When I was a child, I learned about the flaws of the Julian calendar. That calendar calculated the year as 365 ¼ days, when in reality, it is about ten minutes less than that. Over the centuries, those minuets added up, resulting in a steady shift of the celebration of Easter. The new Gregorian calendar solved that problem by reducing the number of leap years from 100 to 97 in any 400 year period, by making centennial years not divisible 400 non-leap years. In other words, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was a leap year.
Growing up in the "snow belt" south of Buffalo, I wondered if the calendar needed to be adjusted again. It seemed that every Easter there was still plenty of snow on the ground. Easter was supposed to mean spring time, but where I lived, winter was still very much in command, and my sisters shivered in their new frilly short-sleeved dresses. Of course, there was nothing wrong with the calendar. Instead, I just happened to live in a place that averaged 150 inches of snow per year. There just wasn't enough time most years for all that snow to melt before Easter came along.
For many people, Easter is still about spring. It's about flowers blooming, about bunnies, eggs, chocolate candy, and an excuse to buy a new outfit.
We know, of course, that Easter is about something much more important than calendars, flowers, candy, or clothes. Easter is about God reaching out to us with incomprehensible love to overcome our desire to reject God and go our own way, even though we know that this results in our death. For in the resurrection of Jesus is that promise of our own resurrection.
In Jesus' life, God identified with us in a way that we could comprehend. God's love took human form. In Jesus' death, God showed us that God would go to any length for us to accept and return that love, to learn that we need not live in shame or die in guilt. Instead, God has offered to us forgiveness and reconciliation and life.
Easter is the triumph of love over sin and death. Let us celebrate the God who loves us so!
Board of Deacons-Missions
The theme for the America for Christ Offering this year is "Seek Justice" based on Isaiah 1-17, which states "Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphans, plead for the widow."
We can reach out and make a difference in so many lives by partnering together as American Baptists in supporting the America for Christ Offering 2014. Our donations are making a transformational difference in refugee resettlement, prisoner re-entry and education for children living in poverty.
We will be receiving donations to the America for Christ Offering during the month of March. Please give as generously as you can and help us reach our goal of $300.00 .
Maxine Broan, Gean Becker, Carol Loomis, Shirley Woods, Norma Smith and Delores Welkley met on February 11th to roll bandages for our 2014 quota of 75 rolls 3" X 360" and 50 postage card size wipes. Twenty rolls were finished in November, 24 were rolled at the February meeting. We have one more work day on March 18th.
There will be a revision of the Church Telephone Directory in May. If there is any change in your address, phone or internet, please give the change to Betty Brandt, 223-1194 by April 15th.
Every year becomes a greater challenge because of fewer people able and willing to do the jobs that need to be done. We pray that God will give us the guidance to continue His work here at First Baptist Church of Fairport.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board has the following to report based upon meetings held within the last 5 months. The Sale of the Deland Center: JB Sterling Company would like to purchase the Deland Center as a functional retail space. Jeff Seidel, the co-owner of JB Sterling attended the Board meeting on 10/21/2013 to provide the detailed plan for this building including the provision of improvements as well as internal build-outs to house two-three commercial retail businesses facing Main Street. The front part of the building would change including long commercial style windows, a new front entrance, and a square façade with a traditional type of look. The building and the parking lot would be maintained by JB Sterling and there would not be any impact to the church members for access to parking during church hours on Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Jeff reviewed the Letter of Intent to purchase this building with the Board. The purchase offer identified in the Letter of Intent is $250,000.00, where the church would hold the mortgage and JB Sterling would pay the church 6% interest over a fifteen year period of time, based upon information received in November 2013. This proposal has been reviewed with the congregation and has been accepted. Currently, (January 2014) the Board is reviewing the formal purchase offer which has been changed to reflect the bank holding the mortgage (rather than the church) based upon the loan needed by JB Sterling for the purchase and related renovation costs. This will be reviewed by the church attorney as well. Parsonage maintenance: The plan includes replacing 5 windows in the parsonage on the west side this Fall using the money in the budget. The church has received the gift from the Filkin's estate and from the Laton estate, and therefore the remaining 10 windows will be replaced in the near future. Trustees for 2014: Bob Dilger (Chairman) Gerry WilliamsLinda Hirschman Marge SwarthoutDave Taber Bob SwarthoutDebbie Blossom Susan Pate
Stewardship 2014: Thirty one pledges ($53,800.00) have been received to date.
Storage shed and dumpster: The metal storage shed will be moved to where the previous parsonage garage was located. The dumpster will be kept on the church property.
Snow removal: The Board voted on snow removal to continue. The $1200.00 annual fee will be paid. Deland Center: Two pipes burst at the Deland Center in early January 2014. The boiler has been checked everyday, and the faucets are running to prevent any further issues. There will be a walk through with Jeff Seidel. Church There was two feet of water in the church basement above the old boiler in late December 2013. The Fire Department was notified and pumped the water out of the basement. There is a water detector in the basement. Three to 4 valves were shut down that fed into this area. Pastor Relations Board The Board is collecting ideas to increase the size of the congregation. Some families with young children have been coming on a regular basis. Some ideas include providing a visitor card for the church visitor to complete, and to have someone accompany the church visitor downstairs to the coffee area. File cabinets The church has many cabinets (5-7), and most have locks. The church is looking to sell the file cabinets. 2014 Budget The Board reviewed the budget at the January meeting. Other items: The Board does not plan to invest in a stove to be placed in the church kitchen. This is because the fire code requirements are very expensive due to the need to construct/install the required firewall. The cost estimate provided was $13,000.00. Please feel free to contact the Board for any questions or concerns. May God be with you and bless you.
Your Board of Trustees