Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Grace and peace to you. I pray you are well. As I sit to write to you this month, all I can say is, “Wow! What a summer!” It is amazing to think that in a few short months, we had our wonderful youth production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a youth trip to the Lake Junaluska Music & Worship Arts Week, another successful medical mission trip to Honduras, a fantastic middle school mission trip to West Virginia through the Jeremiah Project, and another wonderful youth and adult trip to the Eastern Shore to help construct a house through Habitat for Humanity.

But that is not all! We also offered beautiful outreach into the community through Vacation Bible School (where we traveled to Mars!) and Kids Camp. Both ministries engaged a number of children from outside of our congregation.

We also brought onto our staff Scott Reams as our financial administrator and Andy Glascott to direct our youth ministry. We received three new members, and we celebrated a Juneteenth cookout with our partner churches from Love Center of Unity and Koinonia Christian Church. Furthermore, our former pastor Bishop Kern Eutsler turned 100!

This summer we were blessed by so many people. Churches rise and fall on the commitment of their people, and your commitment was evident throughout this summer. Not everyone can attend a mission trip across Virginia or around the world. Not everyone can help lead a ministry like Vacation Bible School. Not everyone can perform in a musical. However, without God’s blessing of our combined prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, none of these ministries would happen. It is by your generosity of talents, finances, and time that we are able to be in ministry in so many places to so many people, and for each of you, I give thanks to God.

The word liturgy comes from the Greek leitourgia, which means “public service” and “worship of the gods.” I find it fitting that the word we use for our worship is a word that combines our service and our God. When we work and worship together, we become a sign-act of God’s kingdom on earth and agents of nothing less than God’s transformation of the world.

With gratitude,