What is the role of the church today?
What are we really supposed to be doing?
These were just two of dozens of important questions that pastors from all over New England who gathered at the Rock last weekend discussed in depth. Faculty from Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC led four different classes: Transformative Leadership, Torah and Israel's History, Theological Heritage/Reformation and the Role of Missions in the Life of the Church. Courses are part of required continual education for local pastors.
Because of St. Matthew's conviction that we are meant to serve others, I participated in the "Mission's Class." The two day session laid the foundation for next month's session which will focus on our individual communities. All too often when we think of missions, we think of our yearly mission trip to help folks who lives have been devastated in the Gulf Coast due to hurricanes and other natural disasters or our commitment to Little Lambs Orphanage in Honduras to share the love of Christ and help financially with the needs of orphaned children. Both great initiatives, ones that deserve our support and prayers.
However, one of the biggest challenges to the church today is our lack of connection to our local communities. To help us find how we can serve our local communities better, pastors participating in the class will be asking a number of key questions in their individual communities and required to write a ten page dissertation on the needs of those communities.
Over the next two weeks, I will be asking many of you, as-well-as folks in the community, several questions so I can complete this assignment. Obviously it will be impossible to get to everyone, so I would ask you to think about the questions and it would really be helpful if you emailed me your thoughts on each one in the next week.
- When you look at our community, whom does your heart break for?
- What do we need to do to address those heartbreaks?
- Who do YOU need to pray for?
- Is God asking you to take a risk in solving these issues?
- What needs to be done to gain commitment from others?
Great questions as we reflect on what breaks our hearts to the point that we have to do something about it. After all, isn't that the role of the church, isn't that exactly what Jesus commands us to do?
Blessings of the Bikes
The annual blessing of the motorcycles will take place on Saturday, May 20th at St. Matthews beginning at 9 a.m. with a continental breakfast chaired by Sherry and Ed Lucia. At 10 a.m. there will be a brief ceremony as we pray over the bikers before they depart on their annual bike run.
At noon, the bikes return to St. Matthews when we will share a barbecue hosted by Chris Tammany and his crew. We will supply hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks, but we could use some help from the congregation for salads and desserts. If you can help, please email Jen Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org . Assistance is also needed for setup and breakdown. If you can help with that, please let me know.
Be sure to join us this Sunday as we continue talking about what it means to be part of the body of Christ; what it means to be one in heart and mind.
See you Sunday,
In Christ's love,