A Busy March

Brothers and sisters,

The last half of March is going to be a wonderful time here at Hope Valley Baptist Church. I want to be sure to touch on just a few of the things we have coming up!

First, during morning worship this coming Sunday, March 17th, the former pastor at my home church, Dr. Glenn Phillips, Jr. will be preaching for you all. Glenn is the pastor that I most remember growing up in Goldsboro. He is the one who baptized me, catching me when I slipped and fell as I was coming back up out of the waters. He and Scott, my youth minister, helped me discern my call to ministry. Most recently, he is the one who preached at my mother’s funeral. He is a truly good man and I am excited for you all to get to hear from him on the 17th.

Then, on Sunday, March 24th we will be celebrating Palm Sunday and participating in the 2024 CROP Walk. During morning worship on that Sunday we will celebrate the arrival of Jesus in the Holy City, though we will also take time to remember what a whirlwind of a week he would have—triumphal entry on Sunday, crucifixion on Friday, and resurrection the next Sunday. After that service, starting at 2:30, the Durham CROP Walk will celebrate its 50th anniversary as people from all over the city and county come together to march in solidarity with those struggling with hunger. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather with members of our wider community and remember that we can do incredible things together.

The rest of that week, we have our two special Holy Week services. On Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm we will be having our hand-washing service over in the sanctuary. The hand-washing service is designed to remind us all of Christ’s simple assertion—that he came to serve, not to be served. By taking that time to wash and dry each other’s hands, we imitate our Lord. Then, on Friday, March 29th at 7:00 pm, we will have our Good Friday service, again in the sanctuary. Good Friday is always an interesting day in the Christian calendar. On the one hand, we mourn the fact that Jesus was killed. On the other hand, we hold on to hope, knowing that there is a resurrection awaiting both him and us. So come out both nights and worship with our church family.

Finally, on Sunday, March 31st we will come together to celebrate Easter once again! On that Sunday, we will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and the fulfillment of God’s promise to both Jesus and us—that all who believe do not come under judgment, but pass from death into eternal life. In addition to our usual celebrations, we will also be celebrating the baptisms of two new members of our church! Mark your calendars for that Sunday—to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and to welcome a new brother and sister in Christ into our church!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben