2016-11 A Message from Pastor Howard Hintzman

In case you’ve not heard, “Now Is the Time.”  Time for what you say?   Well, that’s what we have to figure out as a community of faith.   This logo, this theme, is grounded in a story in the Old Testament about the Jewish Queen Esther, who was living in a Persian court and finding greatness being thrust upon her.  Queen Esther discovered the risks that went with intentional modeling of what it meant to be a child of God; leaving her to feel very uncomfortable and very vulnerable.  Her adoptive father, Mordecai, invited her to see something as simple as her own beauty as one way she had been equipped to advocate to the king for her people’s lives.

I do not think, as United Methodists in this part of central Wisconsin, we have to fear for our lives, literally as did Queen Esther.   But I do think, as we learn what it means to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we will feel uncomfortable – and instead of running away from this feeling, to see this as an opportunity to be faithful Christ-followers.   In turn, how can we model hospitality in a way that proves we really do “open hearts, open minds and open doors”?   We’ve been invited to make for the first time or to renew our vows with God to:

  • faithfully pray, asking God for a passion for making Christ-followers who can transform the world;
  • faithfully be present with our brothers and sisters in the faith in worship, study, fellowship and service so as to build each other up in the faith;
  • faithfully give of our money (it is going to mean being even more generous than we have been), time, energy, friendship, caring, inviting;
  • faithfully serve all of God’s people by intentionally feeding & clothing people as well as working at the root causes of poverty and illness;
  • faithfully invite others to get closer to the circle of God’s love in Jesus Christ through our words, our actions, our attitudes, our caring.

Now Is the Time is a compelling directive from God for each of us to discover the part we have in equipping our congregation to make Christ-followers so the world can be transformed by the love and grace of God, just as we have experienced it ourselves.