From the Rec Min March 19, 2018

                Looks like we got through another day that was supposed to be stormy. A big thank you to all for your patience as we closely monitor the weather each day and week. Every time there is a prediction of bad weather we get lots of calls at the rec desk asking if we are cancelling the practices or games that day. We are very conscious of the fact that families paid money to play and we do all that we can to hold the practices and games as long as it is safe and the weather at the time of the event is not too bad. It is, however, always the parents’ call as to whether or not they want to come on a day that may be too wet, cold, or stormy for their taste.

                I was blessed last Thursday night to lead the music at our Celebrate Recovery program. Any time I get to do such ministry I try to explain to the crowd that, while it may seem that I am leading, I am simply worshiping with them. I pray about the songs I will play and I know God has in mind the message He wants the individuals to receive. The song I ended with Thursday night was my father’s favorite song, Whatever It Takes. He wanted me to sing it at his funeral in 1991 but I just couldn’t do it. I have, since then, presented it to a lot of groups and congregations. The message in the words, which sound to me like a prayer, is: “Whatever it takes to draw closer to You Lord, that’s what I’ll be willing to do. And whatever it takes to be more like You. That’s what I’ll be willing to do”. I love Proverbs, one of my favorite books in the Bible. Proverbs 4:25-27 tells us, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or left, keep your foot from evil.”  As you lead your teams, players and families, you are both teaching and modeling this Proverb. Teaching right from wrong in terms of rules, sportsmanship, as well as technique. You are guiding children through a growing and life changing process and showing their parents that their child is progressing and maturing. I hope that you are letting parents in on your devotion message each practice so that they can “fertilize the seed” that you “planted” on the way home. You are the messengers in this ministry and for that we are grateful.

                The last part of the song says, “I’ll trade sunshine for rain, comfort for pain, that’s what I’ll be willing to do. And whatever it takes for my will to break, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.” Pastor Jean Tippit preached in our sanctuary service yesterday and reminded us that we are not to give a little bit, but give it all to Jesus. As we give, we receive. As we release ourselves, we become what God intends for us to be. And then we minister. We love with His heart, see with His eyes, and serve with His hands. Love God, Love others, and let’s change the world!

                See you on the fields!


In His Service,


Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church



“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6


From the Rec Min March 12th, 2018

                Just so everybody knows, Mrs. Rose doesn’t really control the weather. It just seems like she does. Saturday, a day that had been predicted to be terrible, turned out great for the opening day of baseball. It was good to see the BayBears mascot and representative out there helping us advertise for the April 21, CUMC and CSports at the BayBears day. The BayBears will be playing the Mississippi Braves that night at 7:00pm. We will need to be getting there around 6:15 and be ready to walk out on the field for the CSports “Field of Dreams” by 6:30. Tickets are $5. People sometimes ask about “who needs a ticket” as they have small children. Anyone who will sit in a seat needs a ticket. Please don’t wait until April to get tickets as we hope to run out and have to get more soon. Can’t do it at the last minute. You can get them any time at the rec desk.

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                I love to see the players and families during ball games. Parents warming up with the players, coaches teaching and encouraging, siblings cheering or just eating snow cones. It’s always fun. Thank you all for what you have volunteered to do and for the loving and dedicated efforts you put forth to make this element of the Recreation Ministry meaningful and productive. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us.” Often when we ask someone to lead or serve they tell us that they don’t feel equipped or capable. We all know that God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called! Your efforts, mentorship, and example will no doubt be memorable blessings to the players and families on your teams. You will be remembered when the players you are working with now are called to be coaches, team parents, or volunteers in the future. They may coach your grandchildren one day! Be very deliberate with your devotions, ask for prayer concerns, include family members when you can so that they can reinforce the message after they leave practice.

                This is going to be a great season. Please be in touch with families about the Team Service Project and if you choose to have a team party. It seems a shame when people wait until the end of the season to get together in an informal setting and make new friends. Any reservation must go through Mrs. Angelia Tait here at the rec desk. Team Service Project forms come to me. Mrs. Rose has a lot of ideas if you’re searching for a good project for your age group.

                Have a good week! Looks like the cool weather is still around. See you on the fields!


In His Service,


Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church



“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min January 31, 2018

                Guess what…it’s baseball season! Thank you for a great 2017/18 CSports Basketball season. We’ve received a lot of compliments and positive feedback regarding our program and the faithful service you have all provided. Now, as we prepare for our baseball/softball season, along with our 678 Volleyball and Spring Young Runners Club, we are in a period of self-evaluation which includes reading comments from our Celebration response cards, our own notes from the season, and the input we have received from all of our volunteer coaches and referees. We often hear, “Well, that’s not the way we did it last year” and it’s often true. Every year we tweak a rule or procedure or two because we think it will help us achieve our goals of offering spiritual and athletically practical training and guidance to the children God puts in our care.

                Yesterday after worship Dr. Couch, our Lead Pastor, held a Leadership  Conference with the staff and leaders in our church. We had long discussions regarding our strengths and opportunities to improve. The input of the leaders, young and old, will help us do all that we do more effectively. 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” The 139th Psalm, Verses 23 (one of my favorite prayer scriptures) says, “Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

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                We do this mid-season and after each season of each sport. Those of you whom the Holy Spirit has directed to be personally invested in this ministry are encouraged to share in that process when you have something on your heart that you feel will benefit our purpose and mission.

                So, here we are at the end and beginning of seasons. Please be sure to register your child and sign up to coach or be a team parent if you’re going to do so. Enjoy the rest of the winter and…take the next few Saturdays off J.

                See you next time!


In His Service,


Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church



“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min January 22, 2018

                As we near the end of another wonderful and successful basketball season I’d like to echo the words of appreciation spoken by all during yesterday’s Celebration. There was a good crowd even though there were some teams with no coach and only one or two players present on their row. We will take steps in the future to personally notify families as we continue to be told that some coaches don’t encourage attendance as we have asked. Nevertheless, there was a great voice of thanks delivered from the stage, not only from Mrs. Rose and I, but by the players as they marched across the stage with their posters and cheered for their teams. Many of you who are not as visible during these events were thanked as well such as Prayer Partners, desk and Eval volunteers, youth helpers, and referees!! Our speaker was Coach Ronnie Cottrell who has a very impressive coaching resume with a State Championship, an SEC Championship, and a National Championship among his accomplishments. He is currently the Head Football Coach here in Mobile at Mobile Christian and is changing lives as he wins games.

                Coach Cottrell spoke to players, coaches, and families as he stressed the importance of character and effort. He said that God expects us to do our best with the talents and gifts He has given us. He made one simple statement that really hit home when he said, “There are three things you can do in a game. You can play, you can coach, or you can referee, but, you can only do one thing at a time.” This fits in well with the message I’ve been sending each week. Our nature is often to try to “help” the referees from the bench by shouting, “that’s a foul!” or “three seconds!” etc. I was able to explain to those present how we are a developmental league and we try to let the young players play while still teaching rules and skills. These young ones will run into a crowd and fall or touch the ball with their non-dribble hand, or even move their pivot foot, and if our referees called every one of these there would be very little actual ball played. Of course we will not overlook anything flagrant and will not allow a violation that gives one team an advantage, but we hope coaches will help by talking to the players rather than the referees. Tell the players to dribble with one hand, hands straight up, get out of the lane, etc. We want the referees to do that as well. This is one of the advantages we try to create by having coaches referee games before or after their games. ALL of the children playing are yours and we want to make them all better. Instruct, correct, and call violations with the intent to teach.

                Our response cards from the Celebration showed that 12 adults and 45 players accepted Christ during the season. 51 adults and 42 players indicated that they grew closer in their relationship with Christ during the season. One family said they are looking for a church home. This is evidence that you are ministering and mentoring. Ministry is difficult to quantify but these numbers are encouraging and point to the work the Holy Spirit is doing in your lives and in theirs. Philippians 2:12 tells us, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” Spiritual growth begins with a decision. Each of you reading this have made that decision. Now, here at the end of the season, we are seeing the fruits of our labors!

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                Keep up the good work. If you do a good job this Saturday, I’ll give you the next one off J.   Remember that baseball/softball is right around the corner. If you want to register a child or if you can help with coaching, please let us know soon! Have a great week and I’ll see you on the court!


In His Service,


Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church



“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6

From the Rec Min January 15, 2018

                Two more weeks of basketball! Can you handle it? I had two people tell me Saturday how amazing it is to see the improvement in the players from the first weeks of the season. One of them was Coach Ronnie Arrow. You coaches are doing a great job teaching skills and teamwork! These kids will remember you when they are playing school ball and even when they are working with their own kids 20 or 30 years from now! The lessons learned through sports are valuable life lessons. Hopefully all are good. My son had a coach when he was playing in a church league years ago who was teaching the players to cheat! He was showing them how to hold an opponent’s jersey from behind where the ref couldn’t see it. I walked out on the court during that practice session and, as politely as I could, challenged the coach to correct himself. It embarrassed my son, probably shamed the coach’s son, but had to be done. A person’s honor is displayed in many ways from actions (or inactions) to personality. Sports teach us rules, humility, discipline, and the importance of interacting with others to accomplish a goal. This is why we are here. A primary goal we are striving for is to let every player and family know how much Jesus loves them. We teach that through word and action, just like everything else we teach them. God tells us in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “I will give you a new heart and put a spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.” I, along with my Rec Staff, am thankful that God has entrusted me/us with the duties and opportunities that come with running this sports ministry. We also realize that you who are reading this are the ones He has called to apply the guidelines and routines we create in order to change the lives of children and families. Please feel that honor and work diligently for the next two weeks to pour out blessings on the people in your care.


                Basketball, as I’ve said before, may be the toughest sport (some would say soccer) in which to maintain composure. The things we would say and do if we were in the car alone at a red-light and the person in front of us was checking texts instead of turning while the light was green, we somehow feel free to say and do if we feel a referee missed a call. I have been “chewed out” by people I will sit with in church the next day because of a split second issue in a game. One of the aspects of the world we are continuously trying to affect is this instinctive rage that changes a person even during an activity meant for recreation or entertainment. I feel the tension even as I watch my favorite teams on tv do something bad. It affects my personality as though it mattered in a tangible way. I am working on myself as I try to encourage you and all of our CSports family members.

                Last night I heard a wonderful sermon in a series on the  last book of the Bible, Revelation. John, Jesus’ disciple, was 90 years old and had been exiled by the government to a small, rocky island called Patmos. Even as an elderly man in a terrible situation he tells us in Revelation 1:10, “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit.” The pastor’s message reminded me of something I often forget. Don’t let your circumstances dictate your worship, let your worship dictate your circumstances! True, worship doesn’t always change your situation, but it changes YOU! Let us all maintain a heart of worship, even on the courts, even during team talks, even in conversations with parents, even in our workplace, schools, and homes. As the Spirit changes us, we change the world!

                See you on the courts!


In His Service,


Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church



“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6


CSports Bulleted List-January thru March

Here’s a bulleted list of what is going on for the beginning of 2018 in CSports. Refer back to it and feel free to forward to a friend!


·        678 Volleyball – Registration DEADLINE is JAN. 19th!  For 6th, 7th & 8th grade girls.  Required evaluations are Friday, Jan. 19th, 2018 only.  Weekday practices and games begin in February, season ends in March. Fee is $75 until Jan. 12th. Register in person at the rec desk.  Online registration will not be not available for this sport.

·        T-ball, Baseball & Softball – Register online through Jan. 29th, in person through Feb. 2 for $80.  For ages 4 by 3/1/2018 through 4th grade boys and 6th grade girls. Required evaluations are Feb. 5th & 6th. Practices begin late February, Saturday games in March and season ends in May.

·        2018 Spring Young Runners Club – Registration begins Jan. 22nd.  For K5-9th grade. K5-2nd train for 1 mile distance, 3rd-9th train for 5k distance. Practices are during the week, runners will participate in 2 official road races (Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon races) as well as an endurance course at the end of the season.  Season starts late March and ends in May.  Fee is $40.

·        Flag Football Registration will begin in mid-March – more details to come.


Recreation Facility – Monday through Friday, 6am-9pm, Saturday, 8am-6pm.  Recreation includes indoor walking track, fitness room and basketball gymnasium as well as regular fitness classes.  All participants should complete a registration card in order to participate in any area of recreation.  The Fitness Room requires a one-time fitness room orientation, given Monday through Friday at 6:30pm.  

Basketball Gym - The basketball gym is reserved for CUMC Members and visitors who regularly attend services and 3 of their guests.

·        Children under 18 must have a parent/guardian signature on their registration card.  

·        Children under 14 must have a parent/guardian present in recreation. 

Fitness classes:

·        YOGA – First class is free, each class thereafter is $5 or purchase a 6-class card for $25.  Classes meet on Monday & Thursday at 6pm, Tuesday and Thursday at 9am for one hour.  Yoga mat is suggested.

·        BALANCE & STRETCH CLASS – Free class, 30 min sessions 1st Wednesday of each month.  SPECIAL 4 WEEK SESSION:  Feb.21st & 28th, Mar. 7th & 14th.  Instructor, Kathy Hays will lead you through balance, strength & stretch exercises that are instrumental in helping to avoid falls and disabilities that come from those accidents.  No special equipment or clothing required.

 Dates to Remember:

·        Feb 1 - 678 Volleyball practices begin

·        Feb 5 & 6 - Tball/baseball/softball evaluations & parent conference

·        Feb 13 - CLOSED

·        Feb 19 - Tball/baseball/softball Coaches Meeting & Roster handout

·        Feb 20 - 678 Volleyball Pictures

·        Feb 26 - Tball/baseball/softball practices begin

·        Mar 3 - Tball/baseball/softball pictures

·        Mar 16-17 - Volley 4 Christ Volleyball clinic

·        Mar 26 - 678 Basketball coaches meeting

·        Mar 30 - CLOSED for GOOD FRIDAY

·        Mar 31 - CLOSED

From the Rec Min-January 8, 2017

By Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Good rainy Monday morning! I was speaking to a person on the phone earlier this morning who was lamenting about the cold weather. I reminded her that it is winter and that this is the weather we are supposed to have this time of year. It just usually doesn’t happen this way!

Saturday was a good day of CSports Basketball. I was privileged to deliver several halftime devotions during the day and I took the opportunity to share the words of a song I would sing at my youngest grandson’s baptism the following day. I have attached the words of the song to this email. I read a passage from the 6th Chapter of Deuteronomy which says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” These are things we MUST tell the children.

Just as we seem surprised and annoyed when winter weather occurs, we are sometimes shocked when “natural” reactions occur during close ball games. I’ve written many times about how our program is in the world but not “of” the world. We strive to bring light into the darkness that has permeated sports and other activities such that individuals will speak harshly to one another when, in any other situation, they would be polite and civil. Basketball is a sport that stirs emotions and often good people will bypass the “CSports filter” and become a bit more worldly in their comments to officials.

I have many faults but I don’t think being a hypocrite is one of them. I’ll tell you outright that I may be the worst, and yet God put me here to change many of the things that I identify as my weaknesses. As my children played sports, some of which I coached, I have embarrassed my wife and even made my daughter cry when I have lost my temper during games. “Open your eyes, Blue!” was one of my shouts. My son was a very talented pitcher and I would often shout, “Haven’t you ever seen a curveball Ump?” There was one time in a national championship tournament when my daughter was called out because she didn’t touch home plate. Even though we had a footprint and a video of her touching it, the umpire didn’t change his call. I blew a gasket! I know the feeling. I’ve been there! And I was wrong.

While sports are to be taken seriously as healthy activities, methods of teaching discipline, opportunities to develop talents, and the goal of each game is to score more points than the opponent, they are still recreational in their purpose. All who are reading this have seen coaches on tv going wild after they saw what they felt was a bad call by an official. Every level of every sport (See McEnroe/tennis) involves human behavior, instant decisions, and, ultimately, rewards and consequences. As a major part of our ministry we try to remove the perceived need and, in fact, the permission, to react rudely and aggressively for any reason in a game. Our players will enter the realm of “real sports” when they get in school and will hear all of the shouting and human aggression they can handle. They are here, in CSports, to participate, learn and have fun. Our coaches, team parents, and officials are all volunteers and we will not allow anyone to verbally abuse them, especially in front of elementary school children.

Yes, when we’re moving along comfortably and hit a bump it both makes me reflect on where I’ve been and where I’ve come since. Please join me in making the CSports games fun no matter if we agree with everything a ref or opposing coach says or does. Find Ms. Rose if you have a concern but please don’t shout to “assist the refs” or especially say derogatory things in front of your players. I want to thank everyone who makes this ministry work through the time and efforts they donate. Let’s model Godly behavior in everything we do. Coaches, be ready with a pat on the back or a hug if one of your cohorts begins to get a little rowdy. None of us are perfect…least of all me, for that matter…but we have a job to do and that job is to teach children how to love Jesus, love each other, and learn a little basketball while they do it.

See you Saturday!