February Newsletter

“Start with the Basics.” That’s my approach when it comes to our congregation.

A church doesn’t live by programs, bureaucratic structures, buildings, or gimmicks, but a church lives by its mission. So to start with the basics means to identify and embrace the reason why we exist. “Starting with the basics” means streamlining our efforts to build on the proper foundation: the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.

In a nutshell, this is what I believe to be the basic mission of our church:

  1. Worship: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2. Our primary duty and witness is to gather together and worship the Lord our God.
  2. Discipleship: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38. Our primary personal duty as Christians is to grow in the likeness of Christ through a life dedicated to following him.
  3. Fellowship: Jesus also replied, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:39. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Our calling is to live out our faith in fellowship with other believers.
  4. Outreach: Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. The church lives to extend the message of salvation to all corners of the world, through words and deeds.

I pray that these purposes will give shape to our common life, and that they will lead us to a fruitful future.

Pastor Ray

Annual Meeting Minutes

The annual meeting of First Baptist Church was held on January 13, 2019 following a potluck dinner. Rev. Ray McCalla led in prayer.

Reports were given by Vicki Brown financial secretary; Sandi Rhoads treasurer; Luella Bartelson benevolence treasurer, all were approved.

Ray would like to have a Maundy Thursday service at our church including the Presbyterian Church.

Jim and Vicki talked about the Qualified Charitable Distribution from retirement saving for people of retirement age.

The nominating committee consisting of Gary Nelson and Lyle Brown gave the following nominations for 2019:

Moderator                                    Jim Bartelson

Church Clerk                                Vicki Brown

Treasurer                                      Sandi Rhoads

Financial Secretary                    Vicki Brown

Benevolence Treasurer           Luella Bartelson

Sunday School Supt.                Debbie Cross

Diaconate Trustees:

  • 3 year term 2021 Traci & Lisa Smith
  • 2 year term 2020 Rich Watson & Jerry Rhoads
  • 1 year term 2019 Chuck Smith & Lyle Brown
  • Member at large Kyle Benson

Pastoral Relations Comm.:    Jim Bartelson, Vicki Brown, Sandi Rhoads, Janet Westphalen

Having no other nominations, Sandi Rhoads made a motion that nominations cease Lynnette Herrick seconded the motion, a vote was taken and the ballot passed.

Jerry Rhoads turned the water damage into Church Mutual Insurance, our deductible is $1,000.00 and the bill was $1551. Jerry is waiting for more information from the insurance company.

Discussion was held about the future of the parsonage. A motion was made by Vicki Brown to list the parsonage after the waterproofing is done (this won’t be done until spring). We selected Century 21 as the proposed agent. Sharen Herrick seconded the motion. A vote was taken and motion passed.

Discussion was held about the former Holy Trinity Lutheran church sign outside the church. We would need to have a new sign made as we can’t use the old one, or we need to take the posts out of the ground. The sign would show from both sides and it was felt that this sign is more visible to the public. Vicki Brown made a motion to have a new sign made and use the existing posts to mount it. Luella Bartelson seconded. A vote was taken and motion passed.

It is time to make our $100.00 donation to the ministerial association. Jerry Rhoads made a motion to give $100.00 to the ministerial association, Lyle Brown seconded. A vote was taken and motion passed.

Sandi Rhoads contacted the elevator company to come and do an inspection of the elevator when they are in Atlantic next.

In November 2018 a vote was taken to start Sunday school at 9:30 and Church at 10:30. Vicki asked how the congregation thought that was going. It was decided that it’s working well so no changes were made.

A new usher list was handed out to choose what month(s) people would like to usher, The new list will be included in the February newsletter.

A new prayer chain list was handed out with a request for whether you want to be contacted by phone or text. The prayer chain list will be included in the February newsletter.

Respectfully submitted,

Vicki Brown, Church Clerk

Prayer Chain

We are revamping the way we alert people to pray. There are two groups of people: those who wish to be contacted by text message and those who wish to be called. When a request comes in, Pastor Ray (or whoever is available) will send out a group text message with the details. Then he will call the first person on the call list; that person will pass the message long down the line. REMEMBER: When you receive a prayer request, write down the request right away! Don’t wait till you hang up; you may be interrupted or forget. Pray RIGHT AWAY. Prayer chain requests are urgent. A brief word of prayer when you receive the call will start the prayer coverage immediately and will help you remember to continue to pray later. Also, if you are calling on the chain, call RIGHT AWAY. If the person you are to call is not available, leave a message and the call the next person on the list. If you would like your name added, removed, or moved to a different spot, let Vicki Brown know.

Happy Birthday, FBC!

This year—on March 29, to be exact—our congregation is celebrating a BIG birthday: 150 years! Let’s put our heads together on how we can celebrate this major landmark. Dinner? Special worship and music? The sky is the limit! Happy birthday to us.


And speaking of making plans…

Atlantic will host RAGBRAI this summer. We will be the overnight location for Sunday, July 21. Dinner fundraiser? Gospel music concert? Freebies to bless the cyclists? The sky is the limit!

Maundy Thursday

Preliminary plans are thus: Maundy Thursday is April 18. Pastor Ray is planning on hosting a worship service that evening, including musical offerings from the handbell choir. Stay tuned for more information.

Diaconate Meeting

The deacons will gather after worship on Sunday, February 10.

American Baptist Women

ABWM will on Wednesday, February 13, at 1:30 p.m.


(Baptist-United Methodist-Presbyterian Youth)

BUMPY will meet at the Methodist building each Wednesday during February from 6:30-8:00. Supper, activities, and a lesson are included. All youth (even those who don’t fit into the BUMP categories) grades 6-12 are invited!

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Our church has gained some new attenders, and that’s terrific! If you or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter or be included in our birthday and wedding anniversary list, please let us know: fbcatlantic@gmail.com. You can also always read our newsletter online: https://fbcatlantic.wordpress.com/blog.

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