There are a multitude of ways to get involved at First Baptist – far too many to fit in one newsletter. Today, a few ministries in and outside of the church will be highlighted. You can also follow the links to more comprehensive lists of places to get involved with your church and community. Follow this link: firstbaptistgreenville.com/member-engagement-survey/ to take our Member Engagement Survey and let us know what areas of involvement interest you.

… AT FIRST BAPTIST

Monetary donations are not the only way to give back to your church. We are a big congregation, and every single ministry here relies on volunteers in order to run smoothly. Below are some ways to get involved. For a more comprehensive list, visit our website at firstbaptistgreenville.com/involvedfirstbaptist.

Garden Friends is a group of people who work to enhance the hospitality of our church by working to make our entrances and grounds a more inviting environment. If you enjoy nature and gardening and would like to help in some way, contact Janice Johnson at janicerj31@gmail.com for more information.

Preschool Extended Session, which takes place during Sunday morning worship, is in need of a pianist. The pianist volunteers one Sunday each month to assist Helen Lee Turner who leads a short and educational worship service in the Carpenter Chapel. Contact Juli Morrow (juli.morrow@firstbaptistgreenville.com) for more information about volunteering as a pianist or any other preschool area position.

All of our ministries to young people – youth, children and preschool – need volunteers, whether it’s a weekly volunteer commitment or a one-time chaperone gig. To volunteer with youth, contact Mary Carol (mary.carol@firstbaptistgreenville.com); to volunteer with children, contact Becky Ramsey (becky.ramsey@firstbaptistgreenville.com).

The Ministry to Families Committee provides care and assistance primarily to our homebound members. The committee is always looking for volunteers who believe that visiting those in need of a caring touch is a high and holy calling – those who are willing to occasionally assist in providing transportation for members in need of a ride to a medical appointment, those who are willing to arrange and deliver flowers or Wednesday suppers to church members, and those who have experienced support and loving care from others in times of personal need and who desire to respond to that blessing by caring for others. If you would like to explore the possibility of using your gifts in and through the ministries of this committee, please call one of the chairs: Jeanette Cothran (288-6227) or Janet Huskey (288-5914).

… WITH THE SACRED

During the week, you can find many opportunities to nourish and grow your faith at First Baptist. There are currently three different Bible studies (in addition to MidWeek Fellowship). On Tuesdays, join Jim Dant’s Hop on Hop off Bible Tour at noon in the Fellowship Hall. On Wednesdays, come to the AYMC for a Bible study led by Bert Strange at 6:30am. On Fridays, join Michelle McClendon’s Bible study on Corinthians. In order to register for Michelle’s study, email Becky Bouton (beckybouton@gmail.com). To see all of our spiritual opportunities, visit the list at firstbaptistgreenville.com/involvedsacred.

There are two prayer groups at our church – Intercessory Prayer and Centering Prayer. Both meet weekly and welcome newcomers – no need to give notice that you’re coming. Members of the Intercessory Prayer group meet on Fridays and offer prayers on behalf of church members. Centering Prayer meets on Tuesdays and provides a space for contemplative prayer. For more information on meeting times and contacts, visit firstbaptistgreenville.com/prayer-groups.

On the weekends, in addition to Sunday worship, we also offer Spiritual Enrichment Events (SEE) on three Saturdays this fall – September 23, October 14, and December 2. These SEE Retreats focus on a variety of topics presented by different facilitators (some church members, some not), but ultimately are designed to provide a space of rest, prayer, personal nurture and retreat. For more information, visit firstbaptistgreenville.com/spiritual-enrichment-events.

… THROUGH FELLOWSHIP

Get to know your fellow members at First Baptist beyond those who sit on the same pew as you. Although all of the opportunities above provide a space where you can get to know other members, highlighted here are a few more areas where you can find camaraderie and form closer friendships. For a more comprehensive list, visit firstbaptistgreenville.com/involvedfellowship.

The Knit One, Crochet Too group at our church works faithfully to make prayer shawls, baby bibs, baby blankets, hats, scarves and other handmade items to gift to church members when they are needed. There is no knitting or crocheting experience needed – group members are enthusiastic to teach newcomers. If you’re interested in finding fellowship and a way to tangibly offer your support to church members, contact Laurie Waldrop (lauriewaldrop@bellsouth.net).

MidWeek Fellowship is a time for the whole church family to gather for worship in a more casual and intimate way than on Sunday mornings. Come and break bread with church sisters and brothers on Wednesday evenings and join us in worship. The Wednesday Night Supper line opens at 4:45pm, and MidWeek Fellowship begins at 6:15pm. For more information, go to firstbaptistgreenville.com/wednesday-night-supper.

Sanctuary Choir is a friendly group of people who sing, laugh and learn together. Singing in the choir is a meaningful way to experience worship from a different vantage point. The choir’s mission is to build, cultivate and educate our worship community in the teachings and liturgy we celebrate. Choir members are worship leaders and active participants in the worship and glory of God. Sanctuary Choir rehearses Wednesdays 7:00-8:30pm – weekly September-May and once a month June-August. For more information, contact Vivian Hamilton (vivian.hamilton@firstbaptistgreenville.com).

… IN THE COMMUNITY

Greenville is a growing, diverse community, and First Baptist partners with and gives support to a large number of community organizations. Giving back to our community through volunteer work is a great way to connect with our community. But there are also opportunities to connect in other ways – sometimes the simple act of showing up makes an impact. Below, you’ll find ways to volunteer in the community and opportunities to show up and participate. To see a full list, visit firstbaptistgreenville.com/involvedcommunity.

Members of First Baptist will be joining hundreds of Greenvillians on Sunday, October 1, for this year’s United Ministries’ Transformation Walk. Josh Beeby (josh@barleysgville.com) will be heading up our team of walkers. From 12noon-2pm there will be food trucks, a raffle, games and entertainment at Fluor Field. After an awards ceremony, the 3-mile walk will start at 2:30pm. To register, sign up for a t-shirt, or get more information, visit transformationwalk.everydayhero.do.

This fall, First Baptist will be partnering with World Relief – an organization that settles refugees in the upstate. Jenny Lee will be heading up our Good Neighbor Team, which partners with a refugee family to welcome them to the Greenville area and empower them to reach self-sufficiency. This can include setting up an apartment for the family, welcoming them at the airport, helping them acclimate to our culture, visiting them weekly, and – most importantly – forming relationships with the refugees. If you are interested in joining First Baptist’s Good Neighbor Team, please contact Jenny (jennbe814@gmail.com).

In the past, First Baptist has partnered with organizations in the upstate that offer space for dialogue with people that come from different faith, cultural and racial backgrounds. The purpose of the Interfaith Forum is to build understanding, respect and cooperation among the various religious denominations and faith groups in our community,
our region, our nation and our world. Visit their website – interfaithforum-sc.org – to learn more about the events they sponsor throughout the year. Speaking Down Barriers facilitates community dialogue with the goal of healing the wounds of difference, including race, gender, class, religion, national identity and sexual orientation. Attend their next Learning Us event on November 13 at 6pm at the Phyllis Wheatley Center. For more information, visit speakdownbarriers.org. The Atlantic Institute’s mainstay is to engage in educational activities about social and cultural matters. Visiting atlanticinstitutesc.org will give you a comprehensive look at what the South Carolina branch has to offer.