Pastor’s Note – July 18, 2019

Schweitzer UMCPastor's Note

Friends,

I’m in the full swing now of the Listening Tour. We have 19 of these small-group gatherings scheduled over the course of the summer. I’m doing about three per week; I’ve done seven so far. This Listening Tour is proving to be incredibly helpful. If you haven’t signed up and you would like to participate, you can sign up here.

I love being able to sit down in small group gatherings and hear the stories of Schweitzer. I’m hearing how God has moved in the church in the past and what the Holy Spirit is up today. It’s been a rewarding and encouraging experience.

Let me share with you some of what I’m learning so far:

  • I’ve met with both young adults and seniors; some who are brand new to Schweitzer, and others who have been here for decades. Even with all the differences and experiences of the people I’ve heard from I’m already hearing some similar themes emerge. These themes are teaching me that even though we are in a large church with lots of different ministries and worship services, we share a common unity and common desires.
  • I’m hearing a desire for Schweitzer to continue to be a church that is biblically grounded, Holy Spirit-filled, and Christ-centered. There is a desire for us to continue to be a church that reaches people who are not yet here. This is who we’ve been and certainly who we want to be moving forward.
  • I’m hearing stories of personal connections people have made in the church that has provided the glue for them to stay connected through the ups and downs of life. Involvement with one another has been the sticking point for so many people.
  • I’m hearing a desire from all age-groups for Schweitzer to be a church of and for all generations, with a special interest for us to be a church that reaches younger adults.

Last Sunday, I preached my first sermon at Schweitzer. We will continue reading through the book of Philippians as we walk through our Navigating Change series. We’re learning from Paul  how do Christians navigate change? While change is hard, we are also people of the empty tomb. With this resurrection hope, we certainly can approach change not just with the stress normal people feel, but with a joy that God can give us. This week, we’ll talk about how to surrender our expectations and the outcomes of our lives to God. I can’t wait to share this message with you. Like last week, I will be preaching in every service.

I can’t wait to see you Sunday!

Spencer