September 11, 2019

Grace and peace to you!

         Wow! Just wow. Celebration Sunday was a great time of celebrating all that we are at University United Methodist Church. We welcomed guests and offered hospitality to strangers. We worshiped with our songs and praise to God for the great things being done. We are transformed people moving toward the kingdom of God in our lives at this moment.

            There are so many people to thank and I know I will leave someone out. So here is the big thank you for all who helped in the many details of the event. A huge thanks to Dick Schmidt for underwriting the meal expenses. To Nancy Brown for her leadership with the detailed work the committee executed. To the classes for the donations of gift cards. To the servers who moved the line quickly. To the youth for oversight of the games. To the dunkees willing to get wet in the dunk tank. To the many bakers of desserts. To the people who shared information about the church history and current ministries. To Carol Keeny for the design of the landmark silhouette used on the altar created by Sarah Braet. To Marjory and Bruce Walton for the flowers. And to all of you who enjoyed the time together under the tent. It was a great day!

            We are looking forward to the many ways we can be in ministry to the community and the world. What are places we can step into to make a difference because we are transformed people bringing the light of Christ into darkness? Our Neighbors Every Wednesday night has an ongoing project of making fleece blankets for Wesley Emergency Department. The Sewcial group provides a ministry of making various items for Wesley Medical Center. One of their most popular is seasonal and unique pillowcases for the pediatric department. The young patients can choose between Transformers or Paw Patrol pillowcases. Or maybe a Halloween themed pumpkins and friendly ghosts pillowcases. The KnitWits make prayer shawls and pocket prayers to be given as needed for comfort and outreach. Various individuals make a meal to share at Opportunity Zone to feed the young people who are living on the streets due to complications in their lives. We are living out the command to love our neighbors. Thank you for the many ways you show compassion and caring in the name of Jesus.

            The first session of the Vision Team met on Monday night. Twenty-five people joined in the conversation to face our fears, make our plans and find unity in the process of discernment for ministry at 21st and Yale. The next session will be held September 23 at 6:30 p.m. Please call the office if you need childcare during the meeting. All ages are needed for this conversation of looking forward and dreaming.

            Starting in October we will be changing the format of worship just a bit. The announcements will be moving to the benediction time. Announcements will be the call to go out and serve the world and should have a focus of interest to all who are gathered for worship. A good rule of deciding about making an announcement it is something of interest to most gathered, which would include guests. A gentle reminder to those making announcements to include information about why they are making the announcements. Reminders of committee meetings should be made directly to the committee members via email, notes or phone calls. Research has validated that guests listening to announcement feel it is information for ‘insiders’ of the church and not the whole of the faith community. We can be mindful in the ways we offer hospitality to the guests in our pews.

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Reverend Jo Mead

Rev. Jo Mead has been serving at University UMC since 2014.

Shalom to you.