From Our Pastor

A Fond Farewell

Posted 4 May, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

For the past two and a half years, we have been blessed by the musical leadership of Ken McDonald. He has brought great vitality to adult, youth, and children's choirs. He and Marge and have become friends with many; he has created many wonderful memories during his ministry at First UMC.

This Sunday will be Ken and Marge's final Sunday with us. At the 11am service, members of our children's choirs will perform selections from a musical titled "Side by Side." As Ken has especially brought life to the children's choirs, it will be fitting that the music of these children are part of this service of worship. We will also share in the Lord's Supper and share in the witness of perhaps the most beloved passage from our Bible, the 23rd Psalm. A meal and reception honoring Ken and Marge will take place in the fellowship hall following worship. (A search committee formed to find new leadership for our Music Ministries will meet again on Tuesday evening. Keep this committee in your prayers.)

As we have recently held committee meetings regarding issues such as containing church costs, enhancing revenue, and communicating the ministries of First UMC, the plan now is to bring the fruits of these conversations to the next meeting of Church Council. On Thursday, May 18th, recommendations from the steering committee affecting finance, worship, missions, membership, and the Uptown Ministry Center will be presented and discussed. As Council meetings are open to all, you are encouraged to attend, even if you are not a voting member of the Council. The meeting will be at 6pm in the fellowship hall.

As part of the discussions shared in these meetings, everyone has shared, more than once, the desire to see more people attend worship and participate in the ministries of this church. With this in mind, I hope we are finding opportunity to share the ministries of First UMC with others, opportunity to invite others to take part in these ministries. While there is all manner of wonderful media to communicate about First UMC, there is no substitute for personal contact.

I share again the opportunity to take part in the prayer walks of this church as they begin again on June 7th at 10am. This is a basic way by which to step beyond the property of the church and witness to our neighbors of our love of God and of our neighbor. It is a way to let our light shine for the glory of God. It is a way to live our mission in which we worship, welcome, and serve to the glory of God. I hope you will take part in this ministry of prayer.

I hope you will also support the ministry of Maegan Mitchell and the youth of First UMC. The youth group will begin their sales of stock on May 14th as they prepare for a mission trip to Copperhill, Tennessee in July. Along with you, I look forward to hearing our youth speak to us of this upcoming ministry.