I am thrilled to share the great news that our Beach Service has a NEW LOCATION! If you are a regular reader, you know that I posted a couple weeks ago about an obstacle that we encountered in regard to our Beach Service. For almost nine years, Maranatha Church has conducted an outdoor sunrise service on the beach every Sunday at 7:00 AM. I know, for those of you up north, it sounds really glamorous. It’s not very glamorous in July when it is 90 degrees with 90% humidity! It is also no fun in hurricane-force winds! We have only missed one Sunday in about five years.
The County Parks and Recreation Department informed us a month or so ago that we would no longer be able to conduct our service at the park where we have been. We tried our best to work with them in the fulfillment of their regulations, to no avail. There was a real chance that we were going to lose this service altogether.
A lot of prayer went into this process. We also had to do a lot of teaching and leading by example as to how we are to respond to situations like these. It would have been very easy to become defensive. We could easily have protested with the County. We decided to take another approach.
God has come through big time for us. On Monday, the Town of Palm Beach Shores gave the OK for us to conduct the Sunrise Service in their Community Center (pictured above). When I say, “Community Center”, you may conjure up images of a gray gymnasium building that smells like, well a gymnasium. Not the case! This is one of the more beautiful locations in our County. Get this: we will be worshiping on the second floor (elevator included) of a beach-front building where, in the comfort of air-conditioning, we can see the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean! There is a huge wall of windows facing east, this will be the backdrop for our sunrise service! The first time I walked in this building, about a year ago, I started hoping for a chance to use the facility for worship. Now, it has become a reality.
We consider this a huge opportunity to do something awesome for God. The Town of Palm Beach Shores is located on the southern end of Singer Island, which has a population of 29,975 residents. Get this: There is no other church on the entire island! We have the incredible opportunity and responsibility to share Christ with this entire community!
I think this entire turn of events can be credited to a few considerations:
Faithfulness – we have ministered for nearly nine years outdoors, through all kinds of weather, through the distractions of dogs barking and fire trucks driving by and loud motorcycles, and we have remained consistent through difficult times. God rewards faithfulness.
Good people – we have found favor with town leadership and they are going above and beyond to facilitate our service.
God’s goodness – this is His Church, He has decided to bless us immensely.
Church at the Beach is moving to the front burner of our vision. This is an excellent chance for us to fulfill our God-given mission of “Changing Lives by Connecting People with Jesus Christ”.
We couldn’t be much more excited!