MUSIC, MISSIONS and MINISTRY! See Pastor's Message below...
Also SEE PASTOR SUZANNE leading a timeless service on BCTV Channel 8 in Brattleboro, or by going on-line to www.brattleborotv.org, at "Watch Local Shows on Demand" on the right side bar. The video link is at http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01304&video=144482.
We plan to provide more videos of services each month.
Call the church office or stop by Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- Noon to obtain the MONTHLY NEWSLETTER. We can email it to you if you call and request it, or email Helen Ruth Belanger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing You a Healthy, Happy and Christ-Centered Life Today and Everyday... Come Celebrate the Love of God with Us! We thank You for your donations of time, energy, goods and money toward the success of our mission programs here and abroad... you can make a difference here at First Baptist Church. Come visit!
The miracle of Jesus' resurrection is something we celebrate throughout the year. As the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on Sunday, May 5, we join them in saying "Hosannah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!"
Thanks to everyone for a successful Christmas Bazaar! With your help, we raised over $ 1,600 toward our winter utilities and fuel bill, while we host the Overflow Shelter guests. Send your ideas for our next bazaar to Karen Davis care of the church. Leave a message for Jeanne Deyo at the church if you would like free yarn and patterns to knit something for November 2013.
BRATTLEBOROB for fSSSSu*******
MUSIC: 103-year-old Estey Pipe Organ
Rehearsal and Performance Space Rentals
Large Concert Hall with Superb Acoustics
MISSIONS: Grace's Kitchen, free home-cooking, Wednesdays, 5:30 P.M.
Homeless Overflow Shelter, November 25 - April 1, 2013
MINISTRY: PASTOR SUZANNE'S MARCH MESSAGE...
“Have faith in God”
Never adopt the attitude that faith is easy. If you put a twelve-foot plank, two inches thick and a foot wide, down on the ground, almost anyone can walk across it. But put the same plank between two buildings three or four stories up in the air, and then see how many can walk across it. The very thought of it is enough to make some people weak and dizzy. Especially me!
Faith means venturing out in life when it is dangerous and uncertain. It means taking unpopular attitudes towards many questions, or befriending those whom everyone else despises. Faith means opening our church for the seventh year to house the Homeless, and reaching out to them with acceptance and Christian love. It means risking the ridicule of the crowd when you stand up for something you believe in. It means believing when others doubt, and trusting when you cannot understand how God works. This is always hard, and sometimes we pull back.
Yet faith is required of us. The life of Jesus stands out because he had faith in God - a faith so great that he accepted even the cross. To learn to trust in God, even when you are scared and know not where the future leads. To have faith in God is part of the cost of being a Christian.
I challenge you to read Hebrews, Chapter 11, which speaks of Faith.
“As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends, from beginning to end…” Hebrews 12:1-2.
In Christ’s Love, Pastor Sue
Remembering Melinda Holden Bussino...
Monday March 5, 2012
BRATTLEBORO -- Melinda Bussino, a hero to many people in Windham County for her infinite patience, intelligence and compassion, died Sunday.
Bussino, 65, the one and only executive director of the Drop In Center, was transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital after suffering a heart attack last week. She was surrounded by friends and family all weekend.
For more than two decades, Bussino dedicated her life to helping others whether it was finding housing, food or clothing or assisting with employment.
Her motto was to work on one problem at a time and that by working together, things will get done.
Because of her selfless attitude, she helped thousands of people get back on their feet and her absence will leave a void in area that may never be filled, said one of her friends.
During a 2008 interview with the Reformer, Bussino described her work as the most fulfilling way to spend her time.
"These are mostly wonderful people with real hard times and sad stories," she said at the time. "It's not easy and you don't get rich, but you go home every night knowing that you've done something to make this world a better place."
This past weekend during Gallery Walk and the annual Gimme Shelter Dance, people raised more than $900 to help keep the Overflow Shelter open through April, said Larry Smith, president of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and who worked with Bussino on many service projects including Project Feed the Thousands.
"Someone like Melinda only comes along once in a life time," Smith said. "She was such an advocate for those in need."
One of Bussino's passions, the shelter provides warmth, food and a place to take a shower or do laundry for those without anywhere else to go, he said.
People wrote loving thoughts, messages, prayers and drew pictures in a guest book prior to the dance.
"The family wishes to thank everyone for their prayers and thoughts throughout this very difficult week," Smith said on behalf of the family.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Ker Westerlund Funeral Home and a date and time will be announced soon.
Josh Stilts can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.
From the Pastor's Comments in the Annual Report, February 5, 2012...
"First Baptist Church was built on faith and prayer, beginning in 1867 and faith remains our cornerstone today. Our forefathers and foremothers created the foundation of First Baptist Church and we are the generations to carry on the important ministries they began so long ago.
Beloved congregation, we boldly move forth in faith. We continue to face many challenges and are faced with more challenges ahead. We sold our St. John the Divine Tiffany window in order to keep our doors open for God's ministry. Our roof is finally fixed as a result of this. For the fifth year we have partnered with the [Brattleboro Area] Drop-In Center, housing those less fortunate than we are. We can be proud that our church was the only one who would open her doors to those less fortunate than we are. For Jesus said that when we take care of the least of these, we are serving Him.
For another year, the team that serves Sunday breakfast has been a huge success, welcoming those in the community for a delicious meal. Grace's Kitchen continues to feed the hungry and share hope with those who are desperate and in need. Our guests not only come for a home-cooked meal, they come for fellowship and warmth as a respite from the troubles of this life.
We continue to support AA and the [Brattleboro Area] Pastoral Counseling Center and help them continue their ministries. Mission outreach reaches out to help others in need around the world.
New members were welcomed among us and baptisms brought all of us closer to Jesus. God continues to bless us with children and gifted Sunday School teachers. Our Deacons and Trustees are talented and dedicated in continuing the spirit of First Baptist Church, walking in the words of our Church Covenant, "That we will endeavor to live as worthy disciples of Him Whose Name we bear, seeking Christlikeness in character and in conduct, and striving to know and obey God's will." We are blessed with a committed congregation who believe that together, we will serve the Lord our God and preserve the American Baptist tradition.
Times are tough and we are often worried that our doors will close. As your pastor, I firmly believe that somehow, someway, our church will stay open. With faith and prayer, God will help us against all odds.
"So, then, let us rid ourselves of every thing that gets in the way...and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end." Hebrews 12:1-2.
My beloved congregation, don't give up! Give everything you can to our church and to our God. Together we can go against all odds and continue to BELIEVE that God is with us!
By faith, we will trust in God's wisdom and will continue the important ministries of First Baptist Church. Together we will continue to climb the mountains God places before us as we faithfully trust in His will.
In Christ's Love, Pastor Sue"
Grace's Kitchen Report for 2011-2012:
We continue to serve a free evening meal for those in need, every Wednesday throughout the year. We continue to provide the only free evening meal in the area. Our teams consist of a leader (member of FBC) and volunteers from the area. The majority of our volunteers are not FBC members. Without these volunteers, our program would not survive. We thank the Trustees of First Baptist for their continued support of this program.
We serve between 25 and 30 [people] each week. There are times when we exceed this number. Our food is purchased through the Vermont Foodbank, along with donations from Grafton Cheese, the summer Farmer's Market, the Coop and others. Our monies consist of donations through various supporters in the area and offering envelopes at Sunday Services. We thank all our contributors.
Jeanne Deyo, Coordinator
OVERFLOW HOMELESS SHELTER REPORT for 2011 - 2012:
During the winter of 2010 - 2011 the Overflow Shelter provided 2,517 bed nights to 114 separate people. As we move through the current winter of 2011 - 2012 we are seeing a 49% increase in the number of people we are serving. We are also seeing an increased level of need in those we serve. This winter, through January , 2012, we had  separate people, all adults, stay at the Overflow, and we provided [1,500] bed nights of shelter.
All of this is done at the Drop In Center's oversight and at the Drop In Center's expense. For instance, we have paid $3,500 for oil for FBC, and have delivered to FBC many supplies [...]including: 3 cases of bathroom towels, 1 case of toilet paper, 2 cases of hot cups, 4 cases of coffee, 2 cases of sugar, 4 cases of large trash bags, a half case of light bulbs, and 2 large boxes of ice melt. [...]
We appreciate the generosity of First Baptist Church in providing us with a rent free space to run the Overflow, and we are attempting to see that we are covering the church's [related] expenses as we did in past years. Overflow guests, volunteers, and staff are providing some cleaning and snow shoveling as well.
We are doing our best to make sure everyone understands that because the bulk of our Overflow funding is federal funding, we have to keep clear boundaries between the Drop In Center and FBC so that we are not violating the separation of church and state. We welcome and encourage input from FBC around the Overflow, and we are most grateful to FBC for the commitment of space for us to shelter the homeless again this year. Please know that you are helping us to save lives! If you have any comments for us please contact me directly at 802-257-2005, x103, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see me after church. Thank you!
Melinda Bussino, Drop In Center and Overflow Executive Director