1st Explorers Hurricane Relief

For the past week, we have been talking with our Explorers in After School about Hurricane Florence and how devastating it has been for many families who have lost their homes, belongings, and even have lost loved ones. I have been in contact with the North Carolina Baptist Men who provide a significant amount of disaster relief and support to communities. During chapel we have been talking about community and how we can support the Body of Christ with our gifts and out of this timely discussion the kids have been able to create a list of things we will be putting in bags to deliver to a donation processing center to support those have been affected by the storm. Until October 12th we will be accepting donations for the following items:

  • Gallon Ziplock bags 

  • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste

  • Hand sanitizer 

  • Snacks (Poptarts, granola bars, trail mix, etc.) 

  • Soap

  • Notebooks 

  • Pens and Pencils

Items can be dropped off at the back door during pick-up. After the 12th, we will put the bags together as a part of our weekly chapel service on Monday, October 15th, then we will organize a time to have the items delivered to a Mission Camp in Shelby, NC. 


1st annual Rock-a-Thon
Rocking for Missions


When: Saturday, October 13th from 10 AM - 2 PM

Location: First Baptist Church of Sylva’s outdoor front common area

Mission:  Our GA, RA and Acteen mission programs work hard every year learning about missionary work here and abroad.  We want to provide them with an opportunity to earn funds in a FUN way to help provide for a missionary project. 

Rock-A-Thon description:  We hope to have 10-15 school age participants, Grades 2-12, to rock in rocking chairs between 10 AM - 2 PM.   Kindergartners and 1st graders are welcome but a parent or guardian must stay with the child during the event. 

How will they raise money? Each participant will get at least 5 sponsors to sponsor their rocking efforts per hour and also help sell jewelry, coffee, and baked goods. 

How will the money be used to benefit mission services? To provide food boxes for children and youth through United Christian Ministries of Jackson County, NC. 

How can I help?  You can help by sponsoring your child and help them achieve their goals of 5 or more sponsors or if your child is unable to attend you can also help by donating baked goods to sell or monetary funds to First Baptist Church of Sylva/Mission programs by check or cash at our church office M-F 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM.   

Can I volunteer?  We would love for you to volunteer your time during the event.  You can also rock for missions and have sponsors yourself or you can donate baked goods to sell or just be present to support your child at the event. 

Deadline:  All permission slips/Volunteers forms are due by October 10th

                   All sponsorship forms and money is due by Oct 13th. 


Contact:   Bethany Moore @ 828-226-3433 or Email cwmoore21@gmail.com

Jesus on the Path


This past week, I spent a good bit of time on a path.

Some of our hikes were on boardwalks where we could see geological features in all their other-worldly glory. We marveled at the bubbling mud, the belching water and the noxious steam from the geysers.

Some of our hikes led us through open fields and golden grass. Other hikes snaked through pine forests, and along alpine lakes. Our presence spooked mule deer, a fox, elk, and buffalo. Undoubtedly, we were spied by a grizzly bear or two along the way. A few of us even decided to escape the claustrophobic confines of our 12-passenger van to walk along the Madison River at dusk when animal sightings prompted a traffic jam on one of the park’s main arteries.

In all, our small group of pastors and ministers hiked over 30 miles in a few days’ time. We saw Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Park the way they should be experienced—on foot. And I know that I don’t have to tell you how magnificent it was.


The week-long experience of hiking and discussing the need for our churches to have a Jesus Worldview was enlightening. My trip to Wyoming with colleagues and peers has helped me to better recognize the teachable moments that we can gather from the paths we travel.

Nearly 20 years ago, I hiked many of those same trails by myself. I was a 20-something seminarian who had taken the summer off to road-trip out west. The beauty and grandeur that I experienced those few months have lingered with me through the years. Likewise, so has the memory of the loneliness that I experienced on the trail alone.

No, the loneliness I experienced, then, while on the many hiking trails I traveled was not debilitating or haunting. In fact, it likely added to the experience as I had the chance to process internally the movements of the Holy Spirit in my life. So yes, I had time and space to reflect and to contemplate life.

The contrast, however, between my sojourn out west as a young man and the hiking that I experienced with peers and newfound friends last week was stark. To put it simply: it was good to hike with others.

While on the trail last week, our cadre of ministers would become stretched out over 100 yards or more. We had space to marvel at the scenery and to pray; to think and to consider life. But we also had the freedom to hike in twos and threes, talking together about our churches, our challenges, and our world. We exchanged places on the trail, some of us leading with vigor, and others of us hanging back with those who needed to catch their breath. We’d stop to take pictures of the same vista. We’d slow down to look at wildlife. We’d laugh and joke about our journeys together and would speak in quiet tones about the tender places in our lives.

I’m struck by the reality that this is how Jesus encountered the world. Jesus elected to travel with others—with us! Rather than going it alone, Jesus sought out others to travel alongside him on the Path. He did this, I believe, because of his love for us. I choose to believe that Jesus’s decision to invest himself in others wasn’t simply for the sake of Kingdom-expediency and message-crafting. Instead, I believe he called disciples to travel alongside him because he genuinely wanted to be with them.

Having a Jesus Worldview means traveling with Jesus. When we walk humbly with God on the Path, Jesus’s reality shapes and transforms our own. True, we don’t always spot Jesus—just as his two followers didn’t recognize him on their way to Emmaus that Easter Sunday morning. But he is here with us, coming up alongside us, and leading the way. And the ones we travel with help us to see him and to recognize him.

That’s why we don’t travel alone.

Fan the Flame

Fan the Flame.png

Last Sunday many of you received a small fan to remind you of WMU's Heck-Jones Offering for 2018.  This year any contributions received will be given in honor of our graded missions leaders:  Beth Moore, Chris Moore, Gaye Buchanan, Kelly Brown, Carol Cloer, Linda Todd Phelps, and others who are helping "fan the flame" -- nurturing our children and youth in love for Christ, His people and for His mission. 

If you would like to help honor these dedicated workers, remember to put your money in your offering envelope, along with your tithe, and designate it for the "Heck-Jones Offering".

You can also stop by the church office with your contribution.  Please do this by September 24th.

Thank you for your part in helping to "fan the flame"!


Painting the Baby Nursery


On Saturday, September 22, we will be painting and updating the baby nursery. With so many babies in our fellowship we believe it is vital to make that area safe, clean and fresh.  We will begin at 9:00 AM. If you are willing and able to come help with this task, please contact Afton Stout or Carol Cloer and let them know you are coming. We also need some assistance on Wednesday night, September 19 around 7:00 to move furniture out of that room in preparation for Saturday.