27 May

June Pastor’s Pen

June begins the hectic travel season for so many of us. Family vacations, traveling sports teams, summer camps, missions trips, and more. Summer is a season of memories and adventures! I’m a big fan of traveling, often reflecting on Mark Twain’s wise words, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our […]

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27 Apr

May Pastor’s Pen

May is a hectic month for families as they wrap up busy school years and celebrate graduates of all ages. For the first time, I’m on the other end of the craziness as the aunt of a graduating high school senior. There are endless deadlines, celebrations, events, and emotions, too. On Sunday, May 7, we […]

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4 Apr

Register for Mission JC!

Registration is now open for Mission JC on April 30, when we and nine other churches will worship through service in our community. There are variety of projects that fit anyone that volunteers — regardless of age or interest. It’s quick and easy to sign up. Go to the MissionJC site where you will find […]

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30 Mar

April Pastor’s Pen

The most common response when I ask someone how they came to First Baptist Church is this: “So-and-so invited me.” Maybe this is your story. Research shows a personal invitation from a friend, family member, or coworker is the number one reason people begin attending a church. Nothing else comes close, not even free coffee […]

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27 Mar

Palm Sunday Procession for Children – April 2

April 2 is Palm Sunday! All children are invited to participate in a Palm Sunday Procession to the Capitol. FBCJC will be joining our friends from First Christian Church. Please come up front for the children’s time during the 9 a.m. worship service. We will exit the sanctuary with our palm branches and head outside […]

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28 Feb

March Pastor’s Pen

Dear Church,   Author and activist Parker Palmer wrote, “I will wax romantic about spring and its splendors in a moment, but first, there is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will […]

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26 Jan

Pastor’s Pen – February 2023

Dear friends, We live in a noisy world. Even when alone, we’re bombarded with texts, emails, and social media messages. Even when we turn the noise off, our inner dialogue can be deafening. How do we better listen to God when the noise is loud and chronic, not just for our own good but for […]

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21 Jan

Pastor Search Committee Update – January 19

The following message was sent this week to church members by both mail and email: Thank you for your continued prayers over these past 22 months. It is our great joy to announce that the Pastor Search Committee has selected a final candidate to present to the congregation as our recommendation to be the next […]

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9 Jan

Mauricio Vargas Service Livestream

The Celebration of Life for Mauricio Vargas can be seen on First Baptist Church’s YouTube page ( and Facebook page ( beginning at noon CT on January 9, 2023. You can read his obituary below. Afterwards, a link to the service will be added to this post. * * * * Rev. José Mauricio Vargas […]

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29 Dec

Pastor’s Pen – January 2023

To some, January 1st is simply another date on the calendar. To others, it is a brand-new journal, full of blank pages pregnant with possibility and potential.   I’ve always loved the turning of one year into the next. On the shadow side of the Christmas hustle and bustle, I carve out space to sit with […]

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