Saturday, December 19, 2009

Future PBBC

It was a wonderful sight to see our children from Sunday school leading the service with much enthusiasm on Sunday December 13th. Special thanks go to Sayama Ta Blu Moo (Naw Doh); Sayama Elena Dingrin and Sayama Paw Eh and those who helped train these children. Ther are the future PBBC. We are glad that the seeds have sprouted into little plants which need much nurturing so that one day they may grow into trees bearing the fruit of the Gospel and spread them to the people in the neighborhood and eventually to the surrounding areas shining their Gospel lights. We pray for God’s choicest blessings upon them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fellowship with Korean Friends

On November 8, 2009 (Sunday), a group of twelve Korean high school students from New Jersey United Christian Academy, Allentown, New Jersey, together with Deacon Kim and Deacon Yu led by their chaplain Rev. Dr. Hyung-Jin Park came and worship together with us at the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Park, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, delivered a message based on Malachi 1:11 He shared with us that there is pluralism in the Church where Christ’s followers worship one God and praise His name in their own languages. His sermon aptly spoke to PBBC’s congregation which is diverse in terms of ecclesial tradition and ethno-dialect. After the sermon, the students sang some praise songs, followed by a performance by two female

Next, Andrew Chung, a student leader, presented a love gift they had collected out of their own pocket with love and compassion to pastor of PBBC, Dr. La Seng. How touching and inspiring it was! God as the Spirit is always at work between congregations and among all of us. We, the PBBC members believe that God never forsakes us when we are in need of various assistance which includes financial help for the church’s total ministry, and the establishment of a broader ecumenical relation among Christian Churches in the United States of America. We thank God for sending us these young people. A potluck dinner followed after the service, and it was enjoyed by all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

PBBC Patron among the recipients of 2009 Mission Outreach Award

On October 10th 2009, a Mission Outreach Banquet was held by Philadelphia Baptist Association at The Drexelbrook (Drexel Hill, PA)at which the 2009 Mission Outreach Award was given to about 20 recipients. One of the recipients was Aunty Nu Nu Zan, one of the Patrons of Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church and a member of First Baptist Church, Lansdale.

What an honor it is to have one of our own people receiving this award for the selfless, outstanding work done to help people who are in need, and let God’s love shine through deeds! May we be able to follow the worthy example set by Aunty Nu Nu Zan - as Christians we must not only preach but live the Gospel.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I asked God......

I asked God to take away my pain. God said, It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience. God said, Patience is a by-product of tribulations, it isn't granted, it is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness. God said, I give you blessings, Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain. God said, Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow. God said, You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me. God said... Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God Won't Ask

  • God won't ask what kind of fancy car you drove. He will ask how many people you took to church who didn't have
  • God won't ask the square footage of your house. He will ask how many people you helped who didn't have a house.
  • God won't ask what social class you were in. He will ask what kind of "class" you displayed.
  • God won't ask how many material possessions you had. He will ask whether those material possessions dictated your life.
  • God won't ask what your highest salary was. He will ask if you trampled over any people to obtain that salary.
  • God won't ask how many promotions you received. He will ask what you did to promote others.
  • God won't ask what your job title was. He will ask did you perform your job to the best of your ability.
  • God won't ask how many promotions you took to chase a dollar bill. He will ask how many promotions you refused to advance your family's quality of life.
  • God won't ask how many times you didn't run around on your spouse. He will ask how many times you did.
  • God won't ask how many degrees you had. He will ask how many people you thanked for helping you get those degrees.
  • God won't ask what you did to help yourself. He will ask what you did to help others.
  • God won't ask how many friends you had. He will ask how many people you were a friend to.
  • God won't ask what you did to protect your rights. He will ask what you did to protect the right of others.
  • God won't ask what neighborhood you lived in. He will ask what other neighborhoods you visited.
  • God won't ask how many times you told the truth. He will ask how many times you told a lie.
  • God won't ask about the color of your skin. He will ask about the color of your heart.
  • God won't ask how many times your deeds matched your words. He will ask how many times they didn't.
  • All of us will stand before God someday... and everything we did, said, or thought will all come to light. I don't know about you but I have some things I want to make right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You Say .... God Says ....

You say: "It's impossible"
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
You say: "I'm too tired"
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: "Nobody really loves me"
God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 13:34)
You say: "I can't go on"
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: "I can't figure things out"
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: "I can't do it"
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)
You say: "I'm not able"
God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)
You say: "It's not worth it"
God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)
You say: "I can't forgive myself"
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
You say: "I can't manage"
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
You say: "I'm afraid"
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)
You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated"
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say: "I don't have enough faith"
God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)
You say: "I'm not smart enough"
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: "I feel all alone"
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spiritual Vitamans A to z

Anxious? Take Vitamin A.
"All things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)

Blue? Take Vitamin B.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name." (Ps 103:1)

Crushed? Take Vitamin C.
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Depressed? Take Vitamin D.
"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." (Jas 4:8)

Empty? Take Vitamin E.
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name." (Ps 100:4)

Fearful? Take Vitamin F.
"Fear not, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God."(Isa 41:10)

Greedy? Take Vitamin G.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put unto your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Lk 6:38)

Hesitant? Take Vitamin H.
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'" (Isa 52:7)

Insecure? Take Vitamin I.
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13)

Jittery? Take Vitamin J.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Heb 13:8)

Know nothing? Take Vitamin K.
"Know this that the Lord is God, it is He that made us and not we ourselves." (Ps 100:3)

Lonely? Take Vitamin L.
"Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Mt 28:20)

Mortgaged? Take Vitamin M.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9)

Nervous? Take Vitamin N.
"Never, no never will I leave you nor forsake you." (Heb 13:5)

Overwhelmed? Take Vitamin O.
"Overcome evil with good." (Rom 12:21)

Perplexed or puzzled? Take Vitamin P.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (Jn 14:27)

Quitting? Take Vitamin Q.
"Quit you like men and women, be strong. (1 Cor 16:13)

Restless? Take Vitamin R.
"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. (Ps 37:7)

Scared? Take Vitamin S.
"Stay with Me, and do not be afraid; for the one who seeks My life seeks your life; you will be safe with Me." (1 Sam 22:23)

Tired? Take Vitamin T.
"Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isa 40:31)

Uncertain? Take Vitamin U.
"Understand that I am (the Lord). Before Me no God was formed, nor shall there be any after Me. (Isa 43:10)

Vain? Take Vitamin V.
"Vexed with unclean spirits and they were healed every one." (Acts 5:16)

Wondering what to do? Take Vitamin W.
"What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic 6:8)

eXhausted? Take Vitamin X.
"Exercise thyself rather unto godliness." (1 Tim 4:7)

Yearning for hope? Take Vitamin Y.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you art with me; your rod and your staff-they comfort me." (Ps 23:4)

Zapped? Take Vitamin Z.
"Zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Saya Thomas is Married

All members of PBBC are very happy to know that Saya Thomas Cun Bik is married and are looking forward to see him back in Philadelphia with his beloved wife. We pray for them to have a happy and blessed wedded life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Remembering Uncle Penn

Uncle Spencer Zan, affectionately known by everyone as Uncle Penn, was one of the founding fathers of Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church. From the inception of PA-NJ Burmese Christian Fellowship to the day this Fellowship became Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church, Uncle Penn had always supported it wholeheartedly. He had never failed to be present at all monthly prayer meetings of the Fellowship.

Even though Uncle Penn was there at every meeting when PBBC was at its embryo stage, guiding and giving valuable advice, it is sad for us that he did not live to witness PBBC officially become a church in November 2008 as he went to be with the Lord in February that year.

Although he is not with us today, he is always remembered by all founding members of PBBC who will carry on his legacy to generations to come.

In remembrance of him, a tribute by his family is reproduced below.

Spencer Zan – A Family’s Tribute

Spencer Zan, an ethnic Karen, was born in Burma in 1923 during the British administration. He was a devoted son, dependable brother, loving husband and eventually a doting father. In the latter part of his life, he became an uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather. Through all his roles in life, his greatest love and the one he drew his inspiration and strength from was his Heavenly Father. In everything he said or did, Spencer tried to honor and bring glory to God, and much of it was manifested in his passion to help those who were helpless. Where there was someone in need, Spencer was there. Where there was a crisis to be resolved, Spencer was there. In all these things, he looked first and foremost to God.

As his life unfolded it became clear that he was destined to do great things. He was a polarizing force against a brutal military regime, so much so that he had to escape to another country for the sake of his family. He planned their exodus from Burma like a military commander, but that of God’s army. In all these things, he looked first and foremost to God.

While in neighboring Thailand, Spencer continued to help those in Burma who were persecuted for their political beliefs. Using the long arm of his influence he was able to help countless people looking for safety and asylum. His work bore fruit, not in the context of fame or wealth but in the context of witnessing to others on the saving grace of God and enabling others to do His work. In all these things, he looked first and foremost to God.

At the end of his days, Spencer knew in his heart that he had woven a tapestry of love, faith and hope throughout his family tree and that his legacy would be carried on by his children and his children’s children.

He had his memoirs published to be read by generations that never knew their own history. Spencer touched and shaped many lives, especially those of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The dawn of 2008 saw Spencer ailing and growing weaker each day. It has become evident to us now that Spencer knew his time on this earth was coming to a close and that his earthly body was giving way to time and hardship. In the final days, he must have suffered greatly but did much of it privately and silently in the still of the night. He never wanted to be a burden to anyone, especially his family.

We shall miss him deeply, but it is great comfort and joy to know that he has his final reward for a job well done and is walking in the presence of his Heavenly Father. There is a peace in our hearts to know that in his most difficult time, he looked first and foremost to God.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Judson Day at PBBC

On Judson Sunday, July 12, 2009, the nearest Sunday to the day Rev. and Mrs. Judson landed in Burma, PBBC had a special service to commemorate the day. The messa
ge that day was given by Rev. Rothang Chhangte, who has recently been appointed liaison for refugees from Burma, at the National Ministries, American Baptist Churches, USA. This was her first visit to a Church from Burma after her appointment. She took the text from Ephesians 3:15-19, the prayer by the Apostle Paul for the Ephesians. This was the favorite passage of Rev. Judson in his mission in Burma where there had been many trials and tribulations he had to face. This prayer gave him strength to never give up. Likewise she urged the church members, especially the refugees, to remember this prayer and gain strength, trusting God to provide for them in their needs.

Emerald Cribb shared some highlights of Rev. Judson’s life, his mission and accomplishments in Burma. Rev.
Adoniram Judson and his wife Ann, landed in Burma from India on July 13, 1813. After persevering for six years, on June 27, 1819, his first Burmese convert, U Naw was baptized. Since the majority of the Bamar people are Buddhist, the Gospel spread very slowly. However, among the Karens, Kachins, Chins and other ethnic people who are adherents of traditional beliefs the G
ospel was joyously accepted. On May 16, 1828, Ko Tha Byu became the first Karen convert who was zealous in evangelizing his own people. The Judsons left a living legacy to the people of Burma. They brought us the “light”, and because of this we no longer live in darkness. Dr. Judson gave us the first and best translation of the Bible that took him 21 years to translate. He also completed the first English-Burmese Dictionary which was published in 1849 and is still use by many in Burma.
The Baptists in America owe their formation into a denomination to the Judsons. Their mission work also awakened mission consciousness of a fledgling nation. In May 1814, the Baptists organized “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for
Foreign Missions” in Philadelphia. The Judsons and Luther Rice were the first missionaries appointed by this Convention to Burma.
Now the ‘fruit’ of Rev. Judson’s labor have arrived not only in Philadelphia but have also spread all over North America. This is our common history but it is much better known by the Burmese Baptists than by the American Baptists evidently because the Myanmar Baptist Convention designates the Sunday nearest to the day of the Judsons’ arrival in Burma (July 13) as Judson Sunday when all Baptist Churches in Burma and those in the US hold special services to remember and honor the memory of Rev. Adoniram Judson for his selfless dedicated mission work in Burma. The Baptists of Burma wherever they may resettle will always treasure the priceless legacy of God’s love and redeeming grace left by the Judsons.

After the service, Rev. Rothang talked with the new Americans from Trenton and Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia to learn about their problems and see how she could render help.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Is your name in the Book of Life?

What is your name? It is usually one of the first questions people in America will ask. But, I know that for some coming from the refugee camps in Thailand or from Burma , it isn’t an easy question to answer. I know some who were given names by a UN worker that didn’t understand or wasn’t too concerned about listening to the name they were being told. So now, the person has a name that means nothing to them. Then there is the confusion when Americans want first names, middle names and last names when Karen and Burmese usually just have a name. Even in English, Paw Wah (White Flower) sounds like a single thing. But in American style, Paw (Flower) becomes the first name and Wah (White) becomes the last name whether we like it or not.
The Bible tells us that names are important. God’s name is described as “majestic” or sacred and Jesus’ name is above all names and at the sound of it, we will all bow down. And as for us, Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be more desired than great riches.”
Lately, I have helped some Karen and others from Burma find some jobs here in Akron , Ohio . We have the usual struggles filling out the forms including getting the names all straight. But finally when the boss offers the job there are smiles all around. For some, they have told me this is the first job they have had so it is very satisfying for me to see them be able to start working. So far, I am also very happy to say that as Proverbs says, those in these jobs are making “a good name” for them selves and for the Karen people. A few people started a seasonal job on a farm. The farmer was so happy that he told a vegetable packaging plant about the good workers from Burma . The packaging plant owner told another business and a couple more are working there now. This business has recommended another place that needs workers so we will go there next. In the meantime, a roofing company will be hiring 6 more people. At a time when the economy is bad and in Ohio where the economy is supposed to be worse than other places, it is exciting to have these jobs open up. It also shows the power of making a “good name” for yourself and your people.
Even more important than making a good name for ourselves where we work though, is keeping our name in the “Book of Life”. No matter what the UN official wrote on our form, the Lord knows our name and knows all we think and do. America is a land of opportunity but also a land of temptations. Once getting a job and getting some money, then we need to make good decisions about how to use that money and how to use our time. Looking around, we can see many in America who make poor decisions and then struggle with problems in life. So may we bring honor to the Lord and make a good name for ourselves by working hard and keep our name in the Lord’s Book of Life at the same time.

Duane Binkley

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let Your Light Shine

Light in the summer months is longer and brighter in this part of the world. It uplifts our mood, helps the trees and plants to grow, and reminds me of some of Jesus’ sayings. When he referred to darkness and light, it was not just the sun, but often a reference to Himself and Son of God. And when we are connected to Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we truly reflect what Jesus is all about to others. Matthew 5:16 says: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” And, as he was often referring to himself, Jesus said” I am the Light. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the Light of Life.” As His disciples, may our lives shine with Christ’s love for the world.”

Rev. John Craig Murrow
Associate Executive Minister
Philadelphia Baptist Association.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dr. Dingrin La Seng - Interim Pastor

PBBC held an installation and consecration service of its new Interim Pastor, D
r. Dingrin La Seng, on Sunday June 28, at St. John’s Baptist Church in Philadelphia. The service was led by Rev. Dr. Yahalaylayla and Rev Saw Ler Htoo both history makers of PBBC. Rev. Saw Ler Htoo gave a charge to the pastor and Dr. Yahalaylayla led the consecration prayer.

Dr. Yahalaylayla, Head of Department of Practical Theology at Karen Baptist Theological Seminary in Insein, first started the prayer meetings for folks from Burma at different houses during his stu
dies at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary now Palmer Theological Seminary. After he finished his studies and left for Burma, there was a brief break. But in 2001, when Rev. Saw Ler Htoo arrived in the US as Pastor of Calvary Burmese Church in Washington DC, he, together with the PBBC founding members resumed the Fellowship with people from Burma residing in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey with regular monthly prayer meetings at different houses.

Regular Sunday worship services began in 2006 led by Thra Lincoln up till July 2007 during which refugees from Thai-Burma started arriving to resettle in US, and the Fellowship grew to a congregation.

When Thra Lincoln finished his studies and returned to Burma, God sent Saya Sanno Thuan who was studying at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia to take over from him and served as interim pastor from July 2007 to February 2009. At that time Dr. La Sen
g was a fresh graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. degree. When Saya Sanno Thuan left to pastor a church in Maryland, the elders of PBBC approached Dr. La Seng to be interim pastor.

He is first and foremost, a scholar interested in research studies, writing books and articles on theology. However, without any hesitation, he accepted the proposal as he perceived it to be God’s commission to him - to serve his people in this capacity besides his other pursuits.

May God grant him wisdom and guidance in leading and developing the spiritual growth of PBBC.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Special honor to the children and fathers

June 14, was Children’s Sunday and PBBC held a special service led by our children. Since they are the future leaders of the world as well as for the PBBC, we have to nurture and teach them to know the Word of God, and participate in the worship service. Our Sunday school teachers do their best with the knowledge and skills they possess to achieve these objectives.

More than 40 children took part in the service: ushering, singing songs, reciting scripture verses, collecting offerings, etc. As a church with ethnic diversity, it was very heartening to see children from different ethnic groups such as Chins, Kachins, and Karens from Philadelphia and its suburbs and those from Trenton, New Jersey, worship together in one spirit.

Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that children must always be given a special place because our Lord Jesus said, “I tell the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me.” (Matt. 18:3-5)

June 21, the following Sunday was Father’s Day. As it was done on Mother’s Day, fathers were also honored with special remembrance of Dr. Batunkyi, our patron, who passed away in May. There were tributes paid to him by some of the church members. Saw Myat Oo spoke about the precious time given by Dr. Batunkyi to the church and community, Tablu Moo expressed how he worked tirelessly for all refugees from Burma regardless of their ethnicities and promised to help these people as much as she can, Saw Noah remembered him as a person who showed concern for his people through the conversations they had whenever they met. Emerald Cribb shared his love of God, his patience, support and advice given to the church elders in establishing PBBC. The message for this special day was given by Saya Thomas Cung Bik spotlighting on the life of Dr. Batunkyi.

On this occasion, the church not only honored fathers who were present with us but also fathers who had entered into glory. The memory of Uncle Spencer Zan and Dr. Batunkyi who were the founding fathers and pillars of PBBC were honored by a presentation of certificates of recognition accepted by their beloved spouses. Proverbs 10:7 says, “The memory of the righteous is a blessing.”

These two fathers will always be remembered by other founding members of the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church, and their good deeds will be kept alive for generations to come.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


On Sunday, May 24, 2009, members of PCCF (Philadelphia Chin Christian Fellowship) led the worship service at PBBC. More than 70 people attended the service. The photos in the slideshow are from the service.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

PBBC Youth & Kids to DC

lThe weekend of May 16th/17th was an enjoyable one for the youth of Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church. They left Philadelphia early on the morning of Saturday May 16 and touched in at Virginia Beach where they had their morning snacks and went sightseeing. It was a pleasant morning and all of them enjoyed the outdoor country surroundings and the ocean breeze.

From there they continued to Washington DC. In the evening they participated in the Food Fair event of Calvary Burmese Church selling sticky rice in packets and bamboos. All proceeds were donated to the host church since it was solely a trip to promote friendship and fellowship with members of that church. They spent the night at the residence of Saw Kapi and Naw Show Ei Tun, all twenty or so of them. It was really a fun night all of them sleeping under the same roof.

On Sunday 17th morning, they went sightseeing in Washington DC, visiting Lincoln Memorial, Independence Monument and the vicinity of the White House. It was an exciting experience for them to visit and see all the historical and world famous sights in person. Later in the afternoon, they were joined by some of the elders of Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church in the service at Calvary Burmese Church. PBBC youth led the service with testimonies given by San San Tin and Beston Min, special songs by Ka Mwee Paw and the Sunday School children. Choir in Karen and Burmese were also rendered by PBBC. The message was given by Chan Nyein Aung. The scripture text was taken from the book of 1 Kings:24, and the topic was on the choices made by Prophet Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, and their obedience. Elijah when asked by God to go to Zarephath made the right choice by obeying God and thus saved from starving. The widow also chose to obey Elijah when he told her to make him a cake with the little flour left. By doing so she and her household had food for many days. Like them we as Christians when faced with hardship and problems, we should choose to follow the bidding of God in order to live a fulfilled life.

The service program included a special message from Saya Saw Si Hai of Vision Trust (Burma Chapter) whose headquarters is in Colorado Springs, CO. USA. He spoke about the cyclone Nargis victims, especially children, in Burma and how we can help them. He also emphasized on how we should nurture the children so that they become good leaders in the future.

The service was closed with benediction pronounced by Rev. Marang Yaw.

Everyone who attended the service, hosts as well as guests, went home happy and spiritually refreshed after an enjoyable fellowship.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers' Day Held at PBBC

As in the US, where Mothers’ Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, churches in Burma also celebrate it on the same day. The Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church as a Burmese speaking Church in the US also celebrated Mothers’ Day on May 10th which falls on the second Sunday in May.

To honor mothers young and old, lay men members of the Church led the service with message given by Saw Noah, testimony in tribute of his mother by Saw Beston Min, and songs sung by young members honoring the mothers.

While Saw Eh Klay Klay was singing mothers attending the service were presented with gifts, and mothers over 60 years old were specially recognized. Saw Min Oo expressed his thanks to his mother with a very emotional song. Exceptionally touching was a song by our young Sunday school girl Hsaw Hsu Klay.

On behalf of the mothers, one of our patrons Daw Mie Mie Chit said a word of thanks and gave some advice to the young people.

After the service, as usual on special Sundays, there was potluck dinner with curries cooked by fathers, and fruit and ice cream desserts prepared by the young men. It must have been so delicious that everything was polished clean.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Perdue Farms Incorporated and PBBC

On April 18th, Saturday, Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church organized a meeting between Marta Velez, HR Representative of Perdue Farms Incorporated in Georgetown, DE, and the community of refugees from Burma. More than 15 showed up at the meeting and four refugees from Albany, NY, traveled to Philadelphia especially for this event.

The meeting went very well with Marta introducing herself and Perdue to the attendees and explaining, with the aid of audio visual, the nature of work applicants will be performing at the plant.

A lot of interest was demonstrated from the part of the refugees. After the explanation, questions and answers, they immediately filled up application forms. About 8 persons completed their applications which were submitted to Marta. There are still some more applications to be completed and sent later.

After the applications are processed, Perdue will arrange a trip for these applicants to visit Perdue plant, explore Georgetown, and have lunch there during the following week just to give the applicants a taste of what they will be experiencing if they take up the jobs offered.

If any applicant who is hired, decided to relocate to Georgetown, Perdue will help pay the expenses for relocation, they will be accommodated in a hotel for 30 days before finding their own place to live. They will also be given one meal a day at the plant. An allowance of $400 will be disbursed to each person hired for expenses to help them settle in. This will be deducted in small installments from their paychecks. The company will also help them find proper accommodation.

Even though we at the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church would like to see many of our members in our Church every week and to stay in Philadelphia, we have to consider their wellbeing and livelihood. Since there are no guarantees of promising jobs in the area, we had to take the opportunity extended by Perdue.

We hope that this will be the first group of people from Burma to start a community in Georgetown, Delaware.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

God Sends Guests to PBBC

We had an unexpected blessing in the person of Rev. Pawlu from Sitarpu (Myitkyina), Kachin State, to share a very inspiring message that prepared us to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, March, 29. The scripture he chose was from 1 .Cor. 11: 25-26, and Matt. 26:29 , with the topic “In remembrance of Me”. At the last supper while observing the Passover with his disciples, Christ said to them to do this as often as they could in order to remember Him. To remember what he had done, His ministry, His crucifixion on the cross for us, who are sinners. Why did Jesus want us to do this? As human beings, we have the tendency to forget if we do not see each other often, or do things frequently. Therefore, so that we would not forget Him, Christ established this ordinance for us. He wanted us to obey Him and focus on Him. He sacrificed Himself in the place of animals to connect men with God; not only for forgiveness of sins but also for men to have a new and fulfilled life that nobody could take away. Christ did this through grace. Eucharist is celebrated in gratefulness to God for His grace. We are to do this till He comes again because it signifies our hope to see Christ in the future, which is our testimony to the world. It is important that we prepare ourselves during the week we decide to participate in the Holy Communion by examining ourselves, and thanking Him for freeing us from the curse of sin through enduring pain for us. He bore the pain to banish the pain we have. Participating in the Eucharist can also heal us spiritually as well as physically.

On the same Sunday, Rev. Maran Yaw, Pastor Emeritus of Calvary Burmese Baptist Church, Washington D.C. administered the Holy Communion. Our heartfelt thanks to both Sayagyis who traveled from Maryland to lead the Communion Service.

On March 5, Palm Sunday, Thra Samson, Rev. Than Than Htay, Thramu Lah Bwe Htoo, Sayama Cing Lum Piang, and Sayama Nar Law Bo from OMSC, Connecticut, visited our church and led the worship service.

Thra Samson gave a message on Palm Sunday, reminding us that the multitude that shouted “hosanna” when Jesus entered Jerusalem were the same who shouted “crucify Him”. We, as human beings are fickle minded and tend to go with the flow according to what goes on around us. Unless we focus on Jesus who suffered for our sins, we are likely to stray from Him, and would be no better than those who crucified Him. In these hard times, instead of dwelling on our misfortunes, inconveniences, and difficulties to make ends meet, it is important to know that Jesus is with us because He is alive. We serve a living God.

PBBC has been blessed with other guest speakers. We had Saya Peter Zin from Boston visiting us in April, and from Burma, Rev. Dr. Hsar Mu Htaw and Dr. Gabriel on the first Sunday of May. Rev Dr. Hsa Mu Htaw led the meditation and Holy Communion, while Dr. Gabriel said a special prayer for us.

These guests came and had fellowship with us without prior arrangement showing that God loves us by sending guest Ministers to share His message.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Our Sunday School Children leading on March 22, 2009

On March 22, our Sunday school children led the worship service and those who could not make it missed a memorable performance by these young people. We witnessed the fruit of the effort of the teachers led by Ta Blu Moo, Paw Eh and Po Si Moo in Philadelphia and Trenton. The children offered to God their talents by giving short talks, reading and reciting scripture texts, singing songs, saying the offertory prayer, and collecting tithes and offering. It was very gratifying and heartening to see these children undertaking tasks assigned to them without any inhibition, thus setting a good example for the elders.

The first speaker was Naw Kahmiya Htoo of Trenton. She based her talk on Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” She urged the young people to be like Jesus who was obedient, helpful to his parents, and loving God’s Word.

The second speaker was Daniel Saw. He read from the book of Proverbs 4:7-18. He gave a testimony about not heeding his parents’ words, nearly met with an accident but saved by the hand of God. He related that one day on his way to school just as he was stepping on to the road, a car came by. He felt a touch on his shoulder that made him stepped back. He realized that it happened because he did not pay attention to his parents’ warning when crossing roads. But he believed God saved him that day, and urged his friends to be obedient to their parents and elders.

Eh Hsu Klay, the last speaker, talked about young Samuel quoting 1 Samuel 3:10 where Samuel answered,” Speak for your servant hears.” He did as he was told by Eli, and he listened to God. Like the boy Samuel we have to listen to our elders and do what they tell us.

That afternoon we were glad to have Kathy, Cindy, Allie and Francesca, volunteer Sunday school teachers from Church of the Saviour in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Another volunteer, Pam couldn’t make it that day. They are leaving for Chengmai on April 22nd to conduct a training program for about 200 Sunday school teachers from Karen villages in that region, and came to observe and learn about the Karen people before their departure. Their trip is coordinated by TKBC (Thailand Karen Baptist Convention). Our prayers go with them.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

PBBC Youth on Sunday March 15.

The Sunday of March 15th it was the turn of PBBC Youth to lead the worship service. We were very inspired by the participation of our young people who offered their time and talents God has endowed them with setting a good example for the much younger generation. The chairperson was Saw Aye Sein, chairperson of the Youth Committee, and an encouraging message for the young and the old was given by Naw Heh Nay Moo, a charismatic youth leader, who put heart and soul as well as gestures into her message reminding us about the power of God that He puts within each and every one of us to be used for his glory.

She gave examples of two young men in the Old Testament. Both of them had God’s power in them ever since they were in their mothers’ womb because God had plans for them to save His people, the Israelites. One failed to maintain God’s power in him by giving in to the enticements of his heathen wife, thus causing his destruction. “No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been born a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven then my strength will leave me and I shall be like any other man.” (Judges 16:17)

The other constantly held on to the power if God within him through out his life. He was loyal to his master who bought him, and above all his God. He was always on his guard like a soldier on sentry duty. When lured by the wife of his master, he held on to God’s power and overcame the temptation. Genesis 39: 8-9 states,” Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in the house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” She urged the young people to run away from temptation like Joseph. Since our enemy, the Devil, is everywhere and powerful, and speaks in a soft sweet voice, we can easily give in to his wiles. But if we let the Holy Spirit dwell within us and work in us, we can certainly overcome any temptation. Therefore, let us keep the power of God in us and defeat our enemy.

PBBC was happy to welcome an unexpected guest, Saya Peter Zin, from Boston who was on a visit to friends in Philadelphia. He gave words of encouragement.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Special Events at PBBC on Sunday, March 8th

The Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church had a worship service to commemorate Global Day of Prayer for Burma on Sunday, March 8. Saya San No Thuan led a special prayer for the people inside the country as well as those in the border areas, and for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and political prisoners.

This Sunday, March 8th was filled with surprises at Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church (PBBC). First of all Saya San No Thuan had a very big surprise when the Church honored him as he is moving to Maryland during March this year. It was not a farewell ceremony but a special event to thank him for his endeavor to build up PBBC. Secondly, an unexpected inspirational message was given by Saw Nay Blu,a lay member of the Church. Thirdly, a special song for Saya San No Thuan was sung by the youth of Trenton who sang in Burmese. The Karen accent made it sound beautiful and sweeter to the ear.

The service was led by the men’s group and the message by Saw Nay Blu was about the disciples caught in the fierce storm in the Sea of Galilee, and how Jesus calmed the sea. He focused on the fact that Jesus not only saved his disciples on their boat but also other fishermen and their boats by calming the entire sea. This indicates the fact that Jesus came down to earth not only for the Christians and the Israelites but also to save the entire world. These other fishermen would not have known that this was the act of Jesus since they also would have prayed to their own gods and supernatural beings for help and believed that their prayers were answered by these gods. The bottom line is that not all people know Jesus and His salvation, so as Christians, it is our responsibility to carry the message to the whole world as Jesus commissioned us in Matt. 28:19-20.

Immediately following the service, Saya San No Thuan spoke a little about how he was grateful to the Church for supporting him throughout the entire period he ministered here and promised he would be back every now and then to participate and help the Church to grow more. Saya San No Thuan in closing gave the Church three important L’s as a present to keep and to implement:

Love – Love the Church as your own family and give all the best to it.
Listen – Listen to each other; there may be problems they have, opinions they may want to voice in order to work together as a family.
Lead – Try to take leading roles in ways that one can. Not to be a follower only but also be a leader.

These words will be posted everywhere possible for all to remember and put into practice. After that Saya San No sang “You Lift Me Up”, a song dedicated to all in appreciation and gratitude for the support he received.

In her speech honoring Saya San No Thuan, the Church secretary Emerald Cribb said that he would still be considered our Adjunct Pastor and be called upon for advice, suggestions, and help. The big surprise for Saya San No Thuan came when members of the Church presented him with a Sail Boat Statuette with the words of Isaiah 40:39 inscribed on the sail. He was also presented with garlands and gifts by the Women Group, Youth Group, Sunday School children, members from Trenton as well as by individuals while the men’s group sang a song.

The evening continued with lighting of candles on a birthday cake for Naw Mindy Saw and Saw Daniel Cribb for their birthdays on the 7th and 8th respectively. After the ‘Birthday song’, Saya San No said a prayer for them as well as for those who celebrate their birthday in March. A lovely fellowship dinner of “Mohinga” prepared by the women group led by Naw Mu Lwai Htoo was served following the service.

It was a memorable evening attended by more than 60 members from Greater Philadelphia and its suburbs, Trenton and Baltimore. A group photo was taken after the service.

God is so great. Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

PBBC On March 1st.

The First Day of March and the Activities of PBBC

The weekly Women Service of PBBC was held today at the residence of Saw Beston Min and Naw Paw Eh at 1:00 p.m. Thramu Heh Nay Moo gave a message about God taking care of us no matter what the situation is.

After the prayer meeting, all who attended proceeded to St. John Baptist Church for the 3 p.m. worship service. Today’s worship program was to be led by our brothers and sisters from Trenton but due to unforeseen circumstances they regretfully informed us about their inability to undertake it. Therefore, the Women Group took on the task at the last moment.

Thramu San San Tin led the meditation urging us as believers to be on the alert for false prophets lest we mistook them for the real ones and follow them. We also have to beware of the signs of times. If not, we would lose the chance to be with Christ when He comes for us at His second coming.

It was also encouraging to hear Naw Mu Lwai Htoo giving testimony about God’s abundant blessings in her life in front of the congregation for the first time since she is a lady of very few words. Back in Burma, she had never participated in any worship programs. Congratulations to her for having the courage to set good example for us.

We are grateful to all participants in the worship program. May the Lord bless each and every one of them.We are also grateful to our brothers and sisters of the Lutheran Ministry for donating loaves of bread and other foodstuffs that are distributed after the service

Monday, February 23, 2009

Constitution and Bylaws.


This Constitution and Bylaws are made to:
1. Preserve and secure the principles of our faith.
2. Preserve the liberties of each individual member of the church.
3. Ensure freedom of action of independence from any religious body or organization.
4. Provide for orderly conduct of internal affairs, in dealing with others, and of governing church members.
We do hereby adopt this constitution and solemnly pledge ourselves to be governed by its provisions. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Article I
Name and Location
The name of this church shall be Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church. The address of the church is presently located at 1232 Tasker Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148. The Church shall have full power and authority to change its location.

Article II
Polity and Affiliation
The government of Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denomination control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world mission, this Church voluntarily affiliates with the Philadelphia Baptist Association, American Baptist Churches U.S.A in its national, state, and local expressions.

Article III
The purpose of this Church is to glorify God by obeying the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). The process is designed to produce disciples of Jesus Christ, which involves at least the following four categories.
1. Worship - (Celebrating) "To love God with all your heart..."(Matt. 22: 36-40)
§ To be inclusive and show equal concern to the other ethnic groups.
2. Ministry- (Caring) "Love your neighbor as yourself..."(Matt. 22: 36-40)
§ To help new migrant families and new comers from Myanmar meet their physical and spiritual needs.
§ To maintain our cultures: languages and customs.
3. Evangelism- (Cultivating) "Go... and make disciples..." (Matt. 28:18-20)
§ To introduce the Good News to all people.
§ To support the missions and ministries in Myanmar.
4. Discipleship- (Communicating) "Teach them to observe..."(Matt. 28:18-20)
§ To edify all church members to be apostles of Jesus Christ.

Article IV
Core Statements of Faith
1. The triune God of the Bible, who is eternally one God in three persons (Mathew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14). This one, triune God is most clearly revealed to us in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (john 1:18, Hebrews 1:1-2).
2. The Good News of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and salvation from sin and death for fallen humanity by grace through faith in Him (Romans 10:9-10, Ephesians 2:8-9).
3. The Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, as the divinely inspired Word of God, the final written authority and trustworthy for faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
4. The sovereignty of God realized in the Lordship of Christ over all creation, and the call to proclaim the gospel and make disciples of all nations in the power of the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the day of Christ’s return and the making of all things new (Matthew 28:118-20).
5. A common unity with believers in Christ everywhere as His one true Church, while celebrating our distinctive heritage as Baptists (Ephesians 4:4-6). These distinctives include an understanding of the local church as autonomous with regard to its government, and composed of believers who have been baptized by immersion upon credible confession of their faith.
6. The church gathers regularly to worship, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, to edify one another, and to reach out to the world around us (Acts 2:41-47).

Article V
Section 1. Admission of Members

Membership in the church may be attained by the following methods, upon the recommendation of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons and the majority vote of the church in any of its regular business meetings and in one of the following manners:
1. By scriptural baptism by immersion after profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
2. By transfer of church letter from another Baptist church.
3. By a statement of faith of their prior experience of conversion and scriptural baptism in another church.
4. By a personal interest in Christian faith by any person who is not baptized yet.
5. By reinstatement to the church membership after having been inactive members when they meet requirements of active membership.
6. By associate membership for those who hold membership in other congregations but desire to participate in the life and mission of this congregation. They have all the privileges and duties of membership.

Section 2. Rights of Membership
Every active/resident member shall have the right to participate in the following matters:
1. The annual budget of the Church,
2. The disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Church, the merger or dissolution of the Church,
3. Acquisition of property, and amendments to the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws of the Church.
4. Members in good standing shall have the right to a voice and vote in all church transactions and shall have the right and privileges to full participation in the life and work of the church.

Section 3. Termination
Members shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons:
1. Death.
2. Transfer of membership to another church.
3. By personal request of the member.
4. Being inactive to the church for 18 months but thirty days notice must be given. However, the board of deacons shall inquire with Christian concern of this person’s present relationship to the church first.

Section 4. Orientation of New Members
Candidates for membership and new members need to attend the Church Membership Class to learn and understand the privileges and responsibilities of members to God and the church. It shall be the duty of church members to uphold the Articles of Faith, Constitution and Bylaws, and Covenant of the Church.

Article VI.
Church Covenant
We, the members of this Church, through the grace of God, humbly and solemnly undertake with we said:
To attend the worship services of this Church regularly, using them for the edification of our souls.
To cultivate by prayer and meditation a life of devotion and conservation to God and consciences.
To contribute, according to our ability, to the financial support of the work of this Church and its various benefices.
To maintain, in all our relations with our fellow members, and attitude of spiritual integrity, sympathy, and love.
To aid and assist prayerfully, loyally, and affectionately the minister and those who work with him/her in the witness of this Church.
To order the life in our homes so that they may be truly Christian and dwelling places of God, and to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
To bear ourselves in our social and business inter-relationship in accordance with the principles of Jesus Christ.
Article VII
Nonprofit Status and Liquidation
This church is not organized for profit. Upon dissolution of the corporation, after all debts and expenses of the corporation have been paid, the officers of the Corporation should distribute the remaining assets of the corporation to another entity qualifying as a charitable organization under the provisions of the Board of Trustees of PBBC and by a majority of vote of the church members at a regular or specially called business meeting.

Bylaws of the Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church

Article VIII
Organizational Structure
Section 1. General Structure
The Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church shall be a congregational type of church government. The congregation, in a regular or special called business meeting, shall be the final authority in all matters. Church Officers, the Board of Deacons will oversee all the committees.
Section 2. Church Officers
All church officers must be members of the church in good standing. No officer shall hold more than one office at a time. The officers of the church include: Pastor(s), President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. The Pastor:
1. Qualification: the Pastor/s shall be a graduate of a recognized Biblical Seminary either in the United States or abroad. He shall be a Baptist minister whose credentials recognized by Baptist denomination.
2. Ordination: When a church of life, faith and order shall have called as its pastor a member of this church who possesses scriptural qualifications and as demonstrated by his/her skills and training for ordination to the work of the gospel ministry, and shall request in writing that he/she be ordained, or the Church Council recommends him/her for ordination, a special committee shall be elected to conduct the process of his/her ordination.
3. Pastor’s responsibilities:
(a) These generally fall into the following areas: Preaching, teaching, pastoral counseling, administration, planning, and guiding the church to grow and fulfill its purposes.
(b) Pastor shall lead the church, the organizations, and all leaders of the church in performing their tasks in worship, proclamation, education, and evangelism.
(c) The pastor shall be an ex officio member of all church standing committees, except the Pastor's Selection Committee.
(d) Pastor shall assist the deacons in securing pulpit supply for times in his absence.
4. Call:
(a) A pastor shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.
(b) A Pastor's Selection Committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable pastor and this committee's recommendation will serve as a nomination.
(c) The Pastor's Selection Committee will recommend only one candidate at a time.
(d) The pastor's election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one-week notice shall be given to the members.
(e) An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those present is necessary for a choice.
5. Terms of Service:
(a) The chosen pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated upon sixty days’ notice on the request of the pastor or of the church or unless otherwise mutually agreed. Termination of the office by the church may be voted at a regularly called business meeting. A vote by secret ballot of two-thirds vote of the congregation.
(b) There shall be a written mutual agreement made between the pastor and the church to terminate the call or the completion of a call for a specific term.
B. President:
The Church President shall preside meetings of both the General Meeting and the Board of Deacons. The President is a voting member of the board of Deacons.
C. Secretary
(a) The church clerk shall be elected and be responsible for keeping an accurate record of
(b) all business meeting transactions of the church and preparing the annual report to the Association.
(c) He or she shall keep a register of the names and addresses of the church members, with dates of admission, dedication of children, and deaths of members of the church family.
(d) He or she shall write letters of transfer of membership, prepare written reports of the church, and keep an accurate history of the church.
D. Church Treasurer
(a) The treasurer shall be custodian of all money contributed for the general expenses of the church, for benevolences and for the other purpose.
(b) The treasurer shall also submit a report in writing at the Annual and Quarterly Business Meetings of the Church.
(c) The treasurer's report shall be audited annually by an auditing committee.
E. Financial Secretary
(a) The church financial secretary shall be elected and shall be responsible for seeing that the offerings are properly received, counted, and deposited in the church's bank account and render a statement thereof to the treasurer.
(b) It shall be the duty of this officer to furnish each member of the church a pledge card and envelopes for contribution to church expense and benevolence.
(c) He or she shall properly credit each contributor and their offerings.
(d) He or she shall be responsible for preparing for mailing a quarterly or annual record of contribution to donors.
Section 3. Board of Deacons
PBBC shall practice the single board system of administration. This Church board shall be called the board of Deacons. This Board will also function as Trustees of PBBC.
1. Number and Term
There shall be at least seven members and some advisors for this board. Deacons shall be elected for a term of service of three years as voted upon by the church.
2. Qualification:
(a) A Deacon is to be a person of high morals, ideals, and practices.
(b) A deacon shall demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life; a committed Christian leader and partner of the pastor; supporter and promoter of the church faith, practice, programs, and ministries.
3. Responsibilities and Functions of Deacons
(a) Hold in trust all church property and take all necessary measures for its protection, management, upkeep, and improvement.
(b) Deacons serve as a committee of counsel to assist the pastor concerning the progress and welfare of the church.
(c) Seek to solve any fellowship problem of the church.
(d) Assist the pastor in administering the church ordinances.
(e) Serve as advisory member to all organizations, departments, and committees of the church.
(f) When a Pastor is not in place, the Board of Deacons shall exercise authority for the smooth and efficient running of the Church.
Section 4. Church Council
a. The Church Council shall be composed of the pastor, board of deacons/trustees, chairpersons and secretaries of each church standing committee and two members-at-large from the congregation.
b. The Church Council shall be to recommend to the church objectives and goals; review the coordinated program plans recommended by the pastor, church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities; and to evaluate program achievements in terms of church goals and objectives.
Section 5. Vacancies
In case of vacancy in any office, except that of the pastor and staff members, the vacancy shall be filled by the church at a regular or special meeting as soon as possible after such vacancy has occurred.

Article IX.
Church Committees
All church committee members shall be elected by the church from nominations presented by the Nominating Committee, and nominations from the floor with the consent of the nominee. There shall be a minimum of two (2) committee members with a chairperson. Each committee chairperson shall submit an annual budget request to the Budget and Finance Committee.

A. Nominating Committee:
The Nominating Committee shall be responsible throughout the year for nominating and presenting to the church people to serve in various positions of the church (unless provided for otherwise in these Bylaws) vacated by expiration of term of office, by death, by resignation, or by removal. Each person contacted shall be informed of his or her responsibilities.
B. Music Committee:
This committee will plan and evaluate the music program of the church, in the formation of choirs in the church and planning special musical programs throughout the year. It is responsible for recommending people for the positions of pianist and organist, song leader, and in assisting the pastor with special music in the regular and other services of the church. In the event that a music director is needed as a staff of the church, this committee will look for a qualified person to be recommended to this compensated position, which requires approval by the church.
C. Youth Committee:
This committee is responsible in planning and coordinating youth programs and activities inside and outside of the church. These activities are to be correlated with the activities of the church program organization in attaining objectives set forth by the church.
D. Christian Education Committee:
This committee shall lead the church in developing and implementing an effective education-training programs. Right now we have only Sunday School class for children.
The Sunday School shall be divided into classes and departments as it grows and conducted under the direction of a director for the study of God's Word. The tasks of the Sunday School shall be to teach the Bible; lead in reaching all prospects; lead all church members to worship, witness, learn, and minister daily; provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
E. Women Committee:
This committee is responsible in planning and coordinating women programs and activities inside and outside of the church. These activities are to be correlated with the activities of the church program organization in attaining objectives set forth by the church.
F. Auditing Committee:
The Auditing Committee, elected at the annual meeting of the church, shall audit the financial records of the church at least once a year and shall make a written report of the same to the church at the time of the next annual church meeting.
G. Other committees may be formed as needed by the church.

Article X
The election of PBBC will be held every three years during the annual meeting of the church. Members are eligible to serve two consecutive terms before rotating off for a minimum of one year.

Article XI.
Church Meetings
There shall be one meeting of the whole members an annually which shall be called General Meeting.
There shall be at least one meeting of the Church Council every six months.
There shall be at least one meeting of the Board of Deacons each month.
For General Meeting one month advance notice for the meetings shall be given, for the Church Council meeting, two weeks, and for the Board of Deacons meeting the Chairman can call it with one week advance notice.
In the absence of the President, a temporary Chairperson shall be elected to preside the meeting.
Special business meetings may be called at any time by the pastor or the president.
7. The quorum: At least one-fourth of the members with a minimum of ten people shall constitute a quorum.
8. Voting by proxy or by absentee ballot shall not be permitted.
9. Robert’s Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure of all meetings of this congregation.
10. The following are to make annual written reports to the Annual Meeting each January: Ministers, Church Secretary, Treasurer, auditors, and Chairpersons of each committee.
Article XII.
Church Year

The fiscal year of the church shall be January 1 through December 31 of each calendar year.

Article XIII.

Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be by two-thirds vote of members of the church who are qualified to vote and are present in any regular the business meeting with a quorum to discuss and vote for this matter.

Ratified by action of the church in its business meeting on _March 2, 2008_ .

President: __Sd._ Saw Harold Cribb_

Church Secretary: _Sd._Emerald Cribb_
This Constitution is researched and drafted by Saya Sanno Thuan before it was rectified and confirmed by the EC Comiittee

Saw James Htay's First Birthday

The sky was overcast with slight drizzle and a steady wind made the day chilly but inside the small apartment on Jackson Street in South Philadelphia, on the morning of Sunday February 22nd 2009. where family and friends gathered to celebrate the first birthday of Saw James Htay (Saw Yah Ko), it was filled with warmth from friendship and love.

In fact, for the family of Saw Kyaw Htay and Naw Moo Ko Paw, celebrating the birthday of their child, with thanksgiving service and a birthday cake, was the first time ever even though they have two other older daughters, 13 and 10, who were unfortunate at their time not to have birthdays celebrated because the family was too poor when they were in the refugee camp. Moreover, James being the first boy in the family, the two elder sisters were elated with joy to have their brother’s first birthday celebrated with friends and elders of the Church. It was a pleasant sight to see the family, who never had the taste of freedom, hosting friends in celebration of the birthday of their first son born in the US.

Our God is an awesome God. We should praise His Holy Name for bringing families like Saw Kyaw Htay and Naw Moo Ko Paw to the land of freedom, like the US.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Worship Services and Contact Information

Sunday Regular Service:
St. John’s Baptist Church
1232 Tasker Street Philadelphia, PA 19148

Sunday School:
(For Children)
During Sunday Worship Service

Women’s Service:
1:00pm on Sundays
At different houses

Youth Meeting:
Every other Saturday
At different locations

Contact Information:
For various correspondence,
125 Forest Avenue, Apt. 10A
Ambler, PA 19002
Tel. 267-468-0591

For contributions,
Checks can be made out to:
Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church & mailed to-
414 Fitzgerald Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PBBC Secretary's Report for 2008

Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church
Secretary's Report
January to December 2008

Our God is an awesome God; worthy of praise and adoration. He has blessed and guided PBBC through 2008 with His faithfulness. There have been changes and developments for the church to become stronger under the leadership of Pastor San No Thuan amid his studies and examinations. With God’s blessings he completed the Ph.D. comprehensive examination successfully in October, and is preparing to write his dissertation. We congratulate him for this achievement, and our gratitude to him for his efforts to make the church grow and to obtain the Employer Identification Number (EIN) that enable us to open an official bank account at the Beneficial Bank. There have been changes in office bearers within the Board of Deacons, Christian Education and Youth Committees due to members migrating to other cities. The position of Financial Secretary was also added, and we are grateful to Dim Sukte for accepting the responsibility. For the worship programs to run smoothly, a Program Committee was also formed. It was also a sad year for PBBC as our beloved patron and advisor Uncle Spencer Zan was called to his heavenly home on February 28th.

The pastor and members in Philadelphia ushered in the New Year of 2008 at the home of Saw Myat Oo with members and visitors from Lancaster sharing testimonies and making impromptu speeches, and concluding with the Watch Night service. A rededication service was held on the first Sunday of January with members from Trenton and Philadelphia and its vicinity participating.

We were blessed with guest preachers from Burma as well as from our region: Rev. Hsar Say Moo Gaw and Rev. Samson, Rev. Khin Maung Than, Thra Winnoe Din, Thramu Margaret Shwe from Burma, Thramu Htoo May from Omaha, Rev. Thang Lian Kaap from North Carolina, Rev. John Murrow, Rev. Florence Li, Rev. James, Rev. LerHtoo, and Thra Mu K’Baw from Allentown.

This year saw lay members giving messages and testimonies. Our thanks to Sayamagyi Daw Penelope Thetgyi, Thramu Heh Nay Moo for their inspiring messages and to Daw Mee Mee Chit and Nan Yin Aye for the testimonies they shared about God’s miracle, blessings and forgiveness. We hope for more participation among members to use their God given gifts to encourage and inspire other members young and old.

We were also happy to welcome new additions to three families: James Htay, son of Moo Kho Paw and Kyaw Htay, Michael, son of Nu Bawi and Kep Cung, and Rain, son of Tablu Htoo and Saw Oo. All the three babies were dedicated at the worship service by Pastor San No Thuan.

Special Sundays which are Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Judson Sunday, Bible Sunday, Christian Family Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day were observed by the church with special programs and fellowship dinners. Mothers and fathers sixty years and older were honored with gifts on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively. Judson Sunday which falls on the Sunday nearest to July 13th, the day Dr. Adoniram Judson arrived in Burma, was held with the recounting of his mission work in Burma so that our young people would know the significance of the day, and give thanks for the “Light” in our lives.. To encourage our young children and youth to learn and memorize scripture verses, a scripture recitation competition in Burmese, Karen and English was held on Bible Sunday in August. In October, an impromptu speech competition was also held to promote participation and creativity in our young people. Each family of the congregation was asked to contribute items to celebrate Christian Family Sunday in November. We also celebrated Thanksgiving Sunday with worship service led by Rev. Florence Li followed by a dinner. Members from Trenton led the worship service on the first Sunday of December opening the Christmas season with carols and skits. On the Sunday of Christmas week we had worship through music program interspersed with sermonettes together with a Christmas pageant by the Sunday school children. Rev. Powles and his family as well as some member of St. John Baptist Church participated in the Christmas worship service and potluck dinner and gift exchange program. During the month of December, PBBC youth went caroling to members’ homes in Philadelphia center city, the suburbs, and Trenton. As an outreach ministry, on Christmas Day, we went to have worship services with the folks at Somerdale and Summers Point in New Jersey, which was warmly appreciated by these brothers and sisters.

From September, the Women’s Committee started their prayer meetings every Sunday at homes of members with a view to connect and have fellowship with one another. These meetings are not limited to only women as men are also welcomed.

PBBC choir was invited to sing at First Baptist Church of Lansdale in November and at Willow Grove Baptist Church on Christmas Eve worship service. These were opportunities for our members to have fellowship with members of other churches.

As 2008 has been an active and fruitful year for PBBC with all members young and old participating in the worship programs and undertaking responsibilities assigned to them with enthusiasm and commitment, let us continue to work together with understanding and unity using the talents and gifts God has blessed us to make our church grow more spiritually so that we may truly be witnesses in word and deed and let His light shine through us, and bring glory to His name. May we be His faithful children as He is our faithful Father. Amen.

In His faithful service,

Emerald Cribb
Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church

February 8, 2009