Thursday Thoughts

June 6, 2024

Dear Church Family,  

Several weeks ago, we were able to celebrate Debra’s 5th anniversary as our director of administration.  It is truly hard to wrap our minds around the fact that she has already been with us 5 years, but when you look at the great impact she has had on our church organizationally and relationally, it is also hard to wrap our minds around all God has done through her for our church’s well-being in those 5 short years.  I am grateful to report that in another year’s time we will be able to celebrate Debra’s 6th anniversary with us.  I am saddened to report, however, that will be Debra’s final anniversary with us as an employee because she has submitted her intention to retire effective April 30, 2025.  

Given Debra’s penchant for preparation, planning, and organization, it is fitting that she has given us so much lead time to prepare for her retirement.  She knows that there are many factors to consider with this transition—the great impact having someone solely focused on administration has had for our church, our current budget constraints, and the juggling of various rolls amongst all staff.  I am grateful she has given us the time and opportunity to prepare and make a wise decision.  

Above all, however, I am grateful for Debra’s good work at our church and her faithful devotion to God’s call on her life.  She is a gift to our staff, our church, and our community.  I look forward to working diligently with her over the course of this next year and to continuing to be brother and sister in Christ far beyond the date of her retirement. 


Grace and Peace, 


May 30, 2024

It’s one of our favorite times of year here at AFBC, and we have so many exciting things to look forward to this summer! Whether you are in the Children’s or Youth program, we have planned some great events and activities that you will not want to miss!   

A few things to highlight in the Youth Ministry: 

Lunch Club & Prayer Breakfast 

On the first Sunday of each month, we will meet at New Moon at 9:30 and spend the morning together. We will walk back to the church in time for worship to start. For all the other Sundays, unless stated otherwise, we will meet at different restaurants following worship to have lunch together.  

June 14th – Lock-In (Cost: $50) 

For the first time we will be changing things up! We’ll be locked OUT of the church for the first half of our night, and then we’ll lock back in for the remainder of the evening. Sign up now on our church app!  

July 8th-12th  – Unidiversity Youth Camp – Maryville College, Maryville, TN
Our theme this year Remember, Stories Around the Table will give our youth the opportunity to consider their place at the table, as well as live out sitting at the table with all God’s children. It’s going to be a great week!   

According to the youth calendar we will also have movies, games, water, games that involve water, etc. It will be quite the full summer, and Emily and I can’t wait to have you join us!   

A few things to highlight in the Children’s Ministry: 

June 10th-13th – Vacation Bible School 

Join us from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day as we “take kids deep into an amazing undersea adventure where they’ll experience the ever-flowing, never-ending love of God!” This event is free of charge and intended for children going into 4K through children going into 6th grade. However, we still need volunteers and snacks! Contact Matt if interested! VBS will conclude on the 13th with a Celebration Night in the Sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. followed by a dinner in the Fellowship Hall. The cost to attend dinner will be $5 a person.  

July 8th-July 11th – Passportkids Camp – Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC 

Our theme this year, “Come to the Water,” will remind our children that “water is life, both physically and spiritually.” They will find out more about how “the Bible uses images of water to help us understand more about who God is and how to trust in the Living Water.” 

July 21st – Blessing of the Backpacks 

We encourage all our children to bring their backpacks with them to church to be blessed as they prepare to return to school. During Children’s Moment, we will pray over the backpacks and pass out tags that the children can keep with them as reminders of our love and support for them!  

Lastly, join us as we close out our summer with this very meaningful worship service!  

Sunday, July 28th – Youth & Children’s Sunday  

A Sunday all about our young people. This is a wonderful morning celebrating our children and youth and their involvement in this church. This service allows them to participate in worship leadership, as well as share stories from their summer. A spiritual year in review! Everyone wear your favorite youth or children’s ministry t-shirt and come be a part of this special day dedicated to our kiddos! 

In Truth and Love, 

Sarah and Matt  

May 23, 2024

As a ministerial staff, we have begun a habit of reading and studying together over the past couple of years.  Sometimes we read through a book of the Bible together.  Sometimes we focus on a particular topic covered by various articles.  Recently, we have been working our way through a couple of books that I would like to tell you about.  

Earlier this year, we read The Gravity of Joy by Angela Williams Gorrell.  This book is part autobiography and part theological mediation.  In both mediums, Gorrell seeks to account for an understanding of joy that sincerely grapples with the reality of hardship and suffering that presses in upon every life at some point.  She powerfully recounts a series of griefs that she had to walk through just as she began her work studying joy for the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.  At first, these two realities seemed ironically cruel—that she would be hit by so much grief right as she was to study joy.  In the end, however, she finds that her understanding of joy’s gravity and enduring presence has deepened as she discovers, or is found by, joy in unlikely places.  

Currently, we are reading Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger.  While we are only a third of the way into this book, it is already proving incredibly fruitful as we discuss where we are as a church in the midst of a changing world.  Bolsinger’s thesis is that the church finds itself in very much the same place that Lewis and Clark did at a certain point in their mission of finding a passage from the East coast to the West coast of America.  Lewis and Clark were skilled explorers who knew how to navigate river systems with great proficiency, and they assumed, like everyone else, that those skills would take them all the way to the end of their mission.  Eventually, however, they found that the rivers ran out and that the Rocky Mountains stood between them and the fulfillment of their mission.  

Likewise, the church in America today finds itself in a world it did not anticipate and fitted with equipment and skills that were for where it had been, not for what is in front of it and where it needs to go to fulfill its mission.  In this situation, we can keep clinging to our canoes and fail in our attempts to make it over the mountains before us, or we can choose to do what Lewis and Clark did as they ditched their canoes and choose to navigate the adventure of new and unexpected terrain with courage, adaptability, and teamwork.  I look forward to continuing to learn from Bolsinger’s work on leadership in unexpected territory as we continue reading through it as a staff team.  

I share these with you because we have benefitted from them as a staff and some of you may be interested in picking them up, as well.  I also share them with you so that you know our ministerial team takes our role of ministry seriously and seeks to continue growing together in our leadership and service for the sake of our church and God’s mission in the world. 

May 16, 2024

Mission THERE:  Danville VA  

Save the Date!  October 9-12 will be our first Mission: THERE as Aiken’s First Baptist Church Travels to Help Everyone Reach Everyone on an intergenerational mission trip to Danville, VA.  

Registration opened this past week and will be limited to about 20 urban farm workers plus 3-4 kitchen crew members who will provide meals for our participants. Members of our youth group are encouraged to join us.  

We will be traveling on the church bus or by private vehicle and lodging at nearby Camp Selah ( in Sutherlin, VA, about 245 miles from Aiken.  Accommodations will consist of a men’s and women’s bunkhouse with attached bathrooms, full commercial kitchen, lodge with fireplace and ample seating. The camp has hiking trails, a meditation labyrinth, outdoor and indoor games, fire pits, and a chapel among other amenities.  

We’ll drive up Wednesday and arrive in time for some free time and our first provided meal, supper, followed by a retreat program planned by Pastor John Carroll. Thursday and Friday will be workdays at the urban farm: putting in gravel paths, clearing land for new plantings, and harvesting and preparing the current garden for the winter. Each day will end about mid-afternoon, and we’ll return to rest and enjoy the camp’s trails and scenery.  Each workday our Pastor will have another retreat lesson for us, followed by supper and fellowship/fun time.  Friday, we hope to have members of the Grace and Main community join us for supper and retreat time. Saturday we’ll have a tour of the Grace and Main ministry area in Danville and learn of their challenges and successes and depart about noon.  

The cost will be $110, which covers the 3 nights of lodging and 8 meals.  (Lunch up and back will not be included).  Transportation will be provided by the Mission budget.  A deposit of half ($55) is required when registering, which can be done through the church app, through link in the Weekly Update email, or at the church office.  

Important dates:  An information session is planned for right after church on May 19 to answer any questions.  Background checks and an on-line child/youth protection training required by CBF (not our AFBC training) will be done after registration closes.  Registration will close August 12 or when our maximum number of participants have signed up.  The organizational meeting with paperwork and traveling details will be August 18.  Paperwork, background checks and on-line training must be completed by August 28.  

Prayerfully consider joining us as we Travel to Help Everyone Reach Everyone. 

May 2, 2024

We enjoyed our last Wednesday evening meal and gathering last night as we take a break until August. Thank you so much to our Food Service Team as they have served so faithfully during this past year. Many thanks to Francine Alsbrooks for her willingness to spearhead this effort for the last few years. As you know, Francine has decided to step away from this team to spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren. As we look forward to August, I wanted to share with you the plans for Wednesday night meals.

The Food Service Team and Hospitality Team have decided to form teams to accommodate the tasks that need to be accomplished for a Wednesday night meal to happen. These teams, comprised of 4-6 people, will help will prepare some of the food for Wednesday nights and set up the drinks, desserts, and food. Some Wednesday nights these teams will prepare the entire meal – a potato and salad bar, soup and sandwich bar, BBQ meal, etc. On other nights they may provide only side dishes. We are contracting with a local caterer that we used several years ago to provide us with entrees for some Wednesday nights. Some of the entrees we have chosen are Baked Spaghetti, Fried Chicken, Beef Tips and Rice, and Breakfast for Supper. Are you hungry yet?

If you are willing to participate on a Wednesday night team, please let me know by calling the church office or emailing me at We anticipate a team only having to work once every 4-6 weeks.

Thank you for the support you have shown to the Food Service/Hospitality Team this past season. We are looking forward to being back together for food, fellowship, and study in August.

Debra Haney

April 25, 2024

I want to encourage you to attend the quarterly business meeting we will have on Wednesday, May 1 at 6:30 pm because we will be discussing important topics and need all perspectives present for those discussions.  

A revision to our current by-law section regarding the reception of members has been drafted and approved by both the Deacons and the By-Law Committee.  That draft now comes to the church for its consideration and vote.  While you will want to read the changes in full, the main focus of the changes is to make it explicit that we will honor the baptism of those who have been baptized in other Christian denominations and will not require them to be rebaptized in order to become members of our congregation.  These changes were the product of the church’s courageous conversation from January 2023.  

We will also have the opportunity to hear additional information and have ongoing conversation about the needs of our facilities which we began hearing about in January 2024.  Since that time, the church council has actively engaged this important issue, and we have run into new and expensive air conditioning problems which we were not aware of back in January.  Members of the church council will be able to provide additional information so that we can continue our collective discernment of appropriate steps forward.  

Finally, we will also hear about work being done to improve our posture of safety and security.  The church council appointed a task force to study this issue and work on an overarching safety policy back in 2023, and that task force is making great strides forward.  They are helping us to consider how we might be adequately prepared should there be an emergency health incident on campus, the arrival of inclement weather, or the presence of someone seeking to do harm.  While there will not yet be a draft document for the congregation to review, we know that document is nearing a stage where the congregation can review it and discuss it before it is officially adopted in any capacity.  

In the meantime, the church council is seeking to contract with a local security company (the same company that provided security during our joint service with Second Baptist) to provide security on Sunday mornings until such time as we may be able to move further along in our own security operations.  It is lamentable that we are at such a place in our society that we have to consider this step, but it is unfortunately the case that churches have increasingly been targets of harm.  The contract with the local security company will not be set until after the business meeting in case the need of further conversation or clarity arises at that meeting.    

I look forward to seeing you at this important meeting so that we may help our church move forward on these and other important topics. 


Grace and Peace, 


April 18, 2024

I am so excited to have the privilege of telling you about our Vacation Bible School this summer! It will take place on Monday, June 10th through Thursday, June 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day. This event is free of charge and intended for children going into 4K through children going into 6th grade (there will be a nursery provided, but only for volunteers who have children that do not fall in said age range). Our theme this year is “Scuba: diving into friendship with God.” We will have the wonderful opportunity to “take kids deep into an amazing undersea adventure where they’ll experience the ever-flowing, never-ending love of God!”  

Registration for this event is now open! All you have to do to sign your little ones up is follow this link and fill out the prompts under “Participant Registration.” Once you submit the form, you should get a confirmation email and be good to go! Please let me know if you run into any issues or if you have any questions/special circumstances you need to discuss.  

However, this event can’t happen without a team of awesome people! That’s you! If you would like to volunteer for this event, you can also follow the link above to do so. Or, you may contact me and let me know what position you would like to serve in. Whether you feel really passionate about a certain role or are willing to serve just about anywhere, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can get everyone plugged in and equipped.   

Speaking of being equipped, you will want to be sure to mark Sunday, May 19th on your calendars. There will be a meeting in the Fellowship Hall at 5:00 p.m. for all V.B.S. volunteers to share a meal with those they will be working with, receive their materials, and hear what their schedules and duties will look like. However, before that meeting, there will be a “Safety First” procedure training at 4:00 p.m. for anyone who has not yet been trained on our church’s new policy regarding the protection of children, youth, and vulnerable adults. That way, you have the option of attending one or both meetings depending on what your needs are. Those only attending the first meeting are welcome to grab a bite to eat before departing. Registration for these meetings will be provided in the coming weeks!   

In the meantime, you can help by telling those in your circle about V.B.S. and inviting them out to join us too! This will be a wonderful opportunity to practice joy through play, deepen relationships with those we know, and to make connections with those we don’t. Let’s dig deep to help make this event all it can be and to show our community the love of God!     

In truth and love, 

Matt Waller 

(704) 466-2321 

April 11, 2024

Calling all graduates! Can you believe it’s already April!? The school year is so close to being over, and I am sure this thought brings feelings of both relief and excitement to you. We at Aiken’s First Baptist Church believe each and every one of us are called to be a compelling force for good in the world. We believe that a community of people is at its best when it serves, sacrifices, and loves caring for the things God cares about. We believe we were each created to live for something larger than ourselves. And we believe in you. Whatever it may be God has called you to in this next season, we want to congratulate you on your graduation. Graduation is a transition from one point in life to another, and this transition deserves celebrating!   

For our High School Graduates, to celebrate your graduation, May 19 will be Graduate Recognition Sunday!  We would love to recognize you and present you with a gift in worship on that Sunday morning at 11 am. It is our hope that this day will be a very special day for you as well as those who love and support you.    

For ALL 2024 Graduates (high school, college, etc.), this is what I need from you as soon as possible. To, please send the following: 

  • Your name 
  • Your picture 
  • Where you are graduating from 
  • Your plans for the fall (high school grads)/Degree received (college grads)

As you come to the end of your school year, I celebrate with you for all your accomplishments thus far, and all you will continue to do. Be proud of what you have done and who you are. We can’t wait to see what you do next!   

Grace and Peace, 


March 28, 2024

In our church and in many churches this week many services will be offered to help us walk through Holy Week.  Some churches will offer a weekday service Monday through Friday.  Others, like ours, will focus in on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday commemorating Jesus’ final meal with his disciples and his crucifixion and death respectively.  But very few services are offered to help us reflect on Holy Saturday when Jesus is in the tomb and nothing happens.

So, with this Thursday Thought, I’d like to invite you to place yourselves in the position of the disciples on Saturday.  Your world has been decimated.  Your teacher can teach you no more.  Your Lord can lead you no more.  Your messiah, the anointed one, the one you thought would lead Israel to glorious restoration and you to the heights of that glory is now cold dead.  Just a few weeks ago, you had been squabbling over who was the greatest and who would get the best seat in the house of God’s kingdom.  Just a few months ago, you had seen the wounded healed, the blind given sight, the oppressed set free, the hungry fed with five loaves and two fish, and a storm calmed by the power of his voice.  And now, a tomb you cannot even open on your own.

Our struggle in putting ourselves there, of course, is that we know the rest of the story . . . we know about Easter morning . . . but the disciples did not.  Jesus had tried to tell them, but they didn’t know.  They were truly in what we call a liminal space—that time between the death of what was and the birth of what yet may be.  What was the concrete reality of our existence . . . our foundation . . . is gone, and the possibilities of what yet may be are not yet formed, still as yet unseen.

It is the first day of retirement.  It is the morning after the death of a loved one.  It is sitting in the car outside of the lawyer’s office after the divorce papers are signed.  It is waiting on test results.  The time between what was and what yet may be but is not yet.

The promise of a liminal space is the possibility of newness, transformation, metamorphosis . . . the promise of a liminal space is found in the power of God who promises to work all things for the good.

But the challenge, the often, overwhelming challenge, of a liminal space is to wait . . . is to wait in openness . . . is to wait in openness for what yet may be without trying to force our way back to what is already gone.  The challenge of a liminal space is to wait in openness and patience for the God who does not work on our timetables, patience for the deep work of personal transformation that always takes longer than we would wish.  The challenge of a liminal space is to wait in openness and patience and trust . . . trust that the one who has promised to never forsake us is yet with us and that the one who has promised to work all thing for the good is steadily weaving every moment of our existence, even this one, into a grander whole than we could hope or imagine.

So today, this weekend, I invite you to wait alongside the disciples.  I invite you to wait with openness, patience, and trust.  I also invite you to wait alongside one another.  There are likely brothers and sisters in our church, among our friends, in our families who are living in a liminal space—having said goodbye to one life and yet waiting on the arrival of a new one.  Let us wait alongside the dark, dark tomb beside them with the light of our love and prayers, and let us see what God may yet be doing.

March 21, 2024

One Emotional Time 

By Ray Barrow  

He was running out of time, and he knew it. But his friends did not. He would be dead within a week. In the Christian Church, it is called “Holy Week.” He had intimated that their ideas of a Messiah were wrong. He knew that they had not gotten it. They were into overthrowing Rome, and “being back on top.” This would be their last extended visit together. What could he possibly say to these fellows who at times were not “the sharpest knives in the drawer?” It would turn out to be the week that changed the course of history. The story is related in all four of the gospels, but only John focused our attention on that “Farewell Address.” He recorded it all in chapters 13-17.  

In 1977, the head basketball coach of Marquette University was interviewed by Bob Costas of NBC. Al had just won the NCAA Championship. He was not known for his strategies of X’s and O’s. He left that to his assistants. He was more of a colorful recruiter and motivator. He was asked what he said to his players in a final timeout, in a tied game, with control of the ball. The coach simply said that the only thing that really mattered was the last words they hear. For Jesus, this was such a moment.  

I have been thinking much about that week lately. I feel as though we in America are living on the edge in a time of darkness. I have lived over eighty years and am a history major. I have never seen my country in such a fragile state. I also feel strongly that large portions of the Church have sold out by not living the Gospel message of inclusion, grace, and forgiveness. We possess, possibly the only people who do, a message of healing, both individually and as a community. Jesus’s actions and words that week have become extremely important to me.  

This week must have made a lasting impression, and I would like to suggest some observations. It begins with humility. Jesus sets the tone for the entire week that includes his death by washing their filthy, smelly feet (John 13). This was slave work. When none were present, why did the disciples not think to wash each other’s? Was it “below” them? Jesus says nothing. He just becomes a “slave” and ministers. Paul the apostle will later explain the real meaning of Jesus’s condescension in a letter to his favorite church at Philippi (Phil. 2:1-11). Did his friends understand the meaning of this humble act? What was he trying to say? If you were to have asked them later in their lives, they would probably say they never forgot that moment. I believe that God is trying to tell his Church that we need to approach our lost world with a towel and basin rather than with a sword in our trying to convert people. Jesus will make the ultimate demonstration of that attitude just a few days later. Paul uses it as an example of the proper mindset, particularly with regard to those “difficult” people we all have in our lives.  

The act of washing the disciple’s feet was also an incredible act of welcome and hospitality. Plus, it preceded a shared meal, which is all about hospitality because meals in the time of Jesus were extremely important. Where is this true hospitality reflected in the Church today? At the least it has to go beyond the frowning “good mornings” (if you get that!) and could extend to really meaning the question “How are you?” Imagine what would happen on Sunday morning if we truly meant the question. We certainly would not make a lunch reservation. Henri Nowen has suggested that the act of hospitality includes opening yourself up to ‘allowing people to have spaces to grow.” Perhaps we need to be more inclusive rather than exclusive at this time of divisiveness.  

And after these acts of humility and hospitality, Jesus spends most of the time talking about what it means to be a real disciple. Why not? This is the last talk before his death. He will see them again, of course, but they do not realize that. He spends the whole time talking about relationships. It is just continuing a theme that actually started in Genesis. Is that not what really matters with most of us, our relationships? Jesus shares his relationship with his Father, their relationships with each other, the “new” relationship with the Holy Spirit. These few days were pretty powerful.  

I find it interesting what Jesus does not talk about: justification, theories of atonement, the last days, and much more. Just the basics! Maybe that is where we must begin, with the lessons of humility, hospitality, and loving each other. That is what Jesus said was the way the world will know we belong to God. This is certainly a better way in today’s fractured and polarizing world. Actions do speak louder than words. Just look at what Jesus did that one last week. 

March 7, 2024

BWIM Month of Advocacy and Courageous Conversations Follow-Up

Baptist Women In Ministry Month of Advocacy

Baptist Women In Ministry (BWIM) is an organization that has provided support to and advocated for the affirmation of women called to ministry for over 40 years.  While they do this work year-round, they have designated March as a month of advocacy for women in ministry.  There are a variety of ways that individuals can participate, and if you feel called to join in that effort you can read about those opportunities on their website:

As a church, we have been engaging in conversations about the affirmation of women in ministry on our podcast, Rooted and Grounded, since the beginning of January.  In the initial podcast, aired January 18, we discussed some of the recent backlash to women in ministry that occurred in some Baptist circles last year and why it was important for us to lean into this affirmation of women at all levels of ministry and leadership.  Then in the following four episodes, we dove into a curriculum produced by BWIM and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) titled Equally Called.  It is a curriculum that helps us see that engagement with scripture can lead us to affirm women in ministry.  Now, we are releasing episodes in which we get to tell the stories of women in ministry and in leadership who have impacted us in powerful and positive ways.  I hope you will take a listen on our website, in the app, or wherever you access your podcasts.  All of the episodes in this series have the title Women in Ministry, so simply search our podcast for Women in Ministry and you will find all the episodes that have been released so far.

Thank you for being a church that has affirmed the gifts and callings of women to all kinds of ministry and leadership positions for some time now.  We all still have more we can do on this front, but I am grateful to lead a church that is committed to this way of living out our faith in the world.

Courageous Conversations Follow-Up

On February 20, the Church Council had an extra meeting for the month to discuss our Courageous Conversations regarding our facilities and the feedback that we received.  Before I dive into what we discerned and the steps we are taking, let me say thank you for your participation in our January conversations and for the feedback forms you filled out at the close of those conversations.  Your participation and feedback have been incredibly helpful.

As the Church Council sorted through the information from the meeting and the feedback we received concerning it, we discerned several areas of wide consensus along with areas of disagreement.  The areas of consensus were that we should:

  • continue moving forward with pulling together details and plans for a potential renovation (especially phase 1 of that plan) while providing continued opportunities for more detailed information and feedback from the congregation.
  • sell the properties across York Street from our main block.
  • work on deferred maintenance issues
  • do something with the Roberts Building and Family Ministry Center that can generate income and/or serve the community

The main areas of disagreement were around specifically what to do with the Roberts Building and Family Ministry Center.  Some in our congregation are ready to sell them.  Some believe that we should not sell because we will likely never get that property back, but are open to leasing them.  And some envision community ministry opportunities through partnership in those spaces.  This will continue to be an area in which we will need prayerful discernment alongside further information to assist in that discernment.

With these areas of consensus and disagreement in mind, the Church Council is proactively taking a number of steps to help move this work forward.  Some of those steps are as follows.  We will have an official appraisal of our church campus done with appropriate breakdowns on buildings and land.  We will determine exactly what it will cost to have an architectural firm draw up three different plans built off of the original renovation plan but with the differences in opinion about some of our buildings in mind.  We will engage with appropriate ministry, business, and city entities about potential partnerships that may exist of which we are not currently aware.

We look forward to continuing to share with you how this work is progressing in the months to come, and we look forward to discerning together how we can continue to be a vital part of the mission of God in our area.

February 29, 2024

In their book, Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus, David M. Csinos and Ivy Beckwith write, “In our contemporary consumer/capitalist society, children can easily be seen as consumers of ministry, those who are on the receiving end of ministry. Notions of ministry to or for children can denote this view of children’s ministry, one of adults actively ministering and children passively consuming ministry.”  

This Sunday, I am excited to say that we have a wonderful opportunity and intentional reminder to flip the script on this common way of thinking about the role of children in worship. This Sunday, we get to take part in what Csinos and Beckwith refer to as “ministry with children.” They describe it in this way: “ministry that involves serving children, being served by children and serving the world with children.”  

What a beautiful gift it is to exist within a body of believers that allows little ones full access to participate just like anyone else! Dr. James H. Ritchie, Jr. says that, because children are concrete learners, depending on their own experiences to learn and process their own faith journeys, it behooves us to give them opportunities to experience all that being part of a faith community has to offer.  

That being said, thank you all for the ways you already empower our little ones and thank you in advance for supporting them as they lead us in worship together this Sunday morning. You will see members of both our AFBC Preschool and Children’s Ministry taking on different roles throughout the service, so let us be intentional about being as patient and welcoming as possible!  

For anyone taking part in leading the worship service or assisting those leading, we will meet in the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. for a quick run-through. As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns. Otherwise, we are excited to see you at 11:00 a.m. and are confident that you will be blessed! 


In truth and love, 

Matt Waller 

(704) 466-2321