Mark your calendars!!! Operations Inasmuch has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 1. We will collaborate with Yates Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church and Mt. Herman Baptist Church with multiple community projects. Yates Baptist Church will host a lunch that day following completion of projects. This will be a great opportunity to share and meet others in our association. Plan now to attend and help with local needs. More details to follow!
All youth in grades 5 -12, all college students, and all adults who enjoy singing …
You are cordially invited to come and sing in HVBC’s Summer Choir. We practice in the choir room on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 until 8:30 and then sing on Sunday mornings at the 11:00 service. We will do some wonderful and fun music this summer and would love to have you join us!
Need more info? Contact Kathryn Bunch or the Church Office.
I am blessed beyond measure to once again be among the loving people of HVBC. You have made me feel most welcome! Many thanks to the Sanctuary Choir for their hard work, dedication, and support during Holy Week….the amount of music you rehearsed and sang for FIVE services in seven days was a feat. Look for “Music Notes” in each Newsletter! Kathryn Bunch
Hope Valley Baptist Church, We appreciate the support of Hope Valley Baptist Church. Your support means the world to our families.
Your contributions of time, talent, and treasure allow FMF to assist families experiencing housing instability and homelessness. FMF provides a “hand up” to our homeless neighbors, and enables and encourages families to develop the resources they need to move out of homelessness and toward family stability.
John A. Bowman
Families Moving Forward
I first met with Bill in a small local student hangout restaurant near campus around the first week of September. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich and Bill ordered a giant bowl of chili. Before this meeting, we had exchanged text messages, emails, and phone calls about the possibility of an internship for the 2018-19 school year, following my discernment of attending divinity school following my graduation. The conversation lasted a little over an hour, we shook hands, and I waited weeks for the church decision-making process to commence.
It’s a Wednesday evening, and I’m staring at my laptop screen, waiting for words to miraculously make their way from my brain onto the Microsoft Word documents that has blankly stared back for the past half hour or so. It’s not that there is nothing to say, but rather the contrary. How can it all be compacted into one page?
On the first Sunday of October, I had no clue what was to come. I was unaware of both the great joy and overwhelming pain that would come in the seven months that followed. What started as spiritually fulfilling ministry quickly shifted itself into a time of uncertainty. I’ve been forced to confront the very nature of human mortality, through Bill’s diagnosis in February, my grandfather’s death in April, and Bill’s death in May. For an individual who luckily had never needed to truly look at death head-on and grieve, the emotions seemed foreign.
Yet, through it all, I’ve felt loved. I’ve felt the love of a congregation who ministers and witnesses to a community in such a welcoming fashion, and I’m certain that this will continue in the months and years to come.
I’m thankful for the church for taking chance on me. I’m thankful for Bill for mentoring me in the short time we spent together. I’m thankful for Amy for giving me yet another example of strong, female church leadership. I’m thankful for the youth parents for entrusting me with the ministry of their children. And, dare I say, most of all, I’m thankful for the youth who have ministered more to me than I to them in the last seven months.
This isn’t a goodbye message, but rather, shall we call it, a “see you later.” I’m moving to my next phase in life, doing so both reflective on the past yet beautifully tainted with excitement towards the future. Thank you for walking this journey with me so far, and although our paths may be splitting at a fork in the road, I’m excited for our journeys to come.
With love, Luke
Published in The Tidewater News on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 By: Charles Qualls
Normally when I am choosing a necktie on a Saturday, it’s for a happy occasion. You want it to match of course. This time, though, I was also taking into consideration respectfulness and the somber feel of an untimely death. This week we lost our friend, Bill.
Bill and I were within a year of being the same age. He was a fellow pastor and a friend. Once, almost 25 years ago, we were in the same class of the North Carolina Baptist Young Leaders program. It was a whole year of study with likewise younger ministers who had been nominated to learn and train together.
We’d laughed not too long ago that no one seemed to consider us “young” anymore. From 2004 until 2008, we had been in the inaugural cohort of the brand new Doctor of Ministry program at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology. Bill was a gifted student. His papers always seemed to set the bar for how the professors graded our group.
We always met up at Baptist gatherings and were sure to visit over the intervening years. Lately, we saw what each other was doing via Facebook.
All the while, we were serving churches in North Carolina, Georgia and lately back up this way with me in Virginia and him down in Durham. Bill and Leigh’s kids were grown up and educated. They were both married and a couple of grandchildren had arrived.
The news that he had a brain tumor had just fluttered across social media a few weeks ago. Bill had undergone a surgery that portended a chance to treat the remaining tumor with various strategies. He and Leigh, supported by their church, appeared ready to battle this. The tumor had other ideas, though, and grew back with a vengeance. He died last week.
So it was that Elizabeth and I took off for Durham. The visitation was on a Saturday before his Sunday memorial service. This was our one chance to do the hard thing and express our heartfelt condolences to his beautiful family. As we drove the 2.5 hours, I thought about my own mortality. You do, I think, when one of your peers dies too early.
Every bit of the training and experience I have says that a pastor is supposed to be a steady and reassuring presence when around a bereaved family. I have done hundreds of funerals during my career. I always go to that emotionally neutral “place” inside me, so I can offer a solid, professional self to a hurting family.
Yet this time, I was there in the role of friend and not pastor. Elizabeth and I were at the very front of a growing line of greeters as the reception opened. Mine was the first chance to offer words of presence, support and love. To lend quick thoughts that impart strength. Instead, I felt a tear roll down my cheek as I simply took Leigh in my arms. As I moved on in front of Matthew and Kaylee, Bill’s now quite grown children, I felt a tear or two roll down the other side as well.
OK, I wasn’t openly weeping. But, I hadn’t fought off the tears either. My friend is gone.
All the faith in the world, and all the hope in a bright eternity, doesn’t blunt the immediacy of loss. The palpable tragedy of 56 being far too young to say goodbye simply hung in the air. The height of sadness was that he was just embracing being a grandfather, and now these kids will mostly have to know of him through the stories they’ll hear.
On the way back, we listened to a station that was doing a countdown of the 100 greatest Beatles songs. I love The Beatles. We stopped off at a BBQ place for a comforting dinner. There are two ways you can eat when you are fighting your emotions. One is to roll the food around with your fork without taking much in. The other is to inhale the whole plate of familiar flavors almost mindlessly. Let’s say that an unfortunate pig was sacrificed for my comfort that day.
Life challenges our strength, and it tests what we believe. Still, I hold strong to the notion that Bill now knows in ways we do not yet. He sees through eyes of clarity, face to face with a Creator who has embraced him. The rest of us will limp on, far the better for having had him all too short a time.
THE REV. DR. CHARLES QUALLS is senior pastor at Franklin Baptist Church.
Church family, here are just a couple of updates for and from our youth group:
Thanks to everyone who came out to our fundraiser at City Barbeque last month. Combined with donations that we received, we raised right at $200. We’re very thankful for everyone’s attendance and help in spreading the word!
Save the date for a couple more fundraisers! We will be having a Bake Sale on Sunday, May 19 following worship. If you would be willing to donate baked goods, talk to Robin in the church office or me.
We’re also going to be a having a percentage night at Sweet Charlie’s ice cream on Highway 54 from 5:00-10:00 pm on Friday, June 7. There will be fliers for this fundraiser on bulletin boards around the church.
If you have not paid your second Passport deposit of $50, we need this ASAP. If you are in need of any financial assistance for Passport, please talk to me as soon as possible and we can get that taken care of. The final $100 deposit will come down the road in some time, but for now, you can give your deposit to either me or Robin in the church office.
Finally, we have a date set-up for the rescheduled Lock-In. It will be held on Friday, June 7 until the next morning. More details to come!
As always, if you have any questions about youth activities, give me a call.
Rev. Jeanell Cox, Chaplain, has been with us the past two Wednesday evenings to help us in the grieving process in the passing of Pastor Bill. Some may have been providentially hindered and not able to attend or would like to attend a day-time counseling session also. Rev. Cox will be here on Monday, May 20 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Please come if you are interested.
Growing Thru Grief and Grief Oasis
Within the exhaustion of grief, most of us are looking for a space that offers resources, community, education, and hope.
- Growing Thru Grief and Grief Oasis are FREE drop-in programs open to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one.
- Growing Thru Grief is offered every Tuesday (except major holidays) from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1200 West Cornwallis Road, Durham.
- Grief Oasis is offered every Tuesday (except major holidays) from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2016 Mt. Carmel Church Rd., Chapel Hill.
There are brochures for Grief Oasis in the vestibule, outside the hospitality room, and in the church office.