A Weekly Newsletter of

 First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale

May 24, 2018

Love God.  Love People.  Follow Jesus.

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May 20 Sermon


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May 26

Youth Service Project

May 27

Memorial Day Remembrance

Worship at 8:30 and 11:00 am. Bible Study at 9:45 am. 

June 11-15

Bible Adventure Week 

June 24-30

Students on Mission 

October

New Church Directory Pictures! 


Sunday Bible Readings

 

May 27

Matthew 28:16-20


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See our webpage, become a Facebook fan, follow us on Twitter (@fsbca) or on instagram (@fsbca), or read Pastor Jack's blog for more info.  Or feel free to give us a call or stop by the church office!

First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale

After Prison . . .

 

I often think and pray about issues that face America and attempt to come up with solutions that would work in our church and would help us love people and lead them to faith in Christ.  We don't have the widespread influence to offer political, cultural, or governmental solutions, but we can love and help people one-at-a-time.  We've found ways to help those who are hungry, those who are homeless, those with medical needs and no insurance, young moms with few resources, and many others.

 

What can we offer those who are just coming out of prison and who want to turn their lives around?  The problem is much more challenging than I first thought. 

 

Obviously, we can't find a solution until we understand the problem.  Here are some basic facts about our prison population in America:

 

 Every year, 600,000 men and women in our country leave prison and find it very difficult to reintegrate into society. By that time, they may have burned some bridges and broken some relationships.  Jobs and housing are hard to come by. They often have few skills and fewer options. It's no secret that many of them will end up back in prison.

   

Our prison population is growing. America has only 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prison population.  Since 1970, our prison population has increased by 700% to 2,300,000 people.

 

And unless something changes, it's going to get worse.  Statistics tell us that one out of every three black boys born today can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.  (It's one out of every 17 whites.)

 

And the fastest growing prison population is among women.

 

One church like ours can't do much to change these frightening statistics, but we can help at least a few people in our own area.  Here's something I'm thinking about:

 

Form a “company” that does the kind of work that people with limited skills can do but that will also teach a marketable skill.  It could be a maid service, a landscaping business, a handyman company, or a construction company.  (And, yes, I am well aware that there would be obstacles.  We would need to form another corporation or work with an existing one.  We would need to generate start-up funds . . . and find enough work to keep a crew busy . . . and convince people that the workers could be trusted . . . and have a capable and hardworking manager/foreman . . . and solve dozens of other issues.) 

 

We would interview people right out of prison or halfway houses who want to turn their lives around.  We would offer them a low-paying job (but with the chance for advancement) for six months that would give them life skills, a positive work record, experience, and a start in a new way of life.  (And like I've already said, I understand there are issues.  What about housing and transportation?  Could we generate enough work to keep a crew busy?)

 

We would require participants to meet some basic requirements:  Weekly attendance in church, participation in a weekly small group targeted at those who have recently come out of prison, passing random drug testing, working hard at their jobs, etc.

 

It’s more an idea than a proposal at this point, but it’s something to pray about.  I have no set timetable and no real business plan.  But Jesus (and therefore the church) are in the people-loving-and-helping business.  That's who we are and what we do.  I'm just trying to apply that truth to a very specific group of people in need. 

 

Thanks for dreaming with me and for being such a great church.  I hope to see you Sunday!

 

Pastor Jack


Bible Adventure Week!

(AKA Vacation Bible School)

 

Opening Night of Bible Adventure Week is now less than three weeks away; are you ready to Game On? We've got epic things planned for 'athletes' of all ages, from rookies to all-time greats. Now it's your turn to step up to the plate! You can now register for free online at fsbca.org/vbs or in person by stopping by our ministry table this Sunday. This event is free and for all people, so please use our invite cards found in both foyers to spread the word!

 

Invite your kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, parents, brothers, sisters, coworkers, teachers, dogs--ok maybe not dogs, but you get the point. All are welcome!

 

Did I mention that it's totally free? The event is June 11-15 from 6:00-8:30 pm. Get ready to Game On!

  

Kenny Marslender

Interim Children's Ministries Director


 

Guess what?

 

Priscilla Shirer is coming to Phoenix this October!  You know who Priscilla Shirer is, right?  She is the star of that great movie, "War Room."  And she is so much more than that!  

 

She is an incredible Women's Ministry speaker and Bible Teacher who happens to also be the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans. Through the expository teaching of the Word of God to women, her desire is to see women not only know the uncompromising truths of Scripture intellectually but experience them practically by the power of the Holy Spirit. Priscilla graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master's Degree in Biblical Studies. 

 

I have had the privilege of leading our ladies to work through nearly all of her excellent Bible studies including "The Armor of God," "Gideon," "Discerning the Voice of God," "Jonah," "War Room," "Breathe," and others.  All of us who have gone through her studies have been blessed by the depth of her teaching.  She is not "fluff," that's for sure! Ain't nobody got time for fluff!

 

She has never come to Arizona before, so we are especially excited and grateful that God has led her to come our way this Fall.  She will be at the GCU Arena for a one day conference--Priscilla Shirer Live--on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.   The early-bird/group registration price is $59.  (Individual early-bird pricing is $69 with the price going up to $79 in early July.)  However, if we can get 75 women to sign up in a group, we will get ASSIGNED/RESERVED SEATING which is huge!  We are taking registrations NOW!  You can sign up and pay online at FSBCA Priscilla Shirer Conference.


 

We had a good talk with a representative from Point Man Ministries during our recent Project Connect Outreach.  They would love to start a chapter in our area.  The leader would need to be a veteran who is actively involved in a local church.  Point Man Ministries runs support groups aimed at meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of veterans, specializing in helping veterand with PTSD.  Some groups meet in churches; some are held in American Legion posts.  Is there a veteran in our church who is interested in helping other veterans?  Contact Pastor Jack for more information.


Project Connect Update

 

Last Thursday, at Project Connect, we helped literally hundreds of people who were homeless or near-homeless or who were recently arrived refugees in our country.  To accomplish this, we partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way and dozens of other organizations. 

  

We fed them 375 breakfasts and 550 lunches, offered them backpacks full of hygiene items, snacks, clothes, water, and dog food.  They received services such as showers and haircuts.  They were able to meet onsite with government representatives (SS, VA, DES, MVD, etc.) and a multitude of non-profit and faith-based groups that helped them connect with housing, jobs, and support groups.  Our staff and volunteers did an amazing job of coordinating, cooking, cleaning, guiding, and being faithful witnesses of the power of God's love!


 

We don’t just talk about loving God, loving people, and following Jesus.  We put it into practice.  Specifically, we put our money where our mouth is.  Through our budget giving and special gifts, a significant portion of our dollars goes to various mission ministries projects.  Here are our 2017 mission expenses:

 

 

Even beyond these amounts, we contribute heavily to missions in other ways.  We cover all building and utility expenses for mission ministries such as Mission of Mercy (our medical ministry), IHELP (our Homeless ministry) and the New Life Pregnancy Center.  Our members volunteer thousands of hours in these and many other mission ministries.  And many of our members give directly—far beyond these amounts—to our partner ministries. 

 

We thank you for giving to and working in our mission ministries.  FSBCA is an incredibly generous and hardworking church. We are doing God’s work in our own community and around the world!


 

We recently completed "Name Change Survey 2."  It was a survey of the 4 most common names from our first round:  Here are the results of those who turned in a survey:

 

Avondale Baptist Church 45.2%

Grace Baptist Church 22.8%

First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale (Current Name) 21.1%

Compassion Baptist Church 11%

 

This will be discussed at a Name Change Team and the Church Council before we decide where to go next.  Thanks for prayerfully sharing your opinion!


Youth Service Project

 

The Student ministry is taking our bi-annual service project trip to help You Matter Ministries on Saturday, May 26 from 6:30-10:30 am. We are traveling to 30th Ave and Van Buren to help feed the homeless and participate in their Bible study and worship time.

 

You Matter Ministries serves those who are hurting and homeless and preaches the good news of Jesus Christ.  All teens are welcome! We are taking any canned goods that we can collect, so if your teen is able to bring a couple of cans we thank you!  If you have any questions or need a permission form, please contact Student Ministries Director Holly Kilfoyle. Canned Food donations can be brought to the church by May 24.


 

May 20 - Sunday (Make Up Day)

May 21 - Job 33-36

May 22 - Job 37-39

May 23 - Job 40-42

May 24 - Psalm 1-4

May 25 - Psalm 5-8

May 26 - Psalm 9-12

 

May 27 - Sunday (Make Up Day)

May 28 - Psalm 13-16

May 29 - Psalm 17-20

May 30 - Psalm 21-24

May 31 - Psalm 25-28

June 1 - Psalm 29-32

June 2 - Psalm 33-36