Upper Valley church of Christ Mission
The Gardner Report May 2018
Greetings from the Green Mountains!
As with every month the “home” Bible studies continue. Actually, the study with Ed is at Maplefield Convenience Store and Gas Station and it is going great. Ed continues to have those eye-opening moments. In our last study the question came up, are little babies born with sin? It is something he had been taught and believed all his life because it was part of Calvinist doctrine taught in the Baptist church he attended. But as we are studying through Muscle and a Shovel, author Michael Shank tackles that question head on and uses the same passage I always use (Ezekiel 18:20) and when we read it he immediately wrote that scripture down in the front of his book. Old false beliefs come to a well-deserved crashing halt when confronted with the truth of God’s Word. We are getting there.
May was our long-awaited Spring Sing with the Seniors over at Westboro House Assisted Living. Since is it was a beautiful Spring evening, we all got moved out onto the porch to enjoy our time outside. We had a wonderful hour of singing and left them with two plates of cookies for their party that followed, then we went back to the building and enjoyed a meal and fellowship time together. Again, a few of the brethren from Montpelier came down and joined us for the evening. We do “Singin’ with the Seniors” twice a year. Spring Sing and at Christmas, where it’s all about Away in the Manger, Hark the herald angels sing etc.
Sharon recently put a lot of effort into making a special celebration for Sharon Ruane’s daughter, Elyssa, who has Down’s Syndrome. She just graduated from High School so Sharon made a cake and set up a special bulletin board. Many of the brethren gave her cards with some money and signed a huge beach ball (which made me light headed, as I blew I up). Sharon just wanted to make it special and have her feel like family as we continue to study with her Mom.
We are now in high gear with preparation for our 2018 Bible Time Market Place Vacation Bible School. This year we are adding another Roman Soldier. We are going to need him as one class each day will be taken into custody and put in stocks in the prison cell with Paul and Silas to hear the story. This is only for 15 minutes at the end of class time before the Bible Time Market Place begins. We will also have our carpenter, a baker, a scribe, a beggar and of course, the tax collector. It should be an exciting, fun, and educational VBS and we are looking forward to it. Be praying for this effort. We are going to advertise locally and reach out to our sister congregations in Montpelier and Springfield, to get a good turn-out of children and teens for this year. Dana (our carpenter) has already built all the stocks. I will be playing the Apostle Paul and Duane will be Silas. We will be completely lining a classroom in black paper and have the stocks set up so the kids and Silas and I can rest our backs against the walls. With just a single lamp in the Lignum (the inner prison) and all our feet in the stocks it should make for an effective teaching place to learn the story of what happened at Philippi.
Well that’s it for this report letter. I’m sorry for being late with it. It has been intensely busy lately trying to balance everything going on and particularly all the details of what is being worked out for VBS prep. Thank you all for your love, interest and support.
Your fellow servants in Christ, Randy and Sharon Gardner