August marks year (7) seven for our shared Journey! Time has brought many changes. Where will the road take us from here?
The month of July is an Anniversary month. I rejoice in being re-appointed to serve as the Lead Pastor for Rome First. This year begins a seventh year of shared ministry. I am thankful for the privilege and joy to serve among the caring, compassionate, innovative and thoughtful people of Rome First. This Year holds much promise and possibility as together we seek to follow God’s Lead and lead others to follow God’s by Loving God, Loving People and Serving the World.
On Sunday, May 19 the Graduating Class of Morehouse College listened to their commencement speaker as he gave their commencement address. I am certain many of the students, parents, faculty and guests that were assembled for the commencement exercises were ready for the playing of Pomp and Circumstance and to head out to their own graduation celebrations.
Growing up my best friend, Billy, was one of seven children in a blended family. He was the oldest of the children. Going over to Billy’s home was an adventure in creative logistics. Not only were there seven children, there was always a cousin who was going through a tough time at home and needed a “safe space” to sort things out or a space to land while trying to launch out into the world on their own. The mix of the household would later come to include “GranMa Klix” (She was the mother to 8 children of her own, so a large noisy gathering was nothing new for her.)
Merriam-Webster.com defines Mindfulness as –“the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis, also: such a state of awareness”
The month of March at Rome First will provide us with some unique opportunities to practice mindfulness and to make a difference in our community and world by participating in March Mission Madness.
Isaiah 65:17- “For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
A New Year, A New Start, A New Way of Thinking, A New Way of Being…The New Year brings many new opportunities for new things, new thoughts, new ideas, new beginnings, just to name a few.
Thank You…Two small words that can make a world of difference in the World. Thanksgiving is one day in the whole year, but isn’t everyday an opportunity for Thanksgiving? Every day is a gift of new beginnings and “fresh starts”. What if you and I began every day with a Thank You to God? What if every day we expressed our gratitude to God for the incalculable blessings that flow from God?
October promises to be a month filled with significant milestones in the life of Rome First. What is a milestone? Milestone: a stone by the side of a road showing the distance in miles to a given place or: an important point in progress or development. The illustrious history of Rome First has positioned us today at a critical juncture for significant growth in ministry and mission to and with the community.
Grace and peace to you in the name of our risen Savior! You are receiving this letter for two reasons- the first is to say thank you for your faithful support of the dreams, mission and ministry and Vision of Rome First. The second is to invite you to make your commitment to “LET’S DO THIS...Buckets of Love” the 2019 ministry funding commitment for Rome First.
As I write this blog/article for the July 2018 Rome First Herald, I rejoice that Bishop Sue Haupert Johnson and the Cabinet of the North Georgia Annual Conference have reappointed me as your Pastor for a sixth year! Denise and I are delighted to be a part of the wonderful welcoming worshipping community of Rome First. So there will be no Pastoral Change this year! Hooray!
In July of 1888 the Sanctuary of Rome First was completed and consecrated. 130 Years as a Beacon of Hope from our location on the hill at the corner of Second Street and Third Avenue. So much has changed in 130 years! And yet the purpose and reason for the existence remain constant - To Glorify God and fulfill the mission of the church. The mission of the church is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
WHEN JESUS FED THE 4,000, the disciples were concerned because they could not see how to meet the needs at hand. Jesus said to them, “How much do you have?” Jesus showed them it was enough. After all were fed, there was an abundance left over. God has given us all we need and more if we each share what we have…and Trust God.
There once was a church who was known for compassion, empathy, and concentrated efforts at making their city a place that was welcoming and inviting to all. A church that sought to turn its focus outward into the community and to “pour themselves” into the people who lived in the city and surrounding area. The members of this church gathered to worship and study together on Sundays and for the other six days of the week volunteered, served and gave of themselves and their resources throughout the whole week to live out their understanding of what it means to be the church. The church enjoyed a long and illustrious history of finding creative solutions to