Monday, August 28, 2017

As the new school year gets into full swing, we are excited to kick-off our new ministry - the hands-on learning gardens!  We are starting this school year in cooperation with four teachers and their classes (one from Pleasant Grove Elementary School, and three from Liberty-Eylau Elementary School).  These kids, ranging from kindergarten through 2nd grade will have the opportunity to utilize one wood planter and one tractor tire planter per class.  This will give these kids the opportunity to have a hands on learning experience with their garden plots to learn all kinds of things!  

You may have noticed the the garden beds on the north side of the church near where the manse used to be located.  As the program grows, we plan to add more space for more classes to participate.  There was so much interest at LE that they actually had to draw names for classes to participate!  

We are also working with the local garden club of Texarkana, Bowie County Master Gardner, as well as with other programs in our community that seek to help with raising healthy living!  This is an exciting step forward for our congregation and a great way to interact with our local community and schools.  

Imagine being a child who has no idea where food comes from?  Imagine the excitement of hands on learning as plants grow in the soil?  A learning garden can be used to aid in the teaching of not only growing things like vegetables and flowers, but also math, science, nature, nutrition, bugs, and the amazing interactions of God’s creation with soil, seeds, sun, and water!

If you would like to help with this ministry, we are in need of prayer and some donations.  If you have any extra hand trowels or small digging tools lying around and would be willing to donate them that would be great!  We may also need help getting plants for the garden depending on how each class decides to proceed with their planters.  Hoses, sprayers, and soaker hoses would also be appreciated!

God is good and has blessed us with this opportunity to work with local teachers and kids in this exciting ministry!  Thank you for your prayers as we kick off our learning garden!

Faithfully in Jesus,
Pastor Cheryl Bourne

Monday, January 30, 2017

Galatians 5:22-23
"By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.  There is no law against such things.”

Colossians 3:12
“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”

At our last youth group gathering, we discussed kindness.  Most of us associate kindness with an action such as opening the door for someone or helping another in some way.  As we dug deeper into the lesson, we talked about what it means to clothe ourselves with kindness in three ways:

1. Kindness with your words.  It is easy to be unkind with our words, especially when we do not take the time to think about what we say before we say it.  We often speak words that are unkind because we often speak without thinking.  Before we speak, we can ask ourself if the words we are about to speak are kind.  If not, then we should change our words so that they reflect kindness.

2. Kindness with your actions.  Although this might seem like a no-brianer, we often act out of selfish desires.  It is much easer to look out for ourselves than it is to be kind to others.  Our actions can reflect kindness to others when we become more intentional as we think about the needs of others.

3. Kindness with your attitude.  Having a kind attitude is not easy and many struggle with it.  When someone gets on our nerves, wen someone is unkind to us, or when things don’t work out the way we want them to, we struggle to have a kind attitude.  But the only one who can control our attitude is us.  So we have to be the ones to take control.  When something happens and you feel irritated, selfish, or any other unkind emotion, take a deep breath and choose to react with kindness.  Ask for God’s help through prayer when needed.

What would it be like in our world today if everyone clothed themselves in kindness?  If kindness wasn’t just about an action, but about a whole way of being?  While we can’t control the whole world, we can control how we live, act, and breathe.  We can choose to build up a kinder world by starting with our own lives.  So as you live each day, make kindness a part of your whole being—kind words, kind actions, and a kind attitude.

Faithfully in Jesus,

Pastor Cheryl Bourne