“The Church on the Hill With a Heart for All”
July 1, 2019
“…so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10
It’s been something like 25 years since Weller UMC had a new vision statement. Over the past year, we brought together a team of people to think, pray, reflect, research and discern God’s vision for the church for the next several years. The results of that work are before us today with a vision statement that captures who we are and who God calls us to be for Thurmont and the world. Our new vision statement is:
“The Church on the hill with a heart for all, Learning, Loving, Sharing and Serving God.”
The advantage of this statement is that is locates us (on the hill, which is how folks around here know us), and it locates us as a church that loves and welcomes everyone who comes (no one is outside God’s grace, all are welcome).
The last part of the statement holds up the things we value:
- Learning about God. Not just the head knowledge, which is important, but the heart knowledge too. Knowing Jesus is more than studying about him, it’s about being in a relationship with someone who loves us and wants the very best for us both individually and as a community. Disciples of Jesus Christ are lifelong learners, something we must never forget.
- Loving God. And loving others. That is the most important commandment, according to Jesus (see Luke 10:25-28). Loving God means giving all we are to Him. Loving others means seeking and striving for their good. It also means giving of our resources (time, energy, wealth) as part of our loving response to Jesus.
- Sharing God. Jesus gave us the command in the Great Commission to take the Good News of God’s love to the world. Christians have been doing that for centuries, sometimes effectively, sometimes not. We follow this command when we share God’s love in word and deed.
- Serving God. This takes many forms. Serving God can mean helping out at a nursing home or the Food Bank, going on a mission trip or packing snack bags, visiting someone in the hospital or at home, or spending time with youth and children. We do many of these things now. We believe God is calling us to more and different ways of being in ministry through this vision for the future of Weller UMC.
The model for this vision, and our model in all things, is Jesus. He is the perfect image of the one true God, who calls us to live as disciples, obedient to the word of grace which God spoke in Jesus.
We have some new things coming up that relate to our new vision, such as: A time for youth on Tuesday afternoons, and a time for prayer on Thursday evenings. We have a new picnic area that will eventually serve as a place for fellowship gatherings and an outdoor chapel. We are also looking at some new ways to connect with our community, through hospitality and service.
I hope you are as excited about this vision statement as I am. With it, we have an opportunity to refocus our energies and renew our commitments to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in and for Thurmont and the surrounding area. We will do this as “The Church on the hill with a heart for all.”