2023 Monthly Recaps

(we are grateful to Joyce Beales who is now in her 5th year of writing ministry recaps!)


December was quite a busy month for everyone including our youngest folks.  Many families with children participated in everything from a Parents Night Out to our Christmas Eve services.  Unite children enjoyed Christmas crafts and games; some of them even sang in our big musical service near the middle of the month.  Our Child Development Center children performed an amazing Christmas program on the 14th for a packed house of families and friends, singing Christmas carols together with Jeanine, Lindsay and Christina leading them.  Once again, our sanctuary was blessed with the Charlottesville Ballet and their Class with Clara event.  Little ones danced, twirled, and jumped right alongside the professional ballerinas while listening to Nutcracker music. We are so grateful for this continuing partnership!

A multitude of music opportunities were available during the month—especially for our big musical Sunday on the 17th of December as we welcomed Yasmin Philip back to the organ!  Our Bell Choir treated us to a rare appearance as they led us in the morning prelude.  The Christmas Choir, along with several of the children, sang O Come Let Us Adore Him and later one of my favorites, The First Noel.  Acoustic Café graced us with two programs during the month, one led by our Praise Band!  Give a shout out to Geary Parkinson for consistently bringing great musicians to CBC!  And. . . let’s not forget the Community Christmas Eve service!  We partnered again this year with Mountain View Church with a service at 10:00 a.m. and one at 5:00 p.m.  I’m told there were 900+ in attendance, and I understand there was even a sprinkling of snow at one point!  Imagine that!!  Not to be out done, most of our small groups enjoyed Christmas parties during the month as well.

There’s more big news on the home front as well.  CBC leadership and Battlefield Fellowship of Christian Athletes announced the beginning of an exciting new collaboration next year!  A new dual-role leader will be appointed serving as the FCA area representative and Youth Pastor here at CBC!  How’s that for thinking outside-the-box?  Look for this position to be filled by the summer of 2024. 

All of the 2024 Concert dates are nailed down as we celebrate our 250th Anniversary!  Thank YOU, Randy Sheets!  The first one is scheduled for March 14th—keep your eyes peeled for the brochures—look for them at entry points around the church.  Speaking of nailing down dates, the 250th Anniversary Team has planned an array of special events.  Check out the calendar on our website and circle the dates on your personal calendars.  You won’t want to miss a single one.

Thank you for your amazing generosity during the year!  At this writing the Christmas Missions offering totals $52,121.90 and will be used to help meet human needs and share the Gospel in places dealing with war and humanitarian crises.  Half will go through Baptist World Aid for use in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  The other half will go toward continued assistance of churches in Ukraine and Pakistan.

The Matching Gift Challenge has ended and exceeded our goal!  Currently the figures stand at $124,300!  Look for a BIG payment on the debt retirement before the end of January 2024—stay tuned for details and check our website often.

By the time you read this, another year will have come and gone; we will be beginning a New Year with twelve months spread before us like a huge, blank canvas.  Isn’t it exciting to wonder how God will guide us next year? Where will He take us? Where will you be involved?  Think about it . . . pray about it.  Until next month, be well and stay thankful.




November—the month of Thanksgiving!  I hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends.  Our big family dinner included my 3 children and their spouses, 8 of our ten grandchildren and 3 great granddaughters—one only 4 months old!  Oh, and did I say — there was lots of gooood food, too!  One of my grandsons had just moved out on his own and invited me by to ‘see what he had done with the house.’  We walked into a cozy farm house that was decorated in lodge décor and prominent among all the photos in the bookcase was one of “Poppy,” who loved all things family and hunting—just like young Ben.  We shared some special memories, when Poppy was teaching Ben about hunting, as we soaked up the warmth by his wood fire.  This one reminds me a lot of Poppy—fun-loving, passionate about hunting, savoring life...wonderful memories, rich with laughter and love—a banquet of the heart!

 November has been a kaleidoscope of activities as autumn winds down bringing cooler weather, bushels of leaves, and a hint of frost on with wind.  Even the squirrel family is sleeping in and leaving my flower beds alone.  We kicked off the month with a good ol’ fashioned hymn sing.  That was great— ninety minutes singing all of our favorite old hymns from bygone years.  Lookin’ forward to the next one.

               Acoustic Café stepped up their game this month with a CD Release Party November 17 for local singer/song writer, Carol Young, entitled ‘Dreams Come True.’  The evening included music from singer/song writer Steve Gellman, from the Washington DC Metro area, celebrating the release of his third CD as well as Isaac Clark, a young guitar student from Culpeper Music, who plied his strings to a packed house.  Near the end of the month, AC hosted a song and story tribute to Aaron Murphy, also.  Well done guys!

               We had a good gathering for the men’s breakfast on November 18 that featured local entrepreneurs, Mark Lee and Robbie Yeaman, relating their experiences in living out their Christian commitment within the business world.  Thanks guys.             

               Several women’s Bible studies are in process on weekdays here at the church and the senior adults also gather to watch The Chosen series with discussion following.  Financial Peace also had a Fall class and by all accounts (no pun intended) it was informative as participants learned more about budgeting, saving and spending wisely.

               Friendsgiving Potluck was back again for the second year on November 23, with a great menu and good fellowship.  If you’re at loose ends next year, this might be an option for you.  Speaking of good food—you should have seen the spread for the Senior Adult Christmas Party at the end of the month!  My goodness, the tables were groaning with dishes of every description, and the Fellowship Hall was bustling with activity and lottttts of conversation and laughter.

Kudos to all the guys and gals associated with our Music Team!  The handbell choir was great and I’m noticing that our leaders regularly introduce new songs.  I really liked the Throne Room song.  When you see them after service or walking through the hallway, take a moment to express your appreciation for all that they do. 

Have I mentioned the sanctuary, yet?  Well—the flower team was here on the 29th and worked their magic as usual.  Beautiful red poinsettias encircle the stage, the greenery and candles are at the windows and banners grace the walls.  Beautiful!  Of course, the exterior entrances are all decked out in their evergreen wreaths as well.  Some day soon, I expect Pastor Dan will find his way to the ‘dark recesses of the attic’ to retrieve the tapers for the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.  Hope you attend!

Well, my friends, this is but a small sample of everything that takes place within the walls of our building for the month of November.  Look for a full calendar in the weeks ahead, with Generations Central kicking off the season with a Holiday Family Fun Day.  Come by and have a look—I know for a fact there will door prizes, refreshments, games, etc.  Have a great month, and until next then—be well.


Fall is beautiful in Culpeper, VA and DRY!  We continue to hope for rain while we enjoy the beauty of where we live.  The lack of rain delayed our efforts to plant bushes and trees in the church’s “front yard,” but you will notice a significant transformation in early November.

October brought a wide variety of events that we can celebrate.  The 2023 Culpeper Concert Series finished with an outstanding organ recital by Jackson Borgess (how could his feet move so fast?).  Larry Hylton shared his amazing vocals along with Randy Sheets, who once again, showed his passion for music on the piano and the organ as they both led us in an inspiring concert of spirituals.  Have you checked out the 2024 Concert Series?  It’s going to be a series worthy of our 250th Anniversary year – stay tuned for details.

We partnered with UVa Hospital and Culpeper Pamper Me Pink for the first annual Culpeper Pamper Me Pink 5k, and over 140 runners participated on that rainy morning (of course it rained that day!).  We raised over $2100 for Pamper Me Pink to help women in Culpeper have access to mammograms.

We don’t often talk about bourbon in “church news” but our church historian, Roger L. Clatterbuck and Dan, took part in Culpeper’s HopNHog event at the Depot.  As people were sipping Elijah Craig Bourbon in the booth beside them – Roger and Dan shared the story of Elijah Craig, the Baptist preacher imprisoned in the Culpeper jail.  They spoke to over 100 people and no one knew that significant piece of local history about our community.  They even had a “photobooth jail” showing the names of the 11 Baptist preachers imprisoned.

The Converge Band leads our youth ministry on Wednesday nights and they led our 9:00 a.m. worship service on the last Sunday of October.  BIG thank YOU - great job! Our church family was so supportive as they sang along with them.  It was a good day – look for the Converge Band to lead again in January.

We partnered with the three Girl Scout Troops that meet in our church for Trunk or Treat.  A large crowd of folks descended upon us from Davis Street, and we gave them LOTS of candy.

Our church leadership has been active making plans for the church. The Converge and Unite Leadership Teams had a combined meeting to discuss our children and youth ministries.  Members of Leadership Council and Personnel Committee met to discuss a future personnel plan (. . . thinking about what church staffing looks like in 2030).  Christina, Lindsay and Danny went to a Worship Conference at the Bible Museum and were encouraged and inspired.  Maria, Jeanine, Merlyn, Sergio and Dan went to the Orange Conference in Washington to discuss children and youth ministry.  We realize how important it is for all of our leaders to grow.

We continue to be blown away by the crowds that are attend Acoustic Café  - over 120 came in October for the best live music in Culpeper. Geary Parkinson continues to lead Acoustic Café, and there are some special things coming in November and December.  Check our website often for details.

As we move into November, we are especially mindful of gratefulness. We are grateful for all the ways God uses our lives and the church to bless this community.

In Memoriam

Mary Miller


September is the beautiful month we begin the transition from summer to autumn—the  skies seem bluer, and the sun shine is even different—a mellow warmth across our shoulders as we take long walks and drink in the vibrant beauty of God’s good creation.  Two decades ago my husband, Tommie, and I camped across the US during September and October.  What a trip—winding along through rolling hills, stately mountains; meandering by tranquil lakes, and miles and miles of sunflowers in the mid-west!  I remember as we were driving through the orchard country of Washington State, the perfume of ripening apples and sun kissed pears was intoxicating to the senses and demanded we stop and sample some of this luscious sweetness.  I was a young fifty-five then.  Great memories!  Recollections of bygone days are a precious gift God gives us to feast upon as we “mature” (I was going to say “age” until I remembered the time I told Tommie I was aging like fine wine and he quipped, ‘ you know, Babe,  the final product of aged wine is vinegar, right?—‘ shades of Tommie’s warm and entertaining humor!’).  Be sure you make lots of memories with your family and friends!  Drink long and deep at the well of loving others—it refreshes the spirit and makes life an everyday feast.

WOW! What a difference some ‘elbow grease’ makes in the appearance of the exterior of the church!  My goodness have you been by to see what a great job the Saturday Crew did on Spruce-up Day September 9th!  The railing is painted a glossy black, sidewalks were pressure washed and sealed, beds are prepared for plants and the trim and ceilings of the front and side porticoes are fresh and clean.  And, guess what!  While all of this was happening, the senior adults were out making food deliveries and some of the men’s group were enjoying a hearty breakfast!

Acoustic Café, a long-time favorite of residents of the Culpeper area hosted a great crowd of about 45 in Courtyard Commons the third Friday.  Host, Geary Parkinson, opened the evening with a short set featuring several tunes on hammered dulcimer and banjo. Singer and guitarist Mike Milstead performed a wide range of songs from gospel to swing and a few well-known covers. The evening closed out with two of the three members of the trio Waterfalls, Margaret Grimes and William Tomlin. The third member, Werter Willis, was unable to join them due to a sudden, last minute illness.  Their set included everything from bluegrass, country and Americana music.  Folks I’ve attended Acoustic Café—it’s a fabulous live music venue!

Sunday, the 17th, we gathered for one service, followed by a baptismal service on the front lawn.  What a great way to celebrate folks joining our church family!  Pastor Dan baptized eight folks, two more were welcomed by statement and three by transfer of letter.  Most of those present at the worship service, stayed on for the baptismal service followed by a picnic lunch in the fellowship hall featuring some of Tom Calhoun’s famous ham biscuits along with chicken tenders and other picnic foods.  Yummmmmm!

First and third Wednesday nights continue to be a highlight of the month with folks enjoying a great dinner then splitting off into small groups.  Numbers remain steady, and I noticed that folks linger afterwards to visit with friends, connect with newcomers, and catch up on local news.

If you’re not involved in a Bible study and would like to be, there are several in process right now!  BSF [ladies’ and men’s] Bible Study are ongoing as well as a fairly new Precept Bible study led by Pam Jackson.  In addition, Anne Lucas is leading a book group that meets at the church, also.  Check out the website or the church calendar for times and days.

PRACEP held their GED graduation the third Wednesday of the month in our Sanctuary.  By the way, they are just one of the local community groups that use our building during the week.  If you were here on Sunday,      September 17, you viewed the excellent video Christina Pierce prepared highlighting the many ways our church connects with the local community.  If you didn’t see it, check out our youtube channel—it’s posted there.

Our regular business meeting was held near month’s end—September 27.  Actions taken included the vote to call Lindsay Dean as a worship leader, election of Jerry Morris and Sally Napier to a 3-year term on the Leadership Council beginning January 1, 2024 and the decision to pay down a portion of the Sanctuary loan.  The deacons also presented four names of church members to serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2024.  Those names are: Jennifer Jenkins, Marcella Clatterbuck, Beverly Sturm and Leis Steve.  Other nominations may be made from the floor provided individuals have agreed to serve and have met requirements as stated in our bylaws. The deacon elections will occur in November.  For more complete details of the business meeting, please refer to our website.

Following the business meeting, our church family gathered in the sanctuary for our first Night of Worship event.  Christina Pierce, Winston Bender, Lindsay Dean and Danny Emory were our worship leaders and Danny gave her testimony.  Kudos to the Converge Band making their debut, with Danny leading, in their rendition of Reckless Love—a longtime favorite of many of us. It was great to see so many in attendance—about 100—with a great group of teens packing several benches!

Well, that wraps up September, but October promises to be just as busy and exciting with Jackson Borges in concert on Sunday, October 1, leading off the month!  See you next month.  Stay well.


Ok, so the ‘dog days of summer’ are over, but you wouldn’t know it by the humid temperatures we’ve experienced recently.  Summer is making a last stand as we prepare for the coming fall.  Shadows are lengthening and the early mornings are cool with just a hint of musky perfume as leaves gently tumble one-by-one down into fading summer grasses.  Young adults have returned to college, local schoolchildren have resumed classes and Wednesday nights launched again on the 16th!

As usual, Antioch Baptist’s Health Ministry sponsored their yearly Back to School Supply Give Away the first Saturday of the month.  If photos posted on our Facebook page are any indication, it was a huge hit with local families.  Folks lined the courtyard and spilled out of the iron gate and into the parking lot.  A big THANK YOU to Mrs. Darlene Brown and the members of Antioch for their hard work and for allowing us to be a part of this sorely needed ministry!

In conjunction with students’ return to school, Becky Murdock organized a Back to School Prayer event at Yowell Meadow Park on August 12 that was well attended by school personnel, parents and children as well as other members of our community.  Our friends at The Culpeper participated with Mary Miller leading the prayer time there.  Thank you one-and-all.

First and third Wednesday’s Something for Everyone Night kicked off BIG TIME!  We launched mid-month with more than 140 in attendance for dinner and small groups. Unite for preschoolers through fifth grade met, splitting into 4 groups and talked about how God created us in His image.   Meanwhile Converge met in the Courtyard and Courtyard Commons with a great group of sixth graders and a growing high school group— they played games and shared a skit.  The Mid Point (30-40 year-olds) and 50 to 60 Something crowd divided into two discussion groups and considered how we bring celebration and LIFE to our world.   Senior Connections met in the IG Space and discussed ways we can connect better with our community as well as younger age groups.  Our grief support group met in the Generations Central Morning Room to encourage folks who are dealing with grief and loss.  First and third Wednesdays are for everyone—so check out the groups above and find your niche!

Speaking of ‘kick offs,’ our Music Ministry partnered with musicians and/or vocalists from Mountain View Church, Glee Church in Maryland and The Bridge Church in Warrenton to organize a workshop for praise bands and church vocalists.  The first of its kind locally, this musical clinic offered hands-on experience for drums; bass, acoustic and electric guitars; and keys as well as vocals.  In addition, it provided an opportunity for all of them to become better acquainted and brush up on their stage presence.  I tuned in to the live stream for a few minutes that morning, and everyone was having a fabulous time!  The choir had their big kick off Sunday morning, August 20!  Seventeen folks attended and got a good start on the fall music.  If you would like to participate in one or both of these ministries, contact Jake Ramirez at jramirez@culpeperbaptist.org or just show up when they rehearse!

Plans for the 250th Anniversary are well under way.  We have all of the big events planned—be looking for the publication of that calendar by the end of September.  Currently we are working with the Town of Culpeper to have a historical marker erected at the East and Davis Street church commemorating the move of our church from Mount Pony to that location.

Generations Central hosted a wonderful FREE Family Fun Day on the nineteenth of the month, with a number of their clients along with their families in attendance besides folks from our community and church family.  I greeted 115+ guests coming through their main entrance, and that number does not include people who entered through the courtyard or one of our other entrances.  It was quite an event.  Entertainment included the Lake of the Woods Square Dance Club, an EarthQuest Birds of Prey presentation, a raffle, ice cream floats, a cakewalk—in addition to corn hole, miniature golf and even a Scavenger Hunt!

If book groups are your thing, Ann Lucas is hosting a ladies group the 4th Monday of each month at 11:15 a.m. in Courtyard Commons.  Each month they choose a novel with a Christian focus to read; then gather and discuss the characters, the plot, etc.  All are welcome, and you can join at any time.

Always a busy group, our senior adults gathered for an ice cream social near the end of the month, and what a group that was!  There was plenty of old favorites like vanilla and butter pecan flavor as well as some ice cream without sugar. . . for the dieters [that seems like an oxymoron to me].  Bob Jones, Volunteer Driver Recruiter for Aging Together and the Regional Transportation Collaborative, was the speaker.  As well, the seniors also assembled earlier in the month for delivery of USDA Senior Adult food boxes to folks in and around Culpeper.

Speaking of gatherings, pizza on the playground—a favorite of young families, was a  r e a l   hit this month with 50+ reservations! There was lots of pizza and everyone had a great time.  This is a great opportunity for young families to become better acquainted and provide mutual familial support to each other.  Look for more of these occasions during the next few months.

Folks, there are lots of great things happening here at CBC including ministry/mission opportunities, small groups, Bible study, book groups, etc.—this is just a small sample of the many ways we connect with our community as well as our church family.  You, too, can find a place to serve and make a difference in the life of our community!  Until next month, stay well.


Well, July is in the rear view mirror and our thoughts are beginning to turn toward fall as children return to school next month and Wednesday night activities re-launch around that same time.  Staff spent considerable time planning activities for all ages, and we are looking forward to August 16th when they begin.  Check our website for information about times/locations.

The Culpeper Freedom 5k race on July 4th was a big to-do with our largest field of runners yet—over 260, with a considerable age range including an eighty-five year old running with her grandchildren!  This year we partnered with Girls on the Run organization and half the proceeds of the race went to them; while the other half went toward fireworks expense.  After the race, there was a Patriotic Celebration at Yowell’s Meadow Park, and Pastor Dan shared about our upcoming 250th celebration coming up next year.  (Here’s the link for that event:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NtB9kHvMHs.)   AND, Speaking of our 250th Anniversary Celebration, we are looking forward to sharing with the congregation dates of major activities for 2024 by the end of September.

Our third annual SPARK Camp, a summer enrichment program designed to keep young students academically engaged during summer months, was the most diverse group that meets in our buildings all year long!  We had 60+ students enrolled that attended at some point during the two-week camp schedule.  On my way to the parking lot at the end of the day, I often encountered parents and children on their way to the registration tables located in the courtyard and if enthusiasm was any indication, everyone was thoroughly enjoying the camp.  As a break from the summer heat, the Unite children’s group and Converge Youth group enjoyed a Nerf battle during the month with much laughter and giggling.  It’s great to see so many folks coming together for activities at our church.  Find your niche and plug in!

Another big drawing card was the Potomac Module Train Show set up in our IG space beginning on July 21 and concluding that Sunday, July 23.   Children of all ages came to run the trains. This was PMT’s second show at CBC—they were here for a show last December during the Christmas season.

Our Foster Care Group held their first ever event during July for foster care families in Culpeper.  They’re off to a great start as we continue to build relationships with Culpeper Human Services and foster care families to see how CBC can be a support to these folks.

The blanket drive is in full swing. The participants spent an afternoon near the end of July making cozy blankets for distribution around the Culpeper community later in the fall as the weather becomes cooler.  This is a modern take on the colonial custom of quilting bees—except one does not need to know how to sew.  If an afternoon of visiting with friends and making pretty blankets appeals to you, plan to attend the one coming up next month.

Our church softball team had a great season!  They took the First Place trophy for the regular season and 2nd Place trophy in the tournaments.  Congratulations team!

There are lots of things happening at CBC—here is just a short list.  Acoustic Café is taking a break during August, but look for them to return in September with an entire new line up.  Our youth and young adult groups continue to grow even on a relaxed summer schedule.  The 2024 Concert series is coming together under Randy Sheets’ capable organization, and we can hardly wait to share the fabulous line up with you! Next month’s calendar is filling up already—there’s something for all ages!  See you next month, and stay well.


As I’m sitting at my computer to begin this recap, if I listen  r e a l l y  carefully, I can still hear the lingering notes of Yankee Doodle marching across the stage of my mind!  Yes!  It was our great pleasure to welcome Chuck Seipp and Randy Sheets back to our packed sanctuary this past Sunday for their annual Patriotic Concert.  They performed a brilliant and engaging concert from the stately posting of the colors by veterans from VFW 2524 Burton Hammond Post to the swelling notes of John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes complete with beautiful video-accompaniment, it was a feast for the soul!  Personally, the haunting melody of Shenandoah, one of the top 100 songs of all time, was both moving and nostalgic for me.  As the first notes rang out, I was transported back in time to my youth to the evening my husband–to-be and I first heard it during the movie of the same name, a 1965 American western film set during the American Civil War. Great memories, by the way!  Gershwin’s jazzy Rhapsody in Blue was another favorite as well as the Battle Hymn of the Republic, which show cased the wonderful mellow tones of the pipe organ.  Mansions of the Lord, written in 2002 by Randall Wallace and set to the music of Nick Glenne-Smith brought back memories of the Vietnam War era and the carnage in its wake.  Of course, who does not love old favorites like God Bless America and Amazing Grace?  A big THANK YOU to Chuck and Randy for all of their hard work and many hours of practice to provide this caliber of entertainment.  Thanks to Winston and his crew for their expertise on video and sound and for all those who helped to make this concert so special.

As usual, June was full of numerous opportunities to plug into the life here at CBC--including summer book clubs.  One group meets on Sundays, with a second one offered on Mondays.  Both will be studying      Dr. Bob Roberts’ book [Dr. Roberts is one of several keynote speakers for our year-long-250th anniversary celebration], Glocalization – How Followers of Jesus Engage a Flat World.  This book outlines the recent, unprecedented changes in our world, the impact upon the church and how it transforms the way churches define their mission to reach people for Christ.  You can still participate in one of the groups; just email Pastor Dan of your intention.

Mid-month, we hosted our fourth of seven exciting concerts for the 2023 season--Classical FX, a vocal quartet of vibrant singers with an eclectic repertoire  that includes classical as well as contemporary selections covering genres of opera, spirituals, musical theatre, folk, and more!  As has been the case with all of Randy’s friends performing here, Classical FX gave a marvelous performance.  Two nights prior, Acoustic Café featured singers/song writers Buck Robey and Sue Rowan of the duo, Generations, performing their vast repertoire of contemporary Christian music as well as David Weaver and Zach Hunt, wonderful musicians in their own right.

Fuge Week at JMU from all reports was a huge success—with 11 CBC teens and 10 from Maranatha in attendance.  In His Image was the theme during the week.  I’m told it was an active week with games, worship, Bible study and more.  The camp experience takes students away from their normal routine and places them into an environment focused on life-change through a personal relationship with Christ.

Another highlight of the month was the Sunday morning Parent Child Dedication held June 11.  Two of our participating families have had multiple generations of involvement here at CBC—one for four generations; the other for five!  What a legacy!

Near the end of the month, we had an evening with ‘something for everyone’ as Unite and Converge with children of all ages as well as some adults came to enjoy the fast, furious Slip ‘n Slide; while other families gathered on the playground for pizza and play.  In addition, the senior adults had a picnic in the courtyard with Pastor Hans at the grill preparing hot dogs and hamburgers.  Of course, the folks brought every conceivable side dish one could imagine.  Meanwhile, back at the Fellowship Hall, Pastor Dan gathered with Midpoint and the 50 - 60 Somethings groups for a meal, AND even our CBC softball team had a game at Lenn Park.  It is so good to see our church family come together again like this after weathering COVID, past lockdowns and such!

Thus, another month of ministry has passed, and these are just a smattering of highlights of the many good things that happen every day here at CBC.  See you next month!


Richard L. Ratliff said it well, “May is green and pink and red.”  I would add that May is lilacs, honeysuckle and lilies dripping with heady scents that wake up my senses and bring back memories of bygone years when I was younger and much more fleet of foot.  What a lovely month with the promise of summer just around the corner and the earth, awake with life, greening and blooming, and buzzing with insects pollinating pretty flowers, birds nesting and spring babies arriving in the animal world.  We have certainly enjoyed a banquet of beautiful spring weather the entire month.

And speaking of banquets, the calendar was filled with a huge variety of opportunities for connection, worship and ministry throughout the month.  Allow me to share just a few highlights.

We kicked the month off in fine style with Dinner in the Courtyard Friday evening, May 5th, featuring  a dinner  from Luigi’s of typical Italian fare  such as  lasagna, spaghetti, etc.   Judy Smith provided a sheet cake for desert,  and Liz Triplett provided table decorations.  Myrna Dunn gave the invocation.  Folks enjoyed the fellowship and opportunity to make new friends.  Look for more of these events as summer progresses.

The first Saturday morphed into a ‘triple header’ that included the opening day of Culpeper Farmer’s Market, the CDC annual favorite, Touch a Truck and last but not least, the first annual Mom2Moms Expo.  If the facebook photos were any indication, there was a plethora of plants, veggies, foodstuffs and other goodies at the Market.  Touch a Truck was well represented by local volunteer fire departments, law enforcement, businesses, the UVA Medical Center and Culpeper Renaissance to name a few.  Moms2Moms featured face painting, a moon bounce and other activities as they distributed basic supplies such as diapers and wipes, etc.  What a privilege to partner with such great folks to bring joy as well as needed resources to those who need it most; not to mention being a gathering place to shop for all things fresh and local in the food and plant department.   Folks, ministry wears many faces—including smiles.

On Sunday, May 7th we welcomed the Blue Ridge Chorale back for the first time since the completion of the sanctuary renovation.  Their program included favorites like Joyful, Joyful, and Shenandoah as well as songs that were new to me such as Deep River and Home.  As usual, their program was delightful!

Our senior adults were busy during the month as well.  Mid-month, they were off to a favorite haunt, Lancaster, PA, for good food and shopping, a tour of Amish country and a performance of Moses at Sight and Sound Theatre.  Other activities included Senior Chat and senior food delivery later in the month.

Acoustic Café this month was a fabulous musical treat featuring Ronnie Williams and his band, The Carter Family Sound. Williams, a native of Spotsylvania, Virginia, has been a fan of country music’s Carter Family since his youth.  As you may know, the Carter Family, considered ‘the first family’ of country music and Maebelle Carter, the matriarch, is credited with developing the ‘Carter Scratch’ style of playing the guitar!  The Williams’ band played to a packed house and remained true to the Carter Family style of music including such old favorites as  Wildwood Flower, Will the Circle be Unbroken and Keep on the Sunny Side of Life.    There were plenty of great snacks and beverages and everyone ‘a good time was had by all.’

An equally enjoyable concert two days later, featured the husband-wife team of Kerry Wilkerson and Danielle Talamantes, accompanied by pianist/composer Henry Dehlinger!  Talamantes, a soprano, has an enviable career as an opera singer including notable performances with The Metropolitan Opera as well as other companies.  Her husband, Kerry Wilkerson, a bass-baritone, enjoyed a celebrated career in the United States Army Chorus and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2017.  Henry Dehlinger is an American composer whose vocal, chamber and orchestral works are helping to shape the landscape of contemporary classical music.  They presented their signature program called “Literary Giants,” with works that featured the writings of James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou and others.  A June concert is on the horizon; so circle June 18th on your calendar.  We will be hosting a vocal quartet of vibrant singers with a remarkably eclectic program featuring classical, contemporary, opera/art songs, sacred music, spirituals, musical theatre, folk, rock and jazz.

Rounding out the month, the Child Development Center held their annual graduation, and I heard on the grapevine that the sanctuary was packed—in a good way.  A reception followed with yummy cupcakes for family members.  The youth and young adults held their end-of-the-year cookouts as they go to a summer schedule and even our men’s group gathered for a Saturday brunch.  Generations Central welcomed the toddlers from the CDC near the end of the month for a Teddy Bear Picnic in the courtyard.  Whew!  FULL month!!  Stay current by checking our website often for updates.  See you next month.  Be well.


The Way of the Cross prayer walk, held April 1st, launched Holy Week here at CBC. Folks gathered early at CUMC and rode shuttles to the starting point of the walk at Precious Blood Catholic Church on North Main Street.  The walk began at 9:00 a.m., with the group making their way through the historic district and stopping at downtown churches along the way including our former location at the corner of Davis and East Streets.

The next day, Palm Sunday, was marked by a processional led by our handbell choir followed by a Palm Parade featuring some of our young parents and their children.  Unite, Converge, and Midpoint all gathered for an Easter Party on Wednesday night with about 125 in attendance!  Thursday evening about eighty folks gathered in the sanctuary around the communion table for a very moving service commemorating Jesus’ final meal with his disciples before his crucifixion the next day.  Friday evening we held a sunset service in the courtyard and Easter morning, we welcomed around 350 folks to our sanctuary to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection.  The music was fabulous and a big THANK YOU goes out to everyone who helped make each of these occasions a very meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Mid month, we welcomed David and Ginger Hildebrand to our church for their concert featuring the music of early America.  This husband-wife team has presented concerts and educational programs throughout the country for museums, historical societies, colleges and universities.  Their selections included such songs as A Toast (to George Washington); Don’t be Weary, Traveler, from Slave Songs of the United States (1867); as well as a medley from The Beggars Opera.  Our next concert is scheduled for     4:00 p.m. May 21 and features Danielle Talamates, Kerry Wilkerson and Henry Dehlinger.  Their program includes original art songs written especially for their voices. Selections include the poetry of Dante Alighieri, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and biblical texts from Song of Solomon. Come join us for an afternoon of superb music!

Our young adult group spent a wonderful week at Wilmington Beach mid-month.  During their stay, they studied the book, What If Jesus Was Serious about Prayer?  I heard via the grapevine that the weather was fabulous and there was plenty of beach and arcade time as well.  A ‘crab fest’ was even on the agenda, AND ‘a good time was had by all!’

Near the end of the month, Generations Central hosted a free Veteran’s Resource Summit from 10:00 a.m. until noon on April 25.  Guest speakers were Thomas Holley and Priscilla Clark with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.  Their conversations centered upon veteran’s benefits, qualifications and provided updates regarding the application process.

So . . . April 2023 is now in the history books and we are one fourth of the way through the year—already!  May promises to be busier still.  Remember our next concert is May 21—you’ll want to circle THAT date on your calendar.  Check our website often for updates because the content changes frequently, and you won’t want to miss anything.  Until next month, stay well.


At last!  Spring has now returned to our little rural paradise tucked snugly back in the shadow of the Blue Ridge foothills!  Over on Ripplebrook, purple, yellow and white pansies nod their heads in agreement—‘yes, spring has indeed arrived!’  The flowering cherries and dogwoods are madly tossing their white and pink confetti blooms into the air and the daffodils and tulips are waving from the flowerbeds adding to the every-day rolling beauty of Culpeper’s rich farmland.  Robins and House Finches dart among the shrubs looking for suitable nesting sites to raise their babies.  Spring is such a lovely season, don’t you think?

Things have been busy among our church family as well.  It was our privilege to host the Mexican Consulate again this year at the beginning of the month—a steady stream of folks stopped by for assistance with passports, visas and other legal assistance.

Have you noticed the special kid-friendly areas in our sanctuary?  This is the brainchild of Jeanine Judd, Children’s Director.  These areas have small tables, a tiny assortment of simple toys and a ‘worship bag’ with additional interesting odds-and-ends.  Each Sunday children, along with their parents, utilize these special family-friendly areas during worship.  It’s a win-win.  The children enjoy age-appropriate activities as everyone worships, and their parents become better acquainted with the other young families around them.

Senior adults have been active with the USDA food delivery in an around Culpeper, a brunch to brainstorm about retirement, and a trip to the Dahlgren Heritage Museum near the end of the month.  As you may know, this museum has a stunning collection of naval artifacts, and it also serves as a model for other military museums.    Other activities included a one-day VBS at The Culpeper—a popular event with everyone involved—that featured music, games, crafts and Bible study as well as an opportunity to build relationships and make new friends!

Around mid-month, we kicked off our 2023 Concert Series with Craig Williams in concert.  Mr. Williams, only the fourth person to hold this position, is the West Point Military Academy Organist and Choirmaster.  In addition to his duties at West Point, he is adjunct professor of organ at Nyack College in New York and also served on the conservatory faculty at Westminster Choir College for 19 years.  His concert included music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Nancy Plummer Faxon, Vikto Honcharenko and many others.  The next concert features David and Ginger Hildebrand coming up at 4:00 p.m. April 16.  Save the date!  Speaking of music and concerts, legendary folk singer, Bob Zentz, ‘a singer of songs old and new about people, places and times gone by. . .,’ was our guest musician at Acoustic Café on the 17th.

The men’s breakfast group gathered again this month on March 11 for another great fellowship with ‘Chef’ Dave Mullins at the stove providing a tasty meal of pancakes and other breakfast goodies. And while we’re talking about culinary delights, the FUGE Brunch garnered over $700 toward summer camp expenses!  THANK YOU for your generosity!  Other gatherings included the Branch Young Adult group for a murder mystery dinner, with some awesome pics on facebook.  Check ‘em out!

The new 50-60 Something group is up and coming with more than thirty involved; they’re looking forward to their next meeting April 26.  If you are in this age range and looking for new friends, why not drop by in April and get acquainted.

Maranatha’s Anniversary Celebration Sunday on March 26 was a wonderful example of a church family coming together for a important milestone!  Twenty-two years ago, they began their faith journey here at Culpeper Baptist.  More than 240 folks attended this special worship service that included lunch in the courtyard.  They are so appreciative of their ’home’ here at CBC! Sheila Horton spoke on behalf of our church family.

Actions taken at the March business meeting included hiring Jake Ramirez as Worship Leader and choosing Brian Jones to serve the remainder of Ted Gore’s term [2 years] on the Personnel Committee.  For additional information related to the business meeting, please click here.

Well friends, this is only a small sample of the many ways we reach out and touch our community during the month!  Tune in again in April for a new update!  In the meantime, be well.


I’m told Phil, weather prognosticator extraordinaire, did see his shadow on Ground Hog Day, but you would hardly believe that now! February has been a mild month as winters go—75F just a few days ago!  That’s my idea of “winter.”  Besides giving Phil an opportunity to use his illusive and somewhat dubious weather forecasting skills, February is Black History month and the shortest month—28/29 days!  Did you know that February is the only month that can pass without a full moon at all during the month!  No kidding, the last time that happened was 1999, and we won’t see it again until 2037—roughly fourteen years down the road!  I’ll only be 89 years old. . .

It’s been quite a busy month here in CBC-land.  The Sanctuary Renovation Project is heading down the home stretch toward the finish line!  Drywall is nearly finished, and we are scheduled to paint the Fellowship Hall the first week of March.  If you can help or know someone who can, feel free to contact Pastor Dan, and he’ll get you started.  BYO paint brushes and/or rollers; we’ll supply the paint.  Later next month Southern Air will deliver the air conditioning unit, and we will inch our way on toward the ‘finish line.’

Before we hardly knew it, our First Sunday Fellowship rolled around along with the Lord’s Supper celebration—on the same Sunday!  As well, Pastor Dan began a new sermon series called, Formed by Jesus.  The following Saturday, some of the men gathered for breakfast together in the Courtyard Commons. I understand it was quite a spread!

A few days later, we welcomed Allen Jessee and his team, from Highland’s Fellowship. They spent that evening and part of the next morning with us encouraging our team and thinking with us about how we can partner with each other during the coming months on mission together at home and abroad.

Lots of great things are happening in the music department, as well.  The whole team—musicians, sound, audio/video—works hard to see that it all runs smoothly on Sunday morning.  Kudos to one and all!  Thank YOU so much!  As Easter approaches, the Choir is rehearsing; so if you would like to be part of this great team—just show up!  They will warmly welcome you.

Earlier in the month some of our hardy church folk served nourishing hot soup to passersby at our West Street parking lot!  Yummmm!  Additionally, on Sunday afternoon mid-month, we hosted a Moms2Moms event.  This group assists families in Central VA find resources and provides diapers, wipes, formula and hygiene items.  Plus, Hans’ Homebound Brigade delivered numerous boxes of food staples to homebound seniors in an around Culpeper.

Small groups are blossoming all around CBC.  Dinner groups are up and running again, giving our church family an opportunity to gather and get to know each other on a more intimate level.  George’s Connection, a small group for young adults with unique abilities, gathered on February 24 for good food, games and fun.  Children and their parents celebrated a Family Fun Night with a snack dinner and had lots of fun playing games together.  At the end of the month, the youth spent the afternoon snow tubing at Brice Resort near the foot of the Allegheny Mountains on the edge of Shenandoah Valley.  A newly formed group, 50-60 Somethings has also come together.  This group may be a good fit for you if you are still in the work force.  As well, a group of our “seasoned” retirees gathered to pass along some of the things they’ve learned to people who have recently retired or are considering retirement soon.

Generations Central’s family support group got together  again this month and several individuals commented about how much they appreciated CBC hosting this group and how supportive the group is to them in just a few short months! In addition, Sara assists in the facilitation of a 6-week educational program to help caregivers cope with all of their responsibilities as they care for a friend or relative.  At this writing we have 3 instructors and 8 folks in the class. By completion, these individuals will have many tools to help them with their caring responsibilities. These are just a few highlights of the many activities that occur during the month at CBC.  Until next month, be well and be a blessing.


Well, that was quick! January is now in the rear view mirror, and we are heading into February with great excitement about all that is happening here at CBC.  Some big news—Christina Johnson is settling in as our worship and building/event coordinator.  If you see her when you’re in our building, introduce yourself and chat a moment or two.

The renovation project is progressing, and we are back in the sanctuary for two services each Sunday.  Some minor details still need attention, but we are closing in on those.  The Fellowship Hall is starting to take shape -we hope to be back in that space by March.  Check out the update on the website for more information.

Acoustic Café celebrated five, yes—5!—years of providing great music and good fellowship to our church family and community at large.  AND get this!  Over 100 folks came to help us celebrate!! We have one of the best venues for live music in the whole of Culpeper.  Thank you Geary!

Things are bubbling right along with children.  Meghan DeJarnette is leading the charge with a children’s choir; so if you know of little people who love to sing, give her a call. In addition, if you love working with children, teens or young adults, Jeanine and Jim can always use a helping hand.

Jake Ramirez is leading Choir practice in preparation for Easter services.  Come check it out and add your voice to the rest of the group.   What a treat to have the choir back for our Christmas celebration a few weeks ago!  Thanks to our entire music crew for all the great work they are doing each Sunday.

Our 250th Anniversary Celebration Team is getting back to work in February.  We are making progress on their plans for a year-long celebration next year!  If you have addresses of alumni from years gone by, feel free to contact Dan or one of the committee members with this information.  It will be invaluable information as we plan.

Hans and his crew are back to delivering the USDA food boxes around our community.  A big thank you goes out to our faithful volunteers who make this monthly trek to deliver nourishing food to seniors in and around Culpeper.  Our senior adults also met near the end of the month to share their wisdom about transitioning well to retirement.  Some of our younger seniors are just beginning to think about retirement and wanted to tap into the wisdom of folks who have already been there/done that.  We had a great group with some having retired 20+ years ago!  Hopefully these sages will help others to avoid some pitfalls along the way.

I understand that plans are in the works for the senior adults to take a spring trip to Lancaster, PA with a brief stop in Hershey.  We may even schedule a tour of the world-famous chocolate factory.   One of my fantasies is to fall into a big box of chocolates and nibble my way out!

The teens and young adults had fun during the month, too.  Converge small groups met in different places for dinner with one enjoying a charcuterie dinner, one at State Climb and others scattered around nearby.  The young adults enjoyed Monday Night Live with lots of music and laughs while some helped serve dinner at the local heat shelter!  Way to go!

Our Church Ministries Team is bringing back the dinner groups again this year and over 80 people have signed up!  They will begin in February.  Last but certainly not least, our women’s group is planning a conference in March.  So many great things are happening at CBC!  You can help by praying for each event that comes up.  Until next month, be well.

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