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The Witness
FBCSS Newsletter May 2019

JOIN US MAY 19TH!

Building Dedication & Grand Opening

The entire Sutherland Springs community is invited and welcome to join us May 19th at 11 a.m. as we dedicate our new worship center and education building and all God is doing at First Baptist Sutherland Springs.

On behalf of the church, we want to personally thank each of you for the continued donations and prayers that you have provided in our time of need, to help support both the survivors of the shooting tragedy and the ongoing rebuilding of the facilities to help in the recovery effort.

We have been deeply moved by the response of people from all around the world that have shown their resolve that evil will not win at the end of the day, but that God will prevail through His people. I want you to know that you and many others' efforts have made a major difference in the number of families who find that just meeting the basics of living put a strain on their emotions since the tragedy. There have been more blessings than on can put into a short article such as this, however let me speak of just a couple...

As many have seen, we have completed the building of our new food pantry that we utilize to feed and clothe the less fortunate among our community. We are also moving into a new facility that is going to be dedicated on May 19 that has come to be, through so many who have donated their time and materials. We are going to be parking on a concrete driveway, which again was choreographed by God to be done. So many stories that I will need to share in the next letter, I suppose. Thank you again, I am continually blessed to see what God's directions have been in this recovery. Please continue to walk with us in prayer and support and I hope to see you this Sunday in church! 
Frank Pomeroy

"This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers." Ephesians 1:15-16 HCSB
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
June 3-7
All area children who have completed Pre-K through 8th grade are invited to join us June 3-7 for VBS - In the Wild! VBS will be from 9 a.m. to noon each day, with lunch provided. Beginning in May, parents can register their children for VBS at the church office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., register at VBS on the first day, or CLICK HERE to register online. Please contact the church office if you would like to volunteer to help with decorations or donate needed supplies.
FROM THE PASTOR
Welcome to our new church newsletter folks! Let us start it out with a thought about who we should be and what we should remember about our faith as we move into the next phase of our Godly walk here in Sutherland Springs.

The Apostle Paul wrote this to Titus:
“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

This is a great passage to read and think about regularly. It frees us from the tyranny of a works-based religion to the freedom of living in a relationship with God through Christ Jesus. Our works (effort), no matter how good or sacrificial it seems to be from our perspective, still bears the taint of sin. Therefore, it is unacceptable before God. But it's not by works that we have done but by His mercy and grace. Both of which are made available to us in the Lord Jesus. This is good news indeed. This week I came across a prayer written by a Puritan a few hundred years ago that expresses something wonderful.

He writes, O Thou giving God, My heart is drawn out in thankfulness to thee, for thy amazing grace and condescension to me in influences and assistance of thy Spirit, for special help in prayer, for the sweetness of Christian service, for the thoughts of arriving in heaven, for always sending me needed supplies, for raising me to new life when I was like one dead. I want not the favor of man to lean upon, for thy favor is infinitely better. . . No poor creature stands more in need of divine grace than I do, and yet none abuses it more than I have done, and still do.

God's grace is truly amazing. How he keeps us even when our hearts turn from Him. Jesus said: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand."

As we head into this new venture of our walk with Christ, with our new building and all the extra opportunities to preach the Gospel, remember that there will be detractors that Satan will use to try and make you doubt our faith. Cling to the fact that if you are a Christ follower, then you are securely in His hand--and forever will be! Christ has powerful things He is going to do through FBC Sutherland Springs which includes you as part of this body. Don’t give up, instead look up, smile and keep on sharing the Gospel!

Love never fails.
Frank Pomeroy
'BY HIS GRACE' FOOD PANTRY
Judy Green
The First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs Food Pantry, "By His Grace" has been blessed with so many donations by families to help the families in need in the community. We are now in the new building and have food distribution on Fridays from 9 - 10 a.m. Along with the food, there is clothing and shoes for men, women and children, and household items as well. The food pantry was blessed with a generous grant from the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio to enabled us to purchase a walk-in cold storage and freezer to replace aging refrigerators and freezers. We can now store more perishables, which helps us help more families. In the first three months of this year, nearly 400 families have been served. Donations of food, clothing or household items are welcomed. Please call the church office to arrange to drop off donations or to volunteer to help in the food pantry. 
 


Watch for an Open House
invite for the new food pantry!
COMING SOON!

MERCY HEART & FORGIVEN MINISTRIES
Sheri Kay

FBCSS offers love and support for those in the community experiencing incarceration in their families.

Through Mercy Heart Ministry, we partner with families and help them find life beyond incarceration, by helping to meet the needs of families of inmates and ex-offenders in an accepting, compassionate, caring and spiritual way, through weekly, faith-based group meetings each Thursday evening, following the church's community supper. Supper is served at 6 p.m. and meetings are from 6:45-7:45 p.m.

The Forgiven Ministry mission is to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of the children of inmates, the inmates themselves, ex-inmates and inmates’ families, with the result of healing wounds inflicted by crime, redirecting lives, and restoring these individuals into the community as productive citizens, parents and family members. Reaching, Reconciling and Restoring Lives is our purpose. By encouraging change from within the individual, we can reduce recidivism, stop the cycle of crime, avoid the waste of human capital, and lessen the burden that offenders and their families place on society. Research has shown that as many as 80 percent of the children of inmates eventually end up in prison themselves. Reconciling inmates with their families and with God is the most promising way to bring about change from within. Surrounding inmates and their families with unconditional love from a supportive Christian community, at the camps and in the follow-up programs, can truly make a difference… that to some would seem impossible. Forgiveness makes this reconciliation possible.

Please prayerfully consider volunteering at one (or all) of the upcoming 'One Day With God' Events. Or you might consider making a donation to help offset the cost of this ministry.

Upcoming Forgiven Ministry 'One Day with God' Camps
June 29th - Beaumont
October 5th - Hondo
September 21st - Lockhart
November 16th - Beeville
Training is required. Please see Sheri Kay for more information.
KITCHEN KORNER
Sherri Pomeroy
If you’re new around here, we want to let you know of some of the things we do in the kitchen, because at FBCSS, whatever we do, you can bet there is food involved! Our normal, weekly activities include Sunday Breakfast served from 9:15-9:45 (right before Sunday School) and Thursday Community Supper served from 6:00-7:00 (right before our midweek service).

This month, of course, we will be super busy moving into our new kitchen (YAY!!!!!!) keep your eyes peeled for upcoming lists of things we need as we get settled into our new routine. If you would like to volunteer in the kitchen, please see Sherri Pomeroy or Pam Hollingworth, we can always use more hands in the dishwater and more smiling faces on the serving line.

If you have items to donate to the kitchen, we kindly ask that you hold on to them until after our big move on May 19, as we are currently trying to use up our inventory so we have less to move to the new kitchen and want to continue to be good stewards of our stock. Thank you to all our volunteers who show up regularly and work tirelessly in the kitchen to ensure you have the best meals in town and the safest environment we can provide.
i m p e r f e c t
Submitted by Anonymous

Water stained pews
with damaged wood
peeling and cracking.

Threadbare cushions
with busted zippers
lumpy and missing buttons.

Broken windows
patched
re-patched
and patched again.

Peeled paint on the wall
candle wax stains in the carpet
thumb tack holes in every surface.

"Sutherland Sprung"

An imperfect building
inviting imperfect souls
to meet a perfect God

Weddings, funerals,
worship services,
prayer meetings,
Vacation Bible School
(Always starting at least 10 minutes late)

Laughter, love, and life.
A perfect God being sought,
honored, remembered, praised
and known
by imperfect people
in an imperfect building.
But heart-hardening bitterness
entered an imperfect man.
Watered in darkness, it grew
blooming into hatred
and blinding, irrational rage.

Imperfect people
sitting on imperfect pews
in an imperfect building
praising a perfect God
Attacked by evil.

Broken bodies
releasing perfect souls
cleansed and made whole
by the blood and sacrifice
of a perfect God.

Laughter, love, and life
Eternal.

Evil did not win.

Damaged pews and stained carpet
replaced by 26 white chairs
and 26 red roses.

A clean white room
filled with the memory of souls
made perfect by a loving God
inviting imperfect people
to come and meet
and be loved
and be healed
and be known
by a perfect God.
WOMEN'S MENTORING MINISTRY
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work." Ecclesiastes 4:9
The purpose of the Women's Mentoring Ministry is spiritual growth through friendship. This is a ministry for women of all ages, based on Titus 2:3-5. It is a ministry that intentionally develops friendships among women of different generations. Women invest in the lives of each other through encouragement, guidance, listening, laughing and loving. The goal is to form strong and lasting relationships that are a source of support, growth and strength. If you would like to experience being mentored by one who is grounded in Christ, please complete a mentoring request application that is on the table in the church foyer and turn it in to the FBCSS office. Your profile sheet will be prayed over by the Mentoring Leadership Team to determine your best match with a Mentor, and you will be contacted to be introduced to your mentor.
Church Bulletin Bloopers
 
"Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow."
"The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir."
"Low Self-Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday 7-8:30. Please use the back door."
"The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church."
All area youth in junior high and high school are invited to participate in our youth group activities. Weekly youth meetings are on Thursday evenings from 7-8 p.m. after community supper at 6 p.m., Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., as well as supervised game nights, camps and other activities provided in a safe, welcoming, faith-based environment.
 
Upcoming Youth Camps
Highland Lakes Camp
June 10-14
FREE
 Alto Frio Masters Camp
July 15-19
$200 (Cost may be offset by fundraising activities)  

Be sure to get the new FBCSS #evildidnotwin t-shirt from a youth member during their fundraiser on May 19th!
For more information about our youth ministries, please contact
Kris Workman at 830-391-5959 or Katie Wesley at 830-391-2318.
LADIES EVENTS & BIBLE STUDIES
We offer a variety of classes for ladies of all ages at different times because we know not everyone’s schedule is the same. We enjoy scheduled retreats several times a year, and spontaneous lunch dates with friends outside of the church. Currently, we offer a Ladies Bible Study in the Fellowship Hall at 9:30 every Tuesday Morning led by Sheila Arms. We also offer a Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday nights at 7:00 and sometimes we play Bunco afterwards, if time permits. There is childcare available at the morning Bible Study, but it is not currently offered at the Tuesday night sessions. We hope you will plan to attend either of these great gatherings where we study God’s word and put it to use in practical ways.
 
Upcoming Ladies Retreats
September 6-8 - Women of Joy - Deeply Rooted with Lisa Harper
September 13-14 - Beth Moore - Living Proof Live
GOD SEES THE BIG PICTURE
When you feel the Lord moving you toward an assignment that He's designed with your help in mind, don't waste precious time trying to figure out "why me?" God has His reasons and He's not required to tell us. Sometimes His choices do not make sense to us or especially others who may see the opportunities we have been given. Often, He chooses us because of a weakness we have, rather than a strength. "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the worked to shame the strong." 1Cor. 1:27. This weakness will require more of God and less of self, which will all be to God's glory when it's completed. If we were too good at a thing, pride and ego might get in the way and we would tend to lean more on our own abilities rather than God's equipping. We might even begin to boast about our accomplishments instead of pointing to Him. He needs us to be completely dependent on Him so we will be better listeners and followers, only stepping in the path that He has made for us to walk in. God is always about the "bigger picture" and every assignment He gives us, whether big or small, is for the ultimate goal of adding to the Kingdom of God! "Sometimes, it's not our capability, but rather our availability to be used, that God is desiring." God knew who He was getting when He chose you. Trust and obey the Lord and leave all the results to Him who is calling you.
Excerpt from "Healing Me, Healing You" -by Sheri A. Taggart
NURSERY & TODDLERS
We welcome your children to the nursery and toddler class. We are so excited to help your children grow in Christ. We get the privilege to care for ages 0-Pre-K! We do fun activities, a lesson and snack time in a safe and loving environment. We are also first aid and CPR certified. We look forward to seeing y'all.
Your friends in Christ,
Miranda & Jenni
CHRISTIAN MANTRA
David Cobath
The Christian seems to concentrate on his failings more than the grace God gives us. Romans 8:1 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." The Christian falls, only to Rise Again! Praise God in all we do even when we fail.
Love with the completeness of Christ!
Member Spotlight
Michelle Goff
Originally from Marshalltown, Iowa, Michelle is a pediatric nurse at BAMC.
She loves to cook, bake, the outdoors and Iowa gardening, women's ministry and Queen Elizabeth II.
The scripture most meaningful to her is: Psalms 51:10, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me."
Her claim to fame: She was too scared to shake VP George H.W. Bush's hand while campaigning in her hometown in 1984.
She and her husband Ian live in San Antonio with their 4 year old daughter, Abigail.
Come to the Table skit by the youth for the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
"Down on the Farm" float for the Bluebonnet Parade - FBCSS recognized as Honorary Grand Marshal.
Windy Choate and Michelle Shields attend Ministry Assistant Appreciation luncheon hosted by Eastside Baptist Church.
Basketball fun between services with Evan Bonesteel outnumbered by several of our youth.
MEMBERS:
Please remember to contact the church office or your family's yeoman when you are sick, in the hospital or have any prayer request needs.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
 

A: Acknowledge you are a sinner in need of a Savior.
This is to repent or turn away from sin.

B: Believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead.
This is to trust that Jesus paid the full penalty for my sins.

C: Confess Jesus as your Lord and God.
This is to surrender control of your life to Jesus.

If you would like to talk to someone about developing or strengthening your relationship with God, please call the church office or visit soon.
We would love to talk to you about our Father!

Worship Services & Bible Study Times
Sunday Breakfast & Fellowship - 9:15 a.m.
Sunday School  - 9:45-10:45 a.m.
    Current Study: “9 Common Lies Christians Believe”
Sunday Morning Service - 11 a.m.
Sunday Evening Bible Study - 6-7 p.m.
    Current Study: “Angels & Demons”
Ladies Bible Study
  Tuesday at 9 a.m.
  Tuesday at 7 p.m.*
Thursday Community Supper & Fellowship 6 p.m.
Thursday Bible Study 6:45-8 p.m.

 
Childcare offered at all service and study times unless marked otherwise (*). 

First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs
216 4th Street
830-947-3333
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