What a great weekend! From last week’s Night at the BayBears to this week’s CSports Baseball Celebration we have been pretty busy. So has the Holy Spirit! After a beautiful Saturday of Baseball, a wonderful crowd of players, families, and volunteer leaders gathered in the gym for the end of the season Celebration. I believe every team was well represented and the players enjoyed watching our Children’s Ministry Puppet Team lead us into the program and then getting to walk across the stage with the team banners thanking their coaches and team parents. I was able to thank the volunteers who aren’t as noticed such as the officials who come out to call the games, Prayer Partners who pray for every player, team parent and coach on every team every day during the season, and the rec desk and field volunteers who work behind the scenes to make sure the paperwork is correct and the lines are straight. I thanked the team leaders, families, and players for their Team Service Projects so far this season. We have touched this community by planting flowers at the Ronald McDonald House, working to earn money to purchase toys to give to the police for children who have been traumatized, donating supplies to the Animal Rescue Foundation, picking up trash around the playground at Medal of Honor Park, earning money for Toys for Tots…and it just goes on and on. Thank you all for your leadership in this ministry!
After the video furnished by our Media Ministry I went on stage with my two year old grandson on my shoulders. As I introduced our speaker I wanted to emphasize the legacy of volunteer leadership and mentoring. I told about my father starting a youth football league in the community where we lived when I was in the 4th grade. He coached me and taught the important things about hard work, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Years later I was able to help coach some of the teams my son and daughter played on during their very successful athletic careers. As I looked down from the stage I could see my son with my oldest grandson on his lap. He is coaching in the same way that generations before him did as he teaches Christ like values in everything we do. In saying that, I introduced my friend and brother in Christ, the Southern Alabama District Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Dennis Hayford. He was a Recreation Minister 15 years ago when I retired from the Juvenile Court system to start the Recreation Ministry here at Christ United. His advice and influence was a big help. Dennis talked about how our enthusiasm promotes our influence. Excitement creates excitement. He told about an athlete who had the desire to overcome physical issues, and with a personal drive and the support of Christian coaches was able to achieve greatness (drafted into the NFL last week). He encouraged us to be the light and the inspiration for others. In order to do that, we must have it within ourselves!
In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men , that they may see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.” I occasionally tell groups when I am speaking to them that, in darkness you may light a candle or turn on a flashlight. Either may be enough for you to see your way along the path. But, people for a mile or more away can see you! What you are doing for this generation of young ball players will be seen by people years from now in the acts of kindness, service, and honor shown in everything they do. Shine that light!
One more week of practices and games. Be sure to come sign up for Flag Football and Summer Camps before we fill up! Have a great week. See you on the fields!
In His Service,
Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6