If you missed it, you missed a wonderful time.
Join us Sunday at 10:15 for our song service and stay for worship and lunch! And bring someone along with you.
A Baptist mother of two has filed religious discrimination and retaliation charges against a school system that threatened to fire her for privately telling a coworker she’d pray for him.
Attorneys for Toni Richardson, an educational technician with the Augusta (Maine) School Department, are awaiting a response from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the complaint filed May 16. First Liberty Institute of Plano, Texas and the Maine law firm Eaton Peabody filed the complaint May 16 regarding the September 2016 incident at Cony School.
“We want to make sure that teachers and employees everywhere understand that you can certainly talk about your faith in private conversations at work,” First Liberty Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys told Baptist Press, “and that no employee, whether at a school district or elsewhere, should be punished or be threatened with dismissal for engaging in private conversations that say something like, ‘I’m praying for you.'”
The coworker, a fellow member of the Augusta Baptist church where Richardson leads the nursing home ministry, thanked her for her prayers, First Liberty said in a press release. But an Augusta Schools administrator “interrogated” Richardson, “asking whether she had ever identified herself to coworkers as a Christian or privately told a colleague she was praying for him,” First Liberty said.
Four days later, the school told Richardson in a coaching memorandum that “she could not use ‘phrases that integrate public and private belief systems’ while at school,” and threatened her with discipline or termination. The school cited the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, commonly known as separation of church and state.
“I was shocked that my employer punished me for privately telling a coworker, ‘I will pray for you,'” Richardson said in the press release. “I am afraid that I will lose my job if someone hears me privately discussing my faith with a coworker.” According to the memorandum, the document would not be placed in Richardson’s personnel file, and Richardson has subsequently received “all excellent marks” on an annual employee evaluation, Dys said.
The Augusta case and others typically arise out of a misunderstanding of the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state, Dys said.
“I don’t know that it is often intentional that people are trying to punish people for their religious beliefs, but more often they’ve bought into this idea that there is a so-called separation of church and state which requires them to stamp out any public displays of religion,” Dys told BP. “What we have in fact, though, is a constitution that provides neutrality by the government towards religion. And instead … we’re seeing an increasing hostility towards the free exercise of religion by state actors.”
Around the county power is out in various locations and while we had a brief outage last night, power was quickly restored.
Join us today for Sunday School and Worship.
Come at 7 tonight and join us as we study the Book of Acts. Bring the kids and they can participate in the children’s class or the youth group.
- Training on Saturday, August 25th
- Tentative Schedule
- 7:30-8:00 AM
- Intro to DR/Recertification for DR
- 8:00-10:00 AM
- Flood Recovery (aka Mud Out)
- 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
- 12:00-12:30 PM
- Chainsaw Classroom
- 12:30-2:30 PM
- POSSIBLE: Chainsaw Hands-On Training
- 3:00-5:00 PM
- Tentative Location
- South Harriman Baptist Church
Please remember Paula F. She is in the hospital. And the Family of Joyce Armes. She passed away this morning.
A LifeWay Research Study found that while the majority of churchgoers desire to honor Christ and even profess to meditate on biblical truths, few actually engage in personal Bible reading and the study of Scriptures. Forty percent of those surveyed claim to read their Bibles less than once a month, with 18% claiming rarely or never. Only 19% shared that they read the Bible every day.
That’s pretty awful. So do something about it. And if, might I add, you have problems understanding parts, I’d love to help. Seriously. So because I want to help, seriously, I’m offering the complete commentary (written by me) on the Bible (in PDF) for only $100. Prepay here, include your email address, and I will send the commentary. Readers of it have this to say:
The commentary on the Bible by Jim West, a theologian who is lecturer in Biblical and Reformation Studies at Ming Hua Theological College in Hong Kong and is also Pastor of a Baptist Church in Petros, Tennessee, explains every chapter from Genesis to Revelation to “the person in the pew”: the ordinary member of a church, who, when reading the Bible, encounters a desperately foreign culture and therefore needs some guidance to understand it.
West’s approach is straightforward: he offers the Bible in a translation (American Standard Version) and interrupts the narrative every now and then to explain a couple of verses. His comments are aimed “at English speaking and reading members of the community of faith”: in other words, he makes the ancient texts accessible for believers.
As a pastor, West has an additional task: he needs to present the text in such a way that the faithful can use the Bible as a guideline. As I said, West’s approach is straightforward. The fact that he succeeds is encouraging for everyone who thinks that the study of ancient texts is meaningful.
I am no theologian and cannot judge the theological merits, but I can say that it is a pleasant read. I am currently reading a text I know quite well, Daniel, and West has pointed out many aspects I had not recognized before. The PDFs of West’s Commentary for the Person in the Pew are on my tablet, allowing me to go through the entire Bible when my train is delayed or has been cancelled. Given the quality of Dutch public transport I expect to have renewed my encounter with the Bible within a few months. – Jona Lendering
Become familiar with the text which guides your faith and life.
Be sure to join us for Homecoming on May 28th at 10:15 that morning for our song service and at 11 for worship and immediately after for lunch!
Our special singers are The Griffiths and our Preacher for the Day is C.H. Christopher! Be with us, bring a friend, bring a covered dish, and enjoy the day!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of Bible Study for the Christian life. Study of the Bible is the fount from which springs all our knowledge of God and our understanding of his will for our lives. Without understanding Scripture we cannot, and we will not, know what God wishes of us, requires of us, or commands us. We will not know who we are or what our lives are about. We will not grasp our purpose or our calling or our divinely appointed tasks. Study of the Bible is the foundation of a well lived life of discipleship. It cannot be done without.
Furthermore, the Bible is the source from which the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and minds. Jesus told his disciples, ‘It’s good that I’m going away; for if I do not go away I cannot send the Spirit. He will remind you of all that I have taught you.’ Jesus is very clear here- the purpose and work of the Holy Spirit includes reminding us what Jesus teaches us – and Jesus teaches us in and through Scripture.
But if we have no knowledge of Scripture, what exactly is it that the Spirit can remind us of? If we don’t know Scripture, the Spirit essentially has ‘nothing to work with’ because you cannot, let me repeat, you cannot be reminded of something you have never known.
So who needs Bible Study? Every Christian. Without exception. Where there is no study of Scripture there is no Christian living, no Christian life. Remember, Paul writes to Timothy words which apply to ALL Christians and not just to Pastors and Sunday School Teachers- ‘Study to show yourself an approved workman; rightly dividing the Word of Truth’. Where there is no study of Scripture there is no correct interpretation of Scripture.
Study the Bible! It will do you good- and you are called to do it!
Only 9% say they’ve read the Bible more than once. And more than half of Americans have either read none of it, a few sentences, or a few stories. Biblical illiteracy is rampant in America. Christians, of all people, should be students of Scripture.
We will conclude our study of Hosea and begin a new study of the Book of Acts. Come and join us in learning about the earliest days of the Church.
It was a good day today, in spite of the rain. But then it’s always a good day when you can fellowship with people you love.
For those who may be interested: