Thursday, June 19, 2014

God is Good

   I shouted this down the halls of the church earlier today when a call came from someone with news that I had prayed would happen for them. I repeated it in the parking lot earlier today when two people walked up at the very moment another was walking out and they were able to meet and introduce themselves. I had literally thought about how I could get them to meet just minutes before and there they stood together. God is good. How else can we explain the small, serendipitous moments when everything lines up and good happens? I believe God is good even in the midst of the bad stuff, but it sure is nice when good things are happening. I think Romans 8:28 affirms this when Paul says, “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (The Message translation)
   We could have ended Tuesday night’s Church-wide meeting with shouts, “God is good!” For indeed, months of preparation, countless prayers, generations of generosity, and the Spirit of God were all moving in and around the two reports that were offered.
   First, the Building Committee presented a report of what has been done. The hallways and entrance areas have been updated and refinished. It is amazing the difference that wider, smooth walls and higher new ceilings make, isn’t it? The rear parking lot was paved this week and that project will be complete in a week or two, after the last touches of landscaping are finished. These little things mean a lot to our members and visitors who attend Epworth every week. Then, the Building Committee presented two projects for the immediate future. Both were adopted with a unanimous vote by the large crowd that was gathered. The first project, set to begin next week, will renovate the Children’s Ministry wing. The second project will involve updating the ceilings, lights, walls, and floors of the Fellowship Hall. Then, later, a new external, adjoining storage room will be added.  This will provide some desperately needed space for the good stuff we use often, but have no place to keep.
   Second, the Vision Team presented the work of their six months together. Eleven members worked to capture our mission, our values, our definitions of success, and our vision for the next 18 months. We will talk more about this at length, but for now, I leave you with the new Missional Mandate that gets to the very heart of how God is using and wants to keep using Epworth for God’s Kingdom. It says this:
Epworth connects and equips
all kinds of people
to seek, serve, and share Christ.
It is simple, yet important. It is a statement about what happens inside our church and what our people do outside our church. It is something we do now and something we will strive to live into even more. What a way to start our fifth year together - God is good!
   Grace and Peace, Scott

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