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July Salt Life, 2017

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May Salt Life, 2017


 

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April Salt Life, 2017

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February Salt Life

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January Salt Life 2017

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December Salt Life, 2016

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October Salt Life, 2016

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December Salt Life, 2015

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August Special Edition Salt Life, 2015

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August July Saltlife, 2015

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January Salt Life

John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer

 

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things to thy    pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine.

So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven.

Amen.

 

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November Salt Life

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October Salt Life

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September Salt Life

On Scallop Sunday, September 14, we will be giving thanks to God

for the scallop harvest. Ann Comforter will be presenting the  following song, as well:

 

On The Beautiful St. Joseph Bay

By Ida Ethel Brown

 

On the beautiful St. Joseph Bay

Where the silver tip ripple waves play

There the wind in the pines sings a melody

Waffled breeze through the palms play a symphony

 

Where the deep purple sunset turns crimson red

And the old weather man says trouble ahead

Pay no mind to that old man

Nature loves this enchanted land

God has really blessed her

Angels hands caressed her

Truly this is Heaven’s corridor.

 

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August Salt Life

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July Salt Life

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that we are at the half-way point of the year.  This period of time has traditionally been called midsummer marked by the summer solstice.   Midsummer was a major pagan celebration marking the longest day of year.  Now, until the rest of the year, the days will begin to grow shorter and the nights longer.  Christians had a difficult time figuring out how to baptize this celebration and turn it into a holy celebration.  Then it was realized that the birthday of St. John the Baptist was six months before Jesus’    according to scripture.  Jesus’ birthday coincided with the winter solstice, so John’s fit with the summer celebration.  It became a great Christian Tradition to mark the middle of summer with remembrance of the forerunner on June 24. 

I have always loved the wild and crazy Baptist.  John’s ministry had one focus—to point to Jesus.  We could learn a lot from John.  They say that 90% of ministry is showing up.  I think that is true, but I like my friend’s addition.  He says, “the next 10% is getting out the way.”  The more I learn about what it means to be a Christian, the more I realize it is about getting out of God’s way.  Most often we are the bottleneck that is restricting God’s work in our lives and the world around us.  This is the great prayer of St. John the Baptist, “He must increase, and I must decrease(John 3:30).”   We would do well to come to this same realization.

I watch the sunset over the bay almost every evening.  It has been setting later and later, but no longer.  Now the light is   decreasing, and night is increasing.  The ancients saw this as a guide to prayer.  For the first half of the year as the light     increased, we focused on the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus--God increasing in our lives.  For the second half of the year the ancients looked at the opposite side of the same coin.  It is time for us, like St. John the Baptist,  to decrease and get out of God’s way.   The next time you watch the sunset over the water say a little prayer—“Jesus increase in my life, and help me decrease,” then get out of the way and see what God does.   Merry Midsummer and Happy St. John's Day!

Peace of Christ,

Geoffrey

 

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June 2014

It is June that means it is time for Annual Conference! That means some work for me. I am responsible for all of the worship services as the Chair of the Worship Division of the Conference Board of Discipleship. What I am most excited about is that on Monday at 2:00PM our very own Bobbi Lassiter will receive a license as a local pastor in the conference. This is a great accomplishment for her. Next time you see her congratulate the Rev. Bobbi Lassiter. She will be appointed here as our first appointed Associate Pastor. This is a big step for our church and for her.

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May 2014

We have had a great beginning to our Easter Season in Port St. Joe. I am pleased to report to you that our church is filled with Easter life. This can be seen in numerous ways. Our year-to-date attendance average is 363 including the 726 people we had for Easter. This means that our church is growing much faster than any of us would have ever guessed.

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April 2014

Our Lenten journey is coming to an end as we approach Holy Week.  What does it mean to call a week holy?  There are eight days to Holy Week—192 hours—11,520 minutes.  These days, hours, and minutes pass like any
other.  Isaac Watts says time is “like and ever rolling stream.”  It is relentless. 

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March 2014

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, when we begin our Lenten journey together with the traditional imposition of ashes. During Lent we follow in Jesus’ foot-steps into a period of forty days of fasting and reflection. In a strange way the lows of lent are always a highpoint of my year.

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February 2014

I hope you were surrounded by warmth and comfort during our recent set of snow days. What an unbelievable winter we are having. I bet it is the first time in a long time that there has been a snowman in the parsonage yard. This coming Sunday is the ancient Christian holiday of Candlemas. It has been largely forgotten in recent days, but it commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which according to Leviticus 12 was to occur 40 days after the child’s birth. So here we are 40 days after Christmas and it is time to celebrate. Many superstitions developed around the second of February, most of them deal with the weather. They all basically say that if the weather is good on Candlemas then there is much more winter coming.

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January 2014

Happy New Year! It is so good to be starting a new year with you. 2013 was a great one for our church and I expect 2014 to have even more in store. As you make New Year resolutions, we are asking you to make a discipleship resolution. If you go to church sporadically, make a resolution to come once a week. If you are not in a class, consider joining a Sunday School Class or come to the ladies bible study, or the pastor’s class on Wednesday night. If you are interested in singing, the choir would love to have you. There are many places for you to be involved.

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December 2013

I can’t believe it is Advent already. Advent is a season of expectation as we impatiently await the
arrival of Christmas. Advent means “coming.” Each year the church calendar forces us to imagine
what it will be when Christ returns and makes things right. Then it reminds us that Christ has come
and is working in the world and can work in our lives now.

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November 2013

Each Sunday after we take up the offering in the Sanctuary, we break in to OLD 100, better known as the
Doxology. A Trinitarian musical response of praise after major worship events like Creeds, Psalms, or offerings
was common throughout Christian history. These are all called “doxologies.” The one that we most often sing
is better known as the “Common Doxology,” because it is common throughout the Protestant Tradition. This
hymn was written by Thomas Ken in 1674 as the final verse to two longer hymns, "Awake, My Soul, and with
the Sun" and "Glory to Thee, My God, This Night." It was meant to be sung at Evening and Morning Prayer at
Winchester College. This hymn encircled the beginning and ending of each day with praise.

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October 2013

At the last Trustees meeting and Church Council, we took a preliminary look at a Master Landscape Plan that would refresh our campus with new foliage and possibly expand parking over a period of time. Due to our recent growth, the parking lot was the most popular feature. However, I enjoyed looking at many plant specimens—crape myrtle, indian hawthorn, loropetalum, loriope, muhly grass, palms—as we try to make a decision with our landscape architect on what our plant palette would be. My suggestion is that we should plant sequoias!!! They reach high into the heavens and make a great statement about our Creator.

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September 2013

Our Summer in the Psalms is almost over as Fall football weather is on its way. We have had so much fun reading and praying the Psalms together. The Psalms say over and over again that God should be praised. Have you ever wondered why God wants praise? This question deeply bothered C. S. Lewis. It bothered him because our theology tells us that God does not need our praise. God would be fine without it. God does not need his ego stroked; He has no need for our compliments for a job well done. Praise, then, must be for another reason. Maybe praising God is a gift that God gives us. Maybe we praise God because it is good for us. Lewis stats that he: "had not noticed how the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits, and malcontents praised least.”

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August 2013

Summertime is more than here. As Dickens would say, it is the best of times and the worst of times, bringing scorching heat, sweltering humidity, and yet most importantly summer vacation. During the month of August and the beginning of September, we will be taking a liturgical and theological vacation together, as we celebrate "Summer with the Psalms". Each week, our worship will focus on singing and praying the Psalms. We will have a sermon series from the Psalter focusing on the different types of Psalms and how they can help us on our spiritual journey. The Psalter is the ancient hymnal of the Israel; it is a music book. Therefore, each service will integrate music from many different genres including: gospel, rock, folk, country, and jazz.

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July 2013

I love coming through town and catching a glimpse of our steeple standing tall among the pines and palms of Gulf County. Its visual presence and the sound of its carillon bells is one way that the church has reminded the community of the church’s presence and mission for decades. Today these means are still effective, but more high-tech means are also needed to supplement and amplify the steeple’s message to new generations. Today websites have become a virtual steeple—communicating to even wider audiences.

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June 2013

School is out, the vacationers are here-summertime is upon us. This is the season for which our community lives. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy: fishing, cycling, boating, just to name a few. However, my favorite summertime activity is sitting at the beach and enjoying a good book.

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May 2013

We are nearing the end of the great fifty days of Easter. On May 19th, we will celebrate Pentecost, literally; the 50th day. On this day, we remember how the church was born so long ago through the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-21). The disciples gath-ered like they normally would but something unusual happened—the Holy Spirit came and filled them. Fire rested upon their heads, the room was filled with a violent wind, and they began to preach the gospel in every language. The church added over 3,000 members.

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April 2013

Happy Easter! We had a great Easter Sunday with a record number of people show up—744 people. But most importantly the Risen Christ showed up! It was a glorious day of resurrection. The good news is that Easter is not over. Easter is not just a day it is a season—the Great Fifty Days that culminates May 19th on Pentecost. For these seven weeks we will explore what it means to be Easter people.

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March 2013

We are quickly approaching Holy Week—the high point of the church year. It is a week of drama: we begin celebrating with palms by shouting “hosanna,” and we end re-membering that we also are the ones that with nails shouted “crucify him.” It is the holi-est week of the year. The poet Ann Weems expresses our desire, “O God, if every week were holy…” Don’t we wish that we could feel God’s holiness all of the time? So much of life gets in our way of experiencing God. Weems again in her poem, “The Holy in the Ordinary,” sums up what we feel:

Spiritual contemplation is all right
for those who have the time,
but most of us have to make a living.

Most of us have to live in the real world
where profanity splashes and blots out
anything holy.

Where, O Holy One, can we find You in this unholy mess?

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February 2013

In a very short time we will begin our wilderness journey to the cross called Lent. The wil-derness of the season of Lent is for everyone. Yet, it offers different gifts to each of us. I think there may be two different ways to observe a Holy Lent. The first is the more traditional way. Most of us come into the wilderness from our lives on the mountaintops and in the woodlands, not unlike the way that Jesus entered the wilderness after the high moment of his baptism. Lent, then, is a deliber-ate and purposeful journey into the wilderness to reevaluate our lives and grow in our faith. We give up things like chocolate, meat, sweets, and other things that we enjoy so that we can focus on the things that are truly important.

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