Sunday’s Scripture ~ Matthew 13:33.
The seasons of Lent and Easter have been a “proofing” period for the TUMC Leadership Team in the discernment of God’s vision for Tuskawilla’s future.
Proofing refers to the final rise that dough undertakes before it is baked. The ingredients are together. Their active ingredients – the yeast, sugar, and salt – catalyzed chemical reactions for the dough to rise. The dough has space to rest. The baker kneads the dough, to ensure its desired texture and consistency. And then the dough rises one final time before baking.
The TUMC Leadership Team met in early Lent to share their hearts on our church’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. They believe
- Our congregation’s greatest strength is our family-friendly feel.
- Our congregation’s greatest weakness (growth area) is how we value and to express the value of each person in relationship with our church family, especially our children and youth.
- Our congregation’s greatest opportunity is to connect in service with our neighbors, especially the schools that are next-door neighbors with the church.
Since that meeting in February, I have lived with our named strength, weakness, and opportunity. They are with me as I shop for groceries and walk in our neighborhood, as I travel to district and conference events, as I watch the transformation of our church campus and dream about the future. They are with me as we continue to be God’s people in what seems to be never-ending seasons of change and flux.
And the longer they are with me, the more they speak to me that this is exactly who we are and exactly the path we need to pursue as a congregation in this time.
God brought us together. God continues God’s work with us and in us. God is leading us into God’s preferred future.
God calls us to be faithful. God calls us to follow. And like the woman in this week’s parable, together with God we will make the bread of life that will nourish this part of God’s world.
The Leadership Team gathers this coming Tuesday, May 16 to finalize the first phase of our action plan to further enhance our congregational strength, improve our congregational weakness, and pursue our congregational opportunity. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend a Congregational Meeting following worship on Sunday, June 4 to hear and discuss the first phase of our action as a church family.
The Leadership Team deeply appreciates your prayers and support during this time of discernment. And we look forward with joy, hope, and faithfulness to what God will reveal in our future.
Prayer: “The care the eagle gives her young, safe in her lofty nest, is like the tender love of God for us made manifest. As when the time to venture comes, she stirs them out to flight, so we are pressed to boldly try, to strive for daring height. And if we flutter helplessly, as fledgling eagles fall, beneath us lift God’s mighty wings to bear us one and all.”* Amen.
*”The Care the Eagle Gives Her Young,” The United Methodist Hymnal 118.