Goshen Baptist Church
4124 Mt. Misery Rd NE
Leland, North Carolina 28451
Phone: (910) 371-6899
Pastor Barbara Bell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Add your request for prayer & pray for others' requests!
9:45am Sunday School
6:00pm Adult Bible Study*
6:00pm Church Supper
6:30pm Kids’/Teen Activities
6:45pm Adult Bible Study*
6:00p.m. Adult Choir*
*Nursery or Child Care
available on request.
CBF Executive Coordinator Statement on Atlanta Shootings
March 18, 2021
Just over 24 hours have passed since many of us awakened to the news that a 21-year-old white man (and of a Baptist church) had taken the lives of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian American women. We are only now starting to learn more about each of these who lost their lives violently, tragically and senselessly.
Today I invite all Cooperative Baptists to join with people across our nation who are praying for the families and close friends of those who died in these terrible shootings. As of now, we know the names of , including Elcias Hernandez-Ortiz who survived but is in critical condition. Those who died included Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng and Paul Andre Michels. The names of other victims have not yet been released as family notification is still underway. But it is important that we call these children of God by name, pray for their spouses, children, family and friends in the midst of this horrific loss.
These deaths have also brought into sharp focus the violence and discrimination being experienced by Asian Americans every day. It has been widely reported that that this kind of hatred has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it did not originate a year ago. It has been with us much longer.
In the past 24 hours, I have heard painful witness of Asian American members of our Cooperative Baptist Fellowship community about their experiences over many years, and I have read the comments of Asian Americans far beyond our part of the Christian family. Those testimonies have caused me to remember the experiences shared with me by childhood friends who were Japanese Americans about the experience of their parents after World War II. Even as we have seen vivid demonstrations of the evils of white supremacy and racial/ethnic hatred being expressed against black and brown brothers and sisters in Christ, we must recognize that these sins reach farther and the damage to our world is even greater.
So even as we remember those who have died and pray for their families, we are also called to listen to our Asian American sisters and brothers, learn from their stories, identify the ways that we should speak differently and act faithfully to bring an end to all forms of violence based on race and ethnicity.
There is no doubt that God has established the church of Jesus Christ to be a beloved community consisting of people “from every nation under earth” speaking all of those languages, since that is how God formed the church at Pentecost. It is abundantly clear that the racial and ethnic diversity of our world is no accident, but instead the creative intention of a loving God. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be agents of that kind of community and God’s new creation in Christ.
But the reality in which we live (and too often the reality in our own hearts) is far from God’s design. It is not just that the perpetrator of this one act of violence attended church. Too often, the church and the individual disciples who comprise it, find ourselves in the midst of the perpetuation of white supremacy, violence, injustice and pain. So, these are days for deep lament, for genuine repentance, and for being committed to seeking a world that doesn’t seek the elimination of racial and ethnic diversity, but rather the flourishing of it as a restoration of all God intended. These are days to ask ourselves what has to change in our lives as people of God for us to be used by the Holy Spirit to make disciples whose lives enhance the beauty of God’s creation, extend the relentless love of God in Jesus Christ and repair the ruins of many generations. While lament is a beginning, that kind of transformation should be the end.
Brunswick County Tornado Relief
Pray with us for the families and businesses hurt by the tornado of February 15-16, 2021. We ask God's comfort for those who lost loved ones, His healing for those who were injured, and His strength for those who face clean-up and rebuilding.
If you would like to help with disaster relief efforts, call the church at (910)371-6899 or the Brunswick Baptist Association (910)754-7979 to help with meals, drinks, and supplies.
Teams will be formed out of the Brunswick Baptist Association (910)754-7979. You may call there to help with chainsaw and clean-up efforts. Send tax deductible donations to: Brunswick Baptist Association, PO Box 80, Supply, NC 28562. Make your check payable to Brunswick Baptist Association and put "Disaster Relief Fund" in the subject line.
****CBF in the letter above represents Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Goshen Baptist Church is a member of the CBF.
"Hearing Psalm 23 Again for the First Time"
Did you read the first line above the way it is written or the way you expected it to read? When I first read these lines on a social media post last week, I read it wrong. Our minds recognize and remember so many different patterns so quickly that we often see what we are looking for rather than what is actually there.
For this reason, familiar things can be deceiving. We see or hear what we expect and not always what is actually there. Psalm 23 is like this. It may be so familiar that we no longer hear what it says. One piece of advice I received years ago suggested that I change an overly familiar passage of Scripture into the opposite of what it says. Here’s a try:
I am my own shepherd. I take care of myself. I don’t have time to lie down in green pastures. I’m shooting the rapids. I will restore my soul later when I have more time. I follow the paths that I think are right for me, for my own sake. I do whatever I can to avoid walking through dark valleys. I fear all evil. I trust no one. My health and my wealth, they comfort me. No one puts food on my table. My enemies had better keep their distance. Nobody gives me anything. My glass is half-empty. Heartache and trouble are nipping at my heels. I’ve got to stay one step ahead of them. My whole life long.
My “opposite translation” sounds very different from Psalm 23 but it also sounds oddly familiar. It sounds like an attitude I find myself falling into far too frequently. In good times, I can fool myself into believing that by my own effort I can take care of myself without needing help from anyone, including God or God’s people.
The COVID-19 pandemic proves that my attempts to bend the world to my will are a foolish pretense. There are many things beyond my control. Psalm 23 offers to lead me in a more “righteous path.” It describes the path of trust in God. We can trust God to go before us to lead us to abundant life. We can trust God to walk beside us through dark valleys so that we do not have to be alone. We can rejoice that God’s goodness and mercy chase after us, inviting us into God’s house where a table, soothing oil, and an overflowing cup are prepared for us. We are welcome there forever. New situations can allow us to hear familiar words in new ways. How might Psalm 23 speak to you again for the first time?
Dr. Barry Jones
Professor of Old Testament & Hebrew
Campbell University Divinity School
[sent to pastors April 30, 2020]
Psalm 23, NIV
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.