In case you haven’t heard the news, Bishop McAlilly has informed our Staff Parish Relations Committee that Emily and I are being reappointed to serve the City Road Chapel congregation for another year. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a good or bad thing, but it’s hard to believe that my one year anniversary is coming in just a couple of months. It’s been an amazing experience for me so far for you are an amazing group of people, and I’m honored to be able to brag that I’m one of your pastors.
During the past 10 months much of my focus has been to listen, and then to affirm all the good things that God is doing in our midst. As we move through the seasons of life it’s easy to fall into despair that we “…aren’t like we used to be.” However, sometimes that keeps us from seeing all sorts of very cool things happening among us, and so the call to be “on the road again” has been a challenge to see that there are very good things happening now which are leading into our future. God is with us, leading us on a road toward health and wholeness.
As we move into a new season, I find myself often asking how do we fit into God’s purposes for Madison. Certainly there are all sorts of churches in the area, all with their own identity and calling. How do we fit into that mix of God’s work in our neighborhood?
As I’ve thought about this, the phrase that has come to me again and again is that City Road Chapel is a group of disciples of Jesus committed to making a difference – in our church, in Madison, and throughout the world. There are other churches who maybe have more exciting worship, who maybe have bigger programs, and who have newer buildings filled with shiny, happy people, but our calling, our purpose, our identity is to make a difference in the lives of one another and our neighbors. We do that through things like the Community Meal, Sunday’s Table, our work with Christian Cooperative Ministries, through helping parents through our Child Development Center, and all sorts of other ministries. We make a difference through conversations in the Welcome Center on a Wednesday night, or through a bible study at Eva Chance’s house with a group of young women on Thursdays. We make a difference in the world through being part of a United Methodist Church which sponsors ministry in every part of the globe.
My hope and prayer for this next season is every one of us will be M.A.D., that is that we will be committed to making a difference. For some of us that may be making a difference for our church through helping out with the various tasks required to run this place. For others, that might be making a difference through their active participation in an outreach or discipleship ministry. How each one of us makes a difference is ultimately between God and ourselves, but I believe that God is calling each and every one of us to make a difference.
It’s great to have another year with you in ministry as we work together to make a difference in Madison.
See you soon,