Our short time together is about to come to an end. Barbara and I have enjoyed and loved our time we have spent here in this wonderful place living among God’s people. Our welcome here was grand and we felt comfortable from the beginning. However, all good things must come to a close. Since October, we have seen a congregation that has come together, those who have stayed, in a way that is good for this church. And now, you will have a younger pastor who can and will carry forward and bring the spirit of God to all who are here and to all who come to visit.
As you know, Barbara and I will be moving to Coos Bay, OR for another interim at Harmony UMC. We look forward to the challenges there and hope they will be as welcoming as you were. You have set the standard high for whatever church we are called to go.
With all that said, I need to express some other thoughts. The only way a church can remain functional financially is to increase the number of regular attendees and/or lower expenses. Lowering the expenses is difficult. Increasing the number of attendees is more difficult. Each person must believe in what their church is doing enough to spread the word to others they know. (This does NOT include proselytizing) This is best done with one’s actions and deeds. There are many people who do not attend church for some reason or another. The best way, in my opinion, of attracting people to a church is to act the way that they would want a church person to act, i.e. doing what God intended us to do for one another. Most people believe that helping others is what ‘religion’ is all about. ‘Religion’ is different from spirituality. Spirituality is gained with one’s personal relationship with God. ‘Religion’ is what a group of spiritual based people can do together to help one another and others. There is nothing too small or too big that cannot be accomplished working together for the benefit of all.
As you might know by now, I have a Nike theology: Just do it! You can if you want too.
Once again, Barbara and I thank you for our wonderful time together and we both wish you well and that you “Love God and love others in all you do!”
Peace and Blessings