The Administrative Offices are now located at the top of the stairs over Wesley Hall. Office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am – 4pm. Feel free to call to make an appointment if these times do not work for you. You may request a more accessible location to meet as well, just give us a call at 585-924-2621.
Pastor Calls. If you know of someone in need of a prayer call or admitted to a hospital, please contact the office or Pastor as soon as possible. Feel free to call the Pastor’s cell when urgent so that David can attend to the need.
Matthew 9:17: “Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
I think this word from Jesus is perhaps one of the most challenging when change is under consideration. Reading the verses ahead of this passage, Jesus is speaking to the status quo that is questioning the disciple’s behavior. The problem in those days was that the Temple leadership was trying hard to maintain the traditions and rituals in a changing culture. Unfortunately, they could not see that they had allowed the Temple itself and religion within to be their god.
Jesus was simply making the case that to not change would be like putting new wine in old wineskins, and as the new wine fermented it would stretch the old wineskin beyond its capacity to stretch anymore…and it would burst. This was not a scripture critical of ritual, or tradition or the building itself. It is letting God be God through the ritual and tradition and Temple that makes a difference. And the only place that can happen is in the “wineskin” of the heart and soul. It is in the fermentation of the Holy Spirit in any of our lives that causes us to grow into discipleship. Believe me the fermentation of the Spirit will happen! Are we as a church at the bursting point or are we ready to let God loose through us in a new and positive way?
Consider what would happen if we let that Spirit grow as we stretch spiritually as individuals and as a people of God. That is where the joy is, and that is my prayer, that we let the new wine of the Spirit remold us, remake us and reform us into the “new” wineskin – concerned about love, and forgiveness and grace and invitation to know the source of our spirit who is Jesus the Christ.
10After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” 6And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 10But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11“Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.” 12I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ 18He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
Luke 10 describes discipleship – Jesus’ way. I think that we are called to be Luke 10 people who give themselves to the calling of God. And rather than creating ministry for people. the great experiment of this church is to respond to a call to ministry. To that end, I invite you, in twos to be in ministry and the first one I lift up is the call to Hospitality. I would like you to pray about and consider accepting a ministry for two months and these are the opportunities:
The Discipleship of Greeting and Invitation: Be the welcoming presence to others as they walk through our doors.
The Discipleship of Caring: Host, organize and provide a reception for Celebrations, Memorials and Funeral Services.
The Discipleship of Church Fellowship: Host, organize and provide for “coffee hour.”
I’m sure there will be more to come. But remember, the difference between a volunteer and a Disciple is that the Disciple is called by Christ to serve in mission.
The invitation to invite the pastor (not the pastor’s family) for a home visit has shown that either there is little desire to have the pastor visit or there is an expectation that the pastor will invite himself. Honestly, the best model for visitation is to have church disciples go two by two and visit all those related to the church with part of the visitation agenda to inquire about a pastoral visit.
I am more than happy to make home visits and at this point I will work at inviting myself into homes. I do not need to go with anyone because often times pastoral conversations need to be kept in confidence, but I do need help making appointments. I will begin to set times aside in the week and have the church administrative assistant (or another who may be interested in working in this ministry with me) call for appointments.