Now that we are moving into the middle of August on the 2015 calendar, it’s a great time to take a deep breath and look back on what has been an amazing Summer of activity in the Remnant! Granted, “Fall” doesn’t officially start until September 23rd, but with kids going back to school already, it certainly FEELS like the calendar is shifting right now. And speaking of the “seasons,” Gwen has always emphasized how much of a GENIUS our GOD really is. He programmed the seasons to be JUST the right length. He gave us amazing variety in our weather patterns. Truly…no day is boring…even just pondering His weather, the foliage around us, what the sky looks like, the types of activities we get to enjoy based upon what the weather and season is, and so much more. She has said it many times, and it is so true – How can you NOT fall down on your face and WORSHIP this amazing GOD who created everything that we see and do not see?!?! It’s just one of the COUNTLESS reasons that this Church and Ministry exists…to give GOD the praise and love and obedience that He so richly deserves…and to proclaim to the world that He is GOOD and that ALL of His decisions and choices are RIGHT!
With this recognition of GOD’s goodness as a backdrop, let’s take a few minutes and review what has been a wonderful Summer of 2015 (so far) in the Remnant…
You reall have to go back to MAY to get a glimpse of what felt like the Summer kickoff. On May 9th, we celebrated another glorious Covenant Wedding Ceremony…as Saul Sadler and Tori Catchings were united in marriage. Then on May 23rd, we observed the Lord’s PENTECOST. This special Festival and day included our Remnant Baby Dedications, the Confirmations of our 13 year old Youth, the recognition of our High School and College Graduates, and a celebration of those who were Baptized during this weekend. This truly is one of our favorite and most meaningful weekends of the calendar year! But we weren’t finished with May – no, we came back the very next weekend, on May 30th, and witnessed the Covenant Wedding Ceremony of Robert Ruble and Sydney Roth. And after that evening of celebration, we came BACK to the Church Building the very next day and closed the month with our Day Camp Kickoff and Picnic! That was the day when our Campers found out which Tribes/Teams they would be on for the Summer. It was a blessed beginning to what was an amazing Day Camp season! And the evening closed with an encouraging and upbeat Concert, as Michael Shamblin, the Praise Band, and several other Remnant musicians helped lead the Church in praise and worship and celebration in music!
June was a busy Day Camp month, as our Campers met each day – Monday through Thursday – and enjoyed fellowship, fun, games, devotionals, quiet time, snacks, singing, dancing, and lots of exciting crafts and projects. And for their devotionals, every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday involved a full production and webcast out to the world…so that EVERYONE could get a glimpse of the JOY that these Youth were full of! Gwen spoke to the kids and shared their devotional time for most of these special webcasts, and many of those lessons and videos are being produced and edited…and will be made available as a Youth package sometime soon – Praise GOD! In ADDITION to a full month of Day Camp, we also started the month with yet another beautiful Wedding – as Patrick Day and Maxine Whitney were united in marriage on June 6th. Remember, all of these activities and events took place in ADDITION to our regular Assemblies and Classes happening year-round. We never will stop REACHING OUT with this Message of LOVE, HOPE, and CHANGE…no matter how many webcasts and events it takes to reach the world! And speaking of reaching out, June 1st also marked our first ever “Virtual Rally,” as Gwen conducted an incredible Q&A session that had an evangelistic outreach all over the world! She and Michael Shamblin worked together to organize this special event, the first of what we pray and hope will be many more like it! People were logged into the Video Webcast…and at the same time, Gwen answered questions and the Facebook Ministry Team chatted with Saints on the Weigh Down Ministries Facebook Group page. These efforts literally “connected” people across multiple time zones in many different countries everywhere. It was so successful that a SECOND Rally was planned for July!
And onto July… The first weekend marked the July 4th “Independence Day” observance here in the United States, and we took that opportunity to gather for another uplifting, worshipful, high-energy Concert. Once again, Michael Shamblin, the Praise Band, and several other gifted Remnant musicians encouraged everyone with a night of praise to GOD! Just over halfway through the month, the Employment Team that Gwen organized to assist Saints with their job searches and transitions held an “Employment Seminar” tha covered several important topics related to seeking a good job and being the best employee you can be. Armed with this Message, that has proven to be a very successful venture! And while Day Camp continued with its final four weeks for the Summer, we also wrapped up the month and jumped into August with not one, but TWO more Covenant Wedding Ceremonies. Dylan Gormsen and Ellie Hamilton were united in marriage on July 25th, and Nick Willy and MacKenzie Shangle followed with their Wedding the following weekend…on August 1st. In between those two glorious Wedding events was our SECOND “Virtual Rally,” on July 27th. Gwen, Michael, and the Evangelism Team once again helped reach out to the world with answers for life.
SO much MORE has happened, but those are just a few highlights. What is amazing about having this much activity going on around the Remnant…is that no one ever, not even remotely, regrets this or ever feels like it’s “too much.” Everyone truly loves being together! We truly are following in the footsteps of the earliest Christians…the Churches in the book of Acts who formed right after Jesus ascended back into Heaven. But it’s not just about the “activity” and “staying busy.” As we have learned here in this Ministry and Church, you can keep yourself plenty busy with lots of “good sounding” things, but they may not be led by GOD’S Spirit. So how do we know that this Summer has been full of SPIRIT-led activities? Because of the GOOD FRUIT that has been produced from it! People are CHANGING to be more like Jesus Christ as a direct result of these efforts. Our children are growing in wisdom in the Lord and in friendship with each other. They are being raised to be PURE before GOD…not rebellious and “worldly.” They truly are learning to be in the world…but not OF the world. Praise GOD for a wonderful Summer…and we look forward to a beautiful transition to the Fall…GOD’S next amazing season on His calendar!