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Focusing On Now

It’s June. On the calendar, we’re just starting the halfway mark, but in my mind and in working schedule, I’m behind getting Christmas planned. I’m behind getting the Fall planned. I’m looking at my calendars for September through December, even into January of 2025, filled with dates for training, conferences, meetings, and programs that I must either plan, lead, or attend. So, before I get carried away (or a little overwhelmed) jumping into what is ahead, I need to give thanks for what we have done and where we are now. 

In January we started a reading plan to get us through the entire bible in a year. We’re just about halfway there. There are more than 70 of us who committed to read together that either gather in our weekly meetings or participate online through a Facebook group. I’m so humbled and…proud…of the work being done to dig into deeper discipleship through reading and wrestling the holy scriptures. 

Since January, we have distributed more than 600 bags of food and more than 200 Walmart gift cards to people/families in need. We have laid hands and prayed for over 100 people a month who come for help through the food pantry or directly into the office. 

We have provided thousands of dollars in gift cards to ECISD for shoe vouchers. 

EFUMC provided a place so that different scouting troops, local organizations, and AA have weekly meetings. 

We created a welcoming space to build relationships with students from UTRGV who participate in the HUB. 

EFUMC became a partner church with Project Transformation to help supply needs for this Summer’s program. 

We started a 2 day a week yoga and meditation practice to help our community improve their health and be intentional about self-care. Many of these participants are from “outside” the regular church family who now feel a connection to EFUMC and are looking to connect in other ways. 

Many of the UTRGV students who are connected to the HUB come for these classes and now have an even deeper connection to the church. 

EFUMC helped provide and distribute “finals survival kits” and food for finals week at UTRGV/ UM Campus Ministry of the RGV

Through the return of our 5th Friday event, we helped raise close to $3000 for United Methodist Campus Ministry of the RGV. 

We created signs to invite the community to let us pray for them and help carry their worries.

All this and more on top of every day, weekly work of the church like Sunday school, weekly worship, choir scholarships, providing congregational care and support, etc. 

EFUMC, you should be so proud of the good you are doing in our community!! It may seem like a lot, but we know there is more to be done. We’re doing the work of the Kingdom. We’re leaning-in to what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We need more help. But let me be clear. We don’t need the people already engaged to do more. We need more of our worshiping community to participate. How are you connected to what God is doing through our church? Where can you plug in? How can you be present and participate? And just as importantly, maybe more importantly, who are you inviting to come with you? Who are you inviting to worship, to yoga, to bible study, to Sunday School, to help with food pantry, help with shoe bank, volunteer at Campus Ministry, volunteer at the HUB, inviting to our 5th Friday Events? It isn’t just about the ‘doing’. The ‘doing’ creates, builds, and heals relationships with the church and with Jesus. 

So, now, as I look at all the things filling my calendar for the Fall, I’m so grateful for the opportunities to more actively participate with God in God’s work through this church and through the United Methodist Church. I’m so grateful to be partners with YOU in God’s work in our community. You are a blessing! You are doing your part to help heal a world that needs to know Jesus is real and loves them. As we read in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not grow weary of doing good.” 

With Much Love, 

Pastor Michelle

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