May - The First Baptist Church
F IRST B APT IST C HURC H
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God’s Love and Giving
Does experiencing God’s love lead you to give? Some new research suggests it
might. University of Akron sociologist Matthew T. Lee says, “Millions of Americans frequently experience divine love and for them this sense of God’s love not
only enhances existential well-being, but underlies a sense of personal meaning and
purpose and enlivens compassion for others.”
Lee and his colleagues, sociologist Margaret M. Poloma and theologian Stephen G. Post, published the
results of a representative random survey of 1,200 people – both religious and nonreligious – from across
the U.S. in their book The Heart of Religion: Spiritual Empowerment, Benevolence, and the Experience of
God's Love. Their ongoing “Flame of Love Project” studies how spiritual experience relates to benevolence.
Some interesting findings from the study include:
Those who feel God’s love more than once per day are more than twice as likely as the rest of Americans to give their time more than once a week to help others in need, and more than twice as likely
to give more than $5,000 per year to help others in need.
African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than Euro-Americans, and women are more likely
than men, to report experiences of God’s love.
Anger at God is a normal part of experiencing divine love. Within certain limits, it is a signal that a
deep relationship exists.
What makes the book a compelling source of discussion is the inclusion of diverse voices and narratives.
The researchers interviewed 120 people at length and included five stories of “exemplars” in their book.
One of the five is Anne Beiler, also known as the pretzel lady.
It’s hard to go very far without seeing an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel franchise. Anne and her husband have
parlayed her successful business into funding for their hometown Family Center to promote mental, physical, and spiritual health. But the road to that noble end has been a hard one for them.
Jonas and Anne Beiler’s lives plunged into darkness when a farm tractor struck and killed their young
daughter, Angie. Anne’s pastor, whom she approached for assistance, sexually abused her during her first
counseling session. The abuse continued and her marriage deteriorated. Eventually, the pastor was dismissed from the church and the Beilers began repairing their relationship. As Jonas and Anne experienced
how wise counsel helped to repair their own lives and marriage, Jonas wanted to pass on the gift by offering free counseling and support services to anyone in need.
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F IRST B APT IST C HURC H
Anne’s work to support Jonas’ dream developed into what became “the world’s largest hand-rolled
soft pretzel franchise.” Annie the entrepreneur is widely recognized her efforts to inspire, serve and
give. Today, The Family Center they’ve developed from profits of the pretzel business partners with
community organizations to offer counseling, healthcare options, education, and more.
Anne credits her own life in God with sustaining her, quoting the Psalm: “For you [God] are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” (32:7) “We all
need that hiding place,” she says. ”The reason I never wanted to tell anyone about the secrets in my
life was that I was ashamed, and afraid, and scared that people would no longer love me. So I tried to
hide my ‘stuff’ from everyone. But this kind of hiding only made it worse…Confession allows us to
hide in God and be surrounded with songs of victory and not floodwaters of judgment.” Embraced by
love, Anne and Jonas are now free to embrace their community and give generously toward its welfare.
Pretzels may not be your thing, but I wonder - can experiencing God’s love prompt more faithful and
generous giving in your life, too? What might happen to your corner of the world if you pass the gift
of love on as freely as you received it? It’s something worth pondering during these days of Easter,
when we sing the greatest victory song of them all.
Grace and Peace,
To learn more about the study, visit www.templeton.org/templeton_report/20130116/
To learn more about The Family Center, visit www.gapfamilycenter.org
Here ye, Here ye!! Kingdom Rock is on the way. Calling all lords and ladies, we are in
need of your assistance to make this the best VBS yet. Every year we put on the best
VBS in the area thanks to your help, and this year will be no exception. We have several areas of need, and are looking for all of the help we can get. If you are able to help
contact Laurinda Ferrell.
Dad's don't forget, we are having a date night Friday, May 10. Kids are invited from 6-9 PM to enjoy
pizza, movies and a craft for Mother's Day. Cost is $5 per child and reservations are requested. Please
contact the church office if your child is planning on attending.
T HE E LIZ ABE T HAN
This past Thursday, April 25, the youth were able to attend a performance of the Albemarle Orchestra.
It was a great experience to hear the Orchestra and to see two members of the church perform with
them. Cameron and Kyle Lacasse both perform with the Orchestra.
The youth are still discussing fund-raising ideas to help the victims in Boston, and we look forward to
raising funds for them. We look forward to bringing our creative idea to you, and helping those in
Dear First Baptist Church Members and Friends,
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to come out and support me at the
4H livestock show and sale this past week. This was my first year showing a hog named Perri this
year, and I was very excited and nervous at the same time, so your support coming out, emails, text
messages and phone calls sent to me while I was at this event really supported me, it came in handy
when I needed the extra support the most.
I just want to say......what a great group of friends I have at First Baptist Church.
A Celebration of a life well lived.
Selby Scott Day at FBC
April 28, 2013
1 Jo Ellen Harrell
9 Selma Hurdle
11 Robin Knight
14 Jeff Dixon
14 Cloy Everton
15 June Overman
15 Joe Winslow
17 Jayd Ryan-Bland
17 Nell Stallings
18 Teresa Bennett
19 Ruth Lowry
23 Dorothy Watts
26 Penny Boyce
28 Caden Harris
10 Daniel and Rhonda Brickhouse
11 Kevin and Terri Moore
16 Mather and Selma Hurdle
19 Randy and Irene Overton
25 John and Brandy Ferrell
26 Charles and Jorraine Mahaffey
30 Steve and Helen Harris
May 2 marks Billy Caudle’s 8th Anniversary as choir
director and organist for First Baptist Church.
The First Baptist Church
A beacon of hope in the harbor of hospitality.
300 West Main Street
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Service videos are found at www.ecfbc.com
Church office hours 9AM -5PM Monday-Friday
Office phone: 338-3904
Subscribe to eNews: Text ECFBC to 22828 to get started.
HOURS OF WORSHIP:
Youth Bible Study-6:00pm
Kids Missions & Tweens-6:15pm
Adult Bible Study-6:30pm
Youth Bible Study-6:00pm
Board of Deacons
Charles F. M. Gordon, Chairman
Pastor: Christopher A. Ingram
Director of Children and Youth: J. Knight
Choir Director/Organist: Billy Caudle
Librarian: Janice Haskett
Treasurer: Joe Lamb
Housekeeping: Anna Hare
Administrative Assistant: Jennifer Tanner
Father O'Malley answers the phone. "Hello, is this Father
"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"
"Do you know a Ted Houlihan?"
"Is he a member of your congregation?"
"Did he donate $10,000 to the church?"