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,

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 22, 2016


Today is Volunteer Ministry Appreciation Sunday!  It is a day in which we are grateful to God for the gifts God has given in you, the worshippers and followers of Jesus here at Eastminster! 

The church is the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4).  God anoints Christ to be the head of the body. God gives spiritual gifts and talents to all of us in varying form and fashion.  We are together the “parts” of the body of Christ.    We are called to serve and to grow and to enrich the world together.

I Corinthians 12:7, 12-24 says:

 

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 

 

For all who so generously give of your time and talents as well as your treasure here, thank you!  Being part of God’s family at Eastminster is a meaningful and powerful experience because of the competency and cooperation, the faithfulness and openness to the Spirit that is so evident at Eastminster.  May what we do be in response to what God has done for us in Jesus.  May our acts of service in and beyond the church be as acts of worship in response to the love of God!

 

Blessings,
Tim

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

May 1, 2016


The Book of Acts is incredible!  The more I read it, the more I see how God is in charge of the spread of the Gospel.  Over and over God’s people seem to hit barriers.  Over and over God’s Spirit overcomes them.  The Book of Acts shows how God overcomes barriers of culture, economics, politics, and religion to bring healing and hope.
In Acts Chapter 1 God uses the faith of Jesus followers and prayer to prepare a people to spread the Good News.  Ordinary men and women, people we might even think are “beneath us” are used to form a community of life change (Acts 2) and healing (Acts 3).  These ordinary people proclaim the good news to leaders (Acts 4), care for the underprivileged (Acts 6), and share how the God of creation works through history, even to the risen Christ and outpouring of God’s Spirit (Acts 7).  We see how God makes enemies friends (Acts 9) and breaks cultural boundaries (Acts 11) and leads us out into new territory (Acts 13).  And this is just the first half of Acts!

As you consider what God would have you do with your life and what mission God leads Eastminster to embrace, take a minute to read Acts and reflect on the great things that God does through prayerful, faithful people open to the Holy Spirit.  As we humble ourselves before God in prayer and worship, God will lift us up and guide us.  God will strengthen us send us out in service.  God will use ordinary acts done in Jesus’ name to heal, to encourage and to change lives.
The early believers faced barriers like we do.  They suffer like we do.  They endure hardships like we do.  Yet as they are faithful God, is glorified.  As they are faithful, that is intended for evil is used for good.

Sounds real to me.  Looks like Good News.  And it begins in prayer.
We have several occasions to join in prayer together this month.  Today as we take communion pray that God makes us one in the Spirit.  This Thursday pray for our country at one of the National Day of Prayer sights.  After church sign up to be part of the Prayer Vigil here May 12-15.

God does extraordinary things through ordinary people … who gather in faith and … prayer!
Blessings,

Pastor Tim

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 17, 2016


Today we continue the series “Breaking Barriers through the Power of the Holy Spirit.”  This series is based on the book of Acts.  Acts is the book of the New Testament that immediately follows the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  It is written in excellent Greek by the Gospel writer, Luke.  Acts is the history of the early church and shows how the Holy Spirit gave life and direction to the Christian Church and how it expanded from a small group of believers to about 2 billion believers today.
One of the most important verses of the bible is Acts 2:42.  It reads:  They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. “  We will look at this verse in depth on May 22.  Until then, I recommend that you read the book of Acts and prayerfully ask that same Spirit to enliven our lives and lead us forward.  We can do amazing things through the power of God’s Spirit!

There are many ways to devote ourselves “to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. “  The announcements today list many such opportunities.  There are new Bible studies going on many days of the week, habitat Builds where we reach out in fellowship and concrete assistance of others, choir practices where scripture is sung and the teachings of the church ring true, fellowship meals such as the Pot Luck this Wednesday at 5:30 to gather in fellowship, and soon there will be a three day prayer vigil (May 12-15) which leads to Pentecost, the day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.  I hope each of us engages in at least two activities of choice outside of worship for personal enrichment.  As we grow, the life of our church body will be much richer as well.
Today, we will receive new members at the conclusion of our services of worship.  I look forward to getting to know those God sends to Eastminster!  This is a very exciting place to be as God calls others to worship, grow and serve here.  Welcome!

Next week the children will present their musical, “Legends of Camp Garner Creek.”  They are having excellent practices under the direction of Mrs. June Leech and have a real message to share.  Pray for them as they add “life to our body” as well.
One of the roles of a pastor is to pray for and counsel members.  Know that I am up for a visit and a cup of coffee as any have desire.  May God work with and through us to “Break Barriers by the Power of the Holy Spirit.”

 Blessings,
Tim