Pastor Jim's wife, Janet, here again to report that, well, life at New Day continues at a fast pace - the changes are becoming a bit more dramatic now!
SPUD FEST: About 20 - 25 New Day supporters marched in the Spud Fest (local community weekend event) parade on June 27. 500 beach balls with the New Day logo were handed out, 2 large earth balls were tossed back and forth to the crowd and the large parachute was unfolded 3-4 times en route to engage the children on the sidelines. We had a blast!! The rain held off and a spirit of fun was in the air! Next year we'll order twice as many beach balls - they were a hit with young and old!
STAFF: Becky Robinson (Childcare Coordinator) and Amanda Weber (Music/Worship/Youth/Adult Ministries) have agreed to join the New Day adventure!! We are THRILLED to have both of them sharing their incredible gifts with us and the New Day community. Sharing the tasks with these energetic and spirit-filled young ladies is a joy and a relief for Jim and I! More on these two will be forthcoming in a future blog. Children's Ministry is still without leadership - God has been nudging the teacher in me... but we'll see what He has in store.
WISH LIST ITEMS: New Day has been the blessed recipient of many items (some we didn't even know we needed!) from Hopkins UMC and Edgewater-Emmanuel UMC. As they transition into closing their buildings they are providing tangible grace in opening ours! We are SO THANKFUL! We picked up 3 trailers + pick ups full of much needed items last Friday, including a refrigerator, "altar" table, children's table and chairs, children's slide, toys, puzzles, etc., 3 rocking chairs, Christmas trees, banners, coffee carafes, bibles, songbooks, microphones and stands, music stands, etc., etc., etc.!! The abundance is overwhelming and awesome!
PREVIEW WORSHIP: Worship last Sunday was a celebration of legacies - spiritual and tangible! Attendance was up by 10-12 and the childcare room was filled to bursting with 12 young children!! Total count was a healthy 45. We embraced the Habitat for Humanity family who was displaced by fire last year and will be receiving the first HH home in Big Lake this year. New Day has agreed to be the family advocate support for them and it was a joy to meet them and share worship together! Also visiting was Jim's church planting coach, Per Nilsen, who shared words of encouragement and challenge to us at lunch following worship. It was a morning filled with grace and spirit - we rejoice at the wonders of God's work in this place!
UPCOMING: Jim and I are attempting to complete 3 weeks of work in one, so we can head out of town next Monday for a little R & R and some training. We'll be gone July 20 - August 3; first to Door County (our honeymoon locale 25 years ago!), then to Green Bay for Jim's 30th HS Reunion and then down to Chicago for "School of Congregational Development." We're looking forward, but it is stressful to leave when so much needs to be done. "Have faith," my inner voice of God implores...
While we are gone, New Day will be hosting a "Children's Treasures" Rummage Sale, Sat. July 25 and Sat. Aug. 1. Please pray for the leaders of this project who have run into scheduling issues, and for others to step forward to help out. Any gently used children's items will be gratefully received; and if anyone has a couple hours to spare to help host the sale on those dates (timing is 8:00-1:00), just let us know! The first time for every event is an experiment and a learning experience - as they say, "we live and learn!"
In August, the plan is for 3 weekends of Picnics in the Parks (like we did last year) on Saturday followed by worship on Sunday. We're hoping that the picnics will provide opportunity to invite folks to worship in order to grow the critical mass before launching weekly worship in Sept. Prayers, prayers and more prayers for these next several weeks... There are still many, many unknowns... Do I hear that inner voice of God AGAIN?
Finally, financial gifts have continued to come forth, but the expense for equipping the worship space and childcare room before September is a bit daunting. Ok, 3 times a charm: I'm listening, inner voice of God, and I will HAVE FAITH!!
Thank goodness He is patient with my fear...
May your summer days fill with blessings of God's peace, joy and love.