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!!
Sunday, August 7th was the Back to School Bash at Southport Elementary School. The church has been collecting supplies for a while now, including during our Vacation Bible School, where so many gave generously to the cause. At the bash, over 250 students school supplies were given out and over 400 people were in attendance. During the bash, lunch was served, several games were set up, and kids of Southport enjoyed the day! With over 125 volunteers from the church, we were able to serve the community and show God’s love. Supplies were also given to Anchorage Children's Home and Little Lambs Christian Preschool, as well as New Horizon's.
Cave Quest Vacation bible School was an amazing, energetic God-filled week!! We had sooo many kids coming each night to learn about Jesus and to worship and praise Him in a MIGHTY way!! Pastor Craig described it as a Kids Revival and I know that all the people involved could tell you that GOD was Moving in our Church!! On Thursday Night, our last night we completely packed our Sanctuary and more with kids, families and the people who served at VBS all week. The lights went down and the finger lights went on and those voices lifted to the Heavens!! It was beautiful and breathtaking and a week we will never forget!! We are so thankful for the faithful servants who took the lead and made having an average of 370 kids smooth and remarkable!! We also collected tons of school supplies to distribute at our Back to School Bash!! T o God be the glory for all of these blessings!!
On Sunday July 31st, over 320 people of The Lynn Haven United Methodist Church gathered together to worship at A.L. Kinsaul Park in Lynn Haven. United as one Body of Christ, we kicked off our latest sermon series: A Healthy Body. Members of all ages enjoyed passionate worship, a powerful message delivered by all of our pastors, a baptism in the bay, snacks, water activities and even a little Pokemon. That’s right, a Pokemon GO event took place during the worship service and attracted approximately 150 new faces, some of whom came over to listen to the music and witness the baptism in the bay. It was a wonderful morning of fellowship, food and fun as we celebrated the healthy body God is creating in our church!