Feel the Spirit Tugging at Our Heart

Walter Cantwell

I received a text on Tuesday morning that made my week: “Headed home! And we did a holy interruption!” Now you need a little background to why this text brought me a big smile. On Monday morning I met this individual at MUSC as her loved one prepared for surgery. While waiting, we talked a little bit about my sermon from the day before and how I challenged everyone to interrupt someone’s life with the power of love. When I received this text on Tuesday, I had to know the story. And that is what made my week. I will return to this story in a minute.

This is a rare Sunday at Belin Memorial. Both Mike and I will not be preaching. He is away on vacation, getting some much-needed rest, and I am serving as the liturgist in The Sanctuary. But don’t think this gives you an excuse not to be in worship! Our District Superintendent, the Rev. Tim Rogers, will be preaching in The Sanctuary, and our newest member of the Pastoral Cabinet, the Rev. Dr. Connie Stinson, will be preaching in The Harbor. I know for a fact that both of them are beyond excited to be with us on Sunday!A lot is happening around Belin Memorial. With summer coming to an end and school almost back in session, ministries and missions are starting to gear back up for the fall. The Belin Backpack Ministry is in position to serve more children this year. Please consider grabbing a green Sack Hunger bag in The Sanctuary or in The Harbor this weekend. A list of the food items we collect and distribute are in the green bags. All gifts are greatly appreciated and needed throughout the school year.

Children in our area also need supplies for the upcoming school year. It is not too late to take part in the Back to School Mission. School supplies can be dropped off in the Family Life Center this Sunday.

Promotion Sunday for our youth and children will be taking place this Sunday. Volunteers will be in the Belin Creative Learning Center (education building) to help your student find their new classroom. Now is a great time to get your student involved.

Let’s get back to that text message. This couple discovered that a friend of a friend, who they had known a long time ago, was also at MUSC and was very sick. Before checking out, they decided to swing by this person’s room. They were a little hesitant because they did not know if he would remember them. But he did. By simply showing up, they learned how he was feeling isolated. For a brief moment, God used them to bring love, hope, and company to someone in need.

Church doesn’t just take place on Sunday mornings. Church happens when we feel the Spirit tugging at our heart and we follow its lead. You have heard a couple of the many great opportunities before us to deepen your own faith and to share love with the world. Don’t miss out on the opportunity before you.

Keep holy interrupting

The Story of Nicodemus, Starting Anew, and Our Commitment to Jesus

B. Mike Alexander, Jr.

For a number of days recently, I found myself saying, “Rain, rain, go away; come again another day.” For sure, this week has been hot and sunny. As the torrential downpours have passed, I’m mindful that summer is nearly over as well. As you begin to get back into a routine, I hope you’ll make Sunday worship part of what you do every week.

This Sunday I’ll be preaching on a text most familiar to you. It is the story of Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the dark. For me, it is one of the most important stories in the scriptures. To Nicodemus, Jesus unapologetically says, “Nicodemus, you have to be born again.” What a great time of year this is for us to think about starting anew.  

Walter is going to be in The Harbor this Sunday, and his focus is going to be on “Holy Interruptions.” His text will include the Good Samaritan story. No doubt, he will speak a powerful word to those who choose to worship in our modern worship setting.   

Remember the Dedication of Wall and Steps and Garden on Sunday, 6 PM, in front of The Sanctuary. Our brief worship will be remembering and honoring people who have made this such a gorgeous area of our campus.

Don’t forget to make reservations for our Back to School Gathering on Thursday, August 16. Dinner will start being served at 5:30 PM. If you bring school supplies, you can eat free. Otherwise, the cost per person is $6 for adults, $4 for children who are four or older, free for children three and younger. You may not realize what an impact your school supplies have on a child, but you make a difference. All our supplies will be sent to Williamsburg County Schools.  

As we look ahead, I’m thrilled to have the Reverend Tim Rogers preaching in The Sanctuary on Sunday, August 19. Tim is our Marion District Superintendent. He has been most appreciative of Belin Memorial’s commitment to mission and ministry. I sure hope you’ll be present in worship that day to hear Tim.

On August 26, we’ll celebrate Salkehatchie Sunday. Specifically, this was our fifth year to host our Creekfront Salkehatchie. You all have been so supportive, and I am grateful. On the last Sunday as well, we’ll also present Bibles in The Sanctuary to third graders during the 11 AM service.

Betsy and I are going to take some time away for several days in the mountains. But it won’t be long before I’ll be back in the office. I’m really excited about the season we are getting ready to enter. My prayer is that this church family will continue to connect, grow, and serve.

What If you take your commitment to Jesus Christ and the church seriously? What If you really do commit to support the church with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness? What If this fall you find something that you’ve been missing for a long time? What If you begin to think about all these things? What If?

You are special!