(thankful to Joyce Beales who provides us with this monthly recap.)
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.