MESSAGE FROM PASTOR AJ: Looking Back and Looking Forward
2021 was a unique year in the life and ministry of First and Centenary UMC in Salt Lake City. From January to May of 2021 we worshiped together online. In May we transitioned to in-person, outdoor worship in the parking lot at Centenary UMC and had a lot of fun worship services together. In September we began a three-week transition back into both church buildings – worshiping as two separate congregations for the first time since the pandemic began.
It has definitely been a unique year! But through it all we have continued to be the church and give thanks to God for seeing us through thus far.
Now, at the beginning of 2022, we turn to look forward towards what God has in store for us in the next year, starting with these questions: What unique call has God placed on our congregations? What is the unique mission we are called to? Why do you come to this church and why should it continue to exist? If the church was gone tomorrow, who would notice? These are the types of questions that are vital for the church in the 21st century and are the questions we will be asking over the next few months as we strive to articulate our WHY, our purpose, our call.
To help us answer these questions the following events will occur over the next two months:
1) Beginning a sermon series on January 23 to help us think about people in the Bible who knew their WHY/purpose and how that might inform our unique WHY/purpose;
2) Working together to articulate our unique WHY/purpose;
3) Forming two committees to assess the ministries of the church and develop new ways we can live into our unique call;
a. One committee will focus on service ministries – such as ministry with the homeless.
b. One committee will focus on connecting with our neighbors and reaching out to new people.
Through these opportunities to study, pray, learn, and dream together, I trust that God’s vision for our churches will be revealed one step at a time as we take the next most faithful step in our ministry. I am excited to see what God will reveal to us as we continue to be God’s people here in Salt Lake City
If you would like to serve on either of our two committees, please let me know. This is your church; we want to know WHY you are here!
I look forward to beginning this process with you!
Blessings, Pastor AJ