Grace and Peace to you and to all that your lives touch!
Bill and I are so thrilled to be in this place at this time of our lives, in your lives, in the life of this community and the life of our church. We have been overwhelmed by your gracious welcome and generosity. Thank you all who have prepared, prayed and persevered through the changes our itinerate system brings in order to provide pastors with churches and churches with pastors. It is a mysterious partnership of mutual encouragement and guidance, and I look forward to it all.
As we move into our life together, I am hoping to hear from you about your deep hopes for the future of the ministry here. Where do you want to go? What ministry do you feel God is calling us to? In order to answer that we will embark on a discernment process this Fall to identify what our Core Values are and what are our Bed Rock Beliefs. That process will help define ourselves to those looking for a church because they will see who we are. We also will develop a Welcome Statement that reflects our openness to all. These will not be my words, but yours, and so we will be employing opportunities to get as wide an input from our members and friends as possible on all the above in order to arrive at a consensus.
With those three things accomplished we can begin to develop a plan that builds on our identity, our shared values and the beliefs that undergird our work and life in Christ. With that shared vision we can grow this church so that more ministry with more people can bless more people! God has placed us here to bless! You are already doing that. We need to make room for others to join in that ministry, and we do that by telling our community who we are and what we are about. Making it plain so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be heard and felt by all.
We are so pleased to be with you in this ministry. Continue to prepare, pray and persevere, and see what God does with us!
In Christ, who is all in all,
Pastor Linda Farmer-Lewis