Loosening The Bonds

Loosening The Bonds

Our Scriptures this Sunday are:
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116
Luke 24:13-35
1 Peter 1:17-23

On this third Sunday of Easter, the question that arises is this: Are we being saved from something or are we being saved for something? Today, Pastor Wayne considers that we are saved for something. And that something is to make a difference where we are planted.

Yesterday, Saturday, April 22, 2023, was a watershed day in the life of the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. We met as a called meeting of the Annual Conference to ratify the disaffiliation of 264 churches of the Holston Conference (out of 842 churches at the time) under the guidelines of paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline. Paragraph 2553 expires on December 31, 2023 and applies only to disaffiliation over a philosophical disagreement with the UMC stance on Human Sexuality.

In his sermon, Pastor Wayne describes what is really at stake here. While the 264 disaffiliations equate to 31.4% of the churches in the Holston Annual Conference, the membership loss is only 21% because the bulk of churches leaving The United Methodist Church have memberships less than 100 members.

Regardless, it is a sad day. We grieve the loss of friends and ministry together, but we look forward to what God has in store for us. So we need to be dreaming Jesus sized dreams to determine what is next for us at McFarland. We celebrate our Free Store, our Food Box, and our caring ministries, but what does God have in store for us?

That’s the question that we need to answer in the coming months. We can say that we are too old and too tired for God to use us. But the Scriptures are filled with examples of God using people who considered themselves to be too old and too tired… and making a significant impact where they were.

May we seek what God has in store for us and be open to the ministry that God calls us to.