Monday, March 29, 2010

Daring to Dream

Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
-- Joel 2:28e

It's been just over four years since we gathered on the grounds of Gulfside Assembly to honor the sacred memories of that hallowed place following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. For decades, Gulfside was the only place African American Methodists could safely gather and enjoy the beauty of the beach and taste the salt of the sea. That day, I heard stories of those who had been called to preach in the old chapel that once stood just south of the entrance to the Gulfside grounds. One pastor told his story, reminding those gathered that one would feel the spirit of God poured out as someone would chant, "somebody's gonna be called to preach tonight!" Inviting the Holy Spirit to come, always seemed to yield response, we were told. Eddie Brown tells of standing in the surf, fishing as a boy. His eyes dance as he remembers. I've heard stories of travelers driving across the south in fear during the forties and fifties relaxing only when their feet touched the sacred soil of Gulfside Assembly.

After Hurricane Katrina, the memories remain but a new dream is being born. There are dreams that are taking shape: a dream of taking that sacred place and developing a myriad of ministries and mission, including place for elders to live out their days. The dream keepers always draw us forward. That, as much as anything was the gift Martin Luther King, Jr. gave us: a dream of a different future. Gulfside Assembly holds before us both a sacred past and a dream for a brighter future.

It holds for us the promise of:

  • a place where the lion and the lamb will lie down together.
  • a place where elders will dream dreams and young people will have visions.
  • a place for healing of hearts and hurts.
  • a place where young people will once again experience God's call upon their lives.
Dr. Morsi Mansour, who dared to dream about a new future for children in a poverty stricken area of Egypt said, "if you have faith in God, if your spirit is full of faith, then you will find hope everywhere. You will not give up. It will take patience. There will be obstacles. But you will be like the river, going around the rocks." -- Rev. Bill McAlilly

Prayer: Loving God, stir up in us a desire to dream your dream for our lives and your world. When we face obstacles and feel defeated, gracious Lord, when our world is broken by war or by storm, give us patience to begin again. Grant us the perseverance to press on when we feel pressed down. Let our lives and our love flow toward the promise of a better tomorrow. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we pray. Amen.

--Rev. Bill McAlilly is the Superintendent of the Seashore District.

God is Still In Control!
Miss Lladale Carey
Web Producer

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