Once upon a time, before herniated vertebrae discs and pinched nerves, I was a gymnast, rock climber and trail runner. These sports stretched from childhood well into adulthood. As I started each, I loved to just go and take part. Eventually I realized there were new things to learn and new experiences to have. I wanted part of that! So then, began the practice of goal setting. These goals charted a course; new heights were reached, more ground was covered and, quite frankly, I became healthier in body and mind. In fact, I had more fun as I focused my time and energy. I learned the power that comes with stretching toward a goal. And although I sweat and strained for these goals, they were just for me.
How much more power comes with stretching and reaching towards goals established to make the impact Jesus Christ sets before us? If ever there was something towards which to sweat and strain, it would be sharing and taking part of Christ’s work to heal the world. How exciting to be a world changer and life changer as part of Christ’s work. Old Bethel is one of Christ’s communities of life and world changers.
The Apostle Paul talks about our faith journey as a race. He tells us to run to win the prize. He tells us to run with zeal and with a little “fight” in us. He tells us to run and not get discouraged. And he says not to run without a goal; for no good run is without direction. For that goal may cost something of us, but our prize is taking part in the beautiful eternity which Christ is unfolding right now and right before our very eyes. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Hebrews 12:1-3)
This is why this Saturday is so incredibly important. Considering that Old Bethel has reached a majority of the goals set more than four years ago, it is time for us to prepare for the next leg of the race! This Saturday will bring ministry committee members to prayerfully set goals for the next 12-18 months of ministry. Goals will be born from the Hearts & Stories time of listening which took place this summer, and also from the priorities set by the Administrative Council. Committee teams will put these goals in the hands of chairpersons to align them across the life of the church.
You might imagine that we are standing at the starting line of this next part of our race. We are hydrating. We are stretching. We are focusing our eyes on the course ahead of us. Around Easter, the gun will fire and we will run. Together. And we will know exactly where we’re headed for Christ has set the path and guided the goals for this leg. Let us run with passion and excitement. Christ is changing hearts and the world; we get to be part of that!
During Lent we will be doing an all-church study of the book by Phillip Yancey, What's So Amazing About Grace. It will not only be the sermon series, but also short-term discussion groups will meet for only six weeks to enjoy great conversation and reflection about grace, justice, and forgiveness. Purchase the book and sign-up for a small group in the lobby between Sunday worship services. And bring a friend!
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Old Bethel Church family or would like to take the next step in your spiritual journey, come to our next Starting Point sessions, Sundays January 31 & February 7, 12:30-2:30pm. Learn about the vision and values of the Old Bethel faith community and what is unique about United Methodists. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 359-9651 if interested.
Consider serving as a reading mentor at Pleasant Run Elementary School once a week during school term (for 1 hour). Mentors read with or do homework with one student, who is selected for them. Contact Nancy Bellinger at email@example.com.
You are invited to become a Braeburn Apartments Homework Helper. Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year, 3:30-5pm, helpers meet with students in the clubhouse to assist students with reading and homework. Contact Mackenzie Imbro at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Serving Christ Together,