“… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Frustrated. Annoyed. Discouraged. These are some of the adjectives participants used to describe their experience during the Poverty Simulation we hosted on October 21st. Typically these are not the words we would hope for after a church event, but in this case they were appropriate. During the simulation, participants were placed into family units and asked to pay their bills, feed their families, and survive the month on limited resources. The circumstances of the simulation were designed to be frustrating. Help was hard to find, and good fortune seemed to always be just out of reach. While some of the circumstances and scenarios of the simulation may have appeared to be over-the-top, the message behind the theatrics was simple: Poverty can become a reality for any one of us.
According to the US Census Bureau, almost 9% of the population in Roswell were living in poverty as of 2016. Looking around our community, it can be hard to see, but poverty in the suburbs is an ever-increasing problem. Many families in our community are faced with the challenges of poverty on a daily basis. Whether it is due to the loss of a job, rising housing costs, or medical bills, poverty is often a result of more than just bad choices. Oftentimes, it is the result of a chain of unfortunate events, events over which we have no control. It can be easy to think that we would never find ourselves facing the loss of our home, car and possessions, but the reality is that none of us is immune to that possibility.
Maya Angelou once said, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Poverty doesn’t care if you are college educated or live in the suburbs. Poverty doesn’t see race or gender. When it comes to being susceptible to the realities of poverty, we are more alike than we are unalike. With that being said, shouldn’t we all do our very best to help our struggling neighbors in whatever way we can?
Fall Festival 2018 was a wonderful day for all who attended. Although the morning was cloudy and dark, the sun came out in the afternoon and provided us with several hours of fun. The kids had a great time jumping in the bouncy house, sliding down the inflatable slide, going through the inflatable train obstacle course, climbing the rock wall, riding ponies, creating beautiful sand art, and of course, winning baked goods at the cake walk. Thanks to the generosity of the FBR family, there were more than 60 items to giveaway during the Cake Walk! It was wonderful to see families spending time together and children having a great time with new friends. This day would not have been possible without the help of almost 40 volunteers, including 6 Roswell High School Beta Club students. Fall Festival continues to be a wonderful event for the whole community to enjoy year after year.
Our Senior Adults have been busy this fall! In September, fifty people travelled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium where they toured the new facility and then enjoyed lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room. They held their quarterly luncheon on October 9th, and enjoyed listening to guest speaker Neil Scott-Barbour, a British voice actor who performed several humorous expressive readings. On October 23rd, forty-six S.A.L.T. members travelled up to Blue Ridge, GA. While there, they visited Mercier Orchards and purchased fried pies and apple cider to enjoy upon their return. Prior to heading home, they enjoyed lunch at the Southern Charm Restuarant. It is safe to say that this group won’t let you go hungry!
Every other Sunday evening, our 9th-12th graders meet for Youth Alive, a high school Bible Study. When leaders Angie & Barry Hensley were trying to decide what to focus on this Fall, they wanted to find something that would get the kids involved and invested in what they were learning. As a result, they decided to have the youth write their own Bible Study!
They have been focusing on Ephesians 6:10-18 — putting on the full armor of God. Each meeting they have been discussing an individual piece of the armor and talking about what it means in their lives. They then talk about the Bible verse itself, what other verses can be used along with it, a story from the Bible that relates to the verse, a game/food that goes along with it, and a video or story to which they can relate to that verse. They are hoping to combine all of these pieces into a comprehensive Bible Study that can be published for their peers at other churches to use as well. As a final touch, the kids are all making a piece of the armor, and at the end of the study, they are going to take a group photo with the full armor of God… hopefully the cover shot for this amazing study they are creating!
What a blessing it is to be a part of a church where the youth have such a vested interest in not only their own study of God’s Word, but also in the impact that study can have on their peers in Roswell, across the United States, and around the world.
Prior to the start of 2018, our Deacon Ministry was reorganized into Deacon Teams based on the spiritual gifts of our Deacons. Over the course of the year, our Deacon Teams have been hard at work within their individual areas, and the things they have been able to accomplish are incredible!
The Outreach Team has been actively seeking opportunities to make First Baptist Roswell’s presence in the community well-known. From establishing a booth to acting as Trolley Ambassadors, FBR is now a fixture at the monthly “Alive in Roswell” events in the community. Additionally, the Outreach team brought John Rosemond to FBR for a parenting seminar. The seminar was attended by many of our own members, as well as mothers from the Drake House and members of the community.
The Prayer Team has established a quarterly church-wide Prayer Emphasis. Each quarter the team compiles a list of prayer needs for the church congregation to be praying about. These typically address changes in the life of the church, church activities, and mission efforts. In addition to the church-wide emphasis, the prayer team meets regularly to pray for the church, its ministers and its members.
Members of the Hospitality Team can be found working the Information Center desk on Sunday mornings, helping with the golf cart ministry, and acting as greeters around the church. In addition to providing a hospitable presence on Sundays, the Hospitality Team has several efforts planned for 2019, and we cannot wait to see what they have in store.
The Congregational Care team reaches out to members of the congregation in times of need. Whether it be a phone call, card or visit, they are always looking to care for the needs of the congregation in any way they can. Each member of the team regularly makes visits to members in the hospital, reaching out to make sure these members know that they are loved.
Finally, the Special Projects team reaches out to help in a variety of capacities, helping others with tasks they cannot complete themselves. Each quarter they reach out to the congregation through the bulletin, asking members to notify them of anyone in need of help around the house. These men are more than willing to help with yard work or home repairs, and they have done a wonderful job of addressing these needs.
We are so grateful for the Deacon Ministry Teams and all of the wonderful work they have done for our congregation. If you know of a need that one of our Deacon Teams could address, contact Ruth in the church office at (770) 587-6980.