During the dog days of summer, we combine Sunday School classes as a way to slow down and reconnect. All are invited to participate in this year's August Forum as we explore our artistic side.
On June 19, Brenda Clark, Zena Aldridge, Pastor Alyssa and Pastor Julie joined 200 women of faith at the office of U. S. Customs and Border Protection to call on our government to stop separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Brenda Clark reflected afterwards: "Only one gathering, yet many voices! Saving our children instills an amazing grace for all of humanity, one child, hundreds of children at a time."
Get yours while supplies last!
Just in time for Pride Weekend, Summer of Fun, and other outings where you'll need to stay cool while also reppin' who we are as a congregation.
$15 Adult Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, 2X Large, 3X Large
$10 Youth Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
How to Order:
- Order/Pay for your shirt here (below).
- Pick up your pre-paid shirt after worship on the Sundays of June 10, 17 or 24, OR come to Zena Aldridge's office at the church during weekday office hours.
- If you want to wear your shirt at the Pride Parade this Saturday, June 9, pay for your shirt here and pick up your shirts from Zena on Friday, June 8, 10am-5pm. (Sorry, no orders or cash transactions this Saturday.)
On May 22, 2018, after more than a hundred years of affiliation, the Southern Baptist Convention officially severed ties with the D.C. Baptist Convention over its refusal to exclude from membership the historic Calvary Baptist Church, a 155-year-old D. C. congregation founded by abolitionists. At issue was Calvary’s decision in 2017 to call Rev. Maria Swearingen and Rev. Sally Sarratt, a married lesbian couple, as co-pastors.
For more than a century, the DCBC has seen itself as a bridge between Baptist groups, remaining dually aligned with both Southern Baptists and the American Baptist Churches USA. In 1997, the DCBC widened its affiliation by uniting also with the predominantly black Progressive National Baptist Convention, and later with the Baptist World Alliance.
The SBC Executive Committee first communicated concern about Calvary early in 2017, just days after they called their new pastors. In February of this year, Dr. Robert Cochran, Executive Director/Minister of the DCBC (and a member of our congregation), flew to Nashville to meet personally with members of the SBC Executive Committee. Shortly thereafter, the Committee issued an ultimatum that the DCBC cut ties with Calvary within 90 days or face expulsion from the Southern Baptist Convention. Robert requested a conference call with SBC leaders so that a way forward might be negotiated, and relationship preserved. The Executive Committee declined Robert’s request for conversation, choosing to communicate through an attorney who informed Robert by letter that he had “too many things to tend to that have a higher priority” and advising DCBC leaders “to work toward excluding the errant church from your fellowship by the date of May 20th.”
Southern Baptists’ fixation on exclusion has been a sad reality for decades. Since the 1970s, the SBC has established meticulously orchestrated, fiercely defended systems of exclusion that have done immense harm to churches and individuals.
The DCBC Board chose a different path.
The day before the SBC Executive Committee’s May 20 deadline, I sat in a circle with other DCBC board members and staff who had gathered to talk and pray together about this matter. There was a spirit of kindness in the room. We began with a devotional led by board President Paula Moustos who read from Romans 14: “Why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you look down on your brother or sister?... Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.”Everyone was asked to share from his or her perspective about the matter at hand. I shared from my own personal relationship with Maria and Sally, two of the finest pastors I know. There was diversity of thought, as many board members come from the black church tradition which has been historically reluctant to welcome the LGBTQ community.
What unified the group was our commitment to the bedrock Baptist principle of autonomy of the local church. “My church would not make the same choice as Calvary in calling our leaders,” said one board member. “But they listened closely to the Spirit, and who are we to say otherwise?” It was then pointed out by another board member (to a chorus of “Amens”) that Calvary was the first Baptist church in the District to welcome black people into membership in 1954. Calvary’s prophetic voice and their commitment to justice were acknowledged and affirmed. In the end, those present voted unanimously to reject the SBC’s demand to exclude Calvary Baptist Church from membership in the DCBC, even if it meant being excluded ourselves by the Southern Baptist Convention. While there was sadness for some over the whole situation, there was a sense of peace, too.
I was honored to sit in that circle of fellowship and discernment that Saturday morning in May. I’m grateful for Robert Cochran’s leadership, and that of the board. Mostly, though, I am grateful for the Holy Spirit, who continues the hard and holy work of knitting us together in the body of Christ.
Peace and grace,
The Agape National Academy of Music (ANAM) is based in Monrovia, Liberia and has as its' mission "Making Liberian Children Successful through the Arts." ANAM was founded by Samson Tarpeh in 2008 in response to thousands of children in need of healing and spiritual development following 14 years of civil war in Liberia. Mr. Tarpeh, on piano, and accompanied by two vocalists, will perform in the Sanctuary on Sunday, June 10 at 2pm. One of ANAM's goals is to raise money for the project; a free-will offering will be accepted. Questions? Contact D'O Dillard at firstname.lastname@example.org. All FBC members and friends are cordially invited.
June 17th is Father's Day so there will be no Third Sunday Lunch for youth. We'll pick back up with Third Sunday in July.
An Exploration of Juneteenth
On Wednesday June 20th, students grade 7-12 will explore historic sites in the District. Together we'll visit Cedar Hill, the home of Frederick Douglass; make our way to Dr. King's Memorial, and end with lunch on The Mall. We'll meet at FBC at 9:30am and head out from there. Contact Pastor Alyssa for more details. email@example.com
Paddling the Potomac
The youth group will head down to Key Bridge Boathouse after church on Sunday June 24th to Kayak on the Potomac!
Cost: $16 for kayak. Bring a change of kayak-appropriate clothing and money for lunch. Contact Pastor Alyssa for more details. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dr. Preston Clegg, Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, will bring the message in worship on July 1st. Preston pastored churches in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma before coming to 2BC in 2013. He received his BA in Christian Ministry from Williams Baptist College in Arkansas and his M.Div. and D.Min. from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, TX. He and his wife Rebecca are native Arkansans, growing up in the delta of Eastern Arkansas. They have two sons, Paxton and Truett. Preston's greatest vocational passion is creatively preaching the good news so that it builds up the church and announces the Kingdom of God.
June 10: Ordination and Laying On of Hands During Worship
Lilia Abron, Didier Ahimera and Philip Hawkins begin 3-year terms of service this month. The congregation will have an opportunity to bless and pray for them on June 17, during worship.
Deepest thanks to Zena Aldridge and Mike Henson who just completed another term of deacon service. Their care, discernment and commitment to the way of Jesus are a blessing to us all.
Lilia Ann Abron
I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee to Baptist parents. I was baptized when I was 9 years old, sang in the junior choir, played piano, and was a member of the church sponsored Girl Scout troop from Brownie through Senior Scouts. I chose environmental engineering for my life’s work, because I was raised to respect the earth, and all humans who live on this planet. I endeavored to raise my three sons as I was raised. All were baptized here at First Baptist where I have been a member for more than 35 years. I am a Christian and am accepting of all believers and non-believers. I look forward to my time serving you again as a deacon.
I accepted Christ into my heart early in childhood and I have had the pleasure of worshiping at FBC-DC since the summer of 2015. My family currently resides in Phoenix and nearly three decades ago they immigrated to the States from Burundi. Since joining this community of followers I’ve gotten to serve at Christ House on many occasions. My prayer is for the events of our community and the world to continue to stir our hearts so we are provoked to action, asking ourselves what more we can do.
Church has been part of my fabric for as long as I can recall. But deeper than church, discerning the priorities of Christ has been part of my fabric since my early teenage years when I formally accepted Christ as Savior. I became part of the FBC-DC family in April 2017 shortly after I moved to the DC area. I have two children – Eric (26) and Mallary (24). Both of my parents and each of my siblings (and their families) are still living, all in the north Georgia area. I actively engage in the music ministry of FBC. I also have a passion for working (voluntarily) with those who are in hospitalization with depression and related mental health diagnoses. My prayer for FBC is that we continue to support each other as we remain open to Holy Spirit’s leading us through our present and our future.
Pastor Julie and others from FBC who are marching with AWAB (Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists) at the Capital Pride Parade next Saturday, June 9. We’ll join friends from Baptist churches in the DC area in showing love to people who are too often excluded from church.
As of publication time AWAB doesn’t have info from Capital Pride about the time and location for meeting up. Step-off for the parade is 4:30pm. We will likely be near the end of the parade line. Complete info will appear in next week’s email Update. The forecast says 86° and partly cloudy. The parade route is about 1.5 miles and there are some hills, so wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bottled water, sunscreen, and a snack. For more information, contact Pastor Julie at email@example.com.
August 3 (Friday, 7:05pm)
Washington Nationals Baseball Game
(hosted by Charlie Fuller)
(25 tickets available @ $32. RSVP and pay below by Fri., July 20)
Aug 11(Saturday, 1pm)
Lunch at a Maryland Crab House
(hosted by Ron & Zena Aldridge)
Join us for a delicious lunch at a Southern Maryland crab house on the Neale Sound of the Potomac River in Charles County, MD. Plan to meet at Captain John's Crab House @ 1pm. 16215 Cobb Island Rd., Newburg, MD.
Restaurant website: https://www.cjcrab.com/Home
Need a ride? Carpooling available.
A demonstration of how to open and pick a Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab is guaranteed!
(nothing is added to shopping cart for free events)
August 18 (Saturday, 10am)
Kayaking on the Potomac
(hosted by Chelsea Clarke, Didier Ahimera and Allen Norfleet)
Spend a Saturday kayaking on the Potomac with FBCDC friends! Hosts Chelsea Clarke, Didier Ahimera and Allen Norfleet invite you to join them at the DC Boathouse under the Key Bridge in Georgetown on Sat., Aug. 18 at 10 am. Kayaks are $16/hr for single; $22/hour for double. Rental includes a life vest. If you would like more information, go to https://boatingindc.com/boathouses/key-bridge-boathouse/
(nothing is added to shopping cart for this event, payment is made at the DC Boathouse)
August 19 (Sunday, 1-4pm; come-and-go)
Board Games & Lunch
(hosted by Kelly Magee-Prichard and Charlotte Straight)
Join the fun in Arlington! Chuck and Kelly are cooking up Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, and Cole Slaw, while Charlotte is planning a festive game-playing afternoon.
3528 6th St., South, Arlington, VA.(RSVP below)
(nothing is added to shopping cart for free events)
July 14 (Saturday, 5-7pm)
Wine & Cheese at The Chastleton
(hosted by Rochelle Howard)
We relaxed and enjoyed visiting with friends old and new at this historic Dupont Circle neighborhood condominium.
July 13 (Friday, 6-9pm)
The Capitol Steps
(comedy troupe; hosted by Lucy Plovnick)
Met at 6pm in the food court of the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Show began at 7:30pm.
June 29 (Friday, 5:45pm-10pm)
U. S. Marine Band Concert and Evening Parade at the Barracks (hosted by Amanda Tyler)
A summer tradition on Capitol Hill, join us for patriotic music and pageantry at the Marine Barracks in Southeast Washington. We'll gather for dinner at 5:45pm at Cava Mezze Restaurant on Barracks Row (527 8th St SE), then walk to claim our reserved seats for the concert and evening parade. (Reservations are Closed )
June 24 (Sunday, 12:30-2:45pm)
Watercolors @ The Drake with Tina Bailey
(hosted by Julie Pennington-Russell)
18 folks unleashed their inner artists at this watercolors workshop in the beautiful Penthouse Residents’ Lounge at The Drake apartment building (next door to FBCDC). No prior art experience was needed. Artist Tina Bailey, a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design, serves as field personnel in Bali through Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Join us in worship as we celebrate God’s gift of Holy Spirit, led by FBC musicians and the Scott Paddock Jazz Quartet (jazz prelude begins at 10:45am). We’ll hear the words of Scripture in a variety of languages and Pastor Julie will bring the message, The Impartial Spirit. Flags of the nations will encircle the sanctuary from the balcony, a beloved FBC Pentecost tradition.
In the second chapter of Acts, Luke tells of how, fifty days after Easter, the Spirit of God fell like a fire and blew like a wind on 120 men and women and they streamed into the streets of the city to meet their neighbors with the good news of Jesus Christ.
As people who are deeply cherished in my life, I’m asking for your help – that you long continue to keep in your thoughts my high school – Marjory Stoneman Douglas – and my hometown of Parkland, Florida. My “home” since infancy, with nearly 32,000 incredible people who live quietly alongside the beautiful Everglades, and its neighboring city of Coral Springs are grappling with a tragic mass shooting. Douglas is just a five minute walk from my childhood house. My family, friends, and this community are devastated. I am devastated.
This was the place that motivated me to pursue a meaningful future in Washington. And it is where I was equipped with many of the passions/personality that I bring into my friendship with you. Douglas stands out as a shining example of public education excellence. It is one of the best high schools in the state, indeed in the entire country. This is because its educators are extraordinary. Many of them have been invaluable mentors to me and have inspired my closest friends to pursue the best higher education and meaningful careers. This is where social studies teachers in December 2005 held a surprise gathering to congratulate my early acceptance to the College of William and Mary. They got me there. I say these things so you know more than the scenes that have filtered across national news. So you know how this place has a connection to you in a very real way. So we don’t dismiss it as just another incident. There are now beautiful kids from my community who won’t have the same opportunities that I did. There are beautiful families in Parkland who will never be the same. And there are future friendships all across the country that will never be had, as you do, with a Parklander. My home, the mecca of youthful memories, will never be the same. And I can promise you that those thousands of children who have been hurt – physically and mentally – are exactly like you were in high school. I know this because I was one of them, and I know you.
Please give your partners, parents, siblings, friends, colleagues a big huge when you see them. Don’t hold back. And, if you’re not the touchy type, tell them unequivocally how much you appreciate them and how special they are. Look into their eyes and smile when you do. This is the best, immediate tool each of us has. Love is the only creative, redemptive, and transforming power in the universe. And – if your conscience finds it appropriate – tell them that what has happened in Parkland is not okay. Don’t write this off. If for no other reason than you are now directly connected to it through me (and not the television). It wasn’t okay yesterday, it’s not okay today, and for you it won’t be okay tomorrow. The beautiful thing is that you and those you touch, in turn, have tomorrow a chance to use voice, creativity, and actions to right this wrong. This is true both in our daily living as well as through our civic engagement. There is no single solution. And there are many paths with dead ends. But, that doesn’t matter. It will take collective action to address this grand challenge. I’m hoping, as my friend, you’ll serve this collective action in any way you can, starting with your own communities. And that you’ll put love at the core, providing space for dialogue and exchanging solutions with those you may disagree with. Because I believe this is the most essential tool that will make Parkland one of the last communities to ever go through this.
In honor of the place that has given me everything, I've decided to ban complacency from my heart. While Parkland has never weathered a storm like this, it has seen enough severe hurricanes in its time to know something about recovery and what resiliency looks like when neighbors help one another. My prayer is that this institution of excellence will rise as a living monument to the very best in all of us. Where love conquers fear. Let us now make it so. As it states in bold letters above the main exit at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.
Member, First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Class of 2006
3/24/18 March Day Details
A group from FBC will leave at 11am from our O Street entrance (between 16th & 17th Streets) and walk together approximately 1.3 miles to 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue (one of only 3 designated entrances to the event, and the one closest to the church.) All are welcome!
Note that DC DPS is emphatically encouraging participants to use mass transit on Saturday (instead of driving).
May new First Glance
MAY 6 - JUNE 10
a five-week orientation to fbc for newcomers and new members
Facilitated by FBC pastors and lay leaders
Meet others who are new to First Baptist (within the past year or so)
Hear a little about our church’s 216-year history, as well as distinctive features of the Baptist stream of Christianity
Have conversations about walking in the way of Jesus and share from your own experiences with God
Learn how FBC is making a difference in the world
Bonus: enjoy some excellent coffee and breakfast nibbles!
Pausing Before the Resurrection Party
What’s not to love about Easter? Blossoms everywhere and hallelujahs hanging in the air like pastel cherubs. All that resurrection radiance pouring into our Lent-weary lives. Who wouldn’t want to sprint to the empty tomb?
But sometimes a gift is given in the dreary moment. A poet whose work I have come to love, Tom Hennen, puts it this way:
It’s easy to love a deer
But try to care about bugs and scrawny trees
Love the puddle of lukewarm water
From last week’s rain.
Leave the mountains alone for now.
Also the clear lakes surrounded by pines.
People are lined up to admire them.
Get close to the things that slide away in the dark.
Be grateful even for the boredom
That sometimes seems to involve the whole world.
Think of the frost
That will crack our bones eventually.
(Tom Hennen, Love for Other Things
Darkness Sticks to Everything: Collected and New Poems.)
Until I was in my mid-twenties, the Baptist churches I belonged to bypassed Holy Week altogether. On Palm Sunday we’d sing Hosanna! at the beginning of worship and The Old Rugged Cross at the end, then go home and start planning the menu for Easter dinner.
But those who are willing to postpone singing Christ the Lord Is Risen Today long enough to experience the gathering gloom of Holy Week will find God whispering in the darkness: “I am here for you.” This week I invite you to trace with me the steps of Jesus in his darkest hours. I promise that your alleluias will be all the sweeter come Resurrection Sunday.
You’re invited to join us on Sunday March 25th, for a Palm Sunday Parade! “Mariachi Ay Ay Ay” will return to lead us in song as we circle our DuPont Neighborhood waving palm branches. Wear your walking shoes and join us as we let our neighbors know that they are loved. “Mariachi Ay Ay Ay” was one of the featured bands in a Washington Post Magazine article on Sunday, March 4.
New Sunday Morning Class Begins April 8
Taught by Dr. Charlie Reynolds, US Army Chaplain (Ret.)
Every day in the news we view events involving Muslims, yet there is a vacuum of misunderstanding about Muslims and the Islamic Faith. Muslims comprise one of the largest groups of emigrants coming to the United States. Muslims are our neighbors. It is critically important for Christians in the United States to understand Islam and the beliefs of Muslims, as well as how we can interact with our Muslim brothers and sisters in meaningful ways.
Teacher: As a US Army Chaplain, Charlie Reynolds served as the Strategic Religious Advisor for United States Forces Iraq and United States Army Africa. He retired as the director of the Army Center for World Religions and is currently a religious advisor for the Army. Charlie received his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Richmond and an MDiv and DMin from Golden Gate Seminary in Mill Valley, CA. While in the military he received a Master of Theology Degree from Princeton Seminary in World Religions and Culture and was an Academic Fellow at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where his academic focus was on ways Religion can assist in reducing conflict. He has presented this material at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, as well as at conferences in the U. K. and Germany. Charlie’s hobbies are golf, running and hiking.
Classes begin at 9:30am each Sunday:
April 8 Bridge One: Understanding Islam
April 15 Bridge Two: Understanding a Muslim’s World View
April 22 Bridge Three: Understanding the Diversity in Islam
April 29 Bridge Four: The Bridge We Walk Over
The word "deacon" comes from the Greek word diakonos, which means "servant." There are many references to deacons in the early church. Deacon ministry was developed in response to specific needs within the corporate life of the church itself, and its inspiration was no less the example of Christ himself, who "came not to be served but to serve".
At First Baptist Church, deacons are actively engaged in the mission of the church. They promote peace, reconciliation and the spirit of cooperation and unity in this body. They model the ministry of presence by their regular participation in worship and in other events in the life of the church. They offer pastoral care and help lead in worship. They are faithful in their financial support of the church. They participate in diaconate meetings and training events. As a foundational priority, deacons endeavor to follow Jesus Christ themselves through personal practices of discipleship.
If a person has been nominated to serve as a deacon and is prayerfully considering deacon
service, he or she is invited to consider the following questions:
- Am I actively following Jesus in my daily living?
- Am I able and willing to come alongside a handful of assigned families and/or
- individuals as their “care deacon”?
- Do I care about befriending people who feel disconnected from God or church?
- Am I passionate about helping our congregation to discern and fulfill God’s mission for us?
- Am I a peacemaker in troubled situations? Do I refrain from gossip?
- Am I eager to play a part in mobilizing our entire congregation for ministry?
- Would I be comfortable for others to view me as a spiritual leader?
- Would I be comfortable for others to view me as a servant?
- Am I prepared to be a leader at FBC in the area of financial stewardship?
- Is God calling me to invest myself in deacon service for as many as the next three years—and possibly to set aside some other activities in my life in order to do so?
Nominating People for Deacon Service @ FBCDC
During the period between Sunday, March 18, and Tuesday, April 3, First Baptist Church members are invited to offer the names of up to 6 church members who demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23), and who embody characteristics of servant leadership. Nominees, as well as those nominating, must be full members of FBC.
This year’s deacon election will fill three, 3-year terms ending in 2018 and one, 2-year term ending in 2020. A nomination form will be provided on the Sundays of March 18, 25 and April 1, or you may submit names by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations must be received by 5pm on Tuesday, April 3.
Individuals not eligible for election as new deacons:
- Deacons currently completing their 3-year term of service in 2018: Mike Henson and Zena Aldridge.
- Deacons currently serving terms of service ending in 2019 and 2020: Kate Campbell, Sadye Doxie, Erik Smith, Rose Smith, Chelsea Clarke, Doug Duvall, Allen Norfleet, Wilma Prince and Kathy Whatley.
- Life Deacons: Mel Doxie, Adrian Harward, Steve Netcott and Ellen Parkhurst.
Following the nomination period, the Deacon Selection Team, comprising Kate Campbell and other deacons, in conversation with Pastor Julie, will prayerfully review all nominations and begin reaching out to individuals.
Deacon Election Timeline
March 18 – April 3 Deacon nominations received
After April 3: Deacon Election Team meets; begins reaching out to nominees
May 2018: New term of deacon service begins
On February 27, work began at Anamer Castrello’s family’s house in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Anamer, a member of our choir, flew to PR to help oversee the installation of the new solar water heater (the family has been without hot water since the middle of September 2017). Your gifts also purchased a new gas-powered generator which was delivered on Wednesday to Carolyn Roebuck’s family in St. Croix. Carolyn is the Director of FBC’s Child Development Center. And batteries that you donated will be sent soon to these families for use in flashlights and lanterns when they’re not allowed to use generators. The FBC family has given $3,275 and 238 batteries. Your generosity is making a real difference— thanks be to God!