Friday, April 20, 2012

This week I have spent time in the community, networking with business people, listening to their hopes and dreams for their lives, as well as hearing some of the challenges. I am working in fact from a coffee shop, which is full of people meeting together, getting coffee, and working like me on their laptops. I have learned that the culture of discovering new places to meet, to shop, to go to church has changed. Instead of people dropping in, they often find you by a link to a subject they are interested in. For example, someone researching homelessness, might find a post by a pastor talking about how their church is responding to the issue. Based on that article they go to the church website and then read the mission statement, basic theological information and where the church is located. If that church feels like a match for what they are looking for, then they might call, or drop by to see what is going on.
What this means for us as a church is for us to invest more effort in establishing an on-line presence, and invest in this form of evangelism. It also means we have to do what we say we are doing, and as a church need to practice what we preach. People want to invest in a genuine, authentic, and meaningful community. So it starts with each of us in the church to make sure we are being who we say we are.
Otherwise people will look elsewhere. That's the challenge, that is the opportunity,
Pastor Steve
Walnut United Methodist Church
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter all over again!

What a time of great worship and joy the Easter season brings. I am grateful for the season of celebration after Lent. Our church begins with Holy Humor Sunday, and my favorite joke was about a pastor speaking to a group of second graders about resurrection. After reading from scripture one of the class asked:"What did Jesus say when he rose up out of the grave?". The pastor explained that the scripture does not record his words, but a little girl spoke up, " I know what he said when he rose up, Ta Da!". Humor helps me in times of sorrow to balance the grief, in times of seriousness to allow for the spirit to work, it times of joy to share laughter with others. Easter is all about joy, celebrating, the great gift of resurrection with the world. Dear Jesus, I celebrate the great gift of resurrection, hope that never ends. As I encounter life's challenges may I turn to you again and again to be filled with your love. Thank you for those who help me laugh and play even in the most serious moments. Amen