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Friday, January 24, 2020 10:24 AM

Home Gatherings

Friday, January 24, 2020 10:24 AM
Friday, January 24, 2020 10:24 AM

I wanted to give you further information about our Home Gatherings. I wonder if you have some of the following questions:
Who is leading the gatherings?  Rev. Will lauderback and myself
Why are we having these Home gatherings? The answer is simple. At the end of twelve weeks of prayer and discernment, a representative group of congregational members developed a question to help us continue to focus on who we are and who God has called us to be. The intent of these Home Gatherings was primarily to discuss the traveling question that you see below. However, with the news of the new proposal for General Conference it appears the UMC is headed for big changes that some will applaud and others will dislike. After the General Conference in May, the United Methodist Church will be different. Therefore, these Home Gatherings are one of many opportunities you will have to gather more information about the upcoming General Conference, discuss the traveling question, pray together, and offer your thoughts. We are considering having Wednesday evening studies, Sunday school sessions, and gatherings on Sunday afternoons or Wednesday evenings leading up to and after General Conference.

Who can come to these Home Gatherings? Anybody and everybody is welcome . We tried to arrange meetings in different parts of the city. Check the list and sign up with Cindy at [email protected]
What can we expect to happen at these meetings?

One of the clergy persons will offer a devotion and time of prayer
The Clergy will provide information of the proposed plans going to General Conference "

Participants will have opportunities to ask questions.  We will enter into small group conversation to discuss the following question: Since we believe that God loves all people, how do we as the body of Christ share His unconditional love and intentionally develop relationships with our neighbors? We will spend time talking about what it means to develop intentionally deeper relationships with the LGBTQ community and with neighbors of different racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds. This question will help us address the immediate concern before us but this question will also lay groundwork for who we, as FCUMC, desire to be in the future. I believe these Home Gatherings are laying a foundation of hope and vision for us to build upon for the future.

No matter the outcome in May we still have a calling to be light in a world that often feels so dark. May we always remember the mission in these uncertain times is to make Disciples for the transformation of the world.
I also believe I serve with a group of people committed to God, to each other, and to the mission of Christ! One of our most senior members is always saying to me, “This is my church. I’m not going anywhere! ” As we gather, I humbly ask that you continue to be in prayer for the UMC and especially for FCUMC. I also ask that you remember at all times and in all ways you and I are followers of the living Christ who calls us to love one another and be peacemakers.

I leave you with the words of Paul to reflect on and pray over in the following days: Ephesians 4:1-6 – I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
Blessings, Mark

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