Posted by: morgan1965 | October 11, 2010

Creating New Life in a Congregation

Since today is 10/10/10, I first thought that I would address that date combination in my blog posting, but I decided that there is something more exciting to share with you. I visited the New Life United Methodist Church on Wheeling Island in Wheeling West Virginia today. There are some new things happening with this congregation which has an historical presence in the city of Wheeling.

Like many urban congregations, New Life has faced a loss of membership, changing demographics, and a greying of the congregation. There has not been, however, a loss of spirit, spirituality, and hope. The congregation has a genuine desire to live out the mission of the United Methodist Church which is “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

The congregation faced an additional problem: an aging church building with its escalating cost of operation and maintenance. After much prayer, visioning conversation and planning, the congregation decided to sell their church building.

New Life UMC launched a new venture when it entered into a “share ministry” with The House of the Carpenter, a mission project affiliated with the West Virginia Conference. The congregation now worships on the third floor of the mission facility. Here we have a mission project and a local congregation sharing the same facility, and striving to discern the ways in which God wants them to work together in ministry and mission.

Whether it is a mission project or a local congregation, the mission is the same: “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Jesus calls us to minister to both the body and the soul. Jesus wants us to feed his sheep. Jesus wants us to share the good news with the entire world. He wants us to go and make disciples.

The disciples were partners with Jesus during his earthly ministry. They partnered with each other and the Holy Spirit as they left the Upper Room and carried out Jesus’ instructions to make disciples.

When we partner together we enhance and strengthen our ability to carry out the mission of the United Methodist Church. I invite your prayers for this new partnership that is being forged by the New Life congregation and The House of the Carpenter.

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