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An Update from Will Cumbia on focus:refugees

Will Cumbia is currently serving as BGAV's Field Coordinator for the missions partnership, focus:refugees. Watch this video for an update from him, and plan now to attend the BGAV Annual Meeting online on November 9-10. During the worship celebration on Monday evening, November 9, you'll see another video update from Julia Wallace, our newest BGAV Venturer, who serves among refugees as part of this partnership in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Fresh Expressions: How Not to Waste a Crisis

Before the onset of COVID-19, Graceland Baptist Church in Powhatan had launched house churches and a church for families of special needs kids. They leveraged their church food pantry to start their first dinner church. One participant in that dinner church led them to the relationships that helped them start two more dinner churches, primarily for veterans. While COVID-19 has changed things, it hasn't stopped the movement the Spirit has unleashed through the Graceland community and how they are making the adaptive changes necessary to thrive.

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How Does Prison Chaplaincy Work During a Pandemic?

How does prison chaplaincy work during a pandemic? Jails and prisons are of course among the most dangerous places to be during a pandemic, with large numbers of men or women living together in close quarters, little ability to social distance, and of course numerous health and safety concerns. But believe it or not, prison chaplaincy/ministry has not ceased. It is alive and flourishing.

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During the Pandemic and Beyond: Helps for Streaming Worship and Music

Roger McGee, Worship & Music Pastor at First Baptist Church of Alexandria, VA, knows that online worship isn't going away even after the pandemic era. He and his team have learned a lot about how to do it more effectively, and they want to share from their experience with attendees at the BGAV Annual Meeting. Watch Roger's video to see more about what you can expect at the breakout he's leading on November 10.

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Camp Piankatank: Serving Kids and Their Families in All Seasons of the Pandemic

After several recent years of consistent growth we were planning to add several much-needed things around camp such as a new dock, a new climbing wall, and perhaps some necessary pool repairs, along with the new and exciting activities that we add each year. Then 2020 happened. When we were supposed to have our first big weekend of the Spring, everything shut down, and everybody started cancelling retreats. However, even though everything shut down, we never questioned whether we would minister to our campers or not.

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Louisa Baptist Church Provides Day Camp with Help from the Alma Hunt Offering for VA Missions

When Louisa County Public Schools reopened for the 2020-21 school year, they did so with students attending two days per week. Louisa Baptist Church opened a day camp to accommodate families needing childcare on the days their children did not attend in-person classes. The Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions grant made it possible to offer scholarships to families whose budgets could not afford childcare, buy supplies, and pay expenses incurred to conduct the day camp.

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Dan River W.E.E. School Meets Community Needs With Help from the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering

Dan River Baptist W.E.E. School is a part of the education and outreach ministries of Dan River Baptist Church in Halifax, VA. Clearly, if children know about Christ and his love, parents also learn about Jesus. While COVID-19 state guidelines forced us to close the school last March, we've been able to reopen this fall and provide critical childcare for many parents who are essential workers in our area. As one of only three childcare centers in our area, this ministry is so important. Sadly, not all parents can afford to send their children to preschool, but because of grants such as the Child Development Center grant funded by the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering, a single mother here--who is an essential worker--can.

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Outdoor Food Pantry at Biltmore Baptist Blesses the Community

Biltmore Baptist Church in Glen Allen, VA, may be a small church, but the congregation’s heart for the community and its generosity knows no bounds. The church’s latest missions project is a Blessings Box with a simple rule that applies to all: Take what you need, Give what you can.

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Baptist General Association of Virginia Engages Lee B. Spitzer as Part-time Consultant

“Dr. Lee Spitzer is a good friend and has been a colleague in leadership for many years,” said Dr. John V. Upton, Jr., BGAV Executive Director. “When he was Executive Minister for ABC of New Jersey we frequently had our executive teams meet to collaborate and share resources. Dr. Spitzer knows the BGAV from years of shared ministry. Having served as ABCUSA General Secretary, Lee brings a broad range of experience and knowledge that will help our churches navigate the post-Covid world, as well as help generate a collaborative strategy called Ascent which will help us re-imagine reaching North America with the Gospel. I am so grateful Lee is willing to be a consultant and spiritual coach for this journey.”

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Reflections from My First Days as a Venturer in Beirut, Lebanon

I arrived safely in Beirut last Friday, August 14—exactly 10 days after the explosion. This past week I was able to see firsthand the damage to the city and meet with people who were directly affected. As I began to move around the city and meet new people, a common response emerged; when I disclosed that I arrived after the explosion, I was met with quizzical looks and some variation of the question, “And you still decided to come?” 

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First Baptist, Front Royal, and Partners Provide Meals to Thousands in Their Community

Since the beginning of the pandemic and the shutdown of many area businesses, First Baptist Church, Front Royal, has partnered with over 14 other Warren County churches to provide free, hot to-go meals called Dinner Together in our church parking lot. Our kitchen is used five days a week to cook meals to serve our hungry neighbors. We also take meals to the men's shelter, and at times, to the thermal shelter. Thousands upon thousands of people have been fed through our Dinner Together program.

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