For me, this month marks 10 years of service as Youth Director, and now Associate Pastor at Starnes Cove --- may God have mercy on us ;-). Ten years of wonderful opportunities, faithful encouragement, and investment in me, and my family --- Thank you, Starnes Cove!

As I reflect on the past, and on the season our church is now in, I am reminded of the very first conversation I had with our former Pastor, Charlie Sams, right after I was voted into service at SCBC. I can recall walking into his office, brimming with excitement and enthusiasm the Monday after. By that point my mind had plenty of time to wonder and wander about dreams of what the Youth Ministry could be. I spoke with him that morning about all these ideas and how to accomplish them in unreasonably short amounts of time, naturally. He listened and encouraged, Iím sure offering a dose of realism along the way (although idealism remains my native tongue Ė however Iím a little more bilingual now than I used to be Ė but thatís a sermon for another day). When I finished, he offered some advice that has since stuck with me all these years later. He said whatever else you do, pray for these kids and love them. Outstanding advice. Because you see, whatever else we do in the church, if itís not undergirded by prayer and love, then it isnít worth much.

We can generate some impressive programs, but without the guidance God gives us through prayer, in the speaking and the listening, then theyíll never accomplish His plans. We can speak wise words to the culture, but without love, they will be empty words spoke from what many will see as a judgmental heart. And in this season of change in the life of Starnes Cove, if we donít have prayer Ė full of trust, commitment, and obedience Ė and we donít have love Ė full of mercy, humility, and encouragement Ė for one another and for Christ, then we wonít get very far.

And how do we love well? 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 reminds us: ďIf I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Ē Let this be our standard of how we treat each other here at Starnes Cove, and how we treat the community around us.

Youíll see inside this newsletter, there are some direct ways you can extend love to our neighbors, through our TeamKIDís canned food drive for the ABCCM, and our Empty Bowls Lunch for the Back Pack Program at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary, among others. I hope youíll take part in these wonderful opportunities.

But above all, pray for yourself, your heart, your church, and Godís unveiling of His will in all of our lives in the year ahead.

With prayers and love in Christ,
William Moore, Associate Pastor






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