Centerport United Methodist Church
The Pastor's message comes from the May issue of our monthly church newsletter - The Focus.

This month's message is from Brother Wayne Redman.

 

From the Desk of Brother Wayne - 


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,


    As you may know…I previously served as the Executive Director of the Hempstead Boys & Girls Club…an organization that is focused on the positive development and future of our youth. Administering to youth is a Ministry, and my service to the Church, over the years has involved working directly with youth as Church School Superintendent, and as a mentor. I was reflecting on the program at the HBGC and was drawn to also reflect on the impact that our Church Schools are having on our youth.

 

Our Church Schools should fundamentally be focused on trying to help our youth in the development of their faith and their relationship with God…but the fact is that it takes more than 20 to 45 minutes a week on a Sunday, to have this actually happen. In order to truly make an impact, and to help our young people, the development of their faith journey must become an integral part of their personal lives, and we as adults, must help them, we must guide them, and we must work alongside them on their journey of faith.

 

I once suggested to my Church school class, that perhaps they should have a conversation with their parents or guardians about faith and their own journey and relationship with God. Now I don’t know how many actually did it, but I believe that as a congregation this is something that we need to discuss, it is something that we each need to think about…how are we actually doing on our own personal journey of faith?

Many of us profess to have a strong relationship with God, we open the Bible, we can quote scriptures, we come to church on Sunday, we sit in our pews, we hear the Pastor, and our spiritual life is fine. Yet, when we seriously examine our lives, for many of us, there is something that is missing…we come to church…yet are we really the church? As Christians we are expected to help spread the Good News, to share our faith stories, yet for many of us, we cannot do that…because it would really be a short story.

 

We can work at our jobs, we work at our leisure activities, and strive to get ahead on a materialistic basis. We watch home improvement shows and cooking shows and suddenly we are changing our houses, making upgrades…we are cooking things in ways we never did before, considering ourselves to be master chefs…we can do this stuff.

 

But we spend little time on the actual development of our faith. Think about this for a moment, if we call a Church Council meeting at 7:30 on a week night people will do what they have to and attend…”it’s an important meeting about the business of the Church…I’ve got to be there”. Yet when we hold a Bible Study meeting…where we can learn more about our God and the Lord’s impact in our lives, we get a limited response.

 

We seem to think that the development of our faith…doesn’t really require any work on our part…but that is so very, very wrong. We can’t just sit 

and listen, we have to participate, and we have to work at it.  

 

    If you go to the gym and want to change your body…you can’t just go and look at the weights. You have to pick them up, you have to make a commitment, you have to want to make a change…and be willing to put in the work, and then you can see the changes. …then you see that each week you are lifting more…or you are not as tired on the treadmill…because you put in the time…you see your strength developing… you are strengthening your body.

 

Sisters and Brothers…we are struggling with our faith, and it’s time for us to make a commitment and recognize that we need to: Strengthen Our Connection with God.

 

I believe we all need to be in partnership together…and our first priority should be on Strengthening our Connection with God. For when we can speak together about our faith, when we can share our questions and concerns about our spiritual development, when we are not afraid, because we know that we belong to a Church that is a family, where we can express ourselves and help each other to know and understand God…when we can do that here… then we can work toward spreading the Gospel outside of these walls.

 

If your child or a young person in the church asked you about your faith and your relationship with God, would you actually, truthfully be able to answer them with conviction?

 

My Sisters and Brothers, for years I have had a major philosophical issue with the commitment to the spiritual development of our youth in our churches. We want them to develop and grow in their faith, yet we, the adults in our congregations our guilty of having not done our best work of setting an example for them to follow…we don’t demonstrate our faith…we don’t talk about it…we don’t share our stories…and as I look at the situation…it’s because as a Church…we haven’t worked and focused on the things that Church should really be about…spreading the word…and sharing our faith journey…with each other. It is hypocritical to ask our youth to do something…that we don’t actually do ourselves!

 

But alas, we are not comfortable, we are not secure, we are afraid to open up to each other when it comes to our faith story. It’s as if we are about to take a test and are afraid of failing, so we never really speak about our faith.

 

My Sisters and Brothers, the only perfect human being was Jesus…for he never sinned while he was here amongst us on earth. So we know that we are all full of imperfections, we know that we are all a work in progress, but we should also realize that there is nothing wrong with admitting to that. We need to also understand and recognize that now it is also time for us to address this issue, and commit to growing in our faith, to sharing our faith stories with our youth, and working towards being the type of Church that we are called upon and created to be…and that is a Church fully focused on the Lord.


Brother Wayne

 




Pastor Roy at the Blessing of the Animals service.
THANK YOU!
Greetings Church Family
    “This is a day of new beginnings, time to remember and move on, time to believe what love is bringing”
 
    Sunday, April 15, the words from this hymn truly became my reality. I have spent the last 27 years providing service and leadership at the Hempstead United Methodist Church, it was the place where I began my spiritual journey, so you can imagine it was like leaving home...and yes, there were some mixed emotions. However, as Pastor Roy introduced me to the congregation on Sunday I looked out and saw welcoming faces, and I knew that I was in a good place, in the right place and at the right time. God’s Grace and Love in action.
 
I wanted to express my gratitude and thanks for the warm welcome and fellowship that you have extended to both my family and myself, and as I prepare to embark on another path on my journey here at Centerport United Methodist Church, I believe that “Truly the Presence of the Lord is in this Place,” and I welcome the opportunity to be a part of the spiritual growth of this congregation.                                                
Sincerely,
Brother Wayne Redman
Certified Lay Minister