“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
- Matthew 5:9 (NIV)
Over the past week, my husband Craig out of nowhere experienced a health crisis that put him in the hospital for five days. Our anxiety was high as we were confronted with our own mortality. And as God would have it, I had just recorded a sermon about how I am assured by the grace and truth of Jesus and his abiding presence even in the most difficult times. This situation tested my words! The good news is that Craig is doing well and recovering. Thank you in advance for your continued prayers.
When we arrived home from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, we saw the horror on TV taking place in Washington, DC. Now we are challenged to recover as a nation. Part of the recovery is asking tough questions of our nation and confessing to the ways our minds and hearts have been conformed to our world. 2020 was a beyond challenging year, and 2021 has not proved to be much better.
So, what do we do now? Jesus calls us to be peacemakers ... a difficult thing that requires action. During Craig’s health crisis, we felt the peace of God through Emmanuel, God with us. And Emmanuel – Jesus – was present in the Body of Christ, His Church. Friends and family close and far supported us each step of the way. Two friends in particular who are physicians walked us through each twist and turn. They were the face of Jesus to us, bringing us God’s peace.
Now we are called to be Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in a very divided and sin-stained nation. We need to recognize the Image of God in every person and celebrate all goodness and speak out against all evil. I am praying for you and your church to take ahold of the opportunities to be Jesus. May the prophetic voice of God give you wisdom and courage to step into these next few days and all of 2021 bringing the Light of Christ into the Darkness. And may God bless you +
Grace and peace ~
FRESH EXPRESSIONS - Be a Part of FX Studio
From Michael Beck with Fresh Expressions FL:
Is your church struggling to connect with new people, in new places, and in new ways? Did you see a decrease in baptisms and "professions of faith" this year?
If so... get together a small team of people and join us in a free Studio!
FX Studios are incubators of collaborative missional mess-making and a community of support for your team as we travel uncharted territories together.
Rev’d. Dr. Michael Moynagh will be leading us through our first Studio gatherings. Dr. Moynagh is a minister in the Church of England and is based at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He has authored many books on the missional church, including our new book The 21st Century Christian: Following Jesus Where Life Happens.
Watch this interview with Dr. Moynagh to learn more about the Studio and what you need to do to get ready! Then register your team for the studio here (if you do not have a team, you’ll be put on a team with others in your district).
The Studio is a yearlong journey, in which your team will meet together two times:
Studio Gathering 1: All teams will meet together to describe where they are in the ‘loving-first cycle,’ learn from each other, and plan out next steps.
Studio Gathering 2: All teams will come back together six months later to again share learnings and collaborate.
In between Studio 1, Studio 2, your team will be supported through: 1. A shared focus 2. The free app, FX: Godsend or the book 21st Century Christian 3. A community of peer learners, 4. Support via social media, and 5. Skype/Zoom-based coaching with the FX team.
Studio 1: Saturday January 30, 2021 l 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).
Studio 2: Saturday July 17, 2021 l 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Beck: firstname.lastname@example.org
Child and Youth Protection Policy Training in the AC District
Join us on Zoom for the Annual Child and Youth Protection Policy Training being offered on:
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
6:30 - 8:00 PM
For more information or to register, please visit the AC District Events and Trainings webpage at https://www.flumc.org/ac-events-and-trainings.
Click here for details and to register.
Atlantic Central District
Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
PO Box 1898 l Melbourne, FL 32902
772-299-0255 l www.flumc.org/atlanticcentral
Rev. Dionne C. Hammond, District Superintendent
Paula McDonald, Senior Administrative Assistant l email@example.com
Marilyn Waldis, Administrative Assistant l firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Kitson, Church Health Advocate