Headlines from First Thoughts

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Join us for Worship Live @fbcknox @ 11 EST; or if you're home, on our webcast or Fox-43

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We're open for Breakfast @ 9:30 & Worship @ 11:00. Or Watch the Webcast & Fox-43 TV

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Join us @ 5-6 2nite 4 Christmas Eve service @fbcknox or live on local Fox-43

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Services canceled tonight. Middle school party moved to Friday night

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Services are canceled tonight. Middle school and high school Christmas party combine Friday night.

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Eddie survived a fire & is now #homeless. But he's always kept his word. Watch:

Christmas Brunch Interview 3 from First Baptist Church, Knoxville on Vimeo.

Eddie survived a fire and lived to tell about it. After working at Regas and Club LeConte, Eddie is now at Volunteer Ministry Center, hoping to move into Minvilla Manor. He learned from his father to "keep his word with people" so "he could always go back." Eddie joined us this past Saturday as our guest for the 5th annual Christmas Brunch.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In 2010, you could find @fbcknox people everywhere. Watch this year of ministry in review:

Looking back on a great year of ministry.

Love Feast Video - 2009-2010 Year in Review from First Baptist Church, Knoxville on Vimeo.

Many thanks to Michael McEntyre and Brandon Moore for producing this video.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An open Sunday night on the calendar during Advent? Perfect time for partnership and mission @fbcknox #missional @downtownknox

Finding an open Sunday night for a program-based church during the Christmas season is like finding an empty parking spot at the mall. It rarely happens. But for churches on mission, Sunday nights no longer need to be filled with another event for the sake of the calendar. Many groups celebrate the season and carry out the church's mission even better than we can on campus. With no reason to reinvent the proverbial worship wheel, churches can partner with these groups and extend the mission of the kingdom of God.

Consider what happened yesterday at First Baptist. The Fellowship Council and Worship Council provided lunch and worship. Neither happened on our campus, but both were "First Baptist events." During the lunch hour, several families participated in "Advent out to Lunch." Nine downtown restaurants offered "discounts" for eating out. I like what Courtney Evans said. She called it the "GOJESUS discount." But these families went a step further. They re-gifted the savings to the restaurant servers. They shared their percentage off their meal as an additional gratuity for the work the food service workers provide year-round.

Following the meal, many others attended the Knoxville Nativity Pageant. For 42 years, the First Baptist family and extended family have provided a living re-enactment of the prophecies and announcements of the birth of Christ as well as the arrival of the shepherds and magi. At 3:00 p.m. we worshiped together along with hundreds of others and joined (officially) what this fine organization as been doing in our community.

Our strategic plan for 2010-2014 calls us not only to work together but think creatively about these kinds of partnerships we can form with groups already on mission. Sunday was just one example of the way this is happening. There is no better season than to share the season with people who know the kingdom of God is "at hand." Now we can join hands.

(Pictured above Jonathan Higdon, Reese Higdon, and Drake Shiell check out the sheep stars of the Nativity Pageant.)

For more information on other churches who are engaged in partnerships, check out these great examples:

Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.

First Baptist Church, Wilmington, North Carolina, Harrelson Center

Hopeful Imagination Resources

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Brunch gives smiles to a grandmother parenting a mother and grandchildren @fbcknox

Lillie Duncan has been watching First Baptist on television for over five years, but life has not been the same since her 90-year old husband passed away after a long battle with cancer. On Sunday mornings, First Baptist has been her worship home through our television ministry. But she had not attended our church until last year’s Christmas brunch. Her daughter Sue Johnson brought Lillie along with her great-grandchildren to our Christmas brunch again Saturday, and Lillie and I had a chance to meet.

For five years, the Christmas brunch has touched the kind of people who have been hurt the most by the economic downturn. They were receding before there was a recession. Under normal circumstances, when life piles on routine stress, our guests struggle. During times like these, many people face collapse.

Lillie and Sue are good examples. Lillie is homebound but fiercely independent. She cannot drive. She told me that the brunch would be her only meal of the day. She can’t cook for herself anymore. At age 70, Sue not only cares for her mother, but she’s also the primary caregiver for two grandchildren, a boy and girl ages 9 and 10. Their father has been through a divorce, works to make ends meet, and relies on his mother to provide assistance. In between her responsibilities as a mother, grandmother, and daughter, Sue works a part time job at a local mental health facility. Sue heard about the brunch because we contacted the facility to spread the word about the brunch. She shared the information at her work, and she brought her family back to enjoy the meal and festivities.

For one morning in December, there is hope, friendship, love, warmth, and as Sue Johnson said, “Smiles. If there is a frown, and someone gives them a smile, they might turn it around.” There were over 250 smiling volunteers sharing with people like Lillie and Sue and hundreds of others. We could not do this without your generosity and the volunteers who gave more than a Saturday to smile and love the people in the way Jesus loved them.

(Pictured from Left to Right: Sue Johnson, Sydney and Zachary Johnson, Lillie Duncan

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