How Did We Get Here

As my time with you is winding down, I find myself spending time in reflection. I have so much for which I am grateful in the 10 years that we’ve shared ministry. Together we have faced a number of challenges, and persevered. I would call these outcomes miracles of grace. As we faced the adversity and discerned the faithful path forward, there was never a guarantee that we would get to where we wanted to be. Grace, faith, and hard work established the foundation. As I consider what we have accomplished since March 12, 2020, I still marvel at how we endured. Today, I am more convinced than ever that RFUMC is stronger now than we were on that fateful day. Empowered by God’s grace through the movement of the Holy Spirit, we did it together. However, I still wonder how we got to where we are, especially when so many other faith communities did not survive the pandemic. I don’t expect we will ever know for sure. This is one of those moments when we express our gratitude and take the next faithful step.

Pentecost Every Day

This week, as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, we should remember that Pentecost isn’t something that was only confined to one day in history. What we celebrate in Acts 2 has continued to ripple through the church and the world ever since. The Holy Spirit empowering the disciples to proclaim God’s work of grace through Jesus in languages that they did not previously know was only the beginning. Nor is this power confined to some miracle of language. The key lies in the concept of proclamation. Proclamation is far more than what we say. Proclamation of the Good News of Jesus is found in our actions. It is found in our choices. People see the reflection of Jesus in the ways and the people with whom we enter into relationship. Proclamation is about a willingness to risk what is comfortable and known and to meet the needs of the day, even when it is outside of our expectations. As an example, our growing digital footprint, that continues to serve so many persons, was born of the tragedy of a global pandemic. It was not something we could have conceived before, but now, it is indispensable. It will continue to be a beacon.

Pentecost Tomorrow

Though we will soon be in different ministry settings, the grace and power of Pentecost will continue to move us forward. We are all stepping into a new day with a new set of uncertainties. While our path is never fully known, in this limbo of clergy transition it is less known than usual. While there is nervousness and perhaps even a bit of anxiety about what will come next, the one thing that we can be assured of is that the same power, and the same Spirit that has guided us through the adversity of these last years will be present with us. Through the same commitment to prayer we will be able to discern our way forward. Through continued commitment to the vision that God has laid upon this community of faith, we will see the North Star that will guide us. Through your generous hospitality extended to your new pastor, together with that person, you will continue the to build on the 135-year legacy of reflecting Christ to this part of creation. Even in this moment of uncertainty, I have faith in you.