February 2018, Newsletter
Our son, Will used to ask me if I had all the money in the world what kind of car would I buy? I know he was hoping that I would say Lamborghini, or McLaren or Ferrari, but the reality of his dreams was not going to happen. At my age crawling into any of those sports cars was not going to be easy and then there is the problem of getting out of those cars! But that was not my real fear. My real fear was driving something that could go 0 to 200 miles per hour in the bat of an eye and not kill myself. To answer Will’s question I would pick a car that I love and enjoy driving and that was my Traverse only newer and with a few more bells and whistles. Needless to say, Will was definitely disappointed with his dad.
Let me ask you this if the Oakland United Methodist Church no longer existed and you now had the opportunity to go to any church of your choice where would you go? Would you be like Will and find a place that was very fast as in they would have the praise band, praise singers, audio visuals that appealed to all our senses, and had a young charismatic preacher? Or would you be like me and pick something that you know and love and would be searching for what you had in a church, but with a few more bells and whistles? We call that blended; a little bit of the old mixed in with a little bit of the new? Some of you may decide on something totally different as in an orthodox, high church service or some of you may like a Pentecostal charismatic service. There is lots of choices out there and I do know that as a fact as the town I grew up in had forty-one different churches.
We just had our vision meeting for 2018. We talked about a lot stuff that is relevant to our church life. We talked about missions, Sunday school and youth programs, and finally we talked about worship. A lot of great ideas and conversation by everyone. However, towards the end of the conversation someone held up a piece of paper that were the notes of your vision meeting you had five years ago! The point that was being made was the conversation we just had was the same conversation you had five years ago. That’s when it hit me that people can only see what they know what to see. Sometimes we all need to look at what is beyond the horizon. What are the endless possibilities of church with a God whose possibilities are endless?
To find out the answer to that question I want to recall the prayer group that was started earlier this year. The second thing that I want to do is start an adult Bible sturdy. The third thing I want to do is to do better at building relationships in our community. The fourth thing I want to do is build leadership that will lead and delegate others. And the last thing on my little bucket list is to allow you to have the opportunity to have the same blessings I get by being faithful to my Lord and Savior.
Who knows! Maybe sometime soon there may be an alternative worship service at Oakland UMC for those who love Lamborghinis, or McLarens or Ferraris, but keeping our worship service for those who like Traverse’s or any other kind of car? Who knows with prayer what will transpire for our youth in the future and what programs we will offer them. But about the time we think we got it going in the right direction something new will come along. Since I have used cars as a metaphor let me continue by asking you have you ever seen a rat rod?
I know pigeon holing people according to the make and model of the car we drive is wrong as when we tag people we also negate them. So, grant me grace to finish my metaphor and ask you to go online and look at a rat rod. Then ask yourself what kind of worship or outreach we could do to reach people who build and drive rat rods? Remember John Wesley’s saying, “the world is our parish.”
See you Sunday!