Oakdale United Methodist Church
Saturday, December 03, 2022
Praise God, Love Others, Grow Spiritually, and Share Jesus!

From the Pastor

From the Pastor

 

Dear Oakdale family,

 

When someone joins the United Methodist Church, they promise to support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service and their witness. This season as we embark on our Pledge Drive, we’re going to consider over the next five weeks what it means to promise, not only our gifts to the church, but also our prayers, presence, service and witness.

 

Prayers. We have a wonderful opportunity to hold each other in prayer throughout the week. Prayer requests are shared in worship at Oakdale UMC and on our Facebook Group. Prayer doesn’t require any complicated language or formula. It is simply a conversation with God. “God, please bring peace to the world.” “O Holy One, please heal my friend. “Dear Lord, help our church continue to thrive and grow.” Will you renew that promise to pray, pledging to do so on a regular basis? If so, please fill out a Prayer Pledge slip and drop it in the offering plate.

 

Presence. In Acts 2:46a, when the church was born, it is written that “Day by day, …they spent much time together in the temple.” It wasn’t good for much, but Covid did teach us how much we need each other. It taught us how much we missed the community of being together in worship and fellowship. As the body of Christ, we are called to work together for good and to do that, we need to show up: to worship, to committee meetings, to Bible study and to fellowship meals. Will you renew that promise to be present, pledging to do so on a regular basis? If so, please fill out a Presence Pledge slip and drop it in the offering plate.

 

Service. We are called to be the hands and heart of Jesus in mission to the community. In Matthew 25:35-36, Jesus lists the things we are called to do: feed the hungry, give drink to those who thirst, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit the prisoner. Will you renew that promise to serve, pledging to do so on a regular basis? If so, please fill out a Service Pledge slip and drop it in the offering plate.

 

Gifts. I switched these last two so that we are thinking about financial gifts on Consecration Sunday. That is a day when you can bring the Pledge Card that was mailed to you (or that will come shortly) or use the one in the bulletin to pledge your financial support for the coming year. Having a written record of your intention to give enables the Finance Committee to know we can count on your support in paying our bills and continuing the vibrant ministry we share here in West Boylston. We gather our financial gifts together just like our gifts of prayers, presence, service and witness as a united body, doing so much more together than we could ever do individually. Will you renew that promise to give generously, pledging to do so on a regular basis? If so, please fill out the Gifts Pledge slip in your bulletin on November 20th and drop it in the offering plate.

 

 

Witness. This tangible promise is clearly based in Psalm 96:2-4 Each day proclaim the good news that the Lord saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. Jesus commands us in Mark 16:15-16 to Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. This promise was added to the United Methodist Book of Discipline governing our membership vows and rituals in 2016. Sometimes we don’t know what to say to witness to the mysterious glory of God’s grace and love to others but sometimes it feels natural to pick up something someone has dropped to return it to them, pay for their Dunkin order, let them go ahead of you in an intersection or even share a story about a time when Love answered prayer in your life. We’re going to be spending some time thinking about our stories in the coming year and I’m so excited to hear more of yours! Even if you joined before 2016 and are hearing this membership promise for the first time, will you recognize and make that promise to witness to your faith, pledging to do so on a regular basis? If so, please fill out the Witness Pledge slip in your bulletin on November 27th and drop it in the offering plate.

 

Each of these Pledge slips includes not only a place for you to make your promise, but also a place to share fruit from your living these promises. For instance, when I’m filling out my Service Pledge slip I will say that “I was blessed with a warm welcome, loving conversation and pure joy when I joined everyone in peeling apples for our famous pies!” We’ll display these on the bulletin board in the Ladies’ Parlor to share our joyful promises to the church. There will be a box to check if you’d prefer to keep your pledge confidential between you and the pastor.

 

Here for you. I encourage you to touch base directly with me or any of our leaders whenever you have questions or concerns. I am in the church office each Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 to 1:00 pm or would be happy to visit you in your home at your invitation.

 

In Christ’s Love,

 

Pastor Cheryl