From the Rec Min January 14, 2019

Saturday was a great day for the first games of the new year! We had an organization here doing free child ID CD’s for parents. Thanks to all who participated in that! I know of two players who got their first baskets, one of which was partly due to both coaches working together and one player on the other team helping to make it possible. After my staff, volunteers, and I had just finished clearing, cleaning, and mopping the gym I saw that I had a missed call from one of those coaches. I called them back and heard that story which renewed my strength right then when I needed it! I have spoken and written throughout the years of the many incidents in which coaches have joined forces to teach important lessons to their players. Winning a game is fun and will be remembered all the way to McDonalds, but working together to brighten the life of someone else is a character builder that will change a perspective and will be manifested in many ways for years to come. Thank you coaches!...and good hearted players!

               I was blessed to be able to share in each of the halftime devotions Saturday. I reflected upon the new year with hopes that all enjoyed their holidays. I told about our family Christmas at my house during which my 5 year old grandson read the Christmas story from the second chapter of Luke. He was sitting on my son’s lap and needed a little help with the big Bible words, but throughout the reading his eyes were big and focused. You could sense the excitement in his tone. That excitement was contagious as we all leaned forward to hear as though it was the first time we had heard the story.

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               Much like a child reading the Greatest Story, or, a child scoring his/her first basket, it is important that we show our excitement, assurance, and motivation in all that we do as we influence all in our paths. I, as do all of you, have schedules to keep, expectations to fulfill, concerns, dreads, etc. but the assurance of God’s love, which is also displayed through my love for and from my family, must be shown through my words, deeds, and attitude. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven.” Our actions and attitudes will lead our children and teams. Our efforts reflect our values.

               This coming Sunday we will have our 2018/19 CSports Basketball Celebration in the gym at 3:00pm. Families are urged to be here by 2:45 to fill out response cards and find a seat. Let’s be sure to encourage all of our teams and families to attend. It is a major part of the season, plus, you coaches have to hang on to any trophies that go to players who miss the celebration J .

               Saturday I was told that many people in the gym cannot hear or understand when Mrs. Rose or I speak over the microphone. We will be trying to improve on that this week. Big thanks to the person who told us! Please be getting Team Service Projects completed and the paperwork back to me in the next two weeks. Thanks for all you do for this ministry! See you on the court!

 

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 January 7th, 2019

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Welcome back! Three more weeks of CSports Basketball and we’re hoping to finish big! Those of us who made it to the CSports at the Jags night this past Saturday had a blast! Practices start back this evening (sorry Bama fans) and games resume this coming Saturday. Coaches, please see if you can spare an extra hour Saturday to help ref one of the full court games. Let Mrs. Rose know. Thanks!

               Please see the attached image. I saw it last week and thought it would applicable to all you are teaching your teams. As you are all displaying with your service through this ministry, our offerings are validated by our efforts and intent. King David said in 2 Samuel 24:24, “I dare not give as an offering that which cost me nothing.” I trust that you will all be blessed as a result of your spirit and efforts in pursuit of life changing influence upon those whom we serve. The Holy Spirit is alive and working through you every time you work with a player, organize an event, assist a parent, or share a devotion. Thank you for all you do!

               Please be reminding and encouraging people to be at the CSports Basketball Celebration Sunday, January 20, at 3:00pm. Tell them to arrive early so that they can fill out the response cards and help us make this ministry more effective. Players and coaches are asked (but not required) to wear their basketball jerseys/shirts.

               See you on the court!

 

In His Service,

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

From the Rec Min December 18, 2018

Good afternoon C-Sports staff and volunteers! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and soaking in all of the Christmas programming you can attend. Saturday was another great day of basketball. We have one more game day this coming Saturday and then we will break for the Christmas and New Years weeks. We have more free Dollar General Bowl tickets to give away to people who plan to attend the game and we have more of the C-Sports at the Jags tickets for the January 5 game at the Mitchell Center to sell at $5 per ticket. Please come get these this week!!

Saturday I was blessed to share several of the halftime devotions during the games. This time of year makes it easy for me to feel the Spirit moving throughout the gym and in the hearts of all present. I spoke a bit about our church and neighborhood programs in which we celebrate our Lord coming to us as a tiny baby. The humble entrance increases the effect of our Creator becoming “one of us”. My message Saturday was an effort to remind all of us who love every aspect of Christmas to remember the purpose for which He came. While every story of His birth and childhood carries meaning we don’t want to get carried away with the beauty and sentiment of the precious Baby and forget the full story of His time here on Earth.

Just as Jesus had a purpose, we also have a purpose and calling to fulfill. We have a very diverse membership in our C-Sports and Recreation family. We serve in many ways through our jobs, our interaction with family and friends, and in the positions of leadership/servanthood (the same thing) we are called to in the church and community. The longer we live the more we increase in knowledge and wisdom. We are told in Deuteronomy 4:9, “Watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” The story of Christmas has both history and future. Both are important to the total “reason for the season”. Let’s be sure to use this time of the year to not only celebrate the season, but to develop a year round habit of seeking and speaking the Word – especially to our children. As we celebrate Jesus “coming to us”, let’s also “come to Him” through our prayer life, Bible study, and witness.

Thank you all for your efforts here in our Recreation Ministry. We see and hear great words of testimony from many who are served and changed through your efforts. I always enjoy hearing from coaches or others who volunteer to mentor and lead about how they don’t understand how the Spirit uses their simple efforts to change the lives of generations to come. Just as Jesus spread the loaves and fishes to the thousands, He uses our simple devotion to Him in miraculous ways. Keep up the good work. May our Creator, Lord, and Savior touch the lives of all you reach through your formal and informal influence in this ministry and your families during this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year”!!

See you on the court!

 

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

 

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From the Rec Min December 10, 2018

One of the best things about this past Saturday was that we were inside! Warm, cozy, and dry! Thank you for another great week of CSports Basketball. We have two more Saturdays of games before we break for Christmas and New Years. Please remind all on your teams to get their CSports at the Jags Basketball tickets asap. For some reason, people tend to wait until the last minute to get them, but when I run out at the last minute it will be too late to get more! These will make a great Christmas gift to the young players and we got a great price from the USA people, $5 per ticket.

               This week we had really contested games, some ending in a tie at the last second! The players played hard and the natural competitive emotions caused some fouls and feelings. Let’s work hard to govern these. 100% effort is expected but the rules of the game set boundaries. Some of the emotions generated really good bonding among those who felt their blood pressure rise and quickly turned it into self-awareness and forgiving (that included me). Coaches, you guys do so much for our ministry and several of you coach more than one team. That is above and beyond. However, there have been times when people who have committed to referee games have not shown up. Coaches, please see if it is possible for you to referee some of the times. There were a couple of games in which there was only one volunteer referee and that is tough in any sport! Please let Mrs. Rose know if you can donate another hour on a Saturday.

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               My halftime devotions Saturday had relatively little to do with Christmas, but then almost everything to do with Christmas. I read an altered version of Paul’s words in his Letter to the Corinthians which some refer to as “the love chapter”. Please take time to read 1 Corinthians chapter 13. It ends with verse 13 which says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” The version written by Sharon Jaynes goes as follows:

©By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband (or wife).

 

           Have you taken the time this season to call someone you know who doesn’t have many friends or is a “shut-in”? Have you handed a dollar to your child to put in the salvation army bucket at the store? Have you shared a good word with someone you don’t usually speak to at work or in the neighborhood?

          My wife and I had a great night last night at my son’s choir presentation. I sat with my wife, my daughter and my son in law. My daughter in law was serving in the church nursery and was taking care of my youngest grandson. My two older grandsons sat on my lap or stood in the pew on either side of me watching the wonderful performance. The night would only have been better if my mother had been well enough to come with us. The program presented a story of a young lady who was caught up in the worldly part of Christmas with lights, tinsel, etc. She was guided through the tutoring of a used book store staff to see the historical origins of Christmas from Christ’s birth through some of the expressions of love in poetry, carols, service, and sacrifice. My wife and I smiled with red, teary eyes all the way home. What a blessing it was sharing this time with our family!

          Have you made the time to attend Christmas programs? Have you planned to present “the real reason” when you have parties or your family events? While service and love are expected from each of us as God’s children all throughout the year, the season of Christmas is the easiest and most important time to refresh your spirit and teach your children. Please use this time to grow and teach!

 

          We will practice and play games this week and next. See you on the court!

 

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 December 3rd, 2018

               Thank you all for a successful 2nd week of 2018-19 CSports Basketball! There were great crowds at all of the games and the cheers, smiles, and flashing cell phone cameras showed that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Thank you for the time and effort you put in each week coaching and organizing so many things that make our sports programs meaningful and fulfilling. I know competitive sports sometimes bring out the human nature of frustration and disagreement, but I know that we are all striving for the same goals of mentoring and modeling for the children and families who are watching us. Remember that all refs and most scorekeepers are volunteers and are doing their best. If there are problems please take either Mrs. Rose or me to the side and ask us to intervene. There is never any shouting at volunteers. When my kids played league and school ball I was the worst! Therefore, I sympathize with all who are having to “hold it in” for the ministry.

              

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We had several volunteers do halftime devotions, most informing about and encouraging ladies to attend our upcoming Women’s Conference. My devotions in between all of these others was an encouragement for those who so faithfully bring children to and support our sports activities. You/they are displaying your unconditional love for them which God first displayed for you. I referred to the 6th Chapter of Deuteronomy, 7th verse which commands us to “Tell it to your children” all the time. I read a viewpoint some time ago referring to “huddles”. This is play-off time in all leagues of football and I know many of us spend a lot of time in our favorite chair watching games. The author of the article I read wrote about how our entertainment is limited to the plays and replays we are shown. During huddles and halftimes the cameras show cheerleaders, bands, and commercials. But, we know that the plays we watch don’t “just happen”. The blocking schemes, the pass routes, the assigned coverage, and all of the plays are called and discussed in the huddles and in the locker rooms. His point was, this is church – worship services, small groups, any time we gather “in His name”. Matthew 18:20 is where Jesus tells us, “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am among them.” Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Worship opportunities are our “huddles” where we learn “the plays” we need to run throughout the week. Trust me, when we gather in the gym for CSports activities, the Holy Spirit is present. When coaches gather with their teams for the team devotion during practices, the Holy Spirit is with them. When we read the Bible and pray with our children and grandchildren, the Spirit guides us. The search for, the submission to, and the commitment to the leading of the Holy Spirit is what determines our effectiveness in the lives of our families, work environments, or wherever we may be led. We have all been called to be God’s servants in our positions of leadership, whatever they may be. Let us not discount church attendance, Bible study, small groups, etc. so that our cups may be filled to overflow on all God’s children the Spirit sends our way.

               Please remind your teams to come get their “C-Sports at the Jags” tickets for the game which will be Saturday, January 5 at 3pm at the Mitchell Center. All of our group will be in one big section and the USA people will be taking our picture while we’re there. We encourage our players and coaches to wear their basketball shirts. There are no C-Sports games that day due to New Years. We need to move the $5 tickets quickly so that I have time to get more for the procrastinators.

               Please remind families to not leave valuables visible in their vehicles. Especially this time of the year, “the wolves will come to feed” wherever they see a lot of cars. I hope you all take advantage of the numerous Christmas programs, light displays, and worship opportunities available during this blessed season. Last night I saw my grandson, Jackson, who is on our K5 Knicks team, sing his first solo in church. What a blessing! Please enjoy all you can fit in your schedule between now and January 1!

               See you on the court!

 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 November 19th, 2018

Saturday was a great kick-off for our 2018/19 CSports Basketball season! Thank you all for your dedication and spirit! Not only was it a nice day, buy the smiles and laughter brightened the gym all day along with the cheers and encouragement from the parents and coaches. I saw the looks on the faces of children who scored their first goal. I saw intensity in the efforts. While there were some questions which are expected on the first game day of the season, there was cooperation between coaches, referees, and rec staff. That is not something we take for granted but are blessed with each week! Thank you!

               A few reminders for coaches and team parents: Please remind players to be in their full uniform for each game day. Please ask parents to not allow kids to bring basketballs from home. Our schedule is very tight as we try to adhere to the schedule. Between periods, halves, and games there are instructions being passed along, devotions being delivered, and announcements being made. Bouncing basketballs are very distracting. The halftime devotions and pre-call-out announcements are vital to our ministry and program. Please encourage everyone to pause their conversations and to control younger siblings who want to run and play during these times. There may be a person (or persons) in the room who needs to hear exactly what is being said and noise and activity may be the devil’s way of keeping them from it! Please don’t just ignore what is being said during these times. There will be plenty of time for conversation.

               Please emphasize the importance of keeping valuables out of sight in the cars in the parking lot. Thieves, especially as we near the holidays, love to go through crowded parking lots looking for purses, cell phones, iPads, etc. A busted window and lost valuables will ruin your weekend! Also, please encourage all families to not block emails from our church. We have a program which puts any email that goes out from a ministry out to everyone on the list. I know that can be annoying as I am on some lists myself, but if you block the church emails you will miss very important announcements from recreation as well.

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               Every time we begin a new sport I like to encourage and equip coaches with materials and opportunities to bless the lives of the children assigned to them as well as the parents who have entrusted their most cherished gifts to them. CSports is a developmental sports ministry that offers all of the benefits of being “in the world” without being “of the world”. We see videos of youth coaches and parents fighting at games while their children hide under benches and cry. We see kids who excel at a skill and never come off the court and others who are made fun of and sit the bench. This is a bad beginning to a child’s spiritual foundation and a dangerous value system to teach a child who is learning and developing their skills and talents and who will one day be a parent/coach themselves. Teamwork and sportsmanship are vital for players who will one day be leaders on their teams. Also, the underlying fact that you don’t hear often is that we are playing a game. The guy (or coach) on the other team is our opponent for that game, not an adversary. This world is so full of arguing, protesting, accusations, and the lack of cooperation that we almost have to screen the national news from our children. Titus 3:9 tells us to , “Avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” While we have to courageously stand for our Christian principles and values, anger is rarely any value; especially if it involves a 2nd  grader stepping on a line or a 5th grader double dribbling. The podium outside our gym entrance has on it the verse from Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” We count on this and base our methods on it. Many times the way grows foggy and we have to make quick decisions, but the Spirit is always there.

               Working in the ministry is always a blessing because we know that God has called us to do things within His will. Still, we have those “human moments”. Last week I had taken part in a funeral for a gentleman who was a husband, father, and grandfather (as I am). While I sat up front, led music, and listened to the words of scripture and memory, I saw the tears in the eyes of the family members. Young grandchildren cried because they lost their “Pawpaw”. It broke my heart. Often during these times I see the faces of my own family members in my mind as they will one day bury me. With that sad state of mind, I drove home to change back into my Rec Min clothes and saw that my daughter and youngest grandson were at my house. I rushed in, greeted them fondly, and hurried to change clothes. As I was changing, I heard from my bedroom my daughter in another room on our piano playing and singing “Joy to the World” to my grandson. That was all it took to revive my spirit. There IS joy in the world! The world and the people in it have reasons for Joy and must embrace it. Our families, our nation, and our Lord are daily blessings. God expects us to “shine the light” from these blessings every day as we touch the lives of others. Working, volunteering, playing, or just sitting around the house we must feel and acknowledge the reality of our faith and blessings and share it, if only through our smile, assistance, or cheerful greeting.

               Remember this week we have practice on Monday and Tuesday, then are closed until next Monday. Have a great Thanksgiving and we’ll see you on the court!

 

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 8th, 2018

               What a great weekend we had! Soccer games on Friday and Saturday and then the CSports Soccer Celebration on Sunday – all with the Pumpkin Patch drawing our kids to it for a fun Fall time – made it a busy and worthwhile few days! Our prayers go to the people in Florida who are preparing for Hurricane Michael this week. Things here may be a little wet and breezy but we hope to be fine.

               A big Thank You goes to Pastor Jeremy Steele, our Next Generation and New Song Pastor, who presented a wonderful message to the big crowd at the Celebration telling us about God’s love for us. God loves us so much that He became just like us, being born, growing up, and then teaching us – because He loves us – and then gave His life so that we can be with Him in eternity. That’s pretty much the Bible’s message in a sentence.

               I heard a story a while back about a dad who was in a swimming pool trying to get his young child to jump in. The child was scared and stood at the edge of the pool crying. The dad kept assuring the child that he would catch him and that he would be ok. People around began watching to see how this would turn out. After a long time of coaxing and pleading from the dad, the child, with tears in his eyes, jumped. The dad caught him and they embraced. The people around the pool applauded. What a touching scene!

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               1 Corinthians 2:9 quotes an old testament writing saying, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” What we try to do in this ministry, the majority of which you have been called to accomplish, is to get the children to “jump” into the waiting arms of the Savior; to embrace Him and to experience all that He has for them for the rest of their lives. Our successful efforts were demonstrated yesterday in the huge numbers present at the Celebration. We ended up having to put out extra chairs! Although not all of our participants were able to be present, of the ones there, the response cards indicated that 24 adults and 45 players accepted Christ as their Savior during the season. 81 adults and 61 players said that they grew closer to Christ during the season. 2 adults and 1 child would like to speak with a minister regarding their faith, and 3 families indicated that they are looking for a church home. Your faithful diligence has been manifested by these results.

               We still have one more week to go! Keep up the great work! Let’s reach out to the rest of the players and families and let us continue the witnessing and mentoring that we’ve been called to do. Please remind everyone on your team that CSports Basketball evaluations are the Monday after this week’s last game. Get them registered. Also…as always…Mrs. Rose could use more coaches J

               See you on the field!

 

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 1st, 2018

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Two more weeks of CSports Soccer to go! Let’s plan for a big and successful finish. Please emphasize to your team families through emails, texts, and verbal communication the importance of being at the CSports Soccer Celebration this coming Sunday at 3:00pm in our gym. Remind them to be here several minutes early so that they can fill out the response cards which are vital to our ministry’s continuous growth and understanding of how we’re doing. We need the input from everyone.

               I’m receiving paperwork daily from teams who have completed their Team Service Project. I hope these acts of service are meaningful to the players as they selflessly do things to help others. It’s funny how when we do things for others we find ourselves being blessed!

               This afternoon I will be receiving a call from a reporter with Outreach Magazine in Colorado Springs, Colorado who contacted me a few weeks ago after seeing our ministry activities on our website. This magazine publishes activities of the 100 fastest growing churches and ministries each year. He and I have spent some time on the phone as he asked questions regarding our origin, purpose, methods, and successes. I related to him a number of steps we took to get where we are and (to make a short story long) I told him about our process during which we felt the call to do Recreation as a ministry of this church. About 17 or 18 years ago the leadership of this church felt led to build a big, multi-purpose building with a gym. One component of the facility would be fitness and recreational opportunities in the gym. The gym would also be the “New Song Sanctuary” on Sundays. As I was preparing to retire from my position with the Juvenile Court in 2003, I was invited to assume the position of Recreation Minister. One of my first acts was to organize a steering committee for both wisdom and consensus as we created policies and procedures. The first question we pondered was, “Why are we going to all of this expense and effort for recreational activities?” One of the committee members quoted Proverbs 3:6 which clearly directs us to, “In all you ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” That answered our first question, and it was pretty smooth sailing from then on.

               As we were preparing to open our facility I was called upon to lead our weekly church staff devotion. I told the story from John 21 in which the disciples spent all night fishing and caught nothing. They returned to shore exhausted. They saw Jesus (but didn’t know it was Him) on the shoreline and He asked, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” When they told Him “no” He told them, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” They did that, and caught a boat load of fish. Now, here’s the question; these guys were professional fishermen. They had been working hard all night and were tired and ready to come in. A man (Jesus) on the shore told them to throw the nets on the other side of the boat…and they did it! They felt led to do something seemingly irrational, but they did it and were blessed.

               Stepping out in faith brings us these opportunities and blessings. When the Holy Spirit calls a _____________ (insert your qualifications) to lead a ball team and to do devotions as you minister to numerous families, changing lives and futures, it doesn’t really fit the “life goals” we may have set for ourselves. However, when we have given our lives to Jesus and to His will, we find ourselves called to do things we’ve never done before. The Spirit equips us and we are blessed for doing them. In the past 14 years, our community has been blessed by the things that you, and those who came before you, were called to do and did so as led by the Holy Spirit. Thank you all, Coaches, Team Parents, Prayer Partners, Rec Volunteers, and Rec Staff, for all you do for this Ministry and for the Kingdom of God. Keep it going! Some of the children you are leading will be CSports coaches one day. Teach them right!

              

See you on the field!

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 24th, 2018

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               Thank you for another great week of CSports Soccer! We’re over the hump and heading for the finish line. This week is supposed to be wet but we will be working on the Celebration Banners in the pavilion so please try to have everyone here to participate. Our CSPORTS SOCCER CELEBRATION will be SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 AT 3:00PM IN OUR GYM! Please press the importance of being at this event as it is the culmination of what we have been doing this whole season. Tell your families to please arrive 10 minutes early so that they can fill out their response cards. At the beginning of the season I sent out letters to many of the families asking them to be invitational to people on their teams. Even people who attend other churches were asked to be invitational and to be witnesses to the many who may be new to the faith. The Celebration is our opportunity to receive written evidence of the transformations that have occurred during this season due to your mentoring and your sharing of your Spirit through the devotions each practice. It’s also your team’s chance to thank you! Please don’t miss it!

               Recently a man from Colorado who is with Outreach Magazine called me and told me he had heard about this ministry, researched it on line, and would like to do a story about the life changing process you guys are a part of. He was blown away when I told him how many volunteers we have doing the important things that keep us going. I assured him we weren’t perfect but that I can’t deny the great testimonies from the people involved in our sports programs throughout the years. The Psalmist tells us in Psalms 37:23-24, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” We were all called into this ministry. Thank you for your willingness to serve…and I promise you, the Lord delights in your way!

               Please let me know the what and when regarding your Team Service Project. I can send you a documentation form if you need one. If you’re planning a “team party”, I always recommend that you do it before the season is over. You’re among a number of new friends and it would be a shame to wait until the season is over to sit and get to know them over a cupcake or two. Again, please push attendance at the Celebration Oct. 7. Thank you all for what you do for this ministry and for this community! I’ll see you on the fields (or in the pavilion)!

 

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 17th, 2018

               What a beautiful day we had Saturday for soccer games! Friday was “iffy” all day but I understand the make-up games got played anyway. Please give Mrs. Rose a hug or pat on the back when you see her. She’ll be mad at me for saying this, but she works so hard making sure we have staff and volunteer coverage at all practices and games and that fields and equipment are in great shape whenever you guys show up. She also monitors other sports and activities in the gym and on the running track. She is blessed with God’s calling and the energy He provides!

               This morning as I was enjoying my morning mug of coffee I saw a Facebook post from our Senior Pastor, Dr. Rob Couch. He shared the words from Ecclesiastes 9:17-18, “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a foolish leader. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” His sermon yesterday was about what happens to people who never hear about Jesus. It was very interesting and can be found on our website if you’re curious. Anyway, as he preached, the words of a song I haven’t thought about in many years came to mind. I began playing guitar when I was in the 5th grade. Back in the 60’s and early 70’s we didn’t have multiple tv channels, video games, or social media. I spent many hours just sitting on my bed at my house on Mohawk Street listening to 8-track tapes of Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, Jim Croce, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and others. I would adjust my tuning so that the chords I knew would work with the songs I was listening to. I still play many of the songs when I’m feeling nostalgic. One of the CSN&Y songs I loved was Teach Your Children Well. While I’m quite sure that there was no “theological” intent in the song, I still absorbed some of the logic. It begins with, “You, who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.” All of us who are reading this know the code we live by. It’s the one we try to teach our children; ours and the ones God and Mrs. Rose place on your teams.

               My children are both married and raising children of their own. Both, in fact have been CSports coaches. If you ever asked them about “wisdom they learned from their dad” they would both roll their eyes and say things like, “Pick your battles”, “Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it”, and, after an accident where they say, “I didn’t mean to”, I would tell them, “Mean NOT to!”  As they, along with their wonderful and God sent spouses, raise my grandchildren, I know that they will relate their own wisdom with its present day relevance so that my grandsons, their children, will grow to be God’s servants and instruments of His peace.

               When I was growing up, along with fire drills in school, we had atomic bomb drills in which we would go into the hallway and cower in the corners. I grew up during the cold war, racial conflicts, multiple assassinations, unpopular wars, and heard the music, heard the rhetoric, and survived the turmoil of the times. The children we are helping to raise, the ones I continually encourage you to teach, mentor, and model for, are coming up in their own troubled world. We are God’s instruments who must guide them through experience after experience so that they may achieve their own wisdom to pass along to the next generation.

               Last week I was walking in the hallway by the gym doors and saw Pastor Jean Tippit come out of the gym with a gentleman who is the owner of a professional sports team. She stopped me and introduced me to him. As she had been telling him about our church, she asked me to tell him about our Recreation and CSports ministry. I can talk about that all day, and almost did, but I told him mainly about how fitness, recreation, and sports are ways we get people in position to see our church, meet wonderful people, and hear the Word. I told him our goals regarding competitive sports and how we, while never compromising effort or skill development, emphasize teamwork, sportsmanship, grace, and comradery in all of our activities. We don’t shout at players, referees, or anybody except with encouraging words. Our post game spirit tunnels where parents of both teams raise hands together so that players from both teams can run through, feeling the support and appreciation of all show that our efforts are working. The team owner nodded and, I believe, shared the somewhat idealistic intent of our ministry influence, as he knew it just isn’t that way out in the “world”… the world our children and grandchildren are growing up in.

               The end of the song I referenced earlier tells children, “You of tender years can’t know the fears that your elders grew by, and so please them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.” It ends with, “Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, so just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.” Thank you all for being the teachers, the pray-ers, the facilitators, and the supporters as we, through the hot days of soccer, seek to Love God, Love People, and Change the World. 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