Well hello, friends.

Lead friend here looking forward to talking with you about the excitement that I continue to have as I spend time with God in the Book of Ruth. I hope you are enjoying what the Lord is already speaking through the first chapter of the Book of Ruth. Remember our desire is to see how the triune God will forge friendship within our community of faith so that we are committed to one another and willing to wait for one another even as we deal with the difficulties of life. 

Right now we are preparing to close out chapter 1 and you know that we have already dealt with the problem of pain and how God will raise up mediators or leaders to come alongside us when we are in the midst of pain. I am excited to see how covenant disloyalty has now been translated into covenant loyalty through Ruth as she ministers well to her mother-in-law Naomi. I hope you are noticing some of the theological terms that we have been using – terms like sovereignty, the sovereignty of God, and human responsibility – how those things relate to one another. When we say that God is sovereign we mean that He is the Ruler, He is the Orchestrator, He is the Owner of the universe. God is in complete control, sovereign over His world and I am grateful for that because when things seem to fall apart it never means that God is falling apart. God is always prepared for the situations of life because He is sovereign over every situation in life. Continue to remember that God is sovereign and yet we are humany responsible to serve as mediators of mercy and the grace of God. That is what our hope in God is showing us as we study the Book of Ruth together. 

I also want to challenge you never to think about our mission statement, our vision statement, and our core values arbitrarily. I want you to see how loving God, loving people, and making disciples relates to the Book of Ruth. I want you to examine the Book of Ruth. Show me where you see generosity, which is one of our core values in the Book of Ruth. Show me where you see renewal and accountability, community, and even in one sense evangelism, or spreading a passion for the supremacy of God for the joy of all peoples as some people have said. What does it look like to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. All of these things I think are illustrated even in an Old Testament Book like the Book of Ruth. You can see it if you look for it. I’m challenging you as your lead friend to start looking for those themes in Ruth. Where do you see generosity, where do you see renewal, where do you see accountability,  where do you see community, and what does it mean to take the good news of God’s grace to a lost and dying world? All of those principles are centered or, I believe, or scattered around the Book of Ruth. 

I also want to remind you to be praying for us on an administrative level. As far as administrative leadership and excellence goes, we are in preparation for having our first leadership selection team meeting. This is an old notebook from 2019 with the Leadership Selection Team. I’ve been going through this notebook with Pastor Jeff and Pastor Ray looking back at how you selected your leadership selection team in the past and now we’re preparing for another meeting so that we can get the ball rolling for 2021 and put the right leaders in place that can come alongside the staff to heal and help this community of faith known as Severns Valley Baptist Church. Please pray right now for the Leadership Selection Team and pray for the brothers and sisters who will be called to duty to serve on behalf of this body going forward in 2021 into 2022. So please start praying right now for the Leadership Selection Team.

Also, pray for an initiative that we have been discussing with the staff and that’s an initiative pertaining to soul care. I recently received this book, Equipped to Counsel, by John Henderson. Bro. Henderson serves with a group called the Association of Biblical Counselors and he serves at a church in Northern Virginia, Del Ray Baptist Church. He has written this guide for churches so that we can learn how to do counseling, or soul care, from a lay perspective. I’m looking forward to going through this book because I really pray that God will create in Severns Valley a desire to become a community of friends and a community of counselors who are bent on healing the soul and we can’t help others’ souls without making sure that our souls are being formed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. So God is up to some really neat things in our body. He’s continuing to speak to us through the power of the Holy Spirit, as we study the Book of Ruth together, He’s continuing to administratively put the right people in place so that we can lead together well and He’s also showing us our need for soul care so that we can relate to one another in a God-honoring way. 

I need you, you need me. We’re all a part of God’s family. Let’s trust that God is doing a great work in His church. 

Listen, I will always want you to remember 2 Peter 3:18. It says,

but grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and to eternity.

God bless you, and as always I can’t wait to see you.

Pastor Curtis