Seventeen years ago, when Bob Heacock wrote Strength of Stone as a 150-year-old history of First Baptist Church, he likely could not have imagined what awaited. Political turmoil. Financial and congregational challenges. A global pandemic. And yet, perhaps this last 17 years has been exactly what his book predicted: regardless of what had happened for 150 years, the congregation First Baptist found a way. They kept going. They relied on the strength of God and community to take the next steps. So now, as 2022 comes to an end, we could only imagine how Bob might end the chapter…
“It had been hard year. The lingering effects of COVID-19, the challenge of putting the building back together after a devastating fire, and the ever-present challenges of being faithful in a world with constantly-changing priorities, all made some folks wonder where they might put their feet. And yet, the answer was clear: upon the Strength of Stone.”
This year, as we consider what it means to move forward as a church in 2023, we also choose to look behind us. What are the lessons of our past? How have we grown as a church since our founding in 1855? How might God be growing us now? Will we return to the creativity and flexibility that has allowed us to survive for 167 years? Will we set our feet upon the strength of stone?
From October 30 through November 20, we will explore these themes in worship. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom. Elisha’s welcome of the outsider Naaman. Isaiah’s invitation to turn swords into plowshares. Habakkuk invites us to see faith as way of life. Woven throughout these stories of prophecy and poetry, we will discover once again our Four W’s: Welcome, Worship, Work, and Wonder.
Meanwhile, we will also be considering how we might plan our priorities and purpose for the upcoming 2023 ministry budget. Below you’ll find the online pledge form, as well as how give by text and set up recurring gifts. Over the coming month, you will be invited to continue to give to the 2022 ministry needs, as well as consider your giving for 2023. Please submit your pledge information by November 20, so that we as a Ministry team can begin our work of budgeting.
Together we write the next chapter of Strength of Stone. Together, we see God at work in our world and our congregation. If you have any questions or clarifications, please contact one of us as the members of the Finance Ministry team, listed below.
In God’s abundant Grace,
Joe Karnes – Chair
Dava Cooper – Treasurer
Marylee Southard – Financial Secretary
Holly Grassy – Bookkeeper
Joanna Gillette – Moderator
2023 Strength of Stone Pledge Form
NOTE: The following form will submit your information to Breeze, our church management software (CMS). You can read Breeze’s security policy re: how they handle data HERE. Breeze will then forward the information to Holly Grassy, FBC’s bookkeeper.
Now that I’ve pledged, how do I give?
Again, thank you so much for your commitment and your generosity!
Here are three ways you can make your pledge payments:
1) Online at https://1330fbc.breezechms.com/give/online. Choose “Operating Fund” from the top drop-down menu. You may also a select a frequency option from the second drop-down menu if you’d like to automate your giving. Choose your form of payment from the third drop-down menu. (ACH is the option with the lowest fee, 1% + .25 per transaction. Credit card payments have a fee of 2.9% + .30 per transaction.)
2) By simply texting an amount to 785-333-5300.
3) By mailing a check made out to First Baptist Church, 1330 Kasold Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.
Need help with setting up a Breeze account for recurring giving, or other giving-related questions? Contact FBC bookkeeper Holly Grassy.
Photo credit: Amber Janssens on Pexels