From the Rec Min October 21, 2019

Good morning my brothers and sisters in the ministry! Today begins BASKETBALL SEASON! Thank you all for a great Soccer season. Lots of lives were touched, friendships made, and hundreds of young players learned skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship while hearing the word of God during each practice and game day. The motto of our church is to “Love God, Love People, and Change the World”. You have done that! Keep it up! Yesterday, Sunday, our church celebrated our 40th year as Christ United Methodist Church. There were very meaningful celebrations and programs but every one of them emphasized our beginning and never ending purpose – to make disciples. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 28:19,20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” That is our purpose, promise, and directive. Thank you for your time and sweat this season and I hope you will stay on with us as we move on to the next sport. Mrs. Rose needs Basketball coaches badly! We have a lot of young ones signed up who will not be able to play unless we get more coaches. Please call 706-3326 if you can help. Evaluations begin tonight.

               May God bless each and every one of you as you have blessed us with your service!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

 

From the Rec Min October 14, 2019

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What a great weekend we had! Thank you all for putting up with the misty rain on Saturday and for making our 2019 CSports Soccer Celebration on Sunday such a powerful event. We love to tease Mrs. Rose about having supernatural influence on the weather during CSports activities. What we decided Saturday was that, considering how badly our community needed the rain, she just got “out-prayed”. The cooler temp helped, however, and we had some great games. The Celebration Sunday afternoon was well attended and the Spirit was definitely present. Our Children’s Ministry put on a puppet show and our players paraded across the stage to cheer for their teams and to thank their coaches. Our speaker was the Founding Pastor of our church, Pastor Jeff Spiller. With this week being our church’s 40th anniversary it was very fitting that he spoke to the crowd about the means for Godly success. He is a living example of a follower who leads and a leader who follows. Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” All who receive this message have answered the call to serve. We are bearers of both the word and the way. We have schedules and routines that we “religiously” follow, but it is the Holy Spirit that determines the outcome of our efforts.

               After the Celebration was over, I was standing with Pastor Spiller when the mother of one of our players came to speak to us. Her child has some special needs and she just wanted to thank all involved in our program for the positive things that are happening in their lives. She showed me a video on her phone of a time in one of their games when coaches and players on both teams made it possible for her child to score a goal. I heard the cheers and saw the joy in all of the faces in the video. When that happened, every one of the players and coaches became ministers…maybe for just a brief time… but they changed lives through their spirit and actions. With goosebumps on my arms from the inspiring video, I told the mother of other times teams have done this in other sports as well. This is who we are and what we do. Thank you all for being life changers through your words and example. The response cards received at the Celebration indicated that 7 adults and 24 players accepted Christ during the season. 35 adults and 53 players indicated that they had grown closer to Christ and stronger in their faith during the season.

One more week and it becomes basketball season and we start all over again! Mrs. Rose always needs coaches so if you feel the tug, please volunteer to coach basketball. Have a great week and I’ll see you Saturday. Please let your families know that our Pumpkin Patch Family Day will be going on this Saturday as well so plan to stick around before or after your game and enjoy their activities.

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From a distance and from all I’ve heard, Saturday’s soccer games went beautifully. Thank you all for your efforts at making this program and this Ministry work so well each week! I was participating in a funeral in our sanctuary but had you guys on my mind! PLEASE remind about and encourage your families to be in attendance at the 2019 C-Sports Soccer Celebration this coming Sunday, 10/13, in our gym at 3:00pm. They will want to arrive 10 or 15 minutes early to get a good parking spot and to fill out their response card. The response cards are one way we in the Rec Ministry learn things about our programs – both good and bad! This is also when the coaches and other volunteers are thanked, parents receive words of encouragement, and players receive their trophies for their hard work during the season. There have been, on a few occasions, coaches who can’t attend. I ask that you all prioritize this event but if there is a reason you can’t attend, be sure your team comes and have a sub in charge to pass out the trophies at the end of the Celebration. Mrs. Rose will be checking in with each of you this week.

               Sunday morning our pastor preached to us about the words found in the Book of James, 4th Chapter, 17th verse, which says, “Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” I can recall as a child hearing my father speak about “sins of commission and sins of omission”. The memory of his explanation has affected both my behavior and my conscience throughout my life. Whereas, even in my daily Christian walk, I still commit sin through my human weakness, I believe the majority of my sin comes from things I should do, but don’t. It may be because of laziness, shyness, being in a hurry, preoccupation, or whatever, but so many times I think back on “what I should have done” in regret. As we near the end of our soccer season (2 more weeks) I encourage each of you to make every effort to not miss a chance to change the life of a young one in your charge, to encourage a family, and to model for all what it means to be a servant of Christ.

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               Yesterday as I was leaving church I passed a person who I knew was involved in an activity that two of my grandsons are in. They stopped me and told me how much they appreciated seeing my 6 year old grandson during his time with them interacting with a special needs child, speaking positively to them, sitting by them, explaining what is happening to them, etc.  I was both proud and humbled. His behavior became a blessing, and even an example, to others. I pray that the Lord gives me similar opportunities and that I may respond as a servant rather than as a busy adult with responsibilities and too many things to do. I pray that my instincts will “let my light shine so that they may see my good works and glorify God who is in Heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) I pray that for you as well. Use your time wherever you are to hear His voice and respond so that your later thoughts will result in a smile of heartfelt peace rather than guilty regret.

               Oh well…that was on my heart today. Thanks for hearing me out. I hope to see you all on both Saturday and Sunday at the Celebration! Have a great week!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

 

From the Rec Min September 30, 2019

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With another great weekend of C-Sports Soccer behind us we now move toward the last three game weeks. Please be sure to plan your Team Service Project (I’ve gotten several reports of great projects completed already!), and ask all of your families to be sure to plan to be at our October 13 C-Sports Soccer Celebration. I also want to thank all of you who came to our C-Sports Sunday services yesterday. There were lots of C-Sports shirts among the congregations of all of our services. It meant a lot to our members to see you. You were great witnesses to the effectiveness of the ministry in which you serve!

               In Matthew 22:37 Jesus tells us to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” In 2 Corinthians we are told, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” We are not only the beneficiaries of that “newness” but are instruments through which God’s message gets to all of those who participate in our programs. Be willing, energetic, devoted, and motivated! Two more game weeks until the Celebration. We want to be sure the “word” has been received by that time.

               We’re not sure when the cooler weather might get here so stay hydrated as you lead your flock! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min September 23 2019

Happy beautiful Monday, CSports family! I was told that all went well Saturday and that the happy shouts and smiles were abundant during soccer games. My wife and I were with friends for the weekend at Dauphin Island and I sat in a chair with my iPad in my lap on a deck overlooking the water waiting for texts and videos from the soccer games. You guys were in my heart big time!

               This week is CSports Week here at Christ United Methodist. Please be looking for our pastors and representatives during the week who will be greeting folks and inviting all to attend one of our worship services this coming Sunday (8:00am, 9:15am, or 10:40am) to be recognized during the service. The ministry provided through your service and through the participation of the hundreds of families who are here each week is a blessing to our congregation and leadership and they, in turn, want to thank you in person. PLEASE encourage all of your families to come to one of our five services, players wear their shirts, and stand to be recognized during the service when the announcement is made. Those who will be going to their own churches can come to one of our early services and make it back to their own church even if they have to slip out early.

               This morning I was in our gym making a video to be shown Sunday explaining (in 60 seconds) what CSports is about. There is something about verbalizing a purpose that seems to make it even more real. In 1 Corinthians 2:4 Paul tells the people of the church in Corinth, “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” If you go back and study the history of this letter you will see that the church in Corinth was being changed more by the world than the world was being changed by the church. We see that over and over each day on the news. As I was talking about CSports it became even more real to me how our presentation of sports activities is having a greater affect on the community than we may know; not just through our words, but through our actions. Because our coaches and leaders focus, not only on fundamentals, strategies, and skills, but on sportsmanship, fairness, teamwork, and grace, as these young ones move into the “world” of school or travel sports, they will make a difference; a good difference. Anywhere you have led one, they will lead another. You, through faith and perseverance, will have made the world a better place. You will have made a better mom or dad for future generations; a better CSports or even All Star Coach for future athletes. That’s why we do what we do the way we do it.

               Please be sure to get your families here Sunday morning. We’ve already gotten some great reports about Team Service Projects. Soon we will be doing Celebration Banners. We have a busy few weeks! Thank you all for everything you do to make this ministry effective. See you Sunday!

 

In His Service,

              

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min September 16, 2019

Another great day of C-Sports Soccer is in the books. Thanks for your work and sweat! Good things are happening in the lives of our players and families. Not this week, but next week (9/23 – 29), our church is celebrating C-Sports for the whole week. You should see our pastors circulating on the fields during the week and on game day. The following Sunday, September 29, will be C-Sports Sunday here at the church where we hope all of our families can come to one of our services and be recognized and thanked by our congregation. Please inform your teams (players and parents) that we have an 8:00am service in the sanctuary and 9:15am and 10:40am services in the sanctuary and gym each Sunday. Some of your families may want to come to an earlier service so that they can make it to a service at their home church afterwards. Remember, this is the 29th…not this coming Sunday. Please encourage everyone to show up.

               I was going through some of my paperwork and came across a “Rec Min” message from back in 2008. I was moved by the Spirit to let this be my message to you again this week. Please see below…

 

I’ve always felt it was important for coaches to encourage parents to participate, or at least be present, in the team devotions during each practice. The messages are for them, too! I want the coaches to include their own stories and add to the written materials; to personalize the experience as much as they feel led or feel comfortable doing. Let the children, and families, SEE the message as much as they HEAR it.

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               One of my favorite songs, and here I go getting teary eyed, is Some Things I Must Tell The Children by Gloria Gaither. I sang it to my kids at bed time when they were little. I’ve performed it at baptisms. The words remind us of the important things we must tell our children. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, and when you lie down and when you get up.” When you deliver the devotion, lead a prayer, or spiritually mentor children (with family members listening close by) you are planting seeds that you may never see bear fruit. This is our service to God. He does the rest. Our job is to first see that we, ourselves, are open and receptive to His Spirit and then to pray for His guidance as we deliver messages and interact with his people.

               Prayer Partners are praying for you daily. I hope you are praying for your team and for this ministry as a whole. God is good and the Holy Spirit is at work because you committed to be His agent of love, grace, and instruction to your team. May He richly bless you for what you are doing for His kingdom!

 

               I hope this week cools off for us all. Thank you for all you do.

 

In His Service,

 

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

 

From the Rec Min September 9, 2019

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               Thank the Lord for another beautiful (if quite hot) day of CSports Soccer! Every season of every year I get great joy from seeing the improvement each week in the players’ skills, the teams’ efficiency, and the coaches’ techniques and game management. I’m currently re-reading Tim Tebow’s book in which he goes into great detail about his commitment to working for Christ and his work ethic which pushes him to train so hard for his athletic pursuits. He quotes Luke 12:48 several times where Jesus tells us, “To whom much is given, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” He uses that as both a motivator and a warning. God creates us and gives each of us gifts which He intends for us to use to serve Him and make this world a better place.

               The Body of Christ is not unlike our own bodies. Our hands are useless unless our eyes see, our arms move, and our minds determine a purpose. Our legs need our feet and vice versa. In our families, our churches, and our communities we need the gifts God has given each of us to perform effectively. Coaches, Team Parents, Prayer Partners, Rec Staff and Volunteers, Concessions vendors, volunteer grass cutters, Parents who help with organization and devotions all play major parts in this ministry which reaches so many children and families. Please continue to give 100% of the gifts and energy with which God has blessed you! You are making a difference every week!

               Please remind teams of the Team Service Project expectations as well as the CSports Soccer Celebration Sunday, Oct. 13, at 3:00pm. Have a fun and safe week. See you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min September 2, 2019

               I hope you are all having a good Labor Day holiday! Thank you for a great first day of soccer games! I was circulating the fields and introduced myself to one of the coaches who told me, “I know your name. You’re the one who sends us the emails every week!” Yep…that’s me. During our sports seasons I like to stay in contact and pass along any pertinent information while thanking all of you for the services you are providing to this ministry and to the hundreds of families who bring their children to learn sports, meet new friends, and grow closer to the Lord. Sometimes we may feel like we are “herding cats” or just entertaining when the kids seem to be working off their energies from a long day in school or whatever, but please never underestimate the influence you are having upon them and the effect your influence will have on them as, and when, they grow up. We often can’t see the young ones processing the things we teach, but we know God has a plan for them and we are a part of it!

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               Many times in my thoughts that I pass along have I gone back to the story of David in 1 Samuel where Samuel is looking for the one God has chosen to be king of Israel. Samuel was led to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons as God’s chosen one. He meets each of Jesse’s strong young sons but is not led to anoint any of them. He asks Jesse in Chapter 16, verse 11, “Are these all the sons you have?” to which Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest but he is tending the sheep.” That youngest, more or less overlooked by his father, was David who would become the king. Let us be sure we never overlook or underestimate any of the children who are in our care each week. We teach them specifics about the game, sportsmanship, teamwork, and hope to teach and inspire them during the team devotions during the practices, but we have no idea what God has in store for them. When you (and we, the rec staff) accepted the responsibility to lead and to serve, we acknowledged a part of the plan God had for us. Now, let us perform as we were led and see what wonders may come from our efforts.

               Thank you all for everything you do for this ministry and for the children and families in your care!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min July 22, 2019

Thank you for a great CSports Flag Football season! Our church’s stated goals are to “Love God, Love People, and Change the World”. Because of your service we have done that, over and over each season of each sport. Now, beginning this evening, we begin soccer. I hope you will participate and even volunteer to lead in some capacity. Last Tuesday our weekly staff devotion was led by our Minister of Pastoral Care, Rev. Shaun Kaulfers. His message was both inspiring and challenging. He started with the passage found in Ephesians 4:11,12 which says, “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up.” Among the “pastors and teachers” I can include coaches, team parents, field and desk volunteers, as well as the Rec staff who spend so much time keeping the fields and equipment ready for play. Then, Pastor Shaun shared Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:21-23 where He said, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of My Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me you evil doers!’” That took a while for many of us in the room to digest! We work hard to do what God has called us to do, but, as we thought about it…do we still “know Him”? Do we still take the personal time, not when we’re working or serving, but quiet, private time, to read scripture, to pray, to listen, and to feel His Spirit within and without?

               As I am moved often to check my spirit and habits, I encourage you to do likewise. Be sure your “cup is full” so that it can pour out God’s love and blessings onto those with whom you come in contact. Thank you all for what you mean to this ministry and to this community. Be safe and I’ll see you soon!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min July 15th, 2019

               What a great week! Thankfully, the weather held off for us to get games in Thursday and Friday. Then, on Saturday, activities were inside as we hosted a Ronnie Arrow Basketball Camp. Our CSports Flag Football Celebration was held in the gym Sunday afternoon and, although attendance was light – probably due to the weekend weather threats – the atmosphere was great! Several of our high-spirited staff and leaders enjoy loud responses from the audience and they got it! The players did a great “thank you” parade for the coaches, the video was entertaining, and we were blessed to meet and hear a word of inspiration from our brand new Minister of Discipleship here at Christ United, Rev. Bobbi Lassiter. Being the mom of young, prospective CSports children, she was right on target in thanking parents and volunteers and relating how important it is that we direct this next generation in and into Christ centered activities. It is very easy for us to discount the things we do with and for our kids as so many of the activities seem continuous. Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, amen.” (may be where Randy Travis got the phrase)   What we do in His name, pursuant to His calling, will have greater results than we will ever know. The response cards we received from the Celebration attendees showed that, among the small crowd in attendance, 6 adults and 12 players accepted Christ as their personal Savior during the season. 22 adults and 13 players said that they grew closer to Christ during the season. This is just one indication of the influence you have had so far this season through your dedication, your mentoring, your presentation of devotions each week, your encouragement, and your representation of the true purpose of this program. Thank you for being the engine that keeps us running!

               We are in our last week of Flag Football. We hope the weather cooperates. Soccer evaluations are next week. Mrs. Rose always needs coaches and team parents!! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the fields.

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

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