Reflection - February 6, 2017

By Darren McClellan

published 2/6/2017
Dear Friends,

What a joy it was for me to worship with the good people of First UMC in Evergreen yesterday!  Like many churches in our Baypines District, First UMC is in a small town that struggles to envision a future free from the plight of its current infrastructure and economic conditions.  In light of these concerns how refreshing it was to gather around the words of the prophet Isaiah:

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
Do you know what they call a watered garden whose waters never fail?  EVERGREEN!  In a town where the poverty rate is currently 57%, this is the promise of God. 

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.  (Is. 58:9-12)
Imagine if your church were to hear and receive this last verse as a Word from the Lord.  What impact might it have on our understanding of the mission to the communities in which we live?  What hope could it bring?  Is there anyone in your town (church goer or not) who is not interested in this?  How might we respond together in proclamation, witness, and action?
As a reminder, I encourage all small membership churches that are interested in the Next Steps Ministry with Dr. Victor Dingus to contact the church office this week.  We are making our preparations for the orientation on Feb 19 at 2-4 p.m.  Location is yet to be determined.
Grace to You,