Michael's Musings

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die….
A time to break down, a time to build up….
A time to throw away stones, a time to gather stones together….
A time to keep, a time to cast away….
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Various texts from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.” Author Paulo Coelho

growthWe hear so much about getting into a habit. Some habits can be helpful, like reading, exercise, and regular contact with friends. Some, however, can be exceptionally debilitating, like not taking our medication, a routine that keeps us inactive or sometimes emotional responses that are not thought out or are improperly contextualized. The wonderful thing about change is that it disrupts our routine and forces us to ask questions about what we are doing, how we are doing it and why it is important. And it makes sure our habits are ones that bring life to our community, not stagnancy, or worse yet, a sense of closed or insulated community.

Many changes are coming our way; our Finance Ministry Team is stretching us and asking us to not have random ideas but to actually have goal and vision-oriented ministries. Our Mission Ministry Team has us thinking outside the box on regionalism by preparing to travel across the globe in order to share and care in a tangible way. With Rev. Amy leaving, our SPRC is attempting to figure out how to staff the community for exceptional ministry. The Praise Bands will be working on some new chemistry with some new members over the next few months. Sometimes, changes ask us to reflect upon our level of dedication to the cause and it will always, always measure the depth of our faith.

Along the way, as with any adventure, there will be some bumps, some missteps and some growing! Again, this is the Lord’s way of keeping us moving on the journey of ministry. So, here are some ways we can support the community as it goes through some “resetting":

1) See potential, not simply results. Let us keep our eyes on the dreams of the Lord, not simply what we want. If you are committed to what you want, you will probably be disappointed.

2) Recognize the loss, but also trust that something new will be found. Sadness is appropriate for some of the changes, but where God closes a chapter, a new one begins! Don’t end the story by being stuck in loss.

3) Remember change is not just affecting you; it is affecting all. Yes, your program may need to adapt, but leadership is comparing and prioritizing based upon the many, not just the few. Rise to the challenge; let’s not complain about it. The chance to be creative in problem solving is here!

4) Don’t take it personally, don’t make it personal. We are all trying to envision a new course, and along the way, as I John told us last week, love will be our foundation! SO, pray a lot, love a lot, support each other and we will not just endure, but thrive in the future being forged right before our eyes.

We will be going to a summer schedule in 2015; in June we will be going back to two worship settings: 9:00 a.m. contemporary and 11:00 a.m. traditional. With our snow birds leaving and Rev. Amy heading to her new appointment, it will be time to readjust our settings and get new bearings. But make no mistake, God is far from finished with the people of SHUMC! Together we serve, together we live, together we will face every challenge that is set before us!

I am so thankful for the many, many saints at Shepherd of the Hills!

See you in worship!
Rev. Michael








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