You may have noticed my use of that tag line in a few recent correspondences. I love the fact that First Baptist Paducah’s campus is located near the center of life in Paducah. That tag line is a way to celebrate that fact – but it’s much more. It also communicates that we are committed to meeting the real needs of the people all around us.
So that you can mark your calendars well in advance, I want to share with you something happening at our church in early 2019. As part of my upcoming 12-week evening series titled “Don’t Mention It: 12 Things Nobody Wants to Talk About in Church,” which will kick off in January, I am bringing Dr. Benjamin Mast to Paducah. Dr. Mast is a professor at the University of Louisville, where he serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. He is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia-related issues.
Please join us on Sunday, January 13, 2019, when Dr. Mast will be our special guest. The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. From a Christ-centered perspective, Dr. Mast will highlight the power of the gospel for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and similar conditions.
Did you know that Alzheimer’s is now the most feared diagnosis in America? Just the mention of it causes our friends and neighbors incredible discomfort and angst. Who can blame them? When you start talking about memory, communication, language, the ability to focus, reasoning, judgment, and even visual perception, you’re striking at the heart of who we are as people created in God’s image.
Not only are these conditions feared, but most of them take a slow but debilitating toll on the loved ones who attempt to provide care. People with dementia often develop problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments, and even leaving their neighborhood. Many dementias are progressive, meaning that symptoms start out slowly and gradually worsen. As a pastor, it is becoming more and more obvious to me that nearly everyone in our church and our city – at least from a distance – is being impacted by these tough realities.
God has made an unshakeable commitment to never forget His people! As we learn to trust in that promise, we will also learn practical suggestions for how the church can come alongside families and those who are struggling, offering help and hope to victims of these debilitating diseases. On the evening of January 13, there will be time for Dr. Mast to answer your questions about dementia and its impact on personal identity and faith.
A light supper will be served. Reservations are not required. Please plan to join us.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Those are tremendous words of comfort from Isaiah 49:15. I look forward, with you, to learning to stand on that promise on January 13. Please help me get the word out to our larger community between now and then, because you and I are “in the city, for the city.”