From the Pastor’s Desk….
Albert Einstein was supposedly a late talker as a child. So late, in fact, that his parents were afraid he had some mental difficulties. Finally, one night at dinner, young Albert spoke up and said these words: “The soup is too hot.” His parents were jubilant. They were in shock. He had broken the ice, his first words spoken. They asked him why he had never said anything before. Answered Albert: “Because up to now, everything was in order.” Whether you think that everything is in order or not, I’d like to hear from you as well.
In the coming weeks there will be a series of “cottage meetings” to which all members of the church as well as recent visitors are invited. Each cottage meeting will be hosted by various (and gracious!) members of our church. We currently have ten different cottage meetings scheduled, with limited space in each one. Please contact the church office or sign up on the sheets in the narthex.
The purpose of the cottage meetings is three-fold. The first purpose is for us to discuss our church together. First United Methodist Church is a deeply important part of our lives and I believe that God intends for her to be deeply important to others as well. I’d like for us to share our hopes and dreams with one another.
With this in mind, our discussion(s) will be centered on four related questions. What are you involved in at First UMC? How did you first come to First UMC? What is First UMC doing now that you love? What do you believe God’s plans are for our future? Please give these questions your prayerful consideration in preparation for our time together.
These are not meant to be incidental conversations to be brushed aside or forgotten. The host will be taking notes at each of the cottage meetings and we will process your answers as we think about the future of our church. One of the great lessons that I have learned as a pastor is that not only does God speak to laypeople as well as to clergy, but that laypeople so often hear clearly what God is calling us to do. John Wesley suggested that Christians gather for what he called “Christian Conferencing” in order to discuss their faith-walks. This is what we will be doing at our cottage meetings!
The second purpose for the cottage meetings is for us to get to know one another better. You see me in the pulpit and I see you in the pew each Sunday and we worship together. However, we hardly have time to learn the stories from each other’s past or our current hopes and dreams. In these small group settings, I hope to share with you a little more about myself and pray that you will tell me a bit about you. In this way, our communications with one another will be more than the occasional complaint when the soup is too hot.
I encourage you to register for a cottage meeting and to bring your thoughts about God’s hopes and dreams for our congregation. I look forward to sharing in Christian Conferencing with you as together we continue to discover all that God has in store for First United Methodist Church of Sheridan.