Wow! Monday is the first day of Vacation Bible School! We are so excited about hosting an in-person VBS this year. Niki has made lots of plans. We have a lot of wonderful volunteers and over 70 children who will be on campus learning about Jesus and how he loves them and how God is always there for them in all circumstances. It is a powerful opportunity for our church to pour the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ into the lives of these precious children. So I hope you will keep VBS in your prayers all week long as we host over 70 children.
We will also be hosting the Shalimar UMC Youth Choir on Sunday, June 20th at 5pm. Mark your calendar and come on out to hear them as they sing and worship with us in the sanctuary. It will be a wonderful and exciting evening filled with a lot of fun.
And speaking of youth…I am excited to announce that our youth minister, Matt Gleason, will be preaching this Sunday, June 13. I am looking forward to his message “What’s Going On?” based on Psalm 16 and 2 Corinthians 5:5-9. I hope you will take the time to read through those passages as you prepare for worship this Sunday.
As I write this Gracevine, we are in the midst of conference workshops and the Florida Annual Conference which will conclude on June 12. It is another year of doing the business of the church. Another year of ordination celebrations, retirements, as well as memorial services for pastors who have died throughout this year. We have learned a lot of hard lessons as we navigated through Covid-19, race riots, a contentious election, crazy weather, and lots of other events. When you think about it…we really have been through a lot. And now we are seeing our country open back up, people getting vaccinated, being able to not always have to wear a mask, being able to go out for dinner, a play, or other entertainment with family and friends. We are beginning to move forward. It is exciting!
In the midst of all that is happening, there are also a lot of changes in store. Not everything we had prior to Covid-19 will come back. Not every business we supported will re-open. In fact, there will be a lot that will not be the same as it was before. In the midst of the changes that we are going through or that are still in store for us, I encourage us all to be flexible. Remember that what we enjoy doesn’t always have to be done exactly like we did or at the same time, or even on the same day. We can adapt if we remember that everything changes.
And change is not something to fear or resent. Change allows for growth. Change makes room for new things to happen. Change is invigorating. Change is…well change is just different and different isn’t bad…it is just different and well…exciting.
Please keep your staff and our church in your prayers. They are, as always, greatly appreciated.
Peace, Pastor Beth Burton