105 Franklin St, South Hill, Virginia

Summer Breath

South Hill United Methodist Church

Summer Breath

Whew!  Summer is here.  Despite the warm weather, vacations, and everything else, we have all sorts of happenings going on. Check the calendar regularly so that you don’t miss something! You may have noticed the new parking lot, new sanctuary roof, and the beginning of renovations inside the sanctuary. We are busy! These improvements are all happening so that, going forward, we can focus our energy on the mission at hand around us. Taking care of details gives an unspoken message that we care about what we have been given and allows us to host and sponsor so many activities and community programs with pride.

This year, we have an opportunity to reflect on the recently ended session of General Conference, which meets every four years to set official policy for the entire global denomination.  It is truly amazing what we accomplish together as a global church.  Lives are truly being reached in the name of Christ! There were many proposals discussed and proposed. Some highlights:

  • Inspiring worship from a wide variety of traditions
  • A new hymnal is finally underway.
  • 29 missionaries were commissioned.
  • Annual Conferences were urged to schedule being mindful of school schedules to encourage younger participation
  • Resolutions were passed on a wide range of global justice issues.
  • One of the most dramatic moments was when the delegates overwhelmingly called upon the Council of Bishops to provide clear leadership amid the growing polarization found in the discussions on the floor. This unprecedented action was humbly accepted by the Council. The proposal that came back to the General Conference was guidance steeped in prayer and Scripture and clearly favored unity over division. Our bishops have come together amidst disagreement to lead. While the proposal does not resolve the differences, it does create a special commission to comprehensively look at the language in the Book of Discipline regarding marriage and sexuality in order to present a consistent stance, to be voted upon by either the next scheduled General Conference, or a special called one if necessary.

As a pastor, I am encouraged by the poise and leadership put forward by the Council of Bishops and our own Virginia delegation. From what I saw happen, hope is alive and well. Ministry together continues.

And ministry continues here, in South Hill, as well. As I reflect on our first year together (yes, it’s here already), I am amazed at how much we do. I know I haven’t seen everything this church and its members are involved in, but I have seen enough to be very proud and excited to be associated with it. Everywhere I go, people are saying such wonderful things about the ministry of SHUMC and its members. You make me proud. I look forward to our next year (and hopefully many more) together as we improve on what we already do well and reach out in new ways into our community. Together, we can be a positive force for hope and change in our town. God gives hope, and we should reflect it in all that we do. As we do this better and better together, let us draw from God’s strength, from the strength of each other, and from our shared vision of a better world full of those who live life to the full potential God sees in each one of his creation.

Have a blessed, safe, and spirit filled summer. See you in worship, in our special summer activities, and around town!

Yours in Christ, Pastor Brian

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