Geneva United Methodist Church
Monday, June 24, 2019
Make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Pastoral Message

Welcome to Summer! What a blessing to have the warm,
golden sunshine, and the green grass and leaves with us again.
Geneva and Geneva on the Lake are bustling with activity, and
the neighborhoods are full of the sounds of kids and lawnmowers,
and the smell of outdoor grilling. Many people think of summer as
a time to take a break from things, and unfortunately, that
sometimes includes church. I have heard people say that their
week seems off-balance if they don’t start it with church. I know
that was true for me before I became a pastor, and it is definitely
true now. Maybe we should think of summer as a time of spiritual
renewal, new life and growth, or a time to try some new ways to
worship God, collectively as a congregation or individually.
Walking an outdoor labyrinth while praying or chanting is an
amazing way to worship God on your own. Or try doing a prayer
walk through a park. Serving others through a charity or helping a
neighbor during the summer also keeps us focused on loving God
by caring for and serving others. Staying connected through and
with your church is also an important part of your faith journey.
Church helps us focus on God, remain accountable to our faith,
and keep things in the right priority. It also keeps us connected to
our friends, our community and our church family.

Staying connected with our church family brings me to something
else I have been pondering. At the end of this month I will be
celebrating my first full year of living here in Geneva and serving
this church. Time certainly flies! It is wonderful to have met so
many new people over this last year, and I look forward to meeting
even more this year. I also look forward to getting to know all of
you better during this next year too. But as I look through the
church directory, there are an awful lot of members I have not
even met or only met once or twice. It makes me wonder if this
church or someone here has failed or hurt them. It makes me
question if I have done something wrong. It makes me think about 
what might be going on in their lives that caused them to wander
or intentionally turn off the pathway of faith. Are these folks still
in love with God? Is Jesus Christ still the Lord of their life? Does
the Holy Spirit still burn in their heart? I have prayed so many
times since arriving here for the unknown names and the lost
people in our directory, praying that, like the Prodigal Son, they
will turn around and find their way back – back to church, or at
least back to God. Come home, come back to your family and
church this summer! We miss every one of you!