04 Jun Pastor’s Paragraph for June 6, 2021
JUNE 6, 2021
In a letter addressed to his dear friend, Philemon, the apostle Paul encouraged him to be active in sharing his faith. Paul states, in doing so and through his love for others, “you have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” Philemon v. 4-7. It was ironic that in the New Life service last Sunday, I spoke about faith sharing and the inspiration that comes from God by listening to others’ stories. I turned to Pastor Kathy to offer this as an intentional possibility at Camp Hill UMC. She was clearly excited and stated that the process of doing so has already begun. I believe we were both wonderfully surprised to hear from each other on this matter.
Leslie Petersheim is our contact person for this endeavor, and I invite you to reach out to her (email@example.com) to schedule an appointment to share your unique stories about how Jesus has changed your life. Your story will be videoed and offered during worship services.
The genesis of the Bishop’s Flock Youth initiative and Salt ‘n Light Youth Ministry, Inc. was rooted in calling young people to faith in Jesus and personal faith sharing. Modeling this to teens and inviting teens to respond to the question, “how has God touched your life” bore enormous fruit of commitment to Christ among teenagers. Teens were not accustomed to hearing other teens speak seriously about a relationship with Jesus.
Some of you may recall the Lay Witness weekend movement within our own denomination. Most adults would travel with others to a congregation for a weekend “in-house” retreat. Throughout the weekend, through church services and small group gatherings, adults from across the conference/state would focus upon sharing portions of their faith journey with the host congregation. Again, much good fruit developed as people heard how God worked in others’ lives through a practical and personal story.
We sing the hymn, “Pass It On,” where it is written, “It only takes a spark, to get a fire going…” The spark, lit by the Spirit of the Lord, can ignite query and commitment to Christ in the hearts of others. May it be so!
Rev. Dr. Stephen Gallaher
Associate Preaching Minister