Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Summer is over but the warmth continues. What a great summer we had here at Hamilton Mill UMC! Vacation Bible School was one of the best ever. What stood out in my mind, in addition to the great set, the cool songs and outstanding volunteers, were the record number of 6th graders that participated in serving. I came away every day thanking God for what He is doing in the hearts of our young people.
Camp WinShape was also a big hit again this year. It was great to see some of the Pantry patron’s children have a chance to participate. As a young person, I grew up in public housing. I know what it’s like to stand in a pantry line. Seeing those kids at Camp WinShape was deeply moving. Thank you Robin and Lindsey Boozer for your over-the-top devotion and the part you played in making sure that these children were able to experience camp WinShape.
Summer also brought us a new Director of Student Ministry. David Benson, his wife Claire, and their children, John Hodges and Larson, have hit the ground running. The momentum in the student ministry continues to build and grow. This month, Student Sunday was a huge blessing. It was obvious that the students who led worship were well prepared. On a related note, Jeremy Armstrong will be leading the 8:15am and 9:30am worship team this Sunday. I know it is Labor Day weekend, but if you’re in town you’ll be blessed by Jeremy’s infectious smile and spiritual joy.
I was blessed to have some time off this summer and I want to say thank you to Jason Mincey and Jonathan Andersen, for not only delivering thoughtful and well prepared sermons, but for giving careful attention to the pastoral care needs of the congregation in my absence.
As we look to the Fall, I ask you to pray for the church and it’s ministry. First, pray for Louise Hirsch, Scott Lowrie, John Calhoun and Toni Pitt, as they search for a new Director of Choral Ministries. In the last two weeks the Chancel Choir has grown tremendously. This is not a surprise as Jason Landers continues to serve this church effectively and selflessly. This will be a pivotal position in the life of our church. God already knows who will serve in this role. Please pray for them now.
When the search for a new Director of Choral Ministries is complete, we will then begin searching for someone to lead the 8:15am and 9:30am Worship Services. We are also prayerfully considering beginning a Saturday night worship service. Please pray for this person, and pray for the possibility of a new worship service at HMUMC. In the meantime, our church has responded well to the praise team and their willingness to lead. I am especially relieved that Ian Jones and Jennifer Skidmore will handle the music selection and will secure the volunteer resources we need. We have also begun to schedule some guest leaders to lead us in the near future. It is going to be an exciting time. God will provide. God always does. This last Sunday, August 24, was deeply refreshing and I enjoyed each and every service we offered to God.
We will be announcing a date for Groundbreaking on our New Worship Center soon. For more information about where we are in the “Growing Together” campaign, please click on the link bolton below.
August Growing Together Update
As I wrap up the series, Forgiveness: Finding Peace Through Letting Go, I want to encourage you to do some soul searching and maybe some letter writing. This morning, Ms. Katie shared with me that she is putting a class together to help the men at Philip’s State Prison write apology letters. As I reflected on her words, two thoughts came to mind: One, saying I am sorry must be a thoughtful and mindful process. We must set ourselves aside and consider what the person we hurt must be feeling, thinking or experiencing. Even if the hurt we caused was unintentional or based on some misunderstanding it doesn’t do any good to say, “I am sorry you misunderstood.” That is thoughtless. The heartfelt apology begins with an acknowledgement of the other person’s hurt and pain. Second, sometimes the hardest person to forgive is the one in the mirror. Yet, I believe the journey of self-forgiveness begins with asking those we have hurt for grace. Ms. Katie is not only beautiful, she is wise. To be sure, when we ask others for grace we need to be aware that some people may be able to forgive us, others may struggle to forgive and some may never forgive us. What I have discovered, is the journey of self-forgiveness begins with the courage to ask others for grace. It is not easy, but I believe it is the path to the peace we seek.
The next sermon series is going to be a lot of fun: Four Questions God Asks of You. The series is based on Trevor Hudson’s book “Questions God Asks of You.” This will be a time of great challenge for us. I will write more about this next week. To learn about Trevor Hudson, visit his website www.beadisciple.com.
If you’re traveling this holiday weekend be safe, be patient and be blessed. If you are staying close to home then rest well and may sleep find you gently.
David L. Davis