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August 15, 2023

Dear friends,

We had a wonderfully full Sunday on August 13th. We are officially in “fall mode.” We celebrated this church’s connection to Camp Glisson in our Sunday morning worship service. We had 25 campers come from our church this year, which confirms this congregation’s special connection to the Holy Dirt up there in Dahlonega. After worship, we had a Leadership Team meeting where we discussed the administration of the church, upcoming projects, and timelines, and how we are going to continue to witness our faith at Embry Hills UMC. Then, that evening, we had a wonderful evening with our in-house band, “The Altar Egos,” and enjoyed desserts and fellowship together while raising funds to send our mission team to work with the Appalachian Service Project. A full day, and a day full of joy.

Sometimes, when we have days like this, we get overwhelmed with all of the details. We want to make sure everything is planned out and accounted for. But we should not get lost in the details and miss out on the joy of being together. I love it when a plan comes together, but I also love it when we do ministry together as a group project. We put it together as we go along and get to experience the transformative joy of doing ministry together.

One of my favorite stories in the Gospels is when Jesus feeds the 5000 in Luke. It’s one of those stories that is great for Lectio Divina (Holy Reading), because there are so many different characters and perspectives. Lately, when I’ve been reading it, I feel the panic of the disciples when Jesus tells them, “You give this huge crowd something to eat.” Even though they had not planned on providing lunch for 5000 people, and they were nowhere near a drive-thru. I feel that panic because of all of the opportunities in front of our church and community. With Jesus telling us, you give them something to eat. A place to learn. A place to live. A place to thrive. A friend. I love that story, because after he tells them to give them something to eat and the disciples protest, he asks them, well what do you have? Some fish and bread. And when Jesus blesses it, it is more than enough. That is where we are, and how we trust.



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