Friday, April 29, 2011

Help for Tornado Victims in Alabama and Mississippi

I spoke with several pastors last night who are helping with the effort to assist and minister to victims of the tornados that tore through the south this week. The stories are heartbreaking. One pastor told me of finding a family digging through the rubble of their home to desperately find enough pieces of clothing to be able to dress their kids. Another pastor told me of the death of a man who laid over his kids to protect them from flying debris.

I told these pastors that our church family will want to help. I have pledged that we would stand with them in any way we could as they seek to meet needs in the name of Christ and minister to these hurting families.

I hesitate to do this via a blog because at FBC Heath we never ask for money from those outside our church, but let me give an appeal to our members and regular attenders. If you would like to help with this, above your regular giving, you can go to our church website and give electronically (by credit/debit card or by ACH from a bank account) or you can call the church office today and someone will assist you with electronic giving. We will also provide an opportunity for people to give in our services this Sunday.

I will share more with everyone on Sunday. Keep these churches in your prayers as they reach out.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Ready For Easter 2011

Here is a letter I just emailed to our church family.  In case you aren't on our email list...

 Dear FBC Heath Family,

We are very excited about Easter 2011.  This is the best time of the year for believers to worship and honor the Lord!  Let me highlight two events designed to help us do that.

Secret Church

Secret Church will be an event like none you have experienced before.  It will take place on Friday (4/22) night.  We will gather in the worship center and watch a simulcast along with tens of thousands of others accross the country as Dr. David Platt teaches about the crucifixion and the resurrection.  This event begins at 7:00 p.m. and goes until 1:00 a.m. the next morning.  It will be intense.  It will be educational.  It will be inspiring!

Read one of my recent blog posts for more details (click here).

If you are planning to attend, please let us know in one of these four ways:
Easter Services

On Easter day we will have services at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m..  These services will be identical so join us for whichever is most convienent for your family.

Invite your friends and family to join us.  This is such an important day and you have such a good opportunity to encourage people who might not ordinarily come to join us.  I hope you will take this opportunity.

Our focus this Easter will be on the ressurrection, as usual, but maybe from a little different angle.  We will be asking the question:  What if you only had FIFTY DAYS TO LIVE?

Most of us, if we knew we only had fifty days to live would live very differently.  We would squeeze all the life we could out of those days.  We would strive to make those days the best days of our lives.  So… What keeps us from living like that now?

This Easter and in the weeks to follow, we will learn the answer to that question, and we will learn how we can live our lives the the fullest.  This will be a life changing opportunity for everyone who attends.

Here are some ideas for how you can invite your friends, co-workers, and neighbors:
  • Invite them to the FBC Heath Easter Service facebook event (click here).
  • Ask friends and family the question, "What would you do if you only had fifty days to live?"  Share with them that we will be focusing on that this Easter Sunday.
  • Let your friends and family know we have two different service times for their convienence.
  • Stop by the church and pick up a handfull of invitation cards.  Hand them out to those you see and those in your neighborhood.
  • Pray specifically for six people you would like to invite.  Then call them up and see if they will join you.
You can think of many more ways.  The important thing is to not wait too late.  This is going to be a great day.  I hope to see you and your friends and family there!

(To keep up with new information the week of easter, visit our church facebook page and click 'like'.  That will put our updates on your newsfeed.)

Pastor Noel

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is something we look forward to every year.  It is one of the very best weeks of the year in our ministry because we get to minister to so many children and families.  This year VBS is going to be a little different.  First, the date.  Due to the construction going on at the church and some other scheduling priorities, we have decided to do it much later in the summer.  Our dates this year will be Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5.  Not only does this avoid some facility and scheduling conflicts, but we believe the timing will give us a great push into the next school year.

Another change is our mission/outreach emphasis this year.  A few weeks ago in a meeting with pastor Wally and Christine, we made some block party arrangements for a couple of places in Heath where there are a ton of children and young families we would love to reach.  Those events will happen the week prior to VBS.  (The dates are still pending because we have to get approval from the city.)  These will be great times for us to draw some young families out to large outdoor parties and get their kids registered for VBS.

Our prayer is that through these two events and our annual VBS bus route that we will be able to utilize both busses to accommodate all the kids.  Wouldn’t that be a great first!

We have decided to do VBS this year in the evening.  That is a difficult decision.  Originally, when we set up the block parties, we were planning to do a noon to three schedule.  There are pro’s and con’s with each of the possible time slots.  It’s not an obvious decision.  The biggest problem with the evening is workers.  Last year in the morning we had about 65 workers, the most we’ve ever had.  (Several people even took a week’s vacation to work last year.)  To do an evening VBS with our block party focus, it is going to require at least 110 workers.  In order to make sure we can handle things safely, we will be asking workers to make commitments in the next couple of months, and we will have to limit the number of kids we can register based on the number of workers we have.  So it so important that everyone gets on board quickly.  We will need many people to serve this year who haven’t traditionally been VBS workers.  This is going to need to be a whole church effort.

I am excited.  I believe these block parties are going to help us reach many kids who have never been a part of our VBS or any of our other ministries before.  I believe this is going to be a great step into our fall ministries.  I believe we will see lives changed and changed for eternity.  What a great way to break in our new children’s ministry facility!

The first organizational meeting is this Sunday (4.3) at 4:30 in Harmon Hall.  Join the team now, it will be the best thing you do this summer!

Pastor Noel