The Pastor's Corner - November 2020

The Vision Newsletter: Notes from the Pastor's Desk

All Saints Gather

Do you ever have to count on your fingers to be sure you understand a set of less than ten? I had to do that this morning thinking about where we have been journeying since COVID-19. This month will be nine months since the days in March when the real enormity of this mess set in. I think the challenges of thos months has forced me to finger count. We stopped meeting for a time; we invented all kinds of ways to stay in touch. We soldiered on missing what we had become accustomed to – changing habits – and at the same time being hopeful and afraid.

Maybe we can all agree on one thing: in all of the tumult, God is still stirring and strengthening our faith, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Folk at Somerville First United Methodist Church are imagining a new future to better engage our members and the community of Fayette County. My prayer is that we do all participate in the conversation forming that future.

My uncertainties may be like yours as we consider what may be done. One of the big goals in 2018-2019, as I have heard, was to improve communications within the church. I don’t think any of us would have imagined how hard that would turn out to be. We managed to make improvements, and we for sure made some major adjustments. Online worship, ZOOM meetings, improved e-mail contact, and cautious regathering has provided some contact. By some contact, I mean that about a third of our membership has had a consistent touch point. Our Young Adults, our Youth, our shut-ins, and our regular non-member visitors have found a new orbit, and it is now more distant than before.

Distance is a challenge. But there are encouraging things happening despite the challenges!

We are making a new church directory for the first time in six years! Look for the details of setting a time to get your picture taken in the pages below. If you absolutely cannot be present for a photograph, let us get a picture of you where you are by digital media. Find someone to take your picture on a smart phone (or use one you already have) and send it to the church email ([email protected]), or in a message attachment to 901-456-6655.

Our church website is posting church services, as well as daily and weekly devotionals. Please, please visit the website and explore and get familiar with what is there. If you can’t figure out how to make connections, let us know how we can improve. Our digital communication must improve. We are working on a smart device application to better share information, and hope that will offer communication to and from our members and friends. This newsletter needs improvements too. Tell us what you would like to see, or how you might jump in and help!

We are all facing frustrations that can tie us up in knots of anxiety, anger, and fear. Our frustrations are not ours alone. Let’s get them out! Let’s work them out! Let’s invest ourselves in being authentically, honestly, courageously and faithfully… the saints of this church.

Peace, and Grace when there is not Peace,

Rev. Brent Porterfield