Feb 4, 2010

On Being Set Apart

In the midst of our grief and pain over the incredible suffering among the people of Haiti which began almost three and a half weeks ago and will continue for a long time, we are thankful that all the members of our congregation understand the need for compassion. We all know that we cannot do everything, but very few of us can say we cannot do anything. Our generosity toward Haiti and its people is awe-inspiring.

I have had several people seek me out to say a special word of thanks to me for the church’s dedication to missions and outreach. I wish I could take some credit for this but this church has long had a heart for outreach. For example, although some focus has be lessened in our commitment to our sister church in Russia, we nonetheless have a dedicated youth ministry fellowship that is once again collecting blue jeans for our sister church in Svetlaya, Russia. Our youth and their effort were such that every child the church ministers to received a pair of jeans last year. You can help by donating $25 or a new pair of jeans. The youth collections will end this week.

A church of 4900 people—our official end of the year report number—is large enough to have several vital mission projects operating at any given moment. In a most important faith sense this is why “we are in business.” This Sunday we will share a ministry to our older adults in Arlington and how we show them love this coming Valentine’s Day!

In 2009, our church committed to the One Mile Mission, a focus on reaching out to the community within one mile of our church. In 2010, we will “go the second mile” in our mission outreach. Each month, we will focus as an entire church on a project with which everyone can get involved. Look for information about our monthly projects in new and improved (the mini) The Chimes and on our website. Join us as we take our baptism seriously and go the second mile!

PS. Note to those who missed it: to misquote Bob Dylan—“The Chimes, they are a’ changing!” To keep our congregation better informed about the ministries of our church, we will now be publishing on a semi-monthly schedule. In addition, at least for the time being, we will continue to print the large, glossy Chimes on a quarterly basis, near holy-days and other big events. And remember, the national The United Methodist Reporter, is available at the church. It contains news regarding Central Texas Conference and our national church.

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