From the Rec Min May 7, 2018

                2018 CSports Baseball is history! Now it’s Flag Football season! Evaluations tonight and tomorrow! If you can help, please let Mrs. Rose know (706-3326). We need coaches!

Flag Football post.jpg

               The season was great. Most days the weather was beautiful. Thank you all for your dedication, spirit, and hard work. We in the Recreation Ministry hear stories from families in our programs that most may not hear. We have families who are going through struggles, some have been homeless. Several this season are living with serious illness in their family. We’ve had families in the witness protection program, families who had lost their jobs, who were living through foreclosure. All of these people were out there among you as we facilitated the baseball practices and games, team parties, and Team Service Projects. Among these people, response cards from the Celebration last week indicated that 25 players and 24 adults accepted Christ as their Savior during the season. 42 players and 46 adults indicated that they grew closer to Christ during the season. 1 player and 1 adult asked to speak with a minister about their faith and 2 families are looking for a church home as a result of their time with you on the ball fields.

               In John 13:35, Jesus tells us, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” That’s how we show our true faith. I may have been the only one present who noticed in the 10:40 worship service last week, but we had a young girl serving as the Acolyte leading the choir into worship. She was a little nervous as I’m sure any young person would be leading a group into a large crowd, but she did great. She climbed to the podium and lit the first candle. As she moved to the next candle, her fire went out. She froze there not knowing what to do. As the choir was moving into their places in the loft, our Lead Pastor, Dr. Rob Couch (a dad himself), stepped over to the young girl and helped her re-light her acolyte wick and she moved on to light the second candle. I know it is like that in the Recreation Ministry. We who are here each day tend to help each other’s “light stay lit” with encouragement, witness, and example. That is what you did every day on our ball fields. You may not have seen the need in each person’s eyes or heart, but you were the bearer of the light that changed them and made them, in turn, share with others.

               Titus 2:7 says, “You yourself must be an example to them.” You have done a mighty good job of that. Our mission goes on. I pray that you’ll pray and see what all God has planned for you. A flashlight is just an expensive stick unless it’s shining to show someone the way. You have done that, and I hope you will continue, here at Christ United, at home, at work or school, wherever you may be.

               Until next time, may God bless you and keep you! Thank you for all you do for this ministry!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

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

From the Rec Min April 30, 2018

What a great weekend! From last week’s Night at the BayBears to this week’s CSports Baseball Celebration we have been pretty busy. So has the Holy Spirit! After a beautiful Saturday of Baseball, a wonderful crowd of players, families, and volunteer leaders gathered in the gym for the end of the season Celebration. I believe every team was well represented and the players enjoyed watching our Children’s Ministry Puppet Team lead us into the program and then getting to walk across the stage with the team banners thanking their coaches and team parents. I was able to thank the volunteers who aren’t as noticed such as the officials who come out to call the games, Prayer Partners who pray for every player, team parent and coach on every team every day during the season, and the rec desk and field volunteers who work behind the scenes to make sure the paperwork is correct and the lines are straight. I thanked the team leaders, families, and players for their Team Service Projects so far this season. We have touched this community by planting flowers at the Ronald McDonald House, working to earn money to purchase toys to give to the police for children who have been traumatized, donating supplies to the Animal Rescue Foundation, picking up trash around the playground at Medal of Honor Park, earning money for Toys for Tots…and it just goes on and on. Thank you all for your leadership in this ministry!

matt 5 13-16.jpg

After the video furnished by our Media Ministry I went on stage with my two year old grandson on my shoulders. As I introduced our speaker I wanted to emphasize the legacy of volunteer leadership and mentoring. I told about my father starting a youth football league in the community where we lived when I was in the 4th grade. He coached me and taught the important things about hard work, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Years later I was able to help coach some of the teams my son and daughter played on during their very successful athletic careers. As I looked down from the stage I could see my son with my oldest grandson on his lap. He is coaching in the same way that generations before him did as he teaches Christ like values in everything we do. In saying that, I introduced my friend and brother in Christ, the Southern Alabama District Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Dennis Hayford. He was a Recreation Minister 15 years ago when I retired from the Juvenile Court system to start the Recreation Ministry here at Christ United. His advice and influence was a big help. Dennis talked about how our enthusiasm promotes our influence. Excitement creates excitement. He told about an athlete who had the desire to overcome physical issues, and with a personal drive and the support of Christian coaches was able to achieve greatness (drafted into the NFL last week). He encouraged us to be the light and the inspiration for others. In order to do that, we must have it within ourselves!

In Matthew 5 Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men , that they may see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.” I occasionally tell groups when I am speaking to them that, in darkness you may light a candle or turn on a flashlight. Either may be enough for you to see your way along the path. But, people for a mile or more away can see you! What you are doing for this generation of young ball players will be seen by people years from now in the acts of kindness, service, and honor shown in everything they do. Shine that light!

               One more week of practices and games. Be sure to come sign up for Flag Football and Summer Camps before we fill up! Have a great week. See you on the fields!

 

In His Service,

 

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

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

From the Rec Min April 23, 2018

Saturday was a fun day…aaalllll day! Big time thanks to those of you who supported our BayBears night at the “Hank” Saturday night. I believe the players who came had a ball! This coming weekend we will have games as usual on Saturday and then the CSports Baseball Celebration on Sunday afternoon. Please tell your players and families to be here by 2:45pm to have time to fill out their response card and find a seat. There have been a few coaches in the past who have not prioritized attendance at the Celebration. Granted, we can’t make anybody do something that they don’t want to do, but attending the Celebration and handing out the trophies is one of the biggest of the big jobs you have as a coach and team leader. Then, one more game and we’ll give you a few weekends off!

Baseball celebration.jpg

I’m always humbled by the words from Matthew 4:19-20, “Come, follow Me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed Him.” Often, when I get a little overwhelmed with events and responsibilities in this ministry, I will remember the disciples who left everything to follow and to serve. Do we, you and I, realize how fortunate we are to serve here in a Holy Spirit inspired program and have a major part in changing lives and our community? We don’t have to quit our jobs or leave our families. We don’t have to travel to a foreign land. The people come to us!! Then, we just follow the leading of the Spirit and serve. The response cards we will receive at the Celebration will very likely (always have) indicate appreciation for coaches and tell how the lives of their children have been positively influenced by coaches, team parents, Prayer Partners, Rec Staff, and all who volunteered and served. We are winding down the season, but this is the most vital time and event! Please prep your teams for it and be here to lead and be thanked. The team banner parade has proven to be a big way for the players to show their appreciation for what you do. Please be there to receive it!

Thank you all for what you do. If you are wanting to do a team party please schedule with Angelia here at the rec desk. I’m receiving paperwork from Team Service Projects and it proves our Godly and positive effect on the community. I trust every player who participates will feel the blessing of serving and will look for more opportunities as they grow. Have a good week and I’ll see you on the field!

In His Service,

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
251-706-3326

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

From the Rec Min April 16, 2018

We feel very blessed to have gotten the games in this weekend. We sure didn’t want a second week of cancellations! There are still a number of people who have not gotten their BayBears tickets for this coming Saturday. We all need to be in the stadium on the third base side by 6:20. Please tell them at practice that I will probably be out of the group priced tickets by Saturday so they really need to come early this week to get their tickets. Also, please be informing and encouraging every family on your teams to be at the CSports Baseball Celebration Sunday, April 29, at 3:00pm. This is a big part of our program and it is important for all of our players and families to be present.

Copy of ChristUnited_RecMin_4C_Horiz.png
Copy of CUMC_Sports_Color_Horiz.png

Our church is going through a change in logos, fonts, and communication practices so you will be seeing changes in our look and wording soon. It seems like a daunting task to us in CSports as we are going full speed every day and we have so many things to modify. With that in mind it was interesting that our pastors preached about Moses yesterday. With all the things he did for the Hebrew people we sometimes forget that it took almost two chapters in Exodus for God to convince Moses that he was the man for the job. Exodus 4:13 says, “But Moses said, ‘O Lord, please send someone else to do it.’” Is that our response sometimes when we feel led to do something? Do we quietly ignore the feeling and hope it goes away? Not you guys! Not the people receiving this email. You got the call and answered (maybe with a little push by Mrs. Rose). We want to be more like Samuel who, even as a little child, responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10.

Thank you for all you do and please be in prayer for us as we make the changes to all of our paperwork, videos, bulletin boards, emails, etc. Please stress the above instructions to your teams!! I’ll see you on the fields!

In His Service,

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister
Christ United Methodist Church
251-706-3326

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

From the Rec Min April 9, 2018

matt 5 45.png

Matthew 5:45 tells us, “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” We witnessed that this past week. Thank you for being patient with us. We all, especially Mrs. Rose, do all we can to get games and practices in. It’s my understanding that she will be allowing some make-up games this week for those who want it.

Please remember this week to get your Christ United at the BayBears tickets (see attached picture)! This is always a big and exciting event for players and parents. We need to get rid of all of the tickets we have so that I have time to go get more for all of the late comers the next week!! Also, please be encouraging your families to plan to attend the C-Sports Baseball Celebration in our gym on Sunday, April 29, at 3:00pm. They need to be here by 2:45pm to fill out response cards and find a seat!

My daughter-in-law is a Speech Pathologist in our Mobile Public School system. Right before Easter and Spring Break one of her students gave her a gift. It was a large coffee cup with words from one of our favorite songs, Jesus Loves Me, only the words on this cup said, JESUS KNOWS ME, THIS I LOVE. She, along with everyone she has shown it to or told about it, was very moved by the message in those words. She was inspired by a child who sensed her faith. Do the players you are leading sense your faith? Do they see in you a spiritual mentor; an example of what they should grow up to be? That’s what we are looking for. In order to lead we must show that we follow! When Jesus, God in the flesh, knelt down to wash the feet of the disciples He meant that as a lesson for us. We are to love with His heart, see with His eyes, and serve with His hands.

Thank you all for everything you do to make this ministry effective. I hope we have some sunshine while we spread the “Sonshine” this week. Keep your phones handy!

 

In His Service,

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

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

From the Rec Min March 26, 2018

john 10-10.jpg

Saturday was a beautiful day for C-Sports Baseball, for our Christ United Family Fun day, and, basically, for anything else! This week we will have practices on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, but will be closed Friday and Saturday as we Celebrate God’s gift and sacrifice which we remember this Easter week. Jesus told us in John 10:10, “I am Come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” It is His will that we enjoy beautiful days with family and friends and that we also enjoy the assurance that we are His children called to His purpose. As we receive His light we are reflecting it on others so that they may “see our good works and glorify God”. Our Music Ministry presented a program last night and there are a number of other special events planned this Wednesday through Sunday celebrating and worshipping the Last Supper, Christ’s sacrifice, and the miracle of His Rising on Easter Sunday. Christ United will be having a 7am Sunrise Service at Medal of Honor Park Sunday morning and then 8am, 9:15, and 10:40 services in our sanctuary and gym. I pray that you will all take this opportunity to worship and celebrate. Be sure you spend time telling your children, family, and friends about why we celebrate.

Thank you all for what you mean to this ministry! I’ll see you next week!

In His Service,

Steve Ellisor, Recreation Minister

Christ United Methodist Church

251-706-3326

 

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

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

251-706-3326

 

“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.

Opening day.jpg

                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

251-706-3326

 

“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.”

2 corin 139 psalm.jpg

                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

251-706-3326

 

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