There is a wonderful old saying that goes like this:
“The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer to God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”
Anyone who loves the outdoors and has a spiritual nature would certainly agree. They would also agree that another place where one feels close to God is at a beautiful beach. We are greatly blessed along the Emerald Coast that some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world are right here for the enjoyment of all. The shimmering sugar white quartz crystal sands are so fine and pure that they actually squeak when you rub your feet across the surface. You are able to experience the majesty of God’s work in the magnificent masterpiece He created with nature. The jewel-toned waters of the glistening gulf almost seems to glow with an ethereal dazzling luminance. The sky above shares its own beauty with billowing clouds that sometimes look like angels. Pelicans, Osprey and Seagulls soar freely above catching the winds and floating almost effortlessly wherever the breeze takes them. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets have an enchanting heavenly look that can sometimes take your breath away transporting your spirit in the awe of such splendor. The sound of the soothing surf provides a sense of serenity, unity and benevolence. The beach is definitely another precious peaceful place where you may feel “nearer to God.”
Here at Ocean Reef Resorts we are pleased to be able to share this special shoreline to help your own spirits soar. We have many wonderful beachfront residences available in Destin, Miramar Beach and out along Scenic 30A in South Walton. We also have numerous condominiums on or near the beautiful beach. Nearby a few local churches now off services on the beach during the summer season on Sunday mornings, so you may want to attend one of these with your family and friends. They are laid back and casual. Many who attend are wearing their bathing suits in order to take a refreshing plunge in the gulf after services and spending some fun time.
The Destin United Methodist church is a congregation who long established themselves for their charity work in the area. They also have a school, multiple educational resources and a musical program. Their motto is: “God loves you and you are not alone.” They have beach services on Sundays at two locations. One is at Henderson Beach State Park, which is in Destin off the Emerald Coast Parkway directly across from the Wal-Mart Super Center complex. Henderson Beach State Park is an excellent choice for a beach service since regular beach going visitors give it a 4.5 Rating on TripAdvisor with superlative reviews that include: “Gorgeous”, “Lovely”, “Pristine” and “Picture perfect.” The Destin United Methodist Church has services there at 7:30 AM as well as at 6:30 PM every Sunday. Be sure to bring your own chair, towel or blanket to sit upon during the service since it is not feasible for them to provide seating. You may want to bring a picnic basket and cooler if you want to spend the day here since this beach spans across over one mile of natural scenic shoreline. They also have multiple pavilions with picnic tables, grills, a playground for kids and a nature trail across the dunes. They first started doing beach services here in Destin almost 35 years ago and they go throughout the summer from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
The Destin UMC also has a Sunday church service on the beach at the James Lee Park on Scenic Highway 98 behind the Crab Trap Restaurant. This is close to the gorgeous exclusive residential neighborhoods of Destiny, Destiny East and Destiny by the Sea where Ocean Reef Resort offers awesome accommodations. These services start at 7:30 AM and you are also encouraged to bring your own beach chairs. There are pavilions nearby and a long boardwalk adjacent to the beach. This connects to the Crab Trap Restaurant itself where great seafood is served. You may want to have a Sunday Brunch here sometime after the beach service.
The Hope Lutheran Church of Destin also offers a Sunday beach service. This congregation provides a lot of compassionate care to others through a Food Pantry, contributions towards a Shelter House Center and provision of used cellular phones with prepaid cards for military personnel stationed overseas. They also sponsor the local American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Recovery programs, Child Advocacy Groups for Neglected Youth and an annual Volunteer based Beach Clean-up. They have their beach services at the Ed Walline State Park in South Walton’s Santa Rosa Beach on Sundays at 8:00AM. This is located at the intersection of 393 and Scenic Highway 30A diagonally across from Santa Rosa Beach’s unofficial town center called Gulf Place. There are several restaurants available here for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Ocean Reef Resorts also has quite a few vacation rental properties here in Santa Rosa Beach and neighboring Dune Allen. Ed Walline has parking, a couple of picnic pavilions and restroom facilities high upon a sugary dune overlooking the glittering gulf. However a long handicapped accessible ramp slopes easily down to the beach where services are performed.
It should be noted that quite a few churches offer special sunrise services and all start at 6:00 AM along the beach on Easter Sunday. They include the Destin UMC and Hope Lutheran Church. Other churches are Grace Lutheran Church of Destin who have their services at Beasley Park on Okaloosa Island and the Seaside Chapel who have their at the Coleman Plaza Obelisk Beach access in Seaside.
Here at Ocean Reef Resorts we hope the beautiful beach graces you and your family during your visit. God’s blessings!