Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Ponderings June 7, 2017

What a joy it was to receive 19 new persons into the life of Calvary United Methodist Church.  This is an unusually large number for a confirmation class.  I am grateful for the way in which so many mentors offered their time over the past several months.  they shared their faith through listening and sharing some of their own story in meaningful conversation with each of these students.  I hope that this time will continue to bear fruit in the months and years that come for both mentors and confirmands.  I am grateful for Katy Mossburg and Jeff Zalatoris who taught the classes over 15 sessions and an overnight retreat.  We are grateful for parents who kept the vows that they made when bringing their children to be baptized and raising their child in a home where they learned about God's love and care and the hope that Jesus Christ has to give.

The church is enlarged in many ways by the life and witnesses that was on display last Sunday.  As I said that day, confirmation is not the end of a journey, but a landmark on a larger adventure that continues on and on with Christ.  We are all reminded of our baptism and place in the church, and the need to be part of a community of love and forgiveness and prayer.

See you in church,

Pastor Steve

Pastor's Ponderings May 1, 2017

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What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?

What does it mean “to become disciples of Jesus Christ”? A disciple is a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be someone who sets out on the path to become more and more like Jesus, especially when it comes to how we relate to God and one another.

The church plays a big role in discipleship. We learn about Jesus Christ and what it means to follow him in community with other disciples. We see how others love and so we practice loving in the same way. We receive encouragement from the faithful who are a little further down the path of discipleship than we are and so we strive to live a more faithful and obedient life. We are inspired by the example of those who have lived each day with trust and the blessed assurance that comes from God and so we follow that example.

As I have considered this matter, I have come to see that there are five main pathways that have often proved helpful and fruitful. Follow any one of these paths and you will find yourself growing closer and closer to God. Better still is making use of all of them together. The five paths I have in mind are:
Worship and prayer Serving God and others
Generosity Learning and study
Sharing faith with others

The idea is that we grow and mature and develop over time. Our spiritual life is not to be static or stagnant. We should not expect our spiritual life to always be the same. Instead we are always involved in becoming more and more like Christ so that who were yesterday is not the same as we are today and who we will become will be different, in some ways, than who we are today. That’s what John Wesley called, “Going on the perfection.”

Over the next few weeks, I be writing more about how we as a church can help people grow in their walk with Christ through each of these pathways. In this way, we might be working on accomplishing our mission “to seek and invite all to become disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community and our world.”

See you in church,

Pastor Steve

 

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