Happy Fourth of July everyone! I hope you enjoy the festivities of the holiday as you gather with family and friends for picnics and outdoor activities. It is estimated that we will eat 150 million hot dogs on July 4th. I plan on having two hotdogs, so there should be plenty left for everyone.
We are truly fortunate to have had founding parents who understood that freedom is essential for a democratic society. With celebrations like the Fourth of July, we are reminded that our freedom has been paid for by people willing to lay down their lives so that we might continue to be free. We must never forget that with freedom, comes responsibility. Our country will be only as great as the willingness of its citizens to participate in the democratic process. So, celebrate your freedom and commit or re-commit yourself to be a willing participant in this great journey of freedom that we enjoy.
June seemed to have flown by in a flash! With summer, our normal activities at First Baptist take on a slower pace. It is not too late, to join in the summer groups that I am offering. You will find a description of them in the June newsletter. As of this writing, we are still working on times and places for the “writing club” and the “elephant in the room club.” The book club for the reading of Anne Lamott’s latest book on Hope, will be meeting on July 10, 17, 24, and 31 at the home of Bev Simmons. Bev has volunteered to provide a light meal for those who attend. If you need transportation to the book club gathering please let me know. Remember, any of the summer studies are open to your friends.
If you have not already done so, be sure to save Sunday, July 28 for our summer picnic gathering after worship. This is another activity that you are encouraged to invite family and friends to join you.
During the June worship services, we explored the thought that “the resurrection has consequences.” We saw in the story of Pentecost that one of the consequences, for people of faith, is that God provides believers with the power of God’s spirit. I shared that when it comes to the spirit, God has a divine economy. I suggested that the spirit is not like rain that falls on everyone, but rather, it is something that God provides to those who attempt great things for God. I encouraged us during this transition period to try great things for God because God has promised to provide the power behind our efforts. Then we suggested that not only does God give us the power to attempt and do great things for God, but God also has provided us with a purpose. The purpose can be stated as simply as “come follow me and I will make you fishers of people…” and “… we are ambassadors for Christ, God making God’s appeal through us…” However you view our purpose, we have been promised the power to perform it. We ended the month with a good old fashion hymn sing. Singing many of your favorite hymns. To make the fifth Sunday even more special, we gathered after worship for an ice cream social. I’m excited to see how God leads us through the month of July.
Hope you continue to have a great summer and see you in worship.
— Pastor Sam Brink