“We’re put on earth a little while to learn to bear the beams of love.”
When we first moved to Seguin eleven years ago, we (Southern Baptists – termed lapsed Baptists, I suppose) visited the Seguin First United Methodist Church and have never left. A few weeks/months after visiting, we joined the church and the pastor at that time was Reverend Tom Deviney, who has since transferred to Bethany Methodist Church in Austin, Texas. Now and again I visit Bethany’s website and read Tom’s column in the newsletter. Since Tom left, we have had two pastors (Rev. Dr. Lonnie Phillips and Rev. Steve Purdy) – both of whom bring a special ‘spiritualness’ to the congregation as did Tom and I am most grateful for each of them.
(I know ‘spiritualness’ isn’t a Real Word.)
In Bethany’s July 26, 2009 issue, Tom’s column mentioned the Tour de France and he concludes with
This year I’m cheering for Lance [Armstrong]. It’s a long shot but maybe he’ll win an amazing victory. And maybe I can be inspired to live my faith with the kind of discipline he shows in racing. Because that amazing victory is a sure thing.
Faith. The mystery of faith. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre (professor of literature at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California) believes that the “Word of God is rich, mysterious, invitational, sometimes ambiguous, and ultimately unfathomable.”
Although I have had dry spells – when I don’t particularly feel very ‘worthy,’ I have not had Doubt. These past few weeks as we enjoy our grandsons’ visits, I feel refreshed and renewed spiritually and although I don’t understand this Mystery, I accept it – gratefully and wholeheartedly. So many of our ordinary experiences are infused with mystery.
Professor McEntyre writes that she has struggled, “as many do, with the memories and effects of judgmental, literalistic, legalistic approaches to faith. It took me a long time to recognize in the Gospels the real good news of forgiveness, mercy, grace, freedom, and unimaginable love.”
In scripture, the word “Come” is written over and over again. An invitation. An invitation charged with mystery and surprise.
How marvelous that my grandsons have reawakened these moments in me!
An African saying: “same – same . . . but different” describes us all. In privileges and personalities (and ways of doing things) we may be different, but in aspirations, values, and capabilities, we are the same.
The duality of love and freedom is a natural part of human life for several reasons.
First, we are all the same. We are all brothers and sisters; we are all one.
Second, we are all different. Every person is unique, and each of us has his or her own preferences, thoughts, desires, needs, abilities, and goals.
– Glen Allport
Our differences make us unique and interesting and our similarities unite us and gift us with interesting and unique friends.
I hold the belief that God made us for relationships – first with Him and then with others.
Isn’t this marvelous??!!
Seguin United Methodist Church’s beloved Associate Pastor, Reverend Linda Montgomery, is leaving FUMC to become senior pastor of Schertz First United Methodist Church. We will miss Linda; she has greatly and positively made an impact on our church. As we miss her and pray for her, trite as it may sound: Linda remains here for she is in our hearts.
Linda served as Associate Pastor at FUMC for seven years. She has baptized, performed weddings, given messages at funerals, sat by bedsides in the hospitals . . . the list goes on. We are better for her ministering presence with us the past seven years.
Time magazine article in 1942 – One Foot in Heaven.
Sunday afternoon the church held a Celebration of Linda and we affirmed her positive influence in our church. The church was packed. The food was plentiful. The music (Linda’s favorite tunes) was beautiful. We left the church with full hearts . . . and dare I say: full stomachs.
Linda placed her pastor’s stole on the altar rail in the church sanctuary for the incoming Associate Pastor. She quoted the Elijah and Elisha story with great feeling.
Pastor Ron Welborn is leaving LeFeria Methodist Church to be our Associate Pastor, beginning June 14th. A welcoming reception for the Welborns is in the planning stage.
United Methodist clergy are members of annual conferences, not local churches. As such, clergy are subject to annual appointment to a local charge (one or more local churches) or to other forms of ministry, such as chaplain in the military. Unique to the United Methodist system, all local churches are ensured pastors and all ordained elders in good standing receive appointments. A church is never without a pastor.
An average appointment lasts four years. There is not a limit on how long a clergy person can serve the same church.
United Methodists call this an “itinerant” system because the clergy move from place to place. In some other denominations, congregations “call” (select their own) pastors and may ordain them in the local congregation.
Bishop Will Willimon, of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church says:
United Methodism is distinguished from many other churches in that we practice a “sent ministry.” Our pastors are appointed to churches, not hired or called by churches. We therefore continue the biblical and historic practice of sending pastoral leaders to places where they are most needed for the accomplishment of that congregation’s mission. Our pastors promise to go where they are most needed.