Some Thoughts

PASTORS’ PONDERINGS…

When I have several thoughts I want to share with you in the newsletter, I find it easier to put them in one article. As you read, I hope you will highlight those things that are of interest to you.

Joshua: The Journey of a Faith Walker

First of all, and most time-sensitive, is a reminder that I will be leading an 8-week Bible study on the life and Book of Joshua beginning on Wednesday, October 6th at 6:30 pm. We will meet for an hour. For those of you with children and/or grandchildren, the study will coincide with the weekly Kids’ Club. One change from our previous Wednesday evening study is that we will not share a meal together. Those that I spoke with felt they could eat at home before coming to the church. This, of course, can always change if there is interest in a potluck or a one-dish meal.

I have included a brief synopsis of the study and the scripture for Session One, so you can prepare.

Lessons on how to live a life of extraordinary faith.

After wandering for 40 years in the desert, Joshua had reason to be apprehensive about entering the Promised Land. But God commanded him to be strong and courageous, and the Book of Joshua shares the powerful story of how God fulfilled his promises and led the Israelites into the long-awaited land of milk and honey. This eight-session course shares lessons from Joshua on how to live a life of extraordinary faith.

Session One

Move Forward in Faith

God has power in your circumstances. 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 This study will challenge you to put your faith into action, to live in the present rather than the past, and to recognize God and his power in your circumstances.

The Future of the UMC

As most of you know, the LeValley Ad Board was interested in having presenters speak to us after worship one Sunday in October to help us understand the future of United Methodism. Reverend Tom Anderson, the chair of the Michigan Wesleyan Covenant Association, is willing to come to speak on the potential Global Methodist Church, a more traditional denomination. I asked Laura Witkowski, a General Conference delegate and an employee of the Michigan Conference, to attend representing what would remain the United Methodist Church. This is a portion of her response. I appreciate the invitation to speak with your congregations. However, I need to politely decline. I don’t feel I am the appropriate person to represent the entirety of the continuing UMC. If General Conference happens it is difficult to know now what will come from that. At this moment, there are at least 3 denominations, possibly more, not just The UMC and GMC. Bishop Bard and Conference leaders are working on resources which will be available in the near future. They will include basic information and FAQs. So, it would be my suggestion that this session be put on hold for the time being. If you have questions concerning the future of the United Methodist Church, I will try to answer them or attempt to get the answers from someone else.

2021 Church Conference

Our annual church conference was held via Zoom last Sunday, September 26th at 1:45pm. Several of us were in attendance in the Upper Room at LeValley. Nancy Haga, Don Doornbos, Bob Bennett, Craig Harder, Jean Kuhlman, Judy Huynh, and myself were here and Sue Chipman and District Superintendent Dr. Margie Crawford were with us electronically. I thank Adam Plett for setting up the Zoom on the television in the Upper Room. Church Conference is the one time during the year that both churches of the Ionia Parish come together to meet and vote on items important and relevant to both LeValley and Berlin Center. Even if there are no contentious issues to be decided, church members should make it a priority to attend the Conference, if for no other reason than to meet the District Superintendent and to thank her for the time she puts in to care for our churches and the almost 90 other churches in the Midwest District. This year, those present voted on my salary, furnishing and housing allowances, medical reimbursement amount, and professional expenses budget for 2022. I presented the membership report for both churches and those attending voted to remove as members those who had been inactive for at least two years. Dr. Margie provided some excellent suggestions on ways to educate the congregation about the United Methodist Church and programs or events to hopefully boost attendance. Judy Huynh served as the recording secretary for the Conference and for that I am grateful.

2022 Lay Leadership

One item that is traditionally voted on at the Church Conference is the Lay Leadership for the upcoming year. This year, as chair of nominations, I decided to try something different. This, of course, has the approval of the District Superintendent and those attending the Church Conference. Each Sunday, through November, representatives of each committee will give a brief synopsis of the membership and duties of their committee. This will follow my message of last Sunday on discerning our Spiritual gifts. My hope is that church members may feel called to volunteer to serve on one of the committees without being coerced. I pray each of you will listen closely to the speakers and be in prayer as to if and where God is leading you to serve your church.

Blessings,

Pastor Nancy

 

 

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