Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Prayer Discipline and Passions

If you haven’t already noticed Pastor Stephanie is back! The staff is excited to have her back and to get back to the routine that was all but absent with summer schedules. Pastor Stephanie has come back with a renewed commitment and energy for ministry with this congregation. You can see and hear it in her sermons, writings, and conversations. This energy has rubbed off on me!

I also have a renewed energy and passion for my ministry with you. This means that the educational and mission ministry ideas are flowing abundantly (sometimes to fast for me to keep up with!). The struggle for me is to discern which of these of ideas will be woven into God’s purpose and plan for this congregation and which will not. In a recent sermon Pastor Stephanie talked about the importance of prayer in the discernment and visioning process. It is important for me to return to a discipline of prayer in my ministry with you. I need to make time during the day to pray for and about the work I am doing. My hope is that through disciplined prayer and discernment I will be able to better serve you. I also hope that this will help to sustain my ministry on those days when I’m tired, worn out, and just do not feel energetic or passionate for the work I’m doing.

That said, I want to tell you what ministries I am feeling passionate about these days. First, I am passionate about our Adult Education theme for 2010-2011, A Year with the Bible. Being in conversation with God’s story, which is also our story, is one of the most important things people of faith can do. Second, I’m passionate about the potential of Small Group Ministry for our congregation. I hope that by providing both short and long term opportunities for groups of people to gather around specific topics, books, or passions; we as a congregation can grow deeper in our love for God so that we may minister more faithfully to one another and to those outside our church family. Third, I am passionate about providing varied types of mission and service opportunities that the entire congregation is encouraged to participate in. This might mean an outing to Feed My Starving Children to fill food bags for the hungry, an outing to Willow River State Park to help them on a project, or an in “house” mission activity. The options for service are endless and I would like your suggestions! What kinds of mission and service opportunities do you want to participate in?
My prayer for this congregation is that the renewed energy, passion, and commitment to the ministries of this congregation that Pastor Stephanie and I have will rub off on you as we begin a new program year!

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