First United Methodist Church of Windsor, NY
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
To learn, to live and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ
 

 

 

 

Church Contacts:

Pastor Gladys Fortuna-Blake

607-372-2307 

gladys_blake4@aol.com 

515 East Franklin St., Endicott NY 13760 

 

Pastoral Care Barbra Green

607-693-1278

pb1278@aol.com

 

Secretary Susan Bennett

607-655-1791

wumc1@tds.net

 
 

Scripture Readings:

 click here

 

 

Pastor's Page

 

Pastor: Rev. Gladys Fortuna-Blake

Email gladys_blake4@aol.com   cell 607-372-2307                                            

Pastoral Care: Dr. Barbra Green

Email pb1278@aol.com Home 607-693-1278 Cell 607-222-9687

 
 

Dear Friends in Christ,

Peter, Paul and Mary used to sing “the times they are a changing.” You know...they still are. We are living in times of bone jarring changes. We are not happy about the change to begin with, and these changes in the environ-ment, the economy and the state of the world, shock us all. We seem always at war. As the church is a small model of our larger world, we are to be the local embodiment of the body of Christ.


Mary K. Sellon wrote for the Alban Institute about the ways we “do” church. Let me share parts of the adaption of her work: “A congregation that is truly being church brings people into a loving, life-giving relationship with God and others that is transformational. People find hope. They experience belonging; they extend and receive for-giveness. They discover a sense of purpose and direction. They learn to live with appreciation and joy no matter what the circumstances. Practicing loving, life-giving relation-ships transforms congregation members. Witnessing such benefits draws others who want something similar for themselves and their families.”


“Businesses are based on the premise of offering some-thing of value—goods or services –to a customer in ex-change for money. Successful businesses “give value for money”, Gimmicks and fancy features may bring people through the door, but people won’t buy unless they believe they’ll be receiving something of worth. And they’ll return and recommend the business to others only if they receive something of value.


“Congregations are not businesses, yet they can fall into a similar trap of thinking that it’s the fea-tures and gimmicks that people want. A congregations’ greatest asset, the unique gift it offers, is the people who make up the congregation and the possibilities for transformation they embody. When we talk about congregational renewal, we mean a renewal of the people’s desire to partner with God in achieving God’s aim for the world.


“The church-growth movement is often blamed for leading congregations down the path of thinking that bigger is better and that increased numbers equal health and growth. Of course this is not neces-sarily the case. So, if the measure is not dollars in the bank or people in the pews, what is it? “What is the fundamental purpose of the church? What difference is a congregation supposed to make in the lives of its members and in its surrounding community? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? What does it mean to be spiritual? What difference do spiritual practices make?”


“These challenging questions are the foundation of renewal, the building blocks of a new future. They are not, however, the point at which most congregations start. Fear of having to close the church or to reduce the services offered to members typically prompts a congregation’s desire for renewal: “We need to do something now, if we’re going to still be open a decade from now.” This desire to avoid death drives many renewal efforts, and it certainly provides energy. But if the congregation itself doesn’t ultimately trade its fear of death for a longing life, the efforts will end as soon as the danger has passed.


I challenge all Administrative Board members and anyone interested in mission of this church to prayerfully respond to the questions above within you. We have a unique opportunity to lead and pray for ministry that will focus on meeting the tangible needs of our congregation and community as you share the Gospel. You see Jesus’ call in scripture is to be good Samaritans who give what we have to those in need so that they might understand the love of Christ.


Love and prayers,

Pastor Gladys