January 19, 2017, 9:18 AM

January Note from Pastor

We have entered 2017. A new year with new possibilities. It is a time to begin fresh and start new things. My hope this year is that we can see the value in new things. God always wants to start new things with us. Somewhere in our beliefs we have gotten the idea that God finished creating on the sixth day and that everything that will be has already been created. Revelation 21 reminds us that God is making all things new. God is not finished with us. He is definitely not finished with St. Paul’s UMC in Boise City. I believe that God can do something new with us, if we seek His will and see what He is doing in our community. That is one thing that we must realize is that it is God’s work not ours.

As I came to this community and family of faith this past year I noticed that our morale was very low. It seemed that we were stuck in a rut and could find a new path where God could openly work in our lives. That is what I hope we can change this next year. We all need to take part in the new thing that God wants to do this year. First, I hope that everyone is praying. Praying for our church, its members, and the community which we serve is vital to the mission of God. Prayer actually changes things. Pray for the leadership of the church. The church voted this past Charge Conference to move to a simplified governance. We combined the SPRC, Trustee’s, and Finance committees into one Church Governance. Our hope is that the communication breakdown that we experienced with the three separate committees will be mended. With the daily operations being addressed, the Church Governance will also explore the will of God and see how we can best serve Him and His mission in our local area. To help us in this we will be reading a book entitled “Transforming Evangelism: The Wesleyan Way of Sharing Faith” by Henry H. Knight III & F. Douglas Powe. This is a great book that hopefully will guide us by opening us up to how we can share the gospel as a church. I entreat all people to read this book. If you would like a copy, let Kim know and she can order you one. One last thing on the Church Governance. Our meetings our open to all who would like to join us on this journey into discovering the new things God wants to do with us. This Governance is not just a business meeting, but an opportunity to pray and seek God and what He is doing in the world. Please join us on this journey if you would like.

The second thing I would ask from all of you is to reflect upon your priorities. For something new to begin, our priorities must be a concern. Is Christ at the center of your vision, or does He take a back seat to other things? When we reflect upon our priorities this does not strip the importance of our lives. When we put Christ at the center of our vision, we see the other priorities in life through a new lens. Our jobs are important but, how would they look through the lens of Christ? Would they be different? Would you see the people you interact with differently? Am I a different person on Sunday compared to the rest of the week? Reflecting upon your priorities is essential because it makes us take a hard look at the effect Christ has in our lives. This also helps us see where the Church stands in our priorities. The Church is the central outpost for spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is not something we do, but something we are a part of. In our baptism, we are initiated into the Body of Christ or the Church. It is not a country club that we pay dues to and show up when convenient, but an essential part of our lives. Have you taken a role in the Church? This year I am looking for people who want to do new things. As you pray, if God gives you an idea to try, come forward and let’s try it. If we stay in the shadows and fear of life we will never live up to the life God wants us to have and share with others. Take a chance and see what God can do through you this next year.

The last thing I ask is for patience. When new things begin, they take time to see results. We are not looking for a quick fix to our situation. We are not trying to put a band-aid on it. We are trying to return to our first love, Jesus Christ and see what He can do with/through us. We are trying new things. Instead of writing them off or saying they can’t work, let’s have the attitude that with God all things are possible. What works in one place might not work everywhere and vise-versa. Our focus is not getting new members, our focus is to spread the love of Jesus Christ to all people. If we are faithful to this calling, then God will provide the way and the people. We need to stop thinking of the Church as a business and start believing in it as a calling. For this to happen we need patience. We need to try new things to see if they work. If they do work then praise God, if they don’t work then praise God. How can we fail if our focus is on sharing the Love of Christ? Loving people is never a failure for “love never fails” (1 Cor. 13). I have high hopes for this new year. I hope you can share with me in this hope through your prayers, presence, gifts, and service.

Love in Christ through the Holy Spirit

Rev. Rusty L. Husted

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