Apr5WedApril 5, 2017
This weekend, I had the opportunity to gather with eighty IMC Delegates and MC USA Representatives during our Annual Assembly at Camp Menno Haven. The agenda of the weekend centered upon two items:
1) the growing financial deficit in the conference (even though more congregations are giving)
and 2) a process for the Missional Leadership Team to follow when items for discussion are too weighty for our Conference Minister and the MLT to discern alone.
I enjoyed the gathering, teaching and worship. However, one of the other joys of Assembly was the opportunity to catch up with church leaders from other congregations. When these reunions occur, the conversation often turns towards the sorrows and struggles of church leadership – financial hardships, lack of growth, internal conflict, etc. These kind of conversations happened this year as well. Of course, I’m honored to listen and share this burden with other leaders.
However, my own testimony of the Lord’s work in FMC was quite the opposite.
Currently, I identify with the Apostle Paul as he was concluding his letter to the church in Rome. Romans 16, from our Daily Scripture reading, contains over a dozen names of men and women whom Paul considered coworkers in the Lord.
Likewise, at this season of ministry within FMC, I am thankful for so many coworkers in the Lord and the mutual community which is being established. I’m thankful for Linda Neuhauser, Pat Williamson and the CHOW team who have given such faithful leadership to our weekly meal ministry, which will return this fall. I praise the Lord for the depth of spiritual care for women which is forming through amazing partnerships between the women’s Sunday school class, Mennonite Women and the Kitchen Committee. I count Linda Teater and Mike & Christy Unzicker’s leadership in the SnackPac Ministry to be an incredible blessing. I was amazed to see how the Lord gave courage to Lillian Teater as she led in accompanying her first hymn during worship last month. I am grateful for God’s healing power, creativity and strength alive in Mark Crandall as he takes care of our building. I praise the Lord for Brayton Boss and Ryan Leander’s leadership in gathering men together for relationship building. I am thankful for how Jesus has led over 1/3 of our adults to eagerly sign-up to grow in prayer together. I am amazed to see the Holy Spirit embolden believers to invite friends to church and then place a desire in these guests to seek a deeper relationship with Jesus through FMC. You are my fellow workers in Christ Jesus for whom I give thanks!
As Easter approaches, ministries transition, and spring arrives, I encourage you to identify and celebrate with me the various ways in which the Holy Spirit is moving in our church body.
We serve a God who is alive and moving in our midst. May we continue to find ample reason to rejoice in the Lord as we partner in the mutual ministry for the glory of God this spring!