From your pastor…
Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities. Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. (Luke 8: 1-3, NRSV)
Here we are again, journeying into another new year. The good news is that we are alive to see another new year! Many of us are still focused on last year, and specifically, December of last year. December was a magnificent month for both churches in bringing the good news of the kingdom of God through special worship services, Christmas concerts, gifts for the residents of Woldenberg and River Bend nursing homes, caroling, going into the prison, sharing Christmas gifts with children who truly appreciated something special for Christmas, and live nativities where some children portrayed an angel or a shepherd for the first time. Plenty of photo opportunities in telling the Christmas story along with parties, fun, Santa, and more than enough delicious food were enjoyed.
I am filled with joy as I reflect on the places and the people where our churches touched lives in sharing the kingdom of God and the good news of Jesus’ love in November and December, especially. But the journey is never over!! We can’t stop yet. God has called all of us, ordained and laity, men and women, young and old, to keep traveling and telling the good news of God’s salvation in as many ways as we possibly can.
This past year, I have served on the New Orleans District Committee on Ministry. I have the joy of meeting with local pastors and persons who are exploring becoming ordained elders or deacons. I get to hear about the diverse ministries all over the greater New Orleans area that are happening in our United Methodist Church. Most of our churches are engaged and active in reaching out, as Jesus did, to their communities to share love in concrete and tangible ways.
Both churches that I have the privilege of serving as pastor are generous and welcoming to newcomers. I wish I could tell you all of the stories of people as I see lives touched and changed by the grace and power of God. It takes all of us working together to lift up and edify the body of Christ, the church. Please be in prayer as to ways that we can grow and through the Holy Spirit, welcome others into the body of Christ and to be at peace with God. We are so blessed. Yes, we face many challenges, but God is able. Nothing is impossible with God. So, in 2017, the journey continues. Where and how is God calling you to serve this year?
Grace and peace, Rev. Becky