As we enter the month of June, the subject of “vacation” is on many of our minds. This is certainly the case for children as the long-awaited summer break has finally arrived. While students are glad it’s here, teachers are even more elated.Most of us are planning to take some sort of vacation in the next few months, my family included. This month we’re headed to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary and to Los Angeles, California, to visit Lee’s family. According to the dictionary, a vacation is defined as “a period of suspension of regular work, study, or other activity.” While we all need and enjoy time away from our everyday routines, we must remind ourselves that this mindset should not be allowed to spill over to our Christian lives. Nowhere in the Bible will you find the term, “vacation,” used. This is not to say vacations are anti-scriptural. This fact does suggest, however, that vacations are not appropriate in the spiritual realm. That is, we never need to take a leave of absence from our relationship with God and His people. To insure this doesn’t happen, let me make a couple of suggestions. First of all, while we may enjoy a respite from work or school, let’s agree not to take a hiatus from church. In fact, the summer months may provide opportunities to increase our involvement in worship, fellowship, and service as we suspend some of our normal activities. Please make a commitment to be faithful in your worship attendance and, if you’re not already doing so, consider joining a Sunday School class or small group. If you need help getting “plugged in” to one of our faith development ministries, please contact our Adult Discipleship Coordinator, Mindy Clemons (email@example.com). There are also ample opportunities to serve in ministry and mission, both inside and outside the church walls. Our Director of Hospitality Ministries, Heather Howell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Missions Coordinator, Katie Fanning (katie@mylhumc. net) will be happy to assist you in finding places to serve our church and community. Lastly, please stay consistent in the giving of your tithes and offerings. Our congregation has made significant financial gains in recent months so let’s not allow a “summer slump” to hinder our progress. Even if you’re away, you can use our convenient on-line and “text to give” options to support our church’s on-going work for Christ. Second, even when we are away on vacation, we don’t need to take a sabbatical from church. Whenever my family travels, we enjoy the opportunity it affords us to visit other congregations. I am already looking forward to worshiping at Saddleback Community Church in SoCal, when Lee and I attend their Purpose Driven Conference at the end of June. Let me encourage you to find a house of worship when your travels take you away from our community. You’ll discover God is active in a variety of places and settings, and you may even make some new friends in Christ in the process. Be sure and bring back ideas that may aid us in fulfilling the goal of offering “passionate worship” experiences. Let our Worship Minister, Brad Burke (bburke@ mylhumc.net), know what you find meaningful and inspiring in other congregations. Enjoy a wonderful season of vacation – from work, school, but not from the Lord and His Church!
Craig Carter Lead Pastor, LHUMC