FUMC New Albany | 207 East Bankhead | New Albany, MS 38652 | (662) 534-2206

The Pastor’s Pen

How are we doing?

That’s a question every organization needs to stop and ask itself from time to time. Whether it’s a baseball team, business, school, or church, asking whether or not you’re heading in the right direction is a good thing. So here’s my take on FUMC New Albany. Worship attendance is trending upward. Through the month of May, we are averaging over 20 more in worship than at this point last year. I truly believe that the Lord will bless a worshiping and praying church!

We continue to expand our Sunday School and small group offerings. In fact, two rather new Sunday School classes—New Life and Salt & Light—are experiencing tremendous growth. I look forward to adding even more opportunities for growth in the coming months!

Speaking of growth, I’m very excited about the new Discipleship Training cohort we will begin in August. Do you feel the need to grow into a deeper disciple? Do you want to strengthen your faith? This program could be for you. We’ll meet weekly from mid-August through April, and our sole focus will be on the life of faith and discipleship. Interested? I’d love to hear from you!

Certainly, a church’s finances are always an indicator of health. Let me take this opportunity to say “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” There aren’t many churches that can report that giving is outpacing the budget as summer begins. Your generosity is making so many great things happen in our community of faith. The Lord is really blessing us during these days!

Now all of this good news is not meant to suggest that we don’t have some significant challenges in front of us. Our building debt is something we don’t want to let hang around for too long. While we are a community of faith that welcomes ALL, we indeed want to kick our building loan out of the church house as soon as possible. I’ll be meeting with church leaders in the coming months to seek discernment on the best path forward to achieve this goal.

Another challenge for our congregation concerns what is happening nationally in the United Methodist Church. Our decades long debate over human sexuality is expected to come to some resolution in the special called session of General Conference in February 2019. Please pray for our denomination during these stressful days. If you have any questions at all about what you see on the news or social media, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Remember, what happens at the national level does NOT have to impact us locally. We are a strong church being blessed by God in powerful ways during this season. I am so proud and honored to be your pastor, and I thank you so very much for your faithfulness and friendship.