A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Out Of My Mind – January 2021

I think it’s safe to say that a year ago, not one of us had the least inkling of what was about to happen to the world or to FCBC. We prayerfully make plans for what’s ahead, but the best laid plans of mice and men “oft gang alee.”

We have been blessed by our church leadership which has helped make up for much that the virus has tried to take away. The Trustees and Deacons were able to return us to the sanctuary for Sunday worship. They have also been diligent in pursuing their specific responsibilities, as have the other committees and boards that have been able to meet.

Perhaps the biggest change in the month-to-month operation of First-Calvary is of the new by-law which allows the Church Council to act for the entire church until the Annual Meeting can gather safely. There will be an annual report available at the usual time, but the Annual Meeting has been postponed until the Council (and the Commonwealth) agrees that it’s safe once again. Let’s stay in prayer for the Council, that God will fill them with His own wisdom as they lead us in these difficult times, the same wisdom he fills the congregation with when it is able to meet.

Also, the Search Committee has been meeting regularly, also online. The church profile is close to being finished. It remains to be seen whether individuals will respond to our profile when it’s made available through TABCOM and the American Baptist Churches. Given the circumstances in our country now, there’s no way to be certain. Again, let’s agree to be in prayer, that God will bring to North Andover the pastor He has prepared to lead FCBC. Dick Haley started as interim at West Acton Baptist Church after I started here, and they’ve already called a settled pastor. So you never know what surprises God may have in mind.

We’ve reactivated the Wednesday evening Bible Study. We finished a study based on Ephesians and have begun looking at the Fruit of the Spirit. We’ll be using an excellent book on the subject and if you’re interested in joining us, I’ll gladly help you order a copy. The meeting is completely online. I try to send out some questions or ideas Thursday or Friday before, just to get the conversation started. Please join us if you can.

Two Sundays ago in my sermon, I said that you, the people of God, are my inspiration and how much I miss the opportunity to sit and converse with you face-to-face. I pray God will hurry the day when we can gather with each other, not just in prayer or online, but actually in the same room and to shake hands.

Pastor Rob Branch, interim