“We are constantly praying for you for this: that our God will make you worthy of his calling and accomplish every good desire and faithful work by his power.”
(2 Thessalonians 1:11, CEB)
On October 17, the Ann Arbor District (of which our church belongs) will be holding its Annual District Meeting for 2016. It is similar to Annual Charge Conference, which is our meeting with the District Superintendent at the local church level, but focuses its business and topics around the connection of all United Methodist churches in this district. Please let me know if you are interested in attending. It begins at 6:30pm with everyone joining in a meal together, with the actual business meeting immediately following.
But my real reason for mentioning this meeting revolves around an assignment each church was given to submit 3-4 pictures of it doing ministry in its community. Admittedly, I really tried to closely follow the directions but in the end felt compelled to send in 5 pictures. We included pictures of our work in Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, and Youth Service Project. These pictures will be compiled into a District presentation to be unveiled at the Oct 17 meeting, and will then be used to introduce our District to our new Michigan area Bishop, the Rev. David Bard.
I have to admit also that I felt good sending in these pictures. They showed tangible good desire and faithful work on the part of our congregation to answer God’s call to be a living presence of Christ in our world. While this particular request for pictures was aimed at showing that living presence in the parts of our world that reach out beyond the property lines of our churches, we could have readily included additional pictures of the faithful work that takes place right here at Marble, proper, i.e., Vacation Bible School, our prayer ministries, studies and classes, United Methodist Women, our active financial support of numerous missions, and the love-in-action offered at times of personal difficulty and need, just to name a few.
It did feel good to send in those pictures, I think particularly because it feels good to be in ministry with one another, especially here at Marble UMC. As well, it feels good to partner in ministry with our sister UMC churches here in the Ann Arbor District, and our fellow churches of all denominations here in the Milan community. It is a feeling that comes from God’s work within us, continually transforming us to be tangible vessels of God’s calling, that God may work through us to “accomplish every good desire and faithful work by his power.”
While it feels good sending in such pictures, it feels even better listening, discerning, and somehow being a part of making such pictures possible, and doing so with one another. I look forward to our continued journey together doing just that … not so much for the sake of pictures, but for the sake of working in the living power of Jesus Christ in our world.
May you continually know of God’s presence, leading, and blessing in your life …Pastor Bob