Today, March 20, marks the first day of spring. For many across America this means the onset of warmer weather, longer days, singing birds, blooming flowers, and Easter just around the corner. Yesterday afternoon my family and I decided to “celebrate” the coming of spring in true Vermont style by building a snowman. That’s right- yesterday most Vermonters enjoyed between eight and fourteen inches of fresh snow. You have to enjoy snow to like living here. We do, but we’re also excited about the coming thaw and all the potential ministry opportunities that come with warm weather. Before that comes we must go through what’s commonly called mud season. Wikipedia offers a good description:
Mud Season is a period in late winter and early spring when dirt paths such as roads and hiking trails become muddy from melting snow and rain. When the muddy paths and roads are traveled over by wheels, they develop ruts. It is regarded in some northeastern states within the United States, like much of New England as both a curse and a blessing because, although it is generally a messy time of year, it is an interlude between the standard tourist seasons of summer (hiking), fall (leaf peeping), and winter (skiiing).
SO here are a few ways you can pray for us and Burlington City Church as we thaw out, trudge through mud season, and anticipate the amazing weather of late spring and summer:
- Easter Sunday, March 31, our three Gospel Communities will meet for a worship gathering at the Barnes Sustainability Academy in Burlington’s Old North End. After the gathering we’re sharing a church-wide Easter lunch. Although we don’t usually do a big invitation to our worship gatherings, please pray that our BCC people will invite their friends and neighbors with whom they’ve already been sharing the message of Jesus. Also pray that Jesus’ message comes through loud and clear through the music, testimonies, teaching, and fellowship.
- Baptisms are a significant step in following Jesus throughout the New Testament. We have a couple of people who have begun following Jesus this year. Please pray that as new followers they will have the confidence to publicly display that they believe in Jesus and belong to His family through baptism. My personal hope is to do this on Easter Sunday. Also pray that baptizing new followers of Jesus will become the new normal for our young church.
- Developing leaders is a huge focus of my week- especially with young men. Over this past year we’ve seen several guys dive into the deep end of ministry by leading Gospel Communities. Burlington is a challenging (yet extremely exciting) place to live out the message of Jesus and these young leaders feel the weight of leading others to do this. Please pray for God to continue molding and empowering our leaders as they engage their neighborhoods, lead people to follow Jesus, make disciples, and develop other leaders. Pray for me and my fellow pastor Michael Ly that God will lead us as we equip our next generation of leaders.
- Engaging our neighborhoods goes to another level with the warm weather of spring and summer. Everyone is outside. This provides amazing opportunities to connect with others at neighborhood parks, Lake Champlain beaches, backyard cookouts, pickup sports games, and our annual Kids Camp in the Old North End. Pray that we will make the most of these opportunities as individuals and Gospel Communities.