We Begin together Anew

Pastor’s Ponderings – July 2018
“We Begin together Anew”
I begin my fourth year with you in ministry on July 1st. Time flies when you are in the service of God. As I return from Annual Conference this year, I’m mindful of the turmoil in the world, and our nation. I’m also mindful of the turmoil in our larger denomination, The United Methodist Church.
It is hard to say where we will be this time next year. There will be a General Conference with representatives from all over the world to discuss the Council of Bishops’ recommendation to remain one church, but allow different regions to make contextual decisions based on their experience and understanding of Jesus’ teachings. That is to say that our region might come to one understanding about human sexuality and the Southern region of our church might come to another, but we all share a commitment to the work of Jesus Christ in the world.
Our Mission as a people is to ‘make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.’ We are followers of the teachings of the person Jesus, who lived so long ago in the Middle East. He taught us to stay in Love with God and to Love our Neighbor. Jesus longed for us to be a people who acted with generous care of one another, accepting and passing along the grace and forgiveness of God, the Father. This mission or work that we are called to has not changed over two thousand years. We remain called to love.
Our Ministry Action Plan lives out Jesus’ teaching by setting goals to do justice, grow our faith and provide welcome and hospitality to one another and those who come through our doors. The three core themes of our goals are JUSTICE, FAITH and HOSPITALITY. Honestly, I am most passionate about FAITH, which is worship and the arts, discipleship and education and growing our space for doing all of these. Other members of the GAP team really focus in on HOSPITALITY, believing welcoming is an important key to following Jesus. Still other people are passionate that we must do the work of JUSTICE, feeding the hungry and providing for homeless. The truth is that these three foci rely on one another and build our common work together.
This Ministry Action Plan sets the course for my next year with you. How far can we get? How many people can we reach? How much love and grace can we extend together in the name of Jesus? Let the Spirit carry us as we soar together into God’s Kingdom. Amen.
Pastor Leigh Ann

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