Sabbatical Reflections Part 1: What I Did

This is the first article in a 3-part series about the recent sabbatical experience of CBFNC Executive Coordinator Larry Hovis   As I approached my 18th anniversary in the role of CBFNC executive coordinator, I found myself suffering from tremendous fatigue, brought about by cultural, congregational and organizational change. This change had been taking place…

Friday Feature: A Small Price to Pay

As CBFNC is gearing up for Welcome Ride 2021–Capital to Coast–Larry Hovis, executive coordinator, shares a recap of last year’s ride and what the Welcome House ministry is all about. (This article originally appeared in the January-February 2021 issue of Nurturing Faith Journal.) Like many kids, I rode a bicycle around my neighborhood as a…

Friday Feature: New Options for Church Staffing

Like most churches, CBFNC churches regardless of the size, need more staff resources than the available financial resources. Our current, post-pandemic context will require new staffing models. Dan Hotchkiss is a consultant with the Congregational Consulting Group, made up of consultants with the old Alban Institute. Several years ago, I invited him to North Carolina…

An Appeal to Our Fellowship

Over the past week our nation has processed the horrific, violent images on our screens of the events that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Epiphany – January 6, 2021. I was proud to join other CBF state and regional coordinators in condemning the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol (https://cbfnc.org/blessed-are-the-peacemakers/). I…

Advent Series: Love

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16) I took a quick tour through the Baptist Hymnal (1991) in the sections labeled “Advent” and “Birth.” I was curious as to which words showed up…

Advent Series: Proclaim

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,” (Luke 2:17). Even though we Baptists have learned to join the larger Christian church and observe Advent during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, most of us don’t really wait until December 25 to celebrate the…

Advent Series: Repent

“John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4) Who are your favorite characters in the Christmas story? Shepherds, wise men, the holy family, maybe even Elizabeth or Zechariah? I bet you didn’t name John the Baptist. Yet John is a central character in the…

Advent Series: Prepare

“A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord…” (Isaiah 40:3) In a normal year, our family’s preparation for Christmas involves several elements: Retrieving Christmas decorations from the attic Thanksgiving weekend and adorning every room in our house with Kim’s magic decorating touch. Sharing gift lists with extended family members and making…

Friday Feature: Remembering Robert

From the Nov-Dec issue of Nurturing Faith Journal By Larry Hovis, CBFNC executive coordinator   As I was growing up in the same town as my widowed grandmother who lived with her two sisters, these three women exerted a profound influence on my father, my sister and me. To earn a living, my grandmother ran…