As I drove home to Texas, floods of memories washed over me of my newly found friends and family in Cedarville. They are delightful memories, but to be honest, I tried not to think about them because it always hurts to say goodbye. I do try to remind myself, however, that with every painful goodbye that means that there was at one time a sweet hello, and I consider myself blessed to have been able to spend this past year with so many kind, generous, and welcoming families in Cedarville. Thank you to each and every one of you who took me in as I adjusted to life in the small northern village with which I have become so familiar and consider another home. I want to thank you all for the prayers you showered on me; I want to thank you for the warm meals you shared with me; I want to thank you for the movies you watched with me, the cookies you baked with me; I want to thank you for the incessant laughs to be found in every conversation; I want to thank you for your care in times of need like when my grandfather passed away this year; but I want to thank you most of all for being the body of Christ to me.
I find riddled throughout the Scriptures, stories of Christ welcoming and including others who would otherwise have been either forgotten or forced out of any social company. Think of the Samaritan woman with whom Jesus was not to associate. Think of Zacchaeus high in his tree, but looked down upon for his misuse of other’s money. Or think of the woman with the issue of blood, who was to be kept at a distance for her uncleanliness. Each one of these Jesus turned to with his fierce eyes, and once He arrested their attention, He relieved their fears and included them. As I see Jesus’ love poured out on to so many in the Scriptures, I see this key characteristic of Him: He is an includer. And as we strive to become like Him it is with great joy that I commend so many of you for shining His reflection through your lives so clearly by the way you include others. As I came to learn, Cedarville is a very transient community, and there always seems to be an opportunity to include someone.
I am grateful to my family at Grace Baptist Church that you reflected Christ’s very character by including me in so many ways. Continue doing so and never tire of doing good so that by your good works many will glorify our Father! I love you all. Thank you for your investment in me. I am sure to come back to Cedarville soon. With Gratefulness,
Our SEEK team and group of campers are heading to Scioto Hills Camp, they left in the midst of heavy rain this morning with excitement written all over their faces! Check out some of the pictures and read a blog post by Pastor Mike as well!
Scioto Hills and SEEK Week
Discipleship on Two Levels–Learning and Doing
On Monday morning we pull out of the parking lot with close to 90 students ready for camp! What I love most about Scioto Hills camp is SEEK week. As our grade school and middle school students are at New Frontier and Alpha camp, our high school students have the opportunity to be right there serving. We lead morning and evening chapels for New Frontier camp, we do work projects for the camp, we have team leadership initiatives, we assist with games, we hang out with campers and we aim to be a blessing to the camp staff.
SEEKers is about serving. In our individualistic culture that celebrates self, students need more opportunities to learn that life is not about us. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 that in order to gain life you must lose it. Jesus not only preached this message, his life was an example of complete surrender. Paul encourages believers in Philippians 2 to have this same mind in Christ Jesus. Even though he is God, he emptied himself by becoming a servant who would be obedient to the point of death! SEEKers won’t require this total surrender, but my prayer is that this trip will be one more experience in our students’ lives that help them realize that a life surrendered to God is worth it.
This year our theme is “Redeemed.” Our campers will learn what Jesus has done to redeem and rescue them and what the correct response is for one who has been redeemed. Will you join me in praying that all of our campers will know what Jesus has done for them and that they will respond to that message of grace?
Second Act of Cedarville will be offering volunteer training for anyone interested in serving at our local clothing ministry. Training will be held at Second Act located at 50 North Main on Tuesday, June 9th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. There are a variety of serving roles available including management opportunities, cashier, sorting, cleaning, deliveries, baking and more. Please join us as we serve our community! More info? Click Here and we’ll connect you!
This Saturday, June 6, from 9am-3pm. If you can paint, power wash, haul, move, or clean, Safe Harbor House could use your help! Come for all or part of the time at 1001 S. Center St. in Springfield. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by June 3 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You can also RSVP and find out more information about the event on Facebook by going to the event page.
One of our core values here at Grace is service. We desire to further the impact of the Gospel and serve others through many avenues, both in the church and out. This week we have two areas of ministry where you could serve.
1. We are seeking volunteers for a short “Landscaping Workday” at Grace this
Saturday, April 25 from 9-12am. If you would like to help spruce up our grounds, please show up for donuts at 9:00am – and work at 9:05am! Bring your gloves; all other tools will be provided. Contact us by clicking here with questions.
2. We are also seeking people to work the check-in kiosk for our children’s ministry! Its a comfortable commitment and it provides safety and security for the children of Grace. This commitment is one or two services a month. All you need is a friendly face! Please let us know if you could serve with us by clicking here.
Service Core Value
We must look beyond ourselves. As we transform and consider our fellow brothers, we lose our selfish ways, and look for ways to serve those in our church family and those outside our wall, whether believer or unbeliever. To serve is to solidify God truth in our lives.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:13, 14