Greetings my Beloved!
August is typically a month that churches wind down and take a break from the normal hectic pace of the year. Although we all need a pause in the action sometimes so that we can “do US”, we should also keep in mind that some of our greatest opportunities for ministry occur when people have a little more time at their disposal. While we at various times head for the shore or to other destinations, the city remains brimming with people in need of the hope and support that the Word of God and the holistic ministry of the church provides. There are too many community issues, too many desperate people, too many stressed out parents, and too many young people with too much time on their hands for the doors of the church to not be open!
I do believe that there is much value in the relaxation of our pace, and of certain formalities such as our dress code. However if we really believe that what we do as the church saves people’s lives, then we will remember that Jesus didn’t take the summer off, nor does the enemy, so neither should the church. I think it makes sense for us to not all be “away from the plow” at the same time. If we plan and coordinate well it’s possible for everyone to get a break and be refreshed without breaking the flow. (We should also remember that our stewardship must remain consistent through the summer as well!) We are well served if we keep in mind the notion of “staggering our stops” so that the ministry can carry on.
Here at Mt. Pisgah, August will be an active and exciting month! We will continue our “Come as You Are” Sundays on second through the fifth Sunday, to give people an opportunity to just concentrate on giving God the praise without having to be concerned about appearances. On Second Sunday, August 8th, we will feature one of the great preachers of our AME Connection: The Reverend Dr. Samuel Boyd, from Pearl Street AME Church in Jackson MS (the 8th Episcopal District). From Saturday August 14th through Sunday August 15th we are excited to present our annual Women’s Conference, themed She Shall Be Called Woman. This will include a concert of prayer, workshops and a consecration service, all focused on helping women to walk in their callings. On August 22 will be the second of two “Family and Friends Day”, to which members will be encouraged extend an invitations to neighbors and family members. Finally, on August 27th and 28th our adult dance ministry Divine Movement will host its second annual City Wide Dance Revival and Prophetic Arts Conference. Dance and Mime ministries from throughout the region and beyond have been invited to minister, and to sharpen and hone their gifts as they give God the praise. So I am excited to report that even though most of us will pause at points during August to get some much needed rest, August will still be a kingdom building, God glorifying, people edifying, and devil horrifying month at Mount Pisgah!
Let me close by adding that even when we step back from our activity at the church, we should never step back from God. When you leave for the beach, or when you leave your ten month of the year routine for a different pace, don’t leave your spiritual disciplines behind. Stay in the WORD! Stay connected to the body through worship (that means GO TO CHURCH, even if it’s not your HOME church)! Above all, STAY ON YOUR KNEES! We simply cannot afford to relax our focus on God, or ignore our spiritual growth and development, just because we’re physically on vacation. (Even during the summer, the devil is STILL on the prowl, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)). If we stay focused on God, the refreshing of a vacation can be a REAL refreshing, a refreshing for our whole being.
Relax, Rejoice, and Enjoy!!