Tracy United Methodist Church
TRACY
Saturday, November 27, 2021
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Newsletter

 September 2021

Jesus: The Best Unwrapped Gift

From the Pastor…

Evangelisms: The “E” Word

The lazy days of summer have once again flown by. School is back in session and fall will be here soon. I sat down this morning and looked at my calendar. There are many things noted in it. The “Junk in the Trunk”: event at Salem Chapel, August 27th and 28th. Drive through ice cream social at Tracy on September 4th, an animal blessing service at Salem Chapel on September 18th, charge conference October 9th at First UMC in LaPorte, and a Beef and Noddle dinner at Salem Chapel on October 22nd. These are all events and there are even more meetings to prepare for these events and begin planning Advent services and Christmas Eve Services. My hope and prayer in all of this is that we do not lose sight of why we hold these events.

I think if I asked people why we hold these events, I would receive several answers. I think I could group the answers into a few categories: 1. we do them to bring people to the church hoping they might start attending. 2. We do them because they are fun and we can make money to use for missions and outreach. 3. We do them to tell people about Jesus. I want to focus on the last one for a moment.

In her book, Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism, author Martha Grace Reese begins by talking about the “E” word, evangelism. What is evangelism? Put simply, evangelism is faith sharing. Reese states, “People who share their faith, love God and believe that other people’s lives would be better if they were in a relationship with God, too.” Learning to share your faith will help you grow and will change your life. 

Faith sharing focuses on relationships. Relationships with God, within the congregation, and with people outside the church whose lives are not centered on Christ. The type of evangelism to which I am referring does not involve knocking on people’s doors every Saturday and trying to tell them about Jesus. It involves creating relationships with others and sharing how our relationship with Jesus has made a difference in our lives. 

One vital piece of evangelism, one that is often overlooked, is prayer. We MUST PRAY if we are going to enable God to work through us to do amazing and unexpected things. “We must hand ourselves over to God in clear-headed, accountable, non-naïve prayer.” Reese, page 42. We must make decisions only after many weeks of thoughtful prayer. Open-minded prayer in which God will show us what we are to do and nudge the right people to help us. So many times, we make outreach and mission decisions based on what we have done in the past or what we think we should do or want to do. We go about these things working under our own power instead of invoking the power of the Almighty God.

We must commit to prayer. Certainly the evangelism and outreach team must pray: pray for each other, the church, and our community. Pray for those we don’t yet know that God would bring them to Salem Chapel. Pray for each other and what is going on in your lives. Pray that God will show you what to do and nudge people to help. Only after weeks of this type of prayer should we make decisions. Decisions guided by God and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

We have a pretty full schedule of events for the next several weeks. We need to be praying about our next steps. We need to hold off making any decisions until we have spent at least three weeks of praying every day about our next steps.

 

~Pastor Kay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Website: www.tracyumc.org

Email: tracyunitedmethodist@gmail.com

 

 

 

Tracy United Methodist Church

1702 E US 6&35

Hamlet, IN 46532

(219) 224-8001

 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14