Pastor's Blog
July 2, 2019, 12:00 PM

July Blog - Pastor Devon

As I write this, I am sitting at Summer Games camp, a place where children and young adult lives are changed as they dig in and develop a relationship with Jesus.  One of the greatest things about Summer Games is the depth of friendship that forms in a matter of just a few days.  As one of the pastors, I am humbled when I am given the opportunity to pray with the campers.  We always have an altar call and while some young people come forward to say yes to Christ, many come with deep struggles and fear longing to hear the good news that they are not alone, that God knows them and loves them immeasurably.

This year our theme is HOPE and our key Scripture is Jeremiah's great reminder:  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (29-11)

For many months now you and I have been in the midst of a great deal of transition.  I am deeply grateful and excited that July 1st marks the beginning of this new adventure and pray that every step of the way we are grounded in the trust that God does have a great plan in store for FUMC, for our time together in ministry, and for the impact we will continue to make on our community and the world.

I look foward to getting to know you and the variety of gifts and graces that exist within this Body of Christ.  Starting Tuesday, July 9, I will begin a time of "Dialogue with Devon", asking you to sign up for a thirty-minute time slot to come and share a bit about yourself.  This will run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the weeks of July 7, July 14 and July 21 with thirty-minute time slots from 9am - 12pm and from 1pm - 4 pm on Tuesday's and Wednesday's and on Thursday's from 9am - 12pm and from 6pm - 8 pm.  Sign up sheets will be available at worship and in the Warren Street foyer or you can call Barb in the office to set up a time for this conversation.  If you find it difficult to come to my office, I will happily meet you where it is most convenient.

In addition, if there is interest, I hope to start two new classes:

*Making Sense of the Bible will start on July 17 and meet at both 10am and 6pm.  This six-week study will engage us in a discussion about how the Bible came to be, how we find meaning in it, and some of the most-asked questions about it.  This class is open to everyone, feel free to come when you can.

*Companions in Christ: The Way of Discernment is a ten-week spiritual growth opportunity.  This class is for you if you ponder the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life, if you've wondered where God is leading you, if you are unclear about your purpose, or if you simply want to spend more time seeking God's will.  This class is an intentional small group and involves daily spiritual growth practices and reflection.  If you are interested in this class please let me know and we will determine the best time for everyone.

As we begin this journey my greatest prayer is that we do it with a spirit of openess and hope, as together we get started on the plans God has in store for us!  I look forward to serving you!

Be Blessed,

Pastor Devon


May 30, 2019, 12:00 PM

June Blog

Dear Church Family,

    My thanks to all of you for the many ways you allowed me to be your Pastor.  As the years go by, I will look back fondly on our time together.  I trust the same will be true for you.  In eight years, I've baptized persons of all ages.  I have been privileged to perform over twenty weddings and have been honored to celebrate the lives of many who have gone from this life to the next.  I've watched children grow up and be confirmed in faith.  I have prayed for you and your families.  Hundreds of times we celebrated together the new life we have in Christ through the gift of holy communion and each time has been sacred and joy-filled for me.  Together, we realized a few dreams, lived through a few trials, and perservered.

    While I am leaving you, there is one who remains constant: Jesus Christ.  Jesus has been present here in this place for over 150 years and will be with you for the rest of time.  If through the power of the Holy Spirit you allow Christ to guide, then Big Rapids First UMC will always have a mission.  It may not look like the church we have today.  There may be difficult decisions which need to be made.  But a passionate desire to serve Jesus Christ and His church will see you through whatever lies ahead.

   I will continue to hold you in my prayers.  I pray for you to have a future like the one spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.  "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  I have confidence that under Pastor Devon's leadership and shepherding you will find new ways to connect with our community and invite more people to worship with you Sunday morning.  She is a dynamic Christian who brings many gifts and graces to First UMC.  I pray you deepen your relationship with God realizing it is God who is the source of all strength and hope for you.  I pray more people will know God's love through you.  I hope you will not only share the warm welcome that is part of this congregation but that you will personally invite people to participate in the church's ministries.  I pray you will realize that Christ is counting on YOU to share the Good News of God's love with others.

   Lastly, receive this blessing, "In all that you say and all that you do, may others always see Christ through you.  Go with God's blessing to serve.  In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen"

Pastor Becky



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