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In the Heart of Merritt Island, FL

Posts by Pastor Steve Hart

“I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice”

One of my favorite quotes is from Fr. Richard Rohr. He says, “Most of us were taught that God would love us if and when we change. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change is the experience of love. It is that inherent experience of love that becomes the engine…

Jesus At His Best: Serving

Next week the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church meets in Lakeland for our annual conference. This year’s theme is “abound in hope.” Paul used this phrase in Romans 15:13, with a prayer that “……by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Notice that the ability to abound in hope is a gift of the Holy Spirit.…

All In Pt. 3: Whose Agenda?

Today we begin the Memorial Day weekend, also known to many as the unofficial start of summer. Typically, this weekend marks the end of another school year and graduation season. It is also a time to reflect on and honor those who gave their lives in the service of their country. If you had a loved-one who died in service, I pray that…

All In Pt. 2: Our Response

It is graduation season for many people, and this Sunday, May 21, we will recognize our graduates during worship at Grace. Our preschool VPK graduation is Friday morning, May 19, in our sanctuary, and we will also host the Edgewood baccalaureate on Friday evening in our sanctuary. It is a privilege to participate in life milestones with families. I like to remind those who are entering new…

All In Pt. 1: God’s Initiative

As we approach Mother’s Day weekend, I hope you are able to celebrate motherhood and that you can identify and celebrate the mothers who have been a blessing in your lives. Not everyone has had good experiences with their mothers, and it is important to be sensitive to this reality. Moreover, many women lament that they are not able to become mothers,…

The Gift of the Unexpected

Happy Cinco De Mayo! I love this time of year because the summer heat is not quite here yet and Merritt Island is especially beautiful. Recently, I attended my 40th high school reunion. It was interesting to see folks I remember growing up with, some of whom I had not seen in 40 years. The comments I heard most frequently related to…

Everything In Common?

The Easter season is a great time to think about what it means to say, “The Word became flesh.” The presence of God, in the person of Jesus, is the cornerstone of our faith. Because Jesus lives as the risen Lord of the universe, his followers are able to communicate with and love people as Christ loves us. One author expressed it…

Easter – It Is _____ Done

We have all heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.” Personally, I am not a fan of this phrase. In fact, curiosity, investigation, and exploration make life more full, interesting and exciting. I think the teachings of Jesus encourage curiosity. Jesus was often moving and encountering new people, new situations, and new challenges. Of course, fear of the unknown was never a…

Afraid or Amazed?

Here we are on Good Friday, a day that calls for somber reflection. Recently, I read an article about the nature of evil in our world. What would cause a group of people to demand the crucifixion of an innocent man? The author explained that “evil uses people’s anxieties, fears, and prejudices to twist good intentions into cruel deeds.” The leaders who facilitated…

One Inch From The Fence

I recently read about a pastor who collects wooden donkeys. This pastor attaches great meaning to the donkeys because early in her career, someone told her, “If God could use a donkey (on Palm Sunday) to carry Jesus into the city, God can use us, too.” This served as a reminder that God can take us all, with our insecurities and flaws, and…