After a long, hard winter, our little town in Eastern New York is finally showing some signs of spring. The crocus are coming up next to our house. Daylight Savings Time begins this weekend. The air outside smells fresh and clean, with just a hint of green. There is a sense of promise.
Second Baptist Church is also ready to bloom. We have been working through the winter, and we are starting to gear up for Resurrection Sunday. I thought this would be a good time to let you know what's been going on.
We have a couple of projects going on in the church building. First, some of the members are working on repairs in the bell tower. If you live nearby, you may be able to hear our bell ring just before 11:00 every Sunday morning to mark the beginning of our weekly worship service. We joined other churches across the nation in January, ringing our bell 400 times to recognize those lost to Covid-19. Second, last fall we gave a facelift to the Dedrick Fellowship Hall, replacing the carpet and painting the walls. If you haven't come in a while, we invite you to stop in and see the progress.
Of course, the church is not a building, but the people. After meeting on Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic, we have been able to open safely for in-person services. We have single-use masks available at the front door for anyone who needs one, and we make sure to use masks whenever we are within 6 feet of each other. The church is also disinfected regularly. I am happy to report that we have had no Covid cases since reopening. Of course, we are careful of each others' health, and anyone who is not feeling well is encouraged to stay home.
We have started up our Bible Study again! One hidden blessing from this past year is that all of the new restrictions have taught us how to do things differently. As I mentioned, we had to worship via Zoom for a while last spring. While this was not optimal, we have learned that we can use technology for good. As a result, Bible Study is working on a hybrid model, with some class members in person and others joining on Zoom. If you are interested in joining us, the information is on the Bible Study page of this website. Our children's Sunday School has been meeting in person regularly. We are studying the Jewish holidays as they come up, and also going through the book of Acts.
We have had a chance to help some people in our community, as well as some that are far away. We were blessed to be able to provide a take-out Thanksgiving Dinner to some wonderful people in our area as well as adopt two families for Christmas. We were also blessed to help a missionary in the Dominican Republic by sending out 3 boxes full of food and clothing. As a church, we represent Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15), and function as his "hands and feet" in this world (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are so grateful to be able to represent our Savior and to do the work of Jesus.
Rev. Singleton continues to bring us God's messages every week. We are grateful for her leadership and her unflagging devotion to God and to His people. You can see some of her past messages on the Pastor's Messages page of the website. This page includes both video sermons from when we were meeting on Zoom, and blog posts based on sermons. We also meet in prayer on Sunday nights. This is not a formal service, but a time to bring our praises and petitions before our Lord.
I hope you enjoyed this news post! We are looking forward to what God is going to do in Dover Plains this year. As we walk out of the darkness of winter, we invite you to walk with us into the springtime of God's light!
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9 (NASB)