Dear Smoke Rise Church Family,
In Isaiah 43:19, the prophet writes, “See, I am doing a new thing!”
At Smoke Rise, we are celebrating God’s wonderful new work among us. Our church has been Dreaming New Dreams, reaching into our community with God’s love and grace. Through our Refresh Campaign, we have enhanced our campus with improvements to the exterior and interior of our buildings as well as the creation of a beautiful new playground. We have launched two new Sunday School Classes: the Sunshine Class to reach out to those with developmental disabilities and the Ideas and Action Class to reach out to seminarians and the youngest adults in our
In March, we are starting new community initiatives which reach across generations, impacting children in public schools and connecting with those in nearby retirement community. We began a new ministry to the students at Smoke Rise Elementary School through the “Shine” Club, teaching Biblical values and building relationships with the children in our community. At the same time, we began a new ministry at Park Spring Retirement Community by inviting residents to worship with us through “streaming” our 11 o’clock worship service.
This month, I am excited to share with you our new Cross Ties Monthly Magazine. This new publication will replace our former bi-weekly newsletter and help to enhance our congregational communications. In this first edition (get it here), you will discover that this new format enables us to include more feature articles and to keep our congregation better informed of all of the wonderful worship experiences, events, programs and activities that are taking place at Smoke Rise.
On the inside cover, at the top of the page, you will see our new Smoke Rise Baptist Church logo. At the center of the image, you will notice the image of smoke rising. While this image immediately connects with our church’s name, it is also a Biblical reminder of fellowship, sacrifice, and worship. Some have said, the logo looks like shadows of people. Others have mentioned tongues of fire, pointing toward the Spirit’s work in our church. Still others have commented it looks like stain glass, pointing toward our church’s rich history and heritage. These different interpretations simply point toward the power of this simple picture and the blessed creativity and diversity present in our congregation.
This new logo is a simple reminder of a great truth. God is doing something new and exciting at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Of course, the church is more than a set of programs. The church is the people of God who are worshipping, learning, caring, giving, and serving together. As we enter this new chapter in the life of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, I hope and pray that you will be praying about your part. God may be calling you to renew commitments, or to volunteer in one of our new ministries, to take your first mission trip or to invite your friend to church for the first time.
May the God of new things continue to lead and guide us … Pastor Chris