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Vol. XXXVIII • No.

5 • March 14, 2008

“Among Friends”
It is impossible in this small space to fully convey all that we saw and experienced while on mission in Thailand. But in case you ever consider making this journey yourself (and I hope you do!), here are some things I learned during my 11 days in Thailand: 1. On a 14-hour flight across the ocean, support stockings help to prevent the dreaded “Fred Flintstone feet”. 2. You will never miss a flight if you travel with Mike Norman. (Plus, those extra 3 hours at the airport may be spent in prayer, meditation or shopping for support stockings.) 3. Roosters in Thailand crow at 5:00 a.m., too. It’s a rooster thing. 4. If you are aiming for a serious moment, Kate Perry and Phil Holt may not sit next to each other. 5. If your Thai waitress tells you, “This dish…little bit spicy,” listen to her. 6. I have more in common with a Palaung woman in a rural mountain village than I previously had thought. 7. The love in a father’s eyes for his sick child looks the same whether in a Lahu village or in Lilburn. 8. One of our translators, Chutikar (nickname “Pooh”), became a Christian (from Buddhism) when Bill Madden shared his faith with her 20 years ago. 9. Rick Burnette, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionary who hosted us at the Upland Holistic Development Project site in northern Thailand, is dearly loved among the hill tribe peoples, and is as hilarious in Thai as he is in English. 10. Letting yourself get plucked out of your own culture and comfort for a week or two may be the best gift you ever give to yourself.

Decatur Community Holy Week Activities
Decatur Cooperative Ministries Celebrates Palm Sunday on the Decatur Square; March 16th, 8:45 – 9:30 a.m. A procession will leave from the parking lot of Decatur Cooperative Ministries (115 Church Street) at 8:45 a.m. and the worship service at the gazebo will begin at 9:00 a.m. This ecumenical service is an opportunity for a public expression of faith, hope and unity as we begin our journeys through Holy Week. Contact Beth Vann at Decatur Cooperative Ministries at 404.371.9334, ext. 5, or for more info. Noon Holy Week Services at Decatur First Methodist Noon Holy Week Services will be held at Decatur First United Methodist March 17-22 in their Sanctuary. Their address is 300 East Ponce de Leon Avenue. Each service will include a hymn, some special music, and a brief meditation. Each service is thirty minutes or less in length. The services are open to the public and everyone is invited to join us for a Sandwich Luncheon each day following the service. The luncheon is free of charge and is catered by our United Methodist Women. The following is the speaker schedule for each day: Mon., March 17th Tue., March 18th Wed., March 19th Thur., March 20th Fri., March 21st Rev. William Deneke, Holy Trinity Episcopal Rev. Todd Speed – Decatur Presbyterian Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell – First Baptist Decatur Rev. Lee Fullerton – North Decatur United Methodist Bishop Bevel Jones – Retired United Methodist Bishop

WorshipING Together on Sun., March 30th
Be a part of FBC’s “ING Thing 08”! Join us on the lawn Sunday, March 30 to cheer on the runners of the ING marathon. Cheering starts at 8:30am and continues until the 11am service, so come on over at any time. We’ll have free donuts in the morning, plus a post-service potluck and BBQ for sale. So bring some friends (and a side dish!) along to share in the FBC welcomING spirit!

Mission’s Corner
March is DEAM Collection Month Please bring your donation of canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Decatur Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) during the month of March. Boxes will be placed through-out the church to collect your donations. Decatur Cooperative Ministies is looking for summer camp for the children of Hagar’sHouse! When school is out and the DCM volunteer pool decreases, day programs for children become an urgent need. We are currently seeking both free and paid slots. If you can help, please contact Beth Vann at 404.371.9334, ext. 5, or Missions Ministry Team Meeting, March 26, 7:30pm, Parlor


Congregational Life
Current Wednesday Night Series— “The Six Hottest Moral Issues of Our Time” Dr. David Gushee, the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at McAfee School of Theology, will be leading our Wednesday Night discussions through April 9. The schedule of issues to be discussed: Mar. 26 – euthanasia Apr. 2 – reproductive technology Apr. 9 – terrorism & torture Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra in Concert at FBC Decatur The Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra will present “Living Composers” on March 16th at 3:00pm in the sanctuary here at FBC Decatur. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary season! The concert is free and open to the public. “Town Hall Meeting” Wednesday Night, March 19, 6:30—Fellowship Hall We are taking a one-week break on March 19 from our current Wednesday Night series on “Hottest Moral Issues” and will be having in its place a “Town Hall Meeting.” All are invited to this congregational gathering in which Pastor Julie will talk a little more about the proposal to add a Minister of Adult Discipleship and Mission Engagement to our pastoral staff team. She and members of the Personnel Committee and Deacons will field questions and cast some vision for the future. Please note that this evening is also the date of our Quarterly Congregational Business Meeting. Join us! Easter Lilies Available for Easter Easter Lilies can be ordered in memory of or honor of someone for Easter Sunday. The price will be $10.00. If you have any questions or would like to order an Easter Lily please call Holly in the church office, 404-373-1653. Order sheets will also be available in your upcoming worship folders. Orders must be received in the church office by Sunday, March 16. Flowering the Cross Every year it is our tradition to flower the cross on the front lawn on Easter Sunday morning. Please plan to bring your fresh cut flowers to celebrate the resurrection! There will be baskets available at the entrances of the Sanctuary building before the Sunday School hour. “BUGZ” The Musical Coming to Young at Heart Young at Heart is one of the longest-standing ministries of our church. Its mission is to provide multiple opportunities throughout the year for senior adults to experience friendship, adventure, and the love of Christ. Young at Heart will meet Thursday, March 27, 12 Noon for our Spring Luncheon. The program will feature children from a local elementary school sharing their musical, “BUGZ.” The group is directed by our own Maris Mann and it will be a delightful program you don’t want to miss! Cost of the luncheon is $10/person. Please make your reservations through the church office (404) 373-1653 by Monday noon, March 24. New Ministry To Be Explored If you ever thought you might be interested in helping with a ministry to those with disabilities, you are invited to attend an exploratory meeting on Sunday afternoon, April 13, immediately following the morning worship service. We will meet in Carreker Hall and a light lunch will be served. We will discuss how to survey the needs of our church and community and the options that may be open to us for various types of ministry. This meeting is open to anyone that is interested in finding out more. If you plan to attend or need further information, please contact Bill Neal at 404213-5445 or Lanny Lautenschlager at 770 880-5492. We need a head count of who is coming in order to know how much food to order for lunch. Creative & Connected Are you a writer, designer, photographer, web junkie, PR master or someone well-connected with the Decatur community? Then the FBC Marketing & PR committee needs you! Help us create new marketing materials, promote FBC activities and develop partnerships with Decatur events. Any level of time commitment is welcome! If you’d like to be a part of our “Creative & Connected” resource list, please send a note to Joel Gilmore at

Prayer Concerns as of March 11, 2008
Thanks be to God! ▪ June Zwald’s recent PET scan showed no sign of cancer anywhere in her body! ▪ Baron Blakey-Scott cancerous tumor was removed and the preliminary follow up test are showing that all the cancerous tissue has been removed. ▪ Our Mission Team to Thailand returned home safely! Sympathy To: ▪ The family of Marie Rutland Topple ▪ The family of Burl Brown. In the Hospital: ▪ Louise Blackledge, DeKalb Medical, Room 4761 Thank You Notes Received from: ▪ The Peeler Family

Tithes & Offerings

A Generous People
2008 Ministry Action Plan Weekly Need: .....................$ 27,361 Received on Feb. 24: ..........$ 24,246 Received on Mar. 2:............$ 20,848 Received on Mar. 9.............$ 24,967 Y-T-D Need:.....................$ 273,613 Y-T-D Received: ..............$ 247,863 Surplus/(shortfall):.............. (25,749) “Years of Opportunity 2007-09” Campaign Given to Date:...................$ 272,362 Bank Loan Balance:..........$ 271,229 Owed to FBC Fdn.:...........$ 180,000

Wednesday Dinner Menus
March 19 Roast Beef w/ Potatoes and Carrots, Steamed Broccoli, Salad Bar, Yeast Rolls, Coca-Cola Cake Kid’s Menu Pigs in a Blanket, Steamed Carrots, Salad w/ Ranch Dressing, Cookies March 26 Grilled Chicken w/ Stir Fry Vegetables, White Rice, Salad Bar, Yeast Rolls, Peach Cobbler Kid’s Menu PB & J’s, Tater Tots, Corn, Fruit Cocktail

Youth Sp•t
Youth Spring Break Retreat—April 6th through April 12th Our youth in grades 8th through 12th will be heading to St. George Island for a week in the sun! There will be plenty of down time for the beach and pool and other activities like biking, basketball, and board games. There will also be times of silence and reflection on the Christian Life. This is always a great week to bring along a friend! If you have any questions please feel free to email Kurt Varney ( Big Summer Youth Dates Yard Sale (May 29-May 31) Beach Retreat (August 3-August 8) Junior/Senior Retreat (June 6-June 14) Intown Mission Week (June 22-June 28) Out of Town Mission Week (July 12-July 19) Youth Yard Sale The youth rely heavily on our annual yard sale to help make all of our mission assignments and retreats possible and we are thankful for all of your support! We are available to make pickups most afternoon and are happy to come to your house to pickup any of your donations. To schedule a pickup please email ( or call Kurt in the church office.

Kid’s Zone
Start making your plans to participate in 2008 VBS July 21-25. Through Power Lab we will engage community children to discover Jesus’ Miraculous Power. There are many opportunities for you to serve. All children completing 2nd grade-5th grade are invited to a fun filled week June 1-7 on Jekyll Island where we will have fun in the sun while surfing through the scriptures. The cost for this week is $265.00 Hold your spot with a 75.00 deposit due April 1. Upcoming Extended Session Volunteers: March 16 March 23 March 30 Turk Anand Verdery Smith Fisher Class Mwangura Parker Edmonds Madden

A More Generous Way: “Achieving Our Dreams” by Beth Neal Smith
Over the past few weeks in worship, in meetings, through the Outlook and Pastor Julie’s letter, and on Wednesday nights, we have dared to dream some big dreams. These “God-sized” dreams, as Pastor Julie calls them are exciting. They’re challenging. They’re only possible if we allow God to stir our spirits. I feel God stirring us. Do you? Even though we may not see how right now, I think our dreams are coming to fruition even as we pray for them and dare to plan for them. An integral element to achieving our dreams is our regular giving and tithing. If, together, we meet our church-wide financial obligations “and then some,” as Leonard Gay who was a long time FBC leader of several years ago would say, we can free ourselves and our church to extend past the obligatory toward our “God-sized” dreams. While planning your personal 2008 budget, ensure that Spirit-led giving is included. As we feel the momentum of God’s Spirit moving within our church body, let us anticipate a gentle nudge encouraging us to consider the part for which we will take responsibility. What part of the FBCD dream is yours?
The Outlook, a publication of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia, is mailed to members and friends of the First Baptist family.
Main Office......................................404-373-1653 Finance.............................................404-370-7694 First School ......................................404-370-7688 Activities ..........................................404-373-2442 FAX ..................................................404-370-7692 Debbie Britt .....................................404-373-1653 Ryan Forbes.....................................404-370-7690 Julie Pennington-Russell.................404-370-7684 Kurt Varney......................................404-373-1653 Bob Williamson ...............................404-370-7687 Computer Connections: Website— E-Mail—

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