Dear FUMC Ontario:
On Sunday I spoke about Joshua. I recounted much of his life story and all the different times and places he had been obedient to God. At the end of his life, he gathered the people together at Shechem. He recounted the history of their deliverance by God, Yahweh, and wanted to ask them to rededicate themselves to God. Choose this day whom you serve! But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. This may sound like a question you have already answered for yourself and your family; but somehow, it is too easy to let other things get in the way. Sometimes worry gets in the way. Sometimes busy-ness gets in the way, sometimes fear, or selfishness. But when we recommit to serving God, a blessing comes with it. We worry less. We feel less busy, more settled. We have less fear. We let go of selfishness and open ourselves more to the world, and discover ourselves more blessed than we realized. Sometimes we think of serving God as being a sacrifice, but it is also a blessing. The things of the world that push and pull us have less control over us when we acknowledge that God is the center of our lives.
I have the joy of sharing an announcement with you: Tim Ross has an appointment! He will be the part-time pastor at Christ Our Savior UMC in Quartz Hill. Because of this appointment, he won’t be with us for Sunday worship. But he will still be part of our Care team, and he continues to do his CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) with me as his supervisor, so the ties between us remain, but some of the roles and involvement will change. Tim has wanted to be a pastor for a very long time. I know we have appreciated so much his love for the Bible, his eagerness to serve, and his easy-going manner. Now he can share all these things with another church and grow as a pastor. Tim is someone who said long ago: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Now he is getting to express it in a new way which will also carry him further in his journey to be a pastor.
As I write this, the news says there is a vaccine that looks to be 90% effective. That is incredibly good news. But I know it will take time to get it made and distributed, so I still anticipate waiting for even a few more months before we can meet in person. I know we are all getting weary, maybe even past the point of mere weariness. But just a little longer, and we can be together again. Two things to hold on to: First, we owe such a debt of gratitude for all those working hard for the church: for the Trustees, for the Care Team, for our office volunteers, and our worship team. Second, when you do get just too weary of our current circumstances think, of somebody who might appreciate a call or note from you: you will instantly feel better.
With the love of Christ,