Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Journey

By Rev. Mike Bealla, Director of Connectional Ministries, SUSUMC

Greetings in the name of Christ!

As we move toward the end of the current quadrennium, we have much to be thankful for. Real ministry is happening across our conference in both dramatic and faithfully subtle ways.

For some reason we are shy to talk about the lives we touch through our day-to-day and week-to-week ministries. Hundreds of persons are fed meals without cost in every one of our districts. Breakfast is fed to young children to make their school days more productive. Food pantries uplift families of little means. The number of small group gatherings continue to grow in number and in impact within our congregations and our communities. The making of disciples of Jesus Christ is happening, and our world is beginning to be transformed.

When I hear stories of fruitful ministries and maturing discipleship I thank God for the chance to be a part of this wonderful church of ours. While we haven’t quite moved on to perfection, our Wesleyan way is the best way we know to move toward a more loving and grace-filled world.

Since the birth of the Susquehanna Conference in 2010, we have strived in our covenant to practice continual improvement. We have committed ourselves to do as Mary did, “listening” at Jesus feet rather than becoming so tied up in the “busy-ness” of the church that we miss God’s voice. And so we have tried to listen carefully in order to discern God’s will for our life together.

The role of Connectional Ministries is to help train and develop transformational spiritual leaders, provide the tools, techniques and best practices to support our local churches in their disciple-making mission, and to re-imagine connectionalism in this 21st century.

Over the last few weeks Jerry Wolgemuth and I have been visiting with small groups of pastors across our conference. The purpose of these conversations is to ask the question, “How is Connectional Ministries doing in providing you the support you need as local churches and as pastors to be the kind of vital congregations necessary in today’s world?” Other questions have included, “What resources do you need that we are not yet offering?” and “How might we better communicate with you and your people?”

Many thanks to those pastors who have already met with us. We have gained much insight into how we are doing and how we can become more effective in the future. These conversations will continue in February and March.

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