God's Kingdom Growing

Last Saturday was our annual Community Impact Day. About 170 gathered in the Christian Growth Center/Gym for breakfast prepared by the United Methodist Men, then headed out to 11 sites and 3 nursing homes. I made it to 10 of those sites and one nursing home.  I failed to make it to the ARC facility in Clyde before the work was finished and the group departed.

 Our people sanded and painted, pulled weeds and trimmed shrubbery, cleaned and cleaned some more, sorted and pressed clothes, built bookcases and tore a roof off, among other things I probably missed. Our children sang and played violins at nursing homes.

 What’s more, this week loads of cookies were delivered to fire, police, and Town Hall personnel, expressing our gratitude for their service to our community. We believe that approximately 200 people participated in some way.

 I spoke to the people before they left for their work sites Saturday about synergy. And it happened…the final results were much greater than individual parts added all together! God was among the people, the Spirit was moving, and much good was accomplished for these ministries and organizations that will trickle down to the many persons they serve each day. In the process, God brought us closer together as a church family, because working side by side just seems to do that. In fact, the Greek word synergos means literally “working together,” and that we did! The church at work…the church that “left the building”…the “living Body of Christ.” Thanks be to God!  And thanks to all who gave their time, energies, and efforts to make it a special day.

 This Sunday we’ll ponder how God works and how God’s kingdom grows, how God’s will is manifested in our world, and while it’s about God at work, we have a role, too—don’t we? Read about the mystery of the seed and how God’s kingdom is like that in Mark 4:26-35. You might also read Mark 4:1-20 for more on seeds.

 As I wrote in this week’s First Words, next Wednesday, June 17 through Sunday June 21 the 2015 session of the Western NC Conference will take place at Lake Junaluska. You can read all about Annual Conference, including viewing it streaming online, at ac2015.org. 

 Also, as I wrote in First Words, I will be taking some vacation-renewal-study leave beginning after conference through July. You’ll have some wonderful preachers those Sundays, so don’t miss those opportunities. And I’ll be doing some planning for preaching and worship, so if you have a topic or question you’d like for me to address during the coming year, send me an email at sgiles@fumc-waynesville.com and I’ll take it into consideration as I plan.

 But for now, see you Sunday in worship!


PS: Oops, I mistakenly reported last week that Joe Sam Queen called square dancing at the Pig Pickin’. I was wrong! I thought that happened after I left, but he had to leave too. My apologies to Joe Sam and those who actually did the calling!

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