“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Dear Friends, Easter time makes me “see” and “dream” of colorful yellow daffodils, bright red tulips, and sparkling white Easter lilies. Of course before we get to enjoy those beautiful spring flowers, there is the hard work of planting the bulbs and waiting through the cold winter. It reminds me of our Church Self-Assessment group process (in January and February).

We can “see” and envision our church sanctuary packed full of joyful people and lively music and worship for Easter Sunday service (April 16), but it takes the hard work of invitation and hospitality. We can “see” families with children and youth, along with single adults, older adults, and all kinds of people connecting with our church family as it grows and we worship and serve Jesus together, but it takes the work of hospitality and fellowship.

We can “see” and experience God’s loving church every Sunday, but we can also “see” that there are many ways to change and grow so we can reach new people and have guests return a second time.

We know we need to “grow” our ministries with children and youth and those seeking Jesus and God’s abundant love.

The Church SelfAssessment process and making needed changes is hard work! We sometimes don’t want to give up what is comfortable for us, but God is calling us to do the hard work of change and be truly open to God’s Spirit and new directions.

This Lent (March 1) through Easter (April 16), please commit to pray for Oxford United Methodist Church and our pastor, leaders and members as we try out changes and try new things in worship services and other places. We aim to trust in God for new insights and advice, and move in God’s direction for our church and community.

We cannot “see” the future for our church and for us, but we know with certainly that God has a purpose and direction for our church to “make disciples of Jesus Christ” and reach new people with Jesus’ gift of salvation and God’s abundant love and care.

Grace and Peace on the Easter journey – Pastor Jennifer