What a Defining Weekend

Friends and Fellow Co-Workers,

logo healthy-church-initiativeWe have made it to a defining day after a two-year investment of time and talent given by you to the Healthy Church Initiative. The sacrificial investment of many faithful people culminated today, (March 29) upon hearing our prescriptions read this morning by our Lead HCI Consultant Jim Ozier. What a weekend punctuated by a great Sunday.

CLICK HERE for an electronic copy for you to share with anyone who may have not been able to be present this morning. Yet, the primary reason I write today is to say thanks and express my hope about the days to come. It has been a great ride that has taken us to this day and it promises to be an adventurous road in front of us that we will travel together.Burning the Note

When the consultation team asked what I thought was FUMC, Irving’s primary strength, I replied without a pause, “The unprecedented commitment of the lay people who tirelessly offer themselves to whatever is needed to be the Body of Christ.” I am filled with a sense of humility when I consider how blessed I am to be your pastor. My heartfelt gratitude fuels me each morning when rise, knowing I am privileged to work side by side with you.

My gratitude runs deeper than you can know.  Your loving support throughout these first fours years has allowed us explore new possibilities in ministry and deepened my call to serve. My hope in Christ’s Church has been renewed and reinvigorated by our service together in this great church. I am better person and pastor because of you.

Jim and the TeamSpecifically, I thank the Bishop McKee and the North Texas Conference for your allowing us to invest in the Healthy Church Initiative process. I am grateful to our Healthy Church Consultation team led by Jim Ozier. Gloria, Lilliana, Duane, Debbie and Carol, they were the perfect fit. I add my thankfulness, which many of you have expressed to Marni and Christine and a host of others I am unable to name, who made the logistics of this weekend feel seamless. I’m thankful to partner with those key leaders, (they know their names) who led us through the initial year.

Work has already begun in coordinating the Town Hall meetings. I urge you to choose one of the dates in April, so we might hear what the Spirit wants to say through you. Rev. Camille Gaston will lead our Charge Conference, following the May 3 worship service.   Some work will begin behind the scenes to prepare for some of the expectations in the prescriptions, so we will be ready to go if we vote to accept these recommendations.FullSizeRender

I would love to hear what you think of the prescriptions. I found them to be spot on. I believe they will effectively guide our work for the years to come. They create in me the same feeling I have when I see a new sunset on a new day.Please let me hear from you so we can continue to learn and lead together during this month of discernment.

Thanks be to God for the opportunity to walk along beside you and love each other as Christ loves us.

Getting Healthier,

Russell

HCI Service 3-29-15

Advertisements
Published in: on March 29, 2015 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Power of Simple Deeds

MHH Wide shotWe are privileged to be the host church for a cooperative organization called Many Helping Hands.  A collection of faith communities that weekly share this privilege of serving a meal with some of our friends who don’t currently have homes.  It is a simple thing to do, but it brings with it an explosive profundity when we are paying close attention to what God is doing in the room.

Last night Christine, FUMC, Irving’s Lay leader, was paying attention. She woke up this morning and shared her spirit led impressions.  I want to share them with you.  She writes:

I’m savoring the way God links hearts together that wants to offer a helping hand to persons who could use some good fortunate . Two women showed up to see what Many Helping Hands (MMH) is about. Lana had met Queenie while they were getting a pedicure – Lana never misses an opportunity to speak about the ministry. Queenie has run Fred’s BBQ on Irving Blvd. ‘forever’. Just from that little conversation at a salon, Queenie said ‘I’ll bring some stew and cornbread’ Thursday night. She stayed to serve.MHH Line shot

Hope Fellowship was the host – Lana and Sheila weren’t sure what they could fix – Cindy Guidry at Leather Ministry called to say she had a large dish of chopped brisket – so they decided on sandwiches, salad, and Kroger pies ($2.99) Lana was celebrating her daughter’s birthday – so there was, Queenie, San (a grateful once- on- the- street volunteer who comes every week to help in the kitchen and wash dishes) Marni, and me……..as well as Cece in the kitchen to help. Gary M. and Bill were at the drink table – Paul C. and Rod were ‘security’. Cede knew a little about MHH, but wanted more and promised to visit church in a couple of weeks. Cede jumped in to wash tables. There was a sense of unity that was sweeter than anything I’ve experienced lately.  I was reminded again how it only takes a spark to get a fire going –

 

The afternoon began with Marni and I shopping thrift stores and finding bargains (for the needs list) –  and then to MHH  where we sang You are My Sunshine, led by Mickey, one our friends without a home! One of the items on the needs list is a guitar pick – I have no idea about kinds, etc., but I’m calling Tom U. I’m sure he has lots of different ones to share. Oh for that spark to infuse FUMC  and the entire Body of Christ

MHH kitchen shotI share her story because it is another illustration of the power of a simple act of service.  It can infuse a heart that becomes so infected by it’s joy, others like me are touched by its spirit.  I pray in my sharing it, I have helped to pass the spark on…..

Published in: on March 20, 2015 at 9:59 am  Comments (2)