Clergy View: We are the children of God
If you have never been part of a faith community, are you feeling a longing for something different?
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, first, let me introduce myself.
I am the recently appointed pastor of Cascade United Methodist Church in Deerwood and Emily UMC in Emily. I have been at these two churches for six months and I love being here. In case you are wondering, in the UMC, clergy are appointed to their church or churches by our Bishop. In most Protestant denominations, churches call and hire their pastors. There are pros and cons to both systems, which I won’t delve into here.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? How has it been going? I pray you will have success in achieving your goals. Many United Methodist Churches, along with churches in the denominations that originated with the Methodist Movement started by John Wesley in the mid-1700s, take time at the beginning of the year to have a Covenant Renewal Worship Service.
In this service, the people of the church recommit their lives to Jesus Christ. We remind ourselves of the reasons why we follow Jesus. During the service I hosted this month for Cascade and Emily UMC, we also remembered our baptisms and joined together in sharing the meal to which Jesus invites us. You may know this meal as The Last Supper, Communion, Holy Communion, Mass or the Eucharist. My hope in having this Covenant Renewal Service is we will remember we are the children of God, brothers and sisters with Jesus Christ, and called to serve God by loving our neighbors. This is our New Year’s resolution.
If you are a regular attender of worship, I pray God’s spirit will strengthen your faith during these times. If you are a once-in-a-while attender, I pray God’s spirit will lead you into a deeper connection with your church. If you have drifted away from your church, for whatever reason, I pray you will connect with a faith community to reconnect with God.
If you have never been part of a faith community, are you feeling a longing for something different? Do you desire a connection with something greater than yourself? Do you have a need for a group of people who understand you as you are? There is a faith community for you.
May God bless you and keep you; may the Lord’s love shine on you and His graciousness fill you up; and may the Lord’s acceptance be realized in you, and may you be filled with God’s peace. (Paraphrasing Numbers 6:24-26).