The Pastor's Ponderings is a weekly note from one of the pastors that is sent to the congregation. If you would like to be included in the list of email subscribers to the Ponderings, you can subscribe here. Current subscribers wishing to unsubscribe can do that here as well.

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


Read more

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.


Read more

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


Read more

Making disciples

Dear Glen Mar friends,

I saw something on Facebook recently that said "A disciple is someone who has moved from being the recipient of the church's mission to being responsible for the church's mission." I think that's a good statement of what it means to be a fully mature disciple. One of the great joys of my pastoral life is when I see this happen - when people move from being confirmands to mentors, from nervous participants in BASE Bible class or Starting Point small group to small group leaders. It happens as a gift of the Holy Spirit, and also requires commitment and dedication on the part of the one who is growing. But mostly, it happens because of other fully mature disciples.

I'm grateful for the Glen Mar folks that have helped my love for the Bible to grow. I met Aileen Reichert and Carol Carew in a weekday Bible study when I was a new mom and a new Columbia resident. Together, we studied and wrestled with scripture, and with the help of some great pastors, I began to have courage to follow my call to ordained ministry. Great sermons, not just from our pastors, but also from people like David Ward and Lynne Phillips, helped me grow. Service projects at the Rt. One Day center and many Bible studies...all those things were important in my own growth as a disciple. A process that isn't over yet!

Jesus said to his disciples that he called them, not servants, but friends, and that they did not choose him. He says, "I chose you, and appointed you to bear fruit, fruit that will last." I am grateful that Glen Mar is a church that takes seriously that spiritual growth is not a luxury, to be done after we retire or when it is convenient. Because just as we ourselves were mentored and "chosen," we need to move into being mentored ourselves and "choosing" others.

Fully mature disciples make disciples and together, God uses folks like that to change the world. I hope you'll come to our fall kickoff for Sunday school this weekend and sign up for a Covenant study this fall....you'd be amazed what God can work up from folks willing to grow.

See you in Church,
Pastor Mandy


Read more

Back-To-School

Dear Glen Mar friends,

It's Back-To-School time again! I hope you'll join us in worship for a special time of blessing and prayer for students, teachers and administrators. Bring backpacks, grade books, teacher bags, "loveys" etc. for our Blessing of the Backpacks during worship! We'll also celebrate Labor Day with a message on Holy Work (and I'll put on a cardigan one more time as we conclude our series, God's Neighborhood: Jesus, Mr. Rogers and Me).

One of the things I love about being a Methodist is that we believe that God has given us the gift of intellect so that we can use it to encounter God, along with all the other gifts God gives us. We are always called to be growing in our love and knowledge of God. In that sense, it's Back to School time for all of us! I wanted to encourage you to sign up to be a part of a small group this fall as we start a church-wide Bible study called Covenant: Come to the Table. May this fall be a time of growth and learning for all of us, as we draw closer to Jesus and to each other.

See you in Church!
Pastor Mandy


Read more
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Share