(thankful to Joyce Beales who provides us with this monthly recap.)
Don’t you know, it actually feeeels like winter! Crisp and cold! By the time you read this, my tiny Christmas tree will be packed away in the garage along with the frosty door wreath, the silver and gold decorations and the leftover Christmas wrapping paper—and I will be settling down for another winter on Ripplebrook. December brought the usual hustle and bustle of holiday preparations at home as well as here at CBC—a month crammed full of opportunities!
At the top of the month, the Ruth Sunday school class gathered December 5th for their yearly Christmas breakfast at Pepper’s and a grand ol’ time as they exchanged gifts and sampled the gastric delights of the breakfast buffet.
Later that morning, the church gathered for the December business meeting at 10:00 a.m. and approved the 2022 Ministry/Missions Budget and the 2022 Leadership Slate. You can access the minutes of that business meeting, along with a short list of the 2022 Leadership on our website at your leisure. But, wait—the day wasn’t over by any stretch of the imagination. That afternoon the Blue Ridge Chorale dazzled their audience with a brilliant Christmas concert, under the able direction of Alex Smith.
On Monday evening, the senior adults trooped into the Worship Center for the Christmas Past Open House/Remember When Christmas Party and Sight & Sound Theatre’s movie presentation of the Voices of Christmas. Burnt Ends BBQ, a local food truck company, provided an amazing array of bar-b-que along with sides and drinks that made for a delicious dinner! After the meal, numerous folks shared special stories about past Christmases prior to the screening of the movie. It was fun for me to travel the back roads of my friends’ memories, and I came away the richer for it as they shared about Christmases from yesteryear! A BIG thank you to Hans and his team of elves who handled all the decorations and clean up afterwards.
Near the middle of the month, CBC organized and provided transportation for some of our Culpeper Friends to the Community Christmas Dinner held this year in the sprawling confines of the C-Tech Building over on Frank Turnage Drive. The Culinary Arts Department students catered the dinner—and a great meal it was, too! This was our opportunity to provide a festive Christmas meal to folks who otherwise might not have one. No doubt you recognize the two “greeters” at the door!
A few days later, our Grief facilitators provided two workshops for folks who are grieving the death of friends and loved ones during this Christmas season. Over the past few years, GriefShare’s Surviving the Holidays has helped bring hope to lots of hurting families in and around our community.
As you know, we have a large group of 20 Somethings that will be attending the Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA in a few weeks. With that in mind, they catered a Christmas Brunch after worship service on December 12th. My goodness! They really had a spread, too! Sausage and gravy, pancakes and hash browns, coffee and OJ and even fruit. Yummm . . . delicious! All told, our generous church family has contributed over $9,000 toward the travel costs. Amazing!
Daily Advent readings are back by popular request. If you’re a frequent browser of YouTube, you can catch a great cross-section of our church as they appeared throughout the month reading favorite Scripture passages while we awaited the coming of Christmas.
On December 12 we joyfully gathered in the sanctuary as our musicians were joined by the Christmas Gospel Choir, the Bell Choir, Praise Team Ensemble and others to sing the wonderful music of Christmas. It was great having our church family together again! At the conclusion of the service, Randy Sheets, our organist of five years, was recognized by members of the Personnel Committee for his tenure with us as he prepares to leave our employ at year’s end. We’ll miss you, Randy! THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful talent with us.
Sometimes as I make my way around our building running errands, I catch a glimpse or two of ‘the little people’ in the hallways, and it always brings a smile to my lips because they are so excited about life in general and the coming of Christmas in particular. Beaming with great big smiles, they were skipping and jumping and giggling—seeming like tiny puppies rolling and frolicking along—probably on their way to practice for the CDC Christmas program or perhaps excited about the upcoming ‘Class with Clara’ presented by the Charlottesville Ballet. Little blessings of the very best kind!
My all-time favorite of the many Christmas activities here at CBC is the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The simple elegance of familiar carols accompanied by the rich, warm timbre of the pipe organ creates a reverence all its own as we gather to celebrate our Lord’s birth. The Scripture lesson and communion both sharpen my focus upon God’s amazing gift of eternal life hidden in plain sight within the confines of a stable, of all places!—The Best Gift of all! Until next month—be well.
Happy Thanksgiving! After many months of uncertainty, wasn’t it delightful to gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving! Ours was a wonderfully noisy bash with lots of laughter and grands running everywhere—not to mention a table groaning with all kinds of goodies! Having outgrown my little cottage on Ripplebrook several years ago, we gather in the roomy farmhouse of my youngest daughter for holidays now. My original sadness at passing the baton to the next generation morphed into surprised satisfaction as they cheerfully assumed this responsibility. I’m enjoying my new role of guest and ‘dispenser of sage advice . . .,’ but only when I’m asked.
Fall was slow to arrive, with temperatures remaining balmy through mid-month. Cooler weather finally prevailed, and we saw a beautiful autumnal color palette after all. I have one little tree in my front yard; that was a solid ball of crimson leaves for about a week—until the wind swept them all away!
Construction progress continues in the Adult Day area with installation of drywall. Sara is working hard on policies and procedures, contacting potential applicants, and all the other tasks associated with bringing this vision to fruition! If you haven’t participated in the Connections Club, yet, you may want to try it on Monday mornings at 10:00 a.m. in the worship center. It’s a time to connect with new friends, reminisce, spend time with some of our CDC chums and even do a craft or two.
After a slow start at the beginning of the year, activities around CBC are picking back up as folks become more comfortable getting out-and-about again and even our building partners are coming back. Although our grief support group finished their 13-week program, they plan to continue to meet once a month to stay in touch and provide mutual support. Additionally, we hosted two holiday grief workshops—always well received, to help grieving folks navigate the upcoming holidays.
The BIG news during the month was the return of The Story Tour Concert featuring the Allan Scott Band! We partnered with Mountain View Community Church and CARS to back this concert back to Culpeper. Allan Scott, you may remember from when we hosted his concert several years ago, is a former drug addict, drop out, loser and thief, and a man who found hope in a jail cell when he called on God to heal the broken pieces of his life. It was a night of testimonies, encouragement and powerful music.
We voted on the proposed 2022 slate of deacons midmonth, with approval given by the church family for the following individuals to sever a two or three year term beginning January 1, 2022: Mike Dodson, Steve Found, Sheila Horton, Larry Lucas, Karen Parkinson, Kay Rice and Brad Smith.
I hear the Christmas Choir is in rehearsals in preparation for our upcoming Christmas Music Program at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday December 12th in the Sanctuary. You won’t want to miss any of our upcoming events during Christmas at Culpeper Baptist; so check our website often for times and dates of parties, concerts, programs, caroling, etc.! Come and bring your friends and family!
And speaking of Christmas, the last Sunday of the month, the Flower Team & Friends came and worked their magic, dressing the church in Christmas finery from top to bottom! These gals and guys make it an afternoon of hard work AND great fun . . . a labor of love! THANK YOU one-and-all!
November’s a wrap, but December promises to bring lots of exciting opportunities to connect with our church family and reach out to others who may need a hug or a kind word. As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Lord, may we remember that ‘. . . in as much as you have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto to me . . .’ Have a great month and stay well.
While we’ve burned through October like a prairie wildfire, with days quickly skimming by into weeks, fall color has dawdled along at a snail’s pace—as shy as a wall flower at a sock hop in making an appearance to our rolling hills and winding country roads. Pumpkins, on the other hand, show no such reticence —they’re ‘in your face’ everywhere and present quite an assortment of textures, colors, sizes and shapes! I picked up several vintage beauties recently at a local farm—one a vibrant orange, two others a mottled sage-green with apricot accents and the last having the outer texture and color of Manila rope and only a little blush peeking through! I kid you not! All four are now happily ensconced by my front door, waiting to greet friends who might drop by.
Bright and early right at the top of the month, we partnered with the Culpeper Town Police Department to host the annual Touch-a-Truck event in our lower parking lot. It was an amazing collection of really cool vehicles including police cruisers, garbage trucks, rescue vehicles and even a crane!
Mid-month the Piedmont Community Band held their Super Heroes Party Concert, consisting of theme music from all of our favorite super heroes! Later in the month, the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra performed their Welcome Back Concert to the delight of everyone, featuring their Oldies but Goodies from the days of yester-year.
Freshly back from a great trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier in the month, our senior adults took off again—this time for the mountains, fall leaves and their favorite restaurant haunt, Mrs. Rowe’s in Staunton, VA, where down-home cooking is an art form and people come from miles around to be treated like ‘part of the family!’ I’m told that this restaurant has been treating folks to their finger-lickin’ good menus for 74 years! Yes, you read that correctly—74 years—they opened in 1947!
Near the end of the month, CBC partnered with the Girl Scouts to host Trunk or Treat for the little folks of Culpeper! Thank YOU for all the candy! There were lots of little goblins, cowboys and cowgirls, mermaids, and even a few skeletons rattling around! AND. . . ‘a good time was had by all! In other children’s news, PACT and Unite are still going strong, and I’m told that on Friday before Halloween, the CDC children were greeted by their teachers masquerading as some of the seven dwarfs! In fact, Sleepy was seen way up here on the third floor once or twice during the day—but he was wide awake!
The renovation of the first floor of the 1954 building is making good progress Sara tells me. They’ve replaced the old plumbing, filled in the open trench and areas are beginning to take shape. When it’s finished, folks, it’s going to ‘knock your socks off!’ Meanwhile, the Senior Connections clubs continue with attendance of around ten. On selected days, they also enjoy some inter-generational fun with toddlers from the Child Development Center. Keep your eyes on our Youtube Channel for video updates as construction progresses.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief narrative about some of the exciting things that happen here at CBC during the month. It’s just a small part of the ministry that happens as a result of your encouraging support and generosity! We are blessed to build upon the wonderful legacy of bygone years! Until next month, be well.
Folks, fall is officially here! This lovely season of vibrant leaves, brisk weather, apple cider and pumpkins crept into Culpeper while I was distracted with the recent tropical storms and summer’s last gasp of 90 degree heat. In the next few weeks, we’ll begin to hear the whisper of the leaves as they chat among themselves about the coming winter while the wind tickles their dry under bellies, causing them to let go and float lazily to the earth in a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors! There’s nothing quite like a nice walk through a forest of brilliant trees aglow with The Master’s paints. Besides being a strikingly beautiful season, it has a scent all its own, too—earthy and warm, with mossy under-notes that radiate a serene energy and the mystery of changing seasons. It’s the time of year when Hummingbirds and their larger cousins become homesick for warmer climates and begin their long flights South, and we get to revel in the transition from summer to winter. Can’t you tell that I enjoy everything about Fall!
The big news is still the Adult Day construction project. We’ve our own version of ‘fixer upper’ going on downstairs—even though not as flamboyant as the Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit show, to be sure! Floors are down to bare concrete, sewer pipes have been dug up and walls are gone—although I don’t think any of the construction guys have crashed through the walls, yet, as we sometimes see with the Gaines’ projects. Keep an eye on our website or Youtube channel because we will post updated videos throughout the process. This is sooooo exciting, don’t you think!?
Speaking of Adult Day, Sara Amos hosted an interesting care giver seminar all about falls and how we can make our homes safer as we age simply by de-cluttering, eliminating throw rugs and adding extra, battery-powered lighting strategically so if we temporarily lose power during the night hours, we can still ambulate around the house without fear of running into furniture or injuring ourselves—all such good ideas! I promptly ordered some of the battery-powered lights for my own home.
UNITE, the new group for 3rd through 5th graders, had a very successful organizational meeting during the middle of the month. They meet the first and third Wednesdays of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. in Room 317 and include adult leaders from CBC, Maranatha, CDC and the local community. If you know a child in this age group, feel free to invite them to attend. I understand from the ‘grape vine’ that they had a great time!
In addition to all of our regular ‘goings on,’ the end of the month was very busy as well. The Church Ministries team hosted our second Dinner in the Courtyard with an intimate group of eighteen. What a good way to make new friends! They also hosted a second event, the Sharing Closet, which was a rousing success, too. Church folk and neighbors in the community contributed gently used clothing as well as personal hygiene products and new socks and underwear for school-aged boys and girls as well as men’s and women’s wear.
Our regular fall business meeting was held the last Sunday of the month. Besides committee/team reports, financial figures, etc., the packet listed the slate of proposed deacon nominees that will come up for a vote the first Sunday in November. Action items included proposed Leadership Council nominees and additional funding for the Adult Day renovation.
I’ve only hit the highlights, folks. Check out our website and Youtube channel for frequent posts about everything that’s happening here at CBC. This is an exciting time for us as well as our community, and you won’t want to miss a thing! Until next month, be well.
Like a cat stalking her next meal, the long shadows of summer’s end are beginning to creep across Culpeper’s rolling hills. Can you believe the first day of Fall is a mere three weeks away! Yes, September is shyly peeking around the corner, and crisp blue skies, cooler temperatures, and autumn leaves can’t be far behind? Even the riot of blooms on Ripplebrook, where I live, are winding down like an old clock. The Dahlias are fading from deep reds and oranges into dull burnt sienna, while the Zinnias and Gladiolas are beginning to droop because of heat stroke. Even the Knock Out Roses, so brilliantly red a month or two ago, look tired and spent. My one consolation, though, is the sunflowers—they’re still pretty ‘heady’ in their red and yellow halos. The weed war I began in the spring is ongoing, with no surrender in sight! Pesky weeds! They seem to thrive under even the most difficult conditions. ‘Not to worry,’ Jack Frost will cut them down in a few months—then I’ll have the last laugh—for a short season.
News on the pandemic front—in recent days the Centers for Disease Control has continued to inform us of vaccine availability as well as infection rates. Since there has been an uptick of recent infections in this area, our Leadership Council strongly encourages everyone to wear a mask during close-contact situations within the church building. The Child Development Center, of course, already has specific requirements they must meet to remain in operation.
Pardon our mess! As you know by now, our Administrative offices have re-located to the third floor of the 1954 building. The former office area, along with the chapel, vestibule and front lobby spaces are now undergoing renovation for the Adult Day program slated to open in late spring of 2022. The vision is to provide families the support they need to care for their loved ones at home, and will feature an engaging and caring environment so senior adults can spend their days with purpose and enjoyment. Another great feature of the program will be the intergenerational piece with the children from our childcare center. These senior adults will have numerous opportunities to build relationships with children and folks of all age groups through the Adult Day program. Check our website from time-to-time for updates on the renovation progress!
We have hosted a flurry of activities this month including Antioch’s back-to-school supply give away; the Culpeper Farmer’s Market; Back to School Blessing Sunday and Acoustic Café. Our grief support group has returned, as well. This 13-week program is open to the public; so if you have friends or relatives who are grieving the death of a loved one please feel free to inform them about the group. They meet at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays in Room 313.
Converge is back to their fall schedule of Wednesday evenings from 6-8:00 p.m. They are looking to have a great 4th year with participation by teens from multiple churches. A typical night’s activities include snacks, games, worship, teaching and mingling.
Unite, our new children’s group made up of children from CBC, Maranatha, the CDC and our community, will begin next month, and we’re as excited as we can be! It meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 15th!
Our retired folks are back in their regular rhythm of fourth Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for senior adult game day. In addition, the Blue Ridge Chorale has returned for rehearsals, under the capable direction of Alex Smith, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday evenings beginning September 6th.
‘AND that,’ as they say, ‘about sums up August!’ Look for things to r e a l l l l l y begin to pop as we move toward fall. Renovation of the first floor is going to amp up, the Ministry Team has scheduled another Courtyard dinner, King’s Cadence will lead worship next month—soon we’ll be taking our annual leaf tour to Mrs. Rowe’s, PACT begins and so much more! Refer often to our website for new activities and fresh content! See you next month . . . stay well.
What an Independence Day! The entire day was chocked full of fun activities. For the first time in over a decade Independence Day came on a Sunday morning! Right on schedule, the 5k launched from our campus bright and early in the cool of the morning, with well over 100 runners! A couple of our Stephen Ministers got an up-close and personal view of the race from the pavilion on Yowell Meadow Park as they shared refreshments with the Town Public Works Department. These guys and gals faithfully show up every year to clean up after all of the festivities with little or no recognition for their hard work; we thought it might be nice to ‘show them some love’ for a change.
Two Sisters Coffee brought their vintage coffee truck by our lower parking lot so folks could imbibe while they watched the 5k race or waited to gather for the worship service at 10:30 a.m. The Patriotic Concert followed towards evening with the ‘dynamic duo’ of our own Chuck Seipp and Randy Sheets! Well done, guys! One of my favorite selections was Yankee Doodle! The ice cream social following was great, too! Who can forget the annual Independence Day fireworks live streamed from our Bell Tower cam! What a wonderful way to close the day! Many thanks to all who made this day such a success!
In typical Virginia fashion, the weather later in the month turned hot and humid, rolling in a ginormous thunderstorm on the 14th with heavy winds and torrential rain. Some damage was sustained from fallen trees and broken limbs, but no one was hurt. We lost power at the church, as did other areas of town. We learned from one of our SPARK Camp leaders the next day, some folks were without power for a significant amount of time the following day as well. Of course, we cancelled SPARK the night of the storm, but it was back the following evening. SPARK concluded at the end of July, but PACT will be up and running again in September (volunteers needed!).
Hey! Have you seen all the new playground equipment the CDC recently installed? It’s designed to engage elementary children physically and creatively as well as developmentally and has climbing elements, monkey bars, a balance beam and, of course, something every good playground should include—a slide! Stop in on your way by the church sometime, and you might just catch a glimpse of the ‘little people’ happily crawling in and out, over and under and every other way as they ‘break in’ the new stuff! Speaking of little people, we had another recent Family Fun Nerf Night! Kids and their parents had a great time together with lots of giggling and sniggling, laughing and shrieking.
To the appreciation of their many fans, Acoustic Café made its return debut after a long absence. Graze to Griddle food truck pulled in early so folks could have a bite to eat and socialize before listening to the old time music of David Wade and Blue Ridge Union; guitar master, Eddie Estes and blues band, Remington Steel! Listen folks if you haven’t had a ‘graze-burger,’ one of several great items offered on their Griddle Menu, you’re missing a real treat! This burger is a delicious, mouth-watering creation! I know this because I’ve had one or two. Acoustic Cafe’ is the brainchild of Geary Parkinson, and he has consistently brought his talented and well-known musician-friends here so we could get to know them and appreciate their talents as much as he does. Thank you ‘one and all!’
Maranatha Iglesia Bautista celebrated their 20th year with us during the month beginning with a wonderful celebratory worship service followed by a delicious fellowship meal afterwards. We are grateful for their ministry here in our community. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! May we celebrate many more together!
Friends, this about sums up the month, but the August calendar is beginning to fill up already! Look for back to school activities, a change in worship schedules, volunteer opportunities, next steps for small groups and so much more. See you next month—until then, Blessings!
Ahhhhh, Summer . . . Finally! The sparrow family have their little ones at the birdbath for an early morning dip and the butterflies and hummers are feeding on the sweet stuff! While the delicate, rosy blossoms of the Fairy Lilies are long gone, the provocative fragrance and showy buds of the Oriental Liles are beginning to flirt with the sun as they open in the dewy early morning. What a show! The Day Lilies, a plain-Jane cousin of the Orientals, aren’t too shabby either. Even during the recent ninety–degree temperatures, they stubbornly refused to crumple and like the energizer bunny, they kept right on going!
Our children’s ministry was off to a “bouncy” good time at the Culpeper Farmer’s Market earlier in the month and ‘a good time was had by all.’ Mid-month, Spark Summer Camp began, with registration at this writing around 80. The camp is designed to help local kids socialize again so they will be ready to return to in-person school classes this fall. Each week is a different theme and children may attend for a week, all the weeks or any number in between. Near the month’s end, we had another Friday Fun Nite with a hot dog supper and a ‘Slip ‘N Slide’ for the children. Of course, Miss Jeanine gathers the children for Chapel during the week, too! What’s not to love about all of that! AND, the CDC had it’s yearly graduation well! Whew! Busy month!!
The young adult group [20 Somethings] have begun a new Bible Study—Love Does, by Bob Goff. In the book, Goff shares a collection of anecdotes about himself and his zany adventures during his pursuit to love others. It’s a whimsical and often hilarious; frequently shocking, run-away best seller and a good read. Come to think of it—I’ll bet folks of any age would enjoy the book.—Amazon is open 24/7, and it’s not expensive at all! Have a look for yourself.
There’s a new book group in town, too! Their first meeting was 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24th, at Raven’s Nest Coffee Shop. If you love a good read and are between 30-40 years old, this might be a good fit for you. There’s still time to get in on the fun, just email the church office [firstname.lastname@example.org] and let them know you’re coming.
Our Converge Youth Group has an abbreviated schedule this summer, meeting on selected Sunday evenings for the next couple of months before returning to their weekly Wednesday night schedule in August. Their Serve Week began at the end of the month and spilled over into the first two days of July. During that week, they busied themselves cleaning up around Yowell Meadow Park, painting at the Culpeper Senior Center and sprucing up around the CBC courtyard fountain. THANK YOU!
In the absence of Pastor Hans, who took a well-deserved vacation with his family, Gil Williamson stepped in to handle the Senior Adult Food Distribution crew. Thank YOU, Gil, and thank you to our volunteers who make this program possible.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021
Morgan Anderson Mus.—University of Mary Washington
Sarah Berry -Eastern View High School
From our house to your house –
Have a great
July 4th Holiday!
Spring has well and truly arrived when the peonies are in full bloom—and folks we ARE there! I love those fluffy, snowball-sized blossoms—so top heavy a hard rain shower will flatten them out like a batch of mud pies laid out to dry on a hot summer day—a bit of nostalgia from when I was a wee girl and made mud pies myself! For a flower-lover like me, peonies are a banquet for the senses! With blooms as big as a softball, they make an impressive statement in any garden. Their deliciously fragrant blossoms bring to mind the heady sweetness of roses along with minor notes of jasmine intertwined with the rich spiciness of carnations and visions of warm spring evenings on the patio—with perhaps a glass of . . . iced tea! A vintage flower and a favorite in many colonial gardens, including Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, enjoy them while you can. By mid-June, most will be wilting in the heat or will have faded to a sepia brown, much like an old photograph, only a shadow of their earlier glory.
The Adult Day Program is steadily advancing. Construction documents should be out for bid by June 1st, and by the middle of next month, Sara Amos will be preparing to come on board as Director! She will begin part time June 15; then transition to full time by July 1. Currently, she serves as the Program Director of Caregiver Ministry at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Warrenton Virginia. Watch for more details next month!
Although the ‘Tutty Property’ at 317 S. West Street remains in our possession, we are readying it for sale. The Trustees have listed the house for $275,000. Keep your eye on our webpage for updates.
Our Spark Summer Camp will begin the week of June 15 and run through the first week of August. We are promoting these dates within the greater Culpeper community, and have received a $7,500 grant from the Culpeper Wellness Foundation to assist with expenses. SPARK is a continuation of our PACT -free tutoring and encouragement program that had a great “schools out” party at the end of May. Our Children’s Ministry is blossoming in other areas as well. We’ve hosted two recent Family Fun Nights—one during May—and we anticipate providing other opportunities during the summer months as well. We also have expanded our 9:00 a.m. service to include childcare for babies through 4-year-olds. Just recently, we’ve created a Children’s Ministry Team that includes a CDC staff member, CDC parent, one of our young adults and PACT/Maranatha connection to assist with this ministry.
The 20 Somethings gathered for food, fun and fellowship by the fire pit near the end of the month. This is a dynamic group of young adults who are excited about their faith and eager to share it with others, AND they know how to have fun! Besides Bible study, they do all sorts of cool things like disc golf, cook outs, watch parties and Spark Summer Camp! When you see these guys and gals, be sure to let them know you appreciate them!
The Culpeper Farmers Market is off and running this spring as a return guest to our lower parking lot. They’re open around 7:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings until noon from now through October. We plan to add live music on selected Saturdays as well as offer some children’s days by opening the playground and having a moon bounce, bubbles and the like. Check our website often for further details.
If you’ve attended the 9:00 a.m. in-person service lately, you know that it’s growing and currently includes around 90 folks each Sunday; while the 10:00 a.m. live stream remains steady at under 30. We also have a watch party at The Arbors featuring the live stream, and Hans as relaunched the Memory Care services with around 17 in attendance; meanwhile we consistently have from 15-20 in The Culpeper Chapel who join us by live stream as well.
The Dinner in the Courtyard experience Friday evening, May 21, was a wonderful way to begin the re-gathering of our church family and topped out at twenty-five. Luigi’s, a local eatery featuring Southern Italian cuisine, catered the event—complete with Tiramisu—Voila’!
The CDC has received approval to host a CCPS preschool class beginning in August! This will require the addition of a bathroom in the media room on the second floor and will be included in the overall [adult day] renovations with the CDC paying for this cost.
That’s a wrap for May. Enjoy the long weekend ahead with family and friends, and take some time to remember the men and women who have served in our Nation’s military and given their all in performance of their duty. Until next month, be well.
Can you believe that we’re heading into May—a l r e a d y? True to form, the month was as fickle as a three-year-old trying to decide between eating a cookie or having ice cream! Weather was a peculiar mix of meteorological sleight-of-hand—first balmy and then cold, rainy; then fog; sunny and then down pours! Out in my neck-of the woods, the sidewalks and streets are masked in fluffy drifts of white and pink blossoms—reminiscent of cotton candy! For those of you who may not know—cotton candy is carnival food, which is a misnomer if I ever heard one, since it’s not food at all! It’s pure sugar which undergoes a fascinating change under intense heat and centrifugal force. Back in the day, this was a summertime treat kids enjoyed at local agricultural fairs or the annual firemen’s carnival. A little “nostalgia” from the days of my youth for your enjoyment—now back to our recap.
First quarter financials are stable. Thank you so much for your continued generosity! Your gifts make it possible for us to influence the lives of 50+ teens and children each week! Plans for Adult Day Care continue, and we have received two additional grants to help fund renovations and planning of that project. In addition, we continue to invest in our facilities with the installation of a water filtration system to help extend the life of water pipes and fixtures. We installed a new awning over the Child Development Center entrance and made repairs to our HVAC systems as well.
As Leadership Council and staff begin to plan how re-gathering our church family might look, they developed an online survey to capture your thoughts and ideas. Thank you for joining that conversation! Your input will be helpful in determining how best to proceed in the coming weeks. As well, Dan’s sermons and he and Hans’ online Bible study, Beginning Again, will help us process where we’ve been, what moving forward looks like and help us think through the wise steps we need to take to ‘do church’ in this new normal. It’s an opportunity to grieve, take stock and dream with God of where we can go!
During the last half of the month, Miss Jeanine gathered ‘the little people’ for a ginormous Nerf battle one Friday evening. All told, there were over 70 folks present for this evening of fun and mayhem! Enjoyable activities like this bring families and communities together as well as enrich our reality that ‘we’re all in this together.’ This is a “crop” well worth cultivating in the months ahead, I’d say.
Have you missed the dinner groups we used to enjoy pre-pandemic? Me, too! With the loosening of gathering restrictions, our Church Ministries Team is testing the waters to determine if now is a good time to bring back the dinner groups on May 21 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. with dinner in the courtyard. So, if you’re interested, call the church office and let us know before the May 7th deadline. You have the option to sign up for a restaurant meal, come and bring a meal from your home, or put your name on the list that you want to participate but have decided to wait a bit. Check out the CBC website for further information.
Summer camps for children and teens are just around the corner; so keep your ears open for details. Look for them to be long on fun, sprinkled with a few academics and rounded out with a host of interesting activities.
Our 20 Something group continues to grow steadily, and are currently studying Philippians. Several, along with members of Converge, are leading the music for the live stream service regularly. I love the energy they bring to worship. Thanks guys and gals, we appreciate you!
As another month draws to a close, I’m looking forward to warmer weather, sunny skies, all my favorite flowers bursting forth in bloom and seein’ what God is up to here at CBC! Until next month, be well.
Big News this month! The first of the month brought the roll out of RightNow Media for our church family. By activating your FREE membership, you’ll have unlimited access to the world’s largest streaming library of video Bible study resources. Leaders like Francis Chan, Jennie Allen, Matt Chandler, Dr. Tony Evans and many more are available at your fingertips and can be used as part of a group study or for personal devotions/studies. Another BIG plus for everyone is many of the series include free discussion guides and handouts.
This tool can help you live out your faith in every area of life. The resources include a variety of topics such as marriage, parenting, personal finances, mental health and much more. In addition, there’s even a kid’s section with over 2000 safe, entertaining videos. ANNNND. . . you can download a free app for all your major streaming devices so you can access content anytime, anywhere! By now, you should have received an email invitation to activate your account; soooo check it out! It’s fabulous! In the unlikely event you did not receive an email, please contact the church office and we’ll take it from there!
Well, spring has returned to Culpeper. The crocus and tulips are in full bloom and the ‘song of the turtle dove is heard in our land,’ and the senior adult luncheons have returned to the schedule as well. It’s time to think about re-gathering for good food and warm fellowship! After being cooped up the whole winter, getting together again is a welcome change from staring at the four walls of our homes, I’m sure! Of course, we continue to social distance and wear masks to ensure everyone is safe. Sandy, owner of the local eatery, Country Café, provides the good ol’ down- home boxed lunches, and let me tell you, they’re tempting to even the most discriminating palate!
Unless you’ve been in another galaxy, no doubt you’ve noticed many of our church family sharing daily Scriptures on Youtube, along with testimonies and prayer during this season of Lent. Isn’t it refreshing to hear our folks share their faith and speak life into our lives like this? Thank you, one and all, for sharing your hearts with us during this most precious season. If you haven’t done so already, check them out. You’ll be blessed.
Two more popular options for worship included the Nights of Worship on first and third Saturday nights at 6:00 p.m. and the 4:00 p.m. Vespers Services on the second and fourth Sunday afternoons. Alex and his friends bring a mix of great music from all across the contemporary spectrum with such hits as In Christ Alone from writers Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, and I’m Still Here, a Mandisa hit! And let me tell you, there is no small pool of talent right here in little ol’ Culpeper who come and share their musical gifts—a wonderful blessing to be sure!
Two of Randy’s recent projects include the Vespers services on second and fourth Sunday afternoons which showcase our wonderful pipe organ, not to mention his boundless skill at the keyboard, along with talented soloists. Readers share selected passages of Scripture, and a testimony as well. His most recent project, Organs from around the World, is a series of five selections especially suited to this Season of Lent, played from his home music studio on an organ he constructed himself! You can access all of these videos as well as our Sunday live streams on Youtube from the Culpeper Baptist Church Channel. My friends, you’ll find abundant content there; take advantage of it! You’ll be glad you did.
By the time you receive this newsletter, Easter will be upon us! There were options galore to attend services all during Holy Week. The busy week began with the in-person Palm Sunday worship at 9:00 a.m. from the Worship Center, and the live stream following close behind at 10:00 a.m. from the Sanctuary. Later that same afternoon, Palm Sunday Vespers, in person and online, streamed at 4:00 p.m. from the Sanctuary. Daily evening Courtyard Scriptures from the Foot of the Cross [in-person and streaming] began at 6:30 p.m. on Palm Sunday and ran each evening through Easter Sunday. On Good Friday evening, we gathered with our Maranatha sisters and brothers for Scripture and songs. Easter Sunday, we joined with local churches to awaken our community by ringing the Jamie Ireland Bell, and selected Easter hymns were played periodically during the day through our bell tower carillon. Our church family gathered for worship at 9:00 a.m. in the Worship Center and at 10:00 a.m. from the sanctuary to celebrate with believers all over our world the wonderful, Good News, that Jesus Christ is risen!! I hope you experience the wonder of a love so deep, so broad, so wide that it just bubbles up and splashes outward on everyone you meet! Until next month, God bless.
Last week on my facebook feed, a portrait of Punxsutawney Phil surfaced with the caption, “Y’aaalll thought I was kiddin,’ didn’t you?” Well, Phil, we had certainly hoped you were kidding! Yep! The 135th Ground Hog Day came and went and Pennsylvania’s famous furry weather prognosticator saw his shadow . . . my, did he ever?! Normally a celebration that draws tens of thousands of spectators to the tiny, western Pennsylvania hamlet of Gobbler’s Knob [last year 40,000], this year there were only a few photographers and cameramen, Phil’s handlers and a faux audience of cardboard human cutouts. Yes, COVID-19 has even shut down dear old Phil! He was definitely on target about the weather, though. With the exception of one balmy 60F day near the end of the month, the remainder of the month was cloudy and cold; rainy; often icy or very windy. Thanks a lot, Phil! All isn’t lost, however. I’m told Phil did predict an early and beautiful Spring.
In fact, the weather early in the month was such that we cancelled in-person worship two Sundays in a row; we all tuned in to the live stream instead. A BIG thank you to pastoral staff and the wonderful tech guys who came out in the ice to make this happen! With weather much better by the third Sunday, we returned to our regular schedule—including the called business meeting to consider a couple of issues. The first: to renovate the first floor of the 1954 building, with CBC’s commitment at $250,000, and to host an Adult Day program. The second motion to consider was that the Trustees be empowered to sell the church-owned property located at 317 S. West Street. Both motions were unanimously approved by those in attendance as well as call-in-votes from members who participated via Zoom.
PACT is going strong and recently tweaked their schedule to 4-7:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. GriefShare is back in their 5 p.m. time slot on Sunday evenings, and Nights of Worship on first and third Saturday evenings with Alex Smith and friends is another great addition to the CBC worship lineup! It’s great music in an informal atmosphere. Our Sunday Vesper’s service at 4:00 p.m. (2nd & 4th Sundays) continues to be a highlight as Becky Murdock shared her testimony this past month. The twice-a-week Bible study with Hans and Dan continues to be strong as well. Just in case you’ve missed a session or two, tune in to our Youtube channel to catch up.
I hope you are watching the Youtube videos for Lent–they feature folks from our church family sharing their favorite Scripture passages and prayer. You’ll “see” many familiar faces in the coming weeks leading up to Easter. And . . . look for many unique opportunities to worship this year—keep your eyes on the E-News for details. As a prelude to Easter, Randy Sheets has just begun posting a series of hymns for Lent on Youtube featuring the organ he is building at his home. He shared the first one February 23. Watch for them! It’s Randy at his best doing what he loves. . .and you’ll enjoy the tidbits he shares about his exciting project. Fascinating!
Our regular volunteers were back mid-month to make deliveries of USDA boxes to senior adults in the area. Thanks guys and gals—we couldn’t do it without you! For those kept in by the weather, several webinars were available covering timely topics such as veterans benefits, staying ahead of Medicare and COVID scams and a third featuring information about caregiving which is on-going for 6 weeks—all good information to have! Look for the return of the senior adult luncheons soon with details in upcoming issues of the E-News. It’s a good way to ease back into getting out and about again.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to begin thinking about church softball again! Stop by the church office to sign up—a sure sign that warmer weather is coming. Well, that about takes care of THIS month. See you in April—be well
Happy New Year! Despite the pandemic, we cautiously celebrated Christmas but settled for a lot less fanfare around New Year’s. All-in-all, the weather so far is typical of January here in our little hamlet near the foothills of the Blue Ridge—nose-tingling cold temperatures and a little snow and ice here and there.
BIG News! It’s time to celebrate the reduction of our current mortgage balance—we’re below $700,000 NOW! Thank you for your continued generosity! We paid $50,000 in September and another $68,768 THIS month. The other big topic this month centers around an opportunity for CBC to exercise good stewardship of our campus and at the same time to meet a significant community need—by hosting an adult day ministry on the first floor of the 1954 building [where the current administrative offices and chapel area are located now]. More about this on the church website and also the Homebound News.
The 20 Somethings rang in the New Year to the music of Crowder, Kari Jobe, and Cody Carnes and speakers like Tim Tebow right here in our Worship Center along with 700,000 young adults all over the world at the 2020 virtual Passion Conference! They began 2020 at the Passion Conference at Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta and ended the year at the virtual Passion Conference right here in our own Culpeper! Our “20 Somethings” have just started a new study “Relationship Goals” and a social time on Monday nights. This group is active and growing!
We began a new worship schedule at the beginning of the month. The in-person service is now 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, with the live stream coming a little later at 10:00 a.m. Two new services are planned, 4:00 p.m. Vespers on the second and fourth Sundays and 6:00 p.m. Nights of Worship on the first and third Saturday evenings. These changes allow us to continue to connect with our church family as well as the local community.
Mid-month our own Alex Smith participated in a virtual presentation of the mini musical, Songs that Moved the Masses, from the Little Washington Theatre located in Rappahannock county, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. I hope you caught Alex’s powerful rendition of ‘Make Them Hear You!’ This year’s theme was “The Fierce Urgency of Now.”
Like a modern-day pied piper, Miss Jeanine continues to lead chapel with the little ‘scholars’ of our child development center. On warmer days they gather outside in the sunshine, but these cold, January days, the carpeted sanctuary vestibule makes for a soft seat! Kudos to our CDC for ‘being there’ throughout this pandemic and keeping their doors open to help local families cope! A BIG THANK YOU to all the staff!
PACT is our free tutoring and encouragement night that happens Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. This past month we had an 8th grader and her mom struggling with science — you should have seen their faces when our PACT folks helped her successfully complete an assignment.
Converge for middle and high school students continues to meet on Wednesdays from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Their current series is “moods” – do you remember some “moods” you got in when you were a teenager? Keep praying for this community youth ministry.
I don’t think anyone was sorry to see the last of 2020! It was, to echo the thoughts of so many others, a ‘year like no other,’ at least in my lifetime! Despite the pandemic, the lockdowns and yes, the loss of life, we were blessed during this past year with God’s continual presence in our lives and His unfailing love. Until next month, stay well.