Vol. 10 Issue 4
It’s Harvest Time
Never having farmed, I am in awe of those who labor breaking and conditioning ground to receive seed. I have witnessed farmers labor in the heat of the day, pushing pass what seems humanly impossible, as they work seemingly endless acres of ground, one neat consistent row after another, just to place the promise of a crop into the earth. As we embark upon the fall of the year, I give witness to the results of their diligent efforts. Through the heat of the summer, they weeded, watered, and watched as their seedlings burst forth from the soil. Only now can they begin to gather in crops. They had no fore-knowledge of how abundant their crop would be; or if they would receive a return at all. Yet, they labored and now it is their time to gather.
With such a vivid frame of reference before me, I am encouraged to reflect upon the harvest season for the House of God. Indeed it seems like endless energies have been sown over a countless time frame into the hearts of men, women, and children. Some of the ground was dry and parched from the harshness of life. While others were water-logged from the heavy downpours of torrential rains. Yet, Kingdom laborers continued to plant and water, as they awaited God’s promised increase. How my heart rejoices to know the rainy season filled with its hot scorching sun that damages any potential crop is at its end. Yes, rejoice House of God, it’s harvest time!
Uth4Christ Summer Camp In Review
Sow and Grow
Early Monday morning on August 4th, the final preparations were being made for Christ Summer Day Camp 2012. The tent was erected, the ground was tilled in preparation for the flowers that would be planted, cartons of crafts and activities were unpacked and organized for the start of a fun filled week that no doubt will be imbedded in the hearts and consciences of the campers for years to come.
Some names may be forgotten and even the location of which it was held, but the precious seeds that were implanted will be used by God to give increase to the hearts in which they were sown.
How priceless were the countenances of the little faces on the first morning, some came with eagerness, some came with a little fear of the unknown, but by the end of the time that we shared together, all left with a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and His desire for all to grow and produce good fruit.
Each day was packed with Christ centered lessons, games, activities and projects. the snacks were related to the daily themes. as “mud pudding” which consisted of chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate cookies with a gummy worm hanging from the side for the “soil” theme. Yummy!!!
As the campers journeyed from one workstation to another, you could see their excitement in learning what would be the next experience. were service projects that taught of our duty to serve others which included a car wash, the making of care packages, planting flowers at the church, and preparing a fruit salad to be served to others.
They also enjoyed arts and crafts which involved hands on projects of coloring flower pots, making beautiful tissue paper stained glass, working with sun paper and much more.
In the closing ceremony on the last day, the campers performed all of the jovial songs that they learned throughout the week and displayed their acting skills in a drama skit based on the parable of the sower and the seeds found in Matthews 13. what a talented group of campers.
Although each child has gone back to their regular routine and camp is over for this year, our prayer for them is that the seeds that were planted in their hearts will take root and bloom bountiful just as the flowers that the campers planted the first day of that adventurous week.
The Planting of Grace… during the Holy Convocation
At the Holy Convocation God walked among His people on four different occasions, as I attempted to gain perspective on this phenomenon, God’s almighty grace came to mind. His grace was planted into each of us transforming us into sons and daughters of the living God. We, as God’s people, have to now carefully cultivate that grace by continuing to let the Holy Spirit build upon that foundation that was laid before us, Jesus Christ. Having been made new creatures in Jesus Christ, we have access to this grace by faith wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). There was no reporting of this through the newspapers, televisions, or radios, but our satisfaction was that God was pleased and by His grace reassured the Nation of NFCOG that our soil was good ground and our expectations will be fulfilled. Paul tells the church at Corinth not to accept God’s grace and then not use it, “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).
Now as a Nation we have to pray, mediate on God’s word, and wait for full germination of His grace. I cannot fully express what is in my heart about the visitation of God during the convocation. He stepped out of heaven and into our midst at St. Joseph Holiness Church in Atlantic, Virginia—what an awesome God. David wrote, who is man that God is mindful of him? NFCOG, we have to be aware of any evidence of the seed of fear trying to be planted within our soil (spirit), because the enemy will try to discourage or stop us from fully recognizing the fullness of God’s grace. Picture a greenhouse filled with plants growing into maturity and outside of the greenhouse there are plants dying because of severe periods of heat, cold, and flooding. We are the plants inside of the greenhouse (seal by the Holy Spirit) and the climate is always right to produce good fruit. Temptations might come between watering or the supplying of nutrients, but if we endure and wait on God we will find that His grace is sufficient. With the seal of God’s approval stamped within our spirits by the Holy Spirit we can grow knowing that no weapon formed against us shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against us in judgment we shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).
“NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS” – Zechariah 4:6
Signs of the Times…
NFCOG’s 16th Annual Holy Convocation
This year’s 16th Annual Holy Convocation was a week filled with praise, worship, celebration, and consecration unto God. Those who attended were able to experience the power and presence of God like never before. Tuesday night’s opening worship and intercessory prayer led by Apostle Ivan Grant, Sr. ushered in the Spirit of God thereby setting the stage for a mighty movement by God. During Tuesday night’s opening session, the congregation broke forth in praise as the Holy Spirit fell upon the NFCOG nation. God’s presence could be felt in Saint Joseph on that night. Pastor Terry M. Brown, Sr. of New Saint Mark AFCOG followed with a fiery message entitled “Wait on Jesus”. Those in attendance were encouraged by this powerful Word of God.
Wednesday night brought much anticipation and excitement for what God would do next. After the praise and worship team led the congregation in song, the people of God encountered God’s awesome presence yet again. Hands lifted up across the aisles in heartfelt worship before God. Many danced before the Lord giving Him praise. The Apostle announced that God has indeed come and walks among His people tonight. Many received blessings of healing and deliverance as the men and women of God prayed for them.
On Thursday, Pastor Ivan Grant, Jr. delivered a message for the times, “Inconvenient Truth” admonishing the congregation to run after God fully and to do all of what the word of God says.
Friday’s service began with the consecration of Bishop Forrest Nance, Jr. as Vice Bishop of NFCOG. Following the consecration, the Bishop addresses the congregation and encourages the people to praise God. As the people open up to the Spirit of God in praise, God shows Himself once again among the people just like the day of Pentecost. For those who came and pressed their way to attend the convocation, their sacrifice did not go unnoticed as God poured out spiritual blessings on them. We must allow ourselves to be open and obedient to the ways of God and expect Him to move on our behalf as declared by this year’s theme “Our Expectation is from the Lord”.
Let us maintain an attitude of praise to God so that the spiritual renewal and restoration experienced during that week will continue to spread throughout the nation of NFCOG and the world.
Jaclyn Grant, Uth4Christ Director
An Expression of Thanks
Summer Camp 2012 was full of firsts for Uth4Christ—our first day camp, the first camp to run simultaneous with Convocation, the first camp for our younger Uth4Christ members, the first camp to be free for campers, and the first camp to be held at one of our churches.Yet, this year’s camp, like the ones before it, had the most important aspect involved—God being with us.He was with us before camp in the planning and preparation stages, during the entire camp week, and He’s still working in the midst, tending to the seeds planted in the hearts of the children that joyous week.
Also like previous years, we had a wonderful group of volunteers step up and raise the bar for next year.They arrived early, worked tirelessly, poured out their hearts and spirits, and then went on to attend afternoon and evening Convocation events refreshed and enthused.Thank you to all our volunteers: Deaconess Lisa, Sister Margaret, Brother Kendrick, Sister LaTonya, Brother Audwin, Deaconess Gail, Brother Daniel, Elder Sarah, Minister Valerie, and Sister Rosie.
This year was also unique in that we invited others in NFCOG to volunteer financially in support of the vision and mission for camp.Many donors rose to the occasion and exceeded all expectations. Because of each donation blessed by God, we were able to perform all that God had placed in our hearts for camp.Thank you donors, Sister Bridges, Sister Simmons, Missionary Phyllis, Vice Bishop and First Lady Nance, and New St. Mark for your generosity and your support.
Uth4Christ and camp extends beyond the children and the youth and affects the lives of everyone involved.Every member of NFCOG can and should be a part of this important mission to reach our young people.You can sponsor a child, donate supplies, give your time and energies, pray for the cause and the children, involve your children (or grandchildren, nieces/nephews, etc.). If you’d like more information about next year’s camp or about becoming a member or volunteer of Uth4Christ, we look forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.