National Lights on After School Day

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On October 25th, 1st Explorers will participate in National Lights on After School Day. We will be sharing various projects and videos in the Mission and Fellowship Center beginning at 4:00 PM. Additionally, we will be receiving a proclamation from the Town of Sylva acknowledging our work! Please join us on October 25th as we celebrate After School! 

Painting the Baby Nursery

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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.

Sylva 1st Wednesday Evening Programs Begins August 22

Your family is invited to come and take part in our Sylva 1st Wednesday evening programs.  There is something for everyone!  Our Wednesday night programs will resume on August 22.  Supper will be provided (youth and children eat for FREE!) at 5:30 PM followed at 6:00 PM by Mission Friends for Pre-K and Kindergarten and our SHINE ministry for grades 1-6.  7th – 12th Graders will participate in Youth Group and programs designed for their age level.

 Fun Times together! 

Fun Times together! 

SHINE, for grades 1-6, includes children’s choir, drama class and a liturgical dance class. The “SHINE” ministry is designed to help children learn to actively participate in worship through these disciplines. These groups assist in leading worship on Sunday morning from time to time as a part of their spiritual development. This is a time packed full of fellowship and working together to learn how we praise God through different elements of worship, with the focus on music, drama, creative movement and art. 

Mission Friends is a time for our Pre-K and kindergarteners to learn about how Christians are spreading God’s word around the globe and in our own country.  They will learn to pray for these missionaries and find ways that they can help with some of those ministries.  It is an opportunity for them to learn and take part in supporting mission efforts around the world. 

 Learning with friends

Learning with friends

After supper, Youth in grades 7-12 will participate in Youth Group which includes Bible Study, creative worship, game nights, discipleship, and chances to participate in ministry to others.  All this is designed to build community and provide spiritual growth for those in their teen years.  This time is informal, and questions are encouraged.  The teen years are a time of searching and becoming the adults they will be.  A safe place to ask questions about faith and spiritual growth is essential as they grow in their own walks with Christ.  

 Wrapping presents for a Christmas project

Wrapping presents for a Christmas project

And, of course, there is also an Adult Bible Study which meets in the Mission and Fellowship Center immediately following our prayer time at 6:00 PM. Our Bible Study provides parents and other adults a chance to go deeper into scripture, searching out the truths that shape our faith.  There is truly something for everyone in the family! 

We invite you to make this time a priority for your family as we grow together as a community of faith! 

Mission Education for Children & Youth Begins on August 22 at 4:30 PM!

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Mission education for our school aged children and youth begins at 4:30. R.A.s (Royal Ambassadors) is for boys in grades 1-6 and G.A.s (Girls in Action) is for girls grades 1-6. Like our Mission friends, they will be learning how to pray for and support missionaries at home and abroad.  These groups also engage in activities that allow them to participate in missions through local projects and collecting money and supplies for missionaries in other places.   

At the same 4:30 time slot, the youth participate in their own mission education experince.  Through Acteens or Youth on Mission, youth grades 7-12 learn about our mission endeavors, and how to pray for our missionaries. They will also actively participate in mission projects both local and around our state. 

Passport Offering

Kelly and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the Passport offering this year. Your contributions will help fund some very important ministries!  Kelly and I divided the bottles between the youth and the children.  The youth ended up donating $379.00 to the Passport offering.  The total collected at Passport Choices in Greensboro was $1,327.00.  There were 11 churches contributing and 28.5% of that offering came from FBC Sylva! The children donated $408.00 in Montreat. The total collected in Montreat was a little over $1,600.00 and roughly 25% of that came from FBC Sylva. There is also a little more (roughly $100) that was in the bottles as checks written to the church.  These will be sent on to Passport as an additional offering.  Thank you all so much for your willingness to help with these mission offerings.  Your generosity will go far in ministering to those in need.
- Carol Cloer

Vacation Bible School 2018

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All children and middle schoolers (Preschool through 8th Grade) are invited to join us at Bridge Park in Sylva from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM on Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15 for our FREE Vacation Bible School. Sign up on-line at rrr.cokesburyvbs.com/downtownsylva and we’ll see you at Rolling River Rampage! Proudly sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church and First Baptist Church in Sylva.

Summer Time and the Livin’ Is Easy

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Although Memorial Day Weekend typically signals the unofficial start to summer, First Baptist Church got a week’s headstart.

No, I’m not referring to the typical summer-like pattern that evolves in our mountains with foggy mornings and afternoon thunderstorms. I’m referencing our children’s campout and sleepover this past weekend. As our 1st Explorers Ministry Director, Kelly Brown, details in his own reflection, the young men in our Royal Ambassador program went on a campout to the Davidson river while our Girls in Action had a sleepover at the church.

On Saturday morning, I drove across Highway 276 to rendezvous with the boys as they began to strike camp after a wet night in the Pisgah Forest. Yes, the boys and their leaders were a bit damp, but the bacon that Chris Moore was frying had everyone in a festive mood and the boys played whiffle ball beneath the drippy canopy of leaves. There was an unmistakable feeling of accomplishment among them, and I delighted in the sense of community that had sprung up among the men and boys. With the smell of a campfire flooding my nostrils, I couldn’t help but smile as the men drank coffee and the boys acted like boys. After a long and at times torturous winter, we had finally made it to summer.

Summer is a time for Sabbath-taking. It is ripe for new rhythms, late dinners and walks along a lush river valley. Summer is also a unique time for service and ministry as the season provides unique opportunities to assist our friends and neighbors while we tell them the “old, old story” of Jesus and his love. At First Baptist, we will strive to honor both rest and mission.

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Here are some highlights of what we have planned for this summer:

-Sylva First Wednesdays concludes for the spring on Wednesday, June 6. Our Wednesday night programming in the fall will begin anew on August 22.

-Our joint Vacation Bible School with other downtown churches will run from June 11-15 in the mornings at Bridge Park. There are countless ways that you can serve the children and our families that week. Join us to help lead the children’s small groups, or to provide water for volunteers, or to visit with parents, or to help set-up tables and tents, or to simply be a part of the joyful chaos that is Vacation Bible School. Truly, the sound of children’s laughter is a balm for a sick and weary soul.

-Speaking of children, our 1st Explorers Ministry will again be offering their robust offering to the community with our Summer Explorers Camp. Although you may not have a child or grandchild participating in this wall-to-wall summer ministry opportunity, your Sunday School class can choose to partner with Kelly and our staff to provide unique opportunities of connection with children and their families this summer. I can think of no better ‘home’ mission opportunity than for a group, ministry, circle or couple to adopt a summer camp group of children who will be on campus with us over 40 hours each week. Think of the relationships that could be built and strengthened!

-As a church family, we’ll gather for fellowship on three Sunday afternoons this summer to relax, play and devour ice cream. Yes, we’ll be headed to the pavilion at Deep Creek in the Great Smokies Mountain National Park on June 24 where we’ll eat and play, and we’ll have our traditional potluck picnic at East LaPorte on August 26. But sandwiched between these two events will be a new gathering where we’ll have supper on the church grounds. On Sunday afternoon, July 15th, we’ll enjoy a hot dog supper followed by a veritable feast of ice cream afterward. It’s been some time since we crowned an ice cream maker champion, so get your recipes primed and ready for our contest after supper that evening.

-Of course, it’s not summer without the crack of a bat. Although our children and youth will be at their respective Passport Mission Camps the week of July 4th, that won’t stop the rest of us from taking in an Asheville Tourists game on the 4th of July at 7 PM. We’ll drive separately but sit together. And after the game, we’ll be invited to head out onto the field to take in their fireworks display. Tickets are $10 each and must be purchased by June 4th in our church office.

-Oh, and there’s much more. Our youth will be meeting together on Mondays from 4-6 PM each week, and there will be church hikes and a host of other mission opportunities to be a part of, as well. We know that your family will be traveling and vacationing this summer, but we also hope you’ll choose to broaden your chumminess with our own church family this summer, also.

Summer is a sweet, sweet gift and we’re not about to waste it. So, look around and see God at work in our beautiful mountain home. Feel the mist from a thundering waterfall. Take in an evening with friends by a fire pit. Barbecue on a rusty grill by a cement picnic table in the national park. Listen to the melody of the songbirds. And above all, be thankful.

It’s summer, and the time is ripe to play, rest and serve.