Happy New Year! The new year has arrived! A new year brings new goals, new aspirations, and new hopes. It is a time when we can look back on God’s blessings and focus on the future and God’s plans for us. While we cannot know what the new year will bring, we can find hope in God’s word and maintain a positive outlook that things will be better than ever in this coming year. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) As you begin this new year, plan ahead and let the Lord determine your steps. May these next fifty-two weeks be your best yet! Wishing you the happiest new year!
It’s Christmas time! A time to celebrate the birth of Jesus with family and friends. As we prepare our hearts and wait for the coming of Jesus into the world, let us remember the real meaning of Christmas. “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7) Like the shepherds and the angels, let us rejoice and give glory to God for the birth of His son. “To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:11) As you gather with your families this Christmas, may you enjoy this good news of great joy. Merry Christmas!
“Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks.” – Linus in Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving. In this season of gratitude, Linus reminds us how important it is to give thanks. We are blessed as a nation to have a national holiday to give thanks to God for all things. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; his love endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34) As we gather with our families for Thanksgiving, let us remember to thank God for the many blessings we receive.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Fall is here! This season brings shorter days, beautiful autumn leaves, boots, warm clothes, apple cider, bonfires, and smores. It is a season of gratitude! Let us start each day with a grateful heart. Enjoy the season and give thanks to God for your many blessings.
At Athens VBS, many volunteers from CABC shared the love of Christ with approximately fifty children and youth from our church and community. It was a fun week learning about “Paul’s Dangerous Journey to Share the Truth.” Families were able to travel together to worship, make an art craft, play arena games, explore the Marketplace, and visit Paul in his tent-making house. They also ate snacks together and learned new songs. A few new faces joined our VBS program from the community and families from our church attended.
Each year we are very thankful to receive VBS materials and resources from other churches doing the same VBS program. This year Richmond’s First Baptist Church shared their VBS resources with us. I would like to thank Candi Brown, Minister to Children at FBC, for making it all happen. I would also like to thank Steve Brown for picking up the VBS materials and for working on the columns. He worked really hard to make them look nice and pretty for us up on the stage. After VBS, he also returned all of the items to FBC with his truck. Thank you, Steve! I would also like to thank our decorating team for spending several hours decorating the gym and hallways. The decorating team consisted of Joy Minozzi, Adam Raskin, Luke Minozzi, Caitlyn Smith, and Steve Brown.
It takes many volunteers to make our VBS program successful. I would like to personally thank each volunteer who served including: Nursery: Allison Lushao and Diane Fulwider; Preschool (Rome): Nancy King and Joy Minozzi; Antioch: Rosa Coleman and Millie Collins; Berea: Maristela Araujo and Pete Collins; Colossae: Judy Bendle and Brenda & Ronald Gilliam; Corinth: Jeff Minozzi and Tara Croom; Ephesus: Steve Brown and Sandra Beale; Galatia: Lynne Lilley and Sandy Beale; Iconium: Caitlyn Smith; Lystra: Adam Raskin and Margaret Robinson; Paul: Allen King and Dionysus: Wayne Conner; Sound: Howard Germany; Music: Joy Minozzi; Crafts: Peggy Coddington and Lee Germany; Arena Games: Scott and Cora Hackenburg; Snack Leaders: Sheliah Dowdy, Linda Pickering, and Virginia Baker; Security and Bell Ringer: Woody Johnson; Registration: Betty Johnson and Howard Germany; and Missions: Nancy King and Maristela Araujo. I would also like to thank Caitlyn Smith for inviting our VBS participants to Sandston Pool on August 16. We had 16 VBS participants attend. Everyone had a great time swimming in the pool together.
This year we raised money in our VBS program for a mission project called “More Than Nets.” This mission project is made up of Virginia and Ghana Baptists who are working together to reduce malaria and plant churches in Yendi, Ghana. Together, we were able to raise $101.08 to support this mission project in Africa. Thank you to everyone who donated money to support this cause.