By Bob Williams
Volunteers are needed for Southern Baptist relief efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to prepare thousands of hot meals and perform flood recovery, tree and debris removal, and cleaning services to restore survivors’ homes. Southern Baptist volunteers bring hope to affected persons through presence, humanitarian relief, emotional solace, and spiritual care (affirming or sharing the Living Hope of Jesus).
Will you serve for a week on one of the disaster relief teams being formed? First Baptist Church of Norfolk undertakes disaster relief activities through the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV). Volunteers may be certified/credentialed Southern Baptist disaster relief (DR) workers or Southern Baptist Send Relief volunteers. All volunteers must either be credentialed as a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief responder or complete a 2.5 online training course to be a Send Relief worker. If you will volunteer, please take one of the following three actions to register for service:
1. If you are a DR worker with current credentials, please register at this website:
2. If you’ve been previously trained in DR, but your credentials have expired, please register at this website:
3. If you have never been trained in DR, but desire to go as part of a team in partnership with Send Relief, please register at this website:
For DR workers who are trained and current, you will be on the first teams deployed and some of you will be asked to provide leadership to those who are untrained and part of Send Relief.
For DR workers who are trained but not current, you will need to complete the online training course at this website:
Be sure to use the discount coupon code SBCVDR so that there will be no cost. You will be placed on teams with both DR and Send Relief volunteers.
For those who have never been trained in DR, you also need to complete the online training course at this website:
Be sure to use the discount coupon code SBCVDR. You will be assigned to a team with SBCV DR. You will be assigned a specific task that is related to the online training. Since you are not fully trained and credentialed (which includes a background check), you will be assigned to a team after the first week or two of response (as part of our agreement with FEMA). Also, you will not be able to operate certain equipment (like chainsaws), but will be assigned other vital tasks within the team. You will be assigned to a team and be expected to follow the instructions and direction of the team leader.
There will be opportunities to respond for many weeks and even months. If you desire to go, we will find a team for you to serve on.
Please be in prayer for:
- families affected
- first responders and National Guard
- all agencies that prepare and plan
- teams and volunteers as they go
We are pleased to announce that to date, First Norfolk has donated more than $11,800.00 toward Disaster Relief response for Southeast Texas/Louisiana relief from Hurricane Harvey. These funds will be used for providing meals for those in need and support for teams serving in our mud-out units helping clean out homes that were flooded during this storm in order to minimize further damage by allowing them to be dried out for future repair.
For further information, contact Bob Williams at RobertFarrisWilliams@Cox.net or call 757-641-4557.
There have been numerous things happening in our church life since the beginning of the year, so below is a summary of major news and events of which we’d like our church body to be aware.
- As a reminder, this is our vision for the next 10 years: “Over the next decade, First Norfolk will raise up hundreds of leaders who will take thousands of people on a courageous adventure of hope. Fueled by power of the Holy Spirit and His Word, we will develop a team transformed by Jesus to radiate His rescuing light into the world. We see our members, like a fleet of lightships in dark and turbulent seas, illuminating the way to peace. We see people captured in the menacing waves of misery finding refuge in the hope that Jesus alone offers through the life-giving love and kindness we shine toward them. We see neighborhoods throughout the seven cities of Hampton Roads transformed by the light of hope we share. We see 1,500 life groups with 15,000 missionary followers of Jesus pulling people from the ocean of hopeless loneliness. We see lighthouse stations with platoons of people starting ten campuses in Hampton Roads and planting twenty new churches around the world, shining the light of truth and hope for those buffeted by the storm.”
- Parking updates:
- We are adapting well to the parking changes that took place last fall.
- We are identifying current challenges and working on a solution.
- Shuttle pickups happen from 7:15 am to 1:15 pm on Sunday at three locations: the Cross Roads Center, the HRT lot, and the Interstate Commerce Center at Fortis College.
- We ended our 21 Days of Prayer journey on Feb. 4, but we still ask that going forward you continue to pray for our church, our nation, and our world. Read prayer points and prompts here, and continue to share your prayers on social media for First Norfolk and the advance of the gospel using #firstnorfolkpray.
- This Sunday and Wednesday, the left lane of Newtown Road will be closed in both directions between Center Drive and Princess Anne Road/Kempsville Road. Please adjust your travel time accordingly. Find more information and see a map here.
- On April 16, we will gather along with hundreds of guests to celebrate the resurrection at the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University. We will have on exciting gathering at 10 am. Look for more details in the coming weeks. Begin to invite your friends and neighbors for this special worship gathering!
FAQs about Campus Catalyst
We welcome questions about Campus Catalyst and First Norfolk Advance. The most common questions we have had so far are about the second campus location. As you know, we have identified this as one of our strategic objectives for 2017. We don’t have much new information as the research and planning process is still in the early stages; however, we wanted to answer some basic questions:
- Where will the location be?
We don’t know yet, but we have been looking at two location possibilities. Last Sunday, Pastor Eric shared in worship that “the door has closed” for one of these locations. We are continuing to investigate the second possibility.
- When will it begin?
Originally, we had the goal of starting with a soft launch of the second campus on April 23, the week after Easter. Without having a location at this time, however, that time frame is not practical. We want to do this right and not rush into starting something that isn’t ready. We also don’t want to miss the opportunity to reach people, so we are diligently working on the plans for the new campus. We do not have a date at this time.
- Who’s preaching?
This has not been decided, but Pastor Eric will be delivering a message to all locations — either live in person or live via video — much of the time. Again, we are thinking and praying about what is best for the entire church.
- Who’s going to the new campus?
No one has been asked to go at this time. We have developed a leadership training process for equipping leaders for all locations. The first round of this training is happening now with a group of people. This will be rolled out to additional groups in the near future. We do not have a timeline for beginning the process of selecting a core team to start the second location, but we are working on it, and will know something soon.