Saturday, February 28, 2009

Congress on Evangelism 2009

This is a new beginning, an excitement hangs in the air. Mike and I have been on adventures before but this is something more. You can feel it. Six of us answered the call to go to the Congress on Evangelism 2009 for our church, Arlington, UMC, and we all came back so excited to go out and make a difference in our community. I will call this "The Great Adventure" and even though I don't know where it is going right now I want to hang on and see where it is going. We all want to do our part in whatever this is to look like.

We have met together with the goal of deciding on three things that we will concentrate on to begin with. Our criteria is that they be easy enough to do wthout too much help and they can't cost the church anything because it is broke. We made a list of things and then decided on three that we would focus on. They are: a free breakfast to bring the community into our church, bringing welcome bags to new families in our neighborhood, talking to them and praying with them, and we will bring donuts and coffee to local schools during in-service and to the police and fire departments.

That is one of our focuses, the other is to bring the Holy Spirit back into the church to work in the hearts of the people there. There's no need to bring people into the church if they are not becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. To that end we decided that we would write a "Lenten Devotional" which included praying for five people during Lent. We also planned a meaningful Ash Wednesday service where the people would be invited to write on slips of paper things that they wanted to change or repent of, they were tacked to a wooded cross and lit on fire. The fire is quick and doesn't hurt the cross (special paper) and when it is gone, so is all the old junk, (very visual.) We are giving out lunch bags with bottles of grape juice and crackers at the service on Sunday to encourage the people to set aside a time where they can spend a lunch hour consuming communion and spending time in prayer. The Labyrinth, "Prayer Pathway to God," will begin on March 8. There is a CD that guides you through the eleven stations and it lasts one hour. It is a very special, personal, quiet time to be with God in Worship that touches the soul.

We divided the work up so that Mike and Neal would do the breakfasts, Jennifer and I would take the new families in our community, Roger would handle the donuts and coffee and Pastor John would pray and support all of us. The breakfasts start tomorrow morning. Breakfast is from 8:30 - 9:00, then there will be a short lesson and we will invite our guests to stay for the service. People have given just for this, Odom's Tennessee Pride Sausage is supplying the sausage and sausage gravy, and the Manna Sunday School class had a fund raiser. We are all ready and very excited! It is supposed to snow which isn't good but we will wait and see what God does. The fun part of working with God is that we know we can't do it, only He can. We just need to be faithful and put the effort into it. He is such a faithful God and His love is so great for all His people. May we humbly serve Him.