“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a (NIV)
Every summer my mother’s side of the family gathers at Atlantic Beach for a week together. Everyone, my husband & children, my aunts & uncles, all of my cousins and second cousins, come together. It’s such a sacred and holy time of togetherness that all of us commit to the following year before we leave each summer. Our time at the beach is more than just lying in the sun, swimming in the pool, and building sandcastles...although all those things are important. The heart of what brings us back together again, summer after summer, is that we belong together. We live all over the United States, we work, go to school, and are consumed by the drive the world demands of us.
But for one week out of the year, we let all that go and speak of our belovedness and significance to each other, mostly just by being present to one another. Beach week is a touchstone and a reminder that we are all bound together in love, faith, grace and belonging.
As I sat on the floor of our condominium, with my family gathered around, sharing dinner together, I couldn't help but think of our youth ministry. Some of my most sacred and precious times with our church babies is when we are all gathered together laughing, eating, sharing, playing games, and talking about the Lord on the 4th floor. We have created this new and beautiful space for YOU (unlike any other place). A place where once or twice a week you can come and be in the presence of those who love you deeply and be reminded of the one who calls you by name as His beloved child. We all need that place. A place where we are known, seen, heard, loved, and delighted in.
My prayer as we are finally able to come back to church after so much distance between each other, is that you will find your place here at Centenary, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you belong here, and that we, like the One who created you, call you our beloved. Come on back, we are waiting for you! �
To learn more about Centenary, visit our website. https://www.centenary-ws.org