For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven
This passage from Ecclesiastes beautifully illustrates the tension of different time periods and cycles of life. In times of challenge it can be comforting to remember there is a rhythm to our experiences and gifts to be found even in sadness. In times of joy it is a reminder to appreciate the moments of celebration. Wherever we are, when we center ourselves in our faith and live in each moment, we know that we are not alone and we are covered in God’s grace.
And so it is, that we come to the beginning of our fifth year of ministry together. As I celebrate my fourth anniversary with you, I am excited about what God is doing through Asbury United Methodist Church. And I am so very thankful for you . . . for the ways you have encouraged me to live into my calling as a pastor, for your trust in me, and for your faithful walk with Christ. Thank you also for your grace when I stumble.
At a time when our society and even our denomination is operating in polarizing ways, I am thankful for how Asbury is a force for unity and love and justice that follows the teachings of Jesus while inviting others to The Way of grace and truth. It is a joy to experience with you the growth of this body of Christ through new members, baptism, weddings, and confirmation. It is a humble privilege to journey with you in life’s struggles, illness, and grief.
Each and every time we come together for Holy Communion I am overwhelmed by our connections with each other, with God, and with the community of saints that came before us. And I think about the community of saints who will come after us.
When I think about the moments of joy and celebration, weekly gatherings and annual traditions, my heart is filled with thanksgiving. I wonder where God is leading us and where we will be in five years.
Over the next few months, we will discern together the areas of nurture, witness, and outreach that each person who is part of this body of Christ is called. Where do you feel God is leading you to serve at Asbury?
The celebration of ministry on September 30 promises to ignite a new Spirit in this season of rebirth for Asbury. I hope you will join me.