Healthy Church Initiative: Feb 16-18, 2018

Mark Your Calendars: Feb 16-18, 2018

I know everyone is busy gearing up for Christmas. Believe me, your staff team has been working extra hard the last couple of weeks to make a very lively December 24 meaningful to everyone! But we also need to start glancing into next year for a very important weekend: the Healthy Church Initiative, February 16, 17,  and 18.

You've heard many church leaders talking about this process for several months now, and all our energy and learning has been geared toward this weekend in February. We're asking everyone who loves Grace UMC to make this weekend a priority. A six-person team from the North Texas Conference will be here all weekend conducting interviews, compiling reports, and offering feedback to our church. Most of the day Friday will be spent listening to key leaders at Grace. The biggest events that impact everyone are Saturday the 17th: a workshop (10:00-3:00 p.m.), and Sunday morning worship on the 18th (we'll have one service only at 10:00 a.m. Sunday school classes will meet at 9:00 a.m.). Please make whatever sacrifices are necessary to support your church during this weekend. Your participation is vital.

At the end of the combined worship service, the Healthy Church Initiative will give us five prescriptions: feedback and next steps based on the listening they have done over the weekend. Everyone will have a week to read, absorb, and pray over these. The following Sunday, the 25th, we'll have a town hall meeting at church for your questions and comments. In March there will be a called Church Conference to formally adopt the prescriptions. These prescriptions, agreed upon by the entire congregation, will be our guideposts for ministry for the next several years. Did I mention how important this process is-- and your participation?

Here's what you can do over the next eight weeks before the big weekend:
  1. Pray for Grace UMC. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we consider the direction God is calling us to go.
  2. Pray for willing hearts. We will only go as far as those who participate will carry us.
  3. Pray for the HCI Team. Open ears and attentive hearts will give them wisdom to provide helpful, challenging feedback.
The Healthy Church Initiative should not frighten us. This is a process grounded in prayer and learning. Our team has worked very hard over the past year, and we are excited to see the next chapter. I hope everyone who reads this will join us in that excitement. With a new high school and all kinds of development sprouting around us, Grace UMC is uniquely gifted and called to meet a vibrant mission field. Don't miss this opportunity to join in!
Remember what Jesus said: "The harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for the harvest" (Luke 10:2).
You can probably guess who those workers are along the West side of Sherman! If you haven't done so already, please fill out the Healthy Church Initiative survey. I look forward to sharing in this wonderful weekend with you: February 16-18, 2018.