“23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
I have a very similar verse on my desk. You could say it is my motto for my vocational life. It is also my prayer for every believer in Christ. When we work, in the church or in the marketplace, we only have one person we are serving, Christ. Jesus commanded us to give our all for God. When we do anything we do, we do it for God. It is with this mindset that I enter this weekend and coming weeks. There is a lot going on through the rest of the year. It all starts this week and goes through the end of 2015. Here is a list of all the things happening and why I believe they are important in accomplishing our Mission to lead people to experience God’s grace through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Andy Camping [Friday through Monday]
This will be my family’s fourth year attending Andy Camping at Walt Disney’s Fort Wilderness. We have loved participating in this event. I have gotten to know people at Andy Camping better than I ever could week-to-week at church. We have around 200 St. Andrew’s folks who attend as we connect in Christian community around our campsites, at dinner, and through the activities that are planned. We engage in a lifestyle of worship as we worship together in the open air on Sunday morning. We serve each other as we help set up campsites, dinner tables, and more. It is a weekend where we live out our Mission and Vision in a big way.
United Methodist Women’s Fall Craft Fair and Granny’s Attic [Saturday]
The Fall Craft Fair and Granny’s Attic help fulfill our Mission and Vision by bringing 100s of people onto our church campus. We get to serve the community through showing radical hospitality and offering them an opportunity to purchase some amazing things. All of the proceeds from the Craft Fair and Granny’s Attic go directly to missions. I love this event because it gives our St. Andrew’s members another opportunity to love people. There is still time to volunteer for this event.
The Pumpkin Patch
The Pumpkin Patch will be open all weekend. All the proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch go to support our Student Ministry. As folks come on our campus to purchase a pumpkin (or two) they experience how wonderful our St. Andrew’s students and adults are. Another opportunity for radical hospitality.
New Message Series – “Generations”
This Sunday we start a new message series called “Generations” which focuses on investing in the next generation. This week we will look at Moses and Joshua. Pastor Bridget will give the message at Andy Camping and I will preach at all three services on campus.
Trunk or Treat [Saturday, October 31st from 11-2]
This is an outreach event that literally reaches thousands of people from our community every year. I absolutely love seeing all of the children and their families at this event. I love even more seeing our St. Andrew’s members helping people experience God’s grace through their love, smiles, and candy. I have spoken to dozens of people in the community who attend this event every year and many who have begun attending St. Andrew’s because of the radical hospitality and love they experienced. There’s still time to enter your car or volunteer.
Jazz Under the Stars [November 1st @ 6 PM]
This is an evening of amazing music, fellowship, and fun. David and Michele Pruyn call on their friends and colleagues in the music industry to offer a free concert for the community. We offer them love, grace, and hospitality as they spend an evening on our campus. I love the music and the fellowship the most. It is a unique opportunity to spend time together and welcome the community as well. It is such a blessing to be able to sit back and enjoy the wonderful talent of all of the professional musicians.
50 and Forward 2016 Stewardship Campaign
Sunday, November 1st is Commitment Sunday for our 50 and Forward Stewardship Campaign. You will be receiving a mailing this week with more information about this campaign. We are asking all of our members and regular attenders to prayerfully consider making a commitment of support for 2016. On Sunday, November 1st we will have a special time during the service for everyone to bring their commitment cards forward. Please prayerfully consider how God is calling you to support the ministry of St. Andrew’s in 2016. Because of your faithfulness to give we will continue building on the foundation and fulfilling God’s purpose. You can find more information by going to www.saumc.net and clicking on the 50 and Forward button.
Also on Sunday, November 1st we will be celebrating Miracle Sunday together. We are asking every member to make a one-time, additional offering for our Miracle Sunday offering. This offering will be used to pay the remaining, unbudgeted amount of our 2015 apportionments AND pay off the Disciples' Hall mortgage. The Church Council has authorized $150,000 as a matching gift and challenged the congregation to raise $150,000 through the Miracle Sunday offering. This is a total goal of $300,000. We know if is a God-sized goal and we know that our congregation will do our part and God will do the rest. That is why it is a Miracle Sunday. You can find more information by going to www.saumc.net and clicking on the 50 and Forward button.
As you can see there is a whole lot going on. I love being the Senior Pastor of such an awesome church with such faithful people. As we work with all our heart, working for the Lord through all of these events and opportunities we will lead people to experience God’s grace through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s stay focused on the mission. Let’s love the communities we serve. Let’s be the church that God has placed at the corner of Bloomingdale and Bryan. Let’s be St. Andrew's.