Our First United Methodist Church Fall Kickoff will be this coming Sunday. It will include a cookout in the North parking lot, a live DJ, an ice cream truck, bounce houses, a Connection Fair, and fellowship for all.
Our very own Arlington Police Chief, Will Johnson, will speak in worship and we have made certain to invite law enforcement officers to come eat and mingle with our congregation. The Mission Team will have a booth to sign up for prayer partners with individual officers of the APD.
Being proactive to unite churches and communities is something that we should all strive to be a part of—especially in these days when tensions seem to run so high. Being upbeat and optimistic with respect to our communities is something that we can all do to add our little part to the harmony of the places where we live. This kind of attitude reminds me of a story I once read about President Abraham Lincoln.
During the War Between the States, a young teenage boy enlisted to be a soldier for the Union army. But he was not ready. He was much too young, and when the time came for his first encounter with the enemy, he became terrified and ran away. He was caught, arrested, judged guilty of desertion and sentenced to be shot by a firing squad.
His parents wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln, pleading for mercy, pleading for a pardon for their young son. Touched by their letter, President Lincoln called for the facts and when he realized the situation, he overruled the death sentence and granted the teenager a full presidential pardon.
In his official statement explaining his action, Mr. Lincoln wrote these words: “Over the years . . . I have observed that it does not do a boy much good to shoot him!” (James Moore, When All Else Fails…Read the Instructions, Dimensions for Living, Nashville, 1993, p. 55).