The Cove Light
Thoughts and Notes from the Pastoral Staff and Lay Leaders
From Jim Cohn, Senior Pastor
I am saddened as you are about Jacob Capps’ resignation for “personal reasons” on August 6. Jacob was loved here and had a great ministry at FBC. We wish him well as he continues to prepare for his future in ministry. Our commitment is to continue to minister effectively to our IMPACT students. In the interim, that will be done by the young couples class led by Nic and Britany Watts. The Personnel Committee will form a search committee and begin the process of finding a new Youth and Outreach Pastor. In doing this we will make sure this committee will have representation from our students and their parents. As always pray for our church during this time of transition.
-Homecoming is September 10 and kicks off our fall revival. Be sure to attend and to invite someone with you that day. We will have a great day of worship and fellowship.
-This month is revival month and I hope you have those dates marked on your calendars. Our theme is making disciples and we have three great speakers: Rev Walker Armstrong on Sunday September 10th, Rev. Mark Harrison on Wednesday September 13th, and Dr. Greg Lawson on Sunday morning and Sunday evening September 17th. Pray for our revival and invite someone to come with you to our services.
-For those going on our Gettysburg trip we will leave Thursday morning from the church parking lot at 7:00 AM. Plan to arrive a few minutes before so we can get everything loaded. We plan to return around 7:00 PM on Saturday.
-Believe it or not we are finishing up the long-overdue directory. Once we have the contact list updated after homecoming and complete a few pictures we will send it off for publication. We will have this completed by September 30.
-Remember that September is time for budget and nominating approval of the new budget and church leaders for the upcoming year. To try and improve participation in this process we will present the budget and nominating recommendations on Wednesday September 6 during the Wednesday evening Bible Study. This will be followed by a time of discussion. Bible study will then round out the hour. After 2 weeks of consideration and prayer we will meet again on Wednesday evening September 20 for the budget and nominating recommendations vote. In that meeting, we will also vote on the Deacon’s recommendation to approve Mr. Brad Cheek as our third trustee to fill the position vacated by his Dad, Mr. Richard Cheek, who passed away last spring. Once these items are complete we will continue our Wednesday evening Bible study.
-As always, we appreciate the work of key committees like Finance, Personnel, and Nominating in the discussion and preparation of these important items. They do a great job and represent the Kingdom well in their efforts.
-While I was completing this Ronald Watts, the Chairman of our Deacons called to tell me the men that have accepted serving as deacons for the next three years. They are: Randy Wood, Anthony Brown, and Brad Cheek. I greatly appreciate Ronald’s leadership and those that serve as our deacons.
God bless you!
Associate Pastor, AJ Reynolds
Church of the Living God,
This year, we have shifted our Revival services from October to September. This is for a number of reasons, but mostly because October tends to be so busy with other things. We have also changed it from Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Monday evening, Tuesday evening, and Wednesday evening to Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday. These changes can be easily undone next year, but for now, we’re calling this schedule shift an experiment. To spread out over existing services is less taxing for our music and audio/video ministry, and we now have an opportunity to bring in more special preachers. We are excited about this change, and Pastor Jim and I that you join us in praying for biblical Revival now!
Revival is not a week of church services. Revival is a moving of the Holy Spirit in a special way to renew and refresh the saints. It begins with the Christ, the Messiah. Revival is not for the lost. Revival is for the saved. We hope that someone gets saved during Revival; we hope someone gets saved every Sunday! Revival should always be evangelistic, but it should stir the saints to become more evangelistic long after the special services have concluded. It is a plea to the Lord that the church, and that the Church, is reinvigorated by the Holy Spirit.
Revival also begins with the Word of God. It can only take place when the people of God have a fresh awareness of His majesty and character. When we hunger and thirst after Him, we should manifest that hunger with a renewed commitment to the study of the Word. If I am convinced that God is good, and that He is almighty, and I know that He chooses to reveal Himself to us in a written word, then I should want to read that word more so as to draw closer unto Him. Revival should draw us into the Word, and I pray that we take hold of scripture individually during this time.
Revival also begins with repentance. We will never be revived so long as we are comfortable in our sin. If we truly encounter the Holy Spirit, we should be forced to come face-to-face with our sin problem. The Lord should convict us, and new areas of sin should be illuminated in our lives. When this is the case, we should be broken over our sin. We should have contrite hearts, we should turn to the Lord in repentance of sin, and He will stir in our souls more strongly. Additionally, not only should we be broken over our own sin, we should also be broken over the lost. If we are willing to listen, the Lord will certainly make us more aware of the lostness of other people around us. That should likewise burden our hearts. We should repent of our ignorance and lack of care for those that don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. As we repent of this neglect, we should naturally be more evangelistic going forward, bearing a burden, a desire to reach lost people with the Good News of salvation.
For biblical Revival to take place, true fellowship must take place. The Greek word for “fellowship” in the New Testament is from the verb meaning to bear another’s burden. Fellowship is about rejoicing with those who rejoice, and mourning with those that mourn. In order to bear the burdens of mourning, we have to love one another at a deeper level; we must know one another in a biblical way. Pastor Jim and I look forward to leading a study of I John as we travel to and from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Riding in a bus together, eating together, playing cards late at night, laughing, crying, and even letting the Colonel lead in a tour of a military site, will allow us to grow closer as brothers and sisters. This kind of kinship and closeness will increase the level of fellowship that we share, and indeed that the whole church shares. For fellowship to be biblical, we must live life together. I challenge you to find someone you don’t know as well, and get to know them better. Our church, and the Kingdom of God will be stronger as a result of this type of fellowship.
Finally, for true Revival to occur, the people of God must cry out to God to move in them. They must avail their hearts to God in prayer if the Holy Spirit will ever move in a great way. The Welsh revival, that extended into the ‘new world’ around Vermont, the Great Awakening of the colonies, the Second Great Awakening in the United States, the revivals across Europe leading into the reformations, the current move of God across China and the middle east, and the sweeping movement of God through Africa a century ago all have direct ties to prayer. In world history, when we see a wave of religious fervor, there has been a call to God from the people first. Then, the Holy Spirit stirs the churches. Then the Church responds in the Word, by taking hold of the Great Commission, and reaching into the lost world. The work of Revival is not easy, but it is incredibly simple. It is all about crying out to God and seeking His face. Revival begins when we are on our knees. Join me in praying for our church, our community, our presence in Vermont and other places, and members of our families. When we seek Revival, the Lord is certain to revive our hearts with His presence. We must allow Him to use us as tools in His hands. If we are willing to listen and obey Him, we will see true, biblical Revival indeed!
O holy Wind of God now blowing,
You are the seed that God is sowing,
You are the life that starts is growing;
Spirit, now live in me!
Lay Leader, Nic Watts
Hello Church Family,
As we all know, the last couple weeks have been a trying time for our IMPACT youth and our youth parents. We have experienced the loss of nine of our students to graduation, the sudden resignation of Jacob, and now school has started back which means sports and homework have begun to compete with IMPACTS ability to… well, make an impact.
Over the last few days, we have had the opportunity to get to know many of the youth better. Just this past Sunday, we held a Back to School Bash to kick-off the new school year. What we learned was: Anna Kate Cheek and Ian Clark are very skilled at swimming from one side of a pool to the other unnoticed, Sydney Bland is a marks(wo)man with a frisbee, and, finally, our IMPACT group is made up of amazingly loving and fun youth. I cannot wait to spend more time with them over the next few months. Our church is truly blessed.
In the weeks ahead, IMPACT will be planning our annual 24-hour trip to Busch Gardens. For those of you who, like me, did not know about the 24-hour Busch Gardens trip, let me fill you in. Apparently, every fall IMPACT leaves the church around 5:00am in order to be at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA when it opens at 10:00am. We spend all day at the park. Then, at 12:00am when the park closes, we get back in the bus and drive through the night to get back to the church around 5:00am the next morning. I am hoping and praying that IMPACT’s youthful adrenaline is contagious and rubs off on me, otherwise I will likely be resorting to naps on a park bench and caffeine to make it through. I am excited for this opportunity to build relationships and strengthen our group – when else would we get to spend time together when we are happy, thrilled, sick, scared, and physically exhausted, all within 24 hours?
Finally, on Wednesday nights we are picking up where IMPACT left off with our Student Survival Kit where we are going through the five stages of being a Christian: Excitement, Fight, Doubting, Panic-Search for Truth, and the “Silent Christian”. This is a daily guide that will walk us through what we can expect as we navigate life as new and growing Christians. We are going to be using the next few months to not only grow the number of Christ followers in our community, but to grow the QUALITY of Christ followers within IMPACT.
Continue to be in prayer for IMPACT as we pivot in a new direction with our ministry, become involved in the community, and start back to school. As of my writing, the students have now completed 1.11% (2/180 days) of their school year. Please continue to pray for them as they take on the new adventures and struggles in their walk. And, if you have a youth in your family who would like to become a part of IMPACT, do not hesitate to give us a call. We would love to get them tapped in with this growing ministry within First Baptist!
Nicholas Watts, Brittany Watts, and the rest of the Young Adult Class (YAC)