A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Out Of My Mind – New Beginnings

The biggest news in the life of our church recently is the election of our Pastoral Search Committee.

It was interesting to see First-Calvary at work striving to perceive the Holy Spirit’s direction through the election process. Some expressed concern that it seemed a bit heated at times, but we want to remember that as Baptists we believe that the Holy Spirit often speaks most clearly in the struggle.

I want to specifically thank the Nominating Committee for their diligence and hard work in identifying seven members who said they would serve, if elected, and the Moderator who ran the meeting coolly and carefully. Also thanks to all the members and friends who were there and let their voices be heard.

Searching for a new settled pastor needs to be thorough and deliberate. The committee will need the ideas and thoughts of all our members and friends as they go forward. Most of all, they will need our prayers of support and encouragement. There is a sense that God has chosen them to steer the future of this church, so our prayers for them are also for First-Calvary.

Some calendar matters. The first Friday and Saturday of October (4 and 5), TABCOM will be holding its annual “Mission Works” weekend. It’s a great opportunity to renew old acquaintances and learn of different ways our sister Baptist churches in Massachusetts are discovering and creating new ministries. And by the way, the food is excellent. I hope some of our members will take advantage of this weekend.

That Sunday will be “World Communion Sunday,” when we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper with almost every Christian church in the world. The church I grew up in, Dutch Reformed, celebrated the sacrament only four times a year, but even we never missed the first Sunday in October. Please plan to join us as we remember Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and promised return in his simple meal, with a billion Christian brothers and sisters.

I don’t know if you will be reading this before or after the church retreat on September 28. If it’s before, please plan to attend, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hall, both members and concerned friends. It will be an excellent opportunity to begin our pastoral search, expressing dreams and hopes. The more, the better. It would be wonderful if everyone participated. Lunch will be catered.

I write this on September 11, a dreadful day in our country’s history, one of those moments when the world seemed to spinning out of control. The good news is that no matter what is happening around us, God is always with us and is always in control.


Pastor Rob Branch