Spring is near. There is light at the end of the tunnel of Lent. Trees are budding and blooming. Easter is days away. We are on the cusp of resurrection and new life. Behold, all things are made new…or at least…we get to experience a lot of new things.

As this new season of life begins, I’m looking forward to enjoying new friends. Morten Lauridsen will be in worship at First Baptist Greenville on Sunday, April 3. Morten is the composer of the Lux Aeterna, which will be presented in worship on that date. He and I will address the congregation during the ‘sermon time’ and discuss the heart and soul of this great choral piece. Jacqueline Woodson will be at First Baptist Greenville on the evening of Thursday, April 28. Jacqueline grew up in Nicholtown and is a National Award winning author. Her recent publication Brown Girl Dreaming has been featured on NPR and by almost every major network news organization. I watched her on the CBS Morning Show last week. And finally, Livingston Taylor (James Taylor’s brother), will be participating in worship leadership at First Baptist on Sunday, August 7. We’ve dedicated a Sunday each summer to the celebration of alternative musical styles in worship — jazz, pop and last year ‘street music.’ Livingston has agreed to integrate his easy listening style into our worship and then provide a luncheon concert for us that day.

In addition to all these folk, each Sunday new faces come through the door of First Baptist. Each life is precious to God and welcomed by us. Each story adds to our collective story of faith. Keep your eyes and your arms open for the welcoming of new friends among us.

I love the newness of this season and I’m looking forward to making these new friends… and others along the way.

— Jim