Dear FBC Family:
Our pastoral staff, deacon chair, moderator and other church leaders have been in communication this afternoon and we have made the decision to cancel all Sunday activities for tomorrow, January 13. Up until a few hours ago, when only 1-3 inches of snow were predicted, the plan was to meet for worship as usual. However, now that the forecast calls for greater amounts of snow, and because some of our Sunday support staff live beyond the District, we feel it best to suspend Sunday activities and land on the side of safety.
Tomorrow morning at 11am, I will lead a brief devotional gathering on Facebook Live from our home here in Brookland. Join us! (You don't have to have a Facebook account to watch.) If you’re not familiar with Facebook Live:
Tomorrow at 11am, if you have a Facebook (FB) account, go on FB and search for First Baptist Church of the City of Washington, DC. (If you don't have a FB account, go to this URL which will take you to our FB page:
On the left side of our Facebook page you’ll see a list of options. Click the “Videos” button. The live session begins at 11am.
During our snow-day worship gathering, in addition to prayers, Scripture and a poem or two, I invite you to email me between now and tomorrow morning with a personal gratitude statement (“I feel grateful for…”) or a brief word about where you have felt God’s presence lately. I will read your statements during the Facebook Live session. (Please let me know if it’s okay to mention your first name…and even if you can't join us tomorrow on Facebook, I’d still love to read your gratitude statement or story of God’s presence.) firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, as the snow begins to fall, I offer this winter poem by Frederick Buechner:
You wake up on a winter morning
and pull up the shade, and what lay there
the evening before is no longer there—
the sodden gray yard,
the dog droppings,
the tire tracks in the frozen mud,
the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall.
All this has disappeared overnight, and what
you look out on is not the snow of Narnia
but the snow of home, which is no less
shimmering and white as it falls.
The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still
in silence so deep that you can hear its silence.
It is snow to be shoveled,
to make driving even worse than usual,
snow to be joked about and cursed at,
but unless the child in you is entirely dead,
it is snow, too, that can make the heart beat faster
when it catches you by surprise that way,
before your defenses are up.
It is snow that can awaken memories of things
more wonderful than anything you ever knew
Stay warm and be safe, friends. Savor the quiet beauty falling all around you. And be mindful of those who are seeking warmth and shelter tonight.