e-letter 3/15/19

Is it just me, or does it seem like the year is moving faster and faster as we get into it? We’re already into the middle of March and Spring break is next week! (Pray for Mary! She has all four of our kids at home with her next week.) Not only that, but we are moving into the second Sunday of Lent where we are exploring the mess of our lives and the world around us. Ash Wednesday and this past Sunday were good reminders of what it means to see how our mess surrounds the Cross.
 
                This coming Sunday, Allee and I will have the opportunity to look at how God is among the mess with us and is calling us out of the sycamore tree to come be with Jesus. (Luke 19:1-10) We’ll look at how God has a desire for us to see the mess, recognize the mess and engage the mess. While we are certainly called to do the introspective work of restoration in our own lives, it’s important to recognize our heritage as Methodists and the call to do restoration work in our neighborhoods, communities, country and world!
 
                John Wesley (the founder of Methodism) was a firm believer in meeting the poor, oppressed, broken and disenfranchised where they were. Taking the good news of the Gospel outside of the pulpit was such a foreign concept in his world. Even more radical was taking the word to a prison or to meet among the orphans and widows. That’s why as Methodists we have the Social Principals as a part of our Book of Discipline. These social principals give us an understanding of how we can engage the needs of justice and mercy in the world.
 
                As I mentioned earlier, the year is flying by very fast, and my office is feeling it! As your Pastor of Outreach, I have the pleasure of seeing how you are engaging the needs of our community. Family Promise was in house just a few weeks ago and we got to celebrate with families as they were getting keys to their new home. Recently, our Foster Care ministry launched the Sunday Funday Foster Family Support program. We were able to supply much-needed diapers, wipes and clothing to more than 40 families (representing almost 80 foster children). We could use a lot of diapers and wipes, if you’re looking for a way to help!
 
                SUMC has been nominated for an award for our work with Foster Families and the amazing teachers and staff at Harbor City Elementary are so thankful for all our work. (See Pictures Below) SUMC continues to be the servants, seeking the restoration of lives all over our community. Outside of our neighborhood, we see how the Cuba Team has returned home after a spirit-filled time with our sister churches and missions. And just in case you haven’t heard, we’re gearing up for Fun ‘n The Sun March 30. This once-a-year fundraiser, which includes dinner, silent and live auction, goes to support our mission trips in the Student Ministry. They will travel to the Florida Panhandle and the Keys to continue hurricane recovery and support.
 
                Suntree, I am blessed to serve with you. I have the bird’s-eye view of all the work you do, and it is beautiful. Won’t you join us Sunday as we come to worship our God who calls us to restoration of both our lives and the world around us! See you then!
 
Grace & Peace My Friends!
 
Pastor Augie