Summer Madness - June/July Update

Without exaggeration I can honestly say that this has been one of the most enjoyable (and busy) summers that I have had in years. But I would be leading you on big time if I wasn't honest about how challenging it has been as well. With the many tragic events that have hit our nation and world these past two months, focusing on the plan that God has for us is a bit more difficult. Yet Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This means through pain, suffering, death, hatred, disparity, anger, confusion and other critical circumstances... GOD NEVER STOPS LOVING US! As I sat down to give you an update of our summer, I wanted to first let you know that struggling through issues of belief, especially in times like this is REAL ... but know that even when we have lost bits of faith, God is faithful (2 Tim 2:13)


Service Over Self Summer Camp:
I spent the first full week of June with the campers of the Service over Self youth camp. Service Over Self is a Memphis based organization that repairs roofs of low-income community residents at NO COST TO THEM. Every year, hundreds of kids from all over the nation come to Memphis to aid in the roofing and home repair projects for local residents. While they spend the day repairing homes, we spend the evenings building them up spiritually. I had the privilege of walking them through a series entitled "Walk Like Christ", which outlined God's action plan of humiliation, substitutionary death and willingness to engage brokeness so that man can live one with Him. The message also reflected the human response to each step that God had taken in effort to bring salvation and peace.

FSM Summer Camp
During the second week of June, I served as a summer youth camp leader and speaker with the Fellowship Student Ministries camp. We traveled to Laguna Beach, FL., and spent the week with 60+ middle and high school students. I spoke with them about our identity in God's eyes and how he worked to make it known to us.


Communion at Fellowship Memphis
Pastoral residents have a lot of opportunities to serve the body but as we are learning, we usually don't have many opportunities to lead the entire congregation during the worship service. I had an opportunity to lead our church in communion for a second time this summer. This was a great opportunity to remind those worshiping of Christ sacrifice and our gift of being able to remember it daily.

For The Kingdom Youth Camp

The For The Kingdom Youth Camp is one that was birthed out of a passion to gift inner-city kids (who would normally be unable to go to any type of summer camp) with an opportunity to spend a week at a retreat camp. Most of their time is filled with recreation but I was able to serve the 40 middle school students as their camp speaker. We had a blast, but most importantly, we learned a lot about Jesus and how he impacts our every day lives. The theme for the week was REACHING HIGHER

Visiting Daytona Beach
With the help of Christ Community Church, we were able to visit Daytona Beach, FL., to continue to dream and plan on planting a multi-ethnic church there. The staff and congregation should a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and genuine love towards us and we look forward to working with them even more closely in the future.

Please see any of the links below for information about the camps we visited this summer or our friends+family at Christ Community Church.

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Byron L. Cogdell