What a joy to be a part of our North Georgia United Methodist Women's Annual Meeting on Saturday. The UMW of our Annual Conference are working very hard to be a vital mission arm of the Church.
We met at the Bethlehem First UMC in Bethlehem, Georgia on Christmas Road. The UMW had parking attendants and greeters everywhere. Upon entering the foyer we were greeted with smiles and the sound of excitement. The excitement never faded as we joined the processional hymn of "Holy, Holy, Holy" and found our place in the sanctuary.
President Sue Raymond opened the gathering with her jubilant spirit and reminded us of the power that United Methodist Women have when they gather together in the name of Christ. Sue moved us through the worship, the celebration of mission work completed, the remembrance of those who have entered the Church Triumphant, the future of UMW and the need to invest now for tomorrow.
Sue shared that she had hoped to bring seeds for all the District Presidents to plant in the soil that each had brought from their districts. but she could not find the seeds she thought she had. No problem... she had an apple and she cut into it to get those seeds, but alas there was only one seed and she cut it in half when she cut the apple. That apple had no seeds and could not re-produce itself. (Yes, I think you might be getting the message.) Likewise the church without seeds will not be able to reproduce itself or its better self.
UMW, UMM, Youth, and yes, the entire church needs to be constantly looking at our seed production and where we are planting those seeds. Without reproduction from these seeds the Church, the UMC, will die away. Are we as pastors producing seeds? Are our lay people planting seeds in rich soil? It is time again to plant seeds in the children of God, to water and to nurture them, and to produce a rich and full crop.
Maybe our titles should be Farmer instead of Reverend. Thanks, Sue and Barbara Garrison (our District President of UWM, for opening our eyes that we might see.
The congregation at Norcross invited Dale and me along with our families to be a part of World Cup Sunday and to join 1,000 voices in praise and worship as we sang "O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing." What a powerful and rich blessing it was! Thank you also to Dave Davis, Andrew Erwin, and Ginny Sternberg for leading the Gold Group in an excellent Cell Group Charge Conference Celebration.