A New Season is Coming
Winter is on its way out and a new season is on its way. Are we ready? Someone has described March in this way. The month of March symbolically represents new growth, and fertility in all creation. Its meaning embodies a kind of reigniting of the hearts, like our ancestors, we are quickened... our souls long for new conquests. I think of the farming mindset. The farmer is reviewing new research data. They are planning their crops and fields. They may even rent some additional acreage. They are ordering seeds and fertilizer. They’re repairing and replacing equipment. And fuel is on order. It is an all out effort to gear up for a new season to partner with God and nature. They are co-laborers in both faith and hard work, believing for a good season. Over the generations from my grandfather to my brothers, new techniques, new equipment and even new crops were needed to fulfill the same mission of producing food. We made changes in crops from clover hay to alfalfa and ryegrass, from barley and wheat to soybeans. We made changes from straight crop rows to contour strip farming. And the equipment has changed dramatically. These were just a few of the changes.
I see the same process at work in the church. As a statement of fact we must be willing to change to ensure new life and growth. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24-26. Dorothy Lane American Baptist Church is facing the truth of this statement. In order to survive, in order for new life to sprout forth - it must surrender its former life and identity. It is not in a state to grow on its own. Generations have passed. Younger generations are missing. Jesus said that new wine is put into new wineskins so that it does not burst the old skins. (Matthew chapter 9) The mission remains the same; but the techniques and strategies are different. The church needs the help of others to move forward. It needs to take on the flexibility of a new wine skin to make room for the new wine.
I know that change is not comfortable. But I also see that it is inevitable. The congregation has changed so much just in the time I have served as Interim Pastor. The opportunities are not the same. I pray with you that the Lord will grant clarity and grace for the transition at hand. I pray too for another partner church to share in the ministry. May God’s mission be the guide and His wisdom reveal the way.
Blessings. Pastor Tom
American Baptist Women’s Ministry
We have several Spring Happenings to share:
March 14 at 9:30 a.m. is the Church Women United Emma Murray Prayer Breakfast. Cost is $10 and reservations need to be made by March 7 to Jerri Wood. Breakfast is at Sulphur Grove UMC in Huber Heights. Carpooling is available.
March 21 our ladies will be going to Hannah’s Treasure Chest for a tour and to volunteer. Founded in 2001, Hannah’s Treasure Chest is a nonprofit organization which enriches the lives of children in need by providing care packages of clothes, shoes, books, safety equipment and hygiene items including diapers through a network of 75 partners throughout southwest Ohio. We will meet at MCL in Kettering at 11:30 for lunch and then go to Centerville at 1:00 for our time at Hannah’s Treasure Chest. Gayle Jordan will give our devotions. Bible Books of the Month are I & II Peter & Jude.
Thanks to all who donated to Church World Service Blanket Sunday. We contributed $510.00
Save the Date: April 5 we will meet in Fellowship Hall as Janny Kehr inspires us with a program. We will meet at 10:00 a.m. Please note this will be a Wednesday.
Off the Library Shelf There will be a collection of books for Lent on our shelves in the lobby. Please select material to enhance your reading.
DLABC Men’s Fellowship The fellowship meeting will be Friday, March 10, 2023 at Jimmie’s Ladder #11 Restaurant, 11 a.m. Jimmie’s Ladder #11 is located at 936 Brown Street, Dayton, OH. If you would like to bring a friend, please do so. If you plan on attending or have any questions, call/text Brad at 1•937•603•2141.
Board of Christian Education
Adult Sunday School class is Sundays at 10 am. We will be using the Lenten Series book No Wonder They Call Him the Savior by Max Lucado. This class will run until April 2nd.
On February 25 at 3:00 pm, we will host a Game Afternoon. Bring your favorite game and a friend for fun and fellowship!
Mark your calendars for our annual Easter Egg Hunt - April 1st at 1:30.
Diaconate Worship Board
We are in the season of Lent, which started February 22 with Ash Wednesday. You may notice that our paraments on the pulpit and communion table are now purple. We have hung our Lenten banner under the cross. The six panels represent the palms waved as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the bread and the wine offered at the last supper, the rooster that crowed when Peter denied knowing Jesus, the bag of coins represents the money Judas received when he betrayed Jesus, the nails that held Jesus to the cross, and finally, the empty cross signifying Jesus resurrection.
Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and giving to the less fortunate. The Worship Board has provided a devotional, The Sanctuary for Lent 2023 that is available at the back of the sanctuary to help with your daily prayer time. It contains brief readings for each day in Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday, including a suggested scripture, a short devotion, and a practice or question for reflection. Through his thoughtful meditations and insights, Josh Scott helps you journey faithfully through Lent as you prepare to experience the joy of the Resurrection.
Change in Services Due to additional time and responsibilities added to Pastor Tom’s full time job as Chaplain at the prison he is unable to prepare a Maundy Thursday Service this year. We are looking into joining another church for a Good Friday Service. We will provide more information as the date gets closer. We have also decided to have only one service on Easter Sunday. It will be at 10:00 am instead of the usual time of 11:00 am. Please mark your calendars so that you don’t miss this beautiful and uplifting service. If you’re getting together with family after church, why not invite them to join you at church? We would love having them!
One Great Hour of Sharing: $10,000 in OGHS Emergency Relief Funds to Turkey and Syria; More Help Urgently Needed
If you would like to donate to help provide emergency relief for survivors of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, you can do so via check to DLABC with the designated “OGHS-Turkey/Syria Earthquake Relief” in the memo line.
Or you can send a check directly to International Ministries. Checks sent directly should be made payable to “International Ministries” and mailed to: International Ministries
Attn: Gifts Processing
1003 W 9th Avenue, Ste A
King of Prussia, PA 19406
March 10 Men's Fellowship, 11:00 am at Jimmy's Ladder 11
March 12 Board Meetings, after church
March 26 Voice and Instrumental Ensemble Practice, after church
April 1 Annual Easter Egg Hunt, 1:30 pm
Dorothy Lane is Going on the Road!
Are you ready for some exciting new church-growth and missions-related activities to participate in? From the 19-Feb-2023 congregational meeting on Next Steps, it was decide that an effective way to explore possible options of ‘part-time pastor’, ‘yoking’, and ‘eventual-merging’, would be to have the congregation split up and go to visit churches within a half-hour radius, to attend their service and hopefully engage in some dialog or conversation. The churches to visit might be in similar circumstances as DLABC, of reducing budgets requiring exploration of new pastoral care options.
So it was decided to designate the Sunday of Apr 16, 23, 30, and May 7 for those activities. On those Sundays, we may try moving our service from 9-10. And then afterwards groups of 2-3 can visit other churches. And then potentially return to the church for 12:00 pm coffee, and discuss and compare. While some groups are visiting churches, other members could consider doing outreach missions, similar to when we did the Outflow program.