November Newsletter

From the Pastor

Last time I made the earth-shaking statement that Baptists are Christians. It’s a good place to start when discerning where Baptists fit, not only in our community, but also in the larger, big-C Church.

This time, the second description of Baptists is serendipitous: Baptists are Protestants. Why is that serendipitous? Because this time of year—while we’re getting ready to go trick-or-treating—non-Catholic Christians remember the events that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

So the account goes, Martin Luther (1483-1546) was disgusted by the corruption in the (Catholic) church of his day. So on the Eve of All Saints’ Day (October 31), 1517, he nailed a copy of his work, the “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” (a.k.a. the “Ninety-Five Theses”) to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, in present-day Germany.

That act was like touching a match to a keg full of gunpowder. Soon, Luther was leading a protest movement (a “Protestant” movement) against the malfeasance in the Catholic Church. And soon, Luther found himself excommunicated and the leader of a new denomination within Christianity.

Luther’s fundamental concern was recovering the biblical doctrine of salvation—among other, related, doctrines. Citing Ephesians 2:8-9, Luther contended that people are justified in God’s sight by God’s grace, received through faith, and NOT by buying indulgences or performing good deeds to earn their way into God’s favor. His teaching came to be summarized by five Latin phrases that we remember today:

  • Sola Fide, by faith alone.
  • Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
  • Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
  • Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
  • Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.

And his teaching resonated with people, and the Reformation spread—including to a group of feisty dissenters led by former Anglican priest John Smyth. But that’s another story for another time. Today, 500 years later, we celebrate God’s grace that reaches out to us and extends to us the gift of salvation, purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross. The good news is clear: we are saved not by our own efforts, but by God’s grace, received through faith in Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Ray

Congregational Meeting Minutes

The quarterly meeting of the First Baptist Church was held on Sunday October 14, 2018 after a potluck meal.

Moderator Jim Bartelson called the meeting to order. Pastor Ray McCalla opened in prayer.

The Clavinova that Don Nielsen purchased for Holy Trinity Lutheran church has been given to First Baptist Church.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church gave us the option of keeping the sign they had put up or they could take it down. First Baptist will keep the sign and the Trustee’s will check on letters for the sign.

Discussion was made on a different start time for Sunday school and church. Vicki Brown made a motion to start Sunday School at 9:15 and end a 10:15, church will start at 10:30 and end at 11:30. Gary seconded the motion and it passed 7 to 4. The new hours will begin on November 4, 2018.

We asked Jan Highfill if she would be our regular pianist and she agreed. Luella Bartelson made a motion to increase what we pay Jan to $50.00 per Sunday. Mary Jo Nelson seconded. Motion passed and will start on November 4, 2018.

It was discussed that on the Sunday’s Jan will be gone and we can’t find another pianist if we could use recorded music to sign with. Ray will check on that.

Discussion was made on what to do with the parsonage. Rent or sell. It was decided that renting the parsonage would be difficult to it was decided that we will do some repairs and put it on the market in the spring. Jim Bartelson, Jerry Rhoads and Lana Westphalen from Century 21 toured the parsonage. The house is taxed at $102,000.00. A motion was made by Vicki Brown and seconded by Gary Nelson to get estimates from Jerry’s Waterproofing from Omaha (866-794-1104) and WCI in Carroll (866-595-7566) to fix the water problem in the basement. Motion carried. We would need to do all four walls in the basement. This will be a first step then we will discuss at the next quarterly meeting the next step.

Chamber of Commerce dues will be due for 2019 in the amount of $150.00. We will join the chamber again.

The trees at both the parsonage and the church have been removed. It was $350.00 at the parsonage and $600.00 at the church. We discussed doing some kind of a fundraiser for the Smith family. Sharen Herrick will talk with Traci and see what her feeling is.

We discussed having Christmas Eve service with the Presbyterian church at 4 or 5 P.M. More on this later.

There is going to be a Tour of Churches on Sunday December 16, 2018. There will be seven churches on the tour and First Baptist is included. Tickets will be $10.00. Time and churches included will come later.

Quarterly reports were given by Vicki Brown, financial secretary; Luella Bartelson, Benevolence Treasurer; Sandi Rhoads, Treasurer.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:00 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Vicki J. Brown, Church Clerk

October Offering Summary:

$12,430.36 for local church

$202.00 for basic missions

$140.00 for Myers

$338.00 for World Mission Offering

$30.00 for Tim Rice

$30.00 for Ruth Mooney

Time Change #1

The congregation voted to change our Sunday school and Worship time. Starting Sunday, November 4, Sunday school will be at 9:15, and worship will be at 10:30. Don’t forget!

Time Change #2

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4. Remember to set your clocks back one hour!

Christmas Cantata

The Cass County Choral Society will present “Sing Joy to All the World! A Christmas Celebration” on Friday, December 21, at 7:00 p.m. at the Atlantic High School auditorium. There will be a free-will offering for the group. If you would like to sing, we rehearse Sunday afternoons from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Heritage House’s lower-level lounge. If you are interested, contact Ray for more details: (712) 250-1607.

Diaconate Meeting

The deacons will gather after worship on Sunday, November 11.

American Baptist Women

ABWM will meet on Wednesday, November 7, at 1:30 p.m.

Mission Worker Visit

Kathleen Rice will be presenting about their mission on Wednesday, November 14, at 1:30 in our church’s basement. Everyone—men and women alike—are invited to hear her speak.

World Mission Offering

Thank you to everyone who generously supported the International Ministries World Mission Offering. We raised $418 to support mission work around the world. You make an eternal difference when you give. Thank you!

Grand Lighting

The Cass County Choral Society will be caroling for the Chamber’s Grand Lighting ceremony in downtown Atlantic from 5:00-5:30 on Thursday, November 15. If you would like to carol with us, visit with Pastor Ray.

Tour of Churches

Ever wonder what some of the other church buildings in town look like on the inside? This is your opportunity to see them! The Atlantic Ministerial Association, along with the Chamber of Commerce, is sponsoring the Tour of Churches: Sunday, December 16, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Visit the participating churches in town and see them in their Christmas-Advent splendor. Refreshments will be offered at each stop. If you would like to help host our stop, please visit with Ray.

Handbell Choir

Our ecumenical handbell choir will be performing at our joint Christmas Eve service, at First United Presbyterian Church (time to be determined). Our first rehearsal will be Wednesday, November 21, at 5:00 p.m. at FUPC. If you can lift a bell and count to four, please talk to Pastor Ray. We need ringers!

B.U.M.P.Y (Baptist-United Methodist-Presbyterian Youth)

Our ecumenical youth group gathers every Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Methodist fellowship hall (lower level). This is for all kids, grades 6-12. Supper is served!

Christmas Giving

Are you tired of giving and receiving too much stuff for the holidays? Then make your gift count! Instead of buying stuff, give the gift of clean water, livestock, medicine, or mosquito nets to those who need them most desperately. And do it in honor of your loved ones. Visit: to see what you can do this Christmas.

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