A deeply meaningful prayer service occurred Monday, May 7 at St. Stephen United Methodist Church, Mesquite, Texas, to mark the beginning of a year of enacting three "prescriptions" given to us through the North Texas Conference's Small Church Initiative.
St. Stephen's All-Church Conference approved entering into a year's consultation May 3. The prayer service was the official start of our year of effort at crafting the tools needed to ensure a viable future for St. Stephen, which will observe its 54th anniversary in September. Our three "prescriptions" are:
1) Preparing a clear, concise and unified vision statement that represents how we will fulfill, in our congregation's context, The United Methodist Church's official mission of "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world";
2) Developing ways to stabilize our financial health;
3) Strengthening our faith development, both for our own spiritual health and to equip us to share our faith stories with those who need to hear that God loves them.
Church members have received an email from our pastor, Rev. Nancy DeStefano, inviting our participation on one of several teams that will create the action plans for these prescription. However, the crucial starting point was the May 11 service that included prayer, a reflection by our coach, the Rev. Carol Sparks, and anointing for the tasks ahead.
And although those who attended may have been few, we are fierce to share God's love in the world. Monday's participants have committed themselves to being a well-informed, prayerful and encouraging presence as we move through the many changes ahead of us.
Now we go forth under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit! We invite everyone to join the journey!