Coming Alongside in Faith, Hope, and Love
I pray that the faith, hope, and love that this congregation already exhibits continues to grow and flourish in the days and years to come. In between unpacking boxes, finding our way around the area, discovering new friends, and remembering those we have known before, the Harris family is eagerly praying that we may serve in such a way as to build up the Body of Christ at Manchaca UMC in fruitful ministry. Week three is underway and Sunday is coming!
To illustrate in our family what it means to build up the body of Christ, I am including a photo of my brother David with his grandchildren at GrandCamp. My brother is one of the most patient people I know. As a parent and now as a grand-parent, he is invested in the growth of his family in ways that lead to a pathway of peace. He teaches calmly. He corrects with compassion. He listens... wow, can he sit and listen. I admire him and his love of family.
Laura and I get to go to GrandCamp every summer with my brother and his wife Kathy. This year will be the first time back together since 2019. As family chaperones, we help love, care, coach, cook, fish, hike, and tell stories. This year we will take along a new telescope and provide some stargazing after the nightly campfire. As the young ones look at the stars, they then get to participate in the nightly Star Chart. Each child gets to affirm and confirm acts of kindness and encouragement experienced during the day. Stars are awarded and a chart is kept. And prizes are involved; incentives for being the children that this family wants to help shape as they grow into responsible adults with good habits and sound decision making skills.
From our family to the church family: we want to be with you in such a way that all of us together are encouraged in faith through the teaching of Jesus and the sharing of the scriptures, emboldened in hope as the Spirit of God leads us to new days and new opportunities, and encompassed in the love of Christ in all the time we share together.
The Apostle Paul came alongside many church families. He started many of them and then wrote letters to the churches as a teacher and coach. This week we will read from Colossians 1:1-14 and hear Paul's greeting and blessing to the church at Colossae. I will attempt to speak about what it means for a church community to receive and share blessings, the kind that lead to growth and fruitfulness. I may even share a time when a blessing changed my ministry horizon.
So, join us in worship this Sunday July 10th as we bless the volunteers who will launch into the work of teaching and caring for children at our Vacation Bible School (begins July 11th). And then you all are invited to pray for and with the VBS team, its families, and its dreams... for the blessings of the Lord surely will flow from and among this community of faith.
Along the Way
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Author: Paul E Harris
Journal posts from a pastor and spiritual friend