A Word from the Pastor: June 2020

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Church family, I have come to my final time to write you an article for the newsletter as your pastor. As I approach this season in my life, I have spent a lot of time reflecting over the past six years. The biblical image that comes to mind is the handing off of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha in 2 Kings 2. This is not a perfect image. I don’t plan to be riding off in a chariot of fire or even off into the sunset. Also, your incoming pastor has not been walking along beside me in my ministry here and I haven’t been mentoring her as in the case with Elijah and Elisha. However, there is something about handing over the mantle. Both of the prophets’ ministry played out differently. Elijah’s ministry brought word of the Lord’s judgment upon Israel’s wicked kings while Elisha’s ministry was primarily … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: May 2020

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Worshiping Facebook Live I’m glad Gypsy, Tucker, and many others are joining with me in worship on Sunday mornings by Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m. during our shelter in place pandemic circumstances. It’s hard to count how many we have worshiping on Sunday morning, but actually, at times, we have had more than what we average on Sunday mornings when we worshiped in person. We also have persons joining us that would probably never enter the doors of the church. I know it has been difficult for some to stay connected during the entire service. Our internet service is not always the best and it varies from household to household. Thanks for trying to get on, stay on, or taking the option to view later. I’m missing your faces and our once normal face-to-face encounters we had. Thanks to Scott and Claire Tatum who have been helping with the filming … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: April 2020

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

In 2020, God… I have a feeling that 2020 will be a year of our lives that we will never forget. Our stories of what we experienced will be told to the next generation and maybe the generation. At this point, we have no idea what the outcome will be for each of us. We may already have friends or relatives infected with the coronavirus. We may soon know of someone who dies from the virus. At some point, you may get the virus. We were actually living in a world of unknowns prior to all of this. Many years ago, when I was in seminary and beginning to write my credo, one professor gave this advice: Start with what you absolutely know as truth. One truth is that I affirm is God is ever present in our lives. God has not deserted us or punished us with this circumstance. … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: February 2020

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Preaching from Judges, Next… Over the past couple of weeks and including this upcoming Sunday, I have preached on characters from the Bible I have never preached about before. I hope you have gained a better understanding about the book of Judges, the seven cycles of sin we find in the book, and the persons called by God to be judges over the people of Israel — especially Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. There are many of the persons in the bible that I can identify with, and these three I definitely do. The following three weeks will be about three more characters we find in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, who each led groups back to Jerusalem with the blessing of the Persian kings. First there was Zerubbabel, who led a group to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Next there was Ezra, a scribe, … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: January 2020

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

In the Beginning… In the beginning, when God created the heavens and earth… In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The beginning of a new year, 2020. We, as humans, like new beginnings. It is as if it gives us a fresh start to launch a new purpose in life: finding a soulmate and getting married, planning a family and having a new baby, completing educational training and be hired for a new job, buying a new home, retiring from years of work, etc. The list is endless when it comes to life and the new beginnings that occur, the planned ones or the unexpected. For the congregation, you will be facing new beginnings. As we, calendar-wise, begin a new year, let us also recognize how God continually throughout the scripture brought about new beginnings. God said through Isaiah, “I … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: September 2019

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Evangelism Starting September 8th, I will be preaching a six-week series on the first six chapters of Daniel. The series is titled Daniel: Conviction in a Culture of Compromise. We, as Christians, live in a world that is ever changing and we are challenged in our faith to stand strong in our beliefs. Too often we find it easy to compromise our faith and follow the ways of our culture. Come hear how Daniel and his fellow friends remained faithful even while living in a world so different from their homeland and culture. September 8, 2019 Daniel 1 And the Winner is… September 15, 2019 Daniel 2 The Dream for the Oppressed September 22, 2019 Daniel 3 The Fiery Furnace September 29, 2019 Daniel 4 The Great Tree and the Holy Watcher October 6, 2019 Daniel 5 The Handwriting on the Wall October 13, 2019 Daniel 6 The Lion’s Den … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: August 2019

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Where are We? A group of church leaders gathered around a table with their pastor after about 20 in attendance had worshipped one Sunday. The youngest person sitting in the room was around mid-50, the oldest over 90. The congregation had not been a vibrant church in decades and continued to decline, especially over the last decade due to many of their members laid to rest or unable to physically attend. The pastor was fairly new to the congregation and wanted to hear the hopes and dreams as a church. When the pastor popped the question to them, there was dead silence. Finally, one gentleman spoke up saying, “Don’t everyone talk at once.” One lady in her mid-80s spoke up saying she just wanted to keep the doors open. Another got up from the table and saying under her breath she’s got too many health problems to do anything. Another … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: July 2019

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Generations to Come! Our vision statement says our goal is to sustain faithful disciples for generations to come. To continue to make disciples, we can look to some of the Biblical stories to help us prepare for the next generation. Moses spent years training and mentoring Joshua as Joshua worked as his helper. Upon on the event of Moses’ passing, Moses placed his hands upon Joshua and Joshua was acknowledged as the one to lead the Israelites into the promised land. (Deuteronomy 34) Generations later, in 1 Kings 19, we find the story of Elijah where Elijah throws over his mantle upon Elisha, giving Elisha the authority to be a prophet and spends years training under Elijah. As Elijah is taken up into heaven (2 Kings 2), drops his mantle to Elisha, passing on his authority as a prophet of God to him. For all of us who have leadership … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: June 2019

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

Gung Ho! Earlier this year, I invited the leaders of our congregation to read a book titled Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. (There are copies still available at the church if you are interested in reading the book.) It’s not a book about church and ministry, but a book about empowering people. Gung Ho is Chinese, which means “working together” You may think of the term to mean boundless enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to a task. We, as a church, are called to work together towards a mission. One of the principles laid out in the book is the Spirit of the Squirrel. As you know how diligently squirrels work to prepare for the winter, the principle teaches us that our work is worthwhile that we do in the church. We are called to fulfill the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of … Read More

A Word from the Pastor: March 2019

FUMC AlvordChurch News & Events, Pastor's Blog

Pastor Veronica

The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus During the season of Lent, we will be using Adam Hamilton’s book, The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, for sermon series and study group. The study group will be on Monday nights during Lent, beginning March 11, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. Part of the time will be spent watching a video filmed with Adam Hamilton in the Holy Lands. The study will last an hour in length. Also, I will be using this book as a guide for my sermon series along with my own experience with the Holy Lands during Lent. March 10th – Baptism and Temptation: The Jordan River and the Wilderness (Luke 4:1-13, Mark 1:9-13) March 17th – The Healing Ministry: Capernaum (Luke 13:31-35, Mark 1:29-32) March 24th – Proclaiming the Kingdom: The Mountains (Matthew 5:1-2, Matthew 7:24-29) March 31st – Calming the Storm: The Sea Of Galilee … Read More