January 2014

January 2014

Dear Christ UMC Family,

It is the year 2014!!!! Wow!!!! Praise the Lord!!!! Can you believe it? The future is now. We are not quite like the Jetsons with everyone using flying cars and having robots as maids but still the future is now. Since the future is now, we need to act like it. We can act like it by Rethinking Church. The possibility that the church in general will return to her former days is probably unlikely and so it should be in some things. The growing churches of today do not necessarily resemble churches of yesterday. There are new ministries and new ways of and to worship. That is the direction that both Christ UMC and Simpson UMC will need to move toward in order to grow.

Some aspects of the “world” are enthusiastic about the future, so why can't we also be enthusiastic about the future of our church and what God can do? The SyFy (Science Fiction) channel had a theme entitled, “Imagine Greater.” One cell phone company had as their logo, “ Believe in Something Better.” Oprah was even counting some of the blessings of the world with an article called “100 Things that are (actually) Getting Better.” Now if those outside the church, per se, can be enthusiastic, positive and hopeful, how is it that we, the people of God cannot do the same or believe even more? We, who name Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, must believe that God can and will act on our behalf especially as we are faithful to Him. So as to borrow and add to a slogan I heard a few months back from one of my favorite beauty products, “bliss”, let’s get and stay “Revived, Regenerated and Renewed in Jesus” in 2014!!

God has been doing some pretty awesome things here at Christ UMC. We look forward to the future in terms of what other wonderful and awesome things He will continue to do. Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to build up the Kingdom of God in this place and time. May God continue to bless you all.

Please consider coming to the North Coast District United Methodist Church Leadership Academy 2014 on Saturday, February 1, from 8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m., to learn more about leadership roles and church growth. Please see the rest of this newsletter for more detailed information. The theme is “Willing to Risk…Willing to Follow Jesus”. And the question is…Are you? Are you willing to risk and willing to follow Jesus? I hope and pray so. The future of our church and your very lives depend upon it.

Happy New Year to you all!!!

On Jesus we will lean in 2014!!! (I know… kind of corny but I just couldn’t help myself!!!)

Be Encouraged In Christ!!!! and Believe in Something Better....with God!!!!! Pastor

Darlene Robinson

November 2013

"I am grateful for the things that you have done. Yes, I am grateful for the victories we’ve won. I could go on and on and on about your works because I’m grateful, grateful, so grateful just to praise you Lord. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart, it is gratefulness. Grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful! Gratefulness is flowing from my heart. Flowing from my heart are the issues of my heart. It is gratefulness!" These are the lyrics from the song called, "Grateful" by Hezekiah Walker. As we are all hopefully blessed to see yet another Thanksgiving, we need to ask ourselves what issues are flowing from our hearts?

Are we counting our blessings or are we just dwelling on the negatives in our personal, professional and church lives. Are we spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ and all the good news about God’s bountiful blessings or negative gossip? In the midst of challenges that we face in our lives and our church life, it is my hope and prayer that we would continue to focus on and count our blessings. Why? It is because God has been so good to all of us. Yes, there are stumbling blocks along the way but gratefulness should flow from our hearts. Why? It is because we know that even in the midst of the stumbling blocks, God is with us. I hope that you let gratefulness flow from your heart and from the words of your mouth instead of anything else that registers in the realm of negativity.

I am personally grateful and thankful not only to God but to all of you as well. Both churches have experienced major change and restructuring, yet even in this situation many of you have stayed the course and persevered. You have been faithful in your attendance, your giving, your participation, and most importantly, your prayers. God has seen your faithfulness and has heard your prayers. He has blessed both Simpson UMC and Christ UMC and will continue to do so especially as we continue to lift up the name of Jesus inside and outside of the walls of our buildings. I feel like the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the Thessalonians. I will end this letter with this passage of scripture and my deep gratitude not only for my personal family and friends but also to you, my church family and friends.

Second Thessalonians 1:2-4, 11-12 reads like this,

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring. To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Love Ya!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! Please remember our sick and shut-ins!!!!

Be Encouraged In Jesus!!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson