Our newsletter name, “Sentinel,” harkens back to the role of a lookout or person charged with keeping watch, patiently scanning the horizon to see what lies ahead. Aren’t we all “sentinels” these days, scanning the horizon, peering into the future to see what lies ahead? Is it more of the same-old, same-old in this pandemic time, or are we really seeing the dawn of a new future? Can we see a time when life in public is safer and healthier for all? Can we see a strong determination to overcome all obstacles to racial justice and equity? Can we see a commitment to the health and future of Planet Earth? Can we see a future with hope, as promised by God through the prophet Jeremiah? “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
At First UMC, as we peer into the future that God is creating, our core values continue to be to keep people healthy, to protect the vulnerable, to support vital community, to offer impactful worship online and later in-person, to embrace a blended ecology of congregational participation in-person and online, and to continue to adapt and innovate ministries. As we continue to move forward together, we will transition from the pandemic months in such a way that the health and safety of everyone is safeguarded, that all may experience the presence of God, that we continue as a renewed vital faith community, and witness and serve outside the walls of the church in the community and around God’s whole world.
In us and through us in this time, God is indeed “doing a new thing.” The work of a sentinel can be confounding, exhausting, and exciting all at once. We have to frequently take off our glasses and wash the lenses. As my Grandfather Ted, used to say: “Clean your glasses. You’ll see things you’ve never seen before.”
Stay tuned for exciting announcements of summer activities and outdoor worship opportunities. We will be working hard to be ready for new developments and new opportunities, becoming a “New Church” as God’s future comes into view.