Current Blog —To My New Family Members

To My New Family Members (and church leaders),

        I had several conversations with church members yesterday that turned into brainstorming sessions.  We talked about fundraiser possibilities.  We discussed ministry opportunities.  It was so enjoyable that I decided to share the fun with you.

        As a quick example, what would you think of providing a prom for home-schooled children?  Charge a fee for a meal and to cover other expenses and we have a fundraiser and reach out into our community at the same time.

        Here’s one that’s not so quick: one of the things I already love about Aldersgate is that you have an outpost mentality.  What do I mean by that?  You see the church building as a place to offer ministry in Jesus name but you aren’t afraid to go beyond the walls to share our Lord’s name either.  Like a fort in the old west, you seem to come to church to recharge and refresh and then walk back out the doors into the frontier to get back to your Christian work and purpose.  It’s a beautiful attitude and incredibly Christ-like!  So, what would you think of building a log cabin on our campus and calling it The Outpost?  It could serve as a youth building, a room could be created as a small chapel with an outside entrance to allow people to pray, and we could design website material and, perhaps, radio advertising, around this whole idea of Aldersgate being an Outpost congregation.  Like I said, a lot of brainstorming took place.

        Here is what I ask of you.  Do you have fundraising ideas?  Send them to me.  Feel free to borrow ideas from other churches.  We’re all on the same team.  Get creative.  Our Finance Committee is always looking for good ideas and I will be sure to pass them on.

        Here is the other thing I ask of you.  Are there ministry opportunities that we are missing?  What are some ministries we could create that will get us out among those who may not have a church or any relationship with Jesus Christ?  Are there ministries we are doing that could be moved into our neighborhoods?  One example would be to offer VBS in people’s backyards.  Neighborhood children would be invited to attend.  Perhaps a 3-day event at first.  We could have three different sites during the summer.  We might share our story and our love with a child who doesn’t know our story.  Wouldn’t that be something wonderful!  The purpose would NOT be to seek out church members.  Our goal would be to teach children our songs and beliefs and to share the love of Jesus.  When we do that, I believe the church will grow with integrity and promise.  It’s simple: make our Christian family a place others want to be because they see who we are and like what they see in us.

        These are just ideas.  What are your ideas?  I would love to hear from you!  I look forward to hearing from you!  As one who is celebrating his one-month anniversary with you, I rejoice to be your pastor and to be in ministry with you.  Share your vision.  Share your ideas.  What is God putting on your heart, in your passions, on your mind?  Listen.  Hear what God is saying.  And get back to me. 

        With great excitement for our future together, Steve

Current Blog — Rosewood School Supplis

ROSEWOOD SCHOOL SUPPLIES

WISH LIST

 

24         Count Crayola Crayons

8 - 10    Count Crayola Markers

12         Count colored pencils

              Glue sticks

              #2 pencils (Ticonderoga suggested)

 Marbled composition notebooks

Plastic pocket folder with brads

Pencil pouch with zipper

Pencil top erasers

150Count wide ruled or college ruled

notebook paper

White copy paper

Dividers - 5 subjects

1 inch or 1 1/2 inch 3 ring binder

Plastic pencil box - full size

Elmer’s Liquid Glue

 

Are You Spreading Seeds?

Have you ever told a friend about a good restaurant experience? Have you ever shared a picture or someone else's post on Facebook? We often ask ourselves, "How Do We Grow Our Church? How Do We Increase Attendance? Or "How Do We Reach More Children and Get Them To Come To Church? If you have been in Church these past two Sundays, you have heard Pastor Steve talk about the Master Gardener, spreading seeds. Did you know that you can "Spread Seeds" as well by simply using Facebook. Let me explain how:

  1. Log into your Facebook Account and in the Search Bar, look for Aldersgate United Methodist Church, and look for the one in Rock Hill. Or you could also type www.facebook.com/aumcrockhill in your browser address bar and hit enter to open the page.
  2. Under the picture of the Church, click the button that says "Follow." From this point going forward, every time a posting is made by the Church, you will then see it on your timeline when you visit your Facebook Page, you don't even have to go to the Church Page often.
  3. When you see a posting on your timeline from Aldersgate, click the "Share" button and all your "Friends" on Facebook will also see that posting on their Timelines.
  4. You may also write a short note when you Share an Item. This would be a great opportunity to ask your friends to attend or to share it themselves so we can reach as many people in the Rock Hill area.


Every time you simply hit the "Share" button, you are doing your part in a small way to Spread God's Seeds. Let the Master Gardener nurture and grow those seeds. Who knows, something as simple as using Facebook, might be part of the answer to all those questions mentioned earlier.


 

An Ugly Bride

To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.  You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.  The bride belongs to the bridegroom.—John 3: 27-29a

        I enjoy weddings.  Weddings are fun.  Love glows on the faces of the bride and groom.  When the moment finally arrives that they are in the church, standing before a minister, they are so hopeful and so happy.  Could you ever imagine walking up to the groom and saying, “Your bride sure is ugly!  She’s just about the ugliest woman I have ever seen!”  What sort of reaction do you think you would receive?  No one would ever say such a thing because, no matter how unattractive someone may personally find a bride, to the groom that bride is wonderful, she’s radiant and she’s beautiful.  To say such a thing is worse than bad manners; it’s plain mean.

        Believe it or not, I have met Christians who think their greatest talent to offer the church is their gift of criticism.  (It is a talent that needs to be buried.)  They will criticize decisions made by the leadership of a church.  They will speak unkindly about a song the choir offered on a Sunday morning.  They are quick to share their thoughts about the weaknesses of a pastor’s sermon, or how the liturgist fumbled through a prayer, or the quality of a lesson shared by a Sunday School teacher.  Never once do they stop to consider that every time they criticize the church they are telling Jesus that his bride is ugly?

        No church is perfect, but we’re working on it, and so is our loving God.  In the meantime, let me tell you why God says we are so beautiful, despite our warts and failings.  God’s church is beautiful because we are devoted to one another and give preference to one another (Romans 12: 10).  God’s church is beautiful because we love one another (Romans 13: 8).  We are beautiful because we refrain from judging one another (Romans 14: 13) and because we instruct one another (Romans 15: 14) and serve one another (Galatians 5: 13).  The beauty of the church, the bride of Christ, shines through when we carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6: 2) and are patient with each other (Ephesians 4: 2) and are kind and forgiving toward one another (Ephesians 4: 32).  God’s church is beautiful because we willingly, even eagerly, stimulate each other to do good works (Hebrews 10: 24) and refuse to slander one another (James 4: 11).  God’s church is beautiful because we extend hospitality to all who walk through our doors and to all we meet when we walk out our doors (1 Peter 4:9).  How beautiful is God’s church, the bride of Christ!  (Now, read this paragraph again beginning each sentence with, “Aldersgate is beautiful because…”)

        Taking pen in hand, an anonymous author wrote, “This is my church.  It is composed of people just like me.  It will be friendly if I am.  It will do a great work if I work.  It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am generous.  It will bring others into its fellowship if I bring them.  Its seats will be filled if I fill them.  It will be a church of loyalty and love, of faith and service, if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these.  Therefore, with God’s help, I dedicate myself to the task of being all these things I want my church to be.”

        Aldersgate, thank you for being all these things you want your church to be.

Steve