I see you…

Dear Glen Mar friends,

"I see you, I know your name, you matter."

At our recent visioning day with Leadership Board, we worked on the "next faithful step" that we believe God is calling Glen Mar to take as a church. Our work together led us to reconnecting with the mission and vision that led Glen Mar to establish this great big church on a hill in the first place. That mission and vision you know well enough - we lift it every week in worship. We also believe that our God calls us to be a blessing to and in ministry with and for all of our neighbors. We are "blessed to be a blessing."

It's time to expand the breadth and depth of our hospitality here at Glen Mar. We are already a "friendly church" but it's sometimes easy to think that "someone else" is in charge of sharing God's welcome to each other and to others.

At our visioning day, this vision was summarized by, "I see you, I know your name, you matter." This pattern is one that we see in the gospels, as Jesus sees people other people tend to overlook, and reaches out to them, and then goes further by caring about them, and inviting them into life-giving relationship with him.

What would it be like if we prayerfully "saw" our neighbors as Jesus sees them? Who in your neighborhood needs a blessing, a healing, or a community of love and forgiveness? What if we "saw" the people around us in worship or in the Gathering Place as Jesus sees them? What if we reached out and engaged one another in conversation instead of simply remaining silent, in the neighborhood or the grocery line or even in the sanctuary? (Not just "I see you" but "I know your name"). And then what if we looked for ways to reach out to people to show them how much they matter---to Jesus, to Glen Mar, to us, in Jesus' name?

I want to invite you to begin to see, and connect, and reach out in deeper ways so that we can share the love of Jesus, make disciples of Jesus, and transform the world, one neighbor at a time.

Will you commit to being a prayer partner? Perhaps God is calling you to help with hospitality, to join our hospitality team, or be a friendly greeter to welcome folks God sends. If this resonates with YOUR spirit, please let me know.

Together, we can make a real difference for the neighbors, and share the love of Christ. "I see you, I know your name, you matter."

See you in Church,
Mandy


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Be-Do-Have

Dear Glen Mar friends,

We tend to operate from a Have-Do-Be model. What does that mean? If I had motivation, I would go to the gym and then I would be healthy. If I had money, I would buy a new car and then I would be successful. It occurs to me that God is always telling us "who we are" and then out of that, what we do, or "who God is" and therefore "who we are" and therefore "what we do." Maybe it would be better to operate from a Be-Do-Have model.

What if we said to ourselves, "I am a child of God, claimed by Christ, as Christ's own forever." And then, if that is true, what would we do? We would look at the world differently, and we would see our neighbors, and the people in our lives, as people God loves. We would probably pray and engage with the Bible. We would give to the church from our financial resources in an intentional way. We would serve others intentionally and sacrificially. We would invite our neighbors to be a part of our church. And if we do these things, we will grow in Christ, and we will have things like the fruit of the spirit - Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control.

This week in worship, we will continue our Covenant series, Made for Relationship, by looking at the 10 Commandments, given by a God whose name is "I Am, that I Am." Because of who God is, God calls us to be God's people. And out of that, we do certain things and then we are made more like Christ, we have growth, and eventually, what John Wesley called "sanctification." That is, growth in love to the point that we could even be made "perfect in love."

Come explore the gift of scripture, and learn what the law of love has to do with "God's Top 10."

I am (BE) by the grace of God, one of your pastors. I am glad to serve each day beside you, in ministry with you (DO) and I have the best job there is (HAVE).

See you in Church,
Mandy


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Who Are We? Blessed to Be a Blessing

Dear Glen Mar friends,

Last week I had the privilege of leading the first Chapel of the year in our Early Learning Center. As much as I enjoy Glen Mar's worship on Saturdays and Sundays, there's nothing quite like singing "This Little Light of Mine" with a group of 80+ kids, ages four and under, who can barely contain their "NOOOO!!!" when you ask them if they're going to hide their light under a bushel.

They're a great reminder to me that it's a joy to let your light shine--to share the gifts God has placed within you and to light up the world with love, compassion, and generous acts of service. Hide it under a bushel? Why, ask any four-year-old in our ELC, and they'll answer you as if that's the most absurd thing they've ever heard. Of course we're gonna let our light shine. A light that doesn't shine has forgotten who it is!

This weekend is Mission Weekend at Glen Mar, and in worship we'll be continuing our Covenant series by remembering together who we are. Jesus said we're the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). In Genesis, we're reminded that as God's covenant people, we're blessed so that we might bless others (Genesis 12:2).

Blessed to be a blessing. It's more than just an idea. It's an identity, and it's our identity as baptized Christians--one we take very seriously at Glen Mar! A church that doesn't exist to bless others? Why, that's as absurd as a light that won't shine!

This weekend we'll have the chance to hear some of the many ways our Glen Mar family is living into its identity to be a blessing. But in case you can't wait, here's just one example:

Back in August we collected donations so that we could bless neighbors at Veteran's Elementary School. Many of you decorated cards or wrote notes of encouragement, and through your generosity, we were able to assemble 50 baskets of classroom supplies and 80 notes stuffed with gift cards for the teachers and staff at Veteran's. Pastors Mandy, Anna and I had the privilege of delivering these on your behalf to a very surprised office staff on September 12! Here are just a few notes we've received in the last couple of days--just a glimpse of the ways that you, Glen Mar, are a blessing. (Click here for a higher resolution version of the letter from Principal Bruce.)


 
As you go about your day, know this: You are created in the image of the God who is Love, chosen and loved beyond all imagining, and blessed--so that you might be a blessing. And the next time you have a choice between letting your light shine or hiding it under a bushel, I hope you'll channel your inner preschooler (and the help of the Holy Spirit) and let it shine with abandon.

With joy,
Pastor Jen


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Covenant and Ministry Connections

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I'm excited to start a new sermon series this week called Covenant: Made for Relationship. You do not have to be in one of our Covenant small groups to get a LOT out of this series. Come this week to worship a God who not only created all that is, but who desires to be in relationship with all of creation, and with each one of us, loved, gifted and made for a purpose.

Next week, I'll be attending the Leadership Days at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Many of you know this is the church that Rev. Adam Hamilton leads, and this gathering promises to offer the chance to get an update on the movement of the larger UMC, and ways we can be more effective in making disciples of Jesus here in our own part of the body of Christ in Maryland.

Also mark your calendars for Saturday Oct. 5, 10 am, as we will have a special meeting at the church called "Ministry Connections." This group is for church leaders of all descriptions and folks who would just like to hear where Glen Mar is now, any news and learnings from Leadership Days, and some of our congregational vision for 2020-21. Leadership Board and staff have really discerned that this is a season to re-engage with our local neighborhood, and to be intentional about extending the radical hospitality of Jesus to people God sends to us, and to give that same hospitality as we are sent into the community so that we might grow as disciples of Jesus and God would use us to make more disciples of Jesus.

If you were at Glen Mar when Eric and I were members here, you know that Glen Mar went to the trouble of building this facility and moving to this "new place" on New Cut road because we knew that God was calling us to be a bigger blessing to our neighbors, and a bigger family in Christ. We are a lighthouse on the hill for everyone that God loves (so that means everyone!). I hope you'll join us for Ministry Connections, and because if we are to fulfill the vision God is giving us, we need YOUR help.

See you in Church,
Pastor Mandy

PS Our yearly "church conference" is Saturday, Sept. 28, at St. Paul's UMC in Sykesville. Worship is at 2:45 and our meeting starts at 3:30. This is a yearly meeting with our District Superintendent to report on how Glen Mar is doing, vote on salaries for your pastors, hear about candidates for ordained ministry, approve slates of committee members for next year and other business. You are invited and all members are eligible to vote.


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Updates from Mandy

Dear Glen Mar friends,

This weekend we will receive new members, including baptizing a set of baby twins, and we will be singing and praying and I'll be preaching about "Counting the Cost." You'll want to be there, and we would love to see you. We pray every day for the whole body of Christ called Glen Mar and you are an important part of that.

We had a great Lunch with the Pastors last week too, with laughter and sharing and learning about Glen Mar! If you'd like to be invited to the next one, let me know!

I hope you will sign up for a Covenant Bible study group this weekend if you have not. It's an 8 week study, and it's an easy way to get your Bible reading done AND gather with fellow Glen Martians for fellowship, friendship and prayer together. We have classes nearly every day, and night of the week.

Lastly, we'll be taking up a special offering for Bahamas Hurricane Relief through UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief). As you probably know, 100% of what you give to UMCOR goes to disaster relief. UMCOR is always among the first on the ground when disaster strikes.

Thank you for being the body of Christ, in the church building, in the neighborhood, at school, and at work. I'm so proud to be your pastor.

See you in Church,
Mandy


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