Geneva United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Pastoral Message

     February is the month we most associate with love, probably because
Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th day of the month. For me, it is the
month when I finally start to notice the days getting longer and the
weather starting to warm up. Often by the end of February, we see
Crocus and Snow Drops beginning to bloom, and Daffodils starting to
peek up above the ground after their long winter’s sleep. And even
through we humans don’t hibernate like some other animals, there is
a definite lessening of our fear of ice and snow, and our desire to stay
inside our cozy cocoons. Instead, we begin venturing out a little more
and return to doing more activities. It is time, too, when I think about
new life, especially because Lent usually begins during February or early
March, and I see all of these signs of new life around me in the world.

     Even though the weather has been a little milder this year than
usual, 
there is no denying that this winter was hard on many people
here in Geneva and Northeast Ohio. We lost several family members
of our 
church family, and several Western Reserve District clergy too. And many more people were absent from worship and church activities 
because of illness, injury or health issues, especially pneumonia and the
flu. Let me just be blunt for a moment: I MISS ALL OF YOU 
WHEN
YOU ARE NOT HERE! I miss your jokes and stories and 
smiles and
warm hugs. I miss one person telling me the sanctuary is 
too cold, and
the next person asking me why it is so hot in the 
sanctuary. I miss all
of my adopted “moms” who make sure that I am 
eating properly, that
I have plenty of snickerdoodle cookies and 
celery sticks filled with
peanut butter, and that I am not working too 
many hours.
     I miss your comments about the sermon, or the hymns, or the prayers. 
I miss how sometimes people tell me something is perfect, but then tell
me how to improve it. All of you are the people who make this place so
alive, so vibrant, so full of spirit, and so special. The church is not the
building; it is you, the people, who are the church! You all add your own
unique contributions to our amazing and loving community of faith, and
when even one of you is absent, we are less than we would have been if
you had been here. I love it when the church is full and we loudly sing a favorite hymn, and I think to myself, I hope people passing by on the
street can hear this joyful noise unto the Lord, because THIS, THIS
IS CHURCH, THIS IS CHURCH AT ITS VERY BEST! 
     I hope you all feel this way, and if you don’t, I would love to know 
why 
you don’t. I want you all to know that I always welcome constructive feedback, suggestions and creative new ideas!
And I encourage all of 
you to bring family and friends with you to church whenever you can. We have a church family full of love to
share and a story full of Good 
News to tell, so that those who worship
with us may come to know God, 
love Christ, and be filled to overflowing 
with the Holy Spirit! Be bold, 
tell our Good News, love your neighbors,
and help them turn their lives 
around, find new life and new meaning,
and step into the light and love 
of Christ. Love is all around. Love is like
oxygen. Love lifts us up where 
we belong. All you need is love. Love God
and love your neighbor as 
yourself! If February is the month of love,
then now is the time to 
share it! 
With Love, Pastor Randy