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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

What a Sunday we had last week as our Youth stepped up again to lead worship in all services!  If you were not able to attend you missed a powerful and encouraging morning of worship and witness by our young people, and I very much encourage you to catch the digital service on our YouTube Channel if you have not already done so.

 

As they led us in prayer, shared testimony of God’s work in their lives, and preached a sermon to uplift and encourage us, my own heart was strangely warmed.  I watched these young people lead and experienced a confidence that the future is bright and hope-filled.

 

I’ve experienced a similar confidence watching proceedings during this first week of the United Methodist Church General Conference taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Recent General Conference gatherings have been difficult and contentious, but the mood and spirit of this gathering is different. A shift appears to have taken place and the atmosphere is one that is hope-filled for a bright future for United Methodism.  If you would like to catch some of this mood for yourself, I encourage you to check out Bishop Bickerton’s sermon from the opening service of the General Conference (sermon starts 26:40 minutes into the video). Another video I would recommend is Alejandra Salemi’s “Young Person’s Address” to the Conference. Alejandra is a member of the Florida Conference and did us all proud as she challenged the GC with her word.


Recent years have been challenging for the people called United Methodist, but the tide seems to be changing and we are looking forward with great hope as Christ calls us to step forward in the way he is leading. I invite you all to continue praying for General Conference and for all the delegates as they continue their work next week.

 

Blessings


Pastor Charlie

 

PS: If all this talk of General Conference has you thinking: “What on earth is General Conference??” you might want to check out the conversation I hosted with Jessica Scott on Wednesday night this past week. Around forty of our church members gathered on a Zoom call to find out more and ask their questions. We recorded the session and you can view it here.

 

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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

So, I have a confession to make – it is so gorgeous outside, I’m feeling like playing hooky instead of writing this Pastor’s Note!   But how could I do that, because I’m also so very excited to tell you all about Memorial’s wonderful youth group!  

It’s easy to wonder where our elusive youth group might be from Sunday to Sunday.  So, let me tell you they are a busy bunch, and if you were to ask our Youth Director, Justin Rimondi, what they are up to, he will tell you they are up to their eyeballs right now planning events, learning about their faith, and having fun.  Whatever they do, they do not just do it for themselves or each other but for others and for their faith. 

 They’ve been planning a Youth Sunday Worship service, a mission trip to Guatemala, and busy learning what it means to follow Jesus by learning how to develop and maintain good spiritual habits.   On top of all that, they are fulfilling their commitments to their families, their education, their school activities and their friends.   Our youth group is amazing.  Sure, they’re teens and they like to have fun, but they have fun even when they’re busily engaged in serving others – like picking all that citrus off your trees to give it to the Barnabus Center. 

And…nearer in time are two events they are really focused on that you won’t want to miss.  This Sunday, they will be leading all our worship services – yes, this Sunday!  How wonderful it will be to see our young people leading in worship, and you can be sure it will be creative, inspiring, and will glorify God.  But right on the heels of doing that they will be getting ready for Shrimp Fest!  And what fun it is to watch them orchestrate and participate in preparing Memorial’s famous shrimp quesadillas, transporting them from griddle to the corner of Centre and 6th where the thundering throngs line up to purchase them, and selling them along with beverages and the fixings.  They’ll be doing that PLUS directing cars along 7th street for parking.  If you haven’t experienced a Youth-led Sunday or shrimp quesadillas at Shrimp Fest, make this the Sunday and the year you experience both!   

Whew!  That’s a lot!  When you see our youth and their leader, Justin Rimondi, please tell them thank you for giving to the Lord!


Blessings!

Pastor Alyce

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  • Writer's pictureMemorial Fernandina

One of the things I love most about the Bible is how God’s Spirit can breathe new life and fresh inspiration into even the most familiar passages and verses.

 

Last week, I started reading through the Acts of the Apostles again. I don’t know how many times I have read through or studied this book of the Bible in the past, but I would certainly feel safe in describing it as one of the ones I know “like the back of my hand.” As I started to read the opening chapters I wasn’t reading anything new, but still God made a way so that familiar, well-known words became a source of refreshment.

 

In Acts 3:14-15, Peter is addressing the crowd who have just witnessed the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. He boldly reminds them that they were the very same ones who rejected Jesus Christ and brought about his crucifixion. “You killed the Author of Life” he says “whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.”

 

Those five little words I typed in bold caught my attention - Peter stating that he and his friends were witnesses to the events of both Good Friday AND Easter Sunday; witnesses to Christ’s passion and resurrection.

 

It struck me that I am a witness to those things too. I’m a witness to the Risen Christ and the power of his great love to heal, save, restore, and transform a life. And you are witnesses too!

 

As we continue in the season of Easter, reading Bishop Berlin’s Book, The Third Day, and learning from the lives of the very first witnesses to the resurrection, may we all be renewed as we seek to live boldly as witnesses of the new life we have found in the Risen Christ. I’ll see you on Sunday!


Blessings!

Pastor Charlie

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