As May is nearing its close and summer is upon us, there is much on the schedule coming up—opportunities for community and for service. This Saturday night is a special concert, the culmination of Dwight Oltman’s conducting workshop. You can read about elsewhere in First Words, with musicians from near and far under Dwight’s expert direction. Susan and I are especially interested since our daughter Kari will be concertmaster for the orchestra. Then Sunday morning at 11:00 we’ll have a special children’s choir from Athens First UMC. Scott didn’t say Sunday, but I’m pretty sure that’s Athens, GA—not Greece!
A week from this Saturday is our annual Community Impact Day, when “the church leaves the building” and we roll up our sleeves and do volunteer work for a dozen or so of our local ministries and helping agencies. I understand more volunteers are needed, especially at Pigeon Street Center and Folkmoot. There are varieties of jobs, including making beds at Folkmoot. For those unable to serve on Saturday, we need cookie bakers to make cookies for our public servants, mostly police and fire departments. This is a great day to serve, to make a difference in our community, and to get to better know other members of the church family.
June 4 is Pentecost, since early times one of the major festivals of the Christian year, celebrating the birth of the church. We’ll recognize high school graduates on that day, and we’ll receive this year’s confirmation class of 7th graders into full membership. The confirmation will actually take place at the 8:40 service, but the confirmands will be present in each of the other two services for the congregation to officially welcome and support them.
Come back on the afternoon of June 4 for the annual Pig Pickin’, one of my favorite events of the year. We’ll eat BBQ and listen to Whitewater Bluegrass Company. Whitewater always makes it fun, and there’ll no doubt be opportunity for a little square dancing. Another great opportunity for intergenerational fellowship.
You may have noticed that the cross which has been in the sanctuary for years has been missing lately. What you probably don’t know is that that cross is now is several pieces and seems to be beyond repair. The rustic cross we used in Lent will remain in place for awhile, but not permanently. A new cross is in the works, and it will be beautiful and meaningful. Details to come.
This Sunday I’ll preach a sermon unlike any I have preached before. I’ll tell stories from my growing up in our family hardware store and the lessons on life and faith I learned there. It’s been a meaningful experience for me to put some of these memories in writing and to realize how much my life and faith were shaped within the walls of that store. I need to give storyteller Donald Davis some credit for this, for I began this when I took a storytelling workshop with him at Ocracoke several years ago. I have finally sewn the pieces together, and that’s what you’ll hear on Sunday.
Interns are here, the calendar is full, summer is about to come into full swing. Take your trips, enjoy your vacations, and be here when you’re in town. There’s lots to celebrate.