Round Table 2020 Recap!

Round Table 2020 Recap!

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00:06
[Music] foreign [Music] so [Music] is the last just say last okay last round table of 2020 yeah just yelling last at it that's the last the last round table of
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2020 um one thing we wanted to do is sort of a take uh take off of last week um i wouldn't say necessarily a part two because we're talking about some different things but sort of under the same umbrella of leadership and changes and that being on everybody's mind it's a change that we changes that's one of those words that we don't like to use in baptist church the baptist's favorite word is change but but doing it responsibly and doing it in the will of god and praying the will of god be done in our church so it's a bit of a history lesson tonight and then also sort of as we look
01:16
into the future we uh we sort of end our last round table looking ahead and seeing what all god has in store for this church which we are excited about talking about so pastor neil um are you excited you know it's uh both apprehensive and excitement at the same time because uh even though i'm the one who initiated this whole thing and i want everyone to know that we haven't mentioned that yet that um no one
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brought this to my attention saying neil you're getting ready to be 70. yeah perhaps you need to change you didn't get the old walk walk them down the hall situation where they're you don't want to leave when it's too late right yeah you know uh but then at the same time you don't want to uh miss your call well no one's leaving that's right that's what we went over well that's what i meant i mean i could be 90 years old and i'm just always going to say that part that's just always going to be something but we're very appreciative we have
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bryce schreiber back with us tonight bryce elder of this church many of you everybody should know who bryce is if you don't you're missing out um but bryce has really probably thought about this whole process transitionally more than even you and i have um just a incredible asset to this church thankful for his leadership but bryce um brother you have some questions for us tonight i really do it's kind of exciting just to think about as we've been having these discussions over the past uh several weeks you know we just think about it and you know neil you've been here for 30 years
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30 years the only pastor this church has known you know so for many people your announcement just sounded like a major change like probably the most significant change in the church history right what's your perspective on that well it's going to be a another transition because through the 30 years we have made many transitions but because we have thought them through and because we've prayed about them because we don't do knee-jerk reactions
03:17
and we don't rush anything through that by the time we actually make those transitions most people are informed remember we want to be transparent about this and they want to be ensured that god's going to get the glory assured and that we are going to see god's blessings here so over the 30 years it's been a it's been really a great um privilege to see how god has grown the leadership through the 30
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years we've mentioned clyde morris last week he was the chair of the pulpit committee that came there were only about 18 members there were about 30 people who were coming but only about 18 members about half them was the pulpit committee [Laughter] and so when i got the phone call and they uh and they wanted me to come down in august of 1990. to tell you the truth i was really intimidated because most of the pulpit committee
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have been substantial leaders in their particular areas of vocational life and in their families and and i thought to myself i don't i don't know how to lead these people i mean they're way above me my head's been in the books you know ever since uh i've been working on my own when i was working on my doctorate so what happens when we when i felt the call and we came one of the very first things i did is i went to
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clyde and i went to uh pam and we talked about this that i wanted to have an administrative committee i didn't know what else to call it all i've ever been as a baptist didn't know anything about elders didn't know much about deacons you know so i said pick several people out of your uh your committee that brought me here and i want us to meet every so often because i don't feel that i
05:23
can lead this church as a new mission by myself i've never done it before so the idea that i'm trying to get across is from the very beginning there was a plurality of leaders this has never been a one-man show so that uh administrative committee as we begin to grow over the next three years we turn into what was traditionally what baptist had a church council that is that we had a chairman of the deacons we had a sunday school director we had a training union
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director we had a wmu director we had a brotherhood director uh stewardship director personnel director building grounds director even though we didn't have any building grounds you had almost many directors as you did congregation you know that's right half the congregation everybody had a role that's right so again the idea of uh both staff or pastor and um the layman women men and women we all got together in order to move together in that fashion right then we then at uh
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in 93 when we constituted uh one of the very first things that we thought that we should do is to have deacons so i wasn't against that and so we asked those who had been deacons from other churches to get together and so even though i didn't know anything about eldership i got the deacons together and to make a long story short i said what we see in the scripture is spiritual leadership and getting stuff done and the church council gets stuff done
06:58
they're also my counselors because that was the only other committee i had but if we're going to have deacons then i would like for you to either decide that you want to be the group that gets stuff done in that case the church council will evaporate and go away or even though we don't know what elders are would you be part of my pastoral leadership and they were just like do you really want us to do that i mean that's really great so they chose to do that so from then on actually even though they were just called deacons
07:29
i called him my deacon elders at that time even though i had not a clue what a real elder council would look like and it fit us so well that several years later we put in the constitution that we believed in eldership and that was became part of the constitution but the deacons would act as elders until we activated eldership and we did that for over a decade and finally after uh after this as you know i don't do anything neater
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i go a lot slower than people really want me to sometimes but then the deacons had a study on what eldership really meant and over a period of years then we begin to say okay is it time to activate it and we said well i we think it is so we've then educated the congregation on plurality of leadership in pastoral staff and that um that we should activate the elders and we looked at the qualifications
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and the church already had a sense that there should be that because it was already rolling off of our lips and a part of our thinking and so we activated eldership as well well after two years of that then we said okay now we need to go back to deacons so what are we going to do there so we began to study deaconship as ministers of mercy that they were going to actually take care of the body so to make your question about changes every one of these
09:00
was a substantial change then when uh our youth minister left and we looked at we needed and we were growing quite a bit we needed to look at more staff well we just had a sense that it wasn't enough just to say let's fill a slot yes let's expand pastoral leadership even though adam was came in as an associate pastor he was part of the pastoral ministries he wasn't simply just filling a slot to go do something in the church
09:31
so we expanded there as well and so now that i'm approaching uh the time in my life where i believe that pastoral ministry care and mentorship and training are very important in my life that this would be a natural transition for our congregation it may seem like an earthquake but i believe that it will simply be
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a god-led transition we don't like to use the word change but change happens look in the mirror yes whether we want to or not so either we flow with god's spirit into the change or either we resist it and the change still takes place but it's negative so i look at this as um with excitement about what god wants to do because i've seen it over 30 years how he moves us from one to another
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in leadership and what we're seeing over that 30 years is we've made these changes it's been a response to god's calling scriptural principles and guess what the church has grown so once again change is is necessary if we're to stay within god's will and grow with that in mind you know we also talk about the fact that this is a congregational red led church not a corporate ceo led church and we've got the committees and such how about explain just a little bit more about
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how those leaders play into the overall thought of the leadership of the church and perhaps even in this particular transition we're talking about here that's really important again we are a congregationalist system everyone needs to understand that we are elder led and we're not elder ruled in some denominations the elders the session actually has the legal authority of the church right we have chosen to remain
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baptist in our polity while at the same time adopting biblical leadership principles elders for the overall spiritual spiritual health of the church look at directing the director the direction of the church discipline in the church which i hope we never have to do but sometimes we have to and then doctoral integrity where we want to make sure that no matter who is teaching in the fellowship there is doctrinal integrity all the way through but we can't do
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everything and so god has given us some wonderful leaders in practical areas like those who are in charge of our stewardship those who help us in personnel i mean would the elders really want to sit down and write a personnel policy do we really want to sit down and write a stewardship financial plan would we want to do to write a children's policy well we
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have those policies but guess what it was other leaders who wrote them for us and they passed it on to us for to look at and man it was better than what we could have done so they are an integral part of the overall leadership and then our ministers of mercy our care leaders and our sunday schools and in general uh they touch so many lives uh it's it's just incredible to see yeah it really is fantastic to see the involvement of our members in the ministry so it's
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not just a congregation standing here listening to the word there's people involved every day in applying god's word in the real world that we live in the challenging world we are so fortunate and and i've been in churches where you've heard the statistics 20 of the people do 80 of the work and then 30 of the people do the other twenty at least fifty percent of the people who are going just being spectators our church is not that way
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we are so blessed aren't we well with that in mind recognizing we have a lot of involvement in the ministry neil have you got any more ideas to share with us about you know what you see is your unique and significant pastoral role as we move into june of 2021 you know i've i've understood and i've grown through the 30 years i've been here and of course i pastored two other churches they were rural churches and uh i was at one church for two years while we were in kentucky and i've been in
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another church for five years before we came here but i understood that shepherding is a very broad job description and if you look at the the scripture what the word to shepherd means it means to feed and it means to nourish so we know what a shepherd does in physical they lead them from one pastor to another but spiritually speaking they feed on god's word and so the teaching ministry the
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preaching ministry is a tremendous probably the first most visible act of shepherds in a church but that isn't all that shepherds do they care for the flock they take note of the lamb that is strained as we discussed on sunday that's exactly right we take note of a of a sheep that may show
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signs of illness or sickness and so the shepherd cares for them so what i believe is going on in my life is that man i love preaching and i love teaching tell you what though i love hearing adam preach as well i just want to be able to spend more time on the caring part and then another unseen area or less visible is the mentoring whether it is
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one-on-one small groups or dedicated in men's ministry uh whether it's leadership doctrine whatever it might be you know that's really important as we think about another role the shepherd is to protect the sheep against the wolves and such that will come in our lives at satan that comes into marriages uh and so that mentoring role is is really crucial and how do we use that mentoring role to develop men not only for today but for the future the next generation after we're gone
16:19
absolutely there are important elements even in our membership number one we need to be authentically christian in order before we can do real christian spirit-filled work so when it comes to men and training them one of the first things is to make sure do they do they absolutely know jesus christ as the lord and savior are they authentically in love with god
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before we can start saying okay what are we going to do now i think it's important in relationship to this to read what did paul an older pastor write to his protege a younger pastor was priority what should he know and this was paul's last letter to timothy so it's the last i don't even know if they got to see each other after this but it says you then my child i think
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that that's such a warm isn't it it really is be strengthened by the grace that is in christ jesus and then verse two and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also it really took me a long time to get around this but there are four generations involved in this mentoring and in this teaching
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there's paul the older minister who has invested his life into young men one of which was timothy that's number two and then what is he telling this young man to do as a pastor of a church entrust what i taught you into faithful men third generation who then can teach others fourth generation so the emphasis here on training men for me is i'm thinking generationally our
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church does that to a good degree um and so it's not even just about me finishing well though i want to finish well but i want to see the next generation totally equipped in their personal walk in their family walk and in leadership at the church but that's not even enough i want them to be leaders and trainers and disciplers and equippers of the third generation so i'm thinking four generations down the line
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when i'm not even around that is great you know that's really an aspirational view for your role and and for that of our church in the growth but adam that's got to be kind of a challenge to hear that i bet it's also encouraging but you know what are your thoughts on that and how that affects you and and looking to your future uh at this church amelia bad for sure oh absolutely and i mean i think first and foremost um i pray for i hope and pray for a future at emily baptist church it's i won't say it's the word is amusing but
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it is it is great it's delightful to hear people say when we have a special announcement um you're not leaving are you you know we've joked about we no one knows what to think and honestly this it's kind of sad because you know that possibly they've been through something like that and it's it may be sort of a shock to them like post-traumatically and and number one we want to we want to be here we we feel the the calling of god in our lives is here um i could not be
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more excited while at the same time humbled uh by what is ahead for us um i'm humbled every time i enter the pulpit feeling having the feeling that might enter the pulpit more often um and i hope people hear june june and they know that you didn't mess up when you said june 2021 people were probably like oh it means january no everything that you just said about it right which we're saying like guys this is the this is the idea of us taking this carefully and talking with you and walking through it as elders so
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that part i hope doesn't get passed over it's like no june guys but as i look forward to that and love to teach here um we have to realize that uh the pulpit is an honor and it is something to be protected and the word of god needs to be preached faithfully from it and i think that anyone who enters it haphazardly is doing a disservice to the calling to the role and so when i when we enter the pulpit we have something to say from the word of god as we are just messengers pointing to the king i'm humbled by that i'm humbled any thought that i could be teaching in more
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of an aspect of this church but at the same time excited because i don't think i've met in my life a better mentor of men than neil helton uh someone with a a man who was a man's man but has a genuine heart for the lost and knows that we need families led by godly men more than we can need anything else um and i so i'm weirdly it's not it's not weird because you're just you're just like we're switching mentor protege here uh you're still my mentor i can't wait to sit under your leadership yes
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yes you have so much to learn from me but um i think in terms of what i'm excited about people who haven't even you talk fourth generation and you get excited about this too but you see someone who has not yet even joined a million baptist church and they don't know it yet but they're going to be under the leadership of the mentorship of neil helm who is who is on been laid on his heart by the holy spirit to move into that role in anticipation of those who are still to come and those who are here who just needed that and so i'm so excited to see that and i hope that people understand and this is why i said that june 2021 thing that
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this is a council of elders and i think what people are wanting to know is exactly how that works i think these conversations like this are good and they probably need to happen more often to really walk through a history and walk through what we want for the future and say guys this is what this means this is what this is and we need you as much a part of this as we've been and so my feelings are that and and so there's anticipation there's also of course a monster truck load of humility i think it's a normal thing
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at least in baptist life to think in terms of a vertical uh leadership that there is this pastor and then these people are under him kind of like a president of a corporation and then he has vice presidents and then the vice presidents have middle management and then under middle management you have you know the corporate idea you're familiar with that world the parameters yeah that's right and you know unfortunately most baptists don't know that in 1925
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baptist faith and message polity stated pastors elders and deacons then in 1963 elders vanished so when we started looking at the polity of elders here people wondered well are we baptist yeah we're actually we're not going back to the future we're really going back to our beginning roots that these men and women started
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in biblical days wherever paul went he didn't just appoint a pastor never says that he appointed and trained elders and then he went on to start another church and what was the first thing he did after a congregation he established elders plural so people still may think that the pastor is like the and i understand terminology and i'm really not trying to be critical but we think
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vertically like a lead pastor and then this pastor and then this pastor whereas the way that the council of elders works at least here at this church and i believe in new testament is that we all sit around the table and we're equals and anyone can bring any of us can bring a concern or a calling of the lord to the elders we pray over it we talk about it and it never leaves the room unless we're all
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in agreement and that's different than uh poster children you know people who are sort of out there and are the face of the church and i think some people can sort of conflate those two things will we see more of neil or will we see more of adam and it's like well yeah you of course are going to some things are going to be more publicized than others we don't publicize elder meetings but i can tell you right now that nothing will go through unless the entire elder council is on board with it that's right so in a lot of that we've you know our point here was really to provide some openness to kind of share your hearts and your visions but yet we
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recognize there's a lot of decisions to be made and the congregation and other leaders will be involved in these decisions so we're kind of talking about aspirational statements or concepts you know how might it look in the future but there's a lot of work to be done yet to define that but you know adam i kind of look at you and just ask that question of you know what you see is some of the major questions that need to be answered as we move forward we need to clearly define the roles for our congregation they need to know what everybody's doing
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um they need to know um not only they need to know this because they if we're asking them to pray for us which was what you wanted to pray for them last week and they wanted them to pray for us last week and charge them with that which they should always be doing um they need to know how what to what capacity details are good in prayer we believe details are great in prayer so they need to know what everyone's doing and if we are serious about inviting the congregation biblically into the decisions the huge decisions that this church do big and small they need to know what's going on and there needs to be a huge level of transparency not just
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a we haven't discussed this with you we haven't brought you into the conversation we haven't let you know anything but just trust us this will all work out because honestly we've just never done things that right and if i'm putting myself in their position no one and you can ask neil this when i first got on no one was more skeptical of this slow thoughtful way that we did everything i'm just sitting there going i'm out of seminary i'm ready to see some change let's move this let's make some laws right like let's sign some executive orders like i got two months left in office
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right i'm just like let's do this sucker and man concrete barrier of reality that that was not the wise way to do these things and that you were leading a people you weren't there just to make these executive wars so i think you invite the congregation in the more clear you are with the roles and something you brought up uh the other week uh and just kind of a meeting between the three of us the idea that elder roles need to be more pronounced like one thing we do is like hey guys this is the elder council we have an elder council i think we've had that conversation a lot but when we
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dive into what does that mean what are the elders doing in the leadership of this church expanding on what it means to be a minister of mercy um that deacon office right the idea of caregiving what have we defined that is we've mentioned it's not like we have never mentioned this but you and i always talk about how so many amazing missional things have happened in this church so much um donation has been given to like start ministries and keep the issues up why are we not more vocal to our congregation about those things than when they happen and obviously there's
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tons of stuff that go on and you forget but i think we need to make i would love to see in the next year if i'm caring for my congregation and we're remaining transparent they are in that whole thing that whole process with us and we don't keep anything from them and they're fully aware of those roles and how they're changing they're going to have less questions if we answer them first that is really an important concept that we're not just talking about neil's role in your role but we're talking about the role of the elders and other aspects of it so it'll be an integrated look if what we're going to be doing in the future to meet the needs
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of this congregation and share the good news of jesus christ locally and beyond so it really is an exciting exciting time you know last week neil asked you about you know what support and prayers you wanted from the congregation tonight i'll ask that same question of adam i would attach it to neil's answer last week while they're praying make sure that they are praying that the will of the lord be done never venture off and say man i really
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hope neil's vision is accomplished or i hope that the elders and man just as they pray for us as they they root for us and they're so kind and they're so sweet they know that how much um difficulty can sort of await a pastoral position they know what we're going through what we're praying through and they know spiritual warfare they're understanding all of that but as they pray what we want more than anything is that god's will be done if it's not god's will we don't want it you say that all the time if it ain't god's will we don't want it and you also say the safest place you
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could possibly be is in the will of the lord so i want my congregation i want my church to pray that the will of god be done if that interrupts the plans we're making well that's just an answer from the lord because we shouldn't have made them so we want him to be glorified we want the church to be edified yeah and we want to see the next generation equipped for their ministry as well i think that's an excellent summary and a good place to bring us to a close adam would you like to leave some prayers thank you brother and thank you
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so much for being a part of these father god we uh we're so thankful uh for you we're thankful for the plans that you have for your people we really don't know what to await as we talk about a year as if it's just tomorrow or next week but a lot can happen in a year as we know and father god we need you to equip us with what we need in order to obey you we need you to give us the power the
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love the strength the self-control that we see in genuine faith when paul talks to timothy that we we see an understanding of the sovereignty of god and your plans for our lives father god that we trust you that we place our faith in you because we don't know what tomorrow brings and the best we can do is offer a plan but father god please hear our hearts hear the hearts of our congregation that we want you here we want you with us and in us and around us and within our communities father i pray for courage
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this year i pray that you give us a spirit of evangelism father that floods our neighborhoods that to remind our congregation father god that that it is our goal it is our duty as ambassadors for christ to always be on mission and so if any of this ever sounds like a business meeting instead of just a way to grow the kingdom we have been in era of it that father all of this is about bringing souls into the kingdom strengthening families strengthening marriages strengthening relationships between parents and their
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children between brothers and sisters fathers mothers father god you are in control and we will do better father god if we admit that each and every day morning noon and night and remind ourselves that even if we're in disobedience you are still sovereign over the situation so father help our hearts be pure help father god righteousness be a prerogative in our lives first priority may we seek you in all things may we share your goodness
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to the ends of the earth as in christ and we pray amen and pray for clay pray for me i'm leaving clay will be at ucf in orlando in january so this is on you all now that's it good luck 2021. man we have loved you and appreciated you clay thank you for all you've done it's through god's blessing and gifts that he's open doors i can i can do this stuff really i mean i remember we started i started doing video for y'all for evening december last year
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and that was this year it's like kind of hitting now it's like uh it's been a whole year yeah and we've loved every minute of it brother it's really been a blessing for one of the last times ever [Music] hmm
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[Music]

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