Bishop’s Notes – January 4, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Donna and I worshipped at Bramalea FMC yesterday and were nourished by the message Doug McLeod gave from Matthew 6:25-34. In these days when the media promotes a culture of fear and anxiety in order to get an engaging news story, it was good to be reminded of what Jesus had to say about that topic.

Later in the service, we were led through an updated John Wesley Covenant service.  As we start 2009, I found these Words of Commitment from the service liberating and powerful:

“Pastor: In so giving ourselves to the Lord, we affirm that we will heartily embrace what he has appointed us to do, both corporately and personally. Let him appoint you to your work. Christ has many services to be done; some are more easy and honorable, others more difficult and menial.

Some are suitable to our inclinations and interest; others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves, as when he requires us to feed and clothe ourselves. Indeed, there are some spiritual duties that are more pleasing than others; as to rejoice in the Lord, to be a blessing and praising God. These are the sweet works of a Christian. But then there are other works, wherein to please Christ is to deny ourselves. Find what it is that Christ expects of you and then give yourselves totally to his will, without bargaining and without reservation.

All: Make us what you will, Lord, and send us where we are to go. Let us be vessels of silver or gold, or vessels of wood or stone; as long as we are vessels of honor we are content.  If we are not the head, or the eye, or the ear, one of the nobler and more honorable instruments, then let us be the hands, or the feet, as one of the lowest and least esteemed of all the servants of our Lord.

Pastor: Lord, place us in your kingdom in the roles you have designed for us.

Lord, make all of us your servants.

Pastor: in exalted places, or humble places.

People: let us be full; let us be empty.

Pastor: let us have all things; let us have nothing.

People: we freely and gladly embrace our places in your kingdom.

This week, the NLT, Mentors and Network Leaders are meeting in Niagara Falls.  Please keep us in your prayers.  I also look forward to meeting with you at the throne of grace on one of the days of fasting and prayer at the end of this week. 

There are no new announcements this week.  If you have not yet noted the dates for the 2009 Regional Gathering and the Ministers Conference for your area, they are provided below.

Bishop Keith