Pastor Mary Beth’s Musings: June 7, 2018

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New Faces New Spaces

Mary Beth Hardesty-CrouchEvery year in early June, United Methodist clergy in North Texas gather for our annual conference, along with lay persons who represent United Methodist churches in North Texas. Angie Christoffersen and I spent Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday at First UMC in Richardson at the 2018 North Texas Annual Conference. I’ve been attending annual conference since June 1991, when I first was exploring a call to ministry. I’ve only missed one since then: June of 2005 when I was on maternity leave and home with a 2-week-old!

To be honest, I left the church on Sunday after worship thinking that I just didn’t have time to be at annual conference. But I must tell you, I left annual conference on Tuesday evening tired but re-energized and re-invigorated for the work that God has for us to do together in the year to come! The worship was inspiring and beautiful. The keynote speakers, Reverend Adam Hamilton and Reverend Leanne Hadley (both of whom I’ve heard before), were prophetic and pastoral and gave me hope for the future. And the vision cast by Bishop Mike McKee and the conference leadership team is creative and responsive to where the church is today and how we can engage with our culture.

New Faces New Spaces is a challenge to go, gather new faces in new spaces and grow these new faces in discipleship. St Luke “Community” UMC in Dallas, one of the leading African-American churches in North Texas, began asking the question, “Where do young African-American men gather?” The answer: the barber shop. So, St. Luke began hosting a Bible study in a local barber shop on Monday evenings.

New spaces take on many different shapes and forms; however, in every new space, new people come together with disciples and are formed in the Way of Christ. How will we, Vista Ridge United Methodist Church, be open to the New Spaces that God is calling us to create?

I’m praying for you. I hope you’re praying for me.

Glory to God!
Pastor Mary Beth