Dear friends at St. Stephen’s UMC!
It is not often that I turn to John’s apocalyptic writings in Revelation, but there are a few scriptures that are especially powerful and meaningful to me and one comes from Revelation 3:7 John’s letter to the church in Philadelphia declares, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: …I know your works. Look I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” And I have always loved this scripture because it speaks of new opportunities, new ideas and new beginnings. Here at St. Stephen’s we are beginning to see new opportunities here within our church. Just last Sunday we invited two new organizations into our ministry here at St. Stephen’s, Early Foundations, which is a program that works with children with Autism and Bridge Kids, parents day our program that is a ministry to many families who need a place for their child to be welcomed with love and affirmation. We have also received word that Head Start will be returning in the Fall to recommence their ministries here at St. Stephen’s.
And yet our relationship with the community continues to sprout forth new opportunities, our recent Peace Round Table with Rabbi Harris and Imam Enchassi was a spectacular event, one in which we saw two different faiths come together and share compassion and kindness with one another in the midst of global conflict. And we are excited about the future, I want to encourage all of us to look upon the future and see that if we lead with courage and not fear God will continue to place before us an open door of opportunity and hope!