Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Today I Choose Thankfulness...

Yesterday while grinding out Back to School plans with KidMin Kim over a fantastic lunch at FrogHead Grill I received a call...

It's not every day Dr. Bonita Coleman Potter (need to update that from BCP to BC in my contacts) gives me a ring, so of course, I answered!


Dr. Coleman, Ocean Springs School District Superintendent, was calling with disturbing news: Explaining to me she had received a letter calling for the canceling of our annual Back to School Prayer Service hosted by St. Paul United Methodist Church. That's right. This has never been a "school/district sponsored prayer service."

This service was birthed from the passion and heart of Ms. Joan Simpson--Ocean Springs Resident Intercessory Prayer Warrior. Ms. Joan has made it her life's work to faithfully intercede day in and day out for this town, its people and the world beyond. In 2005 the Back to School Prayer Service launched with faithful prayers from St. Paul members to usher in a new school year. Each year it has grown.

The last three years it has transformed into a vibrant, ecumenical, community wide prayer service that we are excited to coordinate! Ms. Joan wanted to make this a community wide effort all along and her heart's desire has always been that more and MORE people would participate.

So, I am thankful today! 

What could have been a big downer: 1. Lots of plans and prep going into a Back to School Prayer Service that is poorly attended. (And worse) 2. Canceling the annual Back to School Prayer Service has transformed into a beautiful God thing...

THANK YOU to that one person that alerted the "Freedom from Religion Foundation," and let them know that there were plans for a Back to School Prayer Service in Tiny Town, Ms.

THANK YOU  to whoever from Wisconsin associated with the "Freedom From Religion Foundation" that sent a very lengthy letter that is filled with half truths. IE: This is not a "School Sponsored" event. But anyway...

THANK YOU to our local news hound, Warren Kulo, for sniffing the story out and producing this piece:
Freedom from Religion Group Forces Change of Venue

THANK YOU to the 1.2 thousand and growing Ocean Springs Praying Hounds that have shared this article and pledged their support for our beloved Dr. Coleman. All those shares got the word out like never before! The best PR EVER!

I think that Ms. Joan's heart's cry will be answered tonight. I am no prophet, but I predict the Ocean Springs community will come out in full force and gather at First Baptist Church Ocean Springs to pray our community into the new school year!

I hope you join the broad spectrum of clergy and youth ministers that will be their offering prayers and petitions for our schools: Dr. Rick Brooks, St. Paul; Pastor Carlton McCarter, Victory International; Rev. Scott Castleman, First Presbyterian; Dr. Michael Barnett, First Baptist; Pastor Jacob Dickerson, Mosaic and many, many other faithful community leaders.

I hope while you are out shopping today you will pick up a few extra school supplies and bring them with you and help Abby Clark and other members of the Mayor's Youth Council send disadvantaged Hounds back to school with the tools they need for success.

I hope you bring a few bucks to put in the offering plate to under gird our "Back Pack Buddies" feeding program that sends backpacks filled with nutritional food home on the weekends so our lil hounds won't go hungry.

I hope to see YOU tonight at 6:30 pm as we gather as a community to pray Hound Nation into the best year yet!

I am so THANKFUL to be rearing the Kirby Kids in a town that has woven so deep into its fabric a love for God and love for neighbor.

#BeCourageOuS


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