May marks one year since we adopted our Vital Church Initiative Ministry Plan. Much has happened in this year including Pastor Bob Miller being appointed to Plymouth First UMC and my appointment here at Marble Memorial UMC. A change in pastors is always a major marker for a church and brings change of its own. Our ministry plan has resulted in even more change.
The changes as a result of our ministry plan have been made with the purpose of fulfilling our mission of ‘Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World’. In order to ‘make disciples’ we have to make sure guests feel welcome and comfortable when they are with us for worship or whenever they are in our building and on our grounds.
Some of these changes you may not have noticed or come into contact with, such as our web and Facebook pages. A web page is often visited by persons before they attend worship. Ours is now friendlier to use and is up to date. Some of you have shared our Facebook page, which is a great way to share info about the church! Guests are receiving an e-mail in addition to a hand written note on their visit and a $5 gift card to a local business donated by a member of the congregation.
Things I hope you have noticed include the ‘de-cluttering’ and more open hallways, our ‘connection cards’ and ‘Cup of Grace’. On our ‘connection cards’ we are receiving more information from guests and members alike! More of our guests are sharing contact information and members are volunteering to
be servants in various capacities – it is easier when all you have to do is check the box! ‘Cup of Grace’ has made the long hallway, which most of us walk down to get to the sanctuary, much more friendly as sound and people come to and from the room. Those of us who worship here on a regular basis don’t even notice that hallway but when someone attends for the first time, and has to walk down that long hallway, we want them to have a warm, welcoming feeling. Easter day two of our first-time guests were among the very last to
leave the Cup of Grace! That makes me think they felt welcomed. I heard them say they may be back!
These changes, and much more, have been exciting. Yet, we miss some of what we had. You have graciously and even enthusiastically welcomed me as your pastor. Yet, I know you miss Pastor Bob and Rochelle – and that is good. In a similar way, we celebrate what we have done while missing some of what we had. These are not all the changes we have experienced in the last year, and there are more are to come. We continue to make decisions based on our mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’ while finding ways to keep us all ‘growing in faith’, one of the core values we adopted this year. Thank you for your patience, understanding and efforts as we seek to live out our vision statement and core values:
“Inviting people, living the love of Christ”
And, As Followers of Jesus, We Seek to Make a Difference
in the World through these Core Values:
See you Sunday and Invite Someone!
Since our last newsletter, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church met deciding to keep our denomination’s official stance of not licensing or ordaining persons for ministry who are gay\lesbian and not allowing clergy to perform same sex weddings, nor can they be performed on our property. With this, the ‘punishment’ for doing these things was made more severe. The conference requested all decisions made be reviewed by our Judicial Council to ensure they fit our constitution. This meeting is scheduled for April 23-26.
Many persons are hurt over this decision. You may have seen a letter in the Ann Arbor News, or other publication, addressed to persons who are LGBTQIA +, signed by many United Methodists sharing disappointment with this decision, seeing forgiveness and committing to working within the United Methodist Church. (more information is at www.michiganstatement.org) People on ‘both sides’ on the issue cite the Bible as the reason they believe what they believe. Please know I, as your pastor, will continue to welcome ALL people to the community of Marble Memorial UMC. I encourage you to talk with me if you have questions or concerns around any matter, including this one. I will work to keep you informed of the Judicial Council decision and all official developments in this and all issues from our district\conference\general church.
In the midst of this there is some exciting things happening here at Marble Memorial UMC. As you likely know we value children and youth (as well as people of all ages) and this was identified as a priority in the ministry plan we adopted last May. Thus, we will soon be advertising a part time (10 hour a week) position for ‘”Children and Youth Ministry Coordinator”! The vision is this person will oversee our children\youth Christian Education and connect with groups of this age using our building and other community groups focusing on these age groups. The money to pay for this position will NOT come from the General Fund instead it WILL COME FROM OUR EDUCATION TRUST. This is how this position has been paid for in the past, at least in part. I am extremely grateful to the Craig family who donated this money to the church about three decades ago. I am also thankful to the leadership of this congregation for picking up this vision and for those who have said they will serve more with someone in this position! We plan to evaluate this in at least a year. Please pray for God to send us someone for this important position. If you are interested, know someone who may be or simply want more information contact the church office.
Our fire alarm system is up and being monitored! Trustee’s Ann Gee and Dave Ludwig and I will be on-call along with Milan Fire Department if the alarm goes off. Unfortunately, this project did not include a new video door entry system. I am sorry for the confusion and watch for this to be completed. We will keep the capital fund going as there are sure to be more upcoming building improvement needs.
See you Sunday! Pastor Jackie Roe
As I am writing this, delegates to the 2019 United Methodist Special General Conference are beginning to arrive in St. Louis. The conference is in session from February 23 – 26. Please be in prayer as this group decides how we, as a denomination, will move forward regarding same-gender weddings and ordination of people who are gay \ lesbian. You can see last month’s newsletter for more information.
The most complete information is available at the UMC.org website
under General Conference Special Session in the Topics section.
No matter what happens the work of the United Methodist Church ‘to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’ remains as does our vision of ‘Inviting People, Living the Love of Christ.’ I will be attending an all Michigan Conference clergy meeting on Saturday, March 9 where Bishop Bard will be sharing with our conference clergy about the results of this conference and what it means for the church.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. We will have a worship service at 7:00 p.m. as we begin to deepen our understanding of the death and resurrection of Christ. This Lent our worship series is entitled, “The Final Words from the Cross.” Each Sunday we will reflect on one of the seven final statements of Jesus, seeking to understand the meaning of Jesus’ dying words for our lives today.
Watch your next newsletter and future bulletins for information about Holy Week (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) services.
See you Sunday! - Pastor Jackie Roe
P.S. The scriptures for each Sunday are being provided following requests during our study of “A Disciples Path”. There are still a few more sessions of the study and books
What an exciting time we are having here at Marble Memorial United Methodist Church! All of our Ministry Plan* task force/ teams that are to be named are named and meeting!! I am still planning on adding persons to the Worship Design Team. That team currently consists of Carol McCrae, Barb Bachant, Tammy Balk and Mike Williams as well as me. If you would like more information about this team or would be willing to consider serving on it please contact me. The Outreach Team and Name Change Task Force have also started meeting. It will be a while before these groups have anything to report. Watch first for a Community Connections Workshop to be held. The Name Change Task Force is being very intentional about considering our name, what it says and what we want it to say to our community. All groups are in prayer about their area with this one being even more attentive to prayer.
We have noticed with our new ‘Connection Card’ that we are getting more information about our guests! That is a big step in staying in touch with them. They also provide an easier way for all people (including you!) to stay in contact with us. When you turn them in it helps us serve you in the best way we can! Thank you for turning them in!
Many of you stopped by and picked things up from our item give away! These are items the church no longer uses for which we do not know the donor or the donor or family did not want the item. We made reasonable attempts to contact the donor or family.
Our church-wide study on our vision statement and core values begins soon! We have changed the starting date to February 3rd (except for the Sunday school class and the small group that meets at Nagle’s). See elsewhere in this newsletter for specific days and times. Be sure to get your book, “The Disciple’s Path”, soon! It is a daily workbook – 5 days a week. This study will help us live out our vision statement and core values. You will grow closer to Christ as you do this study. I hope you will participate!
This month the United Methodist Church is holding a special ‘General Conference’. Please see elsewhere in this newsletter for a letter from our Bishop about this conference. We, as a United Methodist Church, will be in the news on or before February 26th. I want you to be aware of that. We don’t know what the outcome will be but I do know our United Methodist mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world will continue as will our congregations’ vision of ‘Inviting people, Living the Love of Christ.’ Please pray for our delegates and leadership of this special conference – as well as the leaders of our congregation.
See you Sunday! Pastor Jackie Roe
*Copies of this plan we adopted in May 2018 are available in the office.
The mission of the United Methodist Church, or why the United Methodist Church exists, is ‘to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
When we adopted our ministry plan (available in the church office) in May, one of the things we agreed to do is determine a vision statement and core values. As stated in our ministry plan: “A shared vision creates clarity, calms anxieties, and calls us to align our core values and structure in order to fulfill the outwardly focused mission of the United Methodist Church, “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
With that in mind we had a church wide workshop in September to begin that process. A writing team went to work with the information from that workshop which resulted in Church Council affirming the following vision statement:
“Inviting people, living the love of Christ.
And, As Followers of Jesus, We Seek to Make a Difference in the World through these Core Values:
(This was introduced during worship on November 18th and in last month’s newsletter.)
The next thing our ministry plan calls for us to do with in this area is a worship series and church wide study. These will begin Sunday, January 27th. Like the study that was done last winter with “Who Stole My Church” we will offer groups at various times and days. Please watch weekly bulletins and emails for more specifics about these groups. We will be using the book, “A Disciples Path” for the study. This book is also in preparation for a spiritual growth plan as called for in our ministry plan.
This is an exciting time at Marble Memorial UMC! Have you visited “Cup of Grace” located across from the office for coffee? There are new furnishings as well as good coffee and tea! Have you noticed the new bulletin format? Have you noticed some less ‘clutter’ throughout the building?
Many things that are no longer of use at the church will be made available to members of the congregation January 13 – 27. During these three Sundays and during office hours you can come in to see what is available. Big items can be tagged until you can make arrangements for pick up in a few days. For those items where we know the donor, reasonable efforts to contact the donor or family will have been made to see if they would like the item back.
All of this, and more, to make ourselves more ready for guests who may not know Christ or know the building, so that we can fulfill our mission of making ‘disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’ while being “Inviting people, living the love of Christ.”
See you Sunday! -Pastor Jackie Roe
P.S. Thank you for all the cards, gifts and ways you have remembered me at Christmas. It was all appreciated. You are a great congregation with whom I am blessed to serve.
I am really excited by several things happening at Marble Memorial United Methodist Church. The first two make sure to read about elsewhere in this newsletter: this is my first experience with the ‘Goodie Sale’ and what is happening as we implement our ‘ministry plan’. (If you were in worship Nov. 18th you heard an update including our new vision statement and core values – who we strive to be and how we strive to get there.)
Another thing I am excited about is Advent and Christmas! I have heard about what the building may look like when it is decorated, including new trees. Decorations are important and can help us grow closer to God during this time.
What I am really eager to begin is our Advent study and worship series. It is entitled ‘The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem.” This study and series will help us better understand the events that led to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem while we see more clearly its theological meaning and reflect on the meaning of these events for us.
Our worship series and study is based on the series by the Rev. Adam Hamilton with the following themes each week:
Also available is a daily devotion. They are available now at the church. There are 28 devotions in the book that go with this series. It is suggested you begin on December 1st but whenever you start is good. There is a suggested donation of $9 per book but having one is more important than paying for it!
And … of course there is Christmas Eve! Services will be at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
See you Sunday! … Pastor Jackie Roe
Has anything changed in your lifetime? Have you had a birth in your family? A death? A marriage?
Everyone has at least one of these things happen in their life. Another thing that any adult has seen
change is phones. I am old enough to remember when the phone was on the wall and we had no idea
who was calling until we answered it. Now, I carry I phone in my pocket and may not answer it if I
don’t know who is calling. As much as I may grumble about not being able to get away from the phone,
I really don’t want to go back to a phone on the wall.
Things change over time. That does not mean how things were done previously is bad or wrong, just
different. The phone on the wall was what we knew and we didn’t think anything about getting up to
As we continue to work our ‘ministry plan’, which we as a congregation adopted in May of this year,
several things the church does will change. (See elsewhere in this newsletter for more information
about what is happening with our plan.)
Please remember as these changes occur just because something is changed does not mean it did not
at one time meet the needs of the day. What at one time was ‘current’ and even ‘beautiful’ may not
meet the needs \ desires of people today and may not be ‘beautiful’ any longer.
Please know that I, and I believe others, appreciate the hard work of the many people who have put
many hours into the ministry of the congregation. I appreciate the things that have been purchased
through the years to enhance ministry, including the building, of this congregation. If it had not been
for people giving so much time, and money, our congregation may not be here today. We would no
longer be ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’.
In order to survive and thrive as a congregation who is effectively “making disciples of Jesus Christ …”
we need to make some changes to how we reach those who do not yet know Christ. Mark 2:22 talks
about not putting new wine into old wineskins. We, as a congregation, need to adopt some ‘new
wineskins’ to reach those who do not yet know Christ, or may be looking for a new church home. We
do this so that our congregation will be here for years to come and many more will become disciples
of Jesus Christ and transform our world. Our world does need some things transformed, but that is
Below, you will see a picture of some of the new kitchen pulls and handles at the parsonage. Your
trustees bought and installed them not only to make the kitchen look nicer and make the doors easier
to open but to extend the life of the doors. Likewise, some things at the church will change so that God
‘looks nicer’, is easier to access and who’s message is extended.
See You Sunday!
… Pastor Jackie Roe
Recently I was reminded of our memory verse from our recent worship series “The Power of Words”.
“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so
that your words may give grace to those who hear.” (Isaiah 4:29, New Revised Version of the Bible).
Another verse that came to mind in this incident is “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a, New
International Version of the Bible)
So what made me think of these verses? Recently some ladies from the congregation were at Sharon
and Richard Early’s home working on crafts. I came late, very late, to the gathering (in time for snacks
As the last group of people were leaving I was walking to my car with Karen Bolz. Karen noticed a cat
near a car that was getting ready to back out. In order to make sure the cat was safe, knowing cats
don’t like loud noises, I told the driver, Wanda Kanitz, to honk the horn. She did, because I asked.
Meanwhile, Karen bent down and called the cat – the cat came.
As I reflected on that incident I get upset with myself. That poor cat didn’t need the car to honk to be
safe. In the same amount of time I was rude and loud, scaring the cat, Karen showed ‘love, kindness
and gentleness’ to the cat while making sure it was safe.
It made me think about the times I have done the same with my words. Yes, there have been times
when I have been rude and my words have not ‘shown grace’. Often I realize it only later – like I did
with the cat. I am working on those times becoming fewer and further between.
When discussions get intense, personal and deal with a change I tend to not use words that build
others up. During those times I tend not to show “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” The image of Karen bending down and petting the cat is
one I hope I remember in those times.
I wonder if I am the only one who doesn’t always show those qualities. Dare I write I doubt it? I am
thankful that God forgives me for those times – I hope we forgive each other, even as we are striving
to live with ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and selfcontrol’
and use words that build each other up.
See You Sunday!
… Pastor Jackie Roe
As we head to September it is hard to believe I have been here two months already. In some
ways it feels longer, it some ways it feels shorter. The Vital Church Initiative groups that our
plan calls for to this point have met, at least once, in August. There is excitement and
commitment from those who are serving on these groups. As these groups continue with their
work they may ask others for help. There are still groups to be named which will happen
according to the plan. (There are extra copies available in the office if you need one.)
I hope you have Saturday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to noon reserved on your calendar for our
Day of Visioning. As noted elsewhere in this newsletter, the Rev. Dr. Sherry Parker-Lewis will be
leading us in this very important time together. This day will assist us in clarifying and providing
a more focused vision and pinpoint our core values as we move into the future.
Following that day, according to our plan, I will identify 3 persons to review the work on that day.
They will then write a concise, memorable guiding vision and core values which reflect what we,
as a congregation, want to become.
From there, Church Council will be asked to affirm their work and then it will be shared with the
congregation in many ways, including worship.
I hope as many as possible can be in attendance for this important time in our life. I know some
people already had commitments – thank you for letting me know you can’t make it. It is
impossible to find a day everyone can be present. (I am glad that the University of Michigan
football game isn’t until 3:30 and Michigan State doesn’t play!)
See You Sunday!
… Pastor Jackie Roe
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ! I am excited, honored and humbled to begin serving as pastor at Milan: Marble Memorial UMC! Having been active on the Conference Committee on Youth Ministry while in high school I attended Annual Conference and remember hearing of Milan as a ‘Spotlight Church’ which means you are serious about ministry in Milan as well the world! You have been served by some wonderful pastor’s (The Rev,’s King Hanna, the Goudies, Kristie Sigal and others including, of course most recently Bob Miller). Serving God as a pastor is humbling; being appointed to a church with a rich history of involvement in ministry with such wonderful pastoral leadership is even more humbling – and exciting.
You know how to welcome a pastor! A big thank you to all who brought or had us (my parents were here for several days) over for meals, worked on the beautiful parsonage inside and out, provided answers to my many questions (more will come), offered to take me on a tour of the area, and did, and will do, so many other things to make me feel welcome. You certainly demonstrated radical hospitality!
As you likely know, Marble Memorial is in the midst of not only a pastoral transition but you accepted a new ‘ministry plan’ May 20th! Exciting! Great way to reach new people and enrich each of our relationships with God! Also, scary. I firmly believe God is present through all this change – and always. As I already said, I am excited, humbled and I will admit a little scared, or awed may be a better word, to be a part of this adventure which you have been on for some time.
I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the Vital Church Initiative Consultation event on April 21. Again, you were very welcoming! Many of you introduced yourself to me that day. I have seen some of you since and you have been very gracious in saying your name again. I struggle with names! You can help me with this by saying your name when we met until I call you by name. Feel free to give me a few moments and let me struggle as I try to learn all of your names. Thank you for helping me!