April 26, 2019
Today I’d like to catch up with you on a few things.
First, my deepest appreciation goes to all those who gave of themselves so that our Lent, Holy Week, and Easter worship services and programs could reach so many people with God’s love in Jesus Christ. Many, many people participated in both obvious and behind-the-scenes ways to make it possible for us to welcome people and honor God. You know who you are, I know who you are, and most of all, God knows. Thank you.
Second, as some of you are going to your summer homes or taking vacations I want to be sure you know that you can join us for 9:45 a.m. worship on Sundays via our livestream by going to www.umcstmarks.org and choosing “Live Worship” from the menu. If you have problems doing this, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third, any day now we are expecting a decision from the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council about the constitutionality (according to the UMC’s constitution) of all or parts of the traditional plan for the future of the UMC which was passed at the Special General Conference in late February. In fact, because I write this early in the morning on Fridays, and it goes to you via email about 2 p.m., a decision may be announced before you get this. Please be assured that I and your other pastors and leaders will continue to communicate with you about this, and about the ways that St. Mark’s will continue to welcome and include all God’s people.
I want you to know that I have been invited to participate in a gathering of 600 United Methodist leaders from across the UMC in a meeting on May 20-22 to discuss the future of our church. To be held at the UMC Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas (which is led by Rev. Adam Hamilton), the aim of this gathering is to pray, discuss and discern a better way forward for the UMC. I am honored to be asked to attend this gathering, which I hope will help us develop a way to welcome and include all God’s people in the life and ministry of our church. Please pray for me and all those who have been invited to be part of this gathering.
Finally, our work in mission continues….Sunday, April 28, at 12:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall we will pack 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger, to provide food for hungry people in various parts of the world. People of all ages can participate in meal packaging. Come! That day we begin a new sermon series called The Main Things…In Jesus’ Words, and will begin with the risky and challenging words that characterize Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.
Gracious God, bless the work that we seek to do in your name. Bless our church and leaders. Watch over us. Bring us peace. Amen.
See you in church! Blessings, Sharon
UPDATE: After I wrote the above article, the Judicial Council of the UMC has ruled that parts of the Traditional Plan are unconstitutional while others are constitutional. Info can be found at: www.umcnews.org. This makes me even more grateful to be part of national discussions about the future of the UMC. Please pray for and with me as we look to the future.