My heart is filled with gratitude for the rich experience First United Methodist Church of Hurst has brought me. At the same time, sadness settled in on my soul on Saturday night as I wandered through the building ensuring that I had not left any belongings behind and remembering the ministry that had taken place in each room. It became very real at that moment that I will be moving from one faith community to another experiencing the shift of relationships and beginning anew. I was reminded how much the building at First United Methodist Church of Hurst serves as a mission station where Jesus’s ministry is continued through the work of countless individuals seeking to follow God’s call through the work of the Holy Spirit.
My first Sunday sermon at FUMC Hurst included this text from Romans, “For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” I can’t speak for your faith, but my faith has been deeply encouraged by the experience of serving and worshiping with this congregation. For that I give God thanks. I believe that the churches I serve in the future will benefit from your training and encouragement and they will thank you too.
This leads me to think about the people that we do not know yet who still need our encouragement to deepen their connection with God, with people, and with purpose. I sat at Six Flags recently and watched hundreds of people walk by. I thought about how they need a church like FUMC Hurst and, more importantly, how important it is that we continue to invite new people so that they grow in their faith as we continue to grow in our own faith. It truly rests on us to be invitational people trusting that we are better together than we are apart. We must continue in Jesus’s ministry of ever-widening the circle and bringing people to know God’s love and grace through a relationship with Jesus.
Thank you First United Methodist Church of Hurst for widening the circle to include me. I challenge each of us to continue being a conduit of Jesus’s love to those who enter into this community of faith. May God continue to richly bless you as you continue to impact lives for the cause of Jesus the Christ.
¡Vaya con Dios! -Clint