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Feed His Sheep

In John 21, after Jesus has risen and is sharing a meal with the disciples, Jesus asks Peter 3 times if he loves Jesus. Each time Peter says, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” And each time Jesus replies with an instruction, “feed my lambs”, “care for my sheep” and, “feed my sheep.” We’ve spent this Lent studying about meeting Jesus at the Table. We’ve talked about every time we gather around a table it is an opportunity to engage the holy.

Now, we’ve celebrated the resurrection, and again, we gather with Jesus to get our next instructions and we lean into Jesus’ words to Peter. We’ve been fed, we’re still being fed, now it’s our turn to feed and care for others. If asked how we minister to others we eagerly share about our shoe bank, our food pantry, and our relationship with the HUB. Here’s where these responses break down. We joyfully meet needs in these ministries, but by their nature, these are not ministries that lend themselves to building direct relationships.

So here are my questions for you all to pray about and have conversations. Then connect with the Ad Board and myself to share your insights and dreams for our church family reaching deeper into the community around us to ‘feed His sheep and lambs.’ These are not just “church” questions, but questions for each of us personally. Individually, we are all called to respond to Jesus’ lesson, if you love me, feed my sheep.

Do you see the “work of the church” as your work and ministry too? How do you participate in the church beyond Sunday morning? Who will you invite to the table and with whom are you willing to share time at the table? Who will you invite to work alongside you for the good of the Kingdom of God through Edinburg FUMC?

There are current ministry opportunities that amount to ‘low hanging fruit’ to get started. For example, as a church we used to provide weekly lunches two months out the year for Campus Ministry. If EFUMC committed to providing one dinner a month for their weekly bible study for the 2024 – 2025 school year, would you participate? Not just bring a meal, but stay, eat, and maybe even stay for bible study. In case you didn’t know, Zach, one of our choir scholarship students, is this year’s president for Campus Ministry.

Project Transformation will house their summer interns at the Campus Ministry building again this summer. If EFUMC committed to bringing a meal weekly for the summer, would you participate? Again, not just drop off food, but stay, eat, and build relationship. In case you didn’t know, Natalie, one of our college students who works in the office and the nursery, was one of last year’s Project Transformation interns that I met when I brought and shared a meal.

We put Fifth Friday Food Truck events on hold due to the holidays and holy days they coincided with (New Year’s and Good Friday). Will we as a church commit to restarting Fifth Friday events as a way to reach out to our personal circles and greater community? I can name at least 5 new members who came to be a part of our church as a direct result of being invited to one of these Fifth Friday Food Truck events. When I ask if you will commit to restarting, I don’t just mean giving moral support (though we’ll need that too) I mean will

you attend and stay – not just pick up food and go? Will you invite people? Will you help plan to make the events special for those who attend?

How can you/we be more inclusive of the students and volunteers at the HUB? How will you/we make sure they understand we consider them part of the family? Would you be willing to help create ways for the church and HUB to work together on different projects?

As I have prayed, I see so many groups of people who would benefit from being loved on by this church family. People who can be loved into community and experience the unfailing love of God in Christ Jesus because we were willing to take Jesus at his instruction, ‘feed my sheep, take care of my lambs.’

From Heart to Table

Pastor Michelle

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