KOH2RVA: Day 238

Here you are, friends: a 21-second glimpse of yesterday’s Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School “Spring Bash,” a festival conceived and executed mostly by First Baptist member Melissa Brooks, with lots of help from Joyce Clemmons and the FBC Generosity Team.

I talked with head of school Mike Maruca briefly who confessed that he had done almost nothing to bring about the “Bash.” “This is our first one,” he said, “but it seems to be going beautifully. Thank you so much First Baptist Church!”

Thanks to the 30+volunteers who showed up to help with games and prizes.  This was one of those days when it really did feel like we were on a mission trip, and everybody was helping to make it a success.  I am so proud of First Baptist right now, I’m about to start dancing like the girl in the yellow shirt, above.

KOH2RVA!

KOH2RVA: Day 237

tug_of_warOkay, campers…we’ve had our fun. We’ve spent the week sharing our thoughts and feelings about homosexuality. We’ve done it in a respectful way and my hope is that we’ve all come to a more compassionate place, but as I wrote in Tuesday’s post I am not on a crusade:

I’m on a mission trip.

And today is Day 237 of KOH2RVA, First Baptist’s year-long, every-member mission trip to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia. It’s a big one. I’ve been up since 5:00 just because there’s so much to be done.

At 9:00 this morning Dr. Terry Whipple and friends are going to host “The Physician Within,” which started with Terry’s dream of taking a medical mission trip without ever leaving the city of Richmond. Today the topic is back and neck pain, and if you have either, or know someone who has either, I hope you will be in the dining hall of Richmond’s First Baptist Church at 9:00. The workshop will last until 11:30 this morning, which should give you enough time to have a leisurely lunch with friends before moving on to…

The “Spring Bash” at the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School on Church Hill. The Generosity Team at First Baptist challenged the church to provide gifts and prizes for the middle schoolers who will be competing today and the response was overwhelming, but we could still use some volunteers to help out with the games.  We’re hoping for two shifts: one from 11:00 to 1:00 and another from 1:00 to 3:00. The school is located at 2124 N. 29th Street. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

I’m hoping to spend some time at each of those events, but it’s Saturday, the day I finish up the sermon, and there’s a whole lot left to be written. But the people who were made uncomfortable by last Sunday’s sermon will be glad to know—this one is about Paul’s vision of the man from Macedonia saying, “Come over and help us!” It’s not about homosexuality at all. Because I’m not on a crusade:

I’m on a mission trip.

KOH2RVA:Day 212

AJCES BashHow do you measure the success of a year-long, every-member mission trip? By the number of conversions, of course! And Joyce Clemmons is a convert.

I don’t mean that she has been converted to Christianity. She became a Christian years ago. I only mean that she has been converted by the joy and excitement of bringing heaven to earth. I wish you could have heard her make the announcement below on Sunday morning. Her enthusiasm was contagious. In fact, after worship, someone handed her a check for $1,000. Read it for yourself and see if you don’t catch whatever she’s got. The fact that she typed it in ALL CAPS is just another expression of her zeal.

TWO HUNDRED AND TEN DAYS AGO, OUR PASTOR CHALLENGED US TO HELP BRING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN TO RICHMOND VIRGINIA BY REACHING OUT IN WHATEVER DIRECTION THE LORD LED US. MANY OF YOU HAVE DONE SOME INCREDIBLE THINGS.

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION .. HAVE I FOUND MY PLACE ON THIS KOH2RVA MISSION TRIP? WHAT IF THERE WAS A CHURCH-WIDE MISSION PROJECT THAT I COULD BECOME A PART OF?

WHEN STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WENT TO THE ANNA JULIA COOPER EPISCOPAL SCHOOL IN MARCH TO DO SERVICE PROJECTS, KOH2RVA SEEMED TO BECOME A NEON SIGN FLASHING IN THE MINDS OF MANY. IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SCHOOL WOULD BE ONE EXCITING CHURCH-WIDE PROJECT! THE GENEROSITY TEAM CHOSE THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER TO ANNOUNCE THAT PLAN.

THE SCHOOL’S ACRONYM AJCES IS AN INDEPENDENT FAITH-BASED MIDDLE SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS OF LIMITED RESOURCES IN THE EAST END ON 29TH STREET. THE SCHOOL FOCUSES ON ACADEMIC, SOCIAL, AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT. MANY STUDENTS WOULD PROBABLY NOT GET ANY EDUCATION WITHOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY.

WE ARE ASKING YOU TO CONTRIBUTE TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE FOR A SPRING CELEBRATION AT THE SCHOOL ON SATURDAY, MAY 4TH.
A CARNIVAL WILL ENTICE 52 STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND FRIENDS TO JOIN IN THE FUN AND GAMES. GIVEN THE CHALLENGES THESE STUDENTS FACE AT HOME, SOCIALS SUCH AS THIS ARE RARE AND SPECIAL.

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN HELP. WE NEED PRIZES FOR THE GAME WINNERS OF GRADES 6, 7, 8. BOARD GAMES, PUZZLES, BOOKS, DVDS, SNACKS, GIFT CARDS, MOVIE PASSES, OUTDOOR GAME AND RECREATION ITEMS FOR SUMMER.

MEMBERS OF THE GENEROSITY TEAM WILL BE AROUND THE NEXT TWO SUNDAYS, APRIL 14 AND 21, ACCEPTING YOUR PRIZE DONATIONS OR CHECKS/CASH, AS YOU CHOOSE. SIGN UP SHEETS WILL BE THERE, ALONG WITH MAPS AND TIMES, FOR MUCH NEEDED VOLUNTEERS ON MAY 4TH. I’M ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU NEXT SUNDAY.

Can we work with an Episcopal School to bring heaven to earth for some middle-schoolers who live in the housing projects of Richmond?

You bet we can.

Thank you, Joyce, for issuing the challenge. I’ll bring my prize donations next Sunday and see you at the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School on May 4!