Last night Ladell Young was put in as an elder of this church. As our tradition, after putting his name up for consideration (a few months ago), the church voted (or confirmed) his leadership. Ladell received 100% of the votes. Although this had nothing to do with the decision, Ladell becomes the first African-American elder in this congregation. Evidently he is also the first elder born and raised in Indian River County. Ladell, we love you and Cassandra.
Also, Joe Wild received overwhelming support for his position as an elder. Joe was not able to be with us since he was on his annual anniversary trip with Glenda. Saturday they began their romantic journey with a 4 hour wait in the security line at the Fort Lauderdale Airport (day after shooting) and several more hours in the tarmac after a weather delay. Fortunately they finally made it to their destination that night, unfortunately Glenda’s suitcase did not. I do not have confirmation if she has changed clothes in the last 72 hours. However, based on this picture Joe sent me this morning, things have gotten much better. Praying they have a relaxing time together and an uneventful trip home.
We had a good turnout for our annual meeting. Mike McGee did an excellent job taking us through the various things going on within the church and allowed us ministers to make some reports. If you were unable to attend, here is a recap:
- Confirmation vote for Ladell and retention vote for Joe.
- Jay Dean was voted in as a trustee for the church.
- Jerry Cutshall and David Rogers were put up as deacons.
- Jason King talked about the teen banquet on January 21st. The big announcement – Elvis will be making an appearance!
- David Paladin gave us an update on the children’s program and encouraged us to help with a mentoring program for the kids coming without parents.
- I spoke about Arthur David Day on January 22nd. He will teach the teen class and preach that morning. We will have dinner on the grounds following and a money tree to help offset expenses for his trip.
Back to Ladell, he and I will be co-preaching this Sunday. Many know this next Monday as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This provides us a good opportunity to talk about God’s original design in the Garden of Eden – a united people of the Creator. Invite others to join us next Sunday as we continue toward Eden.
WHERE’S MARILYN? Many of you know Marilyn Yergler is hiking the Florida Trail. She has texted me a couple of times to let me know how things are going. On January 5th she reported “rough going but I am hanging in there. At 10 mile camp, spent most of the day here. Trying for 13 mile camp today. Lord is taking care of me.” Two days later (Jan. 7th), she reported, “Looks like I will have to hike in sections. Won’t be able to hike thru. Not lost. Just slow. Rescued by EMT’s. I’m Ok, just exhausted.” Pray for Marilyn to be able to get stronger and finish.
It was great seeing Joel and Ann Soumar Sunday morning. How awesome was it to have Joel end our worship by leading us in “Get Right Church.” We are also happy to report Ann’s pregnancy is going well.
Yesterday began a new Bible class in the Fellowship Hall – One Word. It a good study on a single word from Scripture each week. The understanding of a single word can give many Biblical accounts deeper meaning. Also, Road(s) to Emmaus (Group 2) began in the Fireside Room (LC #103). There were 12 of us that began this journey together. We shared struggles, encouraged each other, prayed, search for understanding and got to know each other better. If you are looking for a group like this, we still have a few spots left.
Here are just a few of the baptisms on the first Sunday of January in our India missions! Louis Swakkiam reported 33 baptisms in all the congregations within our churches there. This morning Louis also reported on their 5th medical camp (217 people were helped). He also sent photos of their Christmas gift distribution. A great report leading up to Missions Sunday.
As we wrap up, remember the words of Paul, we are the temple/sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. At baptism a union took place between our bodies and spirit for the purpose of bringing glory to God on earth. This sacred space, within ourselves and the community of believers, is the very dwelling place of God. This is where we find our identity and worth. It is the safest place on earth. We can go within this private, sound proof “room” and sort through life with the One who loves us most. We are God’s temple. The more we put off the thinking of the flesh/world, the deeper meanings of the Spirit will come to light. Go to your sacred place often. Not only is it available to the new creation, but the Father longs to join us there.