October Food for the Journey
THANK YOU, CHURCH, for allowing me and Rhonda the time to attend the NEW ROOM CONFERENCE 2023 this past week. One of the highlights of everyday in the worship segments was the very fact that there was time allotted to pray over various groups or needs! This meshes into to our coming Bible Study or Group Study, “War Room.” If you have not watched the movie, do not let that deter you from participating. We have the movie DVD, and you are welcome to borrow it! This movie and study as well as things I have been reading and some of the presentations from the NEW ROOM CONFERENCE 2023 reiterate the profound impact prayer can have on individual lives and congregational lives.
We all may have the impression or thought that our prayer life is adequate or not in need of revitalization. This thought or impression is far from true.
Over the past several weeks some congregational members have expressed concern over the decline in worship attendance. Yes, I am concerned over that however, when we consider those who are absent for health reasons, it gives partial explanation. A good number of those, in my estimation, are looking to stay in the pattern and path they have enjoyed for years, which says they do not want to change or follow Yahweh God. That is sad in some ways, because we serve a God that is constantly calling us to himself. When we leave because we believe the politics and theology of a lost people in some ways, we are leaving the God who call us to himself.
Jesus said to those He called, “Come follow me!” That calling was to step out of the comfort zone in every way and journey with Him! That calling was to step away from the everyday routine into a new and different routine. Yes, Jesus called them away from family and friends and their profession, into a NEW and different relationship. I say NEW and different, because they formed a NEW family, made new friends in some ways, and journeyed with the Messiah learning how to utilize the skills they had as well as learn new skills to do something new and greater than themselves. I like to think of that calling of the disciples in terms of asking them to step into a NEW STATUS QUO! Remember, you can somewhat worship from the comfort of your home, however, you cannot be in FULL relationship with the Messiah you claim if you cannot be serving and in service outside the home!
Another thought the Holy Spirit continues to present to me is we may need to hold a HEALING SERVICE. I am not talking so much regarding “PHYSICAL HEALING” compared to emotional, grief, and/or spiritual healing. Some of the non-attenders may be struggling with the “WHY did we leave the UMC,” rather than what the Holy Spirit is leading us toward and into? Think of it in terms of needing healing as if we were grieving over the death of a loved one or even the grief and struggle of a loved one coping with a newly diagnosed chronic physical affliction!
Regardless of the “WHYS” we serve a God that can and will meet us where we are, as we are, and desires ONLY to move us to WHERE HE WANTS US! This MAY REQUIRE CHANGE, in some aspect of our individual and congregational life! GOD WILL JOURNEY AND GUIDE US THROUGH THIS!
As we prepare for the fall and Advent, please begin gathering candy etc. for TRUNK FOR TREATS on Oct. 31, 2023. Also, I challenge the congregation to assemble 50 Shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. We will order and provide the boxes for your gifts. We will gather these and deliver them to the collection location during the week of Nov. 13-20, 2023. Pray for the child receiving your box as you shop and fill your box!
Grace and peace,