Message for Good Friday

Good Friday Message 2020

You are not alone

Today is a day like no other in our experience of Christian worship. Of course, every Christian in every age has had claim to the same sentiment. I believe this is true because God has always had this incredible way of reaching and responding uniquely to our individual needs and the needs of communities at all times and ages as time unfolds itself in that pageant, we call history.

Tradition shows that I could begin this message by quoting and teaching; Isaiah 52:12 – 53 “Our Lord, the Suffering Servant”, and Psalm 22 “The agony of God’s Servant”, culminated with the victory that is proclaimed in the 23rd Psalm “The Lord is My Shephard”. Just as countless people have done before me when exploring Good Friday’s significance, and indeed you should read those passages in the time afforded you this week. They are essential for reflection and grown in Him!

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A message for 3/29 “The Road Towards Easter Continues”

This week continues the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. We’re still having Food Pantry to serve the community on Tuesday 3/31 (outside in the church parking lot, with some additional precautions). Otherwise, we’re working at “being the church” outside the building, learning to worship, serve, and fellowship in new ways. Here’s a message that Pastor Steve has prepared for us for this Sunday.

29 March 2020 Sunday Message

“The Road Towards Easter Continues”

Call to Worship

Psalm 27; Of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

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A message for 3/22 “The Road to Easter”

As we worship from home on March 22, here’s a message from Pastor Steve.

22 March 2020 Sunday Sermon

Call to Worship: John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Prayer: Father in heaven, today we confess to you our sins of omission, and commission, of ingratitude, and greed. Fear has driven much of our behavior in the past, and we want to make a change. Too often we forget that every moment we live is a gift from you. With this in mind Lord today our gifts tithes and offerings, are the greatest we possess. Today, we give ourselves to you. We recommit to you and your way of life. Receive us and bless us, Father, so the message of your love may be spread to the far ends of the earth. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

Message Reading, John 3: 1-15: “The Road to Easter”

3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

Jesus replied,

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March 17, 2020 Update

We are moving forward one step at a time with our church services and ministry in this time of coronavirus.

Today on St. Patrick’s Day our food pantry was able to give food bags many people in need. But the remaining church activities for this week have been cancelled, in line with the new President’s Coronoavirus for America Guidelines: 15 Days to Slow the Spread. That means no Wednesday Bible Study, Thursday Food Pantry, Friday Game Night, Saturday Work Day, or Sunday School or Worship Service this week. Decisions about events in the coming weeks will be made later as guidance gets updated.

While we wait ‘til it’s safer to gather physically in groups for fellowship (hopefully, very soon!), let’s take every possible opportunity for worship, fellowship, and service. Sign up here if you’d like to join the church email list and stay in the loop.

Last Sunday, Pastor talked about Matthew 8, which says that Jesus came to fulfill the prophecy from Isaiah “He took up our infirmities, and bore our diseases.” Jesus is not only a healer, but present with us in our weakness. Our health worries can go straight to the foot of the cross, where Jesus bore all our suffering. He knows our weakness, and he is strong. Thanks be to God!

Dedication Celebration

On November 16, 2019 we dedicated new front steps for our church, together with  neighbors from the Interfaith Group and Riverdale 6th Ward who helped support the restoration.

PRESS RELEASE

Baptists, Latter-day Saints and Government Work Together
to Restore Iconic Church on 100th Anniversary
 

A Pastor’s perspective; Steve Tharp, First Baptist Church of Ogden

On July 10, 1881, Reverend Dwight Spencer, a missionary for the American Baptist Home Society, stepped into the cold waters of the Weber River baptizing the inaugural member of the newly formed First Baptist Church of Ogden. By the turn of the century, the church had outgrown their building at 24th and Grant Avenue and purchased property at 25th and Jefferson Avenue where the church stands today.

First Baptist Church has been in the Ogden community for 138 years and their tradition of serving the community continues. They established Camp UTABA, host community events and sponsor neighborhood breakfasts. This summer they started a bi-monthly “Hotdogs on the Grill” night for families in need, something they are moving indoors as temperatures drop. Pastor Steve Tharp believes that “as long as they continue to be a force of good in a hurting world, the Lord will continue to sustain their calling.”

The church is located in the Jefferson Avenue Historic District of Ogden, Utah. Like other 100-year old buildings, it needed some renovation. Tharp stated that his members quit using the front steps a year ago because they were deteriorated and dangerous. His aging congregation was unable to tackle the demolition and restoration project on their own and navigating the city permitting process was daunting. That’s when Tharp shared his concerns with a couple from the Utah Weber Communication Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Together, they formulated a plan that included both churches and Mark Johnson, chief administrative officer at Ogden City.

Johnson outlined how the churches could work with the city departments and the Historic District in renovating the steps and within weeks, the work began. Johnson remarked, “it was great to see different faith traditions working together to improve such a beautiful landmark in Ogden.”

Through all of this, friendships that have been built and barriers have been broken. On November 16th, the churches are celebrating the completion of the project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, potluck lunch and tours of the historic building.

Tharp stated, “our faith teaches it’s not the stuff that you are able to acquire in this life that matters, it is the relationships that you take into eternity that really counts.”

Spring 2019 Newsletter


Hello family and friends

Here we are in 2019 having seen 2018 go out in some places with a bang and in others with a whisper.

We approached 2019 with a prayer of hope of renewal and of more growth. When the new board met, we tentatively set our calendar of events to come. As the saying goes though, “We make plans and God laughs.” Our goal this year is to enrich the lives of those who come in our doors and bring us their needs. We, as the board, have chosen to streamline some of our goals so that we are more able to focus more of our energies and give 100% to those we serve.

Additionally, our hope is to be approachable, transparent and accountable. We encourage anyone to feel free to bring their suggestions and their concerns to the board.

We opened the food pantry and have been so blessed with donations to help us reach out to those in our community. The Food pantry is open on the third Thursday each month from 11-1 and we are hoping to expand that to twice a month. Any questions about the food pantry can be directed to Roland.

Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others.

Pastoral Thought

As we kick off the first newsletter from the First Baptist Church/New Beginnings, Church of Ogden, I would like to extend some well-deserved thanks to all our family members worshipping God in our church on the corner. We have been blessed with a spirit of service and unity visiting upon virtually everyone in our congregation. From building maintenance, (considerable indeed), plus cleaning, Sunday preparation activities, bulletins, music and Praise voices, snow removal, to Game Night (Team Building) Men’s and Women’s activities, prayer concerns for others, and outreach activities like the food pantry and Praise Dogs, we are faithfully serving God and His children from this corner of the world. Thank You!

And yet, church is even more than service only. We are a Bible based church that focuses on God’s word not man’s for guidance, resolutions to life’s challenges, maturing growth, walking in our faith in Him who created us. We have been made to praise, glorify, and magnify God’s Holy and Precious Name above all others. We do this through our worship on Sundays, our study throughout the week, plus when we show our love for each other, and look outside our church for opportunities to serve God’s creation before ourselves. I believe we are on our way as a family in learning to love the Lord, each other, and people who do not know God or have not had our blessings of a relationship with Him yet. For all of you open to the promptings of the Sprit, and showing it by your consideration, kindness, and care for others. Thank You!

This year, the beginning of March brings in the time of Lent. Lent is a time frame of forty days, not counting Sundays. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (March6th) and ends on Easter Sunday right in between Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord. Lent is an Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring time of the year.” Ash Wednesday is forty days before Easter and represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring temptation of Satan and preparing for His ministry. This time is a time of self-reflection, deep prayer, and repentance, as we await the coming of Easter. Today, many Christians in the church will focus on their relationship with God, and commit to give up something like a luxury or volunteer to serve others, even more than usual. For those of you that will spend this time outside of your selves; Thank You!.

I can’t begin to tell you how honored and excited I am to be a Pastor in this church serving God and you and God bless you!
Pastor Steve

Outreach Update

The rummage sale last year was a huge success and allowed us to contribute to several missions. It also motivated us to do more cleaning up within the church. Many have asked if the sale will be repeated and held again. YES! The women are teaming up with the men and we will be hosting it late summer or early fall though it will be on a smaller scale than last year. We do have to inform you we do so appreciate contributions and donations however, we have had to make a “no take list”. For example: we cannot take beds or hide a beds. As more information unfolds, we will keep you informed.

We’ve welcomed new congregants with open arms and hearts. We would also like to inform and welcome our new visitors to join us after Sunday Service in the fellowship hall where we break more bread together and can meet and greet you and get to know you. This is a time we get to know each other better and catch up with those we worship with.

The joys and concerns portion of every Sunday service helps us to know some of the needs of anyone coming into God’s house as well as a time to Praise God for His many tremendous blessings.

Bible Study is held on Tuesday nights, though in the summer we share those nights with the Praise dogs. Bible Study is led by Pastor Steve and the attendance seems to fluctuate during the winter months. So, in the summer the Bible study is every other week with praise dogs being the other Tuesdays. Praise dogs is open to all including those in our community as part of our outreach.

On the second and fourth Friday of each month is team building …otherwise known as GAME NITE. We do have fun! A time to let your hair down and play.

I have the following prayer in a frame in my bedroom that I see each and every morning….

Chairwoman’s Chat

Greetings everyone

Lots of great things happening at FBC/New Beginnings. The board is looking over the paperwork rom the Classical Conversations home school group. Allowing this group use of the church building once a week will open us up to even more mission opportunities. The group loves to be involved in service projects an could be a great help with our food pantry and prayze dogs outreach.

In the near future we are going to be surrounded by construction. There is a plan in front of the city council that will re-zone 1.4 acres of property around the church into a multi-use zone with town homes and apartments with a few businesses mixed in as well. The plan has not been approved at this time (3/10). I spoke at the March 6th city council meeting and voiced my concerns on behalf of the church about the lack of parking built into the plan. I let them know the church was not granting them parking rights and that our parking is clearly marked as “Private Parking” and we will have cars towed if we have to. We have never had to tow any vehicles and I hope it stays that way. Suzanne was also at the meeting and it was her due diligence that gave me the information needed to speak on behalf of the church.

Other Notes

In the back of the sanctuary is a box in which we are collecting box tops for education. We hope you will all help when you can, in this endeavor.

In April Pastor Steve is once again giving us the opportunity to grow in our understanding of our Faith Walk with a Beginning Believer’s Class. This will be each Saturday at 9:30.

We are helping our Sister Myra by collecting items for the Christmas shoe boxes. This is another of our outreach missions where we try to bring a little joy into the lives of children that may not know the joys of Christmas. In February we collected jump ropes and in March we are collecting girl’s hair accessories. The item of the month for April is combs for boys. There is a table in the fellowship hall where these items can be placed. Myra also accepts monetary donations. The cost of postage, as you now, has risen considerably.

We are a small congregation, but God is working through us in many ways and in the process our faith continues to grow strong and vibrant.

If you have something newsy, breezy, or a celebration of birthdays or anniversary or if you have a favorite recipe; anything you want to share with your church family in the Newsletter please feel free to let Mary L. know.

ONE PHONE CALL LETTER, CARD, EMAIL OR TEXT MESSAGE CAN….

CHEER THE SAD
LEARN OF A NEED
SHOW YOUR CONCERN
LIFT THE DEPRESSED
COMFORT THE LONELY
PROMOTE A GOOD WORK
STRENGTHEN THE WEAK
REASSURE THE SUFFERING
ENCOURAGE THE DOUN WHEARTED

WHY NOT MAKE AT LEAST ONE EVERY DAY?
Author Unknown

 

THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

“I will come next Tuesday,” I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, “Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!”

My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.”

“Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her.

“I was hoping you’d take me over to the garage to pick up my car.”

“How far will we have to drive?”

“Just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”

After several minutes, I had to ask, “Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!”

“We’re going to my garage the long way,” Carolyn smiled, “by way of the daffodils.”

“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.”

“It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

“But who has done this?” I asked Carolyn.

“It’s just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well kept A frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking” was the headline.

The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.” There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, “How can I put this to use today?”

— Author Unknown