Murrieta, methodist, church, worship, bible, study, caring

Pastor Tom

We must build a caring community.

Our United Methodist Book of Discipline, the manual which defines our denomination’s structure and functioning, declares that, as members of the Church—the body of Christ—we are “bound in sacred covenant to shoulder the burdens, share the risks, and celebrate the joys of fellow members.” ¶ 219 If you stop and think about it, that’s pretty profound. It means that, when we commit ourselves to church membership, we take on a nurturing, caregiving responsibility for one another. So it’s not about you—or me—it’s about us! it’s about our looking out for one another, doing for one another, being there for one another. We must build a caring community.

Click to see the United Methodist Church Book of discipline

…how often people seem to “fall through the cracks.”

As I observe our life together in this congregation, I do know that a lot of that happens. As I carry on my visitation ministry, I hear many touching stories about mutual burden-bearing and compassionate caring. I am also sadly aware, however, of how often people seem to “fall through the cracks.” An illness or hospitalization occurs, an individual or family is dealing with loss or grief, some other difficulty intrudes—and no one outside the immediate family circle knows about it, prays about it, or does anything to be helpful. I’ve said it here before, and I’ll say it again—if you have a need for prayer, for a caring presence, for help of any sort, please reach out. Call the church office; Pastor Scott; me; Eula Anyiwo or Rich Steadman, who head up our Care Ministry team; call Ann Reese, who assigns our Stephen Ministers. Call and let us know how we, as a church family, can “be there” for you.

They are not going to reach out for help… this means that they will stop coming to worship.

But here’s the other side of the equation. The reality is that some folks, for whatever reason, are just not going to do that. They are not going to call; or are not going to reach out for help; they are not going to let us know that something is going on. What that frequently means is that they also stop coming to worship. Of course, there are many reasons why people might stop attending worship; but, no matter the reason, we need to be paying attention. In a church of our size, it takes all of us to keep track of one another—particularly when it comes to worship attendance. The church office does track our attendance as we record it on the tear-off section of the bulletin; but not everyone uses that—and it only indicates that we were present, not that we were not present.

We all need to be doing is looking around, paying attention

So what we all need to be doing is looking around, paying attention, and taking responsibility for noting when people in our circle of acquaintance start missing. Maybe it’s someone who usually sits in the area of the sanctuary where you do; or it’s someone in a fellowship or service group with you; or it’s someone you’re used to seeing at coffee fellowship. If you have not seen them for two or three weeks, give them a call. If, for some reason, you are reticent to do that, let me know and I will give them a call.

 

There will, of course, be times when people move away or, for some other reason, simply choose to leave our fellowship. But let’s not let anyone drop off our radar unnoticed!

For more info on Caring Ministry visit us Here.

 

Pastor Tom