Tag: UMC

Meeting the Need – Health Kits and Love Offerings

Health Kits UMC IMG_6947

After the rains came, and everything started to settle, it became pretty clear that things were going to be alright in much of Ridgeville, Givhans and the Lebanon Communities, but there are many places still dealing with water slowly leaving the state.  Churches and homes still getting rid of water, assessing damage, and beginning the slow process of putting life back together.

Yesterday I drove through Columbia, and it is clear with the bridges still out, and the road closures (and the water systems just coming back into full operation) that this has and will be a longer road than usual.  I’d like to say a few thanks to some of the amazing people I’ve seen helping.

(1) I’d like to thank the South Carolina UMC Conference, United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, and the Emergency Relief Teams already engaged and working across the state.  We’re blessed to have so many people from so many places putting brotherly/sisterly love into action.  (By the way there is a training tomorrow if you’d like to join those teams).  Also, thanks to the Conference and our Bishop for immediately posting information on how to get things done.

(2) I’d like to thank the churches of the Ridgeville Charge.  We’ve already made up 60 Health Kits, which were brought to the Conference Office yesterday.  (See pictures above).  I talked with the ladies there, and they said that they are shipping them out to communities fast, and these health kits are in great need.  We should continue to send them if we can, and I’ll make sure that somehow they keep getting to the Conference Office as fast as possible (drop off in the Vestibule’s of any of our Ridgeville Charge Churches.  Also – thank you for already giving so much to the Canaan UMC church on Route 61.  There are ERT teams working there, and they are worshipping at their sister church Sand Hill UMC until the church is ready to use again.  Continue to be in prayers for them, and maybe check in with anyone you know in that area and see if anyone needs anything specific.  We’ll be giving their emergency fund a love offering after this Sunday.  Make sure to invite folks back out to church for worship, and to maximize how much we can send in aid.  I’ve seen SC people coming together in the name of God, and my hope and prayer is that this will continue.  God is good!

(3) To those areas outside the affected zone, and those places out of state who have come to help and have sent bottled water.  Thank you for your prayers and generosity.  God is doing amazing things here, and I believe by prayer you are doing the best thing possible.  God is giving us all we need, and the people of SC are strong.  Pray for those without homes, send funds if you can to relief organizations (see my previous blog for more information about giving and making health kits), and keep telling us you’re thinking about us as the work continues in our hardest hit areas.

My favorite scripture verse is: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for theLord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

We have seen His mighty power, we have seen Him work through the love of so many, and our faith is putting our hands to work for our neighbors!  Blessed be the name of the Lord our God!

South Carolina Flood Response

 

canann umc flood

Flood Response

 

From Pastor Dan:  I’ve visited our three churches, and for the most part, our churches fared pretty well through the incredible storms this past weekend.  I’ve met with some of our folks and I haven’t received any requests for dire need so far.   However, we encourage you to check in on your neighbors and simply ask how they are doing after the storm.  Perhaps we can provide for some in a time of need.  There are others in our immediate area who are not as fortunate, and are in need of help.  I’ve talked with our Emergency Relief Coordinator, Toni Janis, about Canaan UMC on Rt. 61, and they are in dire need in many ways – not just the church but also members whose homes are under water.  
How can we help?  Here are four ways:
(1) Pray! first and foremost, for those who are in need across our entire state and those currently responding to all forms of need.
(2) You can donate funds to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), and we may take up a “Love Offering” Sunday in order to send some financial help directly to our neighbors on 61.    General donations to help in the aftermath of the South Carolina flooding should go to Advance #901670, U.S. Disaster, said Gregory A. Forrester, assistant general secretary, UMCOR  Disaster Response. You can go directly to the UMCOR website to give on-line: http://www.UMCOR.org 
(3) Volunteer: If you would like to volunteer to assist in the relief efforts following the historic flooding all around South Carolina, you must be training.
Please join ERT and help people recover from the flooding disaster in SC.
Training is Saturday Oct. 10 from 9am-5pm
Sharon UMC
3001 Shannon St. Sharon, SC
$35 (Lunch Provided)
(4) Health Kits: The NEW items needed for each kit include:
• 1 hand towel
• 15 x 25 inches to 17 x 27 inches;
• Kitchen, cleaning, and microfiber towels not acceptable.
• 1 washcloth
• 1 comb
• Comb needs to be sturdy and longer than 6 inches long;
• No pocket combs or picks please;
• Rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable with a minimum of 6 inches of teeth.
• 1 metal nail file or nail clippers
• No emery boards, please.
• 1 bath-size soap
• 3 oz. and larger sizes only;
• No Ivory or Jergens soap due to moisture content;
• Do not remove from original packaging.
• 1 toothbrush
• Adult size only;
• Do not remove from original packaging.
• 6 adhesive bandages
• ¾ inch to 1 inch-size;
• Common household Band-Aids.
• 1 plastic bag
• One-gallon size sealable bag only.
• $1.00 to purchase toothpaste (UMCOR purchases toothpaste in bulk and monitors expiration dates)
Assembly Directions: Set the $1.00 for toothpaste aside to be included in a separate envelope. Lay out the hand towel flat on a table. Lay the washcloth flat in the center of the hand towel. Place all remaining items on top of the washcloth. Fold over the sides of the hand towel to cover all of the items. Fold over one end of the hand towel so that it covers all of the items. Grasp the bundle of items tightly and roll over the remainder of the hand towel tightly. Place the tightly rolled bundle in the plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.  See website for more information: https://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Kits/Health   (You can drop off Health Kits at all three of our churches in the Welcome Area (vestibule), and we will make sure they get to UMCOR for distribution).
As we seek to respond in a way that honors our Connection to others as followers of Jesus Christ, let us petition our Heavenly Father for all the needs of those who are affected.  He is with us, and cares deeply for us all, and He calls us to be hands and feet, and to be those who bring the Good News by our actions and by sharing His great eternal Love.
“We are a connectional church, and we are not alone as we seek to respond faithfully to communities in crisis,” said SC UMC Conference Bishop Jonathan Holston.

Daniel Griswold
Pastor, Ridgeville Charge, UMC
Trinity, Mt. Tabor, Cypress

OFFICE: 843-871-1287

Exciting Times in the Ridgeville Charge – Thanks to Trinity, Mt. Tabor, and Cypress UMC

Moving In

It has now been over a month since Amanda, Ransom, Bella and I moved from the hot suburbs of Bluffton and Hilton Head and packed our things for Ridgeville, Givhans, and the Lebanon community.

First things first, we have so many people to thank on so many different fronts that it would be impossible to name you all.  At Saint Andrew, our parting was bittersweet, but it was clear that we would remain in touch through the connection of the Methodist church, and we are so grateful for the encouragement as we entered transition.

When we arrived, the people of our three churches met us at our new parsonage and have been an incredibly welcoming presence.  If all visitors to our churches are welcomed with arms as open as we have been welcomed, we have a bright future ahead as the Ridgeville charge makes disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world!  The parsonage was completely remodeled from the time we visited months prior, and it was like a new home.  Folks from all three churches were there to help us get our luggage in and visited with us as we determined where all our “stuff” needed to go.  Afterwards, as we began opening boxes, the food and sweet tea brought to us by congregants helped us continue the charge, even as our first Sunday of worship was about to arrive and we would be traveling to all three churches and experiencing the Holy Spirit move in each.

We are now getting our bearings, and have visited Summerville, SC almost every third day.  That’s where Target and Walmart and Harris Teeter (and Thrift Stores) are located…so we’ve done a lot of that.   We found a coffee shop that we like thanks to some good folks that work nearby who suggested it to us.  It is Coastal Coffee Roasters, which reminds me a lot of The Corner Perk in Bluffton.  Coffee is roasted there on the spot, they have great drinks, and even use nitrous to spice of their cold brew iced coffees (which have an incredibly high caffeine content)  – Good stuff.

And back to Ridgeville and Givhans, we’re not too far from Vaughn’s General Store, and there is a great pizza place in town called Christina’s.  We actually got the internet for the first time at the parsonage, so our cellular data use has plummeted, and we were recommended to (and did) move from AT&T to Verizon (an ongoing process) because the signal out here in the country wasn’t strong enough…oh, and we got a home phone…never thought I’d do that again.

The only challenge we have come up against is that our house, which had originally been ready to sign and sell, is now back on the market due to a mortgage lender error in our first deal.  If you know anyone searching for a house in the Bluffton area, we have a 4 bedroom home that needs a good owner.  That link sends you to a tropical music 3D tour – so exciting.  We loved that home but need to sell it as soon as folks need it.  All in God’s hands and timing.

So here we are, getting to know some of the greatest people in the world, preparing for God’s will as we serve and love the people of this new area, and experiencing a new and exciting way of life.  I’ve included a few photos, including my biscotti pic from the amazing Ice Cream Social that all three churches participated in (and home made ice cream floweth…ed.”   It was amazing.  God is good.  This adventure suits us, as hard as it was to move, even with the little bits of stress, we are being blessed and hopefully will be a blessing to others.  Pray for us as we discover God’s will and act out the mission He has for us!

To you all, blessings and peace,

Dan, Amanda, Ransom and Bella

Extra Pics: 

Worship and Office Trinity UMC Ransom in a Chair Ransom and Bella Cokes on the chairs Coffee at Coastal Boxes and Baby Biscotti for the Charge Social Bella in the Yard Moving In

Sermon: “The Heart of Fire,” April 19th, Hilton Head Campus

Download and Listen to Sermon “The Heart of Fire” Sermon

Hilton Head Campus, Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC

Campfire_Pinecone

On Sunday April 19th, I had the opportunity to preach at Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC’s Hilton Head Campus on the Gospel of Luke chapter 24:13-35, also known as “The Walk to Emmaus.”  As I studied the text, and experienced how Jesus revealed himself in this very unique story of two men who were “discussing” fervently the loss of hope and possibility, I felt myself in the text and realized that we all have worries and doubts about the future.  As we experience the season of Easter, The risen Christ meets us on the road, and the Holy Spirit blows oxygen onto the spark igniting the fuel, Christ’s presence, that unleashes the Kingdom of God among us now, in anticipation of the fullness of it, when Christ returns.

(Here is the Original Transcript of “Heart of Fire”)

Sermon: The Heart of Fire

Daniel Griswold

Main Idea: “Life is like fire, we need fuel, which is the presence of Jesus Christ.”

Scripture: Luke 24:13-35 (NRSV)

The Walk to Emmaus

13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, 16 but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.  18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.  Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. 22 Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, 23 and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” 25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on.29 But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. 34 They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

(The Word of God for the People of God – Thanks Be to God)

Prayer: (Let us Pray) “Open our ears, O Lord, to hear your word and know your voice. Speak to our hearts and strengthen our wills, that we may serve you today, now, and always. Amen.”

Illustration: Have you ever just stared into a campfire? I have. I’ve noticed at camping trips that when the sticks are gathered, a small teepee with kindling is set, and the flicker of smoke wisps upward, people begin to gather. A glow begins to catch and the fire maker puffs a bit to allow oxygen to fuel the flame, and that’s when the big logs of wood are brought out. That’s when people get really serious, and if everyone isn’t there yet, they are when the flames begin to stretch upward and the sound of popping and cracking begins. Twilight descends into darkness, and there is only one light illuminating the faces of those who have circled around the warmth of this burning wonder. Across all cultures, a good flame brings warmth and light to those who gather. Stories are told, songs are sung, friendships are bonded, and the spirit of God often inspires like the people of Israel below the flames of Mount Sainai; but at the center of the campfires are simple things: paper, sticks, logs, (maybe lighter fluid – if you’re a bit crazy) and oxygen; in other words – A good fire needs fuel; And so do we!

On the Text: In the gospel of Luke, we heard the story of two men, disciples of Jesus who had just been crucified, who were now walking on the road from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. We’re not quite sure of the exact location of Emmaus, but we know it was seven miles outside of the city, which is a good long walk; and these two men had plenty to talk about. It seems from the language of the text, that they weren’t just having an ordinary conversation, but there may have been a bit of a frenzy to it – a frustration. They were not just talking, they were “Talking AND Discussing,” which may be a way of saying they were deeply invested in what had happened in Jerusalem.

Jesus, the one they’d hoped would save them from Roman rule and a corrupt religious system, who had been talked of as a prophet and a king and perhaps their Savior/Messiah – well, he had just been crucified.   They couldn’t believe what had happened, they didn’t know what to think, their hearts were heavy and full of doubts about the future; and in that they were just like us.

Over the last six years, as I’ve prayed and cared for all our families here at Saint Andrew, I’ve noticed that there is something that all of us have in common, and it is that we all worry about something, Often we are anxious and believe the fear that everything is going downhill, because we don’t know the future. Our hearts are heavy when the world turns in the opposite way we’d hoped for – everything seems lost and we don’t understand – how could this have happened to me? To us? To us all? If Jesus were to come next to us to speak new life into our souls, would we be able to recognize it? (PAUSE)

The two on the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize it at first, when Jesus Christ, newly risen from the dead, came alongside them on the road. I suppose they weren’t expecting him, which is a problem. But Jesus tries to get a pulse on their situation,  saying something so ordinarily wonderful – “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” Their response? “They stood still, looking sad.”

Like a little league baseball team that just lost the match 20 to nothing, they stood there as if they’d about lost it all. Maybe we just ought to fall into the dust and die. The pit of the stomach aches, and we all know that very soon the coach has to tell a really inspiring speech in a really soothing tone to get everyone to rise again for the next game, and the team chaplain’s got a big prayer ahead. Somehow they’ll need to rise from the ashes.

“They stood still and looked sad.” Jesus asked them, what’s wrong? And one of the two, named Cleopas, snapped:

Are you the only one who doesn’t know what happened in Jerusalem? Jesus of Nazareth did miraculous things, and they killed him! We thought he was going to redeem Israel. But he’s been dead three days, and now women have gone nuts telling us he’s not in the tomb, but guess what – it’s true – one of our guys went and his body isn’t there. The whole world is upside down and we don’t know what to make of it.”

That’s my paraphrase, but you can tell, these guys were in the train wreck of their lives and they’d. Just. Stopped.

I’d like to say that Jesus was kind and gentle with these two in their darkest moment, but something else happened. – Jesus called them out. How foolish and slow of heart, don’t you understand what the prophets had spoken? Hmmm. Fair enough. They’d definitely lost the plot. BUT thankfully the story doesn’t end there. After a good slap to the senses, Jesus began to explain the scriptures to them starting with Moses and pointing them towards a renewed hope that the Savoir had to suffer, that he would rise, and salvation was at hand.

So slowly they began walking again, and before they knew it they were in Emmaus inviting this teacher (remember that they didn’t yet know it was Jesus), to stay the night and to eat and drink with them. And as they started the meal, Jesus broke the bread and their eyes were opened – Jesus was with them all along.  And as quickly as he came, he was gone from their site. When they realized that they were with the Lord, their Savior, who had been the subject of all their hopes and fears, and then hopes again, they exclaimed:

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” 

Their hearts were pumping again – they were not still – his presence fueled the rejuvenation of their breath and passion so much so that they ran that day all the way back to Jerusalem (7 MILES!!) to tell the other disciples, and in doing so were some of the first witnesses to the risen and living Lord, Jesus Christ. Their hearts burned with a living fire This new beginning is something amazing, and there’s something here for each of us seeking the same kind of renewal. We need fuel for the fire – but where is that fuel?

Illustration: Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC is a church in the Methodist tradition of being disciples of Jesus Christ. John Wesley, the founder of the movement, once had a crisis of faith much like the two we’ve already met on the road. John, however, had just experienced a failure all his own after a brief few years as the minister and missionary to the natives for Governor Oglethorp. As a minister he would have too heavy a hand with the parishioners who were not ready for his intense methodical religion. It was after a relationship with a woman he loved deeply had ended and she married another, he eventually denied her communion. Her father, the magistrate of Savannah stirred up charges against Wesley, who was forced to leave covertly or else be arrested. Having been run out of Savannah; Wesley returned to England feeling the weight of his failure, but also feeling spiritually dead and he said in his journal at this time “This, then, have I learned in the ends of the earth, that I ‘ am fallen short of the glory of God ;’ that my whole heart is ‘altogether corrupt and abominable;’ . . . that my own works, my own sufferings, my own righteousness, are so far from reconciling me to an offended God, that the most specious of them need an atonement themselves; . . . that, ‘having the sentence of death’ in my heart, . : I have no hope . . . but that if I seek, I shall find Christ, and ‘be found in him, not having my own righteousness, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.'”

Despite his depression, he was still seeking the assurance that he was truly saved. Like the two travelers, he looked sad, he was still, and the weight of his sin and the world’s guilt pushed his hope into the ground. But that would not last, because Christ comes near in many ways. On May 24th, 1738 Wesley wrote, “In the evening I went very unwilling to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”  

Application: What had happened to him? John Wesley encountered the presence of Christ in that room, and he felt the fire of God’s spirit revive him. And those words, “I felt my heart strangely warmed,” have inspired millions to seek that same presence, the same presence that those travelers on the road to Emmaus experienced as they exclaimed, “Were our hearts not burning!” Their hearts ignited and the scriptures were opened up in new and exciting ways. We too can be people who experience the real presence of Christ – in fact He is with us here. We can ask Him to open up understanding and wisdom as we study and pray. As we come together as the community of faith – as His very body, we are His members and He is here.

We all want to hear good news, and there is no better news than to see what was once dead come back to life. Jesus Christ died, defeated death, and rose again so that through Him we could become the people of new life. His presence is the fuel like a mighty campfire that never goes out. He is with us, and always will be, and he lifts our eyes to the heavens. Let us experence that walk not as a text of two legendary figures, but let us walk with Jesus ourselves, and in His power, we become conduits of life and grace to a world in desperate need of warmth. “He is alive, He is my fire, and I want to be with Him forever.” Amen.

Beginning in Youth Ministry: Remaining in Adulthood and Maintaining Boundaries

Beginning in Youth Ministry:

Remaining in Adulthood and Maintaining Boundaries

By Daniel Griswold

 (This is the original copy prior to publication in The Advocate Newspaper of the United Methodist Church in South Carolina)

You are at a retreat with an audience of young people, ages 12-17.  Their expressions have no emotion whatsoever, and it is clear that the group is assessing whether they’re going to trust you or not.  You haven’t been a pre-teen or teen for a long time, and you’re a bit terrified.  Earlier, you had thought about some of the most memorable moments in your growth in faith, and for some reason nothing much came.  You’ve searched the scriptures and no word searches for “Youth Ministry” bore fruit.  It is clear that the parents of the church wants you to connect as soon as possible, so you’re going to do what generations of youth ministers have done before you – something stupid is about to happen.

Will you climb some impossibly steep cliff to wow them?  Will you eat a mixture of Tabasco sauce, dog food and Hershey’s syrup to prove your undying love for their souls?  Will you take a paintball for the team? Will you give them permission to jump out of the car in traffic or allow them to investigate a corner where someone swears they saw an alligator?  Will you laugh at crude jokes, or sneer at one group to gain favor with another group?

I’ll tell you, all of these things are stupid things, and I’m not sure what it is about youth ministry and our innate desire to fit in that short-wires the ability of some folks to remain acting like adults.  As youth workers, it is clear we need to be mindful of a theology of wisdom.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)

While I believe that there is a place for a bit of controlled chaos and creating memorable experiences that bond the group, it is also important that the leader of a group be exactly that, a “Leader”.  The leader or leaders are responsible for not only safety, but also the deep growth of a group.  A youth ministry mentor of mine, Dean Borgman, often says, “You can’t lead others where you haven’t gone yourself.”  So we have to ask a few questions that have deep implications for us as adults ministering to the young.

(1) What is our purpose as ministers to young people?  I believe it is to nurture lifelong disciples of Christ.  We partner with the Holy Spirit to grow young saints who will impact the world and better it by engendering the Gospel. Then,

(2) If young people reflected my actions, who will they become?  In the Youth Ministry textbook, “Starting Right,” there is a call to discern your “Theological Rocks” which build a foundation for your young people as they try out the Christian life.  Is your ministry Jesus focused? And is nearly dying falling off a cliff to impress and entertain, one of them?  Probably not.  Jesus didn’t do that – He was very intentional.

Maybe you’re not that young stereotypical crazy youth minister, but perhaps you’ve compromised on something that you knew wasn’t right.  You may also be running a “self” centered group based on your own personality rather than the awe of God.  It might be time to take a few moments to align yourself with God’s spirit.  Ask yourself, if I really believe that Jesus is with me, right now, and that he is among us when we gather with our youth, then how should we act and what ways will we live out this high calling as Christians?  Is there a new covenant we need to make between our young people and ourselves?

Personally, I’ve discovered a love for good games of Ulitimate Frisbee and dodge ball (which incidentally blew out my shoulder for 8 months last year), but we do it after prayer, a meal, and a devotion probing the scriptures.  I’ve found that most kids get deep discipleship over time, that I’m not just their youth leader and fellow journeyman on earth, but I’m also their prayer warrior, their conversational theologian, their listening counselor, and I take seriously the call to be their protector.  That means implementing a Safe Sanctuaries policy and adhering to it, that means keeping them off the roof of the car, and that means we’re modeling the fullness of life they can have in the future.  Let’s take the long road and build a foundation of stone.

Revolution: An Amazing UMC Youth Group Retreat – Our Group’s Report

Amazing-Revolution

Revolution 2013 Youth
Growing with God this Weekend in Columbia, SC
14 of the Surf and ACDC Youth set out on an adventure to Columbia to the USC Coliseum for a Revolution.  We joined thousands of youth from Methodist Youth Groups from around the state there for an amazing time of worship, challenging talks, and amazing arts meant to inspire and grow our faith.
We knew it would be a great weekend when the entire stage erupted with a Youth Group version of the Harlem Shake, with youth ministers and youth from all over running up and dancing for about 30 seconds.  This was definitely going to be an energy packed weekend.  Watch the video – its a bit crazy ;D
Harlem Shake at Revolution SCUMC
Harlem Shake at Revolution SCUMC

Then the big worship started.  The Digital Age began us in songs of hope, worship, and love of God with a sonic envelope of amazingness.  All our young people ran up front and they can be seen in many of the conference pictures taken from the stage worshipping, laughing, enjoying the entire experience.

From Hip-Hop (SPF on!) to worship through dance, amazing choir singing from Claflin, and a country performance by a local young person – we were inspired and wrapped in the love of a God who gives us talents and abilities to lead and point everyone back to His amazing presence.
All weekend long our speaker Mark Oestricher challenged us in our faith to “Build and Reconstruct” ourselves looking to Christ as our center.  He talked about the Stupid things we do, and how sin can effect our lives and hurt those we care about.  We learned how we are all misfits who are in desperate need of being rescued by God.  He pushed us to think about living a life of holiness, centered on Him alone.  He talked about being like a baby eagle who makes a journey from the nest and has a mother eagle who teaches us how to fly making sure that we don’t hit the ground when we are dropped and learning how to fly.  He challenged us to take risks in faith and to live it in an action packed way.  The main scripture verse John 10:10 wrapped it all up, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  I could see the eyes light up, and faith grew this weekend.
 In the midst of the conference we grew closer to each other, as we got to know each other better in the hotel, chilled and ate meals together, served together picking out good potatoes from the nasty ones for a local food back (40,000 lbs of potatoes were sorted and bagged for local families).
God has done an amazing thing in this group, and it is my prayer as a youth minister, that their inspiration will translate to transformed lives in the people around them, and they would feel a boldness to spread the light, the goodness of Jesus Christ to anyone who will listen.  Just ask one of our participating young people, and you will find the seeds of a faith that is alive and ready to reach others in love.
-Daniel Griswold, Director of Youth
Saint Andrew By-The-Sea UMC
 For more information about Revolution check out the website: