The slide show link above was shown on Sunday while the text below was read. You will need power point (or a power point viewer–free download) to view the slide show. Read and see 2011 highlights from Granite Springs Church!
2011 (first slide) In 2011, our blog became a reality. It’s a place to tell stories, really. Stories by way of pictures, stories by way of narrative. It’s a place to share stories, and receive stories. It’s a place to stay connected to the community of Granite Springs. If you’re not subscribed to our blog, now is a great time. Go to our homepage to signup. Most recently, pictures have been posted from our (Advance) Junior High Christmas party, (Advance) the Friends of Leonard Christmas dinner. (Advance) and the Making our Lives Count group which delivered their christmas project presents to Koinonia Foster Homes.
Now if you were going to capture all of 2011 in pictures, you’d certainly include items from the past few weeks. You might also include pictures from our (Advance) 11th annual Music and Drama Camp, (Advance) which served over 75 kids and included more than 25 volunteers. And if you were going to show more pictures from kids experiences, you’d look at pictures from our (Advance) annual easter egg hunt, maybe pics from one of our (Advance) semiannual Children’s Ministry movie Nights. (Advance) Or Visitors to children’s ministry on those special lesson days (Advance) There’s our flag and palm branch parades too. And you can’t forget to say something about (Advance) club 45 for 4th and 5th graders.
If you wanted to remember (Advance) Junior High, you’d want to remember parties and retreats, the urban plunge experience last June. (Advance) and the kidder creek camp in July. You’d of course also include (Advance) High school, A service trip to Zephry cove last spring and a (Advance) Mt Hermon retreat just last month. (Advance) Their fearless leader KJ is starring again as the brother’s grimm. (Advance) And a picture of Sam too because well…why does he say his prayers on a rocking horse.
But there’s more you would want to remember from 2011. (Advance) Lamplighters, that group for those beyond the child-rearing years gather monthly for picnics, parties and events. (Advance) Or financial Peace University. Our (Advance) inaugural Youth Fundraiser—Mark Twain’s “the Diaries of adam and Eve. (Advance)Pastor Kevin’s new book. (Advance) Spring and Fall Cleanup days, (Advance) A new leader in training (or we might say, trainings for new leaders) (Advance) 4th of July parades and coat drives.
(Advance to blank slide) But so many things are not captured by pictures. Making Faith Work was a series of messages from the book of James. And Fully Alive—a message series from the life of King David—a man we said was “fully alive” even in the mystery and misery of life. There are the 50 or so children’s ministry volunteers that serve weekin and week out, preparing crafts, teaching lessons, mentoring our children. Connect 4 groups met this fall to build community. Deacons who serve and care, elders who lead and serve. Musicians who prepare and share their gifts. Volunteers who make meals, who provide a listening ear, who greet us each Sunday. Volunteers who serve us coffee and food, who handle administration and budgets. We think of memberships, baptisms, renewed faith journeys. People who’ve discovered again or first the first time, how grace changes their lives.
As we reflect on 2011, we might also remember that grace changes us not only in joy, but also in loss and in grief. We might remember families that have moved because job transfers, the economy or military orders. People we know and love that have been sent around country, or even around the globe. Or we remember good friends, spouses, children, parents or grandparents who died this past year. We might remember jobs that were lost, incomes that didn’t quite add up, homes that had to be sold. We remember families that split apart. These are the pictures and the memories of 2011—the joys and sorrows of a year gone by.
(Advance) But now there are the pictures yet to be taken, and memories yet to be created. .(Advance—the 2012 slide) 2012, what will it bring? In april of 2012, (Advance) Granite Springs will celebrate it’s 20th birthday. 20 years of grace. What does that mean? Where will we go? (Advance GS logo slide) In June, we anticipate bringing on board a new church planter, a resident to who will serve us for a while, at the same time building momentum to begin a new church somewhere in the region. In 2012, there will be another music and drama camp, more youth events, more senior events. There will be worship services every Sunday, work days, Monday Night Feasts served. Gathering Inn Homeless shelter hosted.
In all of life—past, present and future we lean into the good gifts of God and the faith that he is making all things new. And we imagine that in 2012, much like in 2011 we will see grace grow through the joy and sufferings of life through ordinarness of lunches made, laundry loads turned, bills paid, workdays completed. We imagine sons and daughters of God leaving behind their sibling squabblings and growing into spiritual parents. People who are generous, hospitable, gracefilled servants. It is with both faith and hope that we look to the future and we pray together…
Gracious God, Jesus is the center point of history, and his presence is our new beginning. Center our lives on your lavish grace that not only saves but renews us to be like Jesus. May our godly living be a fitting testimony that draws others to the joyful reign of the newborn King. Amen.