It all happened in one day. During my morning run, I slid in with some United States Marine Corp (USMC) trainees on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Their steadiness, chants and camaraderie made my run much easier. I thanked them for their service and for helping me keep pace…and I moved on. As I slowed to a walk and cooled down on North Main, I chatted with some Auburn University Band members. They had spent the night in Greenville before heading to Death Valley. They were astonished that I was so friendly to them. I told them their suppositions with regard to my football allegiances were unfounded, but I assured them even the most ardent Clemson fans pride themselves on neighborly friendliness toward the competition. And speaking of Clemson, I ended my day by attending my first Clemson game. I carpooled with the fans, tailgated with the multitudes, learned the cheers and got to bed too late. Throughout the day, I allowed myself to engage people and activities new to me. Each incident brought a measure of joy to my life, provided me with a learning opportunity, and I hope brightened the lives of those I engaged as well.

This issue of The Branch is chock full of ways you might involve yourself at First Baptist Greenville. Volunteer opportunities abound in the areas of education, music, missions, committee work, children’s ministry, youth ministry, preschool ministry, maintenance and much, much more. Each of these service opportunities will make a difference in the lives of people, our church and our world. In addition, they will make a difference in your life. It’s the unexpected benefit of running with marines, chatting with band geeks and hanging out with football fans. We get as much from these experiences as the persons we are engaging.
— Jim

So peruse these pages. Keep you heart and mind open. Listen to where the Spirit might be tugging or pushing you. Move beyond the familiar pew and pattern of your life at First Baptist. Get involved with something new, different, challenging and fun. See how it changes the people you serve…and changes you.