Weekly Newsletter

Weekly Newsletter 02-29-2024

Weekly Newsletter 02-29-2024

Good Morning Church Family!

Hey Church Family,

This past Sunday we had a Congregational Town Hall Meeting. In case you missed it here is the breakdown of what happened.

The Church Transition Team recommended Gethsemane Baptist Church join the Northwood Baptist Family of Churches. That means that we will remain an independent, autonomous congregation but we will voluntarily join the Northwood Baptist Family of Churches. That means we will radically cooperate with other Northwood Family Churches to impact the Lowcountry and the world for Jesus Christ. We will share the same name, bylaws, philosophy of ministry, and core commitments with other family churches.

On April 7th we get to ratify our new bylaws, start calling ourselves Northwood Baptist Berkeley, and we will have a new family of churches we belong to.  Sunday’s meeting was well attended. A spirit of unity was present, and people asked insightful questions.  As your pastor, I am super excited about the path forward.  Many across the Lowcountry and the State Convention are celebrating the creation of the Northwood Family of Churches.

While there is enthusiasm and clarity about the path forward that must take place, we must admit that change is hard.  It’s hard to let go of things that cause us to be sentimental. Yet, to move forward we must embrace change.

Henry Cloud, in his book Necessary Endings, offers several helpful insights into our situation.  Cloud writes:

“Endings are not only part of life; they are a requirement for living and thriving,”

“Even the most gifted people and leaders are subject to feeling conflicted about ending things, so they resist.”

“Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.”

“Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on. Growth itself demands that we move on.”

Cloud’s words are helpful but to be clear we are not ending our church’s history, we are moving to the next chapter. To turn the page and go to a new chapter, you must leave the old one behind.

Recently,  I preached a sermon, “Leave the Past, Move On.”  Listen to the words of Scripture. Notice that both the past is honored, and God encourages Joshua to lead the people of God to move onto the Promised Land.

After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’”

 

The same Lord that was with Joshua is with us as we fulfill the Great Commission.  I look forward to going forward in faith together.

Grace to you,
Pastor Jay

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