This past Sunday, November 3, was All Saints Sunday. It was a powerful day of remembering and honoring all those we have known and loved and who are not at rest and at home with the God they love. We especially remembered those saints among who have died in the past year. Names were read. Candles were lit. A bell tolled. Through all of this we were reminded that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. This true not only on All Saints’ Day but each and every day.
The people we honored and remembered loved this church: the people, the building, the ministries, our presence in this community. They lovingly gave of their time, their talent, and their treasures to ensure that this congregation would be here for future generations. We are beneficiaries of their love and devotion, their commitment and dedication. We stand on the shoulders of all those who have gone before us.
Now it is our turn to build on the firm foundation that has been set for us. I want to personally thank everyone who brought or mailed in your cards stating your commitment to support the work, the ministry, the mission, and the outreach of First UMC. It definitely does take all of us be willing to do our part. God has entrusted this ministry to our care. We are called to love God through providing vibrant worship that praises and honors God. We are called to love one another by developing vital friendships and offering opportunities for us to grow in our faith and our care for one another. We are called to love our neighbor, and we do that through our many missional opportunities. All these are made possible as a result of your commitment to give generously of your time and financial gifts.
If you have not sent in your commitment card, please do so. There is much we want to do in the year ahead, so many people we want to but we need to have the support of your time, talent, and treasure to do so.
I also want to encourage you to attend our new Sunday morning Adult Faith Formation Class led by Tom Miller and myself. We are currently studying the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. Our denomination has clear and strong positions on many of the issues currently under debate. If there is a particular issue you would like us to discuss, please let us know. While we may not all agree with the official position of the UMC, it is important for us to know what those are. Our faith should inform the way we shape the world around us.
Together we are called to DO, BE, LIVE CHURCH. I feel so privileged and blessed to be your pastor and am so excited to see what God is going to do in us and through us in the year ahead!
Your Partner in Ministry,