Hello, beloved of God! 

This summer has been a busy travel season for my family. I know it’s prime vacation opportunity for many of us and with temperatures over 100 more often than not in Texas right now, I get it! 

This past week, I got to travel to San Antonio for the annual gathering of facilitators for the Neighboring Movement, a nonprofit organization born in Wichita, Kansas that seeks to inspire connection and build trust. We believe that everyone has gifts and that when people use their gifts we experience wholeness and the community gets stronger. It was a wonderful, inspiring time and we will be talking more about neighboring this fall. 

I also got to bring my family along, so we added a day to head out to Sea World. And while I was in training, Andy took the boys to explore the Cave Without a Name outside of Boerne and to visit the Alamo. This is just one week of our summer when all the members of my family are coming and going, sometimes alone, in pairs, or all together. 

James has already been to Bridgeport Camp this summer, his first year as a junior high camper, as well as on a mission trip with UM ARMY in Round Rock. Ethan and I went to Galveston for a mommy-son weekend getaway. Andy and James just got back from Charlotte on their father-son (Nascar) adventure. 

After one trip, James confided that he just wanted to be home for a minute. Longer than a day to sleep in his own bed, wash clothes, and pack up again. And I get it. I agree with Dorothy, that there’s no place like home. 

As we start our VBS for All of Us series this Sunday, we’ll dive into the book of Daniel, another piece of Scripture written during the Babylonian exile, after the fall of Judah. The people of God find themselves far from home. Some of the spoils of this war included “some of the Israelites of the royal family and of the nobility, young men without physical defect and handsome, versed in every branch of wisdom, endowed with knowledge and insight, and competent to serve in the king’s palace…Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah” (Daniel 1:3-4, 6). 

As we join our children in seeking the armor of God, we’ll find out how Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (or as the Babylonian’s rename them – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) stand true. 

I’m praying for you. I hope you are praying for me. See you Sunday! 

grace & peace, 

Pastor Jessica.