May 15, 2017:
The Spirit of/and Saint Paul's UMC
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
How do we define the Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ‘ends of the earth’ for Saint Paul’s – what is God calling us to do in each of these places? We might define these terms geographically, and that would make sense, for Jesus did. Perhaps looking at our immediate neighborhood (Lake Ella), the larger neighborhood (Midtown), then growing progressively larger – Tallahassee, Leon County, Big Bend area, Florida, United States, the world.
Another possibility is to define these terms by relationship – ‘those who are most like me/us’ moving outward to ‘those who are least like me/us.’ This might be a really helpful way of considering this call in Acts 1 – for us to be Christ’s witnesses to those most like us and to those least like us.
This week we are going to focus on this reality. Defining our criteria and looking at two possible population challenges for Saint Paul’s UMC as a church. Let’s begin today with criteria. What standard of measure might we use to decide who is ‘most like’ or ‘most unlike’ ourselves? There are several I can think of …
- Worship preferences
- Faith relationship
- Position on specific topics
- Socio/economic status
What are some others that we might use? What other areas should we consider important to Saint Paul’s UMC and our ministry context?
Join us Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. for our third class of 'The Spirit of/and Saint Paul's UMC. All are welcome to join in the discussion!