On Sunday, May 6th, we celebrated as 23 of our friends were baptized, or remembered their baptism, in the bay! Family and friends gathered at 2:00pm to watch and rejoice as each person was baptized. Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Baptism in the Bay!
Our Baptism in the Bay takes place at Kinsaul Park. If you are interested in being baptized, or have questions about baptism, contact Terry Tatum at Terry@MyLHUMC.net.
On Sunday, May 6th we rejoiced as 10 students were confirmed during our 11:00am worship service. Confirmation is a time designed to lead students into a clearer understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus and gives them the opportunity to profess their faith and join Christ's Church. We are so thankful for these students and their decision to follow Jesus!
City Serve 2018 was a great day of serving! Members of our church, ST. Dominic Catholic Church, and others from the community, gathered at Kinsaul Park on April 21st at 8am and split off into teams. We had 11 different service projects taking place. Almost 300 people from 7 different churches, the Shadetree Group in Gretna, a Navy dive class, the North Bay Haven football team, members of the community, as well as our local Cub and Boy scouts united together to spread God's light. Having St. Dominic Catholic Church partner with us this year was a great joy! We also want to recognize the generous donation of mulch from 814 Sand Inc. that allowed us to provide beautiful improvements at Southport Elementary School. Thank you to everyone that joined with us in this great day of service!
We recently received a letter in the mail from a lady named Allison from Porter, TX who wrote to tell how her husband has been going to MD Anderson in Houston to receive chemotherapy treatments for pancreatic cancer. While it has since spread to his liver, she praised God that he has been able to tolerate the chemo up until now. They are praying for a miracle but struggling with his life expectancy (as indicated by the doctors) of about 6 months to a year.
Allison then went on to say that on Feb 7th her husband, Mark, was at MD Anderson for treatment and met someone from our church who prayed with them and gave them one of our prayer squares. Their hearts were warmed at this kindness and she wanted us to know what a marvelous ministry this is and how they treasured this act of kindness.
God is everywhere and is always in the details of our lives. Even in the seemingly small weaving of a square of yarn that can be shared as an expression of His love. On Feb 7th a 3 inch piece of yarn was the mechanism God used to pour His love on Mark and Allison. And none of this would have happened without the love and prayers of some ladies at our church who decided to create these squares and pray diligently over each one as a way to deliver God's peace and love to people in need.
Thank you to Norma Wallis and the dedicated team of volunteers who help continue this ministry to serve God's people through prayer...and yarn!
I wasn’t sure what to expect when the Lord prompted me to be part of the Disaster Relief team to Welaka Florida. I was unsure of what our team would be doing or even how we would accomplish the given tasks with the limited skills that I exhibited. However, while we were there our team met Whelma, a mother and also a grandmother, who lived in a rural and low socioeconomic area. During Hurricane Mathew, a tree fell on Whelma’s house and created extensive damage to the majority of her home. Our team was given the opportunity to complete a few unfinished ongoing repairs and now at least one of the rooms in her house looks considerably better. Yet even though serving in this manner was definitely gratifying and humbling, the one thing that touched our team the most was what we saw in another room adjacent to the one we were working on. Whelma had a prayer room...a room set aside just for her and the Lord. I was touched deeply by this because even though the rest of her house was displaced and crammed from wall to wall with the remainder of her belongings, she intentionally made an effort to clear out a dedicated space for the the Lord. Whelma’s house could be a small reflection of what our lives should be with Christ. When we make an intentional effort to clear “a space” in our jobs, routines, and relationships for the Lord, He will them take care of our what and how questions. When we let Christ and the Holy Spirit invade our hearts, minds, and souls we will then know what God has called us to do and how we are to accomplish all that He has in store for us. As we daily and intentionally clear out a space for the Lord in our lives we not only receive blessings from our Heavenly Father, but we become a blessing or a Whelma to those around us.
The St. Joe Community Foundation awarded Lynn Haven UMC a $10,000 grant for their Blessings in a Bag ministry. This grant allows 65 students from Southport Elementary School to take backpacks with food home on Fridays. These backpacks full of food help ensure that students will not go hungry over the weekend.
Janet Piepul, St. Joe Community Foundation’s Executive Director, stressed the importance of these type of backpack programs. “Providing this grant to Lynn Haven UMC to help hungry children in our community is another way the Foundation is helping our community be better. It all starts with helping the kids. By helping the kids, you help the adults which strengthens families and by strengthening families you reach the community.”
“We are so appreciative of the tremendous support for the families in need and the ability to help our students,” said Holly Buchanan, Principal at Southport Elementary School. “We want to be able to provide our students and their families with food for the weekend and this grant helps make that possible.”
Backpacks are filled with the help of volunteers from Lynn Haven United Methodist Church through their partnership with Southport Elementary School. This partnership allows members of the congregation to serve as weekly classroom volunteers, help out at special events and pack and deliever the weekend food bags.
About The St. Joe Community Foundation: Since its inception in 1999, The St. Joe Community Foundation (Foundation) has provided more than $19 million in pledges and grants to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves. The Foundation provides charitable grants, primarily in Bay and Walton Counties, which embrace the arts, strengthen education, protect the environment, and improve healthcare. These efforts help build healthy, caring, long-lived communities. For more information, visit www.Joe Foundation.com.
On December 9th, we hosted a mobile food pantry at our Fusion Fitness Center. We received 10,000 lbs. of food from a grant given to us by Feeding the Gulf Coast. In addition to food, attendees were able to receive medical and dental services from PanCare mobile units. The mobile food pantry served 280 households which represented 1,002 individuals! The PanCare mobile units served 26 medical patients and 32 dental patients.
Throughout the day, over 80 servants came and helped unload the food trucks, packed boxes, prayed with families and more.
Leslie Brogdon, a church member who frequently serves at the mobile food pantry, said that the experience reminds him that God always provides. He provides food for those in need and He provides people to serve and love those that are in need. Leslie experiences God’s love and presence with every conversation that he has at the mobile food pantry, and he feels blessed to be able to serve the community.
"As I worked on the Pumpkin Patch last month, I had many God sightings. What stood out the most, though, was seeing the love of God shining brightly in my volunteers. God’s love was evident in them as they sacrificed their free time in order to further the Kingdom. I had the privilege of working with people of all ages and from all walks of life. The volunteers, most of whom I was meeting for the first time, were eager to jump in and serve in any way they could. Their support helped ease a lot of the stress of a first-time Pumpkin Patch Coordinator.I enjoyed watching friendships form between workers as they spent hours side by side unloading or selling pumpkins in the patch. Old or young, no matter what our background is, the common thread of Christ in our lives can help us connect with others to form lasting relationships! I now look forward to cultivating the friendships I made over the last few months and getting to know more of my fellow servants. I’m so thankful that God provides for our needs, and I’m thankful for the people in our church family who were able to share their gifts to make this event such a success!"
Andrea WhitakerPumpkin Patch Coordinator
This past month our middle school students participated in a fall retreat to The Vineyard in Ariton, Alabama. During that trip they were able to get away and learn about how God values and loves us. This gave the students the opportunity to grow in their relationship with Him.
While at the Vineyard, Holly Rice, our Youth Intern, got to witness God working in the student’s lives. She reflects on how she saw God move throughout the weekend: “Having the students fast from being on their cellular devices for the weekend gave them, and me personally, the opportunity to disconnect from the world and live in the now. Every morning we would wake up and we would find a spot to be alone and do a devotional before breakfast. Being out in nature and spending time with God just one on one was a great experience.”
17 students participated in the retreat and 9 recommitted their lives to Christ. Praise God!
On Sunday, October 15th we had our Baptism Sunday. During our services we baptized 8 people and had 9 professions of faith. We are overflowing with joy for those who gave their lives to Christ. God is so good.