At our January meeting, each member of our Church Council shared a First UMC highlight from 2016 and a dream/hope for 2017. As you might expect, the portrait of a strong, vibrant, faithful, healthy, missional community emerged. From different moments and differing examples, here are some common themes:
• The life-giving and life-sustaining relationships in this community of faith that include all ages, endure over time, yet are still evident to people walking through the door for the first time. “We save more lives than we know,” one observed.
• An ever-deepening faith and spirituality, finding expression in our Advent/Lenten devotionals, in all our various opportunities for worship, in ministries with children, youth, and families, in thrilling moments when music brings us to tears,
• Faithful community interaction through the Haiti Work Team, the Youth Service Project, Community Meals, the Thanksgiving Meal–when we move beyond ‘giving to’ or ‘providing for’ into new relationships with neighbors near and far that change our minds and our hearts,
• Growing desire to reach out, share our story, and invite people into this life together of faithfulness, service, joy, and love which maybe they never imagined church could be. “I’m talking to people about church much more than I ever have,” one shared.
What an exciting and wonderful year 2017 promises to be!