God’s Light on the Hill

 
JANUARY 2017

PASTOR'S LETTER

We have had a wonderful Advent and Christmas celebration... Christmas caroling and delivering gifts to some of our homebound friends, supporting our Daycare with practical needs and scholarship money, supporting children around the world with school supplies, giving books to children on Christmas Eve… just some of the ways you shared the love of Christ!

Each Sunday morning, the voices of Advent challenged us to stay alert and be prepared for the coming of Christ, to return to God so that he can change our hearts and lives, to surrender to God in order to find true joy, to remember that our actions often speak louder than our words, and that holding on to Christ above all else is to experience salvation. He is God’s sermon, the Word made flesh, through whom we have received life, the light that no darkness can ever overcome. With Epiphany Sunday on January 1, the joyful expectation of preparing for the coming of Christ moves into a season of basking in the glow of our Savior. Our memory verse for this month is the classic Epiphany verse from Isaiah 60:1:

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”

Over the next several weeks we will explore “the glory of the Lord” revealed in the baby of Bethlehem. “Who Is Jesus?” is a new sermon series intended to go deeper into some of the many descriptions of this One who changed the world. We begin January 8 with “Son of God,” followed by “Lamb of God,” “Proclaimer of God,” “Teacher of God,” and “Fulfiller of God.”

On January 15, we will pause the sermon series and welcome Rev. Janet Durrwachter to the pulpit. Her message will be the culmination of our Matthew 28 Consultation Weekend. She will share with us several “prescriptions” that will help us be more effective at making disciples. A special Church Conference will be held on February 12 to decide on whether or not to accept the “prescriptions” and begin the process. Between January 15 and February 12, Q & A sessions will be offered in order to help you be fully informed. I believe I speak for the Warriors Mark United Methodist Church Council in saying that we are very excited about the growth this process may produce.

But before all that, let’s begin 2017 by joining the Wise Men in honoring the King! For hundreds of years Methodists have gathered at the beginning of each year to honor God and renew their commitment with the following prayer. I offer you this prayer for your devotions.

A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition (Contemporary Version) I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, Praised for you or criticized for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven. Amen. Robin and I wish to thank the SPRC and congregation for the thoughtful Christmas gift presented to us on December 18 and the many cards and well wishes sent our way. Your love is a reflection of “the glory of the Lord” that has risen upon us and we are grateful to be serving with you!

In the Light of the Savior,

Pastor Eric