Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Cindy, Ann, William, and I thank you all for the season of mission and ministry we have shared together in over the past four years. Along the way we have learned many valuable lessons, made a few mistakes, and developed lasting friendships in the body of Christ. On June 24, my last Sunday as your pastor, we will have communion together. The breaking of the bread and sharing in the cup is for me one of the best ways that the church marks its unity. In sharing in the same loaf and same juice we are made one with each other and one with a great company of witnesses throughout all time and space.
As I am leaving this place I commend one last activity for your spiritual growth. Twenty years ago I read Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline for the first time. Foster’s book on the inward, outward, and corporate disciplines of the followers of Jesus grabbed my attention. Since then I have devoured every book that Foster has written and learned more of God with each bite! Out of this reading comes a passion for Renovare, the organization he leads. On July 28 we will be hosting a Renovare conference featuring two presenters, James Bryan Smith and Glandion Carney – these guys dwell deeply in the spirit life with our God. During this daylong retreat you will be introduced to the six spiritual streams of living water from which Christians drink. They are:
- Holiness – The Virtuous Life
- Social Justice – The Compassionate Life
- Evangelical – The Word-Centered Life
- Incarnational – The Sacramental Life
- Charismatic – The Spirit-Empowered Life
- Contemplative – The Prayer-Filled Life
You will probably find a spiritual home in one of these movements, but all are commendable in your walk with Christ. Perhaps the greatest part of this day will be the invitation to join a small group in pursuing each of these spiritual disciplines for several weeks following our retreat. I cannot wait to hear what great things God will unleash among the people called Methodist in Pinehurst after this event.
I look forward to breaking bread together in the coming weeks … bless be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
Grace & Peace, Allen