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I sent the following email to our Launch Team. If you are not on the team, send me an email (samvshawjr@gmail.com).

Dear member of the Launch Team

I hope you are having a blessed day!

Thanks so much for agreeing to be part of the Launch Team for the Orchard Fellowship. God has encouraged me so much through your interest, commitment and participation.

I hope you had a good fast day. One brother told me this was his first non-medical fast, and he was really looking forward to it. Another said he was dreading it, but wanted to see what God might say to him during the fast. I laughed when a staff member called me at 3:30pm, on Wednesday, and asked if he could eat early.

We are one week away from the launch of Orchard, and I want you to know several things.

1. We will fast and pray again this week – Tuesday night and Wednesday breakfast and lunch. If you can’t make the schedule work for you, or you simply should not fast – don’t worry. Choose something to fast from: internet, TV, non-work related phone calls, soft drinks, etc. There are so many ways to participate in the spirit of the fast. Use this season of fasting to express your hunger for God – or your desire to be hungry for him.

Please consider attending one of the home prayer meetings this week…

Tuesday night, home of Joe and Gretchen Miller (address), at 7:00pm.

Thursday night, home of Mary Ann Ryoko (address), at 7:00pm.

2. Plan to be at St. George’s at least an hour early (9:45am) on Sunday morning, Sept 12. If you do not have an assignment, there will be plenty to do – both before and after the service.

3. Think JOY on launch day – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself third.

Practically, this means…

Leave the best and closest parking for first time guests, senior adults and single moms (I may be writing you this week with special parking instructions).

Consider yourself a host or hostess. Smile, look for anyone you don’t know and greet them in a warm and friendly way. There will be many other occasions to chat with our friends.

Look for ways to serve. You can serve coffee, help a mom with small children, move chairs, move toward the center of the pews. If you are invited to go to an overflow next door, in order to make room in the chapel, be the first to head that way. Let’s all come with the mindset, “How can I serve you?”

4. Invest in people and invite them to Launch Sunday, Sept 12. Although I am personally meeting people every day and telling them about the Orchard, I cannot possible touch the people you know. If someone can’t come on Sept 12, let them know we will be at St. Georges every Sunday morning.

5. My first sermon series will begin Sept 19. I’ll be teaching through the Book of Revelation. We’ll begin the church with the end of the Bible. Pray for me as I prepare. Also, take advantage of the sermon series to invite people you know.

I hope you have a Christ-filled Labor Day weekend.

Sam

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