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A New Year, a new direction, a new name

Pastor Joe Engel
Emmitsburg Community Baptist Church

(1/1) The apostle Paul was a man of faith. In his letter to the Philippians he says "I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us".(Phil.3:13-14 NLT)

As this New Year unfolds, we at ECBC have a new start and a new direction. We also changed our name to: Emmitsburg Community Baptist Church.

This journey began with a call from an old friend about the possibility of coming to help a church that needed a fresh point of view. My wife and I attended a service in April of last year. I had several meetings with the retiring pastor about the vision of the church.

As the weeks passed, we felt that the Lord wanted us to minister to this congregation. On May 21 the church called me as their pastor. We were meeting in the gym at Emmitsburg Elementary School. On that May Sunday Rochelle (my wife) and I went looking for space of our own to call home.

Then the Lord began to work.

We had been told that there were not many opportunities to obtain a place suitable for worship in Emmitsburg. As we drove around Rochelle suggested I ask a policeman if he knew of any spaces available. The policeman suggested we look at Seton Square. He said there were spaces available. We found the perfect space at Seton Square. It was great! An open space with 2 bathrooms, concrete floors, and unpainted walls. Wow! We were so excited.

After discussion with the rental agent, and showing it to the congregation, we secured the space and began planning our future there. It did not take long for the challenges to appear.

Challenge #1 was discovering the space was in a zone not designated for churches. After discovery of a federal law allowing churches in the zone, the Zoning Commission voted to include "Houses of Worship" in the zone. (God at Work)

Challenge # 2 came when we went to the Frederick County Zoning Commission. We encountered another set of hurdles. After complying with the Frederick County regulations, we were granted our permit. (God at Work)

Challenge #3 was furnishing the space. We needed to paint, supply the carpet, install the monitors, meet the fire code, furnish and decorate our new space. We were blessed by our congregation, who helped with all that needed to be done. (God at Work)

Our first service was October 1, Hallelujah! That is the past- challenging, yet joyful. God works!

My prayer for this year is that we may have:

• enough happiness to keep you sweet

• enough hope to keep you eager

• enough success to keep you happy

• enough friends to give you comfort

• enthusiasm to make you look forward to tomorrow

• enough determination to make today better than yesterday.

I don’t know what the future holds for our church. But I know who holds the future.

We faced many challenges this past year. God carried us through each one and has brought us to this New Year. God has big plans for us as we go forward in our new facility. We are beginning a Wednesday Evening Bible Study and Prayer time beginning January 10.

It is a joy to know that the Lord leads us as we seek His will. We have come this far by Faith leaning on the Lord. He will provide opportunities for us to share the Gospel in Emmitsburg. We need to keep talking about the Savior because He is always with us. He gives us grace for every situation and He will keep things under control. Not only that but He will bring us through our trials & tribulations.

We also need to keep studying the Scripture A good word that describes the Bible is the word "unique". The dictionary defines the word "unique" as follows: "only one: being the only one of its kind." It is the only book of its kind in existence!

The Scripture tells us that we are new creations, free from sin, righteous, chosen, set apart, and on our way to heaven! All because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

So keep talking about the Savior and Keep studying the Scriptures.

We also need to keep serving the Lord Serve one another when we come together on Sunday and serve those in the community. Those are the foundational things we must continue to do.

Look at our lives in a positive way - how do you feel about your life? What would it take to make you feel really positive about your life? The world says that the way to feel good about yourself is by 1) making a lot of money, 2) having influential friends, and 3) belonging to the right circles. According to the world, these are the things that will make you feel good about yourself.

The Bible teaches us that God loves us! We are such treasured people in God’s sight

that He gave His Only Begotten Son for us. That makes us valuable.

So we are to look at our life in a positive way. Secondly, we need to keep looking for ways to enrich the ministry. There is more to ministry than singing hymns and giving your hard-earned money. There is a great opportunity for service. We need to expand our thinking beyond Sunday. This world thinks we are wasting our time coming to church every Sunday, listening to sermons about God & Jesus Christ, giving our money to build the kingdom of God. But the things the world calls wasteful are the things that will last for all eternity.

Jesus told us to put our treasures in heaven. What treasure was He talking about?

Serving the Lord, giving to the Lord, and Bringing souls to Him. So we are to look at our life in a positive way, we are to look for ways to enrich the ministry and

Thirdly, we need to continue to have a positive attitude toward others.

The church must be a place where we all can come and be accepted & loved & encouraged & built up. A place where there are people to help us carry our burdens & everyone feels welcome. We are the body of Christ in this community.

We are located at: Seton Square, 17750 Creamery Rd Suite 8B. Come visit and see the work He is doing.