Greetings in the name of Christ!
It’s July 1st, the beginning of a new month, the turn toward the back half of the year, and a transition into a new sermon series! As we make this transition, I thought it might be helpful to look back on the past six months and then forward to what is coming up in the next few weeks.
We are halfway through our year-long series, “We Are WUMC”, where we’ve been unpacking some of our defining characteristics as a church. We have gone through We Are Light, Love, One, Joy, Family, and—most recently—Inspired. I am especially thankful for our Prayer Team for providing us weekly prompts to guide our prayer lives through this series, and for our amazing experts who joined me this past month to unpack some of the points of intersection between faith and fitness. Next time you see Sandra Organ Solis, Miriam Dunlap, or Chris Ellis in the church or around town, stop them and tell them what a great job they did!
During these last six months, I have been inspired especially by our missions team, who have all made it a priority to reach out in love to those in great need at our southern border. Working alongside Mission: Border Hope, a ministry of our annual conference, we have brought much needed relief in the forms of beds built, clothes donated, and essentials provided to those seeking asylum within our country. The most inspiring part of it for me, though, is not what they have done; it is the way they continue with determination in spite of the overwhelming situation. Please: pray for our team, pray for those directly impacted by the current migrant crisis, and pray God would show you how you are being called to engage in this ministry of love, justice, and peace.
As we look ahead to the month of July, we prepare for the theme of “We Are Courageous”. I’ll confess that it was a happy accident that this word landed on this month, but I am so glad it did! How appropriate it is that this be our theme during the month we celebrate those women and men who bravely bought our freedom as a nation through their words, actions, and very lives! I keep thinking of Dierks Bentley’s song, Home:
Brave: gotta call it brave to chase that dream across the sea
Names: then they signed their names for something they believed
Red: how the blood ran red when we laid our dead in sacred ground
Just think: wonder what they’d think if they could see us now
It’s been a long hard ride got a ways to go
but this is still the place that we all call home
As a country, we are about to remember and celebrate those who set the standard of courage for us as a country, those people who participated in the birth of a new nation. So many since have met and even raised that bar, giving us glimpses not of who we are but of what we could be. And brothers and sisters, our Scriptures set a standard of for us as well regarding courage. So this month, as we join our nation in remembering those giants of our past, we as a church will also be remembering and celebrating some of the courageous individuals of our faith heritage.
My friends, we are courageous, and we are called to meet and raise the bar of bravery set for us by the giants of our faith history. So please, join me as we at Wimberley UMC seek to do just this.