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Summer Begins

On Sunday afternoon right after worship, my family and I will be piling in our minivan and driving toward Sunset Beach, North Carolina. We go every year at this same time with David’s family, and it has become for me a rite of passage into summer. The drive usually takes ten hours, spread out over two days, and with each mile I can feel the layers of stress, busy-ness, homework and activity just falling away. Even though there will be seven adults, two children and two dogs in this one beach house, I promise it will be relaxing and restful. The Dillons are a wonderfully laid back and loving family, and there’s nothing stressful about their company. The two dogs…well, we’ll have to see how that goes.

But as we head into the summer season together, I wanted to highlight a few things that we can all look forward to as a congregation. One of the first things that we can all be praying about and looking forward to is the youth choir tour. A group of youth will be traveling through Tennessee and North Carolina, singing and sharing God’s love everywhere they go. They’ll come back to Christ UMC on June 10 and lead us in worship. Besides choir tour, our youth will be participating in mission all across the southeast. They’ll go to Camp Barnabas to work with children with special needs, and they’ll go to Heifer International to learn about global poverty. They will be very busy doing God’s work, and they’ll need our prayers.

In late June the children will participate in Vacation Bible School, and the church will be filled with kids, youth and adults, singing, playing and learning about the Bible. There’s still time to sign up and to volunteer. I’ll be there with some sort of aquatic-themed costume, and I’m excited to find out what group I’ll be working with.

As for us grown-ups, we’ll have an opportunity to meet some new people and learn some new things during the Summer Sunday School session in July. The Spiritual Formation Committee has lined up some wonderful classes, so be on the lookout for those opportunities. (As for me, I’ll be downstairs teaching the second graders for the summer, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll teach me!)

During the month of July, John and I are planning to do a sermon series about how we Christians can be people with diverse opinions and yet still love one another. It is an election year, and, as you know, our society can be very divided around politics, current events and issues. How do we as disciples of Christ love in the midst of differences? We’re excited to explore some of these questions together, and I hope you can be in worship during July to explore them with us.

Another exciting event in our church this summer will be Christ’s Closet. Starting in early June, we’ll be collecting new and gently used clothing to be given away July 20-21 in the Fellowship Hall and Small Sanctuary. In the two weeks leading up to that, we’ll be needing volunteers to come and sort clothing. It’s a great opportunity for kids, too, so plan to help out when you can.

Speaking of the Fellowship Hall, the news from the Trustees is that we should be starting on the kitchen renovation in early June. Hopefully, by the time we’re ready for Wednesday Night fellowship to start back up in late August, we’ll have a shiny, new kitchen able to better handle meals for 150. If you see a Trustee, give them a hug for all their perseverance, hard work and faith. And while I’m at it, a big thanks to all who have faithfully given to the Rock Solid Capital Campaign, which has given us the financial resources to make these much needed renovations.

So, the summer is upon us. We as a congregation will have many opportunities to learn, to serve, to share, to pray and to be in relationship. I look forward to being with you!