Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fill up

I had a youth who looked forward to the mission trips he was able to take every summer because they “filled” him up.  Although Sunday mornings and some youth group events help to fill him spiritually he would slowly but surely feel his spiritual meter sink through the year and get recharged every summer.  I worried about him as he “left” youth group and went off to college as he wouldn’t have this time to be filled up anymore.  I hoped that he would find something else or some other way to fill him up…I don’t believe he has and he doesn’t attend church regularly. 
This sounds like a classic case and in fact I just read in a book a quote from an older church member saying that it is not only expected but anticipated that youth leave the church right after college and that’s ok because once they are settled they will come back – but you see that was the churches mistake…they are not coming back.   These youth – from Russ’ generation down, left during their college years and yet are remarkably missing now that they have settled down, had children and are comfortable in their lives. 
You see today what is missing for people – young and old is that spiritual fulfillment and for each it will come differently.  For some it may come in more physical forms and others more mission work. What is great about this is we have several different churches around the world because we get our spiritual fulfillment differently.  The big key is finding yours…
So this week and into next think about what fills you up…what keeps you going when the goings get rough? 
I can tell you that for me it is simple – meditation.  Just sitting in the silence and lifting everything up to God knowing that if I am still enough I will know God’s presence.  And for me, those moments fill me up for a crazy day…

Friday, October 18, 2013

Holding on to Faith

Holding On To Faith

The last year and half has been truly a test to our faith.  Holding and sticking to what you believe in despite the consequences, especially when it comes to financial security can be difficult.  In fact, most ministers who have talked to about the misuse of funds told us flat out they would have never said anything, not because they disagreed with us but because they wouldn’t have wanted to deal with the aftermath and truth that there would be a job loss.  And yet, when we had that conversation to come forward, we did so knowing that we wouldn’t know where God was going to take us, but we knew it would probably be with a loss of a job or jobs.  Yet we followed God.  As so many have followed before us, into the unknown, into the rocky waters or the barren desert. 

We had hoped and prayed that by now things would be different.  That we would be settled into whatever our new chapter looked like and excited about our future possibilities.  However, that is far from the truth.  We are in a new chapter for sure, but this one is full of unknowns and struggles.  God has yet to reveal the full plan for the Roths.  But some of the plan is starting to come to the front.  Including the fact that Marjory will be the Roth that stays on as Huron’s 40% Pastor while Russ will be invited by the session to hold the title “Parish Associate.”  This enables him to still have pastoral relations with the congregation, including sick visits and moderating session; he will continue to preach some Sundays. For now, Russ does not have another “church job.” 

One of the things that is clear is that God is providing us a path and confirmation that staying here and continuing our pastoral relationship with Huron is in line with God’s will.  From our first conversations with the PNC 3 years ago, Russ and I felt connected and called to Huron.  This exciting new journey in which Huron is standing alone and moving forward has already proven successful with over 50 people in our Worship service several times this summer!  This summer the Anchor the Way Monday night worship was filled with promise and our filled nursery is always a sign of hope. 

We are going to be the first to say, this wasn’t our plan.  And if we had it our way, God would’ve provided another call for us instead of us standing here wondering.  But, we trusted God to lead us here and so we cannot give up faith now.  God has been such an amazing and good God throughout our lives – especially our last 9 years!  God has proven time and time again that when you trust, you will be provided for.   When you believe, amazing things can happen.  And when you live for Christ, you will be rewarded – even if it doesn’t look like it.   We might not be where we thought God should have us, job wise, but we are sure where we know God wants us. 

So let us begin, this new chapter in Huron’s story – a new pastoral relationship with Marjory as your called and installed and Russ as your Parish Associate.  Let us go into the future of Huron Presbyterian not regretting the past but holding steady in our faith, knowing that God’s plan is bigger than ours!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Web problems

For some reason today (Sunday) I cannot make the changes I need.  I will hopefully make them this week.  In the meantime here is Mike's blog so that we can follow him while he is in England! 

This School Year we are following one of our own "youths" as he studies abroad in Oxford.  Click on the link and follow his studies!

God's Lessons in Life

God’s lessons in life
The statement that life is a lesson and we learn something new every day is so very true.  Case and point: Barbie and A Mermaid Tale 2.  Livia’s current favorite movie.  We have watched it every day for weeks and I have seen it to the point that I can easily quote it (i.e. “Sardines and Jelly!”) However, no matter how many hundreds of times I think I have seen this movie, just the other day I saw a part I hadn’t seen before – there are mermaid children in a scene which lasts for easily a few minutes.  Shocked I asked Russ about this scene and he agreed, he didn’t remember seeing it.  After being made aware, sure enough he saw it the next time Livia asked for that movie.  
No matter how many times we have read a passage in the Bible, no matter how many times we have prayed to God, no matter how many times we have driven the same route home – we need to be open for a new opportunity or a new sight. We need to be open the God that is around us, in all that we do!

Think about this in the upcoming week, are we being present in all that we are doing asking God for God’s revelation? 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tursting God

I sit writing this after a week of several meetings for the Presbyterian church and a week navigating the health care system with some family members…both political arenas that you need PhD’s in in order to successfully talk the right lingo and more importantly work that lingo for you to get what you need.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  And yet in the midst of all of this – God shined a light.
I am reminded of Lois’ testimony of how she can the chair saved from the fire re-caned before the 200 year celebration.  She had made a call to a library in hopes to find an antique dealer who had been to the church, only to be re-routed to someone else who could get it done. It was a chain of events that brought that chair to the 200 year celebration looking good.  And it is often these types of chains that when we are “stuck” in them we cannot see God clearly.  When we step back, however, we can see how God can work in round about ways in our lives.
I volunteered to go to Shortsville for a meeting for COM a month ago.  God knew that I would need to be there then so that I could be close to Canandaigua when my family needed me.  It is important in our lives to listen to that voice that sometimes calls us to do out of the ordinary things…like volunteer to go further out of our way…or call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time…whatever that voice is calling you to do, LISTEN!  You may never know the path that it leads you on and what wonder God has for you to discover.