Blessing “Ships”: Leadership, Stewardship and Worship

Oct 1, 2015   //   by OfficeAdmin   //   From Pastor Kelly  //  Comments Off on Blessing “Ships”: Leadership, Stewardship and Worship

Friends, it’s great to be able to pay our bills, fully pledge support our apportionment payment and raise our collective voice to pray for our children and teachers.

But, do you remember:

  • that Sunday this Spring when each of you came forward to touch the beautiful shawl that was lovingly made for a pregnant congregant about to begin chemotherapy?
  • this Summer when a long time friend of this church stood during joys and concerns to announce that he was legally and joyfully marrying his long time partner in November?
  • when Pr. Andy asked one of the kids to squeeze the tube of toothpaste and her brother blurted out, “O God!” as the paste went everywhere?
  • recently in worship as two people witnessed to the power of prayer!

These are wonderful moments of blessing! I know this because they “have legs” as folks continue to bring them up and continue to witness to their importance and/or impact in their daily living. These moments are amazing and significant! I am always happily surprised by the freedom folks have to express these moments in community and I am always so proud of the communities’ affirming, supportive response to these shared moments! The heart of this Church sure beats big!

Recently, God is opening to me a new application and purpose for blessing in the ministry we share. Friends, I believe that in this time we are becoming a blessing church! We are meant for more than just the recollection and celebration of moments of blessing. Church! We are being called to bless!

As people who recognize God is calling us to name and claim how we are bringing and being God’s blessing through the ministry we practice inside our church and through the ministry we extend the world.

Merriam-Webster defines blessing as: approval that allows or helps [you] to do something; help and approval from God; something that helps [you] or brings happiness.

The Message Bible interprets “blessing” as “delight” and “affirmation”. There are 151 uses of the word in the Bible framing it as a gift to receive and as an action to offer that’s even greater than receiving it. (Acts 20:35; Hebrews 7:7). And, Paul celebrates the Philippians (4:15) for partnering with him to bless (both giving and receiving).

In worship we bless to dedicate, make holy or sacred through rituals that honor and bring glory to God. We blessed Jennifer Balfanz as she accepted Christ and joined our church through Confirmation! (and we are blessed by her witness)

Through the October Stewardship campaign we will have the opportunity to both give and receive blessing as we do the work of prayer and pencil to prepare our 2016 financial pledge support for the ministry of Bay View UMC.

Our leadership blesses the ministry by freely giving their gifts of time and talent. They receive so much more from those of you who help alongside, bring fresh insight, send affirming notes and offer words of gratitude. Who is being called to leadership in the coming days?

Our “ships” blessing is on a healthy and good course – so good that over the last two years we have acted to expand our welcome to ALL and we’ve become a teaching ground for new leaders who are training for work in the ministry ! God has readied us for more blessing ministry in the days to come and I am honored and blessed to be a blessing along with you each and every day.

Pastor Kelly

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