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Upcoming Events
NOV

20

MON
No Name Gang
8:00 AM
Men's fellowship group meet for breakfast at Rusty's Diner (Pineview Drive) and then gather at the church to take on various projects at the church or in the community.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Meet in fellowship with one another as you learn to crochet or just work on a prayer shawl to share with someone in emotional or physical need.
NOV

21

TUE
United Methodist Men
6:30 PM
The men of the church gather for a meal and fellowship on the third Tuesday of each month
NOV

22

WED
Children and Youth Ministry
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Come and enjoy a meal before learning how to share God's word with others.
NOV

23

THU
Maids on Mission
12:00 PM
Help the church beautify and clean in order to enjoy a mission of cleanliness.
Bible Study
6:00 PM
Come and join us in learning more about Christ
NOV

26

SUN
Choir Practice 9:00 a.m.
9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Sunday School
10:00 AM
Classes for all ages. Preschool, children, teens, young adult and mature adults. There are 7 classes to choose from with small-group settings.
Sunday Morning Worship
11:00 AM
Traditional worship experience with dynamic preaching and blended music including Grace Choir and special ensembles
Prayer Group
4:30 PM
A study group on prayer and building confidence to pray in front of others. Also an intimate group that prays for others.
NOV

27

MON
No Name Gang
8:00 AM
Men's fellowship group meet for breakfast at Rusty's Diner (Pineview Drive) and then gather at the church to take on various projects at the church or in the community.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Meet in fellowship with one another as you learn to crochet or just work on a prayer shawl to share with someone in emotional or physical need.
Administrative Council Meeting
6:30 PM
Church council meets fourth Monday to discuss and determine the "business side" of the church's operation.
Weather
Lancaster, South Carolina

37°

58° 27°

Clear

Feels Like: 37°
Humidity: 72%
Wind: 1 MPH
Mon

60 36
Tue

60 47
Wed

49 36
Powered By Dark Sky
The Fresh Breeze is Blowing July, 2008

The Fresh Breeze is Blowing

It feels a lot like breathing in the sweet oxygen rich air as you hike through the woods on a summer day. The carpet of green ferns and wild flowers offers the continual reminder that God is at work.

Could we as the United Methodist Church be catching our breath? Are we looking with new eyes that discover the surrounding evidence that God is at work? Runners might call it getting your second wind. It is an American idiom which describes the phenomenon that happens when you suddenly have new energy to continue doing something after you were feeling too tired and too weak to go on. 

I remember running laps on the high school track almost to the point of exhaustion. My legs would feel heavy. My heart would be pounding. And then frequently, there would come a point when the finish line came into focus. Clearly seeing that final goal always seemed to help. It was as if my brain would begin to realize I could do it. I would tell myself, "Keep going." "Don't give up." "I am almost there." " It is worth it." "I can do it."

For some reason, my legs would feel lighter. I would have a burst of power and spirit. And there would be that second wind. For longer than I can remember, folks have been reminding the United Methodist Church that we are losing members. Particularly in the United States, the spiral has been downward. Some of our churches have simply resigned themselves to hold on as long as they can. It has become an endurance test rather than running for the joy of running. Exhaustion does not lend itself to feeling hopeful. It never has.

As I interact with clergy and laypersons across South Carolina and beyond, I feel that there is a renewed and clearer vision of the goal. Church folks are telling one another, "We can do this. God needs us to do this."  In a new Gallop poll, the United Methodist Church has the highest positive rating of all religious groups in the United States. That number tells me that even those beyond our doors believe in the ability of our denomination to do great things for God.

This past Sunday the church celebrated her birthday with Pentecost. It was a great day to participate in the baptism and reception of persons into the membership of the church. As I stood beside a pastor and looked into the faces of those young people and their families, I did not feel weary or discouraged at all. Instead I felt that God's Spirit was once again breathing new life into her people.

The General Conference has refocused the finish line for us all. As we seek to enter a future with hope and make disciples for the transformation of the world, we have four goals to guide us. First, it starts with the leadership. We are challenged to develop principled Christian leaders. Our clergy and lay leaders are role models of honorable and blameless lives. A life lived for God always reinforces any witness. Bishop Reuben Job in his new book, The Three Simple Rules, reminds us of the directives John Wesley offered in the General Rules. All Christians are called to govern their lives by following these three simple rules: Do no harm. Do good. Stay in love with God. These rules apply to everything we do in life.

Second, our energies must make room and create new places for new people. We can do this by starting new congregations and by renewing existing ones. We do this by always expanding the circle to include others.

Third, the focus must engage us in ministries with the poor. It is important to notice that the call is to be in ministry "with" rather than "to" the poor. It directs us to become partners in ministry with others. We must look around and engage the needs of this hurting world.

Fourth and finally, time is running out for some of God's children. We are urged to no longer simply sit and watch as these preventable killer diseases take their toll. Malaria and HIV/AIDS must be eliminated. It is in within our power to save lives. We must do this for Jesus' sake.

So my friends get your breath. Fill your lungs. There is a fresh breeze blowing and it is from God. In this season of Pentecost may the presence of God's Spirit give us the second wind we need to move forward into a future with hope.