Dear Klamath Falls Friends in Christ,
Perhaps some of you remember that cartoon from a number of years ago which showed a woman saying to her husband, “Good grief, Henry. Here’s Christmas at our throats again!”
We chuckle at that, but if the truth were known, some of us may feel less than excited about the Christmas season ourselves. The expense, the crowds, the hurried schedules, the overindulgence, and all the other trappings of 21st century Christmas celebrations are enough to make any of us take a jaundiced look at the season. (more…)
A Word of Thanksgiving ……..
We always thank God, the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people.
Believe it or not, the month of November – the second last month of the year – is now upon us. November is the month in which we celebrate our national day of thanksgiving, and thus I wanted to take time this month to let you know how thankful I am for each of you and specifically those who are doing so much to serve Christ and our church. The challenge of having a new pastor – and a part-time pastor at that – is that it can create a lot of new work! Unfortunately, the “new work” does not usually replace the “old work” already going on, but you have graciously and generously suffered through my learning curve without complaint! (more…)
By the time you read this, the first Sunday of October will be right around the corner. Every “first Sunday” is special for us here at Klamath Falls First UMC, as it is in most churches in our denomination, and others, because we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion as a central part of our worship on that Sunday. But the first Sunday in October has special meaning for us, as it does for other sisters and brothers in Christ, because we celebrate it as World Communion Sunday.
“Fall Back?” Not a Chance!!
If you’re like me, you probably have memorized that little phrase that helps us keep straight in our minds how daylight saving time works: “Spring forward, fall back.” Now, “fall back” is a term that has several applications in our contemporary culture, most of them having to do with the idea of ceasing to move ahead – ceasing to make progress. I started thinking about this phrase the other day as I was reflecting on the fast-approaching end of summer and our return, here at Klamath Falls First UMC, to our fall schedule. Normally, one thinks of the summer season as a “down” time – a time when “not much is going on.” That’s often the case in church settings, when volunteer leaders and workers take a well-deserved and much-needed break from their busy routines. But this summer has been anything but “down” here at KFFUMC! Have you stopped to reflect on all that has been happening around your church this summer?
Let me share with you just some of the wonderful things that have happened during these “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer:”
A “Hello” from Pastor Phil and Laurie
What a joy it is to be able to use this first newsletter article to introduce ourselves and share with you the joy and excitement we feel in having the privilege of becoming a part of the Klamath Falls First UMC family! We have looked forward to our arrival for many months, and are so grateful for the many ways in which God has so graciously worked out all the details in making possible this coming year together as pastor and people.
Here’s a few bits of information about us that may help start the process of getting to know one another:
I have a book I’d like to tell you about: A Change of Pastors, by Loren B. Mead of the Alban Institute, an organization which studies clergy and congregation life and offers them practical help. The title is telling, of course, and the reason I picked it up years ago, but the subtitle, And How It Affects Change in the Congregation, is more telling (and what the book is really about). It turns out that Mead means for this book to be both a practical help for congregations undergoing a change of pastor and an encouragement not to fear. Indeed, he expects congregations to flourish from it, even to be catalyzed by it, as a change in pastors opens them to other transformations in their life together.
Near the end of the book, Mead writes about change in congregations. He knows people care deeply about their congregations; they also, at the same time, have a gut feeling that things could be better than they are. He knows, too, that congregations resist any and almost all opportunities to change the ways things are. He says that there is good news and bad news in this state of affairs, both for congregations and for those who grow frustrated trying to bring about their things could be better than they are feeling to reality.