What If?

B. Mike Alexander, Jr.

Betsy and I spent the first few days on our recent vacation in Boone, NC. We have some very dear friends who shared their lovely mountain home with us. While I was there, I even officiated the lovely wedding of Beverly Dougherty, a Belin member, and Tom Halvorsen. After the wedding, we moved over to Banner Elk for several days and spent time with friends we’ve had for more than twenty-five years. We did nothing with them but sit on the porch, chat, eat, and awe over the spectacular view from their porch. Even though the temperature was 66 degrees most days, I can tell you the wind blew hard as we sat high on the porch.  

This experience of the wind blowing reminded me of some words found in Acts 2. There is a rushing, violent wind that comes upon those gathered in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. God breathes upon Jesus’ followers and fills them and makes them new. As I sat on Ann and Bob Cason’s mountain house porch days ago with the wind blowing, I found myself praying for all of us that God would blow with such force that all who worship at Belin Memorial will be moved, comforted, and filled with power for the season ahead of us.

 What If? These are words you’ve heard for weeks, and this Sunday you’ll hear about a new opportunity to connect with persons at Belin Memorial in a special way. No doubt, it is Wesleyan in nature. John Wesley used this method in the 1700s. By the way, Walter Cantwell, my colleague in ministry, will join me in preaching the same text in The Harbor that I’m preaching in The Sanctuary. We’ll use different translations, and I imagine our sermons will share a similar focus as we consider What If? This may be one of those Sundays that you try worshiping in BOTH settings. It could mean a long morning at church for some of you.

This Sunday in The Sanctuary, we’ll celebrate Salkehatchie/Mission Sunday at 8:45 and 11:00 AM. We’ll hear a brief word from some of the participants in our summer missions. As well, at the 11:00 service we’ll take a few moments for the presentation of a Bible to each third grader.  
Betsy and I are so excited that our dear friend Louie Dajani is with us this weekend. If you are even slightly interested in touring the Holy Land, Greece, Italy, or England in the years ahead, this is a great opportunity for you to meet Louie, who can arrange your travels. There will be an Informational Travel Meeting on Sunday, August 26, 5:00 PM. Because our crowd may be large, our only gathering place available is The Sanctuary. I hope to see you there.

There is an 8-week study for women beginning on Thursday, September 20, 6:30 PM, that will help you discern the voice of God in your everyday life. The study will meet in the Family Life Center, and I encourage you to phone Jane Sparks (843.357.5185) to register and reserve your study guide.

As we prepare for a new season, we’re in desperate need of some volunteers for The Gathering which will be held on announced evenings. Are you a cook? Are you willing to serve? Will you give your time helping cleanup? Will you join me in washing dishes? Contact Brandy Streett, staff member in charge, if you will give your time. Call her today at 843.357.5180.

You know the coming of the Holy Spirit upon those gathered in Jerusalem birthed the Church, which ultimately “turned the world upside down.” For certain, the early followers of Jesus could not have done what they did without the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. May we pray without ceasing for the Holy Spirit to help us connect, grow, and serve so that we at Belin Memorial might be part of God’s continuous story to turn the world upside down.

You are special to me,