Written by Anthony Moujaes
Two United Church of Christ ministers serving the Community Church of Vero Beach, Fla., are the featured preachers Dec. 16 and 23 on "Day 1," the weekly nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program. The married couple, the Rev. Robert T. Baggott and the Rev. Casey Baggott, has pastored the 2,400 members of Community Church UCC church together for nine years and believe the program and its mainline Protestant views provide the right place for a UCC voice.
"I think both of us believe that the mainline voice and the message is important for people to hear, to learn about justice and living the faith instead of the talk about it," Robert said. "We're told the mainline [voice] is going down, and we don't believe that."
Robert's sermon airs Dec. 16, the third Sunday of Advent, and is based on John 3:7-18. Titled "Getting There," the sermon reflects on John the Baptist asking his listeners to do something great. A week later, Casey's sermon airs Dec. 23, the fourth Sunday in Advent. It's titled "Learning to Focus," and references Luke 1:46-55 on Mary's response to God's message about her pregnancy. The sermons will be posted to the Day 1 website shortly after they air.
The couple traveled to the Day 1 studios in downtown Atlanta six months ago to record their sermons, along with a 5-minute devotional video and a one-on-one interview for the Day1 website.
This is the first time the couple readied sermons for the radio show. Day 1 producers approached them about it last winter, and Robert says they hope to return to the program again next year. Each sermon presentation includes an interview with Robert and with Casey by the Rev. Peter Wallace, executive producer for Day 1. The interview includes a discussion on Community Church of Vero Beach's surrounding community and its core values.
"To be chosen to preach on "Protestant Hour, it felt like a continuation of an opportunity to preach the good news," Robert said. "I enjoyed that because it made a good impact on me when I was younger."
Day 1 has been broadcast weekly for more than 67 years, formerly as "The Protestant Hour." It is distributed to more than 200 radio stations across America and overseas. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media based in Atlanta. Listeners can tune in to Day1 radio on one of its affiliate stations, or listen online at Day1.org. A link to each sermon will be e-mailed to readers of the UCC's KYP the week prior to each broadcast.
For more information, call toll free 888-411-DAY-1 or check the program's website.