Be Strong and Courageous

God's Encouragement in the Transition

Here is my final sermon to the beloved St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Lake Mary, FL where I have served for the last 16 years.

The scriptures here are offered by the Lord as encouragement to stay strong and brave even in the face of the new realities and thresholds that the Lord challenges us to cross.

 

God’s promises transfer across the thresholds of life and leadership. He challenges us to stay true to His Word. We have nothing to fear, because the Lord is with us always. Be Strong and Courageous!

Brooke’s remarks at St., Peter’s

At the conclusion of the sermon you will hear the remarks and congregational prayers, by Brooke Holt (my wife), John Ricci, (Senior Warden) and The Rev. Canon Justin Holcomb (representing Bishop Gregory O. Brewer).

Joshua 1:5b-9

“Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. 

Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Announcement: A New Ministry Call

From St. Peter's, Lake Mary to St. John the Divine, Houston

Below is my letter announcing my call to St. John the Divine Church in Houston, TX:

29 June 2017

Dear St. Peter’s Church Family and Friends,

Grace and peace to you through God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

After a full and fruitful ministry of experiencing and sharing the joy and love of Jesus Christ with you, I am announcing my resignation as the Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. My last Sunday with you will be August 13, 2017—exactly 16 years. I have accepted the call to be the Associate Rector focused on teaching and formation at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas.

These years with you have been a grand venture in faith. We began our time together in grief as the nation faced the horror of the September 11, 2001 attacks. As a nation, we went to war against terrorism. As a church, we strengthened our faith and resolve in Christian witness knowing that while our country responded in war with military might against the ‘evil doers’ who caused such harm, we engaged in spiritual warfare with spiritual might against the forces of hell itself.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. –Matthew 16:18

Beloved of St. Peter’s, you are the Rock. Your faith and confession in Jesus Christ is rock solid. I have been continually amazed at how the Lord has used you to tear down the gates of hell. You have engaged in gospel mission to Honduras, hurricane relief in Pass Christian, MS, homeless ministry in Sanford and evangelism and Christian formation in Lake Mary, FL. God has been and is doing great things in and through you to bring about the reign of the Kingdom of God in our time. It has been my privilege, honor and love to be your Rector standing with you in faithful confession on the rock of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

So, in mid-August, my son Chase will be heading off to college at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Brooke, Ashton, Saxon and I will be moving that week to Houston. St. John the Divine has envisioned what they call an “audacious strategy” to develop a “world-class teaching center for faith formation and ministry development”. This is a very exciting challenge for me to serve with my spiritual gifts and calling. The Lord is doing great things, and we are humbled and privileged to be invited to serve in this new context.

I ask for your prayers in this transition and please know that you will always continue in my heart and prayers. I have nothing but gratitude and love for all of you and for God’s abundant life of grace with which we have communed together. We are truly blessed by you.

I am faithfully yours in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Charlie Holt+

Sermon: Mission’s Compassion

The Harvest Field

Every day we are surrounded by the Kingdom of God, but do we see it? The Lord would have us see the people of this world as he see them. May our eyes be opened and our hearts be turned to the reality of great harvest. We so often see people for what they can do for us. Jesus saw people for what he could do for them. Matthew 9:35-10:8

Listen here:

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot,and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.  (Matthew 9:35-10:8, ESV)

 

“Sermon at the Geneva School Baccalaureate”
by The Rev. Charlie Holt

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

Geneva School Class of 2017

The Spirit-Filled Life: All the Fullness of God

The Spirit-Filled Life: All the Fullness of God (Lake Mary, FL: Bible Study Media, Inc., 2015)

THE SPIRIT-FILLED LIFE: ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD

A study for the season after Pentecost

JESUS GAVE US AN AMAZING GIFT. ARE WE EXPERIENCING IT?

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a “gift” who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don’t experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique small-group curriculum provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to “walk in the Spirit” on a daily basis.

This small-group curriculum centers on a 6-part DVD teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

As you walk through this curriculum with a small group or Sunday school class, you will have the opportunity to hear in-depth Biblical teaching and openly discuss what you learn in your group. You’ll also strengthen the bonds of community as you grow together, allowing your lives to be powerfully changed by the truths you discover. It’s time to begin the journey to a Spirit-filled life!

The Spirit-Filled Life is part of the Christian Life Trilogy series.

Spirit-Filled Life

The Spirit-Filled Life devotional book has a Small Group companion Study Guide with a teaching DVD.

Chapters include:
Baptized
Adopted
Transformed
Equipped
Empowered
Anointed