Recently, we received a letter from Tyler Vittetoe, a former Youth Minister here at our church, that we wanted to share with you all.
Dear Congregation and Staff at Lynn Haven UMC,
I want to take the opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for your past gifts to help me and my family as I continue my seminary education. Even though it has been many years ago, I consider it one of the great moments of my life in ministry to be able to serve the Lord alongside all of you. The support and the lessons that I learned during my time with all of you have continued to bless me in my current endeavors to continue to serve in the AWF Conference. Serving as an Associate Pastor here at Saint James is going very well. I’m serving in the areas of missions and outreach, which give me the unique opportunity to equip the people of my church to serve the needy here in Montgomery and around the world! I am also pursuing ordination as a Deacon in the UMC, and am excited to continue pursuing the Lord’s calling for my life. I’m so grateful for the many fond memories of my family life in Panama City, in which our involvement in the church was central. My family is so happy here in Montgomery, just as we were at Lynn Haven UMC. Kathryn has found a great opportunity to play cello full-time for the symphony here. Jayna and Elsie are both growing so fast, and are happy and healthy. Jayna frequently asks me about the people at Lynn Haven that have made a lasting impact on her little personality. I have heard so many great things about how the ministry is going at Lynn Haven, and your dedication to the Lord. Thank you again for the prayers and support that you all have given to me over the years. It always gives me confidence to remember that my home church is always cheering me on. Thank you especially to those of you who are lay-leaders, that dedicate your talents and time in order to lead the church. May the Lord supply all you need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus! God bless all of you, in Jesus’ name!
Tyler Vittetoe Former Lynn Haven Youth Minister
We had a great season. The first half of the season was a struggle. We had to work through some injuries, and a few weeks we had to play short-handed, but we persevered and finished the year strong! We went 7-2 over the last 9 games, dominating our opponents by a combined score of 157-66!
Our biggest win, however, was welcoming a new family to our church! Rob, Lisa, and Jarett Wilkerson just moved to Panama City a couple of months ago. We met them at the ballpark 2 weeks before the season started. Rob and Jarett were looking for a softball team to play with, and ended up finding something much, much better! A church home! They have been attending ever since!
Our Gretna Family Mission Trip was a great success! We worked in and alongside the community to share the love of Christ with all that we came in contact with. Take a minute to watch slideshow below to see what was done at Gretna in service to God.
Birdhouses built & painted to hang around the campgrounds.
At the community farm/garden, we built an irrigation system, cleared out the garden beds, and started composting bins. Jennifer Adams taught members of the community how to compost.
At the community center, we placed the stones for the sidewalk, planted flowers in the front beds, built a fire pit, and also a "gaga pit" for games.
About 30 people from the community of Gretna joined us for a cookout, fun, and fellowship. Many of those that attended served alongside us in the service events.
Our younger childred created a sign for the community cookout (seen below).
The Prayer Square Ministry was introduced to the community
We continue our prayers for this team and for our friends in Uganda!
Today (Monday) Jack, Dale, and Philip went to put final touches on building preparation. They have all holes dug, and materials gathered. Tomorrow assembly will begin. I started early with some final lesson preparation. Found a wonderful woman who is typing and copying for me. Then I was invited to teach a bible class of employees here at the hotel. Some 20 attended with praise and songs and prayers. I taught for 45 minutes and they wanted more. Some of them who were unaware of my teaching at Isaac's church are coming to class starting tomorrow (Tuesday) which will go until Saturday. So far it is like Isaac said. People are hungry for knowledge of God's word. Will send picture of Bible study employees separately. I covet your continuing prayers.
During our everyday lives, we are constantly given opportunities to reach out to those around us make connections with people for Christ. Jonathan Gibson and his wife had one such moment during a simple trip to Walmart. Let’s all pray that God provides us with these opportunities daily and that we use them when we have the chance. You never know how a simple conversation could affect a person’s life. Thank you to Jonathan for sharing this with us. “While at Wal-Mart, my wife, Jessica, and I ran into another lady shopping. At the end of our conversation I said, “God bless,” and her eyes lit up. She then asked what church we attended. She proceeded to tell us that her husband passed away about a year ago and explained that she grew up a traditional Methodist, but her husband was a Baptist. She asked about our service times and I told her that our Traditional service time was at 8 am. She rolled her eyes and said that was way too early for her. I then went on to explain that our service times are changing in September and our new Traditional service is moving to the 11 am time slot. She was simply overjoyed!! She then explained that growing up she went to her traditional Methodist service at 11 am and that was the perfect time! We gave her more specific information about the location of the church and asked her to come join us so we can worship together on September 11th. This had to be a God Sighting. This simple chance encounter helped Jessica and I confirm that the changes our congregation is making to our schedule is truly the right thing to do. We will be able to invite people, who may have been out of the church for some time, and in doing so, open up new opportunities to reach people in our community.”
AWANA Kick Off was a fun-filled night, especially because the kids found out they were getting a five day weekend due to school and business closing shift in advance of Hurricane Hermine!! We had lots of returning families as well as new families joining us for the first time. Everyone enjoyed a hot dog dinner served by our beloved United Methodist Men, shout out!! Then we all met in the Sanctuary for some Kid style worship, AWANA info, and fun. A special part of the Kick Off was sharing and celebrating the Baptisms of 5 awesome AWANA peeps! Pastors, parents, and AWANA leaders participated in this wonderful sacrament that will be a lifelong memory of joy for us all. I think we are geared up and ready for the first full night of our AWANA program next Wednesday. Make sure you are registered if you are not already. You don't want to miss out on the fun, friendship and spiritual energy that takes place in AWANA!!