Notes from Brother Jay

It's Not Just What We Say

      How does a person define him or herself?  Are we “what we do,” as in our occupations?  Are we “male or female?”  Am I defined by my role as “husband,” or Kathy as “wife?”  Do you identify with where you reside, “Irwin County,” or “Southern?”  In the world we live in there seems to be quite a lot of confusion about some of this.  

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El Salvador, Here We Come!

     Kathy and I have been invited to serve with a mission team in El Salvador from Saturday, June 2 through the following Saturday, June 9.  Rev. Chris Calhoun, pastor of St. Mark’s and West Green UMCs in Douglas will lead again this year. The mission includes helping to build a church, Vacation Bible School, and local food distribution, among other projects.  
     We are excited!  Kathy mentioned her desire to go a while back and we sought the right team for her first trip.  I have participated in Mexico and several others all over Central America.  Chris, along with others from the Douglas area, began going to El Salvador many years ago through the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM).  An American Missionary lives in El Salvador and coordinates the trip down there.

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A Strong Church

      What does it mean to have a strong church?  Would good attendance be an indicator?  How about a large Sunday School?  Great Music program?  Or perhaps, lots of new faces with many finding a home?  Financial stability and outward generosity?  Lots of children and youth? Everything in this list is good.  No one would argue with having any of these!  But something seems missing, doesn’t it?  
       What about spiritual things?  We can assume the church is filled with spiritual people doing spiritual things, when in fact the assumption is weak.  Buildings can be full of activity without anyone ever giving a moment’s notice to Christ.  Even in community outreach to the poor and marginalized, the generosity often lacks any hint of invitation to join our fellowship.  Much of what we do isn’t acknowledged in the Name of Christ or, strictly speaking, clearly given in His love.  It is left to those receiving it to answer the question, “Why are these people helping us?”
   

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Epworth Events

 

WINTER CONFERENCE
January 28-31, 2018

St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival
February 17-19, 2018

www.epworthbythesea.org

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