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First Baptist Friends,

In a chemical equation, a catalyst is a change agent that makes possible a new and unpredictable reaction. The business world has adopted that language, naming as a catalyst a person in a company or institution who creates change that reverberates throughout the organization. The Bible is filled with catalysts. Jesus proclaimed a new way of living that has changed the world, and he believed himself to be in the tradition of a set of catalysts in the Old Testament: the prophets. These change agents called the people to a new vision proclaimed by God, practiced patience in the coming of that vision, and stood their ground when the world around them resisted their change.

What about the Church? Specifically, what about First Baptist of Lawrence? For over 165 years, this congregation has faced complex and difficult challenges. Yet, we have found ways to be innovative, creative, and ambitious through those challenges.

In short, we have been catalysts for Gospel change.

The time has come again for First Baptist Lawrence to be catalysts. In fact, as one of our Finance committee members suggested recently, it is “more important than it’s ever been” to be the Church that Christ inspired. To be the Church in 2021 will require us to look backwards, holding fast to the vision of the prophets and The Prophet, Jesus. But it will also require us to look forward, to ask what it means to be church in this changing context….

  • How will we respond to the challenges of COVID-19 in ways that demonstrate hospitality and care, and how will we keep the good results after the pandemic is over?
  • How will we Welcome, Worship, Work, and Wonder under this current set of circumstances and opportunities, and all that 2021 will bring us?
  • What will the role be in this changing context for our new Associate Pastor for Children, Youth, and Families?
  • How will we prioritize the use of our resources: money, building, volunteers, and staff?
  • In other words, how will we continue to be catalysts for Gospel change, in 2021…and beyond?

Below is a pledge form that will allow you to pledge online if you wish (confidentially). The message: you are ready to be a catalyst for Gospel change in 2021 and beyond. Thank you for your generosity and willingness to participate in the mission of the church.

Please respond by November 22, and if you have any questions, please contact one of the members of the Finance Team below.

In God’s abundant Grace,
Joe Karnes – Chair
Craig Weinaug – Steward
Dava Cooper – Treasurer
Marylee Southard – Financial Secretary
Holly Grassy – Bookkeeper
Ken Hite – At-large Committee Member
Joanna Gillette – Moderator


2021 Catalyst Pledge Form