October 2018   
Upcoming Events


Maids on Mission
12:00 PM
Help the church beautify and clean in order to enjoy a mission of cleanliness.
Bible Study
6:00 PM
Come and join us in learning more about Christ


Choir Practice 9:00 a.m.
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Sunday School
10:00 AM
Classes for all ages. Preschool, children, teens, young adult and mature adults. There are 7 classes to choose from with small-group settings.
Sunday Morning Worship
11:00 AM
Traditional worship experience with dynamic preaching and blended music including Grace Choir and special ensembles


Prayer Shawl Ministry
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Meet in fellowship with one another as you learn to crochet or just work on a prayer shawl to share with someone in emotional or physical need.
Lancaster, South Carolina


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The Experience Speaks for Itself - February 2007

February 2007

The Experience Speaks for Itself

Going to the beach has always been an extraordinary occasion for me.
My earliest memory of a family vacation was a trip with our next door neighbors to Panama City Beach. In those days before air conditioned cars, traveling in the wee hours of the morning was the thing to do. I went to sleep in my own bed, but I awakened nestled in blankets on my old baby bed mattress in the back of our neighbor’s station wagon. The two dads rotated the responsibility for driving.
The adults talked about deep sea fishing, seafood platters with frog legs and small towns with notorious speed traps. We younger ones dreamed of building sandcastles, riding the waves and collecting shells.
Today, we are accustomed to 70 miles per hour speed limits and interstate highways. But before those existed, it was a very long trip. Without fail, conversations on the lengthy return home always included tales of the fun we had and plans to do it again next year.
As I write this, I find myself once again enjoying the sheer delight of a day at the beach. This time, it only took a couple hours to make the trip. I was invited to welcome to South Carolina the annual gathering of the United Methodist directors of Connectional Ministries, meeting at Hilton Head Island.
During some free time, even the drizzling rain could not dampen the wondrous hourlong walk on the beach this afternoon.
Shortly, after returning to the hotel room, I answered the door to see a hotel employee holding a tray. When I told her that I had not ordered room service, she smiled and said that it was a free amenity. She entered the room and carefully placed on the table a bottle of water, a glass filled with ice, a knife and fork wrapped in a white cloth napkin, a plate filled with appetizers, and a card signed by the general manager stating “Bon Appetit!” The napkin under the water glass was imprinted with the hotel logo and the phrase, “The Experience Speaks for Itself.”
My friends, I am not used to such special treatment. This kind of radical hospitality goes beyond what is expected, even though welcome material in the room states that “we are proud to offer a “100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee” and look forward to making your stay with us nothing short of delightful!”
The beach is timeless. It is still as wonderful today as it was all those years ago for the first time.
Whenever some occasion brings me near the ocean, I hope to take pleasure in a short stroll along the shore gazing at the rolling waves and hovering gulls.
Also, I must admit the experience of such gracious hospitality does speak for itself. This hotel has impressed me. I am more than 100 percent satisfied. I will remember all the little extras and I will return to this hotel, when I pass this way again.
Faith in God is timeless, too. It is more incredible today than it was the day I first believed.
I am a church person. Those times of feeling truly welcomed remain in my memory. Through the years, I have visited churches, and I am more than delighted with the radical hospitality that extends God’s love to strangers in unexpected ways. I experience this again and again in South Carolina.
Radical hospitality anticipates and is responsive to the needs of guests. It can be as simple as recognizing that an unfamiliar surrounding becomes more comfortable with directional signs.
Strategically placed people are even better than signs. I remember entering a church for the first time and being met by a greeter who immediately announced, “Welcome, you have come to the right place.”
Another Sunday, when the skies had opened and the rain was pouring down, a man greeted me at my car door with a large umbrella and words of welcome. Attending worship in a distant state, my family was pleasantly surprised when a couple invited us to join them at their favorite restaurant for lunch.
Another congregation following worship brought a loaf of homemade bread to the house. I have many recollections of more than 100 percent satisfaction.
In my memory, there is also the time I was away from home on a Sunday and got directions to the home church of a friend. I arrived early because I did not know the exact time of the worship service. After sitting alone in the sanctuary for 45 minutes, a woman came and asked me to move because I was in her pew. The sign in front of the church may have read that I was welcome, but I certainly was made to feel otherwise.
The experience speaks for itself. Now here is the test. To which of the above mentioned congregations do you think I will return?   

Grace and peace,

Mary Virginia Taylor