I pray you are all doing well. Everyone at the church is gearing up for all the graduations that are happening in our community. We will be offering a prayer for our graduates at this Sunday’s service as we have several families who will be celebrating the high school and college graduations of their sons and daughters. And Grace preschool is getting ready to graduate our VPK students as they prepare to begin the Kindergarten leg of their scholastic journey on May 20th. But since we are in the season of spring…new beginnings should be expected, and it is great that we are able to celebrate them a little better this year.
Thinking of graduations and new beginnings makes me think of all the various seasons we experience in life. Each one an ending and a beginning all entwined together. The thing is: We tend to move from event to event and we don’t always do a good job of taking stock of where we have been as we move into where we are going. I sometimes wonder if we shouldn’t take the time to recognize all we have learned or come through when we begin to walk into a new chapter in our life. It is through all the experiences we have had in our past that have brought us to where we are in our present. Those experiences, both good and bad, deserve some kind of acknowledgment from us. We need to recognize our past is just that…our past and we can never go back, but we can celebrate what was good, discard what was bad or no longer relevant to us and we can grieve the change or changes as we let go. It is in the letting go that we are able to embrace all God is offering in our future.
In other exciting news…I am so glad we are able to host Vacation Bible School in person this year. But as I said last week, in order to do that we need people willing to volunteer to help with the children who will be on campus. What a wonderful opportunity to minister to our children and youth. To show how each one of them is important and how much they matter. To show them how much God loves them and how much God is always there for them in every way and in all things. It is an opportunity for adults to see Jesus through the eyes of a child. So, I really hope you will find a way to volunteer. Please call Niki, our children’s minister and let her know you are willing to help. You can call her via the church number: 321-452-2420.
Don’t forget that on May 26th from 11:15 to 1:15, we are hosting a retirement party for Pat Harrison at Kiwanis Island park. This is an opportunity for you to stop by and let her know how much her ministry to Grace has meant to you over the years. If you plan on coming, don’t forget to RSVP by calling the church office. If you are unable to stop by on May 26th, you can send her a card expressing your appreciation for all she has done as our administrative assistant for 22 years.
This Sunday we want to offer a warm welcome to Rev. Alex Shanks. We look forward to hearing him preach. Alex is the Assistant to the Bishop, but I remember him when he was a member of our youth group and playing the guitar. Yes, Alex grew up in his faith at Grace and we are proud of the work he is doing in our conference. I hope you all come out to support Alex and hear his message…. “Invited” based on Luke 14:16 – 24.
As always, I ask that you continue to pray for Grace and everyone on staff. We greatly appreciate your prayers and support. And don’t forget to set your timers and join me each day at 2:47 p.m. to pray not only for Grace but also for our community and for God’s Holy Spirit to open doors we can step through as we do God’s kingdom work in the world.
Peace, Pastor Beth Burton