Dear Church Family,
I have spent the past month reading and visiting with many of you concerning our building project. I have studied the reports and seen the numbers. I have heard pleas and position. The one thing I can say for certain is that we need God to walk us through his will for us, not only in building, but in every aspect of our ministry and mission. I feel a sense of fear and uncertainty in all of us. It takes me back to my decision to go off to Seminary; actually it takes me back further than that. It takes me back to the times when I had to, or my family had to step out into a new adventure out in the big amazing world. These were times that were scary and yet, at the same time exciting and always lead to adventure and uniting stories that became founding memories of our lives. I am sure each of you have your stories to tell about such times and I invite you to share them with me and each other. I came across a poem that gives me a sense of peace as I consider taking Columbia Falls UMC forward into our future, especially considering our Building Project. I hope you find it as assuring as I have.
Come Follow Me
The grace of God is like a road that draws the heart from its first home;
we long to go, but hate to leave, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
The voice of God is like the wind: it comes and goes and comes again.
We read the signs in the bending trees, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
The strength of God is like a stone; it firms the will of soul and bone;
still soul and bone grow worn and weak, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
The hope of God is like the sun; it shines until the day is done.
And in the night stars rise in the East, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
The love of God is like a stream; it fills and feeds our deepest reams; it finds a thirst and leaves a spring, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
The peace of God is like a friend that sees us through the journey’s end.
The road is long and the talk is sweet, and the Spirit calls, “Come follow me.”
From Songs for the Cycle, by Michael Hudson
As we work our way through the Lenten season towards holy week and Easter I invite, encourage, no I insist all of you to “turn around; go home.”
A certain aged Catholic priest had become deaf. So members of his parish would write out their sins on a piece of paper before going to confession. One day, a parishioner slipped a piece of paper to the priest, which read, “Two loaves of bread, a gallon of milk, a box of detergent and a pound of bananas.” The puzzled priest scanned the note, then passed it back to the parishioner. The parishioner looked at the note, then exclaimed with horror, “Oh, no! I’ve left my sins at the grocery store.”
Well, where did you leave your sins? Where should we leave them? How can we be rid of our sins forever? The answer, of course, is repentance, which means, in essence, “turn around; go home.”
It is a lot easier to sit in our sin than it is to follow Jesus, but when one follows Jesus the rewards are full of love and grace. May God bless each of you as we prepare for Easter.
United Methodist Special Sundays:
The United Methodist General Conference created six unique special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace with justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more.
UM Student Day (special offering) – Sunday, January 6
This special offering supports United Methodist scholarships and the UM Student Loan Fund.
Human Relations Day (special offering) – Sunday, January 16
This special offering supports Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs, Community Developers self-improvement efforts and UM Voluntary Services—community work and advocacy that challenge oppression and injustice in the US and Puerto Rico.
Learn more at www.umcgiving.org
Love INC (In the Name of Christ) helps communities manage outreach. It is a proven model that links local churches, church volunteers, and community organizations together to help people in need. As of Friday, March 14, Love INC of northern Flathead is a registered non-profit organization. The board of directors is now developing a list of helping organizations and participating churches will be listing persons with skills that can be used in helping situations.
Love INC is:
· A Strategy to help churches come together to help their neighbors in need
· A Partnership of local churches, that links Christian volunteers and ministries to people in need
· A Movement of Christian churches working together to show God’s Love to those in need
· A Model for implementing Christ-like relational ministries that transforms lives – both those being served and those who serve
· A Method for mobilizing local church congregations to live out the two great commandments of loving God and loving their neighbor
· A Network of affiliates supporting and encouraging each other
· A Collaboration between local churches and their community (agencies, ministries, government, schools) to provide effective help for the disadvantaged
· A Vehicle that helps churches, collectively and individually, fulfill their biblical mandate to reach out to their community
Love INC is the Church:
· Churches Make Love INC
· Churches Do Love INC
· Churches Relate Through Love INC
· Churches Mobilize Through Love INC
· Churches Own Love INC
· Churches ARE Love INC!
Love INC is LOVE In the Name of Christ
Check Love INC’s website for more information: http://www.loveinc.org/
Updated by Web Master-2 on 3/19/2014
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