All Calvary High School and College Graduates who completed the Academic Recognition Form to be included in the celebration this Sunday, June 4, 2017 please be on time and wear your graduation cap! The Worship Experience begins at 10:00 a.m. sharp.
Hello Calvary Family! Happy Spring. With the unpredictable changes in the climate one never knows how to respond. Should I wear a coat? Should I wear layers or shorts? No matter what the climate, be it the weather, culture or politics, it is helpful to know what’s going on and perhaps have some semblance of control. Control is overrated because some things will happen regardless of how much control we believe we have. They say, “April showers bring May Flowers” as a way to console the one who does like the rain. Rain has multiple purposes but two main roles it has it to clean and nourish. We need both in order to spring forth anew.
Beginning in Chapter 5 of St. Matthew, Jesus is recorded as beginning the Beatitudes sayings. Beatitudes means: blessedness, grace, more or benediction. What strikes me about Jesus’ sayings in the Sermon on the Mount is that it’s launched with blessings. Blessed are . . . he continues for several verses. Normally, when we think of blessings we think of things we cherish or like coming into our possession. But if we examine the Beatitudes not all blessings are associated with gaining anything material, physical or emotional. In fact, there is a form of loss associated with each one. However, even though verse 1-11 tell us of the rain, verse 12 tells us of the flowers to come because we are approved by God.
This spring time I encourage you to think about the wonderful ways you are blessed beyond measure with family (especially as we celebrate Mother’s Day), friends and such. For some flowers are right before you ready to be loved and enjoyed.
God bless you,
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Hello. Calvary Family! I greet you in the mighty matchless Name of Jesus. The Hymn “In the Garden” by C. Austin Miles, shares a wonderful experience of God’s comforting presence throughout our lives. God is there through good and bad times. The chorus says, “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other have ever known.” But that level of intimacy requires something from us. Like the opening line in the Hymn declares, we must come to God, often alone, humble and vulnerable with an expectant hope that He will be with us and provide just what we need. That’s not often acceptable to us because we feel so destitute and far from God’s presence most times because of our sin (anything we do outside of God’s Will).
In Genesis Chapter 2, God tells Adam and Eve to be faithful to Him so He can keep them safe. Unfortunately, like most children they did not follow instructions. Sure, they were tempted by the enemy but they still chose to disobey a direct command from God in Chapter 3. Had they come to God with the transgression, I believe He would have restored them. But they pulled away and hid from God in shame (1 John 1:9-10; Genesis 3:9). Yes, they used to run to His presence but this time when they heard Him coming they ran. In a moment of beautiful loving outreach, God said, “Adam, where are you (Genesis 3:9)? Alone and separated from God is where the enemy wants us so he can destroy us (St. John 10:10). But God is constantly pursuing us with love that will not stop until we come to the garden of His presence.
During the season of Lent, run toward God in prayer, fasting and repentance. He’s waiting to restore you. This is not a time of mourning alone but a time of rejoicing because Jesus now holds the key to our salvation. Remember after that faithful Good Friday sacrifice, Resurrection Sunday is coming. God is missing you. When God calls your name, don’t be afraid to come to Him and accept His love. For He loves and cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7)! My God richly bless you with His Love, Mercy and Grace.
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Hello Calvary Family,
Happy New Year! Yes, 2017 is here. We made it through another year and we embark upon exciting opportunities ahead. This year New Year’s Day was Sunday, January 1, 2017 we celebrated with the normal thank you Lord’s and good cheer. However, after worship, I was talking to one of the leaders of Calvary who pointed out that it was the first month, day, and Sunday of the year. As we talked about the rarity of that happening, the Lord shared with me this thought, “This is the year of firsts.” Isn’t that amazing? First means a variety of things to people but for the church it always means we have a fresh opportunity to have a fruitful faith journey in Jesus Christ.
In the Bible, the number 17 symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” or “complete victory.” But once we overcome the enemy, we sometimes wonder, “Now what?” We have grown so accustomed to being hindered that when we experience a taste of freedom we don’t know what to do. In Joshua 3:3-6, God begins to fulfill His promise to the people and Joshua. God tells them to get ready for the journey because, they had never gone this way before. God knew it’s sometimes frightening to start over or begin something knew. So, He told everyone to get prepared by “consecrating” themselves which simply means to formally declare before God that you are dedicating yourself to Him completely for His purposes. Every time God’s people make themselves available to God for God’s purposes great things happen. So, in this New Year—the year of firsts, I challenge you to dedicate your life to Jesus Christ. You will overcome and be completely victorious no matter what happens because the Lord will be with you (Deuteronomy 31:8)! I look forward to continuing to serve the Lord with you this year. Great things are in store!
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Allia B. Lima, is a 21 year old native of Rhode Island with family of Cape Verdean and African American decent. She is a student of RI College majoring in the medical field of Nursing and a presently employed at Miriam hospital where she enjoys the role of assisting and nurturing patients to health. Allia is a resident of North Providence where she lives with her family of 6 and is the oldest of 4 siblings. She is a member of the Lincoln Seventh Day Adventist church where she and her entire family lead out in various ministries with music being the greatest of them all and is a mutual passion and gift among the entire family. With the blessing of music running through her veins, Allia’s musical gifts and vocal talents were first evident at a very young age. She possesses a smooth melodic voice with great harmonic ranges and a sultry sound that she chooses to use for the honor and glory of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Growing up she was always exposed to gospel music and ministry and as a young adult she enjoys sharing her God-given gifts with others as she believes that she is blessed to be a blessing. She has been a member of over 10 gospel choirs and groups in the U.S. and overseas in the past 15 years and is often featured as a soloist. After 12 years of experience in music ministry, Allia was encouraged to take on greater challenges and became co-founder of a youth gospel ensemble called Praise Outlet. Allia enthusiastically serves as leader and director of the group and continues to take the group to higher levels of harmonic structure, musicality, testimonials of praise and spiritual growth. Recently she agreed to expand beyond her own church her walls and assist in the development of a church choir at the Calvary Baptist Church in Providence where she believes God will use her in a mighty way to enlarge her ministerial and musical territory while doing the same for the choir members and congregation as well.
Hello. It’s that time again! Time to celebrate the Lord by how thankful we are to be alive and celebrate the eternal life He provided through the birth of Jesus Christ! If you look around in the world, there seems to be more commercialization of Christmas and material gift giving. But what are really being offered are songs that have nothing to do with Christ, unwanted trinkets that will be returned the very next day, dry turkey and false “Good Will” toward people. What many people have forgotten or simply just don’t know is that Jesus has always been the reason we celebrate and have joy! We have this joy because God has given us peace that the world can only understand through a relationship with Him (St. John 14:1-6; 1 Cor.2:14). This joy begins at Christmas but culminates at the cross and carries over through the Resurrection!
So while we gather with loved ones and friends over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, remember that the reason you are blessed today is because of what God has done for you. Let’s get back to the basics of sharing the love of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. When was the last time you shared your faith journey with someone? During this festive time would be the perfect moment to open up to someone about what Jesus has meant to you in your life. Think back on when the Lord saved your life. Share the intricate details of how Jesus continues to sustain your faith. “Jesus paid it all.” Now we owe Him our all in all. Please share your testimonies with me of how God used you to bring someone to Christ. If possible I would love to meet them and rejoice with you both. God bless you and have a happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister, MSW, MDIV
Hello Calvary Family! This summer I was listening to the Gaither’s Gospel Band’s CD, “Count Your Blessings.” There were many songs that spoke to the core of our walk with Christ but one song in particular stood out to me. The song is entitled, “Breathe Deep.” The title alone is a command to breathe to the fullest capacity you have. Many of us breathe very shallow in an effort to speed past life. Breathing shallow is normally associated with negative feelings or ailments that cause a heightened sense of anxiety. This exacerbates even more challenges, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. However, when we breathe deep these aspects of our being get the proper elements from the oxygen our bodies need and we are put at ease. Just like the song by the Gaither Band encourages us to breathe deep the moments of love and loved ones in our life, the Scripture reminds us that each breath we take is a blessing. Take a moment to breathe in and out—deeply. Breathing is an involuntary function that must take place for us to stay alive. But God is the one who provides the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) and empowers us to live anxiety free as His Holy Spirit provides a refreshing wind that repeatedly revives us (Acts 2; St. John 20:21-22).
Whether long or short trips, many of us went on vacation this summer and left our cares and concerns back home. The deep breathes we took were from running around with the children on a crowded beach our playing sports at the park, or riding our bikes and hiking in the mountains. Now that you are back I pray that you continue to “breathe deep” looking for a way to spice up the routine and creatively serve the Lord with joy at home, work, community and church. I look forward to serving with you this Fall season God bless you!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
God lead our sister church, Iglesia Bautista Hispana El Calvario (IBHEC), to initiate the renovation of our Youth Ministry Classroom. They have carried the load in raising funds and providing the supplies for this blessing. The renovation is happening in three phases. Cleaning the room and painting the walls, installing new technology, and laying out the rug. The youth could always use more Bibles and other lesson supplies. Please contact us on ways you can contribute towards the Youth Ministry.
Sunday, October 2nd we celebrated our member, Sarah Brown Kamara, as she recently retired as Superintendent. Auntie Sarah, as family and close friends lovingly call her, thank you again for all the years of hard work, dedication, and love for God you put into everything you did for our children and church. We were blessed to have you leading our children’s Christian education and are still blessed to have you as a member. We love you.