Creature from the Black Laguna…

Hello from the beach!

Do you hate those kinds of greetings as much as I do? Even though summer is in full swing, most of us still go to work everyday, and to hear from someone at a beach or on an exotic trip can be a bummer. So, please forgive me for such an annoying intro…lol.

It’s Tuesday and my great friend and long-time sound man Jesse Reagan and I are sitting outside the retreat center office, taking advantage of the wireless internet access. We’ve been here since late Sunday night, and the student camp with the folks from ClearBranch UMC in Argo, Alabama is going well.

Monday was taken up with the load-in and set up of all the gear, with a band rehearsal right before dinner. We then we all packed into Classroom #1 (all 150 of us! Yikes!) for a time of worship and teaching. I’m playing with some young guns from the music ministry at ClearBranch, along with rock veteran Steven ‘Hamie” Hayman. Yes, Hamie is the ‘Scottish dude’ who played in a band with Damon Johnson a few years back. Hamie is a great singer and is fun to work with. We’re having some great times of woship (with some bluesy rock jams thrown in for fun). The guys in the band are doing great too; Jordan Harnach (son of my friend and mentor Charles Harnach) is covering bass, and another Jordan (I don’t know his last name) is playing drums, and Stevie Ray Vaughn worshipper (lol) Roddy Barrett is playing guitar. It’s a jammin’ bunch for sure. Our friend Stephanie Sparks is adding some great BGVs, too.

We actually have the rest of the day off, so we plan on attempting to pigment our albino-esque skin via exposure to the sun’s rays…lol (without doing a great lobster impression).

Some great things are happening back home, too. Our small group hosted our first ‘outreach’ this past Sunday, a block party at the home of P150 drummer Jim and Pam Pollard. They gave away over 100 hot dogs and many folks from their nieghborhood signed the guest book. But the best story came today via Pam. One of her neighbors knocked on her door yestersday and shared how she wanted to come over Sunday, but her husband was out of town. She then began to share with Pam about a recent family loss and how deeply it has affected her. Pam was able to bring some Spirit-led comfort, all because of a block party.

Wow! Talk about a mission field! How many of us know what’s happening in the lives of the people who live all around us? I know that Carol and I need work in that area. We do have those ‘yard chats’ while outside cutting grass (pulling weeds, more like it), but I know God would have us do more. I am encouraged that we are part of a Faith Family (the People’s Church) with vision to empower groups like the people that make up our home group to find ways to reach out into the community, without waiting for the church to host an event. We plan on making this a regular happening this summer, with a block party held at each of our respective neighborhoods. Please pray that we can be salt, light, and water to the people around us.

Heck…we may even play some music…what a novel idea!

More from the retreat in a day or so. Keep praying for us, especially as I travel. While these camps and trips are helping to pay the bills, we most definitely need your support financially for the various P150 projects we have in the works, as well as helping to feed the family.

God bless!

GV