6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
— 2 John 6, NIV
In 2009 the Mayor, in the State of the City address, called for volunteers to step up and help Stockton during a dismal economic time. The churches of Stockton responded by banding together in the S.O.S. (Serve Our Stockton) day of volunteer service. Over the three years of S.O.S., we have seen 175 projects completed, utilizing 5,000 volunteers and 28,000 man hours!
Quail has always been a major supporter of this program as we have sought to demonstrate the love of Christ in action.
This year, the name has changed but the purpose is the same – meeting needs and giving blessing in Jesus’ name. The date for the day of service is September 29 and we are treating this as an all church “Go” Project.” This means we hope to mobilize our Life Together groups, Sunday school classes, Youth groups, Young Adult Fellowship and Commissions as well as anyone else who is willing to serve that day. Grant Hawes, our “Go” Project Coordinator, will be signing people up for specific projects each of the first four Sundays in September. You can sign up as a group or join in as an individual!
Also – we will make available to the Love Stockton participants (for a small fee) our first edition Quail “Go” T-shirts! These will be an ongoing feature of our local and global “Go” projects and will serve as a reminder to us that “People, who GO, grow.”
Love Stockton on September 29th will be a fun and rewarding day for all who participate. Plan now to be a part of what the united churches of Stockton will be doing that day be a part of Love Stockton. I know that I will!
His and yours,
Pastor Wayne's Road Trip
Remember when your kids were small and you felt like the two of you needed to have a weekend away just by yourselves, like a little honeymoon? And didn’t it feel great when you actually planned it and did it? And weren’t the hugs sweet when you came home?
Well, magnify that feeling X 20 and you’ll begin to get the idea of how great our two month cross-country road trip was! We love Stockton and Quail Lakes, but it was wonderful to leave everything behind for a while. This experience gave new meaning to the Jesus’ words: “You shall find rest for your soul.”
Some of our major stops were: visiting relatives in Colorado and Kansas, a long weekend in Branson Missouri, Opryland in Nashville, Cheryl’s brother and sister-in-law in Tennessee, a three day personal spiritual retreat at The Cove (the Billy Graham Conference Center in Ashville NC), three days in historic Charleston SC, two nights at a Bed & Breakfast near the Outer Banks of NC where we got to see the Wild Mustangs on one of the islands, Washington DC, Lancaster PA, friends and family in Cheryl’s home town of Kenosha Wisconsin and in Wayne’s home town of Minneapolis, reminiscing in Sioux Falls SD where we met (walked by the jewelry store where I bought Cheryl’s diamond), Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, The Grand Tetons, then on home. We drove 8700 miles through 23 states - and arrived home rested because we took our sweet time and struck a balance between being with people and being by ourselves, and also a rhythm of high energy days and low energy days.
We wove into our itinerary six Leadership Foundation-related appointments in various cities such as Little Rock, Knoxville, Pittsburgh, Springfield and Cincinnati, where we heard inspiring stories about what God is doing as visionary leaders are making an impact on needs in their communities by mobilizing the collective resources of the Body of Christ. Many of these ideas will be valuable as we continue to develop Stockton Leadership Foundation.
We brought things for our listening pleasure in the car, such as the Audio Bible, and a set of CDs with 160 old 50’s and 60’s popular love songs from the era of our high school and college years. We were also able to connect Cheryl’s I-Phone to the car stereo and listen to a variety of music- and even comedians- from the Pandora App. The I-Phone also allowed us to exchange Texts daily with our family (even photos and videos of the grandkids). Plus the I-Phone helped us find lodging via Priceline, and places to eat.
The highlights were not just beautiful places or meaningful visits with family and long-time friends, but also times of reading, journaling and lengthy reflective conversations where we asked God to help is see the next era our lives from His perspective.
We enormously enjoyed not having to think about any responsibilities, and were not even concerned about what day of the week it was! But as we got closer to home, we also anticipated the joy of smiles, hugs and conversations with loved ones and friends who have become so dear over the years. And we looked forward to the privilege of creatively restructuring our lives in the new era ahead.
This new era of our lives could be described as a pie cut in three pieces:
- I feel so enormously blessed to be able to come back to our Quail Family in a new part time role doing Pastoral Care with Sr. Adults. Who gets to retire - and still hang on to what they love the most?
- Second, ramping up my time with Stockton Leadership Foundation. The needs and opportunities in our community are many, and I look forward to seeing how God will use the fabric He has woven among the Body of Christ in Stockton to meet needs in His name, draw people to Himself, and strengthen the Pastors and Churches.
- And third, more time with our 10 grand kids! The enormous potential in the next generation is calling me to make strategic investments of quantity and quality time with these precious gifts to our family.
Actually it’s no surprise that my life is busier than ever. That’s why I’d rather call this “refirement”! The part I love the most is the flexibility to cut slices of these three parts of my life just the way it will work best any given day or week.
Thank you so much for the privilege of being able to come back and continue to serve among you at Quail Lakes!
P.S. If you would like to take in a pictorial overview of our trip, please join us at the Ambassador Potluck at 11:30 on Friday September 28 in the Chapel. Make your reservation by calling Ethel Neufeld at 931-4549