School Opening Service
God Knows the Plans
Text: Jeremiah 29:10-13
There are only a few left who would remember this. It was the Spring of 2008. Christ the King had been given a small grant to start up a preschool. The search was on to find a location. We had been renting out Wadsworth Elementary School for worship, but we had no place to start the preschool. At the time, there weren’t a lot of spaces available in Palm Coast.
One of the first sites we looked at was the empty space attached to the gas station way over I-95 on the corner of Palm Coast Parkway and Clubhouse Dr. A contract was being worked out, but the owners became afraid of insurance liability with a school and they backed out. We didn’t know it, but that was a very good thing. Then we looked at one of the retail spaces behind Goodwill. But that was way too small.
Then we looked at the strip mall on Palm Coast Parkway right next to Sears. Right now the spaces are occupied by Massey. They were two big open spaces—big enough to seat both our Sunday morning worship and to host our preschool. It was perfect! No more lugging things in and out of Wadsworth every Sunday, dripping sweat and wasting time. One ministry location for both the church and the school. And a decent price, too! It was perfect! Quickly we signed the contract.
I’ll never forget the excitement I had on that one Sunday as I pulled the keys out of my pocket and announced we soon would be moving to a new, permanent. Everyone (which was about 25 people back then) cheered. But that very next week the city of Palm Coast said they wouldn’t allow a playground area there and we had to cancel the contract.
Dejected, the search went on. The next location was the landscaping business in Bunnell next to the campground and the storage facilities, across from Church on the Rock. It was spacious and very affordable. A contractor made drawings for the renovations. A contract was drawn up. It looked promising—until the agent didn’t return my phone calls. Finally, two weeks later he got back to me to say that he sold it out from under us to someone else. Read the rest of this entry
Vespers: Evening Prayer
Back to School
Text: Psalm 34
We made it. The first day of school. Done and over. Phew! The first day back to school is always interesting. There were smiles and happy faces. There were crying children. There were crying parents. Teachers were excited to get going again and to work with the new students. Parents were excited to get the kids out of the house and off their hands. Students, at least for one day, were excited to be back at school and learning.
You might call it the Back to School Syndrome. Homework and tests haven’t piled up yet. Students aren’t sick of each other yet. Teachers aren’t sick of students yet. For a time, everyone is truly focused on learning. Check back in mid-October and see if the Back to School Effect has worn off yet!
That Back to School Syndrome shows up in our Christian lives quite a bit. Sometimes we can be very fired up for reading and studying God’s Word. Maybe it was the excitement of CTK Bible Study Week. Maybe it was a topic that was particularly interesting to us. Maybe it was that we finally overcame our laziness and got our noses into the Bible.
But that Back to School Syndrome wares off in our Christian lives too. Suddenly we find ourselves too busy. We get tired of finding extra time to read the Bible. We get sick of taking extra time out of our day. We get lazy again. Like mid-October in a school year, we are downright tired of learning.
What better opportunity than on the first day of school to rededicate our Christian lives to learning? This evening you and I can get Back to School and do some learning of our own from Psalm 34. Read the rest of this entry