On Monday, we enrolled our children in First and Second Grade at Berryton Elementary School. While we have driven by the building, this was our very first time inside. We filled out all the papers, received a quick tour of the building and found their classrooms. It was another milestone in our season of transition and putting down roots in the community.
I am looking forward to being close to their school. The property of Berryton United Methodist Church and Berryton Elementary are adjoining and the building and playground are clearly visible from my office window. Also, the congregation has developed a partnership of support and care over the years. I am looking forward to the year ahead!
Earlier this week, I met with the Resurrection West Missions team. This is a fantastic group of people in the congregation who are committed to transforming communities. This team is responsible for one of the strategic objectives that we have as a congregation at West for this year. Here it is:
“In order to be more visible and active in our community through service, we will increase mission participation so that 75% of the worship attendance serves outside the walls of the church by 12/31/2011. As we open our doors to the new facility, we not only want to invite our neighbors in but also to send our congregation out.”
I am excited by this objective and achieving it will make a positive impact on our congregation as well as the surrounding community.
I hope to build deep social connections with others. I know that deep friendships have a great deal of positive benefit in my life. Friends are people with whom I can share encouragement, accountability, fun, conversation, support and a wide variety of interactions.
As a pastor, there are times when I feel the distinction when connecting with those that are part of the congregation that I serve. For example, when I go to young adult activities, I don’t just go as a young adult seeking connection with others, I go as one of the pastors of the church. At the same time, I have built friendships on
As a United Methodist pastor, I believe that some of the most enduring connections that I will have outside of my family are with fellow clergy in the annual conference. I am seeking to build those connections. However, the people of my congregation and community are those that I have the opportunity to spend time with on a more regular basis.
Can you be friends with your pastor? As a pastor, can I be friends with someone in the congregation? If so, how? If not, why not? What are the limits and opportunities?
I believe that a pastor is able to build meaningful friendships with a small number of the congregation, while the broader less connected social circle will be found outside of the congregation. Will you please share your thoughts, feelings or opinions about the connection between clergy and congregant?
Resurrection has partnered with six schools in downtown Kansas City – three in Missouri and three in Kansas. For the past several summers, this partnership has involved completely painting and refurbishing the school building along with installing a playground through a project called Bless the School. This summer Diane, a Resurrection Online attender from Ohio, heard the call to serve through online worship. She emailed me about the possibility of volunteering to help with Bless the School. She recognized that it did not make sense to fly down to roll a paintbrush. However, she works with NASA and volunteered to connect with Welborn for professional development and to improve science test scores. Last week, she and a colleague flew to town to meet with the principal and other leaders at Welborn.
It was a blessing for me to meet an online worshiper in person and to see the connection between her and the school. I am proud of Diane listening to God‘s call to serve and for Resurrection Online’s role in helping make the connection. This is a picture of Diane meeting the principal at Welborn Elementary School.
For another story of Resurrection Online making connections, check out Purraise Him.