Letter from Pastor Brent


FBCR Family,

Each year the FBCR congregation sets aside a few weeks for reflection. We reflect collectively on who we are as a church, and we reflect individually on how we relate to the church at large. Because we, as humans, tend to default to the pragmatic this period of reflection, which we often call “Stewardship Season” seems like nothing more than the practical process of funding the operations of our organization. Once each year you hear from FBCR leadership asking you to support the church financially. This year, I would like to invite you – to invite us – into a season of reflection that goes beyond the pragmatic. Yes, the way FBCR stewards its resources is one facet of our consideration in the weeks ahead, but there are several others worth our contemplation.

From now through Sunday, November 7, 2021, I want to invite our faith community to consider broadly what it means to live in community together. Toward that end, we will highlight nine different facets of community, nine ways by which our community takes shape. Those nine areas are:

  • Polity
  • Mission
  • Caring
  • Financial
  • Risk
  • Workload
  • Voice
  • Wisdom
  • Membership

To aid in your consideration we will release a brief podcast-style reflection each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of the season. Each reflection of roughly 5 minutes will introduce one of these facets of community, pose a couple of questions for your contemplation, and suggest an action item to help you participate fully in the life and community of FBCR. The reflections will come to you by email and will be available on our website at rochesterfbc.org/stewardship, where you will find the message available in text, playable audio, and downloadable audio for listening on the go. If the last two sentences seem like another language to you, worry not – just click the link in the email, then the highlighted message at the top of the page.

Soon you will receive in the mail (also available in the foyer and on the Vitality Table on campus) a resource that will aid us in our reflections – a response card – provided for you to indicate potential areas of service you might be interested in. The card also allows you to pledge your financial participation and support for the 2022 budget year if you should choose. That card may be returned via the offering baskets on campus, mailed to the church office, or submitted via scan/image to by November 7, 2021.

For reasons unknown to us, God has chosen faithful community as a vehicle for God’s redemptive work in the world. That community though, is not built or maintained without intentionality. Will you join me in a season of reflection on the shape of the community we call First Baptist and on your participation within? May God bless this season with insight, energy, and a renewed sense of our call to be together in important and meaningful ways!

Grace & Peace,

Rev. Brent Bowden, pastor

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