Fruit of the Spirit

B. Mike Alexander, Jr.

I have enjoyed working with the Reverend Walter Cantwell since his arrival to Belin Memorial in June 2016. Walter has added so much to our staff, helping us in many ways to be creative and cohesive. Some time ago Walter challenged me to join him in preaching a sermon series on Fruit of the Spirit. Lately, he and I have been doing some serious reading on this subject.  

Just before Jesus left the earth, he told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem. He told them that he would send the Holy Spirit: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

To this day the Spirit continues to be a force to be reckoned with as the Spirit moves us, comforts us, and fills us with power. Paul describes the Spirit’s work and its impact on our lives as the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.”

For the next three weeks, whether you worship in The Harbor or The Sanctuary, we’ll be taking a look at the fruit of those who have the Holy Spirit in their lives. This Sunday we’ll specifically look at love, joy, and peace. What are ways that you love unconditionally? Where is the joy in your life? Are you at peace with God and one another? If not, what can you do about it? Think on these things. And you continue to pray that the Holy Spirit might work in our lives as we move into weeks and months ahead.

Heads-up! This is a reminder that we’ll have a special offering this Sunday for Epworth Children’s Home. Located at 2900 Millwood Avenue, Columbia, SC, Epworth Children’s Home is a ministry to children and families in need. There are about 76 children, ages 4 – 18, who reside on campus. However, there are a number of children who live off campus and are helped. Let’s do our part to be family to them.

I’m delighted to welcome youth and adult leaders from St. John’s UMC, Rock Hill, to our campus for their retreat this weekend. They will be staying in the Family Life Center, and they will be attending The Harbor Sunday morning. For years, Austin Bond has helped us develop a special relationship with St. John’s. Annually, our Belin youth stay in St. John’s facilities when they are on their Charlotte Mission Trips. So we certainly welcome them this weekend.

Confirmation Orientation is this weekend, and I want to encourage youth and their parents to attend the session on Sunday morning, September 9, 10 AM. The meeting will be held in our worship center (the gym). If you are coming to the The Harbor for the 11 AM service, let me remind you that the doors will NOT open until 10:45 AM.

The Gathering on Thursday, 5:00-6:15 PM, September 13, will give you an opportunity to join the church family for dinner. There are a number of church meetings that evening, so I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to eat in the Family Life Center before your meeting. This Gathering helps us get back in touch with one another after a full summer. Make a reservation by Monday, September 13. Call Brandy at 843.357.5180 or email her at brandys@belinumc.org.

 Monday, September 24, is a busy evening at Belin Memorial. United Methodist Men, meeting at 7:00 PM, will host a meal and program for anyone who wants to know more about the Belin Memorial Endowment. As well, a new Bible study for men & women will begin that evening at 6:00 PM. You’ll hear more about these events and others in the near future. Just save the date!

I spoke at our Adult Senior Luncheon this past Wednesday, and I said, “I can’t believe I let Walter talk me into a series on the Fruit of the Spirit.” Of course, I was teasing! I’m excited about this sermon series, and I’m so grateful to be part of a church where the Holy Spirit is at work!

Blessings on you, 
Mike