Dear CUMC family,
I pray you are safely digging out from another winter storm. As I write, I am Salem NH, readying for a couple of meetings tomorrow before heading back to Maine. The other thing I’ve been doing this week is walking lots of miles (fortunately, here in NH it means I get to use our treadmill inside!) Here’s why:
This year I and group of pastors from across the country have come together to create a Facebook group where we’ve challenged each other to walk/run the equivalent of the Appalachian Trail, approximately 2,190 miles. That translates to about 6 miles, or 12,000 steps a day. So far I’m on track, but I know there will be days where it won’t be so easy. I know it will be a serious challenge to reach the goal. The other benefit to completing this challenge is that the time walking gives me time to listen to books, podcasts and other things to help me grow spiritually. This is much more than a new year’s resolution – this is an intentional plan for growth.
As you begin 2018, what goals and challenges are you setting for yourself? How are you planning your spiritual growth? Early in February, the leadership team will be doing the same for CUMC – setting goals for the congregation to help us live more fully into our vision and mission as a congregation. Let us join together in planning to grow, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and as a church, trusting the work of the Spirit to take us to new places in new ways.
Here’s what else is going on at CUMC:
1. January Sermon Series: This weekend we start a new series called “got questions?” This series is designed especially to connect with non-religious and nominally religious people who may have questions about God, faith and it’s relevancy to life today. At church you’ll find postcards you can use to invite friends, neighbors and relatives to join us for this important conversation. I bet you know someone who has questions like this. This would be a great time to invite them – consider sending them one of the postcards, or share this link to a video highlighting some of the questions we’ll consider: https://vimeo.com/247358696.
2. Testimony: Stories have power like nothing else. It’s especially meaningful when we hear from others how God is working in their lives. It’s also powerful to hear stories of faith when God feels absent. (You might be interested in reading the biography of Mother Teresa for a powerful example. She was sure God was against her!!) If you have a story to share, please let me know and we will incorporate it into our time of prayer during worship. It might be something simple, like a small whisper where you knew God was present, or it might be something like a healing experience, or something else. I look forward to hearing from you!
3. Find us and like us on Facebook! Continue to spread the good news of the exciting things at CUMC through social media. You can find the page at fb.me/centenaryfaith
4. Connect to the website: Our website is www.centenaryfaith.org, and other way to keep connected to what’s happening. In addition, on most weekends, the audio of the weekly message and Grow-Pray-Study guide are available for download. Currently we have people listening in from all over the country, including our own neighborhood.
Grace and peace