November/December 2020
Featured Articles
Holiday Giving
Happy Thanksgiving
Don't Wait Until Thanksgiving
Our Very Own Medical Hero
Domestic Violence Awareness Conference
Mortgage Liquidation Letter
Sunday School News
A Miracle on Wheels
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
From Lament to Joy
Sunday School Christmas Program
Why Can't Christmas Be All Year Long?
Tax Tips
Happy Birthday, Lady Renee'
Parents' Corner
Thanksgiving Word Search
Christmas Word Search
Bible Study,
Family Meetings &
Corporate Prayer
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Please watch the Teller and Sunday Announcements for information about Tuesday Night Bible Study. 

Prayer Ministry

Join us for Corporate Prayer, Monday through Friday mornings, 6:00 am to 7:00 am, and on Tuesday evenings, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Call Number: 1-202-800-7729

Weekly Services
Online Worship Service and

Sunday School


Sundays at 7:45 am and 11:00 am

Online Sunday School is available for all ages every Sunday at 9:30 am

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Contact Us

The People's Community

Baptist Church

31 Norwood Road

Silver Spring, MD 20905


Phone: 301-384-2601

Fax: 301-989-2242


Pastor's WelcomeTop

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. John 1:9 (CSB)

"As good as God has been to me, I can't afford not to bless His name." Those lyrics, and others like them, have jolted me out of many a pity party. They've raised my "thankfulness" quotient and I find myself in the midst of a praise party. Perhaps you've experienced the same. We have far more for which to give God praise than for which to give Him another petition. Who's not aware of the absurdities in our world, the difficulties in our communities and the uncertainties in our future? However, if we do a fact check, I believe we'll recognize that our blessings exponentially exceed our burdens. If we can't think of anything else for which to be thankful, there's always Jesus. In the present darkness in which we live, let's be thankful for His gift of Light.

The beloved disciple and apostle, John, chooses not to introduce Jesus by way of His ancestry or birth. Rather, He presents Him as the Word, the Life, and the Light. Describing Jesus, he wrote, "the true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world." John wants everyone, for all time, to know that Jesus is the Light of the world.

These few words in John 1:9 give us many reasons for which to be thankful with respect to this Light. First, let's be thankful for a genuine Light. John identifies this Light as "the true light." The apostle, James, penned "every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights...." Among the most prominent of buzzwords in use today is virtual. There are virtual meetings, parties, dinners, and classes. Everything seems to be...virtual. I choose to shy away from using that term too often, especially with reference to our worship services. This is because of its meaning: "being such in power, force, or effect, though not actually or expressly such" ( In other words, virtual is something that feels, looks and sounds real, but, in fact, is not real at all. Well, there's no virtual light here. This Light is true... authentic... the real deal! Read more >>

By Jacqueline Dennard, Social Action Ministry Director

The Annual Montgomery County Holiday Giving Project provides Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, gift cards, and toys for Montgomery County residents in need. The People's Community Baptist Church (TPCBC) will again participate in the Project, which is coordinated by the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. A coalition of schools, churches and nonprofit organizations refer the names of families in need to a centralized database. Then, based on where the family lives, they are directed to the appropriate distribution location. TPCBC is committed to serving more than 500 families living in Zip Codes 20904 and 20905.

We also assist members of our church family who are in need, but who may not have been referred to the database. If you need support this holiday season, please contact Jacqueline Dennard at:, or call the church at 301-384-2601.

All Thanksgiving Baskets include a SHARE package, which is the traditional Thanksgiving meal, and may also include a grocery store gift card, an additional food package, or a combination of the two. The Christmas giveaway for families with dependent children in the home may include a food package, and a Christmas gift or a gift card, depending on the donations the church receives. Giveaways for households with adults only may include a grocery store gift card, a food package, or a combination of the two. Read more >>

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

Because of the pandemic, Thanksgiving celebrations this year may be a bit different from those of the past. Yet reasons for gratitude still abound. Whether celebrating with loved ones in person or virtually, may hearts overflow with thanksgiving for God's countless and immeasurable blessings. And may His grace sustain us all until we can resume once again the Thanksgiving traditions we know and love.

I know some folks who only thank the Lord on Thanksgiving Day.
Now, I'm not trying to judge, nor trying to tell folks when and how to pray,
But if you will give me this chance
Here's what I would like to say...
I find great guidance in Psalm 107.
And I kind of believe the words of this Psalm
Will bring one closer to going to Heaven.
Just verse one of Psalm 107 makes the point I'm making understood.
It says, and I quote,
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."
Do we, so often, take for granted the blessings that He gives us?
Do we feel that there's no need to pray 'cause everything is alright with us?
Now, I'm not "getting on your case,"
'cause I'm just as guilty, too.
But don't you agree that the admonition in these words
Gives one hundred percent guidance
To me and you?

Dr. Michael Coleman, an emergency medicine physician at Sibley Memorial Hospital, was recently featured in a Bethesda Magazine article about local front-line workers fighting to save the lives of those battling COVID-19. You can read the full article here.

We thank Dr. Coleman and all front-line workers for their dedication, hard work and sacrifice. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe, healthy and strong.

By Alice Ellison

When you think of your early years, what comes to mind? It might be things like being drenched by water from a fire hydrant on a hot summer day, giggling with friends, biking around the block with your siblings, or eating crabs with the whole family. Or you may be among the many people who do not have these lovely childhood memories, or who have darker memories that crowd out the happy ones.

Most of us can recognize what trauma looks like. When we think of trauma, we often think of momentous, life-changing events. We think of horrific instances of physical or sexual assault, car accidents, natural disasters, 911 and COVID-19 -- events that divide a person's life into "before" and "after." These are the experiences that often plague victims in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. 

By Anthony Rodgers

Greetings in the Strong name of Jesus, our Christ!

As the apostle, John, wrote to his dear friend, Gaius, "I pray that you are prospering in every way" (3 John 2). At the beginning of 2019, we presented to the congregation a challenge and an opportunity, namely, to liquidate our two mortgages by the end of 2020. A Mortgage Liquidation Committee (MLC) was formed, which outlined a strategic plan for achieving this objective. By doing so, we would further answer God's call to impact and influence lives through the Gospel, while increasing our economic capacity for Kingdom advancement.

We realize that due to unanticipated circumstances caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have experienced some setbacks in 2020. However, in God's Kingdom setbacks most often are setups for divine comebacks .... Amen! Despite these lingering circumstances many of you have completed your pledge commitments, for which we are grateful. To God be the Glory! Others of you have faithfully given in accordance with your pledge commitment. We are equally as appreciative to you for your support. The Lord be praised! Because of our combined efforts, we are very close to paying off the mortgage on our building. We're believing God to help us wipe it out before 12/31/20. Once this goal is accomplished, we will pursue the liquidation of the $1,000,000 mortgage on the land. 

By Ruth Powell, Ministry Director

December 6th marks the start of the Sunday School winter quarter and the beginning of new studies. Listed below are the studies for the Youth and Adult divisions.

Youth Division
9:45 am
Preschool through Grade 5: Lessons from the Gospels; "Stories about Jesus"
1:00 pm
Middle School: Faith Pathways; "The Call of God in the New Testament"
1:00 pm
High School: "Willing to Serve, Ready to Serve, Power to Serve"

Adult Division
9:30 am
Adult Class #1: Faith Pathways; "The Call of God in the New Testament"
9:45 am
Understanding the Bible: "Living Boldly for God: The Books of I and II Samuel"
9:45 am
Bible Studies: "When Emotions Rise/Spiritual Disciplines -- Becoming More Like Jesus"
1:30 pm
Women's Study Group: "Better: A Study of Hebrews" by Jen Wilkin

All classes are virtual. For more information and to get your Zoom link, please send an email to

A Miracle on Wheels
By Edwina Neely

God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 (NCV)

My husband, Bill, accepted God's call to ministry, and we were at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. I have a master's degree in Speech Pathologist and Audiology so I was planning to work while Bill was in school. To my amazement and disappointment, I was informed that Michigan state licensing was different from Virginia, where I had lived before. To qualify for a job in Michigan, I would have to take more courses. In my heart I knew God had a plan, and I began looking for other work. I decided to check on a substitute teaching job and was able to get several positions, sub the entire semester and get full-time pay. When one position ended I would get a call for another long-term position. I was content getting my "PHT" -- putting hubby through. I was thankful and knew God would supply our needs.

Money was tight and winter was right around the corner. Our old car had 230,000 miles on it and was showing its age. The heater had stopped working, and we had to wrap our three children in blankets to keep them warm during the long, cold Michigan winters. The defroster was broken too, and while my husband drove, I scraped ice off the windows so he could see the road. We did not go out much, but we faithfully attended Wednesday night prayer meeting and church service each week. Even though the church was 40 miles away, my husband faithfully fulfilled his pastoral duties. However, we were genuinely concerned about the children getting too cold. Read more >>

By Min. Sharon Prather

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion...For those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' How shall we sing the Lord's songs in a foreign land?" (Psalm 137:1, 3-4, NKJV)

The year 2020 has been traumatic. The COVID-19 virus is ravaging the land seemingly holding the entire world captive. Cases are rising daily. Record deaths are mounting. At the time of this writing, over a quarter million cases have been recorded in America. So many negative events are occurring that I have to ask: How can we celebrate Christmas with joy during a pandemic?

Psalm 137 recounts the lament of the nation of Judah. Captured by Babylon in 536 B.C., Judah was in bondage for 70 years. During that time, the people became homesick. Their tears flowed as swiftly as the rivers where they sat. Yet the Babylonians were oblivious to Judah's plight. Not only did they ask the captives to sing, but they asked them to sing songs of amusement and laughter! "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" the Babylonians cried. But Judah could not respond because of her sorrow. Judah wanted to return home. Read more >>

This year's Sunday School Christmas Program will be a video presentation of the play, "Bethlehem Speaks," on Sunday, December 22, 2020, from 9:45 am to 10:45 am. In this play by Rochelle Pennington, Mary, Joseph, the innkeeper's wife, an angel, a shepherd, and a wise man will all give their first-person accounts of Jesus' birth. Then, through Scripture reading, music, and creative dance, our Sunday School students will share the glorious message of Christmas.

Check The Teller and weekly worship service Announcements in the coming weeks for registration information.

Musicians are still needed. If you are interested, please send an email to

By Edwina Neely

Winnie's bright eyes twinkled as she gazed at the sparkling Christmas lights across the street. Sleigh bells ringing, and laughter of children filled her ears. Then her eyes fell on her mother as she placed her perfect little pecan tarts in the oven. "Oh yummy, can I have one, Mommy?"

"No," Mommy replied. "They are for Christmas, honey."
"Oh! Mommy, why can't Christmas be all year long?"
"Oh, you know the answer to that question, Winnie."

Winnie skipped into the living room and stared at all the beautifully decorated gifts with her name on them. Then she silently skipped back into the kitchen with another question for her mother. Read more >>

By Karen Holmes, Trustee

Non-Taxable Distributions for Taxpayers over 70½ (QCD)

A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a distribution made directly by the trustee of your individual retirement arrangement (IRA) to qualified charitable organizations. Qualifying organizations are those that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose.

Taxpayers age 70½ or older can make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from their IRA - up to $100,000 - directly to an eligible charity. A QCD is not included in their taxable income and counts toward their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) for the year. See IRS Pub. 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for more information about QCDs.

CARES Act changes for deducting charitable contributions made in 2020:
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)

Previously, charitable contributions could only be deducted if taxpayers itemized their deductions. However, under the CARES ACT, taxpayers of any age who don't itemize deductions may take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations. More information about these changes is available on

Parents' Corner
By Edwina Neely

May God's Blessings Be Upon You!!

We are so thankful that Jesus, the Light of the world, is here, and we can have peace and hope in these unusual times. That is why we are using the theme for this time, "A Thankful Heart for the Gift of Light." At Thanksgiving, Christmas and every day of the year our hearts burst with joy because Jesus is our light and our salvation.

In John 1:9 we are told, "The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world." That light was Jesus, He is the Gift of Light and we can rejoice for He has come.

Many times, we take light for granted until the electric power goes off. Then we still automatically flip the switch thinking the lights will come on. Each day God faithfully brings the sunlight, giving us warmth, beauty, and health. This is what we expect each day. We must teach our children to have a thankful heart for Light, and encourage them to stay in the "SON light" -- Jesus' Light. They need to know that when we stay in the SON light, Jesus leads us in truth, in love and in His power. Read more >>

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