September has flown by SO QUICKLY! I know that many of you feel the same way with the start of the harvest and what that requires of you. This month in the church has been relatively quiet. But in this time of quiet, we have been prayerfully reflecting on those around us. Our goal as the church is to reach out and take the hand of the unchurched, and the Administrative Board and I have been contemplating what this means for Ransom United Methodist Church.
The truth is that we all know someone who is unchurched. Likewise, that means we all know someone who we want to receive the grace and love of God. And that is truly what the job of the church is. We are to step out and to take those whom we love by the hand and help them settle into the mercy of our Lord.
With that being said, we are starting a new initiative. We want to acknowledge that people who don't go to church usually don't want to go to church. Meaning, they don't want to come and sit through a service. Some have really good reasons, and others simply don't want to. All of that is fine and dandy, but the question then becomes, how then do we get them to experience the love and grace of God?
The answer to that is what some would call "side door" ministries. This refers to the fact that people don't want to come through the front doors of the church. So, what we need to do is offer "side doors" where people can come and experience our church without being expected to come and sit through a service. So, what the board has decided to do is to start planning community events. These are outward focused events that will be hosted by our church for the community to experience our love and grace, hopefully encouraging them to then come experience our service.
So, what I am asking of you is that if you remember any community events that the church might have hosted at one time, we need to know. We would love to do anything that the community will respond to. So, we would love to take any old ideas and refresh them to make them new. So, if you do have an idea, feel free to call the church and leave a voicemail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love for any and all ideas! Please know that we will not be able to fit everything in the calendar. This calendar will be released, hopefully, before the new year begins.
On a totally different note, I am in the process of determining sermon material for the start of the year. I want to know what you all want to hear about. If you have questions about faith or about certain topics that you haven't ever heard much about, please send me these questions. I want to give time to these questions so that everyone can feel heard. I cannot promise that I will be able to address every single question or thought, but I would love to try. You can, once again, send those to email@example.com. For anything that you send to that email, please clearly denote what the message is serving for.
Thank you for the time that you have taken to read this and for any thoughts and ideas that you have for us!
Jonathan Wisdom is the pastor at the United Methodist Church in Ransom, IL.