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Contents:                                                       NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Editor's Note
Northern Men's Retreat
Funtastic Youth Rally
MARBC Calendar & Rep Schedule

Bass Lake Camping News
MARBC Church News
Friendly Reminders
2021 Bass Lake Schedule
EDITOR'S NOTE
 
Happy Thanksgiving and merry Christmas to all of our readers. Personally, Cindy and I would like to thank so many of you who have provided cards, gifts and greetings during this season. We trust the Lord's richest blessings will be yours as we meditate upon Christ's birth and head toward another new year.

Our church worship services should never be stale and in a rut. Revivalist Vance Havner used to say, "Many churches arrive at 10:00 sharp and leave at 11:00 dull." Admittedly, a worship service is not an entertainment service. But there ought to be elements in the service which should stimulate the spirit and uplift the soul. Not every service will make us feel "warm and fuzzy," but it ought to move us on toward Christlike maturity.

The last issue of the MBM looked at congregational singing. This issue I will briefly look at is the practice of reading scripture.

1. DID THE EARLY CHURCH READ SCRIPTURE? Scripture itself is a testimony as to the need of this component of worship. Paul reminded Timothy, "Give attention to the public reading of Scripture" (1 Tim. 4:13, NASB). Some passages reference reading in the gathering of the assembly (Col. 4:16; 1 Th. 5:27; Rev. 1:3). The practice of preaching the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) implies the Bible will be shared among the listeners.

2. WHY IS READING SCRIPTURE TOGETHER IMPORTANT?  Consider the early church without a copy of the Bible. The opportunity to hear the Word read was very much cherished. Indeed, how sad it is today when many will not even crack open their Bible during this important time of worship.

God's Word is truth and truth is foundational to unity and growth. Reading the Bible in the public act of worship reminds us of what is really important. It heightens our focus and rekindles our passion.

3. HOW CAN WE IMPROVE THE PRACTICE OF READING SCRIPTURE IN PUBLIC? 
Be Prepared. Don't use this act of worship before God to stumble through His Word. It is best to ask people ahead of time if they will read Scripture and notify them well in advance of the service so they will have time to familiarize themselves with the text. Get Scripture passages from guest speakers as you visit with them in preparations for the day. What would they like you to share during that portion of  worship?

Be Purposeful. Use a passage which will direct our attention toward a specific goal. In other words, while the graveyard of Genesis 5 is indeed inspired, it probably has limited effect in drawing our hearts to God. Perhaps a Scripture which parallels the message is what is needed. Perhaps you use a text which draws our attention to worship and why we are present. 

Pause. Slow Down in reading. Most of us read in public way too fast. The public reading of Scripture is never a race to get through the passage as soon as possible. Don't rush to begin reading as many are still trying to find the passage of Scripture. Follow punctuation with short pauses after a comma or period.

Participation. Have you ever tried to follow the reading of Scripture when they are using a different translation? I find this extremely difficult. Encourage full participation by using the same translation. List the text in the bulletin or show it on the screen so those with different translations can more easily follow along.


Potpourri. I find it best to read from a hard copy of the Bible. This way you will not be caught in a difficult situation should the wi-fi be disconnected or you are running on a low battery.

If someone from the congregation is going to read, encourage that person to sit near the front. There is no need to wait a minute or so for someone to walk up front from the back of the church. Keep things moving.

Have appropriate lighting where the Scripture is to be read. Nothing is more frustrating than to be in a dark place trying to read. (The older I get, the more difficult this becomes.) Perhaps having a small desktop light on the pulpit will help.

Use Variety. It doesn't always have to be the pastor reading the Word. Use different people. Rotate deacons into the schedule. Most adults can be engaged in this ministry (assuming they are walking with the Lord). Use members of the youth group. That's a great way to get them involved in ministry from an early age!

At what point in the service should the public reading of the Bible be done? We do not have a Scriptural mandate on this. Once again we can use variety. Begin the service and draw attention to the importance of the worship service. It can be done after announcements or before the message. Some pastors also read their passage at or near the beginning of their sermon.

Finally, be creative on how you will read Scripture. Will one person read and everyone else follow along? How about reading in unison? Or what about responsive reading?

Let's give careful attention to the reading of God's Word in worship services. May God's richest blessings be yours as you do so.

Do you have articles for the MBM? Or do you have a comment about the MBM? Please send your email correspondence to dfriar@marbc.org.

Please forward this newsletter along to your friends by clicking "Forward to Friend" below.

 
(If you got this as a result of a friend forwarding this newsletter to you, and you'd like to be added to our list for future newsletters, please send your request to me, Darrell Friar, at dfriar@marbc.org.)
NORTHERN MEN'S RETREAT

This event has been canceled due to the pandemic. Plans are being made to continue this event in 2022. Stay tuned for further details.
FUNTASTIC YOUTH RALLY

This event has also been canceled due to the pandemic. There is a possibility that this type of event will be held later in the year if circumstances around the pandemic should change.
MARBC CALENDAR & REP SCHEDULE

January
10: Blaine Baptist, Blaine
12: Council of Seven Meeting, Blaine
17: Lakeland Baptist, Gilbert
19: Camp Board Meeting, Zoom
24: Faith Baptists, Hermantown
31: First Baptist, Hibbing

February
7: First Baptist, Faribault
21: Southbrook Baptist, Wadena
25-26: Pastor's Advance, Lobb Cabin in northern Minnesota
28: First Baptist, Marshall
 
BASS LAKE CAMPING NEWS

THIS SUMMER: We are moving forward with plans for summer camping! We should have a new experience awaiting our campers as some buildings have been updated, new activities in place and many enthusiastic workers to help make this one of the best summers ever!

CAMP FINANCES: Because we canceled our summer camping program last year, we have had a financial year. Thank you to so many who have come along side of us and provided financial resources to get us through this time. We are still in a position of need. If you are able to help us with a year-end gift, it would be most appreciated.

BUILDING PLANS: The excitement is building (pun intended) as we make plans for a new housing at camp. Just over a year ago a tree fell on one of the boy's cabins. We had to bring that building down. As our building team has looked at possibilities for replacing that structure, we have moved forward with a design that will be a quad building (four housing rooms) with showers, air conditioning and heat. We are still working our way through floor design, but the camp board has approved these early plans. Our very preliminary costs brings this building in around $425k. Currently we have raised $34k so there is still quite a journey ahead of us. Will you be able to help us? Any gift is a tremendous help to us as we seek to modernize the camp.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook. The camp has a business page and a public group page whereby you can share your thoughts on the camping ministry. The Facebook feeds allow you to be informed of camp events on a regular basis. You will see pictures of building progress, our needs, deadline alerts and other useful information.

Check out the camp's WEBSITE for more information.


NEWS FROM MARBC CHURCHES

GILBERT
In June, we began working on our church building addition (new foyer, warming pantry, and auditorium), and remodel of the existing building. Now here we are in December; the CBM builders have already completed their part of the planned project and have pulled out so our church parking lot no longer looks like an RV park. We greatly miss the wonderful fellowship we enjoyed with them over the summer. Our church people are wrapping up the finishing touches inside the building. A few final details in the works are refurbishing some larger pews that were donated to us, a portable baptismal, and moveable dividers for our fellowship hall/extra classroom area. 

We are praising the Lord for his provision. We have accomplished far more than we planned on by this point in time and have been able to do it debt free. We look forward to having a building dedication service February 28, and are excited to see how God uses the larger space he has blessed us with.

ROCHESTER
Pastor LaPine retired from Calvary Baptist Church so we no longer have a pastor on staff. We appreciate your prayers for the search and for our church during this time.

We are blessed to have several men and deacons from the church who are preaching/teaching right now. The deacons and others have really stepped in to serve and help keep things running smoothly. We are doing our best to follow the governor’s mandates during this pandemic and like so many others, there are major differing viewpoints within the church family. We are meeting in person for Sunday morning services with spacing and other guidelines being followed. We are also streaming our service as we have many who are not comfortable being in church. We offer a Thursday morning service for our seniors and more vulnerable people.

We have also been blessed with some wonderful volunteers who are working with our youth program. The number of teens is growing each week and there were about 36 teens who attended last Wednesday evening. They are digging into God’s Word and growing so that is exciting!

 

FRIENDLY REMINDERS

Send us your news and pictures! Please note that there is no deadline to send us your news.  Once you have some news, send it our way and we will include it in the next newsletter.

Pray for our churches in need of a senior pastor.
Cambridge, Calvary Baptist
Moorhead, Brookdale Baptist
Rochester, Calvary Baptist
Winnebago, Berean Baptist


Is your church interested in joining with an independent Baptist fellowship that works together so that each church's ministry is strengthened and expanded? The MARBC is a growing association of autonomous Baptist churches that is having an impact in our state. We would love to have you join with us.

2021 BASS LAKE SCHEDULE

April 1: Counselor Application Deadline
April 15: Early Bird Registration
May 21-22: Work Weekend
May 31: Memorial Day
June 7-11: Staff Training
June 21-26: Family Camp
July 5-10: Junior Camp (entering grades 4-6)
July 12-17: Jr. High Camp (entering grades 7-9)
July 19-24: Sr. High Camp (entering grades 10-12)
July 26-28: Primary Camp (entering grades 2-4)
July 30-Aug. 1: Young Adults Rally (post high school)
TBA: Breathe - A Women's Retreat
Sept. 10-11: Men's Retreat
 
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Copyright © 2020MARBC, All rights reserved.
MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF REGULAR BAPTIST CHURCHES
MBM Editor: Darrell R. Friar, MARBC Representative
[507] 893-3249
MARBC Council of Seven
Rev.Greg Stevens, Chairman
Rev. Dwight LaPine, Vice-Chairman
Rev. Jake Heppner, Secretary
Rev. Dave Gerhardt, Treasurer
Rev. Joe DiVietro, Northern Fellowship
Rev. Devin Larsen, Youth
Rev. William Lobb, Burden Bearers
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Winnebago, MN. 56098
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