On Sunday, August 5, we will gather on Lakewood Avenue in front of the church at 11:30 am for a picnic and block party. All are welcome!
This summer, we will again be hosting a Summer Mission Explorers series for our children. Rather than doing a one-week VBS program, we will be gathering during the traditional Adventures in Learning hour -Sundays from 11:30-12:30 - to learn more about the mission work of the church and do crafts together. Summer Mission Explorers will take place on July 29, August 12, August 19, and August 26.
This year, we will learn more about the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America; the church's work in Retalhuleu, Guatemala; the Samaritana Ministry in the Philippines; and our lunch and shower ministry for those experiencing homelessness.
In April, Anna Mangahas from ONE Northside (a community organization of which NSBC is a member) came to the Church Council meeting to discuss the work of the Grassroots Association for Police Accountability (GAPA). At its meeting in May, the Church Council voted to formally express support for the work and recommendations of the coalition, which we believe furthers the work of building peace, justice, and right relationship in the city of Chicago.
GAPA describes itself as “a broad-based coalition of community organizations committed to making our neighborhoods safer, improving police practices and accountability, and transforming the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and the communities it serves.” The coalition formed two years ago in order to create an avenue for broad-based community input in the city’s discussion regarding police oversight reform. Over the past two years, it has been hosting community conversations between various stakeholders, including the police department, local businesses and organizations, and members of communities experiencing high levels of violence.
Based on these conversations, GAPA has formulated a proposal to establish a Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, which will share oversight responsibilities of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and the Police Board with the mayor. Members of the commission, while elected by the city, will be required to have experience and education in fields directly related to the work they will be overseeing. The full proposal can be found on GAPA’s website.
By Rev. Kathryn Ray
Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. -John 3:5-9
You know when you've done something basically your entire life, and then suddenly one day it's like you're discovering it for the first time? This is the story of how I rediscovered sacred reading. Even though I'd literally been doing it the week before.
On June 10 at 11:30 am, join us in celebrating the end of another year of Adventures in Learning. We will see presentations from each class, celebrate our graduates, and thank our teachers.
This was so much fun, we are doing it again! On Friday, May 18, we will gather in Howel Hall at 6:30pm to share a simple dinner and watch together one of last year’s best and most life-affirming movies, Coco. Again, this will be a semi-potluck --
entree, soft drinks, and popcorn will be provided, and you are asked to bring a salad, side dish, or dessert. (Everyone especially likes the desserts.)
On Sunday, May 20, the church will once again gather to celebrate Pentecost with a joint worship service at 10:30 am, followed by a shared meal and our annual meeting at 12:00 pm.
During our joint worship, Pastor David will be offering a sermon that reflects upon all of the growth and learning that we have done on this interim journey together these past two years. We will also be extending the right hand of fellowship to five new members. During the Annual Meeting, as always, we will recognize our Faithful Servant and scholarship recipients. This year, we will also celebrate the work of New Alternatives. For many years, New Alternatives provided social and spiritual support to NSBC’s senior community and outreach to the wider neighborhood through a variety of gatherings and outings.
We look forward to doing this important work and celebrating the presence of the Holy Spirit among us on May 20!
On Sunday, May 13, at 12:30 pm, the men of the Spanish Language congregation invite everyone in the church to join in a special, themed Mother's Day celebration. Come for games, lunch, and other entertainment!
El domingo 13 de mayo a las 12:30 pm, los hombres de la congregación hispana les invitan a todos de la iglesia a juntarnos por una celebración especial del Día de la Madre. Habrán juegos, actividades, y un almuerzo rico!
On Friday, April 20, we will gather in Howel Hall for dinner and a movie. We will meet at 6:00 pm to eat, and then we will watch All Saints, a movie about a small church in Iowa that is transformed when a group of Karen refugees comes to their town. We shall see how the story compares to the journey of the Karen Fellowship at NSBC.
Join us for an evening of good food and good conversation! Popcorn will be provided.
It is unfortunate when a pastor or denomination will advocate that their “brand” is better or superior to the other ones. Or even more, that their tradition is the only correct one. In developing a more expansive way of cultivating our spirituality, we need to be open to see where the Spirit is leading before dismissing it or demonizing other traditions/brands of Christianity. Having spent time in Pentecostal, Baptist, and other traditions, I have found my own spirituality deepened by multiple Christian traditions.
One author who has personally exposed me to other spiritualities is Richard J. Foster. I first read Foster while taking a class at the Christian University that I attended. The class was called The Life of Prayer, and one of the text books was called Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. Foster also outlines other contemporary traditions in a book called, Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith along with the workbook, A Spiritual Formation Workbook: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Faith. In these two books, Foster outlines different Christian Traditions. The first Christian Tradition he describes is “Discovering a Life of Intimacy with God: The Contemplative Tradition”; the second one is “Discovering a Life of Purity and Virtue: The Holiness Tradition”; the third one is “Discovering a Life of Empowerment Through the Spirit: The Charismatic Tradition”; the fourth one is “Discovering a Life of Justice and Compassion: The Social Justice Tradition”; the fifth one is “Discovering a Life Founded upon the Word: The Evangelical Tradition”; and the last one “Discovering a Practical Strategy for Spiritual Growth: The Spiritual Formation Group”. Which of these traditions would you claim?
Like many in the Baptist faith, I follow the Evangelical and Social Justice Traditions, but I also draw deeply on the Pentecostal/Charismatic tradition in which I was brought up. The Pentecostal/Charismatic traditions hold that the role of the Spirit is vital in the life of the believer. They look to Acts 1:8, which says, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After the baptism of the believer in water, there is another subsequent experience called the In-filling of the Spirit or the Baptism the Spirit. The early Christian leaders in the book of Acts laid hands on the believers, and they all were filled with the Spirit. As the apostle Paul says, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is the same Spirit is with us as the Counselor, the Parakletos. As a young person, my pastor Gabriel Wil- continued next page Page 2 lis prayed for me to received the Spirit. Nothing immediately happened, I didn’t feel anything, but then God began to open my spiritual eyes to see visions and dreams. I was not aware of the Spiritual realm until my pastor prayed for me to receive the power of the Spirit. The In-Filling of the Spirit is for every believer.
May this Easter season awaken within your heart a desire and passion to study the Word of God and apply it to your heart like never before. Who knows where the Spirit may lead us? Blessed Easter!