Thursday, September 22, 2016

September 25

On behalf of the Strategic Planning Team, thank you to the 135 people who completed congregational surveys as part of the Vision 2025 planning effort.  These surveys are now being analyzed and the results will be reported as follows:

1.       This Tuesday September 29 at 6 p.m. all ordained elders will meet as a “College of Elders” with David York of Holy Cow Consulting and the Strategic Planning Team to hear a detailed report of the results.  These congregational leaders will interact with the results prayerfully and thoughtfully.

2.       Between mid October and early November there will be “Home Groups” where the results will be presented to Eastminster worshippers for prayer and discernment by the Strategic Planning Team.  I hope that every worshipper will commit to attending one of the Home Groups to share in the discernment process and lend wisdom to the shaping of our future together.

3.       The results of the surveys and the wisdom coming from the Home Group meetings will guide our planning efforts in the year 2017 and beyond.
Although I don’t know the specifics of the survey results, I did receive a text from the consultant that simply states:  “GREAT report.  This will be fun!”  It appears as if we are moving into the wonderful position of addressing more opportunities than challenges.  Praise God!  Pray that we will be good stewards that seek to “bear fruit” for God’s kingdom.

One of the ways we “bear fruit” is by investing our time, talent and treasure in service to the Lord.  A very talented group of ladies have been doing just that by knitting prayer shawls to be given to those who would benefit from a tangible reminder of God’s presence and love to envelop them in times of need.  This group is enjoying getting together for prayer, fellowship and ministry on Wednesday afternoons.  You will see the fruit of their labors during Sunday worship as we add our prayers to theirs, seeking God’s blessings for the persons that will receive these gifts of love from our congregation.

Finally, thanks to the Congregational Care and Outreach Committees for hosting the Back to Church Weekend.  What a wonderful day of worship and fellowship over a great meal!  Reaching out and welcoming the community “bears fruit” in many ways.  One of those ways is incorporating others in the life of Eastminster.  Today we welcome seven new members who will certainly enrich life together as we continue to grow in God’s love.  Welcome  to God’s church here at Eastminster!
It is a joy to worship and serve together.  May God bless you and use us all as blessings this week.

Love,
Tim

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 18, 2016

On behalf of Eastminster, welcome to all who are visiting today as part of Back to Church Sunday!

I hope you experience friendliness and God’s presence here.  I hope you relax and enjoy worshipping, eating and relating here today.  Eastminster is a place where you are allowed to be yourself and to grow as God leads.
Just what is Eastminster like?  When asked to describe Eastminster here are some things people say:

·         Diverse—a kaleidoscope of people and programs seeking to grow in Christ and to show God’s love

·         Comfortable, with interesting thoughtful members

·         God centered and loving; filled with the Spirit

·         Full of talent, love and outreach

·         Inclusive, open--minded, living the ministry of Jesus

·         A welcoming community

·         I love this church and the direction it is taking

·         The worship is powerful; there is a spirit of cooperation; the congregation practices a theology of love and grace.

·         God-centered and caring, a beacon of light in the area

·         I am inspired and refreshed for the week ahead.
Eastminster is a growing church which seeks to be relevant to the needs and opportunities of the community. Your experience counts! I am interested in what you experience today.  Please take time to speak with me at the door or at the Back to Church Luncheon following the service. 

You are guests at the luncheon and the magic show for all ages.  Please relax, worship, stay for lunch and enjoy.  Welcome to Eastminster Church!

Blessings,
Tim

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Welcome Robert McBride! Director of Music Ministry/Organist


This summer has been full of activity in worship, missions, children, youth and adult spiritual growth about which many know from direct participation.  Our administrative teams have also been active in staffing Eastminster with the best personnel available.  Today Eastminster announces Robert McBride as Director of Music Ministry/Organist

 Robert McBride is a native of Melbourne, Florida.  At an early age he began piano studies with Joseph Kreines.  He received his Bachelor and Master's degrees from Louisiana State University.  His organ teachers have included Hilton Jones and Herndon Spillman.

Mr. McBride is a church musician with 35 years of experience (he started young!).  He has directed and accompanied in Protestant and Catholic churches as well as in community organizations such as the Indialantic Chamber Singers.  His choirs led worship in many of the great cathedrals in Italy, including the Duomo Cathedral in Florence, the Milan Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, St. Mark's in Venice, and St. Ignatius and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and have had the opportunity to sing for both Pope John Paul II and Benedict the XVI at their Wednesday audiences.  Robert has also organized tours through Portugal, Spain and France.

Robert comes here to oversee our entire worship and arts ministry, engaging in five principle functions.  He will direct choirs for our traditional worship services, accompany on organ and keyboard, direct Eastminster’s bell choirs, serve as keyboardist for contemporary worship, and lead our music ministry to youth.  A leader of classic music for years, Robert is also an energetic proponent of contemporary Christian music and committed to the development of the musical abilities of young musicians.  He recently formed the youth musical group, Earthen Vessels, which has performed several concerts in our area.

In addition to the functions called for in Eastminster’s portfolio, Robert is also an orchestral bassoonist. He studied bassoon with William Ludwig and has held principal bassoon positions with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Sinfonietta, the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Classical Orchestra.

Robert comes as the unanimous selection of the Director of Music Ministry/Organist Search Team, which evaluated over 20 highly qualified applicants and interviewed four candidates.  Members of the Search Team include Mike Drushal (chair), Claire Gibbs (secretary), Anne Adams (co-secretary), Gloria Baur, David Dunn, Teresa Fleenor and Bonnie Griffith.  Ron Marshall served as the liaison from the Personnel and Administration Committee, which also unanimously endorsed Robert McBride’s candidacy.

Robert’s first weekend in worship at Eastminster will be August 27-28.  Come prepared to welcome Robert and to be blessed by the ministry of Eastminster’s various choirs, praise teams and instrumentalists. What a joy it is to serve the Lord with such a talented staff and faithful congregation.  Welcome Robert!

See you in Church,

Tim

 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 10

Today we start a new sermon series, “Great Speeches of the Bible.”  These speeches, from Old and New Testament characters, get to the heart of timeless issues.

Today’s speech from Joshua is a reaffirmation of God as center and guide of the life of a people.  One of the distinctives of the Bible is that people were much more communally oriented.  A leader would affirm the intent for all the people in matters of spiritual direction.  Joshua 24:15, claims, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
This is a statement of belonging and identity as well as “service.”  In our world belonging and identity are grey areas to many.  Anxiety, loss, aimlessness, and emptiness result from a lack of grounding in a “tribe.”

On the 4th of July we had over 800 people on our grounds, about 500 of which were able to get into our sanctuary to see the excellent Festival Choir and Melbourne Municipal Band concert.  As the crowd was filtering in and a buzz was in the air, I met a person in grief who I had been praying for.  She shared some about her day and said, “You are my people.”

What a blessing and what a responsibility, to be “my people” for one another!
As a church, we have chosen to follow Jesus Christ.  In the coming months we will explore what that means and sharpen our vision and recommit to God our future.  As we do so, my prayer is that we deepen relationships among the body, that we lovingly meet the needs of all who enter here, and that we glimpse the future God would have us travel and do it well… together.

I am glad to say with the person I met on the 4th of July, “You are my people!”  I trust you, identify with you, and belong with you in the bond of the Spirit.

Blessings,
Tim

 


 

 

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

July 3


Today we celebrate the liberty to follow God that Scripture speaks of in James and that our country was designed to protect.  Even though it is a paradox, there are laws and truths that set us free.
The book of James in the New Testament states:
If any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are life those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.  But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. James 1:22-25

When I place God first in my life, I am free to order all other things in accordance to God’s will and direction.  The things I do and don’t do relate to the love and grace God gives to set me free.  The hardships I face, I can face knowing that God surrounds me with love.  The life I live, I can give to others because I know who I am and whose I am.  I am free to show love.  I am set free by God to have the liberty to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  I am set free to practice hospitality, love, and peace and to bring people closer to God because of Christ’s love that shines through me.  So are you!  When we practice the law of liberty in Christ, people experience the reflection of God in us.
We will celebrate the Independence Day of our country on the Fourth of July with a celebration at Eastminster which features the Melbourne Municipal Band and Festival Singers at 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary  which will lead up to the opportunity to watch fireworks over the river at 9:00 p.m.  Fellowship time over ice cream will be provided before and after the concert.  This is a perfect time to welcome the community to Eastminster and let the “law of liberty,” the law of reaching out to others with the love of Christ to shine through.

Our country was founded on premises that we serve together, unite together, and reach out together as “one nation under God.”  This is a continuation of the ethic set forward by Jesus and the New Testament Church.  May our love of God in Christ Jesus set us free to be Christians and citizens that reflect the perfect law of “liberty and justice for all.”
We are blessed to be claimed by Christ and citizens of America.  May our actions reflect and pass on that blessing this holiday weekend and beyond.

Blessings,
Tim

 

 

June 26


Today Julie and I are at a family reunion with 43 of our favorite relatives.  It should be delightful chaos.  All three of our boys will be there, so this is really exciting for us!    We will return Monday.  Thanks to Rev. Juliann Whipple for closing out the Jonah series!
As I think about the book of Jonah, it reminds me that life has rhythms just like the ocean has tides.  The book opens with Jonah being called into a new season of life.  He is on dry land, then a boat, then a stormy time, then down to the depths of the sea, back to dry land, and in today’s reading, sitting on a hill reflecting, still learning and growing and needing God to lead him deeper in life.  The constant in all the rhythms is that God is there and God is providing.
The leaders of our church recognize that we have rhythms in life here as a community as well.  As we head into July, we suggest a month of communal worship and intentional spiritual renewal.  The business of programs and committees will cease for this month.  We will take a Sabbath from “busyness” but not a Sabbath from God and others.
Here is a gentle challenge:  During July, set aside one day per week to make a date with a person or small group of people you don’t know well and want to know better.  Invite them to your home if possible.  Or go out to eat, walk, play.  Weave new or deeper relationships into your life.

Attend worship every week, here or as traveling.  Nourish your soul in worship and in daily scripture reading.  Here is a link to a variety of devotions if you want to try some:  www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/. 
Write a “letter to God” telling God where you are now in your walk and what you see ahead.  Write a prayer asking for God’s guidance and direction as you go forward.  Place the prayer in your Bible and refer to it over the coming days.  Share it with me or another trusted Christian friend and pray together.

Finally, one of the most important Scriptures for many is “Be still and know that I am God.”  Try it regularly this month.  Just be… in God’s presence.  Ask nothing but to know God and to be willing to follow God’s path.  Enjoy as God’s Spirit cleanses, renews, and brings life to the parched places in your soul.
See you next week,