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Appomattox Community Pastors Pray for Unity and Peace

We live in times of distress and anger, fear, and a longing for justice. As the church, we are called to stand for just treatment of all people and seek peace for our communities. One good way we do that is by joining together with the full diversity of God’s church in our communities in prayer and in witness.

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Holy Spirit, Rain Down

As I celebrated the day virtually with my scattered congregation, our praise team sang these words, “Holy Spirit rain down, rain down, Oh, Comforter and Friend, How we need your touch again.” I have sung these familiar lyrics hundreds of times before. Yes, it was Pentecost Sunday, good choice of song, but something wasn’t right. Dare I say the Holy Spirit got a hold of me in my family room? My eyes began to well with tears, and I couldn’t sing anymore. My heart was hurting. All I could muster was a feeble, mumbled cry to God.

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Racism and the Death of George Floyd

It has been several weeks since Easter, when life was exuberant and expectant. We were so hopeful, even though we worshipped in ways different from our norm because of COVID-19. Now, weeks have passed, and life does not seem as hopeful as it did. The death of George Floyd took our breath away and ignited a rage that has been building with racial tragedies across the country.

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Pentecost: God’s Eternal Breath

Pentecost is here! It is the week we remember the events from Acts 2 when the Spirit-Promised becomes the Spirit-Provided. The story goes like this: Jesus ascends into heaven and his presence is replaced by the Holy Spirit when it descends like tongues of fire on all people filling their tongues and lungs with God’s message of love as they speak in many languages to many tribes.

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Living in the Present

Are we missing the blessing of living in the present? Can we see God with us in the midst of what we are experiencing right now? God is not waiting for things to “get back to normal.” God has never waited until things have gotten back to normal. God continues to encourage us to live in the moment.

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May 19 BGAV Town Hall Video

The video is now available of the Tuesday, May 19 BGAV Town Hall meeting where John Upton, David Washburn, and Chris Backert shared resources and ideas regarding re-gathering options for religious services during Phase One of reopening in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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From John Upton: An Invitation to Two Important Events This Week

The topic we are most frequently being asked is when and how to re-gather in worship as churches. There is much anxiety and difference of opinions concerning these questions. While honoring the decision of each church to address when it opens and how it will open, we hope to share resources that may help in addressing those questions. David has done research that will provide good insights on how to open safely and will share what he has learned from different churches as they have addressed these questions.

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Under His Wings: Psalm 91

Psalm 91 conveys the themes of God's protection and rescue from danger and is actually known in Jewish culture as the "song of plagues" because for "the one who recites it with faith in God will be helped by Him in time of danger.” Maybe that’s why this passage of scripture has meant so much to me throughout my son’s life and is now comforting as he graduates from high school with little or no pomp and circumstance.

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Going Viral

It seems like ages ago that businesses were told to close and people were told to stay home. That mandate seemed like the end of the world to many churches. While the church exists beyond the group that gathers, the Christian identity involves being an active part of the larger whole. Communication, caring, encouragement, and love … each involves meaningful, person-to-person interaction.

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Students Connect at VA Tech BCM via Virtual Opportunities for Worship and Bible Study

Will students be interested in meeting online? What if our students become disengaged? What will this do to our ministry? These are some of the questions that raced through my mind as we began to realize that college ministry would no longer be an in-person activity for the foreseeable future. Our 50 newly minted student leaders had not signed up for digital Bible studies. We can’t even get our podcast to work on our website, much less produce a digital worship service. About 200 students are under our care; how will we care for them when we can’t see them? Questions and uncertainties abounded as we began to realize the realities of COVID-19.

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Prioritizing Children’s Faith Formation During COVID-19 and Beyond

The COVID–19 crisis has probably been the most significant challenge to our churches during my lifetime. Of course, that is definitely a “first world” perspective, because more Christians have been persecuted for their faith in the past 100 years than in the previous 2,000 years combined. Many Christians around the world are facing daily persecution and the threat of death because of their faith. We are very fortunate to live in a country that provides freedom of religion. However, there is no doubt that the recent pandemic has been a serious challenge to churches, because our buildings have been closed.

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Disruption=Innovation

While COVID-19 has disrupted our community gatherings--it hasn't stifled our community rhythm. It's forcing us to innovate, to grow in maturity, and to dream again about the people we're becoming.

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