Please have your children here early for Sunday worship so they can help bring in the palms!
Last night I picke up Nancy from the airport after twelve days in China. After a rough start due to flight issues and living without her luggage for four days, Nancy’s trip turned out very successful and special for her. I am sure she has many memories as the visit included not only Nathan, who is working in Shanghai, but also her two other sons, Cory and Ty, who made the trip as well with their significant others.
I’ve kept very busy and hardly felt like a bachelor as I had four days caring for my grandson Coen with the help of Janae. Kelsey and Matt experienced their first get away without Coen which I believe was much rougher on Mom than Coen. Janae and I kept feeding her pictures from our smart phones, which got her through those four days. Coen is a dream child to care for. At nine months, he is getting close to walking so you do have to keep a constant eye on him because he is very mobile.
This week IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network) has been here with four families seeking to overcome homelessness. One of the families hopes to be in an apartment either this week or next. Thanks to Ric Gasaway and Marge Ohl for again overseeing this vital ministry which has changed so many lives.
Monday night our Administrative Council voted to move forward with an adjustment to our declared vision. We shortened it to make it easier to remember because we have learned; if you can’t remember it, you don’t live it. Research has suggested anything more than eight words becomes too difficult to remember. So here is what we came up with: Offering hope for every hunger in every heart. The first part remains from before and we believe it speaks well to our reputation in the community which comes from our food pantry and community outreach. We like that it suggests we want to be more intentional about meeting the spiritual hungers as well as the physical needs of people. The second part makes absolutely clear that to minister to the whole person, we have to minister to the heart. It also suggests we will be radically inclusive in taking our ministry to every one regardless of race, economic background or lifestyle.
We have been encouraged by the Indiana UM Conference to make plans for some kind of community outreach for Mission Indiana 2015. The week of May 23-30 has been chosen for United Methodists to make an impact all across the state. Our staff is recommending that we work with Indy Urban Acres in the nearby Community Garden which supplies fresh produce to our food pantry and also to encourage the UM Habitat House we will help build. Please put these dates on your calendar as we develop these efforts.
This Sunday I will be on sabbatical and we will be attending church somewhere locally. I’ve been spending my extra time this week reading the book Jesus Is the Question by Martin Copenhaver. I will be sharing a two part series on this book in June. Its premise is that Jesus asked over 300 questions in the Bible and only answered eight. Pastor Matthew will focus on Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and discuss how Jesus’ humility and passion expressed on the Palm Sunday still changes us. In preparation, read Matthew 21:1-11.
Be there Sunday,