The Scene with Pastor Gene...
... HAPPY NEW YEAR
The New Year is here and so we take a little time to reflect on the wonderful Advent and Christmas holiday season. I hope that your family had a wonderful time and it is always heartwarming to see us all celebrating this time of the year. The Christmas Cantata musical, "Joy to the World," certainly brought joy to our sanctuary as the Advent Candles brought Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy! Now we turn the page on a new calendar year that brings forth a year full of expectations, prayer, and hope as well.
There were many predictions made for our past year 2017- some came to pass and others were left for pundits to see how the polls could have been so wrong. There were many changes in our world, some good while others could perhaps have been better. I quit making resolutions a few years ago recognizing that most likely I will continue on with my schedule as I did this past year. But of course as we forge ahead into the New Year there will be change or unexpected events in the world.
I was blessed with personal change and a Pastoral Appointment to our Trinity UMC this past July. There is always a challenge and opportunity following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as the new Pastor comes on board. While there were opportunities with our parsonage and sale, that challenge proved to be a blessing as there are now funds available to make the necessary improvements that have been left undone due to budget financial restraints. The sacrament of Holy Communion has been instituted on the first Sunday of the month at the Communion Altar rail and we were able to receive several new members into our Trinity UMC. We are truly blessed as we look forward to the New Year.
This past year a "clergy Cluster," group was formed with Pastors from FUMC, East UMC, Pikes Peak UMC, Wilson UMC, and Trinity UMC. We gather once a month to discuss our challenges and opportunities. We will collectively gather for our Annual Charge Conference on January 22 at FUMC. At that time we will present our Annual Charge Conference reports for your review and approval, all are invited and welcome to attend.
As we forge ahead in the New Year, we are blessed with a better financial position due to reduced expenses and a big "Thank You" for your generous pledges during our Stewardship campaign this past year. Your generous gifts to our Griffith and Round Up organizations, the Adopt a Family Christmas tree, and our Food Pantry enabled your Trinity UMC to make the Holiday season just a little brighter for many this past year in our Westside community. We will continue with those Outreach programs and hope to expand our Outreach to our congregation and community. Our mission continues to reach out in making disciples of Jesus Christ.
As we enter the New Year, we depart from the Gospel of Matthew and enter the Lectionary Year B, which tends to focus on the Gospel of Mark. Many scholars date Mark's written witness of Jesus' ministry in the 60's A.D. The Gospel of Mark was written primarily for a largely Gentile audience in the city of Rome an Mark's focus was on the life of Jesus, His ministry and His passion. While the Gospel of Mark seeks brevity, he seeks to furnish the groundwork for our decision to follow Jesus Christ. I look forward to sharing those lessons with you in the New Year ahead.