First Presbyterian Church July 15, 2017
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Our youth were on a mission trip to Chattanooga and we returned late yesterday evening. While it was a busy week, with every waking moment filled with activity of one kind or another, it was also a week that allowed me a week away from the computer. I can highly recommend it.
Our youth worked alongside 64 other young people from Tennessee and Georgia. They spent 24 hours a day in each other's company and served in various work sites in and around Chattanooga. Our young people served on Lookout Mountain and Audubon Acres, clearing paths, taking down trees and moving mountains of dirt and rubble. This was no mean feat given the temperatures in which they worked and the humidity which was brutal. In the afternoons they served in kids clubs and rehabilitation centers. In the evening there were outings to Rock City, Coolidge Park in downtown Chattanooga, and campfires at Audubon Acres.
At each of the service sites our youth worked diligently and without complaint. It was a joy to see our young people give of themselves serving others. On Lookout Mountain they worked with youth from some of the most deprived schools in the city. Side by side they labored and talked and laughed. They broke down barriers of race and religion, of those who have and those have not.
At the kids clubs they played, told Bible stories, taught classes and swam with the children whose delight at having the attention of older youth was obvious.
Quite simply our youth served Christ by serving others, and did so with grace and love.
We came away with many happy memories to cherish for years to come.
My lasting memory of this trip was listening to over 70 young people gathered by a campfire singing,
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I was once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see."
To hear the sweet tones of youth singing to the glory of God must be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. No matter our age or our place in life, we are all in need of the grace of God.
These young people sang of this grace with compassion. But they also showed grace to others by working with them and for them, by serving God and in so doing they have touched and changed the lives of others.
I give thanks for their service and know that what they did made a difference.
Thanks be to God.
Please pray for Pat Badger as she grieves the passing of her partner and life's companion, Adrianne, our thoughts and prayers are with Pat, Marytha, Mark, Elise and Beck. Pray for all who grieve and mourn, whose hearts are broken by loss of any kind and those who struggle with addiction, unemployment, hopelessness or illness of body, mind or spirit.
Prayers are requested for our mission partners in Cuba, pastors Ary and Beidy and the congregation of Central Presbyterian Church in Matanzas.
Prayers for healing are requested for Barb Rowe, Julia Reeser, Peggy Taylor, Larry Cardwell, Nancy Tobias, Bonnie Eastman, Louise Shapley, Mary Larscheidt, sister of Carrie Massey, Mary, sister of Elaine Jacobson, and Cindy, friend of Lissy, who is in ICU, cousin James in Michigan and Val Karls.
Pray for all who grieve and mourn the loss of loved ones and who seek God's healing peace and consolation.
Prayers are offered for our world, and for its security, peace and for a brighter future.
Remember that you can contact the church office any time with prayer requests, and our church secretary, Shelley, will pass them along to our faithful and confidential Intercessory Prayer Group and/or publish the names of those needing prayer here and in the Sunday bulletin.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8