As the Great Fifty Days of Easter wind down, the scriptures begin to focus on the work of the Holy Spirit and the power and the excitement of how the church developed. In those early days just after the resurrection, those who had followed Jesus to the cross begin to see themselves as carrying Jesus's message, to a hungry world, offering healing, hope and a place to belong. In short, they were beginning to become the body of Christ.
The Church Council has been dreaming about the next steps we need to take as a congregation, and on the first Sunday in May, one of Paul’s missionary journeys – the one when he responded to the Spirit’s call in a dream after being stymied at least twice – will serve as the basis for a time of sharing where your leaders feel the church must go in the next year. What an exciting time!
May also brings with it several RUMC Faith Family celebrations. Chief among those celebrations is Pentecost, the birthday of the church, and the Sunday when we celebrate a most precious faith RUMC Faith Family event: Confirmation. On that day we will celebrate eight of our youth who will make their own commitment to a life of discipleship and love for Jesus. This is one of the days that we can really show our love and support for the young people of our Faith Family, and I urge every member of the RUMC Faith Family to be present on that special day to show our love and support for our young people. There will be only one service on May 15, so that the whole RUMC Faith Family can worship and celebrate this important occasion together at 10 a.m. The worship service is designed for the Confirmands and will be quite different from our normal Sunday morning.
Other highlights of the month of May will include the introduction of our vision for a new ministry, celebrating our graduating seniors on May 22nd, and a Singing Our Faith Sunday on May 29th.
Dreams – or, in biblical language, visions – often seem unattainable or at the very least, risky. Yet, when we fail to dream, to reach out into the unknown, to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, we usually get stuck. Consider a few wise words about dreams and visions:
- The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
- Nothing happens unless first we dream. Carl Sandburg
- Where there is no vision, there is no hope. George Washington Carver
- Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
So, in this month of considering the work of the Holy Spirit in our congregational life, I invite you to open your hearts and minds to where God may be leading us – dreaming God-sized dreams and God-planted visions!