The only constant in the world is change. But this has certainly been an exciting year of change for my family and I. It has been a year and a week since I first starting checking into the possibility of transferring my ordination to the United Methodist Church. It was something that had been in the back of my mind and my heart for a long time. And finally life I allowed myself to take a step out in a new direction. During that time I’ve been blessed to receive appointment to Cedar Falls First United Methodist. I began in July and I feel really blest to be here!
I am enjoying the challenges of living in a new community, being at a new church and getting to know a new denominational family. Shortly I will begin course work on a course from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry on United Methodist history. Following that I will take courses in UMC doctrine and UMC polity. I’ll be continuing to work with the Board of Ordained Ministry to complete my transfer of orders as I serve here in Cedar Falls.
At the same time my wife and I have become empty nesters as our daughter transferred from DMACC to Iowa State University. We have all be making that adjustment, and I’m proud of how well she is doing in Ames!
So often we are afraid of change, avoid change, try to hold change back. Yet change is a part of life, ministry, and following our Lord and Savior. As I’ve said before we need to embrace change! And we do so we can embrace to miraculous activities of God in a world that God is working to change and grow for the better.
September 11: A Day for Prayer and Peace – UMC.org.
This is an except from a statement by Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, President of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Neil l. Lyons Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops.
“September 11 should be a day of prayer for rebuilding and restoring relationships, and for reaching out to find ways to work and live together in this world. It is not a day for burning the holy book of another faith tradition. Tragically one person has garnered headlines for advocating such a thing. There is nothing of Jesus in such an action. In fact, as we recall, there was a time when the disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven on the perceived enemies for refusing to receive Jesus. No, Jesus said; in fact he “rebuked” those who advocated such a means. (Luke 9:51-55). Such an action is not the way of Jesus, nor the way of peace and love.”
Click on the above link to read the entire statement at the UMC.org website.
Much of what goes on in our world today is about getting our way, having what we want, working for the good of me and mine. But Christians are called to be different!
My heart has been so grieved at the continued coverage of the Florida church that is planning to burn copies of the Qur’an this Saturday. It hurts me deeply to see even this small group of Christians miss the message of Christ by so very much!
I very much appreciated the words of Rev. Steve Braudt, at last nights Ignition Worship Experience. He reminded all of us that “God loves everybody.” All of us are created in the image of God. All of us are God’s children and Christ died for all of us. He didn’t just die for some of us. He died for ALL of us!
Jesus Christ always reached out other with love, grace, compassion, and patience. Jesus never never preached hatred of those who are different. And ultimately he calls on us as Christians to be very different than the world. He called on us to be unconditionally welcoming, unconditionally loving, unconditionally compassionate, and unconditionally merciful.
The hate that is being preach in the act of this small misguided church is NOT of God. It is not from the God of the Bible and not from the Father of Jesus Christ.
“Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20.
May God’s love for this whole world cause each of us to act with love towards everyone we meet, no matter who they are.
Tomorrow is the first Sunday for the Transformation Worship Experience at First United Methodist Church of Cedar falls, Iowa. Worship begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by fellowship and the opportunity to attend Bible study as part of the FUMC Sunday School program.
As part of our worship we will be sharing together in the sacrament of Holy Communion, we will sing praises together, read from the scriptures, and celebrate God’s transforming grace in our lives!
If you are in the Cedar Falls area please come be our guest for the inaugural Sunday of this new worship experience.