As our new Bishop Laurie Haller gave her first Address to our 2017 Annual Conference she laid before us a question, “Have you fruit? Then make a difference!” She also presented a newly crafted mission and vision statement for the Iowa Annual Conference. I am reminded that a mission statement is a statement of intended purpose while a vision statement speaks to how to carry out the mission. Our mission and vision as a conference is as follows:
Mission: To inspire, equip and connect communities of faith to cultivate world-changing disciples of Jesus Christ.
Vision: God’s hope for the world made real through faithful leaders, fruitful communities and fire-filled people. (Tag line: Hope Made Real!)
That said, this same question and work is before us. Stuart—Mt. Vernon, “Have you fruit? Then make a difference!” How shall we make a difference? First by understanding our purpose and second by working to live out our purpose for the glory of God.
I encourage you to think/meditate on and pray about this question and what is it that God is calling us to. Talk about it with others and with me.
As I sit writing this, I am aware that we have some members who are moving on to new things in their lives. Larry & Betty Frazee and Karen Schwartzkopf will soon be leaving our congregation and community. I have heard it said that there is going to be a hole in the church. But I declare that while we will miss their presence among us we pray God blessing upon them and just as God is with them, God is with us. We celebrate their time and gifts that have been shared with us and thank God now for who God will raise up to meet the needs in this church and community for we are all in this together!
This is an exciting and faith-filled time for us. A new season if you will full of changes and stability…God doing a new thing and still being a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever more.
Loving God heart, mind, soul, and strength,