Sunday, June 01, 2008

Writing Articles

Moving sure is busy! I haven't written a blog post in a while, so I decided to put up my last newsletter article, the final one I'll write for North KC UMC:

I have started writing this article a half a dozen times so far. It will be the last newsletter article I write as the pastor of First UMC, Northtown, and so it’s a bit … tricky. I’m not sure what direction to go with it, you know?

I could do the whole “weepy goodbye” thing. I could go with the “close a door/open a window” metaphor. I could write an encouraging word about the future of the congregation. I could reminisce about the growth the congregation has experienced over the last four years. I could talk about Christian mission and keeping the congregational focus where it needs to be. I could describe my vocation as an itinerant preacher in the United Methodist Church. I could extol the unlimited potential of this congregation in it’s ministries of Hospitality, Worship, Faith Development, Mission and Service, and Generosity. I could share my belief that God has called me through the appointment process to serve at Campbell UMC in Springfield. I could mention the constancy of change in the world. I could thank you on behalf of my family for the love you have shown us over the last four years.

Truth is, I’m kind of at a loss for words. Hmm …

So I think I’ll write about writing articles. This will not be the last article I ever write, of course. I write a couple of articles per week, actually, only I call them “posts” and put them up on my blog. I’m going to keep doing that. I’ll write articles for other congregations’ newsletters, both papery and paperless. Wherever I go, I’ll write articles. I may even write articles that show up published in magazines or journals. I have a couple of those already, and I hope there will be more.

And Kate will probably write some articles while she is serving here. Truth is, whoever the pastor of this congregation is will write articles, whenever that pastor may be here and in whatever form those articles might appear. There will continue to be things written and distributed, messages of love and grace, expressions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, articulations of the congregation’s vision and how it fits into the mission of God in this world. For the people of this congregation who want it, the opportunity of reading articles will still be available.

So why is this article so tricky? How is this article any different than any of those? Isn’t it really just one among many? Isn’t it really just an article, after all?

I mean, as long as we continue to offer people a relationship with God through Jesus Christ in the midst of a spirit-filled congregation, a relationship that transforms our lives and makes us better people than we really are, a relationship that we dare to call salvation, what difference will one little article make, anyway?

Grace and Peace,
Andy B.

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