Summer is officially arriving this weekend! The Summer solstice – the longest day of the year – will be at 11:31pm on Sunday June 20. Not sure I’ll stay up to watch, but it’s good to know that it is Summer.
Though not tied to the solstice, one of the great harbingers of Summer at Grace Covenant return next week, after a hiatus last year. VBS – or Vacation Bible School – will run Monday thru Friday mornings here at the church – mostly outside this year. Our VBS is one of our most important ministry activities of the year. Countless hours of preparation are given so that we can share the Good News of Jesus with the children God entrusts to us. This is a vital part of our Mission to the Next Generation. Whether you are a parent, a volunteer, of just a lover of Jesus, please join us in praying that, by God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, the seeds sown next week will take root and bear fruit in the hearts and lives of those who participate.
As Summer unfolds, we look forward to seeing more and more old friends return to join us in worship on Sunday mornings. We have already enjoyed seeing many who have been away for the duration of the pandemic. We have also enjoyed a number of new friends who have joined us over the past several months. As both old friends and new friends come together, we thought it might be a good idea to try connect as many as we can. So, for these next couple weeks, we are planning to offer refreshments on the front porch between services, and we are inviting everyone to mingle. Regardless of whether you are an 8:30 or an 11am attender, we hope you will join us on the porch and on the lawn, connect, re-connect, and catch-up with one another.
Finally, (this is a short note this week,) I want to take this opportunity to note a newly minted federal holiday that will be observed this weekend on Saturday, Juneteenth. While I confess my awareness of this holiday goes back only a few years, Juneteenth is actually the oldest nationally recognized commemoration of the ending of slavery in the U.S. Now, some may wonder why I would highlight this holiday. It’s not a date on the ecclesiastical calendar. I don’t make a point of necessarily acknowledging every other national holiday. Why highlight Juneteenth? The short answer is this: With racial tensions and racial divisions still plaguing both our culture and the Church across our country, I thought it appropriate to use this date as an opportunity to revisit these issues. I have drafted short post in which I have provided a number of links to a variety of resources that look at some of issues related to racial division from a gospel perspective. I have no desire to create debate. Instead, I hope some of these resources might help promote greater understanding – and maybe some healthy discussion. So I hope you will check out: Resources for Racial Understanding & Reconciliation.
That’s all for now. I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend. As always, I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Grace & Peace,
W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor