I am saddened today because this Sunday will be our last one in which we will share in worship with Bill and Elizabeth Gabler. Bill and Elizabeth are moving to Darian, Georgia where they will continue to serve the Lord near the coast of Southeast Georgia. I am saddened, but also excited for this new opportunity to be a blessing to a new church there.
Bill and Elizabeth were the first couple to join our Grace Church family after my coming to serve as your pastor. Since they became a part of this fellowship, there is no place in our church that has not been enriched by their energies, talents and commitment to the Lord. It goes without saying, that we will greatly miss them. Their glad service in Christ has encouraged all of us. I will miss Bill’s prayers of, “Lord give us a hug today…” I will miss Elizabeth’s playing keyboard with the Praise Team and her voice singing in harmony along with Jamie. A verse of scripture that comes to mind when I think of Bill and Elizabeth is, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). May God bless you both as you continue to serve the Lord with gladness.
After 46+ years in ministry, God has taught me a few things, one of which is this: In the ministry of the Lord, you never say “GOOD BYE” without anticipating a new opportunity to say “HELLO.” The Bible says, “…the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). We can be confident that as surely as the Lord brought Bill and Elizabeth to our church, He has already appointed and anointed others to lead this church forward. So, let’s recommit ourselves to pray and look forward to what God is planning to do in coming days.
Today is also a celebration day because we are recognizing the amazing contribution Michelle Peppers has made to the Children’s Ministry of our church. Michelle leads our Children’s Worship and promotes every other ministry we plan which impacts our children here at Grace. We have prayed that God would bless our church with an abundance of children. In answer to our prayer, God not only has given us a parade of children, but He has given us Michelle. She is always working in a new craft, or a creative way to convey God’s truth, as well as some new method for the children to participate in the worship of our congregation. Michelle tirelessly gives of herself without payback. She’s a volunteer and a professional. We love you Michelle and today your church family wants to say “THANK YOU” for the ministry God has given you with our children.
Worship is made sweeter when God’s people express their love for one another and their heartfelt thanksgiving for their service rendered for Jesus. The apostle Paul said, “For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:16). We worship God today with hearts filled with thanksgiving for all that He has done among us.