By Pastor Manny
By the time you read this the plastic eggs are probably all put away, the Easter dinner has become leftover ham sandwiches, the candy is almost gone, and your mind has moved on to the anticipation of the summer activities on the horizon.
Wait, though! It’s not the end; it’s only the beginning.
In this fast paced world we live in we’ve fallen victim to one of the worst ways of recognizing Easter; reducing it to a one-day, one-time moment in history. It has to become so much more than that for us. It has to be about a lifestyle of being raised with Christ, new creatures, charged with taking his love, teachings, and offer of new life to the world.
Paul presses us to pursue this kind of life, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live…but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
So please, don’t move on just yet. Hit the pause button and reflect on what the resurrection means for you. What are the implications of Jesus defeating sin? What changes does that event make in your life? What is your proper response to this reality? How can you be a resurrection person that impacts the world around you?
In other words, how can you celebrate the reality of Easter every day?
I can’t really answer that question for anyone but myself, but I think it’s worth some reflection. In order to truly experience all that Christ offers us through his life, death, and resurrection we are required to do much more than show up at church, we have to be the Church.
May you find a way to celebrate Easter each day of your life! He is risen!
Our Pastor, Manny Garcia, announced his resignation as our pastor on Sunday, February 22nd. He and his family will move to Wichita, Kansas at the end of June. He has accepted the position of Lead Pastor at Northridge Friends Church in Wichita. He and his family have enjoyed their time at BLFC, experiencing life in the country, but are looking forward to living in Wichita near their families.
The search for our new pastor has begun and we are confident God has the right person ready to fill this position. Please pray for our Pastoral Search Committee as they go through the process and that we will be able to move forward in our continued spiritual growth and following Jesus.
Also our Administrative Assistant position will be open and need to be filled by July 1. If anyone is interested in that position they are asked to contact Mike Martin, our Monthly Meeting Clerk.
Easter Services at BLFC
-Maundy Thursday Service, 7 pm, April 2
-Good Friday - Everyone is encouraged to
attend a service at another church or to
worship at home.
-Easter Sunday, April 5th
Sunrise Service at Royal Ranch,
weather permitting, 6:30 a.m. (at the
church if the weather isn’t suitable)
-Breakfast afterwards at the church,
followed by Prayer Group, Sunday
School & Worship at their usual times.
Children’s Easter Party
Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. to Noon, BLFC
Easter story, crafts, games
Egg hunt & lunch
All children, 4th grade & under are invited…bring friends!
Remember in Prayer
~Our Pastoral Search Committee
~Our Nominating Committee filling
committee positions for the new year.
~Our VBS planning staff, Dani & Josie
~House of Compassion Supply Closet and
the many who visit the closet monthly.
~The Iowa Yearly Meeting Superintendent Search Committee
~Nathan & Briana Martin & boys serving in Cambodia.
~Wings of Refuge Ministry in Iowa Falls
who help victims of exploitation recover.
~The Mesquakie Friends Board of IAYM for
direction on how to proceed with that ministry.
HOC Meal Report
On Friday, March 27th BLFC provided a hearty meal for 52 guests at House of Compassion in Marshalltown. The menu was Shepherd’s pie, Hawaiian rolls, baby carrots, mixed fruit, cherry dump cake or chocolate cupcakes, milk and coffee. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers who helped in the kitchen and provided funds. Our crew was smaller this month than we would like. Hopefully more will be available for our next meal on April 30th.
House of Compassion
St. Henry’s Catholic Church
211 W. Olive St.
Monday, April 20th
Please join us as we serve you
in gratitude for the service you
have given to others.
-Betty Arterburn has a new great grandson! Yuri D. Schafbuch was born on February 27th to Betty’s granddaughter and husband, Jennifer and Dustin Schafbuch of West Des Moines. Yuri weighed 8 lbs, 5 ozs. He was welcomed home by big sister Everly, age 5.
-Reg and Melidy Martin have 2 new grandbabies! Bryce and Kristin Martin welcomed a girl, Addilyn Elizabeth into their family on February 3rd. She weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz and was 20.5”at birth. Big sister and big brothers, Saryah, Caleb and Leighton, welcomed her home. Morgan and Mario Martinez’s first child, Noah Santiago, was born March 13th. He weighed 8 lbs, 4 ozs and was 19.25” at birth.
-Neil and Peggy Martin have another great-grand baby in addition to the two listed above. Tyler and Carol Stanfield welcomed Delmar James, their first child, on March 27th in Council Bluffs. Del weighed 7 lbs, 2 ozs, and is Paryn Stanfield’s first grandchild!
The World Is a Better Place because…
…Michelango didn’t say, “I don’t do ceilings.”
…A German monk named Luther didn’t say, “I don’t do doors.”
…Moses didn’t say, “I don’t do rivers.”
…Noah didn’t say, “I don’t do arks.”
…Mary Magadalene didn’t say, “I don’t do feet.”
…Paul didn’t say, “I don’t do letters.”
…Jesus didn’t say, I don’t do crosses.”
-When Jesus was on the cross, you were on his mind.
-The road to perfection is always under construction.
Our Monthly Potluck meal will be held on Sunday, April 12th after Worship with the guys or gals hosting. The guys and gals have had a competition throughout March to see who would bring the most items for the HOC Supply Closet. Lots of diapers, detergent, dish soap, paper towels and tissues have been brought. The losers will host the potluck meal on the 12th. The real winner is the House of Compassion Supply Closet! Royal and Jan Young will furnish cake and ice cream for dessert for the potluck in celebration of their January 4th wedding in Arizona. Come join us!
Friends Beliefs Class
Anyone interested in learning about Friends beliefs or having a refresher course, are invited to join the class, which will be held on Sundays at 9:30 am for six weeks, starting April 12th.
The class will be led by members of our Ministry and Counsel.
Liberty USFW ladies will meet on Thursday, April 16th at Gladys Lane’s home at 7 pm.
Ladies will gather at Peggy Martin’s home on Tuesday, April 21st at 9:30 for a workday. Lunch will be provided. Betty will give the program.
You’re Invited - Baby Shower!
All men, women and children are invited to a baby shower to welcome Ashden Lee Smitherman into our church family on Sunday, April 19th after Morning Worship. Social committee #4 will host the shower and will provide a light meal.
Youth Group News
April 29th, a fifth Wednesday night, has been designated as Youth Night at BLFC and everyone is invited to attend. There will be a fundraising meal and other activities throughout the evening. Tickets for the
6 p.m. meal, which will be prepared and served by the youth, will be available soon. All proceeds will go into the general youth fund. DEEPER classes will not meet the 29th.
Dates for Summer Camps at CQH
Little Fry (k-2nd grade) June 12-14
Elementary (3rd-6th grade) June 21-25
Jr/Sr High Camp (7th-12th) June 14-19
Young Adult - June 5-7 -
(college freshmen-age 35)
We do have a scholarship fund to help all
our youth attend camp if they wish
to do so
*Youth will need to let Youth Pastor
Kris or Ann Rogers know they plan
to attend a summer camp
before the end of April.
*New this year - all camp registrations
are to be done online!
Go to www.iaym.org, click on
Youth Ministries to register for camp
and to get a camp brochure
You cannot out give God. The more you try to bless other people in the world around you, the more God says, “I’m going to pour blessings out on you.” Luke 6:38 (NLV)
With a new season upon us, the time change and warmer weather coming soon, it’s a boost in morale for many of us. A time of renewal. A breath of fresh air!
For the month of April we are excited to introduce The Blessing Fund! With this we want to bless families or individuals in our communities who would not normally be able to afford life’s “extras.” They are able to meet their monthly needs but any extras are off limits. Some examples would be a summer pool pass for a family, swimming lessons, gas card, restaurant gift certificate, or sports registration for kiddos.
Our hope would be that this would give them a renewal or breath of fresh air in their hope and faith and a boost in their morale, but more importantly to show God’s love through giving! This also opens up new ways to help them with other needs they may have.
We are excited to see where God leads us to bless others.
Don’t count your blessings, let your blessings count! -Bernard Kelvin Clive
*Also a big “thank you” to those who brought items or provided funds for the HOC Supply Closet during March. Our car trunk was loaded with dish soap, detergent, diapers, paper towels and tissues. All will be used and appreciated by those in need of this assistance. -BLFC Missions Comm.
No Pain, No Gain
The other day, some of the youth group kids and I went to SkyZone in Des Moines, and it reminded me how old my knees actually are! My back and legs hurt most of the night and most of Sunday and Monday! We also went to see the move McFarland USA, which I recommend! If you don’t know what the movie is about, it’s a true story about high school kids in California who had never run cross-country before, but their hard work and dedication to themselves, their running, and their town paid off in the end.
On the way home, I got to thinking about my pain from Skyzone and the hard work of the boys running in the movie. It wasn’t easy, and there was probably some pain along the way (in my case with SkyZone, it was a lot). I thought about it and our Christian journey. When we say “yes” to Christ, it’s not always going to be easy. When we say “yes” to Christ, there may be some pain along the way.
We are going through God’s at War in Youth Group on Wednesday nights, and allowing Christ to be in control of your life might hurt a little because you’ll have to give up the things that are “gods” in your life.
Sometimes things come up in your walk with the Lord that are painful. If those boys who were on their journey to win a state title in cross-country in McFarland USA had given up, they wouldn’t have gotten to where they wanted to be. In any sport, if things get hard and you give up, you’re not going to get to where you want to go.
In your walk with the Lord, when hard things come up and you decide to give up, you won’t be where you want to be either. Kris Smitherman, Youth Pastor
Vacation Bible School
It’s that time of year again to start planning, preparing, and praying about VBS. This year VBS will be embarking on an icy expedition of Everest where kids overcome obstacles with God’s awesome power. This experience will anchor kids in rock-solid Bible truths that will guide them through life’s challenges and experience God’s Word in surprising and unforgettable ways!
This year BLFC will be collaborating with Honey Creek-New Providence Friends on this exciting icy adventure. Everest VBS will be held July 19-23 with the VBS picnic after the closing program on the 24th. Please remember the VBS planning staff in your prayers. If you are interested in volunteering, please speak with Dani Juncker or Josie Evertsen.
Greetings from Van Orman House!
Van Orman House is growing and in desperate need of volunteer help and part time staff members until they fill the position of Resident Assistant. If you are interested in either being a volunteer or applying for a part time position, online applications are available at the Quakerdale website. Website for the part time staff position is www.quakerdale.org. Website for volunteer application is www.vanormanhouse.org.
There will be a question and answer meeting for volunteers and staff and those interested in becoming volunteers or possibly paid part time staff on Thursday, April 9th at 6:30 pm, Van Orman House Classroom, 1909 Summit Street, Marshalltown. *Please RSVP by calling 641-752-4157. Leave a voice mail if there is no answer.
Iowa Yearly Meeting Youth & Young Adult Board Presents
A Worship Experience
A time to listen to the still small voice
A time for discernment
A time of musical worship
A time for multi-sensory worship stations
A time for corporate and personal worship
All ages invited.
Attend any or all events.
Bring a friend.
Childcare provided for those under 5th grade.
April 10th @ 7pm
Middle River Friends Church
April 11th @ 7 pm
Honey Creek/New Providence Friends Church
April 17th @ 7 pm
First Friends Grinnell
April 18th @ 7 pm
Salem Friends Church
Garrison Memorial Golf Scramble
4 person, best position tournament
9:00 a.m. shotgun start
April 25, 2015
Oakland Acres Golf Club
Need more information or want to register a team? Contact Anthony Nieuwsma at
641-236-6412 or at http://www.grinnellfriends.org