Dear Memorial UMC family,
As they say, New Year, new opportunities, but also a new year brings back the memories and developments of the year that has come to a conclusion.
It gives us the perfect opportunity to meditate and see where we are and where we want to be in a year from now.
As for my family and I had been reflecting on where we were a year ago and where we are now. It is easy to say that my family and I are where we need to be.
I truly believe God has appointed us to you all here in Memorial and we have seen that He has done already – we are ecstatic and thankful!
Many things have remained the same and many others have changed. On the things that have remained the same is our love and commitment to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Also, your generosity and commitment to the mission and vision of the church are also impressive.
Not only on the financials where we have been able to maintain our own budget but also on our goal to paying apportionments (if you are still able to contribute our deadline to pay the remaining Conference apportionments is on January 18th); it is impressive as many other churches are still struggling to do so. Moreover, on your faithfulness not only to be in worship and support the ministries and activities of the church, but also in inviting friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances to join us, it does not go unnoticed, but rather it shows in our numbers and familiar faces.
But, what can we say of the ministries and activities that, with your cooperation and support, we have been able to (re)launch. One can immediately think about having our gorgeous choir up there signing and leading us with a variety of music and hymns; although it has been a while without a choir due to Covid-19 I am glad to see them up there now.
Also having our nursery team coming together and the beautiful service we provide for kids 5 and under is something to ponder. It is relevant to note that all these started due to the efforts of our volunteers to put together the "kids fun day", sometimes out something small great things happen. Also, not only do we have our youth program up and running, but also with fun games and life lessons for them. It is amazing to see all the energy and fun that they have together. Speaking about fun, I love our game nights that we have once a month. They have been a great way to have fun and fellowship and invite people to join us and get to know us better, not to mention to see the competitive spirits and seriousness when it comes to games. The list could go on, with the prayer meetings we have (Mondays at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary), the prayer boxes, the outreaches to the community, the Spaghetti/Lasagna/BBQ dinners, the potluck breakfast/lunch, and so on. The important thing is to remember is that WE are the church and WE can only make the church stronger together.
So if you have not had the chance to join a program, ministry, or activity whether as a volunteer or participant I encourage you that you would do so. It is you (and me!) the ones that make church happen. There might be a ministry that you may be interested but for some reason, you have not come around and joined it, or there is a ministry (or activity) that you would like the church to try it out; my encouragement for you is to do it! I believe that God places a special fire on each of us, and that drive you have to see this or that happening at Memorial is God nudging you to get it started. So if there is an idea or a dream inside you come and see me in the office and let's figure out together how we can get things done according to God's plan and purposes.
Lastly, I want to leave you with this Bible verse that I believe is relevant to us:
Jeremiah 29:11-14: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
God has shown us His goodwill and His mercy over us in these last couple of months and I believe that His plans are good and pleasant for us – we have already experienced them recently. He is giving us a future and hope. We are calling upon Him and He is answering. We have been seeking Him and we have found Him; slowly but surely, He is restoring our fortunes and gathering us together.
So I won't ask you that for this New Year 2022 you will do your part and actively participate in the life and mission of Memorial UMC. Only together we can accomplish all the good plans and will of our Father. Remember, He will accomplish His plans in you if we remain faithful to Him. May God bless you in this New Year 2022 and make His face shine upon you and your loved ones.