August 14, 2019

Dear CBCC Family,

Is it already the middle of August?! It seems like it was just the other day that I wrote my last update. I guess that just goes to show how quickly the time passes, especially in the summer! Here is what has been happening in our lives and ministry.

First, an update on our family. We have taken time the past couple of weeks to do some family outings. The favorite outing was a trip to Acadia National Park and Sand Beach. We have tried to be more intentional about doing things together as we have been guilty in the past of allowing the busyness of ministry to get in the way of family time.

Last week we had the great joy of celebrating Alivia’s 10th birthday! We are so thankful for her and for her creativity. She had a wonderful birthday and was able to celebrate with most of her family as well as a number of her friends.

In preparation for the impending move in our future Melissa thought it would be a good idea to have a yard sale. I begrudgingly went along with it as I absolutely do not like doing yard sales. It ended up being a good thing though. Not only did we get rid of a number of items, we also made some money! The kids also took advantage of the opportunity and sold drinks and Cookie Whoopies (A chocolate chip cookie sandwich with frosting in the middle).

Big things are happening at our church! The pews are gone and the new chairs are in. We praise God for the progress we are seeing on the sanctuary remodel. The funds are continuing to come in and soon work will be underway to replace the wall paneling and upgrade the electrical fixtures.

Last Sunday we started a new sermon series, “God, Politics, and the Church”. I am praying that God will use this series to help us have a correct understanding of the role of government and how the church should appropriately engage in the political arena. To give you an idea of what we are learning, here is a excerpt from the first sermon, “A Christian’s patriotism to the Kingdom of God should trump their patriotism to America.”

On Sunday mornings during our discipleship time (the hour before the Morning Service), we are learning and working on Gospel fluency. We have been focusing on understanding the Gospel and how it speaks to all areas of our life as well as how we can communicate the Gospel to others. The goal of this time is not just to teach but to do training and discipleship. This has been a challenge for those participating and for me as it is very different from what we had done in the past (traditional Sunday School). There are homework assignments and classroom exercises that are forcing us all out of our comfort zones. While there are some that are still struggling with the change, there are others that acknowledge that the change has helped them to grow and be more intentional in their daily lives.

Here are a few praises as well as some ways that you can be praying for us.

Praises

God’s Generosity – Our God is so generous. As I think about how much He has blessed our family it is overwhelming. He gave his life so that we could be called children of God. He provides for our needs, even
the small things. We get to be beneficiaries and participants in His generosity.
Faithful Church Members – As a pastor it is easy to focus on the people in the church that are not serving and forget to be thankful for those that are faithfully ministering to their church family. As a
church we are truly blessed by those that love the Lord and are excited about serving Him by serving the church.
Friends –I was able to spend time this past weekend with one of my college roommates and the best man in our wedding. It was wonderful to be able to reconnect with him and to have him spend time with my family. Friendships are important. Melissa and I so thankful for those friends that have encouraged us and supported us in the midst of difficulty and uncertainty.

Prayer Requests

Our Church – When a church goes through a lot of change it is easy to lose sight of the mission of the church. Pray that Cambridge Baptist Church in spite of the many changes it is undergoing would love Christ and a have burden for those in our community that do not know God. Pray also for the Pastor Search Team as they prayerfully seek out the next Pastor of Cambridge Baptist Church.
Family Legacy Connection – We will start our “Family Connect” meetings in September. We are excited to start up again after taking a break this summer. We already have some new families that plan to
participate. Pray for this ministry as we work to help families while at the same time transitioning our roles to others.
“This is War” Men’s Retreat – I am looking forward to seeing you all next month! Pray that I will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading as I prepare for the different sessions.
Our Family – Our kids start school this week. Please pray for them and Melissa as they transition out of summer mode and work to get a good rhythm going for the school year.

If you have any questions or you just want to connect with us, we would love to hear from you.

We are praying for all of you and the ministry of Center Barnstead Christian Church and we are looking forward to seeing all of you in September.

Grace and peace,
Sam & Melissa McKeen