Week 9 Update – May 7

Happy Mothers’ Day (week)!

Give mom a call. Order her a gift to be delivered. Postpone that time together, but make sure you make it happen when we are loosed.

This will be the 9th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property May 10th (Mothers’ Day!) or May 17th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website. DVD’s of the Sunday School lesson and the worship service are available in the office during the week.

This Sunday, Duane Hayes will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.

At 11:00, we will begin our worship service.

Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.

Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.

You can contact us in these ways:

  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.

Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.

  • Sunday School – (Youtube and Livestream) 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – (Youtube and Livestream) 11:00 a.m.
  • New Members Orientation (Zoom) – 3:00 Sunday afternoon
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday evenings
  • Mid-week Bible study and staff chat – (Facebook Live) 6:00 Wednesday nights. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Moment of Prayer – 5:00 every Saturday night. Just stop where you are and pray as a family.
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.

Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:

  • You can give online through the website – smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you

The Governor has begun talking about the curve being flattened and a Phase One beginning soon. Let’s just keep praying.

                      Love you all deeply and miss you all terribly!

                                Pastor John

 



Week 8 Update – April 30

How are you doing? I enjoyed a little online rant by one of our members who was absolutely “done” with apps and video conferencing. I won’t disclose her name but I sure shared her frustration.
 
Other states are beginning to open their stores, restaurants, and churches. Virginia is not. We can learn a lot from those churches that are opening and right now that is exactly what our leadership team is doing. There is much to consider. At this time, it does not look like the virus concerns will evaporate all at once. It appears that, when we DO get to meet together again, we will be carefully phasing in our activities. One pastor friend of mine in Atlanta said that they began meeting two weeks ago and their congregation was very agreeable to the strict new COVID rules they were asking everyone to follow (one door for entry, one door for exit, pews roped off to insure safe social distancing, wipes provided in the bathroom with a request that everything touched was wiped down after—including the doorknob, no handshakes or hugs, etc.). As I said, there are a lot of precautions to consider before we begin again and we are doing that now. Suffice it to say, that unless COVID-19 is immediately removed from the earth, changes (in the short-term) are facing us. We will meet them and we will continue to move forward as a church together.
 
This will be the 8th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property May 3rd, May 10th (Mothers’ Day!), or May 17th. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website.
 
This Sunday, Jeshua Branch will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.
 
At 10:50, we will begin our worship time by witnessing the baptism of Tristen Steiner.
 
Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.
 
Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.
 
You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday Evenings
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Moment of Prayer – 5:00 every Saturday night. Just stop where you are and pray as a family.
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you
Barring a resurgence of infection, we may be seeing the light at the end of this tunnel. Please continue to pray for the healing of our world and that God is given glory through Jesus Christ.
 
Love you all deeply and miss you all terribly!
Pastor John


Week 7 Update – April 23

This will be the 7th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. The church will not physically meet on the property April 26th, May 3rd, or May 10th (Mothers’ Day!). Only those essential ministry team members involved in the online broadcasts should come to the church building. The links for both Sunday School and our worship service are available on the church website.
 
This Sunday, Jeremiah St. Clair will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson at 9:45.
 
At 10:50, we will begin our worship time by witnessing the baptisms of Jodie Booth and Arlen Woodbury.
 
Please pay attention to our Facebook pages and church website for announcements.
 
Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.
 
You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Women’s Bible Study (Zoom) – 7:00 Monday Evenings
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you
 
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Philippians 1:3
 
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John


Week 6 Update – April 16

This will be the 6th week of not having worship services, Bible studies, or ministry programs at the church facility. Isn’t that amazing?! One of our members, Jim Kittle, sent me a quote that said: “I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we’d go from Standard Time to Twilight Zone.”
 
Like all of you, I am listening to and following the news and press conferences by our government leaders. They are saying that there are indicators that we may be at the peak of the virus spread. To me, that means that things may begin to get better from this point forward. We pray that is the case.

We will continue to make official decisions regarding physical church gatherings every week (usually on Thursday). We hesitate to cancel more than two weeks in advance because we never know what the Lord may do. We pray He stops COVID-19 immediately and dramatically.

Remember though. Noah and his family stayed in the boat after they landed on Mt. Ararat for 220 more days. They were in the ark for 371 total days. It only rained 40 days and 40 nights. You can only imagine how soft the ground must have been after they landed. The earth wasn’t ready yet to support them. Governor Northam closed the schools on March 12th and issued the stay-at-home order on March 30th. That means that we have been in our arks now for 38 days at the most (March 12 – April 19). Let’s be patient and prayerful.

The church will not physically meet on the property April 19th, or 26th, or May 3rd. We will however, continue to meet online for Sunday School and worship. Those links are available on the church website. Only those essential ministry team members involved in the broadcasts should come to the church building.

Richard Dorman will be teaching the general session Sunday School lesson, this week, at 9:45.

At 11:00, we will have a guest preacher from the IMB that you will not want to miss. Let’s be in prayer now as Dr. Gordon Fort prepares to come and bring us a timely missions challenge.

Please pay attention to our Facebook Pages and click the link to our weekly bulletin on this website for announcements.

Many of our Sunday School classes and ministry groups have begun to meet online. If you desire to be a part of one of these groups, please contact us and we will connect you with the group leaders.

You can contact us in these ways:
  • Call the office – We are keeping the church office open at regular hours during this crisis (757 565 0476)
  • Contact your deacon – If you are a part of a Sunday School class, you should be hearing from your deacon regularly and you should have your teacher or deacon’s contact information. If you are a part of the church family but have not yet become involved in a Sunday School class, you can email me at john.jicka@smithmemorial.org
  • If you are a part of one of our ministries (Sr. Adult, Women’s, Men’s, Children’s, AWANA, Student, etc.) you can contact your ministry leader. If you don’t know who that is, contact me at the above email address.
Schedule – At this time, our regular schedule of ministry is all online.
  • Sunday School – We will broadcast the weekly Sunday School lesson at 9:45 a.m. from the Sanctuary every week utilizing our SS teachers in rotation. Several classes are meeting online in smaller groups.
  • Worship – We will continue broadcasting our regular worship service at 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-week – We will have a Facebook Live chat and Bible study from the church every Wednesday night at 6:00. You can access this event by going to the Smith Memorial Baptist Church Facebook page.
  • Sacred Marriage Bible Study (Zoom) – 6:00-8:00 Sunday Evenings
  • Other – Some of our Bible study groups and SS classes are getting together for additional times of fellowship (Zoom). Contact the church or your SS teacher for the schedule for those meetings.
Offerings – If you are a part of the SMBC family, here are our ways of receiving tithes and offerings at this time:
  • You can give online through the website – www.smithmemorial.org and click “Give” in the top right corner of the screen
  • You can mail it to Smith Memorial Baptist Church, 6515 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
  • You can bring it by the office during office hours – we will keep our distance although it will be wonderful to see your faces!
  • You can contact us (see above for how to contact us) and someone will come and receive it from you

We are closer to the end of this worldwide upheaval than we’ve ever been before. Stay close to Jesus.
Love and miss you all!
Pastor John



Pastor John – Dec. 29

In Our Pulpit Today

Sherry, Mili, and I are away this week. We have been in Tennessee with Sherry’s dad, brothers, and their families. I prayed for you while we were away. I prayed that God would refresh you, bless your family time, and reach your lost loved ones with His lifegiving Good News. I look forward to hearing all about it when we get back together again.
Speaking of that! When I first arrived, I was spending a lot of time with you. I heard your stories, we shared our hearts, what God has been doing, and where we feel like God is leading. I am missing that and I want more of it. I still don’t know some of you really well. You don’t have to feed me. I really don’t need it! How about we meet somewhere for coffee? I want this and if you will be so kind, I’m asking if we can do more of it. Call the office. Sandra will put you in my calendar.
NOW… many of you have talked to me about how much you appreciate Dr. Jeshua Branch, Megan, and their children and how we should have him preach for us. I have had two different opportunities to hear a sampling of his God-given gift in this area and I agree with you. Not only can he preach and teach with excellence, he and Megan are authentic servants of our Lord Jesus. And, their kids are really cool. Here are some of the comments I have heard about Dr. Branch:

• “Jeshua is a real people person and an inspirational preacher. I’m so glad he is back at our church.”- Raynell Brady
• “Jeshua has a genuine heart for people to come to know Jesus. His use of visual aids while preaching effectively clarifies the Gospel for everyone. He is truly a leader for both the young and the old.”- Ron Nicholas
• “He is a passionate and fun-loving teacher and has taught me a lot during my youth group years”. – Madison Courtney
• “Despite being a Cowboys fan, he is a great preacher and teacher of the Word. Proves God can use anyone to do anything!” – Kevin Leppert

Today is going to be a great day in worship. If you are a first-time guest, I’m sorry I missed meeting you. Please come back! Our hearts are with you. We’ll be watching the livestream. We’re praying for you today. We love you, are so thankful for you, and we can’t wait to get back home to you next week. Now listen carefully and do what God tells you today.
 
Pastor John


Pastor John – Dec. 22

Looking Back

The people asked God, “Where is the God of justice? (Malachi 2:17). They arrogantly demanded God to account for His actions and defend Himself. God told them through Malachi, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before Me” (3:1). His answer to their question of “Where was He?” was “Wait and you’ll see.” He’s coming. 

Zechariah expected this promise to be fulfilled. He was one of the few who kept the faith and walked with God in a trusting relationship (as did his wife Elizabeth). The angel Gabriel told Zechariah that their boy would, “…go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). And Zechariah saw his miracle son delivered, his mouth was finally opened, and he praised God unreservedly. “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun (reference from Malachi 4:2) will come to us from heaven… (Luke 1:76-78).

The God of justice came just like He said He would. He was faithful and just to forgive us from our sins (1 John 1:9). He was faithful to keep His promise and He was just to punish sins by laying them on Jesus the Son and punishing them thoroughly on the cross. The debt has been paid in full for everyone who has confessed Christ as Lord. Have you?

Looking Forward

One of our new members shared her testimony with me the other day. Her family was not a Christian one. But, one day some Christians knocked on her door… That’s where it started for Trudy Flamboe and look at her now.

Our 2020 vision is becoming more clear all the time. We are going to turn ourselves outward and become messengers of this Great News and wonderful family fellowship to people who don’t even know they need it yet. We’ve been given an abundance, and much is required of us now (Luke 12:48). 

Three things I badly need to mention to you as we get ready to enter the new year:

• Campaign 2020 isn’t over yet. Our corporate goal is to pay off the debt we owe and get ready for the next stage in this great church’s growth. More information is coming. 

• The Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions Celebration Evening is January 12. Let’s rock the Lottie! Much more information to follow.

• The business meeting for the 2020 budget was so encouraging. God is truly blessing us.

 

I’m so excited. Let’s get ready to roll in 2020. Love you guys. Pastor John

 


Pastor John – Dec. 8

Expecting Jesus

People. We become unbalanced in lots of ways. We swing one way with the pendulum or the other. Being balanced is a challenge for us. We have passionate feelings that drive us. Sometimes they drive us beyond where God
wants us to be. Read more…


Pastor John – Dec. 1

In Our Pulpit Today

I cannot get over what God is doing! I’m sorry that I talk about it all the time. He is bringing people into this church to create a ministry that is going to be very special. Many of you have been holding the fort while the enemy assaulted. Many of you are the reinforcements. And all of you have gifts that God is going to use.
 
Along with you, God has brought BACK to SMBC three former pastors – two youth pastors (John Sumpter and Jeshua Branch) and one senior pastor. God is going to use all three of these men, their wives, and families to minister here and grow us. Today, we have the privilege of hearing the Lord speak through SMBC’s previous senior pastor of 22 years—Dr. Ron Wade. Here are some comments I have heard about Dr. Wade:
 • “He is a great teacher!” (Linda Marquis)
 • “He is a true fisherman…of bass AND SOULS!” (Bryan Courtney)
 • “He has strong leadership skills and has a passion to preach the Gospel. (Betty Watson)
 • “I will be forever thankful for the Wades, whose influence helped direct us to joining the church family at Smith…Best pastor I’ve ever had!!!” (Beth Anne Bisbee)
 
Today is going to be a very good day in worship. I’m so sorry I’m going to miss it. Sherry, Mili, and I will be in Tennessee with my family. But, our hearts will be here with you. We’re praying for you today. We love you, are so thankful for you, and we can’t wait to get back home to you next week. Now listen carefully and do what God tells you today.
 
Pastor John


Pastor John – Nov. 17

Barbara Cava organized all of the meals and several Sunday School classes fed the team. Connie Diakun organized the housing and several families hosted the team. Kenny Heath organized the vehicles and several families offered their cars. Beth and Linda did much of the shopping. Sandra and Melanie handled the details. Al and Ann kept everything looking wonderful. Joey cleared the platform, took care of the technical issues, and led worship for the combined Sunday School sessions. The First Impressions Team made our guests feel right at home. Many of you helped with the nursery and did security watch. So many of you gave generously from your hearts and were willing to say your next “YES” to God. Greg was the Revival Team Coordinator and oversaw the whole thing. And, I got all the credit and a free retreat to the Life Action Lodge. Thank you all for making this a week the Lord could use to change our lives and thank you church for being present (heart, body, mind, and soul).
 
Love you guys!
Pastor John


Pastor John – Nov. 10

Two agendas are in play this week.
 
The enemy would like to use all his schemery to see you distracted and “unable” to be here this week. He would also like to exploit all his little footholds to get you off track for seeking revival. I’ve already seen it. Small things become bigger than they should be. Words and actions become more offensive than they need be. Again, relationships strain for no good reason. Pride obstructs.
 
The devil does not want revival here. Be on your guard and be aware of his tactics. The devil wants to distract and divide. God wants the exact opposite. He wants to spend quality, concentrated, focused time with us – time when we can gaze into His goodness and rest in His presence. God wants to bind us together as a loving family.
 
You and I will make one of the above happy this week…