Happy Monday, June 29, 2020 church!

June 29, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! We worshipped the true and living God who alone deserves from all living creatures praise and worship.  We began our journey through the letter to the Hebrews by looking at an overview of the book and its main themes.  We saw so clearly that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is greater than any created being or any created thing.  Christ Jesus is greater than all including angels, prophets, and priests.  Christ is greater than the old covenant and any other religion.  Christ is the final and full provider for the salvation of the world. Because Jesus is greater than anyone or anything else, no force in all the universe should hinder us from receiving the forgiveness Jesus has provided and spending our lives following Him.

We will again meet in the parking lot next Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 9:00 AM.  We will be observing the Lord’s Supper during our time of worship. We will provide individually wrapped juice and wafers for all celebrating with us.  For those of you who cannot join us physically, we encourage you to watch the livestream or the recorded video and get some crackers and juice and join with us virtually in celebrating the Lord’s Supper.  We also want you to know how much we miss you and look forward to when you will be able to worship with us physically.

We began meeting for prayer time Sunday night’s at 6:30 PM in our parking lot.  We had a wonderful time last night praying.  We hope maybe some more of you will join us in the future.

I want to recommend a website for those of you with children or grandchildren who are looking for resources to teach them of Jesus’ love and God’s truth.  The website is the work of one of my lifetime friends, Charlie Bancroft.  It is called Valued by God (https://www.valuedbygod.com/) and it reaches out to children and to those with special needs.  It has all kinds of resources to help children know the love of Jesus and understand His ways.  You can also download the app for your phone or tablet.

Remember to keep praying continually for each other. 

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, June 22, 2020 church!

June 22, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday on Father’s Day, we had a wonderful service worshipping our great God and thinking about how to be the fathers God would have us be.  The importance of a godly father in someone’s life cannot be overestimated.  The Bible teaches that a child is truly disadvantaged when Dad, for whatever reason, is not around.  In fact, fatherlessness is seen a one of life’s greatest misfortune by Almighty God.  It is such a great misfortune that children who are without fathers hold a special place in the heart of God.  We learned some characteristics of a godly father.  Godly fathers are faithful.  They seek first God’s Kingdom and make Jesus’ church a priority. Godly fathers are available.   They spend much time with their children.  Godly father are tough and tender teachers.  They know God has entrusted them with teaching their children the ways and Word of God.  They know they are not to be their children’s best buddy, but their dad who is tough when he need to be tough and lay down the law, but also tender when his children have been crushed emotionally and need dad to show them love.  Godly fathers are hopelessly in love with their wives, and their children find security in knowing their parents are committed to each other until death parts them.  Godly fathers are emotionally involved with their children.  And finally, Godly fathers are repentant.  They acknowledge and turn from their sins and receive God’s forgiveness provided through Jesus.  They willingly admit to their children and their spouse when they blow it.  They understand God will move heaven and earth to help the man who turns from his sin.  They see God’s grace and mercy override their mistakes.  They are fathers who pattern their lives after our perfect Heavenly Father.    

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  Next Sunday morning, June 28, we will begin our worship service at a new time.  WE WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 AM IN THE PARKING LOT.  We hope this helps us be a little cooler.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord. We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  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, June 15, 2020 church!

June 15, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! God again gave us a beautiful day to gather outdoors as His people and be the church. 

The message yesterday dealt with the Bible’s teaching that every person is made in the image of God and reflects the glory of God.  The message challenged each of us to turn from and stand against the evil of racism.  We can no longer act like racism is a problem that was solved in the 60’s.  We must continually repent of any racism that creeps up in our minds and hearts.  We should seek to stand against racism as it raises its ugly face in our nation’s institution.  Why? Because, first, it dishonors our Savior who died for people from every tribe and language and people and nation. Second, because we know every person is made in the image of God.  God sees that one human being is worth way more than all the stuff in the world.  Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”  One person, one man, woman, boy or girl is worth more than all the stuff and fame of the world. We should see each other in that way and understand that each person somehow reflects the image of God and should be treated with the utmost respect. Third, we should see every person as a person who needs to come to know the love and forgiveness of God.  We should see every person as a person for whom Christ died and who without Him will perish.  God graciously entrusts believers with caring for people who are all made in the image of God. Our Lord Jesus expects us to turn from and stand against racism.  God help us to do this today and every day.

We again apologize for the failure of the livestream yesterday.  Here is a link directly to yesterday’s recorded service:  https://youtu.be/caPuiWKdBPc

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a few ways.  We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  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, June 8, 2020 church!

June 8, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! It was wonderful to be worshipping physically with you yesterday!  Gathering and praising God together with you and being able to proclaim His word to you personally lifted my spirit immensely.  I hope those of you who joined us by Youtube.com on livestream or watched the service later were also blessed. (Here is a link to the EMBC YouTube channel where you can watch yesterday’s service or tune into to watch next week’s livestream: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw).  In the message, we learned from Mark 12 and John 13 that Christianity is all about relationships.  God sent Jesus to earth and to the cross for us to mend our broken relationship with Him.  God did for us what we could not do for ourselves.  As we respond to the love of God, each of us seeks to love God back with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  We seek to love Him supremely above everything and everyone else.  Then as we love God supremely, we love our brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus has loved us and live in community with them so the world will see us this and know that we are Jesus’ disciples.  Finally, because we love God supremely and live in community with each other, we are also filled with love for our neighbors. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbors are anyone whom God places in our paths whose need we can meet in Jesus’ name.  All around us are our neighbors who need to know the love of God and be drawn into these relationships. Following Jesus is all about our relationships: with God, each other and those whose needs we can meet in Jesus’ name.

We will continue meeting this Sunday, June 14, in our parking lot at 10:30 AM.  (I think yesterday went well except I need to remember to put sunscreen on the top of my head.)  We ask that you bring lawn chairs for the members of your family to sit.  We will continue to practice social distancing as we meet outside.  We will also provide virtual worship and 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. Also, we support anyone who feels like you need to stay home to protect your health. Please pray for me and the church council as we continue to adapt to this changing crisis and work out details.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the Lord during these difficult times.  We are receiving offerings in a few ways.  We provide an offering box for you to deposit your offerings when we meet in the parking lot.  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

Outdoor Worship

June 4, 2020 | Categories: EMBC News.

Brothers and Sisters,

We look forward to meeting again together to worship our great God for the first time in many weeks! For the next several weeks we intend to worship together in our parking lot, weather permitting, as meeting in enclosed spaces and singing is not recommended at this time.

Live stream – we plan to live stream the service for those who cannot attend, do not feel comfortable meeting in person at this time, or if there is inclement weather. This will be available starting around 10:30 AM on the EMBC youtube channel (Available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3rJ-oFvSS-9W-iWf6Wcvnw )

Parking lot setup – Pete and Pastor Bob will be leading music and preaching unamplified from the center stalls of the top section of our parking lot.

Arriving – please drive slowly and cautiously as there will be people moving throughout the parking area.

Parking – along the far north and south edges (away from the grass in the middle) starting on the north (church side) and continuing to the south (garage side). If you would like to stay in your vehicle during the service, use the stalls at the end of the middle sections.

Seating – along the grass section on the lower (north) side first, alternating families between front and back of each stall. When the lower section is full, continue to the upper (south) section and fill in the same way.  Please bring your own chairs/blankets. (The parking lot is kind of hard, but you could lay a blanket in the grass in the middle.) Please reserve the parking stalls on the far end for a car to park for anyone who prefers to stay in their vehicle.

Singing – lyric sheets will be sent in an email so you can print them at home or view them on your phone or tablet to sing along. A few copies will be available on Sunday as well.

Offering – will not be collected during the service, but we will provide a box next to the door at the top of the handicap entrance ramp for you to give your offerings before or after the worship service. You can also mail checks to the church or give on line at  https://give.idonate.com/east-madison-baptist-church/give

People have varying views and levels of concern regarding COVID-19. Please extend grace and patience to those who have a different level of concern than your own. Pete and I will be wearing masks when not leading singing or preaching and ask you to consider wearing a mask for the sake of those who are older and have compromised immune systems.

This is new for all of us. There will likely be things that work and some that don’t.  Please be flexible as we may need to make changes from week to week.

Thank you for your cooperation and help in making this work. We look forward to worshiping together this Sunday!

Pastor Bob Ray & the EMBC Church Council

Happy Monday, June 1, 2020 church!

June 1, 2020 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday, as we worshipped, we considered what happens when God says “No” to some of our prayers.  Paul experienced this in 2 Corinthians 12 when Paul asked God to remove the “thorn in his flesh.” God told Paul “No” to this request. Instead, God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” God told Paul that in Paul’s weakness, God power would be shown to be perfect, sufficient, and enough. There will be times when we will pray for something and God will not give us what we ask.  In these times, we often do not understand what God is doing.  God sometimes allows the continuance of struggles and difficulties for His glory, the furtherance of His kingdom, and for our good.  Will we trust God when he says “no” to changing the circumstances of our lives?  Will we trust God when that thing we pray for does not happen?  Do we believe that God will bring about greater things through His “no” to our prayers and to His continued allowance of struggles and difficulties?  Whatever we face, we know God promises His ever increasing and all-sufficient grace to help us when he says “no” to our prayers. Will we believe and trust Him even in this?

Our church will begin meeting physically, the Lord willing, starting this Sunday, 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.

Please remember to pray for our city and nation during these tense days.  Pray for justice and then peace to be better established.  Pray for the rage to decrease and forgiveness, love, and mercy to increase.

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