Pastor’s Corner

REJOICE! MERGER VOTE PASSED WITH OVER 90% APPROVAL!

Sunday, December 08, 2019 District Superintendent Scott Aleridge officiated two Church Conferences (Andrew Price Memorial UMC and Hickory Bend UMC) for the purpose of voting on a merger to form a new church, Connection UMC. The approval of the merger occurred with over 90% of each congregation voting for acceptance. Alleluia!

Connection UMC’s Mission Statement is To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world the community sees us working together in acceptance and service to members of our greater community who have been neglected or overlooked.  Toward that mission we are already committed to being a LaunchPad partner, working with Second Harvest, and being a faithful Pencil Partner to Hickman Elementary School, as well as many other examples of living into our Mission Statement.

Your Forward Together Team met Thursday, December 12th to finish their tasks as an Operational Team assumes responsibility for moving things forward. A Unified Leadership Model, with minimal committees and teams all focused on carrying out the mission of the church, will be named in the near future. Obviously the legal matters of incorporation and name, as well as other related business matters, will be addressed. Until such time as those things happen you may continue to write checks to each church respectively as the bank accounts cannot change without prior paperwork.

The mission field will drive decisions regarding the two campuses and other assets, with advice and approval of appropriate Conference and District entities. We continue at this time to meet on the Lebanon Pike campus for one Worship service on Sunday mornings. We are pleased that at this time our sister UMC, Ebeneezer Fellowship, an Hispanic congregation, is meeting at the Stewart Ferry location on Sunday mornings. Both campuses are being utilitized at this time throughout the week in a variety of ways; however, as consultants are able to inform us of the feasibility of locations, including costs, more decisions will be forthcoming about our permanent campus location.

Praise God for Connection UMC and may the Lord continue to lead and guide us into greater service to Christ, to one another, and to our neighbors!

When the Holy Spirit is Moving!

Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of living into this exciting time of your sweet Holy Spirit being in our lives and actions in so many ways!

The decision by both church councils on August 26 to request a joint team to plan how we move Forward Together as one congregation to accomplish a shared mission in our changing context speaks of God’s love and action among us! We are entrusted with the ushering in of Christ’s Reign move fully in our day and time; what an amazing responsibility that is so full of Joy!

Be in prayer as our Lay Leadership committees work to recognize and then nominate those persons who can best be part of this team. Be in prayer that everyone one of us will be actively engaged in the work of the Holy Spirit in this time. Be in prayer that we may all engage one another so beautifully that people paying attention will marvel at our love for one another.

Do no harm. Do all the good you can. Stay in love with God.

Those three sentences are Bishop Reuben Job’s way of speaking the Three Rules of being a United Methodist.

May our respect and care for one another, our enthusiasm for moving into new territory and our love of God abound in this season!

Grace and peace in Christ Jesus! +Melisa

Light

Deep in the woods as the light is fading seeing the path can be difficult. I love to hike along a trail that is marked sufficiently well that even I can follow the path. But let me be caught outside as the sun sets and the path becomes difficult to see. It is then that I most need another hiker to help see the path ahead and to keep on going!

Light is necessary for us to see. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

One of the great opportunities for each of us in life is this ability to be involved in Light – – – casting away darkness, casting away fear, and living in transparency.

When we choose Light we are choosing not to operate in secrecy or deceit, we are choosing not to prefer darkness or giving in to fear.

To have Jesus’ Light is to walk in the Light of Life (John 8:12).

So what does that mean today? Perhaps today is a day to see Light as the way to be, to speak and to act in our world (and especially among ourselves). With OneVoice we have a great platform to shine Light so that together we showcase and live more fully into the journey God intends for us! A journey always with Light and with fellow sojourners, helping us all to build the path as we go!