Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Epworth connects and equips all kinds of people to seek, serve, and share Christ

   Our mission statement, developed by the group of eleven on the Vision Team earlier this year, captures God's unique call on our church in the present. In many ways, our Mission also picks up the history of so much of what Epworth has been about since it was founded in 1960. It also, in a beautiful way, speaks to the legacy of the Hamp Stevens Memorial UMC congregation that was formed over a century ago, whose members now call Epworth home after our merger in 2006.
   I am already getting excited about some great moments, that will help to connect and equip us, coming up in our near future.
   At Homecoming, on Sunday, September 21, we will welcome back a beloved preacher from our recent past, the Rev. Dr. Rick Mitchell. Rick and his family moved to begin serving Epworth in June of 2004. Over his years of service, both he and Deb have served great churches in South Georgia. Currently he pastors the Eastman UMC church and Deb is pastor at Shelton Chapel and Dodges Chapel UMC's. Rick embodies our belief that Epworth GLOWS, for he is a person of character who gives God first place. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Homecoming is more than just the preaching. We will also celebrate our past and lean forward into our future through the help of music, great old photographs, and finally a covered dish meal that is simply the best there is anywhere.
   A week later, on Sunday, September 28, we will welcome the Murkisons to worship with us. Ellen and David, along with their sons Ben and Brian, have lived through the nightmare of a traumatic crash that led them through what Psalm 23 calls the valley of the shadow of death. Yet, their story includes faith and compassion, hope and healing, and ultimately a glimpse into the mystery and power of prayer. Ellen has written a book about the chapter of their lives that began with a car accident in December 2011. It is titled, Prayers from Fiji. I have loved getting started with it, and cannot wait to read the rest. While you won't have to have read the book to appreciate their story, many of us will want to get a copy to be encouraged by God's work. Our church website features links from the homepage to easy ways you can get paperback copies or even the Kindle version.
   The rest of the fall will also bring exciting and important moments. In mid-October, we will start the last of our four major renovation projects for 2014, with the Fellowship Hall Project. Thanks to the leadership of our Building Committee, the guidance of Glenn Griffin, and the work of Andy Rolling and ROCON construction, the interior of our church already looks vastly different than it did just eight months ago. On Sunday, October 26, we will have the official Open House for our Children's Ministry Area following the renovation work that is happening right now. On that day, we will also celebrate Consecration Sunday, and commit to keep growing and extending the ways god is working not just through our finances, but also our faith in Him.
   It is great to call Epworth home. It is great to have a clear sense of mission and calling. May we celebrate what God is doing in our lives. Grace and Peace, Scott

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