Monday, September 27, 2010

Republican Grove Homecoming 2010

On 26 September Republican Grove UMC celebrated their 2010 Homecoming. It was a beautiful with the temperature in the 70's with a nice breeze coming in the windows. We were happy to have so many form Providence UMC and St. Andrews UMC join with Republican Grove on this special day.
We had quite a few children with us that day, joining Cortney Dawson. I think she was curious about these new people that were her size. I got to take adavantage of the day a do the children's message. I know you're wondering who helped me up off the floor. I'm not telling.
Brian Daniels, from Providence UMC, joined us and sang Amazing Grace. We very much appreciate Brian being willing to share his talent with us.
Joanne played piano for Homecoming and accompanied Brian for his solo.
Rev. Earl Long from Vertical Kids Ministry was our guest speaker for this year's Homecoming. Earl brought us an excellent message and incorporated some of his gospel illusions into the sermon. Everyone enjoyed the word and the object lessons.
Earl took an obviously empty paper bag and kept pulling things out of it, to demonstrate how receiving gifts often takes faith. He then took a box with J.O.Y. written on the outside and placed inside the box a black scarf, representing Sin, and next a red scarf, representing the Blood of Jesus. He then unfolded the box, laying it flat on the table, and only a white scarf was inside. Demonstrating that the Blood of Jesus removes the dark stain of Sin and leaves us white as snow.
The only problem is that I have to preach next week after this. I think maybe I had better learn to juggle. Well, maybe I had better make sure my health insurance will cover juggling injuries first.
After the service and a blessing by Rev. Sam Caldwell, we heading downstairs for a wonderful lunch. There were foods and desserts in abundance. It was nice to sit and talk with friends and family. I think the pictures are better than any words regarding our meal and fellowship. 

It was a great day. Word and Worship, Food and Fellowship.

Zambia Benefit Concert in Gretna, Virginia

In July, the youth group from Cornerstone Church of Christ went to a Christian youth conference at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee called Christ In Youth: Move (CIY). While there, their attention was brought to the water crisis in Zambia, Africa.
An organization called Active Water is working to bring safe drinking water to the families of Zambia by building each family a sand filter. The sand filters cost $75 each. CIY partnered with Active Water this year to produce and film a short movie about this crisis, called Zambia’s Song.

In about two months, youth from Gretna, Virginia visioned, organized, directed, produced, and performed in a benefit concert to help Active Water bring clean drinking water to the people of Zambia. The proceeds will be going to provide sand filters for homes and schools to make the water drinkable in Zambia.
Dan Nuckols went with me one Sunday and shared about the project at all 3 churches of the Mount Airy Charge. Members of the 3 congregations contributed funds to provide 4 sand filters.
Emcee Tyrus Jones
Naomi Spradlin
Jolie Osborne
Rachel Nuckols
Matt Marstin with Landon Isaac Spradlin
Rachel Fisk and Dan Nuckols
Landon Isaac Spradlin
The concert raised $2009 dollars, that is enough for 26 sand filters. Their original goal was 10 filters. God blessed their faith, boldness, and hard work. If you are interested in learning more about the work of Active Water visit and see what you could do to help.

Friday, September 24, 2010

2010 Homecoming at Providence UMC

Homecoming Sunday at Providence UMC was September 12th and it was a great time to catch up with friends and family.
We had a good crowd come for Homecoming. We were happy to see so many old friends, while we remembered those who were no longer with us. Members from Republican Grove UMC and St. Andrews UMC joined Providence UMC in celebrating their Homecoming Sunday.
 Brian Daniels, accompanied by Joanne Johnson, sang two special songs for us.
Our guest speaker was Rev. George Schaefer. George is the pastor of the Payneton-Siloam Charge and an good friend of mine. He brought an excellent message asking whether we were simply "Committed or a Bondservant".
Of course, no Homecoming is complete without a grand meal following the service.
This was the first Homecoming at Providence UMC to use the new Fellowship Hall. It is a fine facility and met our needs perfectly. 
There was an abundance of desserts. The only problem was that I was limited by human capacity on how many I could try. But I did manage to sample the cherry cobbler, eclair cake, banana pudding, pecan pie, and one other that tasted great but I didn't ask what it was. It is a good thing I such self control. ;-)
The weather could not have been better, not too hot and with a good breeze. We simply opened the windows in the Fellowship Hall and used the ceiling fans. It was pleasant enough for many to eat outside under the canopies.
Homecoming is a special day; a day to enjoy worshiping together, fellowship over lunch, rekindling friendships, and remembering those who have gone before us.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baptism at St. Andrews UMC

There was a baptism at St. Andrews UMC. Our special guest was Sophia Ann Margaret DeRouchie. She and her parents, Sherri Ann Adams DeRouchie and Andre Romeo DeRouchie, along with her brothers, came all the way from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to celebrate and share this day with us.
During her childhood, Sherri, Sophia's mom, spent many summer days with her grandmother, Gladys Adams. Gladys was member of St. Andrews UMC and Sherri would join her grandmother at church on Sunday. She said that she wanted her daughter baptized where she had so many wonderful memories.
This is Sophia, Mom, Dad, and Godmother Nancy Hamm.
It was a beautiful service, with a great time of fellowship following.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Student Day at St. Andrews UMC

At St. Andrews UMC we had an after-church Sunday cookout for the young people at the church who were heading back to High School and College.
Bill Wyatt took on the job of grilling the hamburgers and hotdogs. Watching Bill cook and sweat turned into a spectator sport for a while. It wasn't one of the cooler days of the summer to start with and that grill was hot.
Most of the ladies and young people had the good sense to get in out of the heat, while the cooking was going on outside. The ladies got the fruits, salads, chips, and condiments all laid out.
Since it was a day for the students, they got to go through the line first. That decision had the potential for a major food disater. But, we had plenty for everyone.
It was a good day of food and fellowship. Two things that are almost obligatory to any United Methodist get together. We will miss our college kids heading away and hope they visit frequently. We're very glad that we still a our High School kids and appreciate our years with them before they head off to college. All in all, we want them to remember that they are an important part of the church and they are always welcome.