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Monday
Aug262019

Pastor Jan's Corner- September

“OUR” VISION STATEMENT

The Wyomissing Church of the Brethren’s congregational vision statement reads: “The Wyomissing Church of the Brethren will be a loving, accepting community of Christian believers. Together we will encourage and support each other both to grow spiritually through Jesus’ teachings and to actively, personally serve the community, both locally and beyond, so that God’s love is shared through us.”

Image result for fluid

What a great statement of faith

 

and hope! What an energetic

 

mission to show God’s love

 

throughout the world! What a

 

VISION! Communities are  intended to be

 

fluid – that is, “subject to change or

 

movement” (Webster). I see our work and

 

our ministry together within the church

 

community to be moving, unfixed, and actively

 

engaged, as we continue living out our stated

 

vision in following Jesus. May we remember

 

that our role as “believers” is never static,

 

fixed, or immovable as we live out such an

 

important mission. Rather, we are invited

 

to expand and recast the vision, interpreting

 

it for such a time as this. I pray God’s

 

blessing on an ever-changing,

 

ever-responsive approach in our work together.

Monday
Jul292019

Pastor Jan's Corner: August

Things Pastor’s Wish Their Congregation Knew (3of3)  Image result for money clip art

A recent study indicates that both pastors and churchgoers see “financial stewardship” as a vital part of their faith. Yet it remain some of the most difficult topics for pastors and church goers to talk about. Preaching on giving and tithing can feel self-serving or punitive...either way, it is an often avoided topic in Sunday morning worship.

Truth is, there are administrative costs to run a local church. There are internal programs (think children’s Sunday School and music ministry), as well as any number of great outreach projects we commit financial resources to help support (feeding the hungry,disaster response, Church World Service) and many more!

               There is no way around it...ministry costs both time and money. People are being nurtured in their faith; families are being encouraged; lives are changed; the larger community hears andsees visible evidence of the gospel being lived out within and beyond our walls.

God is at work here,and your generous gifts are what makes these and other ministries possible.

Jesus viewed others, not so much in terms of what they were, but in terms of what they would become as a result of loving God with all their heart. Our giving is the deep gratitude we give back to God.

 

Monday
Jun242019

Pastor Jan's Corner: July

Things Pastors Wish Their Congregation Knew (#2 in a short series)

Image result for Spiritual renewalIt should come as no surprise that pastors sometimes find themselves spiritually empty. That is a handicap, not only personally, but when it comes to offering spiritual leadership to others, running on empty is woeful. As with any attempt at staying healthy, good practices need to part of our discipline and routine. I’ll share four ways that I work at renewing my soul:

--Attending at least one annual professional growth event which interests me and hopefully “fuels” me;

--I am a certified “spiritual director”, having trained through Oasis Ministries. In order to offer “direction” to others, I also sit with my own spiritual guide to talk about ways that God is actively at work in my life. Recently I retreated with other spiritual directors from across the denomination as we prayed, worshiped, studied and listened to each other.

-- I read, pray, and network with other ministers. Yes, we share ideas, compare notes, and offer support to each other, especially in difficult times.

-- I attempt to stay physically active and healthy. (This is one that requires deliberate discipline on my part. Oh, those brownies!)

Pastors wish that our congregations might surround us in on-going prayer for renewal and replenishment as we share in ministry together.

                                  Blessings to all of us,

                                  Pastor Jan

 

Saturday
Jun012019

Pastor Jan's Corner

Image result for welcome wreath on front doorAs your “new-ish” pastor, I’d like to say how

humbling it is to be called to serve among you!

May we prayerfully attend to the ministry that is

ours to share in together.

For the next several months, I would like to share 

some things pastors wish their congregations

knew about us, in general. To start things off:

“We won’t always agree on ideas, theology and how to get

things done.”

 I hope that you will find that I respectfully listen to your thoughts and

opinions, just as I trust that you will with me. Together we will explore

scriptures, ideas and ways of moving forward as a congregation. But

what I really want you to know is…“We don’t have to agree for you

to be welcome here!” In fact, imagine a congregation where we

might model living joyfully together because our differences

strengthen and challenge us to think in new ways! May each of us be

great listeners as we “welcome” one another!

                                       With Gratitude, Pastor Jan

 

Tuesday
Apr302019

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. – Psalm 24:1

How do YOU wrestle with this scripture in terms of caring for creation? Image result for recycle

Some simple ideas include:

Recycle; invest in reusable shopping bags;

minimize water consumption; reduce use of paper;

stay off the road/automobiles at least 2 days/week;

turn off lights; use fewer chemicals; buy local goods;

plant trees and so many others!


Image result for nature landscapes   Why?

    Because this world is ours to live in and to share.

    All of God’s creatures live here and we're

   the only ones capable of thinking.

   The earth’s resources are finite…and it is our

responsibility to care for and restore the earth’s resources.

 Will you do your part, however small, to make a positive impact?

                                                                                         --Pastor Jan