From the Royster Reporter to You

August 2019 Newsletter Excerpts

A Note From The Pastor

Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31)   

In this text, the apostles had just returned from journeys in which they had done and taught many things. They were filled with the blush of success and energy. They gathered around Jesus and excitedly filled him in. 

It would have seemed a perfect time for Jesus to capitalize on their energy and keep the momentum going. He had an excited work force ready to conquer more, and people were noticing. Yet, Jesus calls the apostles to a deserted place to rest. 

The late Eugene Peterson wrote: 

“When others are telling you to read more, I want to tell you to read less; when others are telling you to do more, I want to tell you to do less. The world does not need more of you; it needs more of God. Your friends do not need more of you; they need more of God. And you don't need more of you; you need more of God.” 

Peterson’s quote shines light into this text (Mark 6:31) and illuminates the challenge to our thinking. I can imagine the disciples feeling like they were finally being all they could be. They were successful. They were in demand. They were doing righteous work. They must have felt an endorphin rush, a sense of purpose, and a growing pride all at once. 

Jesus’ call to leave all of that, go to the desert and rest would have seared their egos. Peterson’s words illuminate that. We all want the world to need more of us. We especially want our friends to need more of us. We need ourselves to be more so we can be assured we matter. Still, Jesus calls the apostles to a deserted place to rest. 

For all of his insight, Peterson leaves out one important perspective from his quote. God does not need more of you. Jesus shows that the apostles matter to him, not because they are productive, but because God loves them, and invites them to come and rest in his presence. 

As a church we seek to experience the excitement of the disciples. We hope to be increasingly inspired by our mission work. We know we are sent by Christ and we know we will find his presence in our work. But, we will also find Christ’s presence in our God-focused rest. We will find it in our prayers and spiritual disciplines. 

The mission of the Kingdom of God is vital and important for the church. As we begin a new church season, our leadership will continue to seek ways in which Royster can participate in Christ’s mission. Our Outreach Ministry Team and Church Development Ministry team are actively working on this goal. 

This season, we will also seek ways in which Royster can participate in prayer and spiritual discipline. We will seek a path to the deserted place where our folks can rest with Jesus. Our Worship Ministry Team and Spiritual Formation Ministry Team have started delving into ways to enhance our rest and our spirituality. 

We aspire to be like the church that gathered around Jesus. Energized by our mission work. Humble in our rest with God.  

Grace and peace, Brian. 

updating the hunger ministry pantry hours

If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:10) 

The session voted to move the Wednesday food pantry hours (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm). The Monday hours (10:00 am to 12:00 pm) will not change.

Our pantry serves many hungry families in our area. Each month brings us additional clients. Hunger is a real problem in the 23505 zip code. 

The Royster Food Pantry is a wonderful ministry. Not only do we address a significant need in our community, but we do it in a healthy, relational manner. Clients that come to our food pantry are treated with respect. Pantry workers seek to develop relationships with each family. Maintaining the dignity of our brothers and sisters in Christ is a driving force of this ministry. 

In August, the later food pantry hours will enable us to welcome interested guests to join us for our weekly potluck and bible study. We continue to be guided by the Holy Spirit as we seek to alleviate hunger and build the Kingdom of God! 

Praise and Potatoes drop in september!

Folks, God continues to work to deepen our relationships with other churches in Norfolk. On Saturday, September 28, Royster will join Oakdale, Calvin, First United, Third, Knox, and Lafayette Presbyterian churches in a potato drop. We will be giving away thousands of pounds of potatoes at the Oakdale church. We will also be worshipping, praying and celebrating with our friends in other churches. We have great hope for the things God is doing in our midst. As our friendships deepen, so does our desire to work together to help build God's kingdom. If you would like to participate in the volunteer activities, the worship, or the fellowship on that special Saturday, contact Brian. 

Royster Breakfast club schedule for 2019

hosted by james gregg at mom & pop’s family restaurant


Every other Saturday, the Royster Breakfast Club meets at Mom & Pop’s Family Restaurant at 331 E Bayview Blvd here in Norfolk for good food and good conversation, starting at 7:30AM. Host James Gregg welcomes anyone to attend on the upcoming Saturday mornings:

Aug. 17 Aug. 31 Sep. 14 Sep. 28 Oct. 12
Oct. 26 Nov. 09 Nov. 23 Dec. 07 Dec. 21