Aug 10, 2012

As We Begin Looking Toward Autumn


As we have completed the better part of a long hot summer in Arlington, Texas perhaps it is time to look forward to the fall of 2012. Fall or Autumn is not unlike the launching of new year in that we have a chance to begin anew. One way to begin anew is to look at several questions, the first being: “How is God at work here in our church and among our people?”

God is at work at FUMC of Arlington in the generous spirit of the people. One of the things I am most excited about as a pastor is the number of Bible studies and small groups being formed in the church during the school year of 2012–2013. In addition, each year our Confirmation class continues to grow and superb lay people and clergy-types work to impart our faith to an eager and large group of youngsters. For example, this year we confirmed nearly 50 teenagers. If you have questions about how to help with or sign up to be a part of our studies—or just need information about the classes—contact either Rev. Lancaster or check the church’s newly “born again” website.

Another question we might ask as we begin anew is: “Where have we been faithful to our vision and how can we sustain it?”

One of our visions is to continue to move toward becoming a truly competent and faithful teaching congregation. To that end, we now by most recent count have five (count ‘em—5) seminary students for the upcoming year from both Brite Divinity School at TCU and Perkins School of Theology at SMU. We are a congregation that grasps how to prepare and train people for ministry. It is an exciting prospect to have this kind of faith-responsibility as a mission and as a task. I hope you will seek out our seminary students and pray for them as you encourage them to become faithful and effective pastors.

One way to answer the question “Where is God leading us?” is to recognize that God is directing us to become a hub of lifelong education in Dallas-Tarrant County for not only seminary students, but also pastors and lay folks as well. We, as a church, will continue to offer high quality continuing education events, as our geographical placement in the hub of Dallas/Fort Worth affords us a strategic location to gather people in the Metroplex. Our emphasis of using our spiritual gift of teaching is both an honor and a contribution to the greater church.

We finally come to an all important question: “What is our vision for the church?”

Our vision for FUMC of Arlington is to continue to do the work to strengthen our congregation spiritually and in biblical knowledge for the changes that will surely come to our area of ministry in Arlington over the next few years. With a reported 2 billion dollars and perhaps much more in investment within three radial miles of our church site, the new life we will continue to see offers us many evangelistic opportunities. May our vision keep pace with God’s will for our community and may we be ready when the time is right and ripe for this new growth as we try to do what John Wesley meant when he spoke of “spreading scriptural holiness throughout the land.”

This perhaps can keep us busy until May 2013!

1 comments :

Rita Martin said...

Thank you for bringing vision in front of me. I am thinking that we need to be stronger advocates for the hungry, lonely, needy in our geographical area. I am thinking that we could use the physical facility of FUMC in many more ways. Katrina was one example of extraordinary use of the facility. I am going to pray about this vision for 2013.

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