As we cross over the threshold of May into June, we cross into a new programmatic season in the life of the community of the church. The patterns of worship and presence do change over the summer at the church, but it doesn’t mean activity
abates; there’s a lot going on!
Summer is filled with mission trips for high school and middle school students. Again and again, young people tell us that their church trip experiences were at the front of the faith formation events for them as they grew up in the church. We’ve learned from
experience that youth trips are exceptionally important in terms of maturing faith in young people. Here’s how you can partner with them in these summer experiences: Pray for them. Pray for their safety, but also pray that the trips will be an opportunity to make the Christian faith their own. Pray that the trips will be a chance for them to experience compassionate outreach on behalf of Jesus Christ. Pray that fellowship will be marked by laughter and friendship, and that the experience shows them joy in the Christian faith.
Let’s pray together for the safety of all in our congregation who are traveling this summer.
Speaking of traveling, I will be leading a trip to Israel with my friend Rabbi Birnholz from the synagogue on Swann Ave (Congregation Schaarai Zedek). We’ll be doing a shared trip, looking at sights common to our Judeo Christian heritage of faith, and at times breaking apart for us to look at some specific Christian holy sites, while the synagogue group visits some historic Jewish sites. Pastor Nicole is also going on this trip. I’m sure on our return we’ll come back with a year’s full of sermon illustrations! Across the summer you may hear us greeting you with “Shalom!” (It means peace in Hebrew.)
Finally, in addition to trips, there are some very powerful activities happening on our campus, especially camps. VBS, Art and Adventure Camp, Pottery Camp, MusiCamp, and Volleyball. Children love these camps, and they’ve been very popular each year for the families of participants in our congregation.
Of course, we will continue to have church on Sundays! Although, the summer is a great time to try the Saturday evening services at Bel-Mar Presbyterian at 5:30. I’m often there, and I love the casual, contemplative feel of it. The Vespers Services at 6:00 on Sunday evenings in the chapel at PCPC will continue as well. On many Sundays, a special emphasis or celebration is happening in worship. (Like Graduation Sunday, MusiCamp Sunday, the 3rd of July Patriotic Sunday, and more!) Worship for every Sunday morning is being prepared with careful attention, faithfulness, community-building, and glorifying God.
I pray the season of summer nurtures your faith, but I also hope that it will contain times of renewal and rest for you.