Give thanks for the work of the Older Adult Team. This year the team is seeking to try some new ministries aimed at giving senior adults the opportunities to live in their own homes. We intend to link youth and deacons to working to bring needed repairs to the houses in which senior adults live on their own. This Spring the team intends to hold a seminar to facilitate this ministry. Further, give thanks for the recent grant of $5,000 from the local Edes Foundation to help this ministry occur in the District of Columbia. Pray that we may find additional resources for similar ministries in the surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia.
Remember to pray for the work of the Journey of 180. The DCBC voted in its Annual Meeting to hold two years of “Jubilee” during 2013 and 2014. This means that there will be less programming by the DCBC at large, but many of the Church and Community Ministries will continue including: Baptist Women’s Ministries, Campus Ministries (at American, Gallaudet and George Washington Universities), Emergency Preparedness/Disaster Relief, Johenning Baptist Community Center and Ministry on the Mall. We give thanks that these ministries of compassion will continue to be expressed by DC Baptists throughout the coming years. Pray that God will be with DC Baptists as they continue to serve in these ways.
One of the ministries that was active over the holidays was that of the Johenning Baptist Community Center. The Center hosted a gathering of the Holy Comforter Baptist Church in celebration of their pastor Rev. Jevon Billups and his birthday. The weekend before Christmas Metropolitan Outreach hosted a Christmas Open House which invited the surrounding community to participate. The Open House included the presentation of the story of the birth of Jesus in various forms, gift giving and a fellowship meal. Give thanks for these efforts by both these churches, each of which participates fully in the Johenning Advisory Council.
Let us give thanks for the Baptist Women’s Ministries as these begin work for this new year. Leaders among these ladies will meet on Saturday, January 19, to lay out and to work on plans for coming twelve months. Pray for Jannie Lindsay, their President, their Director Ellen Teague and Gail Lacy as they work with the team of women to serve Christ throughout the DCBC this year.
Certainly, let us remember to pray for the students of the universities and colleges in Washington this Spring semester. Soon these schools will be opening again, as well as the public and private school systems of DC. Let us remember to pray for these students, some who are under the additional pressure of being far from their home and loved ones. Pray also for the campus ministers: LeeAnn Carrera at Gallaudet, Adrien Ngudiankama at American and J. Siafa Johnson at George Washington. There is some uncertainty about the immediate future of the campus ministry at George Washington; so pray for wise decisions and for the good work that has been done to this point.
One of the efforts this year that we intend to begin is the mission work in Haiti. We have five places which elicit our prayers: North Haiti Baptist Mission, Romeo, Jacmel, Couteax/ Despas and Port-au-Prince. Many of these endeavors while touching on congregational health and evangelism directly express themselves as ministries of compassion from the United States. There will also be opportunities for mentoring and assisting young adults who have grown up as orphans. Further, we hope to encourage young adults from congregations affiliated with the DC Baptist Convention to become involved in these ministries. Pray for these efforts and for the opportunities to express Christ within them. Remember to pray for the Haiti Work Group as they begin their ministry of coordination and resource acquisition.
One of the concerns of one of our campus ministers, Adrien Ngudiankama, is for the tragedies which are occurring in the Congo. He is planning a “Day of Prayer for the Congo” to be held on the American University campus at the chapel on Saturday, February 9, at 12:15pm. Pray for this event. Another of our pastors, Emmanuel Muntanganu, is leading his church to pray for the tragedies occurring in neighboring Rwanda. Pray for these ministries of reconciliation and these times of focused prayer. A second ministry being performed by students is arising out of George Washington University and the “Justice for Juniors Program” through which GWU students tutor youths held in detention in DC. Pray that God will hear the prayers and see these efforts, blessing them with positive response among the recipients and with growth among these university students.
Another ministry which is beginning is that of efforts in Restorative Justice. Pray for these efforts that are beginning to express themselves at both Capitol Hill Baptist Church and East Washington Heights Baptist Church. At East Washington Heights a young woman, Anna-Leigh Stengl, has recently joined who works daily in restorative justice ministries. It was also at East Washington Heights that DCBC experimented this summer in assisting seniors whose houses needed repair. Give thanks for these beginning efforts and for these churches which are serving as incubators for compassionate ministries.
Remember to pray for the Johenning Advisory Council as it continues its work. There are signs of new interest in the council, joining with those four churches that already are very active. Give thanks for the interest of Know Greater Love (a Christian congregation), Morning Star Baptist Church and So Others Might Eat. Continue to pray for the JAC as it continues to develop its ministry in SE Washington.
The CHED team has received the challenge to work with the poor on the streets of Washington. Pray for them as they consider using the model of the Ministry on the Mall to reach out in compassion and witness to those who live in the streets of our city.
Give thanks for the efforts in sharing the Good News in Langley Park, MD which Nations United Baptist Church held on December 25, 2012. On Christmas Day the members of the church, which is principally Brazilian but hosts a number of nationalities, shared Christ with the people of Langley Park who mostly were Latinos. To assist them in their efforts, they received 69 Spanish language New Testaments and some Spanish tracts. Give thanks for the bold witness which these believers gave on Christmas Day and pray for the results of that witness, both those who responded positively to the message and those in whom that message will grow in the coming weeks.
Pray for the coming year of sharing the Good News in the DC Baptist Convention. The convention has declared a “Jubilee” for 2013 and 2014. This means that there will be little programming during this time which will focus more on the building of relationships between both pastors and churches. Still, it is certain that churches will continue to find ways both to share the Good News and to express Christian mission in a variety of forms. Pray that God’s Spirit will continue to work through DC Baptists offering opportunities for people to fine life in Christ.
Give thanks for the results of the sharing of the Good News throughout the year of 2012. We are thankful to God for the sending of the Spirit both upon believers who shared the Good News and also upon those who were able to respond positively to that Good News. Continue to pray for the city of Washington, its suburbs and the residents of the metropolitan area.
One of the ongoing emphases in the metropolitan Washington area is the emphasis of Southern Baptists which is known as SEND DC, a local expression of SEND North America.
This local emphasis extends beyond the traditional boundaries of metropolitan DC, extending from Fredericksburg, VA to Frederick, MD, and from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian mountains. The DC Baptist Convention is working alongside the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, the Baptist Convention of West Virginia, the Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia. The purpose of this effort is to increasingly start new congregations to reach this vibrant, important area. Pray for these efforts which Clint Clifton is coordinating for the North America Mission Board, SBC. Rev. Clifton was present at the Annual Meeting of the DCBC in December at Clifton Park. At least four DCBC congregations have a growing interest in SEND DC, hoping to participate in it.
The earliest efforts at Vacation Bible Schools, a tool for sharing Christ with both families and children, begin every year in January. On January 10, a select group of leaders will travel from Washington to Ridgecrest to participate in the Vacation Bible School Institute which occurs there. Pray for this group as they travel to learn of the new emphases of LifeWay Christian Resources in Vacation Bible School. We hope to be joined this year by members of Agape Bible Fellowship, the congregation located farthest from DC, but one which can influence its area through Vacation Bible School, as well. Give thanks for those who will give their time to prepare others to serve in Vacation Bible Schools throughout the metropolitan area. Our local VBS Orientation will occur sometime in the Spring of 2013. Over the past few years, Rev. Gloria Jenkins has served in the role of Consultant for Vacation Bible School and Curriculum Resources. She will not be continuing in this role, and we thank Rev. Jenkins for her faithful and valuable service to the DCBC over the past several years.
Over the past several years, DCBC has held classes to help orient ministers who feel called to begin new congregations in our area. This has been open to both those within the DCBC as well as those outside it, although most of the participants have been members of DCBC churches. With the Jubilee beginning this year, we will not hold these classes. Rather, those seeking to begin new congregations may request to receive training through use of a mentor or through tutorial. Already one minister has requested such assistance. Pray for this new form of preparation of ministers for new congregations and for Rev. Tony Mokombo who is beginning a new Francophone, African church in the facilities of Chevy Chase Baptist Church.
One of the expressions of mission which the CHED Team has been developing has been the opportunities to mission outside of the United States. Already a number of churches in the DCBC regularly express mission in this fashion. Give thanks for these efforts, some of which began with the partnership to Moscow more than a decade ago. Pray for those churches and pastors working in Africa, in the Caribbean, in Latin America, and on the subcontinent of India. Give thanks for what has been learned by these as well as for the ministry that has been given and the work that has accomplished. Rev. Ricky Creech is working to link the DCBC with mission efforts in Zambia. Pray for this effort as it begins.
The DCBC also exploring a partnership with our local Haitian churches, Eglise Baptist du Calvaire (Calvary Baptist Church) and First Haitian Baptist of Washington, to express Christian mission in the country of Haiti. There are five major places which provide the opportunities for mission, two in north Haiti, two in southern Haiti and one in Port-au-Prince. These opportunities can be met by both spiritual and physical ministries. There are special needs in Haiti, given the devastation that occurred through the recent earthquakes. Pray for these efforts in Haiti and for the team that is coming together to meet these needs in the poorest country within the Americas. Give thanks for the contacts which Pastor Israel Philogene and Pastor Jean St. Ulme as well as their churches give to DC Baptists. Pray for young adults who will be a focus of those who receive this ministry as well as those who provide it.
In this beginning emphasis Rev. Loretta Jones, who has worked faithfully in Baptist Women’s Ministries for many years, has offered to work as a coordinator for those seeking to go in mission endeavors overseas. Pray for Loretta as she begins this work. Ask God to give her wisdom and strength to assist churches and individuals to prepare for these mission efforts and for Loretta’s work.
Give thanks for all that God accomplished through the congregations of the DC Baptist Convention over the past twelve months in the ministries of discipleship and in seeking the health of congregations. Seventy-two churches and congregations affiliated with the DCBC received help through CHED in 2012 and another seven congregations outside of the DCBC received some assistance from CHED, as well. We give thanks for the fact that these churches found an increasing degree of health over the past year. We should be thankful and give praise to God who is the God of peace and of health.
Let us pray for the work of Congregational Health and Discipleship in the DCBC as we enter into the season of “Jubilee.” In December the DC Baptist Convention voted to enter a two-year period of “Jubilee” which will focus on the building of relationships between pastors in the first year (2013) and then between churches (2014). CHED will not be planning programming during this Jubilee, although we will be responding to the needs of DCBC congregations. Pray for the CHED Team as they organize and promote these responses over the coming two years. Pray also for the DC Baptist Convention at large as it seeks to continue on its Journey of 180 in the coming year.
We are thankful that Temple Baptist Church has asked the CHED Team to provide a “Forgiveness Seminar” at its facility on Saturday, February 23. This is the seminar which seeks to help disciples to consider and to engage in the ministry of Forgiveness, a ministry which is both demonstrated by Jesus Christ and also one that is needed at some point in the lives of individual believers and of congregations. Pray for those who will lead the Forgiveness Seminar as they prepare to do so and for those who will participate in the event. We intend that this seminar will led by Rev. Stephen Price as well as Robert Cochran.
Some of you have been praying for two of our churches that are making important decisions about their future. These two congregations have been Twinbrook Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church. Twinbrook has called a new pastor, Rev. Jill McCrory, who will now begin the leadership to help this church move into its future. Give thanks for this call, and pray for the church and for Rev. McCrory as they begin their pilgrimage toward God’s future. The second congregation is Temple Baptist Church. Continue to pray for this church and the people of this congregation as they seek God’s will regarding their future and their service in NW DC.
Many of you have been praying for our Greek students over the past six months. These students are members of Metropolitan Outreach Ministries. Give thanks for their faithful study which is now extending into the new year. We have about four weeks to go before they become recognized as “Careful Translators” of the New Testament. Pray for these two men, James and Solomon, as they continue to learn how to interpret the Scripture and to teach the Scripture faithfully in their own ministries. Give thanks for the resources which they have received recently to continue their studies.
It is during this time of the year that we begin to work toward Vacation Bible Schools which occur in the Summer. The Vacation Bible School Team intends to attend the Vacation Bible School Institute at Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina, to be held from January 10-12. This is always a good group of leaders who attend a good orientation to Vacation Bible School. This year we hope to be joined by two members of the Agape Bible Christian Fellowship which is the church in the DC Baptist Convention located in Martinsville, VA. Pray for these new leaders and for their use of the training within their own area. Further, pray for the travel of the team members to North Carolina. This is always a bit concerning during this time of the year, given the weather conditions that can occur in the Mid-Atlantic. Give thanks for those who give of their time to attend the Institute and then who assist others locally in their preparation for Vacation Bible School.
One of the churches recently reported with joy the leadership of their pastor in the Ministry of Reconciliation. Mount Moriah Baptist Church celebrated the message of its pastor Dr. Lucius Dalton on II Corinthians 5 during their watchnight service. They were thankful to be reminded of the ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation which is to be part of the life of every disciple. We all need these lessons from time to time in light of the challenges of our own congregations and due to the tragedies that humans experience in community, such as those last month in Newtown, CT.
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church also has requested the DC Baptist Convention to help prepare some of their lay leaders for ministry in that church. To date the pastor, Dr. Evans, continues to consider which subject he hopes to be covered among several. These include training for: teachers, clerks and/or administrators. Pray for Dr. Evans as he considers the subject of this seminar and also for those who will lead and who will participate in this event.
One of our pastors has requested help in learning New Testament Greek. Normally, this has been done through the classes beginning in May, but given the nature of the “Jubilee,” this assistance will begin in the coming weeks. Give thanks for the interest of this pastor in strengthening his Bible study and his ministry of proclamation.
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