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Our Journey Together

As I observed the animated discussion during the Discovering the Possibilities workshop last Saturday, I was impressed with the passion and commitment of our people. What I saw and heard spoke loudly of a deep love for God and this church. As persons share significant moments and events, it was clear that God had been at work here and that has changed us. It has changed the way we look at ourselves and the world.

There was also a recognition that God is doing something here, and in and through us. We rejoice in that and become excited. “God has done great things” and is still doing them. That’s good to know.

Unfortunately, we ran out of time before we could adequately examine the demographic data which might give us greater insight into the needs, desires, and lifestyles of the people within 5 miles of 3501 Patrick Street. The data that Stacy gave us is worth looking at and considering, and I hope all of us will do so. I can assure you, that in addition to the other things the Preferred Future Committee will do, we will look at this and other data to more clearly discern how and where we might make fruitful connections with the neighbors God has given us. Then we will recommend ways for enhancing and expanding our outreach to them.

From what I have read about the service aspect of discipleship (the expected emphasis of our next Shifts training), I suspect we will need to give greater emphasis to “ministries of engagement” (hands on service where we develop relationships with those we serve). One of the suggested ways of connecting with our neighbor is something we have already begun to do: adopt a school, in our case College Oaks Elementary. There are additional avenues we should explore as well.

While you may be considering giving up some things for Lent, I would ask that you also consider joining me in adding more prayer to your daily living. My prayer is that we will use the coming weeks to seek the God who has, is, and will do great things, and will accept his invitation to be a part of it. If we do, certainly the greatest days of the University UMC are not passed, but unfolding before our very eyes. Don’t you want to be a part of that?

In Christ,

Charlie

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