Join us for worship at First Methodist!
Sunday – April 30th, 2017
8:45 AM | Classic Worship
10:00 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist
11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater
There are times in life when it feels like we are running out of what we need. We look ahead and wonder where we are going to find the money, the courage, the food, or the answers…we know we are going to need.
Abraham (whose story we will tell this Sunday in worship) is walking up into the mountains, in Genesis 22, with his beloved son, Isaac. In this mysterious, difficult-to-understand-story, the old man believes God wants him to prove his love by sacrificing his own son. As Abraham and Isaac work their way up the mountain, the boy says, “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burned offering?”
The Bible is full of stories of people who can’t see how they are going to make it. In the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is surrounded by a very large crowd on a hillside above the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus talks about buying food for thousands of people, a disciple says, “More than a half year’s salary worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”
We all have times when we start to wonder if we are going to have enough…
Now and then I have come close to being fearful of not having enough…especially in recent days.
One of the important resources God provides to a congregation is the staff. Creative, hard-working, loving staff can make a huge difference in what a church can do for God.
Right now, as many of you know, we are in a time of staff change and transition. Pastor Stacee has been appointed as Senior Pastor of High Street UMC in Muncie. She begins on July 1st. We are searching for a full-time Director of Youth and full-time Director of Jubilee (college) Ministries. And, just last week, our amazing Director of Children’s Ministries, Ms. Alex Lamb, has decided —after much prayer and thought-—to resign. After July 1st she will be a full-time mom. (You’ll see a note from Alex below.)
Churches, businesses, and teams go through times of change. I know that. But this is a pretty extraordinary set of changes in a very short amount of time. As Isaac asked about the lamb for the sacrifice, and Philip wondered where the disciples would get food enough to feed the crowd, I’ll be honest…I have also wondered.
What God is doing here is beautiful and we want the good to keep going. Finding the right people to “fit” the church and its mission can be a trick.
Here is what we are doing
Here is what the Staff Parish Relations Committee, headed by E.G. White and our staff are doing to move forward:
- We are praying.
- We are looking for a new staffing model which resources the growing and vital ministries with children, families, youth and young adults.
- We want a model that is effective and reflects the financial realities of the congregation (we continue to have a modest but significant gap between anticipated income and expenses of about $120,000).
- The search committees for all open positions are working hard.
- Job descriptions have been posted and applications have been received, evaluated, sorted, and interviews scheduled.
- Our Staff Parish Relations Committee has been in dialogue with Bishop Trimble, District Superintendent the Rev. Beverly Perry, and we now know the person who will be serving as our Associate Pastor effective July 1st. (This announcement will need to wait for two weeks.)
- And, finally, we are planning a time of celebration and blessing for David LaSuertmer (youth), Alex Lamb and Pastor Stacee.
Here is what you can do
You can help our congregation move through this time of transition and change by:
- Be patient with a new staffing model which may require changes and adjustments.
- Bless those who are leaving our staff…let them know how you appreciate them and what they have done!
- Continue to give your very best financial gifts to God and this Christian outreach. If you can grow your giving to support the strongest possible staff, that would be a beautiful thing!
- Be ready to welcome, love, encourage and support the persons God brings our way to serve. Introduce yourself, invite these people to your small group, send them a card, surround them with prayer, and be gracious as they adjust to life here with us.
Over and over again, the Bible tells us God provides. I don’t know why I get so anxious now and then, but we learn in scripture and in life that God is faithful…and generous.
In Genesis 22, Abraham looks up and there is a lamb or ram caught in a thicket. God provides the sacrifice! When the crowd is hungry and the hour is late, in John 6, a young child has five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus uses those to feed the crowd.
God provides. God will provide us with the right people to do the work God has for us to do. Alex, Stacee, Cath, Markus, E.G., Cheryl and others keep reminding me of this. They encourage me to settle down and trust the God who provides.
Maybe you are anxious right now. Maybe you are on some mountain path, or sitting on the side of a hillside late in the day, and you wonder how in the world you’ll ever get what you need.
God provides. I believe that. I trust that.
- Join us Sunday at 8:45 & 10 (Sanctuary) or at 11:15 (The Open Door).
- Please read the statement below from Ms. Alex Lamb.
- Notice the amazing results of our Lenten/Easter Offering – more than $27,000 has been given towards the Korean Parsonage Project (our goal was $20,000).
- Be ready to help us provide VBS for the children of our church and community through your special, second-mile offering, AND register your children today at www.fumcb.org/vbs!
It is a joy to serve Christ with you!
A Note from Alex Lamb:
After close to a decade of serving the congregation of First Methodist as Director of Children’s Ministries, I have decided that it’s time to step down from this position and spend more time with my precious family. My children aren’t getting any younger and I want to be able to spend as much time with them as possible in this next season of their lives. Micah and I look forward to continuing to worship at First Methodist and we are thankful for your prayers as I make this change from staff to parishioner. I am confident that God has the next person our congregation needs to fill this important position in our church and I am looking forward to this next chapter with excitement. Thank you for all the love, support and encouragement you have shown to myself and my family over these past 10 years.
This week we’re continuing our sermon series, THE STORY. If you don’t yet have your own copy of THE STORY, you can purchase one from the church office for $10 or order online here. If you’re interested in going deeper, the Adult Companion Guide is also available.