Panther Pic…is what brought us all together on Sunday January 17th. The Panthers played the Seattle Seahawks and both teams received cheers, jeers, and prayers. This was our second watch party bringing together First Baptist congregation members and friends from our community. As we have talked about getting to know friends in our community who are currently experiencing homelessness, I am often asked about suggestions for topics of conversation. This Sunday was really easy as everyone talked about the teams, coaches and quarterbacks and their ability to carry their team to victory.

As much as it was easy and fun, there was so much more to it. After the game was over (and the Panthers had won), our friends were taken back to the Interactive Resource Center and the food was put away, I went to the local Hallmark store to buy some birthday cards. The store clerk asked me if I had watched the football game. I could have answered “Yes” and headed out the door, but instead, I took the time to explain to her that my church had opened its doors to our community friends for Worship, Chili and to watch the football game together. Her first response was a puzzled look and then she said “how cool.” I then found my spirit agreeing “yes, very cool.” I am excited to be a part of a faith community that is willing to meet people where they are and break cornbread together. We gathered around a rather large screen with strangers who are becoming friends. It would have been way easier to have either watched the football game at the IRC and at our home with the company of people we know well, but where is the adventure in that idea. I hope the Carolina Panthers continue to win and am even more hopeful that we will continue to forge friendships.

Panther Pic 2

Kim Priddy, Associate Pastor of Missions