March News

Dear Church,

The letter below was recently sent to the Melrose Community Patch newspaper. I thought it would be of interest to those who live outside of the Melrose area since it speaks of how our denomination, the American Baptist Churches of the USA has been an agent of change since its inception. In the present culture it is Good to know that we as a denomination have keenly felt the connection between faith and works. James (the brother of Jesus) wrote in his epistle, James 2:18 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. As we journey through this time of Lent to the Resurrection, let us all strive to show our faith by our deeds!

Dear Robert Burgess, 

I read with interest the letter to the editor posted in last week’s news from area clergy.  As the Redevelopment Pastor at The First Baptist Church of Melrose it is very encouraging to hear how many people in the area have a deep concern for the damage that is caused by intolerance, discrimination and racism. Our denomination, the American Baptist Churches of the USA (one of the over 386 diverse Baptist denominations) has held strong in its adherence to lifting up of all peoples since its inception tracing back to the 1600’s. 

Throughout their history American Baptists have been led by the Gospel mandates to be directly active in the institutions of society to promote holistic and healing change.  The tradition of social outreach and ministry extends back to the enfranchisement and education of freedmen following the Civil War, through frontline advocacy of the Civil Rights Movement, the empowerment of women in church and society, ecological responsibility and the many contemporary issues of justice.  Because of the longstanding commitment to outreach to and fellowship with all persons, ABC of USA today is the most racially inclusive body within Protestantism and will within the next few years be comprised of no racial/ethnic majority group.

The FBC of Melrose walks out their faith principles every Tuesday at their Pantry of Hope, throughout the week with a number of ministries including sewing of dresses for little girls in underserved countries, and on Sunday Mornings as they welcome people from all nations in the three covenant churches that meet in their building from Haiti, the Ivory Coast, and China. 

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (who was an ABC pastor at one point) wrote in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail quoting Amos 5:24, “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” We at the FBC of Melrose seek to bring God’s love to a world in deep need of the cooling stream of mercy and grace and welcome all to join with us! 

Rev. Dr. D. J. Swilling, Redevelopment Pastor, The First Baptist Church of Melrose.

Be Blessed, joyful journeying!

Pastor Dee

ALL ARE WELCOME AT FIRST BAPTIST!!!  We are delighted that you have chosen to worship at First Baptist Church Melrose! We recognize that you have many choices, and we are grateful that you have  chosen to be with us. Our Redevelopment Minister or a member of our Worship Team would be happy to speak with you at your convenience and to answer any questions concerning our church.

THE PANTRY OF HOPE While we will always accept monetary donations, please note that we will be collecting reusable shopping bags during the month of March.  There will be an area in the Coffee Hour room to bring your donations.  Thank you for supporting our clients!

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE will meet on Monday, March 5th, at 7 p.m. to put together Easter baskets for our shut-ins.  Please let Pat Fish know what you would like to contribute to the baskets.  These will be delivered during the month.  We will also watch a video about "The Little Dresses for Africa" project and learn how this organization began and how it operates today.  This group provides pillowcase dresses for little girls all over the world and it's exciting that our church is contributing to a great cause.

THE AMERICA FOR CHRIST OFFERING will be collected during March 2018.  This year’s theme is “Equipping Disiciples” and is based on the biblical text Ephesians 4:11-13.  The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.” This year’s goal is $1,100.  Once again, thank you very much for your generosity!

A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Melissa Williamson for the donation of two sewing machines to our church. These will be used for the "Little Dresses for Africa" project and other sewing needs at the church.

40 DAY LENTEN DONATIONS  Would you like to participate in the collection of clothing for those in need with the 40 Day Lenten donations?  Black trash bags with instructions are available at both entrances to the church.  Please bring the bag back on the Sunday after Easter and the clothing will be donated to a local charity.  Lent began on Feb. 14th and ends on March 29th.   

A BIG THANK YOU to Lisa and Matt Tringali for all the help with the weekly shopping and stocking the shelves for the Food Pantry.  This is a big job and their help is really appreciated. 

EASTER PLANTS  If you are interested in ordering tulips or lilies to beautify our sanctuary for Easter, please fill out the enclosed form.  The cost for each plant is $9.  We will need all orders in by Friday, March 16, or the order will not appear in the Easter bulletin.  Thank you.  

THE WOMEN’S SPRING CELEBRATION will be held on Wednesday, April 11th, beginning at 6:30 PM.  We will have staff members from Housing Families in Malden present a program about the work they do with families to prevent homelessness in the North Shore area, and they are excellent. Please plan to attend and invite your friends.

FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE - We have been invited to join the women's group at Green Street Baptist Church for their annual retreat in the spring at Oceanwood, Maine. The dates are Friday, April 27 - Sunday, April 29, 2018. The leader will be Pastor Janet Leighninger, whom is said to be amazing! The cost for the weekend is $140.00 which includes lodging and four meals.  It promises to be a wonderful weekend of fellowship and fun!  

THE CHIMES  Please note that all future issues of the “Chimes” will be published on a monthly basis.  If you have an article you wish to have published in the April issue, please submit it by Tuesday, March, 27, 2018, to Pam Ross at or call the office at 781-665-4470 ext. 402.  Thank you.

BIBLE STUDIES are held on Tuesday nights at 6:30 PM at 212 Grove Street, Melrose.  The Wednesday morning group will continue to meet in the church parlor at 10:00 AM, weather permitting.  The Wednesday evening group will start meeting again in the Spring in Social Hall at 7:00 PM. 

THE MEN’S GROUP will be meeting on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at 8:00 AM in the church library.  Please bring refreshments to share.  Thank you!

PAPER PRODUCTS FOR COFFEE HOUR  Do you have paper plates, cups, or napkins that you would like to donate for our coffee hours?  If so, you may leave them in the Coffee Hour Room. 

COFFEE HOUR Members of the congregation will be responsible for Coffee Hour during the month of March.