Pastor Jabulani McCallister
Hello Calvary Family,
I pray this newsletter finds you enjoying the warm weather of Spring! Yes, Spring is here! Although the long winter, Blizzard Nemo and additional winter storms made us wonder if better weather would ever come. I think we could learn a little something from the weather. In times of inclement weather we forget that everything has a purpose. For example, storms were present long before we arrived on Earth. Rain helps things grow and frost helps protect flowers from the freezing temperatures. . . . yes, all things have a purpose.
The beautiful thing is that we can learn from our personal storms too. Just like winter causes us to slow down, Spring reminds us that life begins again. Trees that lost their leaves rejuvenate with a new sense of purpose. The long dark days of winter are eclipsed by the glistening sunshine as we “Spring Up” and move ahead. But let’s not take the good times for granted and forget that God is good all the time. We can show that we know that God is faithful by “praying without ceasing” and continual worship and praise just for who God is to us (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Then, once we pray and shout, it’s time to put action to our faith! Calvary family, let’s get ready to see God do a new thing in us as we follow and trust Him (Isaiah 43:19)!
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
On Monday, March 4th, Calvary Baptist Church hosted the 187th annual meeting of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island (ABCORI), attended by over 250 people representing 45 Rhode Island churches. Pastor Emeritus Dr. Paul Schoonmaker said it was the best-attended ABCORI business meeting he’d ever seen.
Our own Pastor McCalister (pictured) led the opening devotion, challenging the gathered representatives to “emanate the love of God as we greet the new leaders, [to] take in earnest the role of leadership … constant in prayer and intercession.” He further spoke on unity as “the children of God and the body of Christ.”
Newly called Executive Minister Rev. Tom Wiles soon added some humor: “I didn’t think Baptists came to business meetings!” Rev. Nikita McCalister played a prominent role in the proceedings as ABCORI’s Operations Manager; starting with leading the opening hymn and standing in for several officers in absentia, before delivering the Report of the Operations Manager. Among the other highlights, Canonicus Director Melanie Towle presented ‘Celebration of the 65th Anniversary of Camp Canonicus’. The video, similar to Calvary’s 115th Anniversary Celebration, is available for viewing on the Canonicus website (www.canonicus.org). The meeting concluded with Introductions/Installation of newly elected members, followed by new Executive Minister, Rev. Tom Wiles leading the closing prayer.
The meeting agenda and copies of all reports are available at www.abcori.org.
“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”
-1 Corinthians 12:7
Members are the life-blood of any organization, and Calvary’s Technical Arts Ministry is no exception. The gifts our members bring become the strength of the Ministry. Within the Calvary family, the TAM is all about communication infrastructure. Whether it’s this newsletter, audio and video at services and events; our website and online presence, or our relations with local media outlets, that infrastructure provides Calvary the tools to spread God’s Word beyond the walls of our Church home.
It is my privilege to join the TAM as Chairman and Area Leader for the Calvary Call, joined by fellow Area Leaders Richard Akinnusotu, John Egan, Kona Stewart, and Rev. Michelle Sullivan. My ‘gifts’ have been honed by nearly twenty years of engineering and project management experience, including a decade of service to the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
It’s important to remember that the technology on which we rely is merely a tool. The TAM provides a platform: infrastructure. The content, the message, depends on contributions from the entire Calvary family. Within these pages, you’ll find contributions from the Servant Leaders, from youth members, even from a Homebound member. Content is the wildcard. For all of our media ‘channels’, we need your stories, your photos, poetry, and prayers. If you provide it, we’ll find a way to publish it. To make that happen, of course, we’ll also need volunteers and members. So, if you can handle a computer, a camera, or even a pen, there’s a place for you in the TAM. DD
February 13th is Ash Wednesday, the official start of the Lenten Season. During this sacred time Christians world-wide reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection in a special way, for they are central to our Christian faith. Calvary is offering a special Lenten Bible Study, “Living the Resurrection Reality,” on Wednesdays, Feb.13-Mar. 20, 7:15-8:30 pm at our church.
The Resurrection is too good of news to be limited to only one Sunday a year. This Bible study will look at this phenomenal event in detail. Did Christ’s Resurrection as described in the Scriptures really happen? Why was His Resurrection “Good News”? What does the Resurrection mean for us today? In this dynamic Bible Study developed by Christianity Today, we will explore how the Resurrection transforms our lives as it grounds our faith and gives us a glimpse of our life to come. Each class will be led by a differentCalvary minister and there will be one guest instructor. All classes will be preceded by Prayer Meeting from 6:30-7:15 pm.
Calvary family, we hope you will participate in this special opportunity to grow in Christ and grow with one another. Please spread the word! God bless you!
Hello Calvary Family,
As we move swiftly into the first quarter of 2013 Love is in the air. But it’s not just because Valentine’s Day is upon us. It’s nice to celebrate the love that this holiday brings with chocolates, candies, and Valentine’s greetings. However, the love we look forward to receiving is the love of God. In the Gospel of John Chapter 15:13, Jesus tells us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (NRSV). There are no earthly treats, valentines, or trinkets that can ever compare to the quintessential embodiment of Love: Jesus died that we might live. Because He rose, we will live forever more! As we celebrate love this quarter, let us remember that God has chosen us to be His friends (St. John 15:14-15).
Let’s be in prayer during the Lenten and Resurrection Season that we draw near to the One who loved us before we were born and still loves us today (Jeremiah 1:4-5)!
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
For over a year, Calvary’s wheelchair lift has been broken, causing accessibility challenges for members and visitors with wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Thanks to a successful winter Capital Campaign, a new lift will be installed by March. The new Genesis Vertical Lift made by Garaventa Lift will provide easy access to Calvary’s main floor and lower level, where South Providence Neighborhood Ministries has offices. The approximately $25,000 project is being supported by an $8,300 grant from the RI Baptist Home Board, $12,060 in pledges from Calvary members,and the balance from our church’s invested funds.
“This lift will benefit anyone who is handicapped” whether they enter our building for church, a funeral, wedding or SPNM, said Rick Robison,Calvary member and Building & Property Ministry Chair. Thank you donors!
If you are looking for ways to get involved this quarter, consider some of the following ministry opportunities:
1) True Worshippers study, Wednesdays, 7:15 p.m.
2) Prayer meetings: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays at noon
3) Our Technical Arts Ministry needs more committed members
4) New Visitors to Calvary homebound members are needed
5) Support for South Providence Neighborhood Ministries’ Annual Spelling Bee on Saturday, February 2, 2013
from 1:00-6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. This event helps raise money to support families that SPNM serves.
6) Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.: Married Couple’s Ministry’s Pre-Valentine’s
Day Brunch and Movie Matinee. There will be food, fun, fellowship, compelling and impactful workshops,
and the viewing of a powerful movie. Brunch is $20 per couple.
7) American Baptist Churches of RI Annual Meeting Monday, March 4, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. in our Sanctuary. Please come and help us host churches from around the state as we gather to discuss and vote on important ABCORI matters and welcome our New Executive Minister, Rev. Tom Wiles, and new Officers!
Maundy Thursday Worship and Communion, March 28th at 7 p.m. We will commemorate Christ’s last supper with a worship experience and Communion.
“The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Hear this, you elders, and give ear all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers? Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.” -Joel 1:-3
We are called to be awakened as the coming of our Lord Jesus, The Christ, is at hand.
Toward that end, Calvary’s Health and Wellness Ministry is working on plans for our Health Fair scheduled on Friday, April 26, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the church. We must care for the sick, help feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, shelter the homeless, take care of the widows, and more. These are some of our
Two of our members – Helen Nyanti and Baryo Dousah – are in training to lead this ministry for the next term. Please pray for them.
The Health and Wellness Ministry also joins the Calvary congregation in praising God for the wheelchair lift that will soon be installed. The lift will help Calvary be accessible and be a place of mobility for all.
By His Grace,
Rachel M. Bloe
Hello Calvary family:
Happy New Year! We recently celebrated our 115th year of ministry in Providence as Calvary Baptist Church with a great celebration, historical references and more. While it’s great to remember our past, we also should be excited about the wonderful things that God is doing through us now, and anticipate a great future. As we enter 2013, may we embrace the full scope of God’s love towards and God’s love for people. God loved us before we loved Him (1 John 4:19). God’s salvation for us through Jesus Christ reminds us that He was born to die that we might live. But Jesus rose from the dead that we might live forever. Praise God.
Until Christ returns or calls us home, we have a great privilege and responsibility to represent Him well by bearing much fruit that lasts beyond us (St. John 15:8, 16). One of the ways we do that is by creating new ministry opportunities to transform lives such as:
1) Sunday, January 6, 2013 11:00-12:30 p.m.: Pastor Geneva Urquhart begins her new church plant called, “Christ is The Head of the Church” in our upstairs Chapel. This continues our rich tradition of partnering with other churches to spread God’s Word.
2) Saturday, February 9, 2013: Married Couple’s Ministry’s Pre-Valentine’s Day Brunch and Movie Matinee.
This is just to name a few. Calvary I encourage you to get involved and watch God move in your life in brand new ways!
In Christ’s service,
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Calvary Baptist Church celebrated its 115th Anniver- sary on November 18th with a special worship experience and reception attended by over 200 people. The theme of the celebration was “A Legacy of Faith in God.” Calvary and its sister church, Iglesia Bautista Hispana el Calvario, held a joint service that included praise and worship in English and Spanish, sermons by former pastors Rev. Dr. Paul Schoonmaker and Rev. J. Francisco Litardo, and reflections by long-time Calvary members June Allen, Linda Gaulin and Virginia Bradley.
Other highlights included a historical slide show, mini organ concert by Calvary Organist and Adult Choir Director, Dorothy Yoreo, and a citation from the City of Providence which recognized our historic church. Praise God for His faithfulness to Calvary for 115 years!