Pastor’s Pen

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There is lots going on here at First UMC in Warren.  God is at work in this place.  We are connecting people to the love of God through Jesus Christ, helping them to grow in their faith, and then connecting them to a place where they can serve God by serving others.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  God transforming us and then using us to transform the world?  I believe that is exactly what it is all about.

As Jesus sat and taught his disciples, he stressed that life was about loving God and loving neighbor.  He also said that you can’t love God if you don’t love your neighbor.  Our adult Sunday school class is currently studying the book of James.  James was pretty pointed in the way he expressed his understanding of our faith journey.  James says, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?”  (2:15-16)  In other words, our faith needs to be backed by action.

As I look around, I see so many people who need to experience God’s love.  Unfortunately, the majority of them receive ridicule and condemnation instead.  Instead of engaging in conversations that will lead to solutions, we dig our heals in and demand others look at problems the say way we do.  Anger incites more anger and the division gets even greater.  We are along way from living out James understanding of the faith journey, an understanding in which our faith is lived out in our actions.

This week, we are beginning a new series based on Psalm 46.  The title of the series is “Be Still and Know that I am God.”  Throughout these five weeks, we will be looking at what it means to “be still,” to “know God”, and to trust that God is present in our lives.  I hope you will join us.

Blessings,  Pastor Melissa