From the Pastor’s Desk    

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this letter I am sitting in a hotel in Kansas City. I am here for the UMC Next conference
which is held by Rev. Adam Hamilton at the Church of the Resurrection. The purpose of our gathering is
to share conversations together about where we see The United Methodist Church heading and what our
hopes are for our denomination’s future. The past few months have been a rocky ride indeed. Little did
we know that in February such passion would be sparked by the Holy Spirit to renew, reshape, reform
our denomination.

I admit that this is a time of asking a lot of questions and trying to determine how best we live out
our faith as not only Christians but also as United Methodists. It is no small task to hold conversations
about how we define God’s love for the world and what this looks like as we live this out for all people.
As I often share with many of you, as we know our country is divided over politics. Well, imagine a denomination
that is worldwide trying to come together to agree on not only one issue but how we interpret
scripture, how we live out our faith, how we love God and love neighbor.

Yet, even in the midst of all of this I am certain that this will be history in the making. As I sit here
waiting for UMC Next conference to begin in a few hours, I am filled with peace and hope. I strongly believe
that the Holy Spirit is at work within our denomination. God is not done with us as United Methodists.
So how can I know with such certainty? Well, I turn to the scriptures for guidance, which is ironic as
that is how we came to this point now.

I remember over 2000 years ago a moment of the disciples lives when they were living in fear and
hid behind closed doors. It seemed that after the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension the movement
stopped. There was silence. There was great anxiety. Would the disciples be arrested? Would they even
be killed if they went out in public?

BUT THEN…..something happened that was unexpected. The Holy Spirit showed up! Listen to
what took place. Imagine the sounds, the things that were seen.

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a
sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of
fire appeared to them and rested on each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in
other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The important thing to remember that when this all took place there were in Jerusalem people
from all nations and they all spoke different languages but all people were understood. They still all came
together as one people as they ALL received the Holy Spirit. God did not hold back and say, “Because you
are not part of them you cannot receive the Holy Spirit.” God’s Spirit fell upon everyone and they celebrated
the gift of community. This new moment empowered the disciples to bust down those locked
doors and go into the world to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

I believe that as Christians and as United Methodists we have much to learn from that first Pentecost
moment. So keep moving forward. Keep breathing. I truly believe that God has something amazing
waiting for us all ahead.

Be Blessed,
Pastor Kevin