Wednesday, June 21, 2017

VBS Fun!

We've been having a lot of fun this week so far at Vacation Bible School!! The whole family is involved in some way. Davis and Wesley are part of the elementary classes (and Wesley is on the praise team during opening and closing). Daryl and I have been serving as elementary crew leaders, leading our own respective small groups of kids around through all the stations. And Parker has been an assistant upstairs with the Bible Discovery group. It's been great to see so many kids from the church and community participate and we are thrilled to serve alongside so many great lay volunteers from the church! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Family Celebrations

Sunday we went home to Seffner after worship to celebrate Davis' birthday, plus my birthday, Uncle David's birthday and also Father's Day. Davis was thrilled and super excited to get presents before his birthday this year (his actual birthday is July 2). Grandmommy made him an awesome train cake. And all of the grownups lamented the fact that the stack of presents for a 7 year old is much more exciting than the stack of cards a grownup gets for a birthday! 

See the joy on this face?! He was SO thrilled! 

He got lots of great presents including kinetic sand, a plastic bow and arrow set, several sets of legos, a new scooter, a shark blanket, dress up clothes and a new nightlight! 

And then of course Uncle David and I got to celebrate our birthdays - we both asked for banana pudding instead of cake! 

We were thankful to celebrate this guy here too for Father's Day and his dad. Couldn't get a good picture of Grandaddy. But this picture below is the one that Daryl showed up him and his dad during worship in the morning when he preached about him for Father's Day. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Camp Pickup

We had a great time doing camp pickup this morning. We got to spend it with family and good good friends! Parker had a blast and lost his voice (mostly) again. The cousins were at camp this week too and he and Bethany managed to have all of the same outdoor skills: canoeing, sailing, ultimate frisbee and flag football. 

And I got to spend some time with my bestie! Her oldest Will was Parker's cabin and bunkmate. It was Will's first year of middle school camp and Parker's last. Hard to believe next year he'll qualify for high school camp! 

Parker with the Holdens!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hanging out Around the Church

Lots has been happening around the church this week. We've had a funeral and attended another one in a nearby town. VBS decorations are going up all over the place in preparation for next week's Vacation Bible School. It's looking super cool and science everywhere. We've got an upstairs hallway of special laboratory doors for doctors....including the Dr. and Beaker from the Muppets and The Doctor (from Dr. Who). 

And yesterday I got to play outside with the youth group for Messy Games 2017. Lots of mess and  lots of crazy silly fun! 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Adventures in Summer

Monday we dropped Parker off at camp for a week of fun! He's sharing a cabin with one of his best friends from Clergy Kids - Will. This is Parker's 5th year of Warren Willis summer camp and his last year of Middle School Camp. 

The dog is seriously lamenting the fact that Parker is gone. Bella keeps staring at us and whining like she can't understand how we lost a human. And it's the human she sleeps with at night. The first night she refused to sleep in Parker's room without him. Last night she decided to take over the whole bed. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fun with Friends

In the last two weeks, we've seen friends from all of the churches we've ever served in our ministries. It's been wonderful to reconnect with some folks. This past Sunday the Baughers from Druid Hills joined us for worship and lunch. Debby and her daughters Lindsi and Jami were instrumental in helping us with the process of bringing Davis home and making him feel welcome. It was fun to catch up with them again! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Annual Conference Whirlwind

Last week was Annual Conference time again! For the second year in a row, we met at a convention hotel in Disney Springs. Our Clergy session kicked off though bright and early on Thursday morning at St. Luke's UMC. It was wonderful to be together with our colleagues and to worship and to approve folks for licensing, commissioning, ordination and retirement. 

Our business sessions were held in the Citron Ballroom at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel and Spa. One of the first things we did was present all of the ordinands for the asking of the historic questions. I have had the great privilege of working with these folks for the last three years during their provisional period and I couldn't be prouder of them for seeing this process through and for the amazing things they are all accomplishing in their various ministry settings. 

Dr. Elaine Heath was one of our wonderful speakers during the week. She's the dean of Duke Divinity School and helped us see how the time period we are living in now with so much change is just one of the larger movements of systems change that have happened throughout history. 

Among the other business we attended too was the proposal to move from 9 districts to 8 districts, which passed by an overwhelming majority. 

A couple of our friends and special people from our church were recognized from up front. Here's Rev. Melissa Cooper in a video speaking on behalf of LEC Family. 

And here's Mike Standifer, being celebrated for 25 years of leading in camping ministries! 

And here's Elsa Kaye, also from our church with Pastor Loida in the Expo Hall. Elsa recently accepted a conference position as the Florida Conference Coordinator for the Florida-Cuba Covenant. She and her husband Glenn attended conference and were there at a special dinner when Bishop Pereria from Cuba and our Bishop Carter signed another 20 year covenant.

There were lots of CUMC sightings around Conference this year. Here we are with our delegates Will Cooper and Art and Judy Wadding. 

Riley Standifer also went as a conference youth delegate. 

Here's Melissa Cooper with Giselle Lawn and then Daryl with Glenn Kaye. 

We ran into the rest of the Standifer family too! 

The Young Adult Missional Movement presented delegate Will Cooper with a plaque - through our Missions program, Community UMC is the largest church supporter of the YAMM. 

I got to spend a little time with my covenant sisters. First at the Clergywomen Breakfast where we had the honor and privilege to hear from Bishop Sharma Lewis, the first African American woman to be elected as a bishop in the Southeast Jurisdiction of the UMC. She was a dynamo and definitely woke us up! 

And then again at the ordination service when Latricia was commissioned as a provisional elder! 

We managed to sneak in a bit of fun at Disney as well. We spent a couple of hours at Animal Kingdom. We ate in the new restaurant in the Pandora area - we ordered from our mobile phones before we arrived in the park! The food was delicious. Plus we saw Minnie and Mickey and rode a few rides. Davis tried Expedition Everest - the giant roller coaster - and LOVED it! 

All in all, it was a fantastic time at conference and we are always so thankful for the opportunity to spend time with our colleagues and to celebrate the awesome things happening around our conference!