Dear Grace Family:
I am terribly excited for the opportunity to serve this church and community for a seventh year starting July 1, 2021. Between now and then, I will be involved in study, prayer, and planning. After serving full-time as a United Methodist pastor for the last thirteen years, I am taking my first renewal leave (for May and June). Our United Methodist guidelines allow pastors to take renewal leave every six years. This is not a time of vacation, but a time to let the Holy Spirit teach us, guide us, and prepare us so that we may be more effective in our ministry duties. I ask for your prayers for me and our staff and worship team here at Grace. We are beginning a new chapter of our journey as a church as we come out of the pandemic. I believe that God has great things planned for us!
Our pastors and staff at Grace are working on an in-person Vacation Bible School in June and a church-wide small group/discipleship program for the fall. One of my goals in the next couple of months is to plan some sermon series topics for the coming year to engage our congregation. Church growth starts with the spiritual growth of individual members. As the Holy Spirit works in our hearts and lives, we become inspired to share Christ’s love with people every day. We pray for a Holy Spirit inspired season for Grace and Merritt Island in the months ahead.
If you have the time, come out and support our Country Store with setup tonight (April 30th) at 6 pm and tomorrow (May 1st) from 9 am – 12 pm. This ministry is an important way that we build bridges between Christ and the community.
Please support Grace with your presence in worship this week, either online or in-person. You are in for a treat, as Pastor Kris Shonewolf will share a message entitled “You Were Born For This” based upon Ephesians 1: 18-23. Pastor Kris is an ordained elder in the United Methodist church and she serves full-time as the pastor of the only United Methodist church inside a women’s prison in Florida. Kris was here once before, and she shared an inspiring message then. You may recall that she led communion in Hebrew, and it was beautiful. Kris’ ministry, The Oasis at Lowell Correctional Institute, is part of our mission emphasis for the month of May.
May God richly bless you and give you hope as we move out of this long pandemic season!
In Christ’s Love, Pastor Steve Hart