July 18-22, 2016. We thank God for all those who participated in our joint Vacation Bible School in anyway from Calvary, Iglesia Bautista El Calvario (IBHEC), friends of both churches parents, children, youth and families. Because of you this was a tremendous success again. We give special thanks to Pastor Orlando and First Lady Sandra Irizarry of (IBHEC) who pulls this event and both churches together every year to reach souls in the community for Christ! Click here to see the photo album or visit our Facebook page.
Hello Calvary Family! Happy Summer to you all! Many of us have anticipated the summer’s arrival for a variety of reasons. But one of the main reasons people love summer is because it means vacation season has come in full swing. Some take short day trips and others take longer times away. No matter what type of vacation that occurs, have you ever noticed how carefree we all—well most of us are during that time? When we get a chance to travel whether alone or with friends and loved ones, for an enjoyable often well-deserved break, we become almost unrecognizable. The stress is gone. The worry has faded. It’s as if we have no concerns to consider and we enjoy every minute. So, why are things so different when we return from our own private paradise? Could it be that we have forgotten to enjoy life as the Lord has given it to us? Yes, that’s part of it. I think the bigger picture is that we have forgotten to enjoy life for what it is—very good! That’s what God called us, His creation, as He surveyed the life He created (Genesis 1:31).
Jesus, told us in St. John 14:1-3 not to be troubled because He has prepared a place for us to dwell with Him forever. This place will have everything we need: a trustworthy Savior, shelter, comfort, assurance, truth, direction, life, answered prayer and the list goes continues (St. John 14:14-27). Jesus describes this place as a mansion that’s “all-inclusive.” But this is not just some villa, timeshare or vacation/summer home. This is a place where we can feel secure and always carefree because we know Jesus has prepared it and invited us in. Enjoy your summer vacation but bring us back a souvenir of that peace you felt while away. Think how much more prepared for life we would be if we believed that all our challenges are but a mere fraction of the fulfillment we find in Jesus. God bless you!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
We have been blessed to receive $8,079 so far for the renovations to the kitchen off the dining room downstairs. The majority of donations have come from Calvary Baptist Church members. We have sent out grant requests to foundations and two have declined. We are still hopeful to hear from three more. We pray that the congregation and all the sister-users of the kitchen contribute to this fund as we all use our kitchen. We have started renovations and the floor is complete. We had wanted to have the project completed before the SPNM children’s summer program and vacation Bible school. Please open your hearts to help us fund this very important project. Please make checks payable to Calvary Baptist and write kitchen renovation in the memo section. Thank you so much for your help in ministering to the children of South Providence. —Building Use Committee
Our church kitchen, that serves not only Calvary and Iglesia Bautista Hispana El Calvario but also South Providence Neighborhood Ministries for after school programs and summer camp, and all of our sister churches, is in dire need of repairs/renovations. As you can see from the photo, it has been quite a while so we will be sending out an appeal letter to charitable organizations and the congregation to help with this important project. We plan to bring the kitchen up to code by replacing ceiling tiles and wall board, repairing and painting the cabinets, putting in a new subfloor and flooring and installing new laminate countertops as well as upgrades to electrical and plumbing. We also need to cover the butcher block with stainless steel or remove it because it doesn’t meet safety standards. We would also like to install a used industrial dishwasher and a refrigerator that would better serve SPNM. We have already received a donated industrial stove.
We pray that the congregation and all the sister-users of the kitchen contribute half the cost and look to outside funding for the other half. We want to have the project completed before the SPNM children’s summer program and vacation Bible school. Please open your hearts to help us fund this very important project. Please make checks payable to Calvary Baptist and write kitchen renovation in the memo section. Thank you so much for your help.
Believe it or not, it’s time to start preparing for the Igelisia Bautista Hispana el Calvario/Calvary Baptist Church Vacation Bible School (VBS) again!
Yes, summer is approaching and that means we need to get ready to minister to the children. Please join us for our first VBS training and informational meeting, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 7 p.m, in the Tomlin Room.
El verano se aproxima y eso quiere decir que tenemos que prepararnos para la Escuela Bíblica Vacacional. Esperando que te unas a servir a los niños de la comunidad y los nuestros siendo voluntario este año en la Escuela Bíblica Vacacional.
Hello Calvary Family,
I pray you are basking in the glory of the Lord. Certainly, we are grateful that God has provided a milder winter for us this year as we transition to Spring. This year we look for God to continue to “Spring” forth new life into our ministry. But you know, God is constantly offering us opportunities to walk with Him in the flow of His creation. In the beginning when God breathed into Adam and Eve and made them a living soul, He presented the Garden as a place to grow and provide growth (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:7, 16). This new growth would replenish the earth and yield a bountiful harvest for everyone. As Christians we are in a unique place to still yield a harvest of souls. However, before the harvest comes, we must do something. We must prepare for it. For example, it’s not enough to ask, “Why don’t we have new members at our church like we did years ago?” We have to rediscover our roots of faith. People come to church to meet Jesus. But if we forget our roots in evangelism/discipleship we will be ill-equipped to introduce anyone to Him.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus tells the disciples to go into the entire world and make disciples. We love to quote this Scripture but neglect the charges that lie within these verses. Jesus says, “Go.” He says, Go in my authority over the universe! Go make disciples of all nations! Go, baptize them. Go teach them to obey my commandments that I have command you! If you are truly a disciple of Jesus there should be some action to your faith. Is there any growth in you or around you? Have you led anyone to Jesus since He saved you? Have you walked with authority and taught them to obey His commandments as He taught you? Do you know His commandments (St.John 13:34-35; St. John 15:11-15)?
Be honest with yourself and take a moment to assess where you are in your walk with Christ. If you find there are some areas you lack in discipleship, ask God’s forgiveness and seek opportunities to follow Jesus. One such opportunity to grow is joining us on Thursdays at 12 Noon and Wednesday nights for prayer at 6:30 p.m. Another chance to grow is at our small group Discipleship study series on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Tomlin Room. You have a detailed repository of excuses as to why you “can’t” come to pray and study God’s Word, now it’s time to take seriously your growth in Christ so that the world will know that the Savior lives and still saves today. God bless you!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Hello Calvary Family! Happy New Year! As we embark on the year of our Lord 2016, we breathe a sigh of relief that we have made it to see another year. Most of us look forward to the New Year with great anticipation based on the blessings of the last year. Others are a little more tentative about their approach to what lies ahead due to great losses they suffered in years past. No matter your prospective, cheerful or tearful, transition don’t always have to be scary. They often provide new possibilities. Learn to take the good and bad experiences of your life in the context of shaping the journey of who you are or will become. No one can escape hardship but we can decide not to let it cripple us from moving forward. In Psalm 30, the writer praises the Lord for rescuing him from certain death. The pain was unbearable. The danger was real. Many tears of anguish flowed. The healing was delayed. However, in the final analysis, the Psalmist concluded, “O, Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever (v. 12).” Your danger, pain, and tears are real. You may have to experience great anguish but through it all, you must continue to believe that God is with you. Be comforted in the fact that “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5, KJV).” You may have to cry for however long your night is but joy will come in the morning and sometimes through the mourning. I know it’s hard to believe God is with you when you are in the middle of your storm but stay anchored in the Lord and when the winds and rains pass, you “shall never be moved (Psalm 30:6).” May God grant your family and you peace and assurance this year. God bless you.
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Hello Calvary Family! I pray that your Thanksgiving was wonderful. Although it may be hard to see sometimes, we all have a lot for which to be thankful. Now as we approach the most holy of all days, Christmas, the birth of Jesus as our Savior, we continue to pause in awe of God’s great love. Well at least most of us do. My son and I were in a store back in October and everyone seemed to be eagerly anticipating celebrating Halloween but this particular store was playing Christmas music. I asked my son if he heard the music and he said, “They are playing Christmas music already?” We had a comical discussion about the commercialization of Christmas and the loss of the significance of its meaning by the world. However, it’s not just the world who has lost the awe and excitement of Christmas. Christians have been sucked into the vortex of belligerent emotions and actions surrounding the best Christmas deals.
The lines at various stores snaking around the parking lot for almost a mile on “Black Friday,” rival those of a general admission rock concerts. Some people camp out for days in advance for a chance to be the first to get that item they neither can afford nor really want/need. They stay awake all night, don’t eat, and will do anything to stay ahead of the next shopper. Some even have impromptu title fights to see who will win their place in the shopper’s “hall of shame.” I feel for them as they chase after material things that will not last. After all, this is supposed to be a time of happiness, great cheer and good will toward everyone. There is nothing wrong with buying gifts and celebrating Christmas with loved ones but the celebration and anticipation should always be couched in the premise of honoring Jesus’ birth.
Yet, I am reminded that regardless of how much we all have been consumed with things that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ, it’s not too late to snap out of it. As Christmas approaches, we look forward to remembering the birth of Jesus Christ and what that means. St. John 3:16-17 (KJV), says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world not to condemn the world; but that through Him might be saved.” God gave us Jesus so we would not perish, have everlasting life, and be saved. God could have given up on all of us a long time ago but He did not. He wants us to have the most out of the life He gave us on Earth and in Heaven. But we will never know the joy that comes from living in Jesus chasing after empty relationships, self-fulfillment, or material things.
We are in the season of Advent which celebrates the coming of Jesus at His birth and the coming again that we anticipate in the future. When He comes again, He is coming to bring us home to live with Him forever (St. John 14:1-3). Jesus made preparations for us to on the ultimate “Black Friday” when He came to die on the cross and rose on the third day for you me. Still, before He went to the cross, Jesus was born in a lowly manager. There may not have been room for Him at the Inn but we must make room for Him in our hearts. (St. Luke 2:7; Romans 10:9-10). I pray that this Christmas Season you and I remember and anticipate the real meaning of Christmas–Jesus Christ. For it was by His Grace and Mercy that we live today. Merry Christmas!!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
Hello Calvary Family! I pray this newsletter finds you well. Have you ever contemplated how wonderful it is to be alive? Recently many of us at Calvary have suffered devastating loses that by all accounts should have caused many of us to pack our faith and leave. Unfortunately, some have left. But I wonder how those who have stayed kept going? Then, as I listen to the testimonies of those who have not let hardship deter them from their faith in God, I am reminded that in Christ we have all the tools we need to persevere and overcome. Revelations Chapter 12 discusses how our enemy seeks to destroy all those who follow Jesus Christ but we prevail because God is warring for us. The times were challenging and tough but verse 11 says, “They overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word or their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death.” The word “testimony” in the original Greek used in this passage is maturion which means “witness” or providing evidence based on experience. This is similar to when someone is called upon to share his/her testimony on the witness stand in court of what they have experienced or believe to be true. Their story is raw, heartfelt, and meaningful often making the difference in the decision others make to believe too.
We will all experience trials, tribulations and tests but by the blood of Jesus Christ you will prevail. But it does not stop there. Don’t hold your testimony to yourself. By sharing your testimony you encourage yourself that the Lord will see you through your grief and loss. You also, help others see that they can overcome as well. During this time of Thanksgiving many of us will be sharing a meal and time with our friends, relatives, and loved ones. We will share the latest updates of our lives since the time we saw each other last year. I encourage you to share more than just job promotions, graduations, new births, weddings and blessings. Share your testimony of how you are grateful for something that the Lord has brought you through. You may think your story is insignificant but you will be surprised how important it is for someone else to hear how you made it. Happy Thanksgiving!
God bless you!
Pastor Jabulani McCalister
After another brief transition in the Youth Ministry leader, our very own Sarah Annmarrie Kamara has stepped up to serve as our new Youth Leader beginning, Sunday, November 1, 2015. We are blessed that the Lord has raised up a leader from within our church who was groomed and nurtured to lead for “Such a time as this (Esther 4:14).”