A Message from Pastor Craig: 6-12-2022

As I sit down to write, I am aware that I am fixing to write about something in the future that will be in the past by the time you read it.  I’m writing on a Tuesday afternoon before our 2022 Annual Conference starts on Thursday.  And you will read this, theoretically, on Sunday the 12th.  So, back to the future.

Every year, save the COVID-19 years, United Methodists gather for an Annual Conference in their respective regions, usually based around state borders.  An Annual Conference is not just an event that happens every year (as the name implies), but it is a thing.  The Annual Conference is also an entity, it’s a 501.c3 corporation.  It has officers, and it has a pastor.  We call that pastor a Bishop, and the members of the organization we call pastors.  For some reason, unexplained to me, the Annual Conference is considered, in our laws, the “basic unit of the church.”  So, I guess, I’m headed to church.

Over the years, it has been worship that I have enjoyed the most there.  The better musicians get to lead worship there, and the people that go love to sing, so it’s a great time that way.  And because we used to get together a lot more, you would make friends that would be in your district, and then move away to another district, it was a great time to gather together.  And it still is.

I have to confess that my interest has waned over the years on the other more lengthy parts of Annual Conference: the committee reports given, the greetings from organizations sponsored by the Annual Conference, and the minutiae of finances and human resources.  Those are great times to visit with people outside.  I’m not proud of this, I present this as confession.

But going, and attending, and being part of it in whatever varying degrees of engagement is still important.  Worshiping and visiting with brothers and sisters matters.  The writer of Hebrews said: Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).  I hope that “Day” is coming, and soon.  But in the meantime, God wants us to make our faith, to make our spirituality, real, tangible, visible.  That happens when we “meet together” or “assemble” together as the King James states it.

We have made it to Summertime.  Many of us are going to travel (including Janice and me—we’re headed for a July wedding in Boston!).  As we travel, let’s not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” whether we are in Boca or not.  I have already figured out where I’m going to church in Boston.  I’m looking forward to attending the church of my doctoral degree professor.  I look forward to worshiping there, to gathering with brothers and sisters I have not met, to encounter God in that place.  Wherever you are headed this Summer, there is a church worth checking out – God is there.  Just as He is here.

Last week was the first time to worship in person for me in two weeks.  It was great to be with you all again after Covid made me watch on Facebook.  I’m looking forward to this Sunday that you are reading this article.  Truth is, I always enjoy being in my Father’s house.

Worshiping wherever and whenever,

Craig

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”  Psalm 122:1