In Motion and At Rest
Posted on: May 30, 2017
by: Gerrit Dawson, Senior Pastor
by: Gerrit Dawson, Senior Pastor
The rhythm of summer has begun. With the conclusion of the school year, many of us look forward to sleeping longer and doing less. But we’re also on the move. Vacations often include travel. Some even say they look forward to going back to work so they can rest from their holidays! The church also moves into both rest and motion. We have four Sundays with single services in July. But meanwhile many of us are traveling.
We’ve already had two dozen elementary students head to Lake Forest Ranch for a week of recreation and beautiful gospel reflection. (I can always tell in confirmation interviews which kids have gone to Lake Forest: they know the gospel). A dozen middle schoolers have been in New Orleans working with Mission Lab on service projects. And fourteen high schoolers are heading to New York City for eight days of urban service projects in hopes of being inspired to do similar work in our city.
Several of our leaders will be heading this month to Fair Oaks, California for the General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. It’s always wonderful to go to Assemblies where there is no fighting over essential beliefs, but a joyful focus on sending missionaries, equipping the church, worshiping the Triune God, refreshing leaders and strengthening our ties of fellowship.
At the end of June, we expect to host over 100 children again for our annual Vacation Bible School. Students can look forward to visits from Biblical characters and a lively week of creative teaching.
Personally, the Dawson’s look forward to some vacation in the North Carolina mountains. We’ll celebrate Rhonda’s mother’s birthday, see family, hike, read and eat way too much. And I hope to begin research on next year’s Lenten Study, called Real Identity: Living as Christ Defines Us. Rhonda will be bringing her creative magic to several garden projects and working on some new oil paintings. During the weekdays of July 17-21, I’ll be in Orlando teaching a Doctor of Ministry course to a dozen pastors. Theology of Ministry is the course title, but my secret mission is to affirm and refuel these guys who spend all year on the frontlines of ministry.
One of my former doctoral students, Scott Bowen, has become the pastor of the vibrant Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga, TN. Scott is writing his dissertation on the role of pastors and elders in shepherding congregations. He could really use your help via a five minute survey. I told him I would invite you all to take the survey and help his project. Here’s the web address.
While I’m away the first two Sundays of July, the pulpit will be ably filled. Our Director of Discipleship, Darin Travis, will give his first Sanctuary sermon July 2. And on July 9, our pastor emeritus, Russ Stevenson will be filling the pulpit July 9. I am forever grateful for the twenty years of Word-centered, connective and innovative ministry Russ gave us. July 16, the Foto Sisters will join us to give us a musical treat in the midst of that summer heat. And on July 23, Albert White will deliver a dynamic message as we share leadership to continue to model racial reconciliation in our city. A picnic will follow that service. Also, the Magruder family will be back from Kenya during the summer and we can expect to hear from them during our summer services. Also, several elders will be giving personal testimonies during that time.
So I hope you find some rest this summer, even if you are in motion part of the time. I’m grateful for such a great team of elders and staff who will work together to keep the church pulsing even as we rotate our key staff through some days of refreshing.
I love to be your pastor,
Posted in: From the Pastors' Desk