Happy Tuesday, May 26, 2020 church!

May 26, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Tuesday to all! It was good to have Pete lead us in virtual worship yesterday. We appreciate you, Pete! I pray that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper reminded you that the Lord is near.   We looked at one of the most beloved passages of hope as we looked in John 3:16. Jesus is our hope and the hope of the world. God’s love for us provides hope when hope can be found nowhere else.  God loves us and proved His love for us by giving Jesus to die and then rise again for whoever will believe.  This offer is open to all.  This offer frees those who will believe from perishing. This offer to all who will believe provides us with the life of knowing the one true God and to love and live for Him.  Jesus came not to condemn but to rescue us from condemnation. This is the hope of all who will believe.

Our church will begin meeting physically starting June 7. On June 7, and probably for a while, the plan is to conduct outdoor services in our parking lot.  We will have people parking cars appropriately distanced from one another. We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit in front of your vehicles.  We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside.  We will also provide virtual worship and begin to provide a live feed to our services. In case of inclement weather, we will only live stream our services. If you have a fever and/or other symptoms of being ill or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid 19, we ask that you stay home and worship with us virtually. We realize some of you are concerned with meeting in this manner because of health issues. We support you if you feel like you need to stay home to protect your health. Some of you might not agree with how we are proceeding but know, as best we can, we are trying to do what we believe is God’s will and best for His people.  Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.

I encourage you to take advantage of virtual meetings with other believers during this time.  We need each other! I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening. 

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 18, 2020 church!

May 18, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! The message from Ephesians 5 and 6 reminded us of the importance of family relationships.  As we love, submit, and surrender to God, we love, submit, and serve those closest to us.

I also especially loved the songs Pete picked out to use in worship yesterday.  Notice the words of one of them written by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell, “His Mercy is More.” 

What love could remember, no wrongs we have done
Omniscient all-knowing, He counts not their sum
Thrown into a sea, without bottom or shore
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

(Chorus) Praise the Lord, His mercy is more
Stronger than darkness, new every morn
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more

What patience would wait, as we constantly roam
What Father so tender, is calling us home
He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more (Chorus)


What riches of kindness, He lavished on us
His blood was the payment, His life was the cost
We stood ‘neath a debt, we could never afford
Our sins they are many, His mercy is more (Chorus)

I am so glad that God’s “mercy is more!”

I know many of you want to know when we will begin meeting again physically as a congregation.  In Dane county, there is still a “safer at home” order in place until May 26. Even after this expires, we want to be led by God’s Holy Spirit in being deliberate and careful.  We want to protect God’s people individually, His church as a whole, and the witness to the gospel of East Madison Baptist in our community.   When we do begin to meet again, we will follow the recommendations of our state and local leaders. We will open slowly and responsibly. My friend Paul Berthiaume said it better than I could say it.  “We are not keeping our campus closed because our freedoms are being oppressed. Rather, through God’s grace and the freedom he has granted us, we are choosing to do the wise, safe and responsible thing, as best we can discern under the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Essentially, we are choosing to LIMIT OURSELVES for love’s sake.” In all that we do, we are seeking to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourselves. 

In saying all this, the church council is meeting again this week to solidify a plan. At first, we will not go back to a full worship or activity schedule. We will either limit the number of people who can be in the building or possibly arrange outdoor services, to maintain social distancing guidelines.  We have ordered touchless disinfecting stations, but they will not be here until July.  We will continue to provide virtual worship services for those who may have compromised immune systems and need to be especially careful.  We are seeking to have something in place in early June, possibly the first Sunday. Pray for the church council as we begin to think about how we can wisely proceed in coming out of this time of social distancing. 

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, May 11, 2020 church!

May 11, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday in the message, we looked at the world’s best advice.  The world’s best advice was given by Jesus’ mother, Mary, in John 2.  Jesus was at the wedding feast honoring marriage and family. The first social act of God in Genesis was creation of the family when God presented Eve to Adam. The first miracle of Jesus in the gospels was a miracle honoring marriage.  At that feast, the couple ran out of wine.  This would have resulted in complete humiliation for this newly wedded couple unless something was done.  Mary wanted to stop this humiliation from happening, so she approached Jesus with the problem.  Then Mary gave the best advice ever given to those serving the guests at the wedding.  Mary told those who were serving to do whatever Jesus told them to do.  Jesus told the servants to fill the huge containers that were used for ceremonial washings with water.  Jesus then told them to take a draw of those containers to the master of the feast.  When these servants did what Jesus told them to do, they witnessed Jesus’ first miracle, the water becoming superb wine!  These servants witnessed that first miracle that protected a young couple’s marriage.  From this we learned that the best thing any of us can ever do is to do whatever Jesus tells us to do.  The best advice anyone can ever give another person is to do whatever Jesus tell them to do.  

I know this time of social distancing has been difficult for many of us.  It is difficult not to be able to meet as a congregation physically and only conduct worship virtually.  However, we will come out of this!  Pray for the church council as we begin to think about how we can wisely proceed in coming out of this time of social distancing.  We will have to change some of the things we have taken for granted in the past, at least for a while.  We will have to avoid handshakes, hugs, passing offering plates, and other things.  We will have to be more careful in other areas as well.  We need God’s wisdom so when the time comes to begin meeting together physically, we will have a plan in place.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Tuesday, May 5, 2020!

May 5, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Tuesday to all! As some of you know I was unable to send my regular email yesterday, so this is another attempt to send it out

I hope your times of worship have been helpful during our times of social distancing. I know the song Pete shared written by Ron Roberts reminded me God can and will, “Give us hope, give us strength, give us grace.” As we looked at 1 Samuel 17 and the event of David and Goliath, we learned all of us have times of discouragement in our lives.  We become discouraged because we underestimate our enemy the devil and overestimate ourselves.  We become discouraged because we forget we are children of God and belong to the Almighty God of the universe.  We become discouraged because we often seek to avoid difficulties and problems instead of dealing with them in a timely manner.  We can overcome discouragement when we realize that our faithfulness to serve God yesterday in small things enables us to deal with possibly bigger assignments today.  And ultimately, we overcome discouragement when we realize that the battle is the Lord’s and we will be victorious as we live for Him.  God empowers those who look to Him to be victorious even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Wonderful news! The city has approved our variance request to improve and update our sign!  It will not be long now!

We are reminded from Philippians 4:4 that we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.”  To do that we make a deliberate choice to always rejoice in Jesus Himself. We might not rejoice in our circumstances, but we rejoice in Jesus, who is greater than our circumstances.  Jesus is the true source of our joy and in Him we can always rejoice.

I encourage you to take advantage of virtual meetings with other believers during this time.  We need each other! I continue to be grateful for the virtual meetings taking place with the ladies on Saturday morning and the prayer meeting on Sunday evening. 

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a couple of ways.  You can mail offering checks to the church address at the Milwaukee Street address below. Also, you can give your offerings online at the embclife.org website by clicking the “Give Online” tab on the homepage or you can click this link directly:  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church