Message from Pastor Carol: April 2018

We Are an Easter People After Easter Sunday, it is easy to allow the narrative of the Easter story to become the language of a child’s fairy tale that has no real impact after the story is finished. But, our story does have import and vocation; because, we are a people of the empty tomb. We are a people who do not allow death and hate to have the last word. We are a people who know God is alive!!!!!!!!!!!   As much as our story brings forth an ideal image of life, humanity and possibility; Christianity also brings forth the actualize hope through the practice of servanthood and justice. We are to use our lives to enrich and empower others. We are a people of equality, freedom, life and love   Jesus summed up the law of the Jews with one new commandment, “Love the Lord your God with … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: March 2018

What did you go into the wilderness to see? John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who has come – the Messiah?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.” Jesus turned to the gathered, bewildered crowd following him and asked, ” What did you go out into the wilderness to see?…If you came to see fineries and comfort, you are looking in the wrong place.” (Matthew 11:2-11) The wilderness was the home to the prophet John who wore strange clothing and ate very little. John proclaimed “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is more powerful than I is coming after me…He will baptize you with the … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: February 2018

The Sacredness of Love On February 14th, we will recognize the love that binds two people together through infatuation, attraction, desire and romanticism. This is a potent love that has the power to bring us the greatest of satisfaction and the deepest of longings.    Also on February 14th, we will recognize the love that binds all of humanity together through creation, collaboration and generosity. This is a grace-filled love that has the compassion to invite us to the peace of contentedness and the deepest of significance. While both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are celebrations of love, Ash Wednesday invites all who seek love an experience of soulful meandering through an uncertain and sacred wilderness. It is within the solitude of the wilderness that we acquire the capacity to glimpse the arrogance of self-reliance – self-reliance that becomes an obstacle to vulnerability and love. I pray you will join … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: December 2017

It may seem a little early for New Year resolutions but this one is long overdue. In an effort to increase my professional relationships in terms of my availability and to improve my relationships with family and to improve my health, I have scheduled my week around responsibility, task, communication and pastoral priorities. Carol’s Schedule   This schedule will be an adjustment for us all but in time I hope it will be a beneficial tool. In order to schedule an appointment during an open time, please contact Elise (ewebb@hcumc.org) and she will ensure you get my next available hour. I have appointment times available for pastoral counseling and ministry planning. I will have open office hours within which you can drop by or schedule an appointment.   I have scheduled “communication” hours as well. These will be designated hours within which I will respond to emails, calls and text. I will have a new church … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: November 2017

Stewardship…moving beyond chaos   “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2 NASB   It was the picture of disorganization and uncertainty, for the world had no order. Everything was “formless and void.”  As the Hebrew word for moving indicates the Spirit of God was brooding…examining…lingering. God is a creative force that lingers in the energy of chaos to redeem it for a purpose. God does not rush to certainty or from disorder. God experiences the depth of darkness to generate the luminosity of light.    Often we can feel overwhelmed by chaos. Our hope may be wavering due to apparent communal disregard for justice and life. Our confidence in congregational certainty may be uneasy due to change, transitions and … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: October 2017

“We should be rigorous in judging ourselves and gracious in judging others.”John Wesley   Rigor is an interesting word when you consider synonyms that can be used to define the nuances of it – severity, thoroughness, inflexibility, precision. So what is John Wesley encouraging people of faith to do?   Perhaps each word provides complimentary perspectives. Spiritual disciplines lead to a fuller and more meaningful relationship and should be employed with severe dedication. Defining what it takes to seek holiness must be thorough in order to be a reflection of Christ for the world. To be inflexible is to be unwavering in our faith and devotion to a life lived in love.   And precision requires a exact and hyper-focused vision to serve others through acts of justice and not acts of judgment.    I guess Mr. Wesley was on to something! If we submit our humanity to be transformed by … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: Message of Mercy

No words…only Faith Just like a deer that craves streams of water,     my whole being craves you, God. 2 My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.     When will I come and see God’s face? 3 My tears have been my food both day and night,     as people constantly questioned me,     “Where’s your God now?” Psalm 42:1-3   This psalm gives voice to the many gathered for a concert in an open arena who ultimately found themselves in a confinement of terror. Each now must cope with the isolation and void of the shock of trauma.  When will I see the face of God?   How do we as the faithful answer this question? We must first allow our spirits to reconcile our faith with despair? Perhaps it is found in a psalm of the soul composed to cry out to a God who provides answers.    I have cried … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: September 2017

Revolution: Uprising of Love Christianity was born of a revolution started by Jesus to bring hope and love to all the world. Methodism was  born from a revolution started by John Wesley to awaken within Christians a love inspired fervor to bring to the streets! It is time to start another Revolution!!   OUR WORLD NEEDS LOVE…OUR FAITH AWAKENS LOVE…OUR MISSION IS LOVE   Faith necessitates love to be activated in order for the faithful to be called God’s people. Love is not to be a commodity we store up for ourselves but rather a nutrient that nourishes all of creation.   Starting September 10th, we are going to bring a revolution within our church so we can bring an uprising of love in our community. How are we going to do this? We are going to use the UMC Social Principles to guide our awareness, conversations and action. September 10   Starting a … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: August 2017

Do Not Worry, Holy Covenant Therefore I tell you, do not worry about the decreased summer giving, about who will give and who will not or about how we will ever pay for our apportionments.    Look at the original body of families that were standing in an empty lot. They stepped out in faith and we now enjoy the fruits of their labors. God took their faith and built a thriving and committed community as well as the funds for our current facilities. Are we not stepping out in the same faith so that God can make us a committed and thriving community for generations to come?    And can any of us, by worrying, add a single hour to our workday? And why do we worry about completing our “to-do” list or having enough lay members to staff ministry?     Consider the preachers on horseback in the early … Read More

Message from Pastor Carol: July 2017

The Quest Authenticity is a concept that has been thrown around quite a bit these days. To claim that something or someone is authentic is to claim that it is pure and uncontaminated or real and trustworthy. In fact, many have come to coin the phrase “a culture of authenticity” to define the underlying movement of people trying to find personal meaning in our greater society. “By using the term ‘authenticity’, I mean the understanding of life [whereby] each one of us has his/her own way of realizing our humanity. It is important to find and live out one’s own [life], without surrendering to conformity with a model imposed on us from the outside – by society, previous generation, or religious/political authority.” Charles Taylor, Canadian philosopher The quest for personal authenticity has been a pursuit of humans throughout the ages. Polonius in Hamlet has been quoted for centuries, “To thy … Read More