I usually try not to make this letter about business at the church. I feel like I have stayed pretty disciplined with that and try more to comment on things going on in the wider world. My uncle, when speaking at the funeral of my aunt, said that the writer’s job is to point out beauty so that others could see it too, and that is what I try to do.
So, this week’s letter is a bit of a hybrid, because I do believe what we are doing is beautiful. This upcoming Sunday, May 15th, is our celebration Sunday. What this means is that we are asking everyone to make their donations, pledges, or planned giving commitments by this day, which will be the end of our capital funds campaign. If you haven’t heard about what we are doing, we are looking to raise $600,000 to address some critical capital needs at our church facility, so we can move forward into the future ministries to which God has called us. Please also let us know you are coming to our celebration Sunday lunch, which will be on the church grounds after worship on the 15th. You can make your reservations and pledges at www.embryhillsumc.org/continuingourstory.
While I have not been at Embry Hills UMC a long time, I can already tell you it is our church home. Not only because of our history here, with my wife’s grandfather serving as the senior pastor here, and the various ways Embry Hills has flowed in and out of our lives but because of what the church is, today. Whenever I introduce myself to someone in our community, they ask me where I’m from. I have to pause a little bit because being the son of a Methodist minister, I’m from a lot of places. My earliest memory was in Gainesville, GA. I started elementary school in Augusta. I finished Elementary and started high school in Rome and finished high school in Athens. In reflection, I’m from the church, more than I am from all of those places. I’m from Sunday school teachers, youth ministers, and choir directors. I’m from youth trips, Camp Glisson, and Christmas Pageants. I’m from church league softball and basketball. I am proud that my children are going to be from Embry Hills UMC. It is a tremendous story, and all of us are invited to continue our story. It is a beautiful thing, and I want us all to see it, and be a part.
In thinking through the capital campaign, I was tasked with finding a theme scripture. The story that kept coming to mind was the Apostle Paul and all of his travels. Everywhere Paul went, to start and support churches, he would tell them about where he was going next, and the church would financially support his work. He was going on to Spain because they needed to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ there. He was traveling as far as he could, with whatever he had, to spread the good news. This is the moment we are in. We want to spread the Good News, and we will go as far as we can, with whatever we have. It is that kind of work that I believe is blessed by God, and I’m honored to be a part.