It’s hard to believe it, but the school year is almost wrapped up and summer is right around the corner. I think there is fresh sense of excitement leading into this new season, as last summer felt stolen by the pandemic. But with COVID numbers consistently diminishing and CDC guidelines relaxing, most Austinites are making big plans for the summer. People are feeling the need to get out, and they are hungry to find fellowship with others. However, we should note that desire was not caused by this pandemic. God declared in the garden “it is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18 ESV). As image bearers of God, we are made to be relational just like our Creator. Our desire for fellowship is deeply embedded into our souls, and the pandemic simply starved us from feeding that natural appetite. So thousands in our city are now looking for ways to nourish that need.
My prayer is that many will find the fellowship they are looking for at ABC. We want our church family to serve as a place of refuge, for people to connect, be fed, and find encouragement that can only come through community with other believers. To make that happen, our church is going to offer many extra opportunities for people to find community this summer. The fun will begin this Friday at our first ever “Homecoming Dinner.” This event is designed to provide a fellowship opportunity for those who are new, or newly returning, to ABC. Our hope is that all of our guests that night will feel welcomed and will begin to build new relationships with our staff and with each other. If you would like to join us for this special event, there is still room to add a few extra folks. Simply reach out to Christina Mendoza and she’d be happy to assist.
We are also planning a church-wide social on Sunday June 6th. Save the date and plan to participate in our ABC Summer Kick-off Party. We encouraging everyone that morning to wear Hawaiian shirts or relaxed summer attire as we celebrate the arrival of summer. We’re going to have some classic cars and boats on display, the children’s and student ministries are going to have tropical fun-factors, and BFG classes will be having a chili cook-off competition. The winning class will be awarded an amazing breakfast in their room the following Sunday. We will have a church-wide luncheon at 12PM, and we’ll be serving hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch and have inflatables for the kids. I encourage you to register quickly so we can count you in on the food order. Lunch tickets are available for $5 and you can purchase them here: https://www.austinbaptistchurch.com/summer. But I also encourage you to consider buying a few extra tickets and inviting your neighbors and friends. This party will serve as a perfect opportunity to invite a guest to ABC and have them enjoy the fellowship of this exciting church family.
There will be plenty of opportunities to invite others into the followship of our church this summer. VBS is coming up, Freedom Over Austin is on the horizon, and there will many amazing events happening all summer long. But the first opportunity to invite someone is this Sunday in worship. My prayer is that the fellowship of ABC will stand out to those who walk in, as they see us aim to be the church that God’s Word has called us to be: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:15-17 ESV).
May we stand united as one body, with Christ ruling in our hearts, and thankful for all that He’s done. I look forward to worshipping alongside you this Sunday.