Pastor's Blog
November 1, 2019, 12:00 PM

November Blog



What inspires you?  What makes you get out of bed in the morning and look forward to the day?  Is it the thought of missing out on something, or simply the daily obligations that tend to fill up our lives?  I have been pondering the power of inspiration as I look at the ideas generated from our journey with the CATCH small groups and curriculum.

Something is different in our gatherings since we began this journey together.  There is a hope-filled excitement when new faces join us in worship.  There is an intentional desire to make sure that anyone and everyone feels included and valued.  New ideas and the energy to follow through with them may lead to things like valet parking, a new "welcome-center" information hub, nicer bulletins, a more diverse offering of classes, support groups, and social gatherings.  (Check out the poster boards in the Fellowship Hall to add your ideas, or place your name next to that which excites you.)  Inspiration often looks like excitement or eagerness, and in this case, I truly believe  it is a product of the Holy Spirit's movement within each of you and our community as a whole.

Another gift that the Holy Spirit bestows on us is hope.  Hope inspires us to believe that we are capable of things beyond our ability and understanding.  Hope gives life to God-sized dreams and visions.  Hope reminds us that God is not done with us yet!  As a faith community one of the greatest gifts we can offer one another is hope.  Around here hope comes in all sorts of disguises.  Sometimes hope looks like a hot meal, a hug, a ride, a place to have your mail sent when you are homeless, help buying work-boots or a uniform for a new job, a visit from someone who cares about you, or a listening ear.  Our faith community reminds us that in all circumstance's faith is greater than fear, and God is with us.  How has hope birthed inspiration in you?

As your Pastor, I thank you for reminding me of the power of inspiration and hope.  This past month you have surrounded and encouraged me in such a tangible way that I will be forever changed.  Through your cards, your hugs and your kindness you have been the presence of God's love for me.  Thank you is not sufficient, but I hope you know how grateful I am.

There is no doubt in my mind that together we are on a Holy Spirit inspired journey. I pray we will continue to be filled with hope, open to the movement of God, and willing to take those leaps of faith with courage.

YOU are LOVED,

Pastor Devon




October 2, 2019, 10:00 AM

October Blog



It is hard to believe that today we welcome October.  Time flies when you are having fun! We have been working hard this last month and I thank you for your participation in the small groups and for following along with the Catch program.  I am anxious to hear and engage the new ideas coming to life in your conversations.  We have a busy month ahead, filled with some fun events and a time to share together about where God is leading us.

When I think of October, memories of snowy trick-or-treating flood my mind.  It was always so fun to make a costume and dress as someone else for an evening.  Do you remember dressing up and knocking on doors with hopes of delicious treats?  My brother and I would always have a trading-session late into the night, and the peanut butter cups were always highly sought after.

In the midst of all the goings-on it has come to my attention that October is National Disability Awareness Month.  Sunday the 6th will be a busy day here as we walk for the CROP Walk to raise funds that fight hunger, then eat together and share about what it means to be aware and inclusive of persons with limitations.  It is easy to assume that our nation has come to a place where all people can access all buildings easily, and that is really not the case.  Gaining more insight as to how our building and worship services can engage persons of all abilities will be a gift.

As delightful as it was to dress up as a clown or ghost as a kid, I often realize that people put on masks every single day.  These masks are the kind that we wear when we are afraid that we will not fit in, the ones we slip on to meet the expectations of others, the ones that can easily hide our true selves.  The world tells us to put on a pretty face and hide the difficulties and struggles. I imagine persons with disabilities understand this at a far deeper level than many of us.

Are there masks that you wear to cover up your true self?

As we continue talking about what it means to be a church whose deepest desire is to connect people with Jesus, my prayer is that we embrace and integrate persons who have been marginalized.  I hope you will join us for this discussion on Sunday as we learn more about what it means to be open, welcoming and truly hospitable to those with disabilities.  May we work to be a mask-free zone, where all people are important and included.

You are loved,

Pastor Devon

 

Contents © 2019 Big Rapids First United Methodist Church | Church Website Provided by mychurchwebsite.net | Privacy Policy