“Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds, by means of what are commonly termed par excellence the exact sciences, may then, with the fair white wings of imagination, hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live.”- Ada Lovelace
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
Daylight Savings Time officially ends on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:00 AM. So, when you go to bed on Saturday night, you can “Fall Back” an hour to save daylight and get an extra hour of sleep that you “lost” on March 12, 2017. The idea of saving daylight is not a new idea; it actually was instituted in 1918 when Congress enacted the STANDARD TIME ACT, and the time zones were set and regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
A Strategic Future is ahead for Rome First. By location, tradition and disposition we are ready to serve creatively in a rapidly changing culture. Never in her illustrious history is Rome First more needed than at the present hour. And I am convinced you will rise to the occasion. The “DNA” of Rome First contains strong “markers” for Missional and Social engagement. If you look back in the history of Rome First, you see an amazing record of forward looking Faith that is demonstrated in so many varied ministries and missions that are still vital in the community today. These forward looking Ventures of Faith that, at their inception, required a measure of “corporate” Faith. A “corporate” Faith that allowed the Body of Believers called Rome First, to look and see what others could not see, to listen and hear what others could not hear, to understand the future by remembering the past.
The Eclipse event is over. The next time a solar event of this magnitude will occur in a path across North America will be April 8, 2024 even though it will not be the same path as the one this year. The last solar eclipse that crossed the contiguous United States was in 1979. With all the advancements in science, technology, space exploration, and computer modeling we still marvel at the wonders of creation that were set in motion at the moment this universe came into being. The “universal constant” in the ever changing and constantly evolving nature of living systems is they all have life spans. According to Planetary Science website – “A star like the Sun which is classified Gv2, yellow dwarf, has a life span of about 10 to 12 billion years. The Sun is now @ 4.6 billion years old, which makes the Sun middle aged. Alpha Centuari B is an Orange Dwarf about the same size as our sun, but is a Kv5 Star, has a life span of 15 to 30 billion years.”
The Race continues…
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT) – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Nicknames -Son of Tater –
or A Single Word can change a whole LIFE…
His family was poor. A fire in their small farmhouse destroyed almost everything they owned, and they owned very little. They were able to toss a few belongings out of the door before the flames engulfed the wooden frame structure and quickly reduced it to ashes and memories. They were able to rebuild and start over. He was 9 at the time, the year was 1927 and times were hard. He and his brother, who was 12 at the time of the fire, did what they could to help the family start over. He was nimble of feet and strong for his age. He could plow the mule and hoist a 90 pound sack of feed over his shoulder with ease.
Ephesians 3:16-20 – “I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine,”
Marching forward in Faith - ALL IN to go ALL OUT!
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.” (Matthew 15:34-38) God has given us all we need and more if we each share what we have…it’s in our hands.
the action of revising: the plan needs drastic revision.
• a revised edition or form of something.
“re:Vision” – about Vision – It started while having a meeting at a local coffee house where several staff and lay leadership assembled to ponder the metrics of membership and plot a course forward for ministry and mission. We began with a simple question. “who is not here?” and that question led to a second question, “Why?”
2017 is before us and it holds countless untold opportunities to be the CHURCH! What will God do in 2017? Where will God lead us as faithful followers in the coming 365 days of 2017?
The results of the worship surveys are in and from my review of the comments/input from 94 folks were most informative!
The results from the follow-up survey, sent out to the initial worship survey respondents, yielded interesting results from 31 responders. The follow-up survey had two questions and opportunity for feedback and comments. (Follow-Up Survey) The survey respondents offered valuable feedback and information that has helped to shape and inform the decisions about worship experiences in 2017.
First Light Worship will now be called "Early 30" and be held at 8:30 am. The service will feature some of the familiar liturgy of the Service of Word and Table and Holy Communion each week. The music will be a mixture of hymns and songs from the Faith We Sing.
The Contemporary Worship Experience – “Worship on the Wilder Side” will be held in the Wilder Center at 9:00 AM. The order of worship will reflect a contemplative, modern worship opportunity with the sermon/spoken word and response to the word being placed near the close of the worship experience.
The 11:00 AM Traditional Worship will remain unchanged. However, the order of worship utilized during the advent preview will remain in place. The Sermon and Response to the Word near the close of the worship Order.
Looking forward to seeing you all in worship at Rome First! Whether it is at, Early 30, Worship on the Wilder Side or Traditional Worship - Whether it is in the Historic Sanctuary or the Wilder Center –there is a place for ALL at Rome First.
I pray as this New Year begins you will make worship a priority. There are three options for you to attend each week and the same opportunities for you to invite your friends, neighbors, associates and acquaintances to attend as well!