary. Students can join us for this time (dinner is $5—but if anyone doesn't have cash and is hungry, we still want them to eat with us!) or they can meet us across the hall at 6:15 where we will be until we finish up by 7:00.
Have middle schoolers AND elementary schoolers? Bring them all! Our Kingdom Kids meet at the same time, and we would love to welcome more friends. Read more about that program here.
Last but certainly not least, our pastor, Nick Deere, leads a Bible study for adults in the sanctuary during this time, as well. So, if you’re bringing a student there’s also something for you. Of course, you don’t have to bring a student to be a part of this Bible study, anyone is welcome.
So why do the Deacons or the Arts Committee or individuals plan special activities? Do we really need more things on our calendar? Isn’t it enough to go to church on Sunday and Wednesday and not have to feel guilty about not going back for the extras? You may have asked those or similar questions as you have read the Beacon or seen a Facebook event post. You can be assured that your presence is not required at the extras, but there is purpose behind them. They’re not just activities put together by people who don’t have anything better to do. They’re activities designed to give us opportunities to gather, enjoy a time of fun or food or learning (or all of the above), and, in so doing, further build our connections to each other as a church family.
Sunday evening the Arts Committee planned the “Farewell to Summer Patio Concert.” Dressed in Hawaiian shirts and leis, we ate pizza, salad, drinks, and dessert and enjoyed conversation around the table. It gave us opportunities to catch up on each other’s lives, to ask about upcoming events (two members of our church family are going to Morocco, and part of the trip will include sleeping in a tent in the Sahara Desert), and to exchange greetings with people who we didn’t see in the morning. There is value in getting to know each other better and in broadening the circle of church family members as we get to know their names. It is too easy to sit in our same seat each Sunday beside people who are also sitting in their same seat each Sunday and never really expand our circle much beyond that. These “extra-curricular” activities change things up a bit, and that is worthwhile.
From the meal we moved to the main event, which was singing favorite hymns/songs accompanied on guitar by two of our resident musicians, Lee Perry and Marshall Thompson. We told the Arts Committee ahead of time what our favorites were so Lee and Marshall were able to practice, and we were able to have songbooks with the words. What makes a particular piece of music a favorite? Sometimes it’s because of its association with a special person or special time in our lives. Sometimes it’s because of the lyrics. Sometimes it’s just because; it just brings up something good for us. With the words in hand, we were able to sing these favorites together. The focus was not on what was “my” favorite, but what were “our” favorites. That too served a useful purpose because it pushed us beyond ourselves. And we had an added bonus that a neighbor saw the sign at our entrance and joined us because she felt like singing! It was a fun evening, and we appreciate the efforts of the Arts Committee. We’re Broadus whether we’re gathered for worship or to sing old favorites and have dinner together.
At Broadus Memorial Baptist Church we believe we are called to love God and love our neighbors. The stories you read on this blog offer a witness to the ways we respond to God's love and seek to share that love with others.
Scripture describes the church as a body, made up of many parts. Just as your tiniest toe isn't aware of the intricate work your heart or brain do, it can sometimes happen that people in the church body only see what is happening immediately around them. Our hope is that reading these stories will help forge connection and inspire greater love and understanding for one another.
At Broadus we are a community defined by warm-hearted fellowship and thoughtful inquiry. We hope you see evidence of that in the stories we share here. We hope you know, or come to know, that you are a part of God's grand story and that you are welcome to join us, on a Sunday, a Wednesday, or any gathering in between.
The life of faith is a journey, and we are not meant to walk it alone. Our stories connect us and we are excited to share some of ours with you.
If you have a story you'd like to share or would like to connect in some other way you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (434) 977-7381.
Please visit our new YouTube channel to find all of the latest videos of sermons, Bible studies, and ways to stay connected while we are not gathering in-person.