Parishioners decorated the cross with live flowers as they entered church on Easter Sunday. Perhaps a new church tradition has been started. Look at how beautiful it is! Submitted photo

LIVERMORE FALLS — The First Baptist Church of Livermore Falls, 25 Church St., update for the week of April 4: He is risen indeed! Not many things during this pandemic have felt “normal.” In fact, our lives have adjusted so much with the pandemic, I don’t think we would not fully recognize normal. Easter Sunday, however, was as “normal” of a Sunday I think we have had since this pandemic began. In 2020, we were all in our homes and the church had to be closed for the safety of all. Yet, for Easter 2021 we had sunrise service at Moose Hill attended by 30, a safe socially distanced outdoor Easter breakfast, and the church as full as it could be while still adhering to all safety protocols.

There is something else that has started to reemerge-increased energy. This church has always had the energy and desire to put on many community and church events. When the pandemic started, all of that energy had to be bottled up. As we start to see the beginning of the end, I see that built up energy starting to explode- and that is a good thing! I have had so many people come to me with ideas of what to do for events throughout the year. It warms my heart.

Many people think of the pastor as the leader in the local church with the congregation below. While that may be true in some denominations, in the American Baptist Churches, that model is flipped. The congregation is the leader. This is your church. If there is something you would like seen done at the church, and have the energy to get it done, please let me know.

Before the pandemic, we were averaging close to 80 on a Sunday. The pandemic obviously slowed that. But now that the end is near, I see a resurgence in weekly attendance. I can imagine seeing the church filled by October with 100 on a Sunday (if it is safe to do so). Motivation and joy are both contagious- so please don’t keep it in! Let us build this church in the way God wants it, and to spread the Gospel to all. May our church not be known as a building solely open on Sundays, but as a sanctuary, a refuge from the world.

Should you need me this week, please call or text my cell phone for quickest response at 450-9708. If you would like an outdoor socially distanced visitation, please let me know. Many blessings for your week ahead.

Church Update Week of April 11:

To my brothers and sisters, on Saturday, we hit 82 degrees in Livermore Falls according to my car thermostat. I am sure Harold will have more precise numbers in the Advertiser. As the temperatures warm, the flowers have started to bloom. Molly’s garden has started to sprout flowers of purple and white. Tulips will be ready in a couple of weeks.

A tulip is a lot like our own lives. A tulip looks like it dies, only to have it come back the next spring. We must die in our old life and be born again in Jesus Christ. I would encourage you to read John 3 and Matthew 13:31-32 this week.

In the spring of the pandemic, our church tulip is about to spout. We are coming out from underground, full of life and beauty. I am so warmed when I see how much energy everyone has in the church. Our church has been growing- whether it be with guests or with our regular members returning after their COVID-19 vaccine. This pandemic will one day be behind us, and I look forward to that day. Your brother in Christ, Pastor Forrest

The Week Ahead: Tuesday- Bible Study at 10 a.m.- This is the same login as what is in your bulletin. Saturday-Hills of Hope at 7 a.m. on WBCI 105.9. Sunday-Outdoor coffee hour before church. Quarterly meeting after church

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