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Living Word Family Church
1000 Park Ave.
PO Box 799
St. Joseph, IL 61873


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The Impact of Summer on the Church

Summer is right around the corner! I have mixed feelings about summer; most pastors do. I'm not talking about the weather; most of you know how I feel about that. I'm talking about summer vacation. Most of us are not stu-dents or teachers, and that means life goes on as normal, but most people take vacations in the summer months to take advantage of the weather and the freer schedules of students in their families. What that typically translates to is a reduction in church attendance during the summer months. And while I would always rather preach in a fuller sanctuary, it's not just a matter of warm bodies in seats. It reduces the pool of volunteers we need to make church services run smoothly.

So I'm asking you this month to step up and join the team. This is YOUR church. We need you to put your hand to the plow. If you are not a member, I encourage you to become a member. You don't get points for that, but there's something special about formalizing your commitment to a local body of believers that we'll be talking about soon. There are a number of ways you can live out your partnership with us, but a few of them do require you to be a member, which brings me to my next, more specific plea:

The new children's church quarter starts this month. By the time you read this, you will have already seen it in the bulletin, heard it from the pulpit, and probably received an email or two about it. This is a vital area of ministry to the church, NOT JUST A BLESSING TO PARENTS OF YOUNG CHILDREN! This is an investment in the future of LWFC and in the lives of the next generation of believers! We do all we can to make this as easy as pos-sible, but of course it will require some commitment to prepare, and of course it means missing the main service for three months. But here's the thing; most of you are qualified to at least be a helper. Lead teacher must be a member, but that's most of you, too. I am convinced that there are enough qualified believers in this church to have a team of children's work-ers that would only have to serve one quarter a year if they wanted to. If you choose not to join this team, you are essentially saying you are okay with a brother or sister serving two quarters a year, and often more than that. And why?

One legitimate answer to "why?" is that you cannot be here every Sunday or Wednesday for three straight months. Which brings me to my next spe-cific plea: We ALWAYS need substitute teachers and helpers! Especially during the summer, when it is a given that teachers will miss a week or two for vacations, etc. I thank God often for those who feel called to children's ministry and serve even more often than every other quarter, counting the subbing they do; but this ministry needs, NEEDS committed volunteers to step up and bear the load, and one thing that eases that burden is a stable of ready subs. It also means people will be serving in more than one area. For reasons that I hope are obvious, I cannot personally commit to teach-ing a children's class for a quarter (although my wife does teach every oth-er quarter, and we are one flesh, so. . .), and our praise and worship team also cannot, but if other things you do for the church leave you free to teach or at least sub, please do so.

We will also need lots of help for VBS this summer! The title is Victory (by Go Fish), and it will be a pep rally theme. We generally don't have any trouble recruiting help for VBS because it's a lot of fun, but do sign up early so we can move on with the actual planning. We are always lookingfor people to take a turn greeting, manning the information and signup desks in the lobby, some vacuuming between Wednesday and Sunday, weeding, etc., also.

Last (for now) but not least, Neal and Danette Childs will be here from Niger, Africa, on Sunday morning, June 18th! We will forego our monthly mission offering on the first Sunday of the month; please come prepared to be a blessing to them. For those of you who have yet to meet the Childs family, you don't want to miss this; those of you who have heard them already know this. They are amazing ministers and will be sharing about some new developments in their mission work in Niger. Tobi (their son) will be leaving with our youth group after church to attend Summer Scream! It's a great year so far; it's going to be a great summer, but there's lots to do, so again, JOIN THE TEAM!


With you in Christ,