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GROW

There are many ways we can GROW: in our faith, as a church, in our maturity, as a community. On this page we’d like to highlight the many ways we grow as a family!  As new events are planned, look here for additional information–we’d love for you to join us!

While all in person services and activities are cancelled, we invite you to join us for a video daily devotion on our Facebook page every Monday-Saturday at noon. A link to each daily video will be posted here later in the afternoon.

Upper Room Devotion

If you are interested in the Upper Room Devotions but can’t make it to the office to pick one up, they are now available online by clicking here.

Take a Breather   

All of our daily devotion videos can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pg/cumcshelby/videos/?ref=page_internal. You do not have to have a FB account to watch these videos.

August 7th:

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Friday, August 7, 2020

Hello everyone! You’re back with me, Savanna, today for our Take a Breather time. Thank you for joining me! I’m in the office today doing some major cleaning and organizing. I’ll be honest, this is not something that I particularly enjoy doing, but this Spring and Summer has afforded me a lot of time to catch up on cleaning, organizing, and just getting rid of some junk that I have let pile up in my office and house. 

While I don’t always enjoy the process of cleaning and rearranging, I have learned that there is almost a 100% guarantee that after I do it, I will feel so much happier and content with my environment. It just feels better to have a clean space!

I have learned in life that it is important to make time to do this same kind of cleaning internally. John 15:1-3 says, 

1Jesus said to his disciples: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. 3You are already clean because of what I have said to you.

These verses have honestly always kind of intimidated me. I don’t like the image of myself being pruned and cut off! That doesn’t sound pleasant. But, I think what this text is getting at is how there are things in us that just don’t jive with being a follower of Christ. We all have those things, whatever they might be specific to us. And we have to make a point to take inventory of those things and get rid of them so we are able to have growth in other areas of our lives.

We can do this by stopping, turning inward, and doing some reflecting. Then, as God reveals the areas of your life that need pruning, and he will, we do the hard heart work of changing our attitudes and our actions. Now, success with this will most likely not come immediately. But with time and continued practice, I bet you will find that those things in your heart that are killing off the beauty and growth that wants to bloom in you, will begin to disappear. 

August 6th:

Listening With Your Heart- Take a Breather

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, August 6, 2020

Today, I want to talk with you for a brief minute about hearing the voice of God and what it means to listen with your heart. Our starting point will be Chapter 10 of John’s Gospel. In this chapter, Jesus is teaching about himself in the role of the Good Shepherd. It is here that we get a glimpse into what it means to hear and follow the voice of God. I will be sharing verses 2-5.

John 10:2-5 2 The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice.”

I don’t know about you, but God doesn’t speak to me with an audible, booming voice, but there are times when I’ve sensed something down deep, almost like a little sound wave that has just been pinged in my soul. It’s something deeper than one of those “I know because I know” things too. Sometimes, I think we can zoom in on the unmistakable tugs of God’s voice because we know other things about His character and nature. For instance, we know God loves us and how right forgiveness feels. We also know some truths about the world, like the love we have in our family and how we’ve always liked rainy days and cheeseburgers, that sort of stuff. From there, we can get a sense of how God has wired us and use a combination of our hearts and His truths to move ourselves in a certain direction.

So rather than spending time wondering why I don’t hear audible voices from above, I just try to listen harder with my heart, and I’ve realized a couple of things that seem kind of obvious now. God doesn’t talk to me in an audible voice because he doesn’t have to. God isn’t a human being; He’s God. That makes sense to me, because human beings are limited and God isn’t limited at all. He can communicate to us in any way He wants to and anytime He wants to.

I haven’t seen a combination of tree limbs that looked like John the Baptist or a cloud formation resembling Jesus. Honestly, they just look like branches and clouds to me. But I do see the beauty in those things and the beauty that’s everywhere, that God made for me and you to pay attention to and see him in. I especially see evidence of God in other people’s lives. What’s beautiful about the people around me always looks an awful lot like God to me. I wonder if the people listening for voices or looking for cloud shapes and writing in the sky miss the whisper of God’s creation, somehow thinking it’s a lesser form of communication, like a text message rather than a whole book.

It could just be me, but in all of the things happening in the world and despite what feels like a lot of obstacles and hurdles to jump through at times, I can almost read His lips inaudibly saying to me, “I love you so much.” If you are not able to hear that now, I hope you can begin to learn to hear and trust that voice too.

Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy;  

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.  

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  

Amen

August 5:

Take a Breather

Who do you know that is THE BRUTE?

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

We just purchased a new hummingbird feeder since I broke our previous one last week.  What has been amazing is to witness one bird in particular stake claim.  Glenn calls him “THE BRUTE.”  Whereas we have normally had 3-4 birds on this particular feeder, THE BRUTE has made it almost impossible for any other bird to come close.  He is the largest hummingbird we have seen and he will simply sit there daring another bird to come close.

I couldn’t help but think about THE BRUTES I have had in my life.  You have probably had a few in your life too… that person that loves to call you out in a group of people, whose opinions are so strong that they are voiced in such a way that you lose your voice.  Often they are people we work with, but sometimes they are family members or so-called friends, or even church members, calling the shots and ignoring anyone else’s inputs.

As I eyed THE BRUTE at watch on his feeder this morning, I couldn’t help but think of the times I have been him.  Recently, I was part of a meeting where incredible work had been done by groups of people to improve a ministry vital to our community.  After the meeting, I became aware of how strongly I had voiced some of my opinions… to the point of silence from the group as the acquiesced to my way of doing things.  To be honest, I simply felt shame, not victory.

Pastor Mark and I love to get into theological debates.  Sometimes they get, shall we say, a little loud.  But the great gift in these conversations is that both of us feel comfortable sharing our thoughts and being heard.  As a matter of fact, I told Mark just this week how honored I felt that he would hear me out… something I have not always had with other elders in the church.  Mark has never pulled the rank card on me.  Instead, we end up agreeing to disagree… and then prepare ourselves for the next conversation.  Why, because we have deep respect and love for each other. 😊

I can’t help but laugh a little as I think of how Jesus never pulled the God Card.  I mean he could have easily been THE BRUTE to all he encountered and ended every debate with “Because I’m God and I said so…”  No, Jesus, listened to others, made his case, and then allowed them to chew on it for a while.  Not once, did he force his agenda on anyone… even when facing death.  And when they did not agree – he loved them anyway.  Jesus may have appeared to lose the argument, but he always won…. Because love wins.

This morning I have been thinking of the words Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding love, in Chapter 13.  And I so appreciate them as translated in the Message.  So today, may Paul’s words be our prayer…

Gracious God, remind us that we may speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but if we don’t love, we are nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  Even if we speak Your  Word with power, revealing all your mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if we have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but we don’t love, we are nothing.  If we give everything we own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as martyrs, but we don’t love, we’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what we say, or believe, or do, we are bankrupt without love.

Teach us, Lord, that Love never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.  Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.  Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel.  Remind us that love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts You always, looking for the best, Never looking back, But keeps going to the end.

May we trust you, our God, in the knowledge that Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. Remind us yet again, that we know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about You is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

But for right now, until that completeness, guide us in the three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: May we trust steadily in You and You alone.  Help us hope unswervingly.  And in all things may we love extravagantly, knowing the best of the three is love.

We pray this in the name of Jesus, the fulfillment of love who taught us to pray…  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

Have a blessed day…  THE BRUTE and I are going to have a little talk, in Christian love, of course!

August 4:

Take a Breather

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Welcome back, friends, to our Tuesday August 4th edition of “Take a Breather”.

I’m Danny Buckner and it’s my privilege to serve as music director for Central Methodist Church in Shelby, NC.

We’ve spent a lot of time as staff of our church looking ahead and making ministry plans…in fact just yesterday, we spent pretty much the entire day together looking at this fall and devising a game plan that we thought we work. Personally, as a church musician, I’ve also spent a lot of time looking back at what has changed…there’s no such thing a large ensemble music making right now. Whether future or past, I imagine we’ve looked at the former with apprehension and questions and the latter with sadness and maybe even anger and frustration. But what about the present…THIS moment…today?

Well, today I read something that hit me squarely between the eyes and it was a wake-up call to say the least! It came from the book I’ve shared before titled “Tattoos on the Heart” written by Gregory Boyle. You can find it on Amazon and I highly recommend it. Mr. Boyle writes…

Leon Dufour, a world-renowned theologian and Scripture scholar, a year before he died at ninety-nine, confided in a Jesuit who was caring for him, “I have written so many books on God, but after that, what do I really know? I think, in the end, God is the person you’re talking to, the one right in front of you.” A mantra I use often, to keep me focused in delight on the person in front of me, comes from an unlikely place. I find it in Jesus’ words to the good thief nailed next to him. He essentially says, “This day…with me…Paradise.” It’s not just a promise of things to come; it is a promise for the here and now…with Him…on this day, in fact…Paradise.

Thich Nhat Hahn writes that “our true home is the present moment, the miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment.” The ancient Desert Fathers, when they were disconsolate and without hope, would repeat one word, over and over, as a kind of soothing mantra. And the word wasn’t “Jesus” or “God” or “Love.” The word was “Today.” It kept them where they needed to be.

I come back from a speaking trip, and Marcos is sitting there in the reception area. Gus at the front desk tells me, “He’s been waiting for ya, for like three days.” Marcos greets me and is brimming with news. “While you were gone-my son was born.”

“Nice goin’, mijo – tell me, when was he born?”

“ON HIS BIRTHDAY!” (Wow, I think, what are the chances of that happening!)

God, right there, today, in the person in front of me, joy beyond holding, beholding this day, Paradise. You delight in what is before you today in Christ. Richard Rolheiser writes that, “the opposite of depression is not happiness, it’s delight.” After all, we breathe the Spirit that delights in our being. We don’t breathe in the Spirit that just sort of puts up with our mess. It’s about delight.

And so, friends, I seek to encourage you this day. There are a lot of things that have changed in all of our pasts and the future is still uncertain. All we have is right now…this present moment…this person that is right in front of you…this “thing” that you have to do right now. Put your focus and attention right there and, who knows, maybe we can find joy and delight in that moment, that person, that “thing” that we’re doing that we hope is the next right step.

Let’s close our time together with the Prayer of Saint Francis…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love

For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

We invite you join us again at noon tomorrow to “Take a Breather” and each day of the week (Monday – Saturday). We also invite you to join us for our “Virtual” worship service each Sunday live on our Facebook page (Central Methodist Church in Shelby NC). We love you and hope you have a great rest-of the day!

August 3:

Take a Breather – Monday, Aug. 3, 2020

Pastor Mark discusses gieving after the loss of a pet.

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Monday, August 3, 2020

Welcome to Take a Breather on this Monday, Aug. 3. I’m Mark Barden, Senior Pastor of Central UMC in Shelby NC with a few thoughts that I hope will inspire you and draw you closer to the presence of God.

Last Friday was a sad day for our household. We had to take our 17-year-old cat, Rosie, to the vet to be put to sleep.  Our son Chris came from Charlotte to hold her during her final moments. As you can imagine, the loss was devastating even though we knew it was the best thing for her since her health had deteriorated so rapidly over the past two months.

Many of you have been through the same experience and know what I’m talking about. Our pets truly become family members. We love them and they love us… often unconditionally. Maybe that is why God blesses us with these creatures… so that we can catch a glimpse of what unconditional love is like. Our pets are God’s precious gifts to us. They can fill a spot in our lives like nothing else can.

As a child I was taught the song: All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful… the Lord God made them all. God made them all… and as the Bible tells us God declared everything God created… good.

One of my favorite hymns is All Creatures of our God and King. Yesterday, Libby played a beautiful arrangement for the prelude. I was so caught up in the excitement that it was All Creatures of our God and King, which continues “lift up your voice and with us sing, O praise ye, Alleluia!” that I forgot it was the prelude and thought it was the first hymn and wondered where the words were when they did not appear on the screen. I was ready to celebrate all creatures praising God, even our pets. Later we sang, For the Beauty of the Earth… again a hymn of grateful praise for all of God’s good creation.

Never let it be said that our pets are merely animals. They are more than that. They are God’s creatures capable of teaching us something of the Divine “for the Lord God made them all!”

Reflecting upon the words of these great hymns caused me to think, “What if we took seriously God’s connection to all of creation and treated all creation as coming from the same God that made you and me?” What if we pondered the interconnection between God and creation that God intended for us human beings to observe in our living? What if we treated all creation as a gift from God? How would that change our living?

Life goes by quickly. Seventeen years is a long life for a cat, but it seems just a short time to us. Yet I am grateful for every one of those years because God’s creature named Rosie gave us a lot of love, entertainment, and companionship… all gifts that originated in our Creator God Almighty.

“Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.”

Let us pray:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace;

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, the truth;

Where there is doubt, the faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant that we may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Hear our prayer in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.

July 30th:

Take a Breather

I just can't seem to get it right today! Can I hear an AMEN???

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 29th:

Take a Breather

"Being One With the Other"

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, July 23, 2020

July 28th:

Take a Breather

How full are you?

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My name is Fawn and I am one of the pastors at Central UMC in Shelby, NC.  We stop every Monday-Saturday at noon to Take a Breather… time focusing on God and knowing that no matter what chaos may be happening in our lives we are not alone.

Do you remember back a few years when the Powerball lottery hit a record high of over 10 million dollars.  It was all the talk amongst, friends, family, coworkers and the news media.  I am not a big lottery person, but it was fun hearing everyone speak of what they would do with that kind of money.   The night before the big drawing I had a dream… yep, WE WON!  But what was really exciting about the dream was that we kept 10% and gave away 90%.  In my dream we had so much fun starting schools, building houses for those in need and sharing our blessing.  Well…. IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN  A SIGN… right?  So we went and bought $5 worth of tickets.  And guess what?  We didn’t get even 1 number!  I had been so sure that God had called us to buy those tickets and be this amazing blessing.  Glenn, in his infinite wisdom told me, “Maybe God just saved us – we probably would have started hedging and saying well we don’t really need to give away 90%… 50 % would be more than 50 million… and really all God asks is for 10%, so that is enough… and before you know it…”

My devotionals the past few days have been talking about generosity.  I really want to be generous, keeping my hands open to share whatever I have.  I know I still have a lot to learn.  And I have a great teacher.

Remember when Jesus fed the 5000?  He took 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes (probably about the size of a sardine) and fed all of them – Mark 6:42-43 says, “Everyone ate until they were full.  They filled 12 baskets with the leftover pieces of bread and fish.”

No one got a Costco sampling – they had a feast!  They ate until they were full – and there were leftovers.  How cool is that!

God doesn’t deal in addition.  God prefers multiplication, making God’s blessings bigger than anything we could ever expect or imagine.

So what are your blessings?  I hope you will think about that today.  How has God been abundantly generous with you?  It is far beyond the stuff around you at this very moment.  God’s generosity exceeds your surroundings.

I pray each of us will take time today (and every day) to give thanks for the abundance in your life.  Today as we pray the Prayer of St Frances consider how God has loved you, pardoned you, given you faith and hope.  How has God shined light on you, brought you joy. , consoled you, understood you and unconditionally loved you?  May we accept generosity with arms open to share with the world.

Let us pray…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life…

We pray all this and the deep prayers of our hearts through Jesus who taught us to pray together Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others.  And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.  Amen.

July 27th:

Take a Breather

"Loaves and Fishes"

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, July 23, 2020

July 25th:

Take a Breather

I am ready for a little fun — how about you???

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Saturday, July 25, 2020

July 24th:

Take a Breather

"Taking Inventory"

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Welcome back, friends, to our Friday July 24th edition of “Take a Breather”.

I hope you’re doing well today. I was drawn to this devotional last week as I was doing some reading. It was actually the title that drew me in… “Taking Inventory”.

A lot of us have been doing just that during this pandemic, haven’t we?…taking inventory…taking time to go through that closet and throw away some things we haven’t used in awhile…or maybe never…if we’re being really honest here! Or maybe you’ve inventoried all the projects you’ve started and never finished around the house and have committed to finishing a few. I know around our farm that list is a pretty long one!

But how about our souls? How long has it been since we’ve taken inventory there? Maybe it’s time for us to take a walk with God down the pathway of our souls and see what we see together?

So…here we go. The devotional below was written by Jane Wright who is a board member of the local Fellowship chapter (the Fellowship btw is an organization for United Methodist church musicians…I am also a member of our Western NC chapter J)

Taking Inventory

Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139:23-24, NRSV)

I have been reading Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. In it, the lives of four women converge in a spiritual journey class meeting six times over three months. The book allows readers to experience those classes with them and know the characters’ struggles and thoughts.

Some serious questions arose each session: Who am I? What do I want? From where have I come? Where am I going? Where am I? Each question gave the reader ample time to search deep within themselves. I am sure we have all read and prayed the words in Psalm 139 countless times, but it is easy to decide to resist when Jesus takes us to a closed door in our hearts.

This time apart may be a good time to take inventory and sit with the same questions. Are you a zealous worker, who barely has a life beyond the church? Are you counseling people, endlessly supporting those around you? Are you working to achieve a high and noble goal? Are you feeling timid about your present circumstances? Are you suffering from burnout? All the more reason to dig deeper and journal your thoughts. If you are asking God to search your heart, be prepared to answer God’s questions openly and honestly, and to listen as well. Sometimes the best intentions are masked by a deep need. Until we visit each room inside our hearts with God, we may never come to experience the joy and freedom that await us.

We are still on the journey. How about taking stock to see if, perhaps, there is a need to drop off a little baggage? Be sure to wear sensible shoes. This journey is involved.

Prayer

Oh God, you know me well. Help me to know myself the way you do. Shine your light in all the darker places, so your deep love can have its way within me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Let’s close our time together with the Prayer of Saint Francis…

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love

For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

We invite you join us again tomorrow to “Take a Breather”. We love you and hope you have a great rest-of the day!

July 23rd:

Posted by Central United Methodist Church Shelby, NC on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Jesus spoke often of the need to get ourselves ready and the need to be prepared for the unexpected. Many of Jesus’ stories circled around the theme of readiness: the parable of the rich fool, the parable of the talents, the parable of the ten virgins. 

He said, “Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ” (Mark 13:33–37 )

Some of you reading this are already in the throes of transition. You are sprinting like mad, desperate to keep up. You may feel like you are Scrambling to find the courage, confidence, and cool head you need to match the blistering pace in the world around you.

Others aren’t in a time of transition (yet)—you are enjoying a season of peace and calm. However, when we began this Take a Breather series what seems like yeeeeeears ago in March, we were all up to our eyeballs in hard change. Whatever state your life is in right now, don’t worry. . .if life in Christ seems boring right now, it rarely stays that way for long!

Jesus calls us to use times of peace as times of preparation. In-between times can be in-process times, opportunities to:

  • Practice spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting, study, and service, that anchor our faith and deepen our convictions.
  • Read and memorize God’s Word, so that our hearts and minds are filled with truth when other untruthful voices start to become too loud.
  • Fill up your faith tank for days when difficulties drain it. Our relationship with God can go so far to sustain us if we let it.
  • Form strong relationships and work to build community with the people God has placed around you.
  • Build a prayer life—an intimacy with God—that can weather tough storms.

There are other countless ways that we can work to be prepared to stand steady in the face of change or difficult times.

Let’s get ready. And let’s use the gift of in-between times in useful ways, preparing ourselves so that when God says, “It’s time,” we can stand up and say, “I’m ready to go.”

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved, as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive,

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Amen.

 

 

Vision Team News

RANKIN HELPS VISION TEAM EXPLORE WHY

Dr. Nancy Rankin met for the second time with our vision team to help explore why we exist as a church. She expanded on our purpose highlighting the core found in Jesus’ Great Commission: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19).

Key Components:

  1. Make Disciples (of all nations)
  2. Baptize (bring into the family of God)
  3. Teach (Jesus’ commandments)

She engaged the group by asking, “What would work to reach today’s families with schedules that are so overloaded? We have to rethink but continue to deliver the essentials to a changing world. Stop and re-orient.”

Nancy continued to stress the vision must direct relationships, program and management in what the church does. “Leave survival up to God. Just be faithful!”

Something to ponder: A Pathway for Discipleship. How is a discipleship pathway different from a church membership pathway?

In preparation for the next meeting, the team was asked to study demographics and projections for Shelby over the next 10 years in the MissionInsite Report.

Vision Team Minutes 8-15-19

Vision Team Minutes 9-19-19

Vision Team Notes 10-10-19

Vision Team Church Sizes