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Starfish Ministry

One day a man was walking along a beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “Made a difference for that one.”

 

 

On Saturday, February 18, 2012, First Baptist Church of Graham began a new ministry in this community.  It would be a ministry de-signed to offer a nutritious lunch to anyone who came.  The only requirement to receive a meal would be hunger and a desire to fellowship with others.  During those initial weeks and months of the ministry, only a handful of guests came to receive the meal.  But in faithful service to our Lord, the ministry continued, always focusing on making a difference to at least one person and resting on the words of our Savior, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

 Since that first Saturday in 2012, the Starfish Ministry has grown and flourished.  Prior to arrival of the Covid 19 virus, 80 – 100 guests were being served as they fellowshipped in the Ministry Center.  Since Covid and the need to offer, “to-go” lunches, this ministry has regularly served over 150 meals each Saturday.

Over the past ten years, nearly 38,000 meals have been served to guests in our community.  An additional 3,000 meals have been shared with the homebound folks in our church.

With the growth in the number of guests that are served, Starfish has led us to develop additional ministries in our community.  The Food Box Ministry provides enough food to feed a family of four for a week.  We have provided over 200 food boxes in just the last two years.  We have also provided over 50 non-kitchen bags to folks who are currently homeless.  These additional ministries for the food insecure were born out of the Starfish Ministry.

As we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Starfish Ministry, let’s remember all those special folks who have found a warm, safe, and welcoming place each Saturday to share a meal and see the power of God’s love in action.  Starfish allows the light to shine so that God may receive the Glory!

 

Rev. Chris Howe, Pastor

February 20, 2022

On the occasion of the 10-Year Anniversary of our Starfish Ministry Program

 

With a name inspired by the well-known story of a little boy rescuing starfish by throwing them back into the sea one by one, our Starfish Ministry seeks to make a difference by providing lunch for anyone who comes to the FBCG Ministry Center each Saturday (11:00am to 12:30pm) throughout the year. Team members prepare and serve a hot meal and interact with Starfish guests, building relationships and sharing God’s love with those who come to eat. On the second Saturday of each month, Starfish Worship takes place at noon in the Ministry Center with music, prayer and a brief message. Four Starfish teams are made up of those from the First Baptist Church family, and our fifth Starfish team is led by the Hanmaum Church, a Korean Church family that meets in the First Baptist Church chapel building. As a part of Starfish, we also have a Food Box Ministry to provide short-term help to families in need of immediate/emergency food assistance.

If you would like to know more about how you can be involved in Starfish at FBCG, please contact the church office for more information (336) 226-7395.

 

Each week, before the meal is served, a Starfish team member shares a devotional thought with guests in the dining room area. These brief devotions are chosen by the various team members and allow Starfish guests to focus on spiritual concerns.

 

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Starfish Clothing Ministry (Lydia’s Closet)

As  we reach out to the community around us, we at First Baptist realize that working with others in our community and beyond maximizes the impact we can have as we share Christ’s love in many different ways and with many different people. In the Graham area, we partner with North Graham Elementary School, Graham Middle School, Residential Treatment Services of Alamance (RTSA), and Allied Churches of Alamance County (ACAC). We have met with leaders of these organizations and with them have identified practical needs that our church family can meet simply by purchasing specific items that help these group in their day-to-day work. These items are then stored in Lydia’s Closet (large storage space in the FBCG Ministry Center) and are made available as needed. Below is a sample shopping list for Lydia’s Closet:

Apparel Items

  • T-shirts (Adult sizes M-XXL, color: black or red)

School Supplies

  • Bookbags

Personal Hygiene Items (travel to full size)

  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush
  • Razor/Shaving Cream (men)

Miscellaneous Items

  • Towel/Washcloth
  • Laundry Detergent Pods
  • Hand Sanitizer (large bottles)

For more information about Lydia’s Closet, call the FBCG office (336) 226-7395.

 

Music Ministry

 

The Music Ministry of First Baptist is a vibrant part of our church’s overall ministry and seeks to provide many styles of music that will enhance the worship of God. We involve members in the music ministry of the church is through several different choirs:

 

Celebration Choir

Handbell Choir

Chancel Choir

 

 

We welcome you to join one of our choirs. Through our service to the church and to God, we find an opportunity to use our gifts and talents through music and to learn more about how music can be an important part of our relationship with God.

Click on this link to see pictures and read more about each of these choirs – click here.

 

Backpack Ministry

Our church family provides 24 backpacks weekly to Pleasant Grove Elementary School and 12 backpacks weekly to Graham Middle School. These backpacks are filled with food items carefully chosen to provide several nutritious meals and snacks for children and their families over each weekend when school meals are not available. Students are identified by school social workers as needing supplemental weekend food, and weekly distribution of backpacks is handled discreetly. Because economic situations may not always allow families to provide meals for their children over the weekend, sending home backpacks each Friday filled with enough food for the family over the weekend is a valuable ministry to children and their families. We appreciate your continued support.

Our Backpack Team prepares shopping lists and purchases food items on a regular basis so shelves are kept stocked. Children who attend weekly missions education time at First Baptist take part in backpack food packing each Sunday night, and this hands-on missions opportunity allows them to make a difference in the community each week!

If you would like to know more about how you can be involved in the Backpack Ministry of FBCG, please contact the church office for more information (336) 226-7395.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of children!

 

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Baptist Men

The Baptist Men of First Baptist love serving the members of this church and the community around us. Ministries supported and led by Baptist Men include the onsite Ministry Garden, a ramp-building ministry, and partnerships with Baptist agencies such as NC Baptist Aging Ministries (NCBAM) as they care for the aging members of our communities throughout the state.

Regular meeting time for Baptist Men is the third Saturday of each month. We meet for a delicious big breakfast prepared by several members of the group. Each year, we invite several speakers to come let us know about various ministries in our area and beyond, with the goal of joining and supporting these ministry opportunities.

If you have a need that may be met by our Baptist Men’s group, please contact the church office at 336-226-7395.

Ministry Garden

In 2011, several members of First Baptist put their faith into action and started a garden on site. This garden wasn’t an ordinary garden but a Ministry Garden with one purpose: to love our neighbors as Jesus loved us by helping feed the hungry and those in need. The garden soil is tilled, amended, planted and picked by church members.IMG_5337 All the vegetables that are harvested make their way to Allied Churches of Alamance County food pantry and to our Starfish ministry as we feed hungry people each Saturday.

If you are in need and would like some of the garden’s harvest, please call 336-226-7395 and leave your contact information. We will have someone contact you.

 

 

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