Pastor's Note

January 3, 2020

Dear Church,
I love the Christian faith. I just didn’t know it for most of my life. Growing up, my view of Christianity was of boring church services, hypocritical Christians, and anti-science beliefs. And I’m not alone! This view of Christianity is more and more common. Younger generations are turning away from faith, and I was one of those folks for a time of my life. And truth be told, I think their actions make sense considering the experience they’ve had of Christianity.
But their experience of Christianity and Christianity are not the same thing. What took me years to understand is that… 
Radical churches aren’t Christianity. They’re just radical churches. 
Close-minded people aren’t Christianity, they’re just close-minded people. 
Anti-science thinking isn’t Christianity, it’s just anti-science thinking. 
And as a pastor today, what I wished people could understand is that Christianity is simply a movement of people who follow the teachings of Jesus. And Jesus, above all else, taught love. Love of God. Love of neighbor. He even added this, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." And yet, over 2000 years, we’ve made Christianity really confusing. We’ve added a lot of baggage for something Jesus summarized in two commandments.
And it took me a long time to figure that out. 
But when I did, it’s what made me want to be a pastor. Because Jesus began something beautiful and hopeful and amazing and I when I finally realized this, I wanted to help others understand the Christian faith and what it was really about. I wanted to help frustrated people love their faith again, and help those who had walked away from something toxic have a chance to embrace something beautiful. 
That’s why we’re starting a four week series called, “Foundations of the Faith” We’ll looking at the basics of Christianity—but in a way that makes sense for people in 2020 (I just typed 2019… old habits). This weekend, we’ll start by asking the question, “What is the Bible?” Maybe it’s not a question you have asked, but when I was growing up no one ever taught me how we got our Bible! The origins might surprise you… 
I hope to see you there, and I hope you walk away a little more in love with your faith, too. 
Pastor Chris
P.S. This weekend, we’re announcing how much you gave during Christmas Eve to provide clean water wells in Mozambique! Can’t wait to share the exciting news :)
P.P.S. You may have heard today about the United Methodist Church proposal that will be voted on later this year. You can read about it here. I’m supportive of this, and think it’ll be a healthy way for the UMC to move forward. It’s just a proposal at this point, but we’ll talk more about it as a General Conference vote gets closer. Pray for those making decisions
Posted by Chris Abel