First Word


Fall is an exciting time in Starkville, Mississippi. Classes resume. Schedules get into a groove. Seasonal studies and groups get underway at the church. Coffee shops start selling their fall flavors to usher in the season (looking at you pumpkin spice). It a time filled with activity, but it's also a time filled with warm memories of the seasons changing over the years. I've never been partial to any season in particular, but I do find that I'm quite tired of the season we're in by the time it's over. So, as per my yearly routine, I am done with Summer and ready for the Fall. Unfortunately though, by the time you read this...Fall will probably have come and gone, and we'll be looking right at winter. We can thank Mississippi's unique climate for that one. The pumpkin spice will, however, persist.

For this issue of Redefined, we want to take the time to look ahead at what's going on in the coming weeks and months. Tom Jenkins has written about worship at FBC and some of the fantastic events that we have planned for our congregation and our community. Charity Gwaltney has both looked ahead to Fall Festival and back at it's growth over the last 20 years. In addition to talking about upcoming events, we also wanted to talk about the philosophy behind those events.

In the spirit of talking about philosphy, I want to talk a bit about my philosophy surrounding communications, more specifically, church communications. Communications is a big, multi-faceted challenge. We use many different channels to communicate at FBC Starkville (bulletin, video & stage announcements, email to name a few). These channels all accomplish different purposes to various audiences, but they all serve one goal: connecting the congregation of FBC Starkville to the mission and vision of our church. Communicating the dates, times, and locations of events is a low bar to reach. We want to do more than that. We want to communicate the purpose of an event or service that the church offers. Then, we should connect that event's purpose back to FBC Starkville's mission of gathering, growing, giving, and going. Redefined is one of the communications channels that we use at FBC Starkville. I hope that we can use this channel to connect you to some of the important work that's happening behind the scenes at FBC every month. That's why you'll read about FBC Starkville's Foster Care Closet in this issue.

The Foster Care Closet is a small ministry doing enormous work, meeting actual needs in our community. Next, Nathan Taylor recaps two local service projects that ran at the end of this Summer. Note: it's good to promote a thing that we's even better to promote it and then also celebrate it when it's done, which is why we've included those recaps.

Finally, we've included the Pastor Search Committee Prayer Guide. During the September 15 Fall Study, we met as a church family and prayed together for the Pastor Search Committee. We've been challenged by both Dr. Henderson and the committee to not only become more dedicated in our prayer lives but to pray specifically and intentionally for the Pastor Search Committee. I hope this prayer guide will help you do those things.

Fall is an exciting time. Let's look forward to what's coming up at the church and celebrate the work that is being and has been done in our community through FBC Starkville.

Oh, and make sure to enjoy the pumpkin spice while it lasts.

Joshua Rodgers