From the Pastor's Desk Come to the Feast

Come to the Feast

As you may or may not know, this Sunday is the next “ABCNJ North Shore Rally”.  ‘What is that?’, you might be asking….good question. Should I consider attending it? Even better question. Why? The best question. So here’s some answers.
What is it?
Central is an “American Baptist Church” – that’s the “ABC” in the title of the rally. Since we are in New Jersey, we are a member of the ABCNJ (the NJ chapter of the ABC). And, the ABCNJ is broken up into different ‘regions’ – and ours is the “North Shore” (basically Monmouth and Ocean counties). Got it?
Twice a year, we hold “rallies” – which are gatherings to hear about what’s happening in the churches throughout the region, worship together, eat together, and handle ‘business’ (including voting on changes, initiatives, etc. – just like we vote at our quarterly meetings and so on – we are Baptist at every level!). So far so good.
Should I consider attending?
Yes, you should. 
Well, for one thing – it’s great to hear about what God is doing in our sister churches throughout the region, and great to worship and eat together, and so on. That’s always true.  But, this rally will be a little bit different – and makes it perhaps even more important to consider attending.
This North Shore rally will be taking place at First Baptist Church in Red Bank, and we will be invited to participate in their “dinner church” outreach ministry called “The Feast”. The Feast/ dinner church is, essentially, a free meal that they hold weekly where anyone and everyone in town is invited to come and eat, and then hear a story about Jesus from scripture. Because of where FBC Red Bank is situated, it is an amazing opportunity they have seized to use their resources and gifts (“what I do have, I give you…”) to reach out to their neighbors with food, friendship, and the love of Christ. For the rally meal, we’ll eat with/at dinner church.

I am excited to go and experience it – and I wanted to make sure that you knew about it as well. 

But I am even more excited to experience it because of the driving force behind it: reaching out to neighbors and townsfolk (people in their “Jerusalem”!) in order to bear witness to Jesus (which is what we’re talking about on Sundays at Central: sharing Jesus with the world around with whatever we have to give).
I’m inviting you to go too – not simply to experience it – but to be inspired and to light an imaginative fire for us at Central: how can we, in Atlantic Highlands (our Jerusalem), use the resources and gifts we have (“what I do have, I give you…”) to reach out and bear witness to our neighbors?
Please reach out to me if you have any questions about it, or ideas for our future along these lines. It begins at 3:30PM on Sunday at FBC in Red Bank…I’d love to see you there!

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