MEMBERSHIP GUIDE 2013

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We are an ecumenical, multi-racial, multi-ethnic Christian body that reaches out to the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. To that end, we strive to be welcoming, responsive, trusting and prayerful in everything we do.

CALVARY
BAPTIST CHURCH
WASHINGTON, DC

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Welcome to this little guide to membership at Calvary Baptist Church. We hope this booklet will help you navigate the world of this community of faith, and that by investing your life in the work of God in this place, you will find spiritual nurture and experience the challenge to which the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls us. Here at Calvary, we like to say that we are an ecumenical, multi-racial, multi-ethnic Christian body that reaches out to the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ. To that end, we strive to be welcoming, responsive, trusting and prayerful in everything we do. In order to live out our mission statement, we try to take seriously our commitment to be followers of Jesus Christ. To be a follower of Jesus Christ means more than adhering to a set of beliefs or practicing a list of behaviors; instead, following Jesus is a whole-life proposition, one into which we pour our best selves and everything we have. Take a look through this booklet and find some ideas for how you might radically follow Jesus in your life and alongside everyone here at Calvary. Are you ready for the challenge of discipleship in this place? You should expect to be challenged, encouraged, taught, fed, stretched and, most of all, loved in this place. Welcome to the adventure. With anticipation of God’s work among us, Rev. Amy K. Butler Senior Pastor

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BRIEF HISTORY/WHO WE ARE
Since 1862, Calvary Baptist Church has been a congregation committed to living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the heart of Washington, DC. Calvary has a long history, as well as exciting mission, outreach and partnership programs, in our community. We’d love your involvement and participation! Calvary is the founding church of the American Baptist Convention (ABCUSA) and works cooperatively with several national progressive Baptist groups. Locally, Calvary is a member of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention and the Downtown Cluster of Congregations. We offer English classes for new immigrants and an outreach to patients at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Our resident partners include the Washington Theatre Lab, Kid Power, Inc., Brainfood, and the Friday Morning Music Club. A variety of learning opportunities is available during the Sunday school hour beginning at 9:45 a.m. In addition, Small Groups meet during the week throughout the metro area. Programs for children of all ages begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue through the worship hour. Our children often participate in worship with us. Music is an important part of Calvary’s mission and, in addition to music offered during worship, we host a variety of special music events throughout the year. Our choir rehearses on Sunday mornings and our Director of Music, Cheryl Branham, would welcome your participation! Our weekly worship is held at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays. This community worship brings our diverse communities together for a unique celebration. Spanish translation, Spanish/English Bibles and sound amplification are available during worship.

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TO BE A MEMBER MEANS…
...professing faith in Jesus Christ Members of Calvary Baptist Church are people who claim to follow Jesus Christ. Declaring that you are a follower of Jesus is a radical statement in this day and age, because following Jesus is more than living a good life. Following Jesus means entering into a relationship with the living God and allowing our lives to be transformed to reflect that relationship. When we decide to open our lives to God’s loving transformation through the work of Jesus Christ, we work for God’s transformation of the world, living lives in which we love God and love each other in radical and wonderful ways. Personal faith in Jesus Christ is a requirement for membership at Calvary because, with all our different perspectives, interests, and callings, the way of Jesus is what unites us and draws us into shared discipleship. …entering the waters of baptism Members of Calvary Baptist Church are followers of Jesus who have entered into the waters of baptism. At Calvary, we baptize through immersion; we have a large baptistery up front and when members come to be baptized they are dunked under the water to symbolize death to an old way of life and rising to follow Jesus in a new way of living. Baptism, in other expressions and other traditions, is honored and welcomed here at Calvary. Baptism is a requirement of membership because it is a public expression of our private decision to follow Jesus in the way of discipleship.

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TO BE A MEMBER MEANS…
…seeking God’s direction and pursuing a personal life of faith Members of Calvary Baptist Church worship, pray, learn and most of all, engage God. How sad it would be if we became an efficient, wellrun organization that has forgotten to listen for the voice of God! This community needs you to practice your spiritual life in public ways by regular worship attendance, to carefully tend your personal relationship with God, and to pray for the ministry of this congregation on a regular basis. Regular faith practice is a requirement of membership at Calvary because it forms us into a worshipping community and helps us to hear the call of God together. …giving of my money to support the vision Members of Calvary Baptist Church give regularly and generously of all their resources. This small family of faith works hard to find leaders willing to thoughtfully dedicate time and energy to the task of steering this church. We need every member to give his or her money faithfully, generously and regularly, to tangibly express gratitude to God and investment in this community. We need you to offer your skills to the practice of faith here at Calvary. The regular and generous investment of resources is a requirement of membership at Calvary because it’s a discipline that shows what we care about most.

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TO BE A MEMBER MEANS…
…practicing inclusivity and diversity (and it’s not always easy) Members of Calvary Baptist Church value and actively practice inclusivity and diversity. In this community of faith we are of the conviction that the body of Christ is beautiful in its diverse expressions. We are fortunate to be in a community in which many of those diverse expressions are present. We celebrate that diversity and work to include anyone who wants to join in our shared life together. However, diversity and inclusion often can be difficult; we don’t always understand each other. Still, we work to build a community that expresses these values, and we love and forgive each other in the process. The value of inclusivity and diversity is a requirement of membership at Calvary because it reflects God’s all-encompassing love for the whole world. …practicing service as discipleship Members of Calvary Baptist Church regularly practice acts of service. As Christians we are living a story within the larger story of redemption through Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Even now we are being redeemed!” As we live out the story of faith here at Calvary Baptist Church, we see many opportunities to be part of God’s transforming work in the world. Find your place in the story…where has God called you to reach out into the community and the world with the love of Jesus Christ? Regularly practicing acts of service is a requirement for membership at Calvary, because we want to be part of this world’s redemption in the name of Jesus Christ.

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ONGOING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES AT CALVARY
Calvary has a vibrant presence in our Washington, DC community and we take pride in our work to bring some of the kingdom of God to our neighbors here in the city.

Downtown Social Club: For almost 40 years, Calvary has hosted clients from St. Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in SE Washington for weekly activities. Every Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., hospital staff bring a group of clients to Calvary for recreational therapy. Clients can sing, play bingo, make crafts, exercise, watch movies, and play games through the Downtown Social Club program. Volunteers are needed each week to help set up for programming, to portion the lunch, and to create community through client interaction. Homeless Outreach: Our church partners with the Downtown Cluster of Congregations to connect homeless individuals with critical services such as food, clothing, shelter, legal and financial assistance. Every Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., a social worker from the Downtown Cluster of Congregations resides in Calvary’s office assisting individuals. ESL classes (all combined levels): Meet throughout the year at Calvary for beginners and advanced speakers. We’re always looking for teachers and volunteers.

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ONGOING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES AT CALVARY

GLBTQ Outreach: Calvary strives to be a welcoming place for all people seeking fellowship with Christ. We reach out to the GLBTQ community in several different ways, but one event that our church always looks forward to is packing the Calvary booth at the annual DC Capital Pride street festival, handing out “a different kind of Baptist” stickers, and offering communion to those who desire to receive it. Conversation Partners: Do you speak English? Are you learning English? If so, please join our fall Conversation Partners group to practice English in an informal setting. We need both native English speakers and English learners. Partners meet once per week for about 30 minutes to practice speaking and listening and getting to know each other. Arrange chats around your mutual schedules, and feel free to follow our conversation prompts!

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ONGOING MISSION OPPORTUNITIES AT CALVARY
In addition to our regular volunteer opportunities, Calvary members and friends are encouraged to serve at any of a number of local justice-centered non-profits such as Christ House, DC Central Kitchen, Food and Friends, Martha’s Table, So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), and The Family Place, just to name a few. In addition to our work in and around Washington, DC, we work hard to show God’s love to others outside our city’s borders and around the world.

Shalom Scholarship Fund: Each year, Calvary holds a luncheon to raise scholarship money to send students in El Salvador to school who normally would be unable to afford the cost of tuition. Through this program, Salvadoran students can continue their education and pursue their life goals. This year’s Shalom Scholarship Luncheon was a wonderful success, with two of our scholarship students in attendance and sharing with us about their studies and how God is at work in their lives. Click here to donate to the scholarship fund. Mission Partners: We also partner with many Baptist organizations who are doing justice work around the world like, American Baptist Churches, USA, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Alliance of Baptists, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, DC Baptist Convention and the Baptist World Alliance. Resident Partners: We have a huge facility here at Calvary, and it’s used almost constantly by the church and by our resident partners. They are stellar nonprofit organizations that share space in our building and are doing incredible, world-changing work. We are proud to share in their amazing work. Learn more about how you can be part of the work and mission of The Washington Theatre Lab (www.theatrelab.org), KidPower DC (www.kidpowerdc.org), Brainfood (www.brainfood.org), and the Friday Morning Music Club (www.fmmc.org).

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EL COMPAÑERISMO LATINO
El Compañerismo Latino es parte de la Iglesia Bautista El Calvario. Sus miembros son miembros de la iglesia. Siendo nuestra Iglesia Bautista El Calvario una iglesia multicultural, nuestra cultura e idioma es respetado, enriqueciendo así la diversidad y unidad en Cristo. En nuestras reuniones de adoración, oración y estudio bíblico hablamos el Español, aunque somos llamados en nuestras relaciones y responsabilidades en la Iglesia a hablar el Inglés. Es decir, tenemos la bendición-desafío de ser bilingües. El Rev. Edgar Palacios es el pastor del Compañerismo Latino. El es de origen salvadoreño. Las reuniones de oración se realizan en el templo de la iglesia o en los hogares de los miembros. En cada reunión de oración se comunica donde será la siguiente reunión de oración. También se tienen retiros, campamentos, días de campo, caminatas y celebraciones de cumpleaños. Para mayor información sobre nuestras actividades por favor comuníquese al teléfono 202-347-8355, ext. 103 o al correo electrónico epalacios@calvarydc.org

Staff Contact: Rev. Edgar Palacios Associate Pastor, Education ext 103 epalacios@calvarydc.org

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SMALL GROUPS AT CALVARY
At Calvary, we believe small groups are key to our experience within the church and the community. We want to meet together for fellowship and also serve the communities around us. We often have small groups for other times during the year, but our ongoing groups are listed below (Contact Pastor Leah for more info).

Theology on Draft: Discussion of theology and the intersection of culture. Wednesday Night Words: Study of scripture, spiritual disciplines and cultural engagement. Calvary Stitch-A-long: Enjoy an afternoon of knitting, crocheting and blanket sewing – work on your current project or start something new! Young Adult Group: Meets for fun and fellowship and various events over the course of the year.

Staff Contact: Rev. Leah Grundset Davis Associate Pastor ext. 142 lgrundset@calvarydc.org

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH AT CALVARY
As members of a community of faith, Calvary’s children are guided on their faith journey by a team of teachers dedicated to meeting each child’s needs. Interactive lessons allow the children to ask questions and express their ideas within the group. Our lessons are taught through kid-friendly activities which include dramatizations, puppetry, art, games, group discussions and stories. We teach basic Bible skills, such as how to read the Bible and understand words as they are presented in the text. Studying maps of the Holy Land helps the children visualize where the events in the Bible took place. A Bible timeline helps the children to put the stories in chronological order. We believe it is essential to children’s spiritual formation that they are present in worship. Each Sunday, we have a special Children’s Moment in the beginning of the service. Children under age five are then invited to go to a special extended learning time back in their classroom and children over five are encouraged to stay with their families in worship. We also love for children to lead worship – their prayers and their participation helps us all see a bigger view of God’s working in this world. Special Children’s Events occur throughout the year at Calvary. We celebrated Advent by making Advent decorations, celebrated our 150th Anniversary with a carnival open to our neighborhood, and on Easter Sunday have our annual Easter Egg dyeing table. Each summer we welcome children from all over to Vacation Bible School at Calvary.

Staff Contact: Jason Smith Ministry Assistant ext. 133 jsmith@calvarydc.org

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MUSIC AT CALVARY
Sanctuary Choir welcomes youth and adults. We rehearse each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Festival Choir welcomes youth and adults. We rehearse seasonally to prepare music for Advent and Easter. Calvary Children’s Choir welcomes children of all ages. Music for Kids classes meet each Sunday after worship. Handbell Choir welcomes youth and adults. Minimal music reading skills are required. Sound Tech Team welcomes techno-geeks and gadgeteers who support our events with needed technology. Calvary Presents… concerts showcase a variety of professional performers for various concerts. Private Music Lessons are available for students of all ages in piano, organ, voice, violin and music theory.

Staff Contact: Dr. Cheryl Branham Director of Music ext. 136 cbranham@calvarydc.org

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2013 AT CALVARY RE-IMAGINE LIFE TOGETHER
(Important dates to consider) In addition to our normal programming at Calvary like Sunday School, Music opportunities, Christian Education, Small Groups and mission projects, we invite you to participate in some of our special events for 2013. Please contact Pastor Leah with any questions.

Featured Events: Shine a Little Light, January-February 2013: We start an Epiphany series wherein we try to take a new look at some of the basics of our faith through the stories of the Gospels. We are going to rethink faith this Epiphany, as we reimagine what being a person of faith means in this world. We’ll also take a look at what it means to be a member at Calvary. Why does membership matter? Why even be a member? We’ll talk about these questions and more on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. Sunday School, January-February 2013: For six weeks in Sunday school, we’ll discuss in more depth what membership means at Calvary. Why do we walk to the front to join? Do we really need to be members to participate in the life of the church? We hope you’ll join us on Sunday mornings beginning, January 6, at 9:45 a.m. in the Library. Day of Service and Mission Project, February 2013: Join us as we partner with one of the organizations we support in the city and work to help them meet some physical needs through a day of service.

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2013 AT CALVARY RE-IMAGINE LIFE TOGETHER

Lenten Lunches, February-March 2013: While we’ll continue worship during Lent on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary, we’ll also meet on Wednesday in lent at 12:00 p.m. in the Calvary Chapel for Lenten Lunches. We’ll reflect on scripture, sing and pray while we gather for a brown bag lunch. The first Lenten Lunch is February 20. On February 13, we’ll worship in the Sanctuary at 12:00 p.m. in observance of Ash Wednesday. Feel the Spirit, May 18, 2013: As we prepare ourselves for the coming of Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday, May 19, we’ll join together Saturday evening for a wine tasting event in Woodward Hall. 151st Anniversary: Baptist Revival June 1-2, 2013: In celebration of our 151st Anniversary, we’ll welcome Dr. Rosalie Beck, professor of Church History at Baylor University for a weekend of fun and learning about what it really means to be Baptist. Capital Pride, June 2013: The whole Calvary crew heads down to Pennsylvania Avenue on a Sunday in June to our booth at the Capital Pride street festival. Together, we invite and welcome members of the GLBTQ community to Calvary and have fun! Summer Dinner Groups, July 2013: Since our normal small group schedules take a break in the summer, join with Calvary folks and host a dinner group to get to know more people!

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2013 AT CALVARY RE-IMAGINE LIFE TOGETHER

Calvary Unplugged: Summer 2013: As the city takes Sabbath in late summer, so we also take Sabbath from worship in the Sanctuary. As we worship outside of the normal worship space, we’ll worship differently with music, with art and with one another. Shalom Scholarship Sunday, September 2013. Each year, we celebrate our partnership with students in El Salvador with a luncheon after worship. We’ll continue to raise funds at this lunch and hear a report from the students whom we support. All-Church Retreat, October 2013 Our “Autumn Leaves” retreat was a hit in 2012, so we plan to bring it back in 2013. We’ll consider our personal devotional lives and how we connect with God. Commitment Sunday, October 2013. On one of our most powerful worship services in the year, all Calvary folks will re-commit themselves to the work and mission of the church. Hunger Awareness, November 2013: We will spend time in worship and in mission addressing the immediate needs of hunger that surround us. We’ll support projects through the DC Baptist Convention and other local non-profits who work for food justice. Advent and Christmas: Whether you sing in Festival Choir, help Hang the Green or write Advent Devotionals, we hope you will choose a meaningful spiritual discipline to connect with this community of faith for the Advent and Christmas season in 2013.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why can’t I just attend church and participate in the stuff I like? I am not really that into commitment anyway—I like to keep my options open. Of course you can attend church and participate in the stuff you like. You will always be welcome to experience the community even from the edges; everyone is welcome. However, the realities of life in community are such that we need a core group of people willing to offer strong commitment, full investment, and a true sense of responsibility for the life of the community. In order for a church to thrive, individuals must step up and assume responsibility for the whole, to become caretakers and nurturers of the community’s resources and life. This kind of guardianship of the life of the community is critical, and those who step up to the challenge of church membership become those caretakers. Together, we are responsible for the life and health of this family of faith, and as we practice that guardianship we come to know each other and know God in deeper and more profound, life-changing ways. Sure, taking on responsibility for the life of a community is no small thing; it is easier to experience the community from the edges. But don’t discount the deep joy and possibility that comes with experiencing church in the role of one who holds responsibility for the life and health of the community. That kind of investment can take a lot of time and commitment…and it can profoundly and powerfully change and deepen your experience of God and community.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens if I join the church and then something happens that I don’t like? There are not many guarantees in life, but we can definitely guarantee that this exact eventuality will happen at some point in the life and experience of every church member. Without exception. The reason for that, of course, is that the church is a community of flawed human beings who can’t help but occasionally let their human failings come to the fore—even in a church setting. The disillusionment gets particularly painful when we idealize the church, when we even subconsciously think of the church as a place that’s free of human failings. Then, when someone inevitably says something hurtful…or we don’t feel understood…or we disagree…or we feel left out…well, then, we can feel deep disappointment: Maybe this church wasn’t as good a place as I thought. Maybe God isn’t really working here. Maybe church is a waste of time after all. Maybe I will pack up my life and move on, let down by God and God’s people yet again. Investing your life in a community of faith means going in with an eyes-wide-open awareness and a commitment that doesn’t hinge on human perfection. Instead, a membership commitment begins with a conviction that God is here, at work in the world, working through flawed communities and imperfect people who, together, occasionally and beautifully reflect God’s grace for each one of us and God’s hope for the whole world. Not too many are ready and willing to sign on for this kind of commitment—in church or anywhere else. But learning the lessons of community through forgiveness and commitment can be life-changing.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the benefits of church membership? We’re pretty big fans of church membership here in the church office, so to be fair we surveyed Calvary members and asked them to share their opinion of the benefits of church membership. Here are some of their answers:

“Sense of belonging; renewed focus on life and what’s important in life; a chance to learn, try and grow in directions you might not imagine for yourself but that others see in you...” “A safe place to question, to struggle, to grow. A home.” “A feeling of responsibility & commitment and a sense of belonging to a group that shares your faith.” “Pastoral counseling and someone to bring hot dishes when you are in extremis. The opportunity to sing with others.” “Fellowship with like-minded and nice people.” “A spiritual home and a community to grow in/with.” “Opportunity to serve on committees. Kidding, kidding.... seriously: unconditional acceptance, feeling valued as a unique individual and child of God, opportunity to explore spiritual issues within a community while nurturing your individual faith life and spiritual growth.”

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“You get the Pastor’s cell number that you can call anytime you want?” (Not true!) “Church membership offers an opportunity to play an active part in your spiritual growth as well as the spiritual growth of others. Also, membership is to be part of God’s house and to contribute to the betterment of others. “The opportunity to learn to be in fellowship with all kinds of people, including those you would have never met anywhere else in our segmented world...the opportunity to learn to be in loving fellowship and community with those who don’t hold the same set of worldly values as you do and to understand that they are just as much an expression of God’s love as the people who agree with you.”

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much money does it cost to be a church member? You may already know that we don’t have “dues” here, like some organizations; financial stewardship, rather, is a spiritual practice that is voluntary and personal. To that end, each Calvary member is asked annually to make a financial pledge. We do this together in worship, usually in October, and when we make our financial commitments. This pledging process helps our budget committee sketch out our ministry plans for the year ahead. Upon your decision to join, you will receive a letter from the church office, which will include a pledge card. Please take a close look at your financial investment as a member of this congregation; we need the committed and consistent financial involvement of everyone to do what we do in this place. So, the short answer to the question is: there’s no set cost of membership. The real answer to the question is: if you are serious about the spiritual commitment you are making, you will give generously, regularly, and sacrificially as part of your commitment to God’s work in this place. If neither of these answers is plain enough for you, talk with Pastor Amy and ask her how much she gives. She’ll be happy to have a frank conversation about numbers anytime.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I die and I am not a member of the church. Will I go to heaven? Will I have someone to do my funeral? Admission to heaven is not predicated upon church membership. If it was, the decision for church membership would be much more straightforward, wouldn’t it? God, as you know, is a mystery, and we don’t know all there is to know about life after death. But we do affirm that faith in Jesus Christ means an earthly death is not the end for us. Relationship with Jesus Christ is what offers us new life, both in this temporal human existence and later on, too. We are not generally in the practice of refusing pastoral services because people are not members. Calvary has a funeral policy and if we are able to help at all in times of crisis, we are happy to help. Church membership is not a requirement for the support and help of our pastoral staff.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the spiritual significance of joining a church? Jesus talked about the church when he commissioned his disciples to go out into the world and spread the good news he had come to share with them. Because of Jesus’ directions to his first disciples, we believe that the church is the tangible manifestation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Together, we become the rock on which God’s work in the world is built and furthered. When you make a commitment to join the church you are making a public, tangible expression of participation in the work of God in the world—and this is no small thing! Your life becomes intertwined with the lives of others who have made the same commitment. When you join, your voice becomes a guiding voice for the present and future church. You take on the challenge that Jesus gave his first disciples when he commissioned them to take the Gospel into the whole world.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to attend Business Meetings? Why do I have to vote? We do not take attendance at church business meetings. That being said, as a church member your voice is needed and important as we do the business of being church together. We’re Baptists, so we run our affairs congregationally—that is, the congregation makes all the important decisions for its life together. We have committees and boards that do the day to day work, and the pastors will surely talk with you about how you might want to serve within that structure. But four times a year we have a quarterly business meeting after church, during which we catch up on latest happenings, look over our financial situation, and deal with any matters requiring the attention of the whole church. The name “business meeting” sounds so very onerous, but think of these quarterly meetings as opportunities to be with each other and to check in on the life and health of our church family. We try to keep the meetings to under one hour, and there’s usually food involved. We need your voice; we need your participation; we need you to vote on matters of importance. It’s how we do church as Baptists!

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STAFF LISTING AND CONTACT

Dr. Cheryl Branham Director of Music Rev. Dr. Amy Butler Senior Pastor Kristin Campbell Pastoral Intern Rev. Leah Grundset Davis Associate Pastor Rev. Saw Ler Htoo Missionary, Burmese Community Al Jeter Supervisor of Maintenance Rev. Edgar Palacios Associate Pastor, Education Paul Rosstead Church Administrator Jason Smith Ministry Assistant

cbranham@calvarydc.org ext. 136 abutler@calvarydc.org ext. 121 kcampbell@calvarydc.org

lgrundset@calvarydc.org ext. 142 lerhtoo@hotmail.com

ajeter@calvarydc.org ext. 128 epalacios@calvarydc.org ext 103 prosstead@calvarydc.org ext. 127 jsmith@calvarydc.org ext. 133

Calvary Baptist Church

755 8th Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 202.347.8355

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