From Our Pastor


Posted 27 April, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

Paula and I returned last Sunday evening from a wonderful week of vacation on the Outer Banks. We thank you for your prayers for safe travels. I also thank Maegan Mitchell for her gifted leadership of worship while I was gone.

I look forward to worshiping with you again this Sunday. I especially look forward to affirming the good news that the resurrection story is not over - this story does not end on Easter Day. The story continues, in touching and powerful fashion, with the account of two travelers meeting Jesus on Easter evening. These travelers are on their way to Emmaus. They encounter Jesus, not knowing this is Jesus. This story, found in Luke 24, is a story in which I believe Luke wishes to give us some "post-Easter" counsel.

Next Sunday, as you know, will be the last Sunday in which we share in ministry with Ken and Marge McDonald. I hope you will share in this time of worship and in the reception to follow the 11am service. As part of the 11am service, there will be special musical selections featuring members of the Children's Choirs and members of the Chancel Choir. I enjoyed being with church staff today as we took Ken and Marge out to lunch and gave them a going away gift. I hope you will also honor Ken and Marge by sharing in this final time of worship with them.

Many in the church are engaging in conversation regarding the desire of the church to be faithful with our finances. I am grateful for these efforts to be proactive in addressing these concerns about a very unbalanced budget. A committee addressing reduction of expenses has already met. A committee to address revenue is to meet this evening; a third committee will meet next week so as to speak to communication of the ministries of FUMC.

I am grateful to the work of all involved in the financial ministries of the church; I trust you share my gratitude. I trust you know as well the issue of pursuing a balanced budget is not an issue about which only a few are to care. This is not an issue we wait for others to "fix." This is a matter impacting all who share in the ministries of this church, a matter impacting the many that are touched by the ministries of this church. As you keep these conversations and these ministries in your prayers, I pray you also find reason to support, joyfully and generously, the many ministries of this church.

As we now live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, this stands as an appropriate time to serve in a more faithful way - by way of our prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service - the God who loves us so much he gave his Son for us.