Yesterday morning in worship it was my pleasure to announce that my appointment to Sand Springs United Methodist Church has been renewed for another year. Linda and I are very happy for this and we are looking forward to continuing our journey together with this congregation. It seems impossible that a year has passed already since we first arrived here and I want to take a minute to reflect on what we’ve seen this past year.
You have shown us wonderful hospitality and helped us to make our home here in Sand Springs; thank you for being so kind to us. It is this sense of hospitality that serves you well in welcoming new people who visit our church and in helping others to know the love of Christ. This is a great asset.
An extension of your hospitality is shown in your love of missions. I am so impressed with the level of concern for others that is shown by this congregation. From monthly adult mission projects last year, to youth mission trips, an upcoming church mission trip, and your commitment to reach out to Lake United Methodist Church, you have proven that you truly care about those who need God’s love the most. You richly deserve the recent award you received from our Annual Conference. Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us and we will always need more participation from our church members to meet their needs. Please consider how you might become involved in the missions of our church. Certainly we need money to fund our missions, but we also need your time, your gifts, and your presence.
We have moved through some difficult times financially this past year with broken air conditioners – another one right now! –You have met the challenges with grace and humor. As long as we remain in our current facility these kinds of high-dollar maintenance issues will come up. It is more and more obvious that our best plan of action is to move forward with the new campus. We must all renew our commitment to this effort and work doubly hard to pay-off our current debt so that we can take the next step. God is doing a new thing and we are partners with him. Our mission is to reach more people, more diverse people, more younger people and to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This work can best be accomplished in a facility that is accessible and welcoming to everyone. Our current facility does not meet this need.
Over the next few months I will be assembling a team of persons to help us craft a vision for how we will move forward and discern God’s will for our church and how we will develop the courage to participate in that plan. God is making a new way for us and we must step out into the wilderness and follow.