Wednesday night I went to a Pelicans game with my in-laws. It was one of those rare, late summer evenings in South Carolina when the humidity was not too oppressive. There was actually a refreshing breeze gently fanning the stadium. It was as if fall was giving us a glimpse of what is to come. Sitting there in the stands, I kept thinking about our Church Council meeting from the night before when one of our leaders reminded us that there are two constants in this life.
THE FIRST CONSTANT IS CHANGE. Change is inevitable and cannot be escaped. It is all around us.
Earlier this week, Mike mailed a letter to the members of Belin Memorial announcing his retirement this coming June. Since being appointed the Senior Minister in 2005, Mike has seen the church grow, expand, adapt, and evolve. To put it another way: the church has changed. And Murrells Inlet has also changed a lot during this time.
Change is difficult and unsettling. But it is also necessary.
The Scriptures speak of how we are to be changed, or as Paul describes—"transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Our desires, thoughts, and actions are to be shaped so that we reflect the goodness of Jesus Christ. Sometimes change requires us to journey through the unknown in order to grow and to be changed.
This past Sunday was an amazing day at Belin Memorial. 200 people signed up to participate in the launch of Growth Groups. These groups provide you a place to connect with both God and one another. Each Growth Group meets in homes weekly, or every other week, and offers you an opportunity to learn more about the Bible while also forming relationships that will grow and develop your faith. Being part of a Growth Group could very well transform your life. It is not too late to sign-up. There will be sign-up stations outside The Sanctuary and The Harbor this coming Sunday, or you can email email@example.com to get involved.
An email went out last week announcing the upcoming series of Home Gatherings. These gatherings are different than Growth Groups because they are designed to be attended only once. The purpose of the Home Gatherings is to share future plans for the expansion and renovation of our physical campus. If you were able to worship with us on Sunday, you probably noticed, especially at the 11 AM services in The Sanctuary and The Harbor, how packed we were. Seating and parking spots were limited. At one of these Home Gatherings, you will hear the vision of how we will address these concerns and prepare for the future of our church so that we can continue making disciples of Jesus Christ.
THE SECOND CONSTANT IN LIFE IS GOD’S FAITHFULNESS. Jesus is present with us, helping us navigate our way through all the seasons of life so that we might make our way back to God.
There is a lot happening at the church. There is a lot happening in your lives. Take comfort in knowing God is with all of us, guiding us into a future with Christ Jesus.
Finally, I just want to express how happy I am for Mike. I, like so many others, will miss him around the church come next summer, but I am so glad he will be able to enjoy the gift of retirement: time with family, time relaxing, and time traveling.
Be at peace,