Lay Director's Message
“Be still and know that I am God.” PSALM 46:10
Over the past few weeks, I have felt anxious and worried. While the pandemic news cycle subsides more and more each day, there are so many other things clamoring for my attention. War, politics, protests, inflation, and many other important events and aspects of life distracting me. As I read this passage one morning, God reminded me that I worship a God that is in control and bigger than any problems that I may face in this world. I smiled and calmed my soul so that I could feel his presence. His grace and peace came over me like a gentle breeze on a clear spring day. I no longer feel the anxiety that I felt earlier. My prayer is that you can be still in the midst of your struggles and feel God’s presence like a gentle breeze on a clear spring day.
As I gather my thoughts and write my monthly message to you, I am encouraged that we continue to hold in-person Ultreyas each month. Since February, 40-45 people have attended in-person Ultreyas and an additional 8-10 folks have been watching online. While these numbers may not come near what we previously had, I am encouraged by the energy and the worship that is present at each Ultreya. Let us continue to gather to worship God and praise him for the beauty and the life he gives us. Our July Ultreya will be held at Sydenstricker UMC on Friday July 15th at 7:30pm. We will begin gathering at 7pm. Check out the website and our Facebook page for more information. I hope to see you there.
As we continue to return to our in-person activities, the Board continues to focus on ways to energize all of our activities. We will continue to improve the Ultreyas, but there are two critical areas that require our utmost attention. The first area is pilgrim and team applications. We need both. With the postponement of the men’s November weekend (E-193), we have an opportunity to reach out to those folks in our home churches and tell them about this amazing community and the wonderful opportunity to experience God’s love and grace better known as the NCA Emmaus weekend. The first weekend is March 2-5, 2023. Sam Gero will be leading the women of E-194 in what I know will be a God-filled time of grace, joy, worship, and fellowship. Applications can be downloaded through the NCA Emmaus website.
The second area that demands our attention is reunion grouping. Reunion groups are so important to the continuing vitality and connection for all of our community members. Weekends are the catalyst for the 4th day experience. Once we come off the mountain, reunion groups help keep us grounded and connected as we live out our 4th day. Over the next few months, the Board will be providing more information on how we can revitalize and grow our reunion groups. As I close this message, I want to share with you one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament and it is my prayer for you today.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."