Pastor’s Corner

 

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Pastor’s Corner
September 2017

From the Pastor

Write a Vision

Habakkuk 2 verse 2 “Then the Lord answered me and said, Write a vision and make it plain upon a tablet so that a runner can read it.” verse 3 There is still a vision for the appointed time – it testifies to the end; it does not deceive. If it delays wait for it; for it is surely coming; it will not be late. Sunday, August 13 the sermon title was Passionate Worship: Stop, Look, Listen. Ginger created an awesome all God’s children message with signs that were then used in the sermon. I was asked by several members to share in writing part of the message. The following are my notes from that day.

So what does it mean when we attach the word Passionate in front of the term Worship? Bishop Schnase uses that adjective in his book 5 Practices of Fruitful Congregations. In my experiences as a coach and consultant with FCJ, I’ve visited many churches on Sunday mornings. What I’ve discovered, United Methodists are not known for being passionate. In fact several years ago, a congregation member approached me after a Sunday AM service in which we truly had experienced passionate special music and said – with passion – “I don’t think we are that kind of church” . . .it was a U.M. pastor’s daughter who had shared that AM! 21st Century Christians may not be known for Passionate Worship, but it wasn’t always that way. John Wesley was a passionate preacher in the 1700’s. His preaching was founded on the belief that God was doing something significant in their midst and therefore there was an expectation and eagerness to hear a word from the Lord and to be prepared for the spirit to move in unexpected ways! Worship is not about us. It is about God. Christian worship, whether it is traditional or modern should be marked by joy and gratitude. What makes worship boring is not the style of music or the flow of service, worship is boring when it is no longer about God – who makes all things new and transforms all of life.

This summer individuals as well as your staff have been praying for God’s future vision at Calvary UMC. One question we’ve asked ourselves is: What does Sunday AM look like here this Fall? God speaks when you Stop Look and Listen.

Here is a vision that was shared with the Single Board in August. Recognizing that passionate worship takes many forms: 1) The Believer Traditional worship at 9:30 AM will stay the same . . . very few adjustments – organ, bells, choir and I’ll robe when choir robes, etc. Doug and I will co-lead this followed by coffee and conversation 10:30-10:40 AM. Adult Sunday School supervised by Doug will be 10:40-11:30 AM. 2) A new Seeker Modern worship model will relaunch the Lighthouse at a new time – 10:40 AM October 1. It will be a worship/learning model designed to reach our outreach groups (T ball, V.B.S., Scouts, etc.) and their families. Chris and Elaine will be leading this service and I will resource it. Elaine is designing a special learning format for children in Fellowship Hall where this service will take place ending with a light lunch each week for all in attendance there.

Children will be welcome and have learning activities in both worship services.

Our prayer is that through these 2 different styles of worship we will reach and make more NEW disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The vision is just beginning to unfold. Our hope is some of you will join us in the planning process. The Good News of Jesus makes all the difference in the world and we need to offer ourselves totally to God on Sunday AM – whether we sing hymns or praise choruses, whether we lift our songs with organ or guitar. God is doing something new here in our lives and worship this fall – so that more children, youth and adults will seek to connect with God in a Believer Traditional or Seeker Modern worship service. God is on the move. Hallelujah! Our tentative Sunday Morning Schedule for Fall is included in this newsletter.

Let the Children Come,
Pastor Heather