Out of my mind…
A couple of weeks ago, the NWYM Administrative Council met with clerks from our various Yearly Meeting boards to discuss Ministry Plans for the coming year. For me, it was an exciting weekend—getting to hear some of the prayerful hopes and inspired dreams of our people—as they seek to be a resource to our local churches and a witness to the world we inhabit. Seeing it on paper and hearing the clerks talk about it was pretty exciting. However, what really gets me excited is knowing that these plans will actually be put into action in the year to come.
I think you will be excited, too, as you hear and see these plans between now and the NWYM sessions in July. Our Global Outreach Board is considering initiatives that will take us into the world in new places and in new ways. The Board of Local Outreach is focusing on planting new Friends churches, fostering creative outreach in our communities, and helping us find our prophetic voice in our culture. Congregational Care is aimed at helping us listen better to Christ and giving our local churches tools to be faithful and effective in ministry. Christian Education and Discipleship has a heart for encouraging genuine discipleship and biblical education and application. Youth and Young Adult Ministries is in the process of re-visioning their board’s work in order to make sure our young people grow up as committed followers of Christ who are eager to reach out to others with God’s love. The Board of Communication will be kicking off a new and expanded “Connection” newsletter that will coming to your homes beginning this Fall, as well as continuing to improve our web presence. The Board of Leadership Development and Enrichment has a bold plan for training mentors, increasing scholarships to GFU and offering training and support for our current and future pastors. Finally, our Board of Elders is eager to better train our local church elders and deepen the pastoral care and connection offered to our local churches.
Recently, someone who knows me pretty well asked me how I can bear to be an “administrator” when so much of my other work has been as an activist and hands-on minister. Some days, I will confess, that is not an easy question to answer…
But the truth is that almost every day, I take a great deal of joy and find immense hope in how our common life organization—our structures, process, events, resources—lead to action that proclaims and demonstrates the great news of Jesus’ Kingdom. I can see how lives are being transformed and how Light is overwhelming darkness because NWYM exists.
I remain mindful, however, of the apostle Paul’s words that “the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but power!” It is not enough to theorize and plan as humans—our ministry must be infused and enlivened with the world-changing power of God. Similarly, I am struck by Peter’s admonition to those who have been overwhelmed by grace—“prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully …on Jesus!” Now is the time for us to be engaged in the work of the Kingdom! It ought to take our best time, our best energies, our deepest focus and our greatest love. Let’s get after it…shall we?
Colin Saxton—NWYM superintendent
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