You have become accustomed to a monthly article from me that is often related to a particular topic, Scripture reference, or season of the Christian Year. As we begin this journey of spring, when all things are said to be made new, I wish to do something slightly different. I have been encouraged over the past few weeks by the improved COVID-19 numbers and it is exciting that with this new month we will resume a variety of ministries from which we have been separated for some time. We are sharing announcements about the After School Program which meets on Wednesdays, we have an Easter Cantata presented by our chancel choir just around the corner, and, this past Sunday, we resumed congregational singing during worship. These and other opportunities on the horizon may not seem like a tremendous deal, but they have done much to breath encouragement into my spirit. It is my hope and prayer that this time in which we are entering will mark a period of transformation for the Little Rock OFWB Church family and that we will see not only new fruit, but, more importantly, good fruit.
Romans: A Grace-Filled Life
In the past couple of weeks, we have concluded a fruitful journey through the Book of Nehemiah and considered the challenges experienced by a post-Exilic people in their return to Judah. As we move into April, we will begin a new series of studies taken from Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome which we know as Romans. Many consider Romans to be one of the most pivotal portions of Scripture for our belief and practice as Christians. It is a text filled with a number of familiar verses related to our need for a Savior and encouragement for the challenges of life. I hope you will consider being a part of this study either in person or online for the coming months. There are sixteen chapters and some rather challenging territory to traverse, but I believe it will be beneficial no matter who you are or where you are in your journey of faith.
Holy Week Is Coming
We are just weeks away from our observance of Holy Week at Little Rock and within Lucama. It has been three years since we were able to unite with our brothers and sisters at Lucama United Methodist Church and Lamm’s Grove Pentecostal Holiness Church for worship on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. I am excited to report that the wait is now over and we will be joining together once again this year as we tell the stories leading up to and including the crucifixion, and ending with a joyous celebration of the resurrection. The schedule for Holy Week is as follows:
April 14: Maundy Thursday 7:00 p.m. at Little Rock
April 15: Good Friday 7:00 p.m. at Lamm’s Grove
April 17: Easter “Sonrise” 6:30 a.m. at Lucama UMC
I will be taking some time off the week after Easter for physical and spiritual rest, reflection, and renewal. In the event that any emergencies should arise, please contact your family deacon. The Reverend Dr. De Wayne Eakes will be filling the pulpit on the morning of April 24. I will be back in place for the Quarterly Conference that evening. There will be no Bible studies or chancel choir practice held that week.
We Are Getting Closer
It is so close that we can just about see the finish line. I am speaking of the remaining debt on the renovations to Heritage Hall. As of this writing, we are about $36,000 away from paying off our commitment. The monthly payments are $2,000 and that works out to about 18 months yet to go. However, we do not have to wait the full 18 months. It was not all that long ago that this amount was significantly higher, but, through your willingness to give, it no longer seems as overwhelming. At a recent meeting of the Finance Committee, there was great optimism that we can do this and retire the debt sooner than later. We know that we have been challenged in the past two years by COVID, the passing of church family, and other dynamics, but this congregation has remained diligent. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and have been greatly appreciated. The Finance Committee would like to challenge you to continue the good work. If you were unaware of this special project, it is not too late to become a part of the giving process. Any amount, large or small, will be a valuable asset in enabling us to retire this debt. By working together, we can make this happen! To help you visualize our progress toward the completion of this goal, a chart will be displayed in the sanctuary and marked each week as we move closer toward the mark.
Pancake and Sausage Supper
If there is one thing that we are good at doing as Christians, it is eating as we enjoy good fellowship. The Deacon Board is making preparations for this year’s Pancake and Sausage Supper Fundraiser which will be held on Friday, May 20 from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.. Tickets will be available for purchase (you can assist with selling a few if you would like) by the end of April. The cost is $8.00 per person and you can dine in or take out. All of the proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the building fund and the retirement of the debt on Heritage Hall.
A Matter of Prayer
As I look beyond Little Rock (heading back toward Davis Creek), I see hope. I envision new lives coming to Lucama in the not-too-distant future. I would like to encourage each of you to be in prayer for the families, couples, or individuals who purchase the homes which are now under construction. Pray that we might reach out to these people and let them know of the love of God within our small town. They will be a part of our mission field and we have the opportunity to make a difference in their lives.
Together in Christian Service,
The Reverend Kelley Smart