Vision for Discipleship
The “2012 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church” establishes our mission statement as “The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs” (page 91, ¶120). This mission statement is taken directly from the Bible, Matthew 28:19-20 and 22:37, 39, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (28:19-20), and “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. . . . And you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (22:37, 39). How God equips each church to live out this calling is dependent on the mission field in which they are placed and how they view the resources God has provided. Every decision of the church can be viewed through the lenses of this mission.
Over the past several months, every ministry of the church was asked to prayerfully consider how God is calling them to engage in this mission. They have looked at the ministries of the past and considered new ministries that God may be leading them into. They have considered the human and temporal resources they will need to move forward with those ministries. The Finance Committee has compiled those requests into a comprehensive budget and believes the church has the resources and experience to provide the support needed for these ministries. The Board of Stewards and Program Council of Laurel Heights have reviewed and affirmed the Finance Committee’s report.
Laurel Heights is deeply blessed with a rich gathering of God’s people. The congregation of Laurel Heights is made up of people from diverse backgrounds, a variety of experiences and an abundance of both formal and informal education and training. The Nominations Committee has been working prayerfully and diligently to ensure a broad representation of the diversity of the congregation in the many ministry areas formed to move us forward in “Making Disciples.”
On Saturday, October 22, every member of the church who has promised to support the vision and ministries of The United Methodist Church and Laurel Heights through their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service and their witness is invited to gather. Copies of the finance report and budget are already available in the church office and reports from the other ministries should be available soon for each person to review in light of those vows. At 10:30 am we will listen to each other and pray for God’s guidance as we review and reflect on how each report moves us further on our mission. We will share concerns and dreams, hopes and fears, challenges and affirmations.
November 13, after the 11:00 worship, all the reports along with any additions or corrections coming from the October meeting will be presented to the congregation for an affirmation of the hard work that has been done and to renew their commitment of support.
Sunday, December 18, 2016, Laurel Heights and friends will gather at 7:00 pm for worship and the celebration of “Lessons and Carols”. Rev. Carl Rohlfs, the District Superintendent (a United Methodist Pastor charged with being a pastor to many pastors) will be sharing in this service. He has asked to receive the Laurel Heights reports at a gathering with several other congregations as they present their reports at 3:00. This will be our Church Conference. I hope all the congregations who have gathered that day to celebrate ministry join us and our friends for “Lessons and Carols” and we celebrate God’s abundance together.
See you Sunday,