“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:3-5
As we begin a new year together, I am filled with hope for our Church family across the United States and Canada. As individuals, we often use this time to think of a resolution, a goal or intention to set for the year – perhaps to break a bad habit or to develop a new skill. As congregations, and as Disciples, I invite you to join me in considering what a resolution to reconnect might look like in 2019.
In my first 18 months as your General Minister and President, I have been reminded of the many ways we can live better together. Perhaps your resolution will be to launch a new ministry in your community, commit to new forms of evangelism, or develop a new relationship with a nearby faith group.
It is in this spirit of new beginnings, that I invite you, and your congregation, to prayerfully consider ways you can renew your covenant with our wider Church.
You might reach out to your regional ministry to find new ways to collaborate with Disciples in your area this year, like regional assemblies, youth events, and professional development opportunities.
I hope this covenant includes a commitment to support Disciples Mission Fund, our Church’s common funding system that sustains a variety of our life-giving ministries. You can find a variety of resources to help tell the DMF story online.
Your New Year’s Resolution may be to connect with Disciples online by exploring our general ministries’ websites and social media platforms. Your congregation will find a variety of programs to participate in, webinars to attend, and resources to use.
I would also encourage you and fellow members to attend our General Assembly in Des Moines, IA this July – an opportunity to witness and participate in the full diversity of our Church. Your congregation might even encourage attendance through sponsorship or fundraising.
One easily achievable resolution is to report to the Year Book and Directory by submitting your report by March 15. This action not only secures your nonprofit status, but also demonstrates clearly your connection to the Disciples.
No matter the resolution you set for 2019, I want to thank you for the work you’re already doing to carry out God’s mission, and I look forward to continuing that work together, “for we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building” (I Corinthians 3:9).