Reflections on the first few months as Network Directors
By Howard & Cathy Wagler
We began our new role Sept 1, 2020. We have each been involved in SCMC over the past 25 years: Cathy as Chair of the Ministerial Leadership Team, and Howard as an Exec Team Member (now Network Leadership Team) as well as leadership in resourcing churches. Our unique individual gifts complement each other and contribute to the whole of leadership.
We have felt a warm welcome from SCMC churches. We would love to be visiting churches more, but due to the surprise setback of Covid we have had to be more careful with travel. We are hopeful that we can visit more churches in late spring and summer 2021. The congregations are what make SCMC what it is. We have some creative church Pastors/Leaders who are staying engaged with folks in their congregation and in their community in non-traditional ways. Some examples of this creativity include:
1. Baptisms with just a few family members of those being baptized gathered in person and the rest of the congregation engaged through Zoom.
2. Christmas caroling at a retirement center from outside, having a church-member who works at the retirement center inside and connect the folks caroling with those inside by phone.
3. Creating a calling team to stay with families and to offer pastoral care in appropriate ways.
We have felt encouragement and support from the Network Leadership Team, the Regional Ministry Coaches, and the Discovery Process Team as we have managed various challenges.
SCMC has been redefining Vision and Mission over the past two years. During the 20-21 season we have engaged in a Congregational Discovery Process to further clarify SCMC’s Mission/Ministry focus. We are extremely grateful for the participation from our member churches.
In 2020 and now into 2021, there are plenty of distracting voices. I hold Jesus’ words closely in this season.
-John 8:12, Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
-John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.
-John 14:6, Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Gabe Lyons wrote that Christ-followers can live in the messy tension as “restorers” which he defines as: Living as creators, not critics; Grounded, but not distracted; In community and not alone. These have been good thoughts for us to struggle with in these times.
We want to leave you with part of Jesus prayer from John 17:13-19
“Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.” NLTPosted on January 21, 2021 in News