Beloved Church-in-the-Garden Family & Friends,
What a month of May we enjoyed! We celebrated our mothers, sisters, aunts, and women who form a unit of womanhood that cares for, nurtures, and many times goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the success and progress of others (look what Moses’ biological mother and sister did to ensure Moses’ survival and success)! May also witnessed us celebrating Pentecost and concluding our examination of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the power of the Holy Spirit was felt in our midst as we praised God for two new members who gave their lives to Christ and were baptized both with water and with the Spirit!
It is amazing to bear witness to the worship that we have at our church. I’ve seen God move in the lives of God’s people. One member, speaking in both Spanish and English, was just overcome with what God is doing at the church. She said to me, “Pastor, God is here, here…aqui, aqui!” The Spirit is truly touching lives within our worship and our witness! We welcomed first-time worshippers all the way from Munich, Germany. We had Brother Darren Jenkins in worship with us again who brought his wonderful piano playing and vocal ability to the church. I’m grateful to God for providing us such musical and vocal talent. Moreover, through Long Island Ministry channel on public access television, more people are seeing our services. I’ve received calls and letters expressing people’s appreciation of the Spirit-led worship that we have! I invite you to join us every Sunday at 10am for worship.
As June arrives, and the summer takes hold, I want to personally invite you all to come to the Church-in-the-Garden for a preaching series on character and character issues. As we celebrate those who have held up models of fatherhood and examples of male role models, it is my sincere hope that we can unwrap some of the things that keep us from being at our best and promote those things which God has ordained in us for greatness. Men of all ages please come out and worship with us.
I want to congratulate all those who have graduated from college in May and those who will be graduating K-12 this month. For collegiate graduates, take time to reflect on your journey and the people who helped you along the way. Spend some time in prayer and meditation to ponder your next steps in this formative period of your lives. If you take time to speak to the Lord, I promise the Lord will speak to you and help guide you in discernment of your mission in life.
To those who are graduating high school and are getting ready to pursue the next steps in your academic career or vocation, I urge you to be in contact with your parents, mentors, and those whom you admire who have been where you are going and solicit their counsel. One of the mistakes most young people make at this time is the avoidance of asking about things of which they do not know. One of the reasons why this happens with high schoolers is their sheer naïveté about the larger world surrounding them. Another reason is the know-it-all nature of kids who think they know it all (all of us have been there, lest we boast!). More pointedly is the reality that our children do not know who to ask, and then they ask the wrong people. There is a responsibility that we all share to help give good advice and to be frank in our discussions, especially when we do not know answers, to help our children get the right answers. This is a proactive approach that should be instituted year round. It is a lesson for all of us: When we do not know something, ask! Don’t just google the question; ask someone who has experience and knowledge in that area of inquiry. This will take us all a long way.
June is also the month of a host of birthdays! Two of my sisters and so many friends and family are June babies. So, let me say happy birthday to all June babies. I would be remiss if I did not thank the two people who gave my sisters and me life. Thank you Deacon and Deaconess Thorpe! You both did the heavy lifting. I am thankful that you did. I am proud to be your son.
We look forward to Sundays in June. All are invited, welcomed, and wanted at the Church-in-the-Garden! Come as you are, leave better than when you came, in Jesus’ name!
Rev. Earl Y. Thorpe Jr.