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“Auld Lang Syne”

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.”  (Genesis 12:1) And on this journey God said to him, “Do not be afraid, I will be your shield.” (Genesis 15:1)

Journey is the image found in the scriptures that is used to speak of our faith as “journeys”. Abram (Abraham) the father of our faith, obeyed God’s call to set out on a journey, and he did not even know where he was going. He looked forward to a city that would be founded, designed, and built by God. So, his “religion” is one of surrender, trust, and letting go!

On our faith journey, we follow the call of Jesus who invites us to leave everything and follow Him.  We must do what Jesus did: feed the hungry, visit the sick and imprisoned, and comfort the broken hearted. These are the very ways that we become Christ’s body (the Church) to the world today. While there are many practical matters to attend to in the day-to-day life of a church, our basic and fundamental mission is always to serve those in need and to bring Christ to others.

Happy 2020!

Your Brother in Christ,

Michael Padula

“Being Built into a Dwelling Place for God.” – Dec 2019

On July 7, 2019 (5 months ago), I was given another opportunity to worship and to serve God’s people who gather together at Tiffin Harmony UMC. I have learned that when you begin anew with a community of God’s people that it is best to Stop, Look, and Listen.

The past five months have been a learning experience. The Harmony Congregation has been hospitable in many different ways. There have been a variety of occurrence’s and “firsts” that have afforded me time to get to know this unique group of Christ followers: Darts; H.O.O.; Kidz Klub (especially the Drive-By prayer groups); Ladies Aide (don’t tell – my favorite thus far); Office Hours; Open Food Pantry; Visitation; Sunday AM Worship; and the meetings (Ad Council, S/PRC, Trustees, Worship Team, Nominations). There are no shortcuts or substitutes for getting to know people, in order to share a common life and God’s vision for community, than spending quality time with people.

The last five months have not been easy street for Tiffin Harmony. There are many reasons that have contributed to this time or season of the congregation’s life: UMC-denominational Christianity, Safe Sanctuary issues, GRACE- the newest non-denominational presence in the area, change of Pastor, to name a few. Yet, I have observed and witnessed a tenaciousness in most congregants. We have been angry and have grieved; laughed and cried; worked, played a little and prayed a lot.

Finally, for now, we are posturing ourselves for God’s guidance and direction in order to keep on keepin’ on. While we continue to complete our Healthy Church Prescriptions, the Nominations Team has agreed to take steps to get to know the congregation beginning January, 2020. We are committed to spending some quality time with the people that we share a common life and vision with.

May we always continue to grow in the grace and full knowledge of God and Yeshua, Our Lord.

Happy Holidays!

I bid you peace,

Your brother in Christ!

Michael


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