Last night marked the seventh week of Legacy evening services we have held in the prayer chapel of Heritage Baptist Church.
As we will have a “hiatus” for next Sunday night`s Thanksgiving feast of fellowship, I felt tonight would be a good time to reflect on the progress we have made thus far. The good, the bad, and so forth.
To start with the good…
“Bare Feet” has continued to progress in accompanying the services with an up-tempo and earnest feel. The members have been able to work out a consistent practice schedule amongst their various availabilities. Tim Keckler remains tireless in orchestrating all of the ebbs and flows, working in harmony with Minister of Music Ralph Manuel to enhance the “praise” aspect of the service.
Our attendance has held relatively steady over these past weeks. We have even been able to retain several first-time visitors, for whom the morning services are not accommodating to their schedule. What is more, our core group of attendees includes a diversity of ages, Ranging from members of the College & Career group to a respective sampling of our esteemed Seniors.
It is my own, admittedly biased, opinion that the foremost achievement of Legacy thus far has been the depth and breadth of the “study” aspect of the service. Rooted in the Scriptures and almost entirely discussion-based, I have gained so very much from the manifold ideas brought forth during our dialogues. I have come to lean heavily upon the profound wisdom of brother Thad Jackson`s insights, or sister Donna Manuel`s keen ability to cut through my rhetorical obfuscations and find the beating-heart of a given issue.
In only a short amount of time… Legacy has had those rare dulcet moments wherein a grimy complexity is unwound to show the simple purity that abides beneath; we have had those tense moments on the bleeding edges of controversy, where the words seem to cut to the quick; yet greater still are the quieter moments of serene contemplation, wherein we share in seeing how altogether lovely is our LORD.
…and then, the bad.
Whatever “bad” there might be about Legacy flows almost entirely in parallel to what is good. Succinctly put: you can`t enjoy the sweet without the sour.
Our attendance can also be understood to be almost as much a sign of regress as progress. For though it is true that we have maintained a higher percentage of retention versus not, there are yet too many among the fold of Heritage that I have seen only once, if at all, in our evening assembly.
This would not vex me so, were it not for knowing the ardent and overwhelming majority of my brothers and sisters at Heritage that yearn for abundant growth. They that support, with their voices, the varied outreach ministries of Heritage Baptist. Beloved, how can we expect to grow from without if we do not zealously support, with our actions, those ministries that occur from within?
Verily, the fields of Annapolis are ripe for the harvest. Yet we must, as laborers be, willing to venture out into the mission fields; especially those opportunities that exist within our very doors! Such is that of our Legacy service, a venture that`s very impetus is a passion for outreach along the “highways and hedges” of our community.
I speak for all of Legacy in thanking you all for your kinds words of encouragement and continuing prayers, yet I lovingly admonish all of you to find a small sliver of your Sunday evenings to come out and join us in evening fellowship.
To bring the wealth of your knowledge and wisdom, to bring your questions and reflections, to bring your hearts and minds and share of that precious matter that is your Soul.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD.
Soli Deo Gloria, and Amen.