with Pastor Al
September 2017 will not be forgotten. There has been major destruction with hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. Meanwhile we sit in relative comfort. It seems hurtful and uncaring to have a sermon title of “God Supplies Our Every Need.” The needs of the Caribbean Islands, Texas and Florida can only be met by the generous hearts of God’s people in other places. The grief and sorrow will only be helped when folks like Steve Meacham actually go to those places affected and develop relationships with the hurting people of God. And yet it must be more than a onetime experience. For the past several years, the United Methodist Men from the Port Orchard UMC have been going into the Okanogan area to help rebuild after the devastating wildfires in our own state. Our mission teams return home as changed people as they help those effected by disaster to adjust to their new norm.
And where we are; God Supplies Our Every Need.” Perhaps we don’t get all of our wants supplied, but God does provide. In this United Methodist portion of God’s people, we have the ebb and flow of pastors. It has been Carolanne and my delight to have returned for a few months as you transition into a new pastoral leadership with Pastor Don. Having served here before, we never thought that we would be back. What a blessing that has been for us! In the tradition of pastoral ethics and courtesy, Carolanne and I will move away for participation in North Mason UMC (as we did 8 years ago). This gives Pastor Don and Barbara a chance to develop ministerial leadership. I know that the warmth that endeared you to us will quickly develop a wonderful relationship in ministry to and with Pastor Don and Barbara.
You will always be in our prayers and hearts.
Peace…Joy…Love in Christ,
from Rev. Donald A. Ford, MA
Barbara and I are very much looking forward to joining you in your worship of God. We look forward to joining you in your continual outreach to the community and beyond. We have also heard of some who have decided to seek God elsewhere. Every church, with the change of the pastor, loses some folks and gains some folks. It is the very nature of change. For those who have decided to seek a closer relationship with God elsewhere, we wish them well and that they may find what they are seeking. For those who have chosen to remain, I offer these thoughts:
1. The worship of God in a public setting has changed over the years. We no longer offer sacrifice of ‘clean’ animals. The Sabbath Day for us is Sunday, not Saturday as it was for centuries. The hymns have changed from simple chants to repeated choruses. Some like the Affirmations of Faith every week, communion on the first Sunday of the month, singing of ‘those old hymns’ and other parts of worship that remind them of days past. Can our worship please everyone? Probably not. Whatever the form takes, we will offer time for those to talk to God in a personal and private way. “Everyone has a god. Each must define who or what their god is.”
2. Occasionally, we will offer a little something that will add to the worship. (See article on All Saint’s Sunday)
3. Small groups are important for every organization and especially in a church. Small groups offer fellowship on a more personal basis. We will offer small groups on various subjects and would like the congregation to offer suggestions for small groups.
4. We are very pleased with the way the church is open a lot. We hope it can be open even more. Open minds, open hearts and open doors
5. Be prepared for questions. I have found it best, not to dictate how one should believe, yet it is important that each person can define how they believe and what they believe. “Does one live what they believe or does one pattern their beliefs after their life?”
Once again, Barbara and I look forward to being a part of the congregation of North Mason United Methodist Church.