Three Years with the Bee Hive

Dear friends,

This week, Ted Goins and I will be robbing/extracting the honey of bee hives we’ve been nurturing for quite some time. Ted’s got a lot more history at this, so it’s been fun to learn from someone who knows the ropes. But I’ll be honest: it’ll be a lot more fun if this hive produces a lot of honey. And it looks like it will. I’ll be sure to let you know.

This is my third year with a bee hive. The first couple of years didn’t work out so well, but maybe that’s to be expected of a total novice. This year, my expectations are high. 5 gallons of honey, maybe? Who knows, but I can hardly wait to find out.

Sometimes it takes a while for things to come together. We work at things for months, even years, wondering if we’ll ever see the fruit of our labor. There are setbacks and unexpected bumps in the road. Occasionally, I get lazy and stop investing the time needed to produce the fruit I desire. It happens to the best of us, I suppose.

There are a few important things we’ve been working on at St. John’s for what seems like years. We’ve invested a lot of time, emotional energy, planning, and financial resources and, I’ll admit, there were times that I wondered if we’d ever see the fruit — the honey — of our labors.

Well friends, all of that changes this fall. Get ready to enjoy some tasty, sweet honey!

Okay, okay, maybe I’m being a bit too dramatic. But think about a few of the bigger projects we’ve been working on lately: G2G phase 2, which includes the complete renovation of the fellowship hall and kitchen; a complete reorganization of the CDC, including a new, visionary Outdoor Learning Environment; a signed covenant/partnership with Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem; a path-breaking partnership with Calvary Lutheran Church in Spencer; a bold approach to racial equity in our community by spearheading a series of Racial Equity Institute workshops at Hood Seminary; and the expansion of our 3rd grade reading model to four additional schools in the county. Each project has taken an enormous amount of time and personal capital from some remarkably faithful people … and each project, coincidentally, will begin bearing fruit this fall.

It begins with a congregation that finds its center in worship, gathered around a table of grace and sent out into a world of need. It begins with people who are passionate about this community and eager to share God’s love with all.

It begins with a single hive and a bunch of bees that sometimes take a few years to produce the honey we’ve been waiting for. But in God’s time, it comes.

Paul writes, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).

Thank you for your partnership in this lovely hive we call

St. John’s. I’ll see you in the garden!

+Pastor Rhodes


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