I have had the privilege of joining you in your ministry these last two months. Now I look forward to what is to come in the time before us. September and October both have much to which we look forward.
September is the time in which we return to the more traditional schedule. Sunday school begins. Information on that is elsewhere in this issue. Youth activities begin, even as children and youth return to school and life takes on more of a routine than summer has offered. All of these normal transitions bring the worshiping community back together as we share in the Christian story, which also has the routines of the Christian Year.
October, this year, offers an opportunity to challenge ourselves to grow individually and as a church in our ministry possibilities. On October 29th at 2PM at Newton First, we will share our Charge Conference with other churches in an exploration of discipleship. This is a new vision being implemented for the Annual Conference, the Central District, as well as the churches of Mingo and Farrar.
Rather than just process the annual business of the church we will explore a process to enhance our understanding and practice of discipleship. The process we will learn also has potential for helping us explore as individual churches how we can increase our discipleship and our growth in ministry and presence, by guiding us to define what discipleship looks like in our faith community. For that reason it will be helpful for as many as possible to attend this meaning, so that both Mingo and Farrar can begin to explore what enhanced discipleship would look like in our communities.
There is no simple answer to what discipleship will look like for you or I or for our church community. A disciple is, by definition, someone that follows. Discipleship is the process of following. In Christianity we are disciples of Jesus. Discipleship is thus the practice of following Jesus or the process of doing Jesus’s work. In scripture, Jesus said that his disciples would do greater things than he. (John 14:12). The specifics of how that might work out in our lives can vary dependent upon our life story and call. The process we are to learn is one of discernment of Jesus’ specific calling for each person and each congregation.
I think most of us would agree that we can easily get caught in habits and traditions, that while meaningful, over time can lose energy. It is important for the vitality of our individual and church life, to continually examine our life together and the strength of our ministry together. As I begin this ministry with you, look forward to sharing this discernment process with as many of you as will take the opportunity to become stronger disciples for the Gospel of transformation shared with us through Jesus.
-Rev. Dana Wimmer
Click here to read of the September/October Newsletter!