On our better days we live into our faithfulness and God provides the fruitfulness... in our lives, in our relationships, in our ministries, in all that it means to Love God and be in ministry with our Neighbors.
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Earlier this week, a pastor friend said something after our study group meeting that caught my attention. My friend was speaking about an important outreach ministry and some specific information about that ministry that she had shared with a prospective church member. The ministry was enough to convince the prospective church member that the United Methodist Church was indeed where she wanted to belong and participate in a life of discipleship. My friend said, "Yes, on our better days, the church is still making a difference in the lives of others in our community and around the world."
These words, "On Our Better Days," were uttered In the midst of a pastor group conversation related to churches leaving the UMC (disaffiliation is our term for the process). Our common lament focused on the impact to our connectional ministry and its focus on being the church in mission. What I heard my friend saying was that even in the midst of all that is going on in the world to divide us as a denominational church, there are still ministries and days in which we find ourselves doing the better work of the church together.
I have included a photo of my father and I from a recent "better day" in which we visited the campus of his college alma mater, Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Laura captured this image of me acting silly and Dad getting the biggest laugh. All the memories of his college days, where he met and courted my mother, the campus that he found to be holy ground and a place he acted upon the call to ministry, all of these memories came to focus and the stories flowed forth. It was certainly one of our better days. We smiled. We laughed. We remembered. We wondered, what comes next?
I write this today to ask each of you who read this: "What is God calling you, me, and us to do and to be as the church "on our better days?" We will be sharing A Companion Litany to the UMC Social Creed in our worship services on October 2nd. The prayer uses a repeating, and inviting phrase, "Today is the day!" It is worth reading, It is worth praying, It is worth living.
Join us in worship this Sunday and pray with us. Ask again, what lies ahead on our better days?
Author: Paul E Harris
Journal posts from a pastor and spiritual friend