A Word From Pastor Laurie - May, 2013 Branch
“Troubled” doesn’t even begin to describe the world that we live in, does it? Terrifying images, from every corner of this earth, stories of pain and suffering caused by other human beings and by the forces of nature, flood our televisions, newspapers, radio and computers every single day. Because of our personal histories, some stories strike closer to home than others, some weeks seem calmer than others, but given our access to communications, none of us is immune from their impact.
And it’s not just the national or world news that haunts us. There are reminders on our doorstep that all is not right in the world -- pain that we, our families, and our neighbors struggle with on a daily basis. Sometimes we can cover up or ignore the brokenness, but if we are sensitive and faithful, life’s difficulties meet us face-to-face, and we who are people of faith are called to respond with honesty, prayer, and compassion. This is what being Easter people -- people of resurrection -- and being Pentecost people -- people empowered by the Holy Spirit -- is all about.
Change the World Weekend is a movement in the United Methodist Church to make our ministry visible and tangible in our broader communities. On May 18 and 19, United Methodist congregations all across the Connection will be taking what they already do well and extending it in visible ways to their neighbors (you can learn more about what other congregations are doing at www.umcom.org/changetheworld. We have chosen that weekend as the launch for our new community garden -- and finding that the date lines up perfectly with other efforts around building sustainable food sources in our county.
“Find out what God is already doing in your community, and go be a part of it” is a mantra I’ve taken up in the past couple of years. I like the humility of this perspective; it’s rather arrogant to think all the good stuff should be born in the Church or come from professionals, right? I also like that this mantra has me focusing on the positive, putting the power of my prayer on what God is doing to overcome evil with good -- in all sorts of places and in all sorts of ways.
I hope you’ll join us on May 18 with your prayers and your presence!
Methodist Church Welcomes new pastor - Article in local paper - www.sonomawest.com
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On Sunday, March 18th, I announced that I will be retiring from pastoral ministry. This is a shock and sadness to many. Please know how grateful I am to have served this congregation these last three years. We have taken on many challenges together in a short time and you are to be commended for your willingness to continue to witness to Christ in the midst of a changing world.
On July 1st, a new pastor will begin serving here, though that person’s identity is not known yet. In this time of transition, it is important to express how this affects you and the church. My door is open to confer, just let me know. The Personnel Committee is intent on helping the congregation negotiate this change as well. Please contact any one of them as you feel called. They are Jean Parnes-526-4471; Bev Ewoldsen-570-1369; Terry Ferguson-836-7952; Michelle George-838-6313; and Jim Markus-837-8571.
May God’s Holy Spirit continue to lift us all as we spread the Gospel love of Jesus.