the Pastor's Desk (September
Visioning For our Future
I have heard it from many of you at different times over this last year, “There is a new spirit around here!” And I agree. And praise God for the blessing of this gift. Many of you have been there for some dark, spirit draining days in the church. And I know that it has taken the work and prayers of many to help us make this change. But there is still more to do done. Lately, it has made me think about Psalm 51: 10 (one of my favorites); Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. That verse is a beautiful prayer and praise for us in the church today. We know each of us needs a renewed and right spirit to face the cultural, social, and communal challenges in our current age. A new, positive spirit is not enough. We need the right spirit and the joined together in Christian
love Spirit to take the bold steps into the world. Because people are not going to come to us anymore, we are going to have to go to them.
In our congregational life together we may have a sense of a new spirit and that is good, but we cannot stop there. We are called as well to ask vital questions about what is the road ahead for this Missional Outpost for the Kingdom of God. Questions that are going to take prayer,
thought, and discernment if we are to live out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Questions like: Where are we going now? Where do we want to go? How do we take everyone there? As pastoral leadership of this church, if you are reading these words, I need you to be a part of this next major step in the life of Fulton First UMC. And, it is my opinion that this next step is a focused visioning process that involves the whole community of faith here.
So, if you like the new spirit in this place. If you are committed to the next steps we need to spiritual grow as a Christian community come to next Tuesday’s, September 12, Church-wide Visioning Gathering. We will meet at 6 p.m. with Bill Owen of the Center for Healthy Churches at Belmont University. He is a coach and leader with has worked with dozens of churches helping them answer and vision where God is calling them. He will be sharing a Congregationally-Based Discernment Process that myself and the leadership of the church think is vital for our next steps in ministry.
Peace and Love in Christ,