July – August 2018 Newsletter: “The Messenger”

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From the Pastor’s Pen

Water for drinking and cooking on a sailing ship (1700s) was ladled from a scuttled butt– a butt (cask) that had been “scuttled” by making a hole in it so the water could be withdrawn. Since sailors exchanged hearsay when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became Navy slang for gossip or rumors. The word still connects to the informal, contemporary actions that take place around a water cooler in an office setting, or wherever people gather to talk about what’s on one’s mind – weather, world events, beliefs, relationships, etc.

The word scuttlebutt came to mind when I reflect on different conversations about possible effects that might come out of the Council of Bishops recommendation to the special session of General Conference that will be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis.

In an effort to provide background and clarity to what has been a lengthy and strenuous process, a pastoral letter from Bishop Park is included in this issue of The Messenger. Please read it several times – mull over it prayerfully – try to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to the United Methodist Church as it makes every effort to fulfill its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

We are a diverse lot! As your pastor it is my heart’s desire that God’s love helps us be respectful and compassionate toward others who have different understandings of the Scriptures. Read Romans 12:9-21. Key phrases include:  Verse 9 – Let love be genuine, and, Verse 18 – If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Again, please read Bishop Park’s letter, be informed and especially, be in prayer. The mission of the church is yet alive and requires our attention. Do not be afraid. God will lead us in a way forward!

God bless you and your family!

 Pastor Lee Ellenberger