Pastor’s Ponderings April 2024

To the church of God as found at Marion Salem Church, called to be saints together with those in every place who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: You are miracles of God’s grace and mercy!

Historically, once a year Methodist congregations would gather together with their Presiding Elder and discuss the business of the congregation. They would look back at the steps forward in faith, mourn those who had passed, and look toward the future with the election of leadership and setting of priorities for the coming year. Often this Charge Conference season was in the Fall and it presented an annual check-up on the state of the congregation. Over the years, fewer people have participated in this work and it has become less of a worship service and celebration and more of a perfunctory administrative task.

Years ago I met a congregation that created layers of engagement to facilitate greater participation and life among the membership. Church conference continued as usual (though more people started coming), they regularly reported actions taken by the leadership to the membership (we’ve started this), and in the Spring they created a second check-in opportunity.

In April, the Ad Council is going to host a potluck on April 28th
to have an opportunity to share with the congregation the many things that are happening
—some behind the scenes, and others that are front and center.

The hope is that this 6-month cycle will help increase communication, build trust, and help us focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ. During the meeting the various leadership committees of Marion Salem will share what is happening and how the congregation can participate. There will also be a time for questions and answers, and hopefully sharing from the congregation about dreams for the future.

My prayer is that you will make this a priority to attend, after worship on Sunday, April 28. Come ready to hear about many exciting things that are happening, get informed about serious matters that we face ahead of us, then share your hopes and dreams as we join together to discern all that Christ has in store for us.