On Sunday, August 1, we are going to return to the sanctuary for indoor worship. This is a big
step towards “normalcy,” as many of our ministries will move indoors…and be less dependent
on the weather!
I am relieved the congregation has weathered the storms of the last 16 months, and
excited to get back to work on so many of our vital community ministries.
However, things will not be exactly the same as they were in March of 2020. Church
leaders have predicted many congregations will be 10-50% smaller than they were before the
pandemic. Our connections with each other and our community will need to be rekindled. And,
over the course of the pandemic, our specific church has been operating at a fraction of our
usual volunteer base – making it increasingly difficult to carry out ministries from worship to
markets to Friday Night Live. This Fall, because we do not know when past volunteers will be
ready to return to previous positions, we are going to need to rebuild a new volunteer base for
each ministry of the church. In short, the church has a lot of work to do. 🙂
Throughout the gospels, Jesus calls people to “follow him”. Christ’s call is immediate and
sacrificial. He calls people to give up traditions, reputations, preconceived notions, self-serving
desires, and apathy, so they can go with him to build God’s Kingdom. On the spot, the people
Christ calls must choose whether they will stay or go. Whether they trust or doubt. Whether they
are OUT or IN.
The last year-and-a-half has been the greatest historical challenge Maize Manor UMC
has ever faced. This August the church is going to begin the process of rebuilding our faith
community and our community ministries; we are going to reckon with the immediacy of the call
to follow Jesus; and, we are going to plan new ministries for a new age. Each Sunday, the
Mission Moment will invite you to sign up for ministries you feel called to participate in. Feel free
to sign up for ministries you have done in the past…or try something new…or stretch yourself
and do both! The only way the church can rebuild our ministries is for the people of the church
to step up and answer the call. It will require sacrifice and commitment. But following Christ has
never been easy. As we transition from the challenges of life in a pandemic to the challenges of
life after a pandemic, the question is not whether Jesus has Kingdom work for us to do. The
only question is: Are you OUT or IN?
Weekly Bible Readings
8/1 ● Mark 1:16-20 – A Community of Welcome (or, Sacrificing Reputations)
8/8 ● Matthew 10:16-25 – A Community of Study (or, Sacrificing Preconceived Notions)
8/15 ● Luke 9:57-62 – A Community of Worship (or, Sacrificing Traditions)
8/22 ● John 13:1-16 – A Community of Service (or, Sacrificing Self-serving Desires)
8/29 ● Acts 1:6-11 – A Community of Witness (or, Sacrificing Apathy)
Join us on Sunday, August 29 to welcome new members as well as celebrate the history and future of the church!
Ryan began his pastoral ministry at Maize Manor United Methodist Church in 2014 after serving at the Church of the Messiah in Westerville, Ohio. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Mariellyn, and five children. Visit the Staff Page to learn more about Pastor Ryan.