Sometime ago someone asked me what my expectations were for the future of CUMC. This is at least an attempt at my response. In 10 to 15 years from now, or whenever I am on the other side of this life, I would like to look back and see a church that is alive and well, serving and caring for each other and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Vincennes and surrounding area. That is a simple general answer to expectations and you are probably thinking, well yes, but how do we get there? My experience over the last nearly 50 years of church life, in worship in Sunday School, in Bible Study, attending seminars, taking classes, reading books on church growth, hearing many sermons, listening to good church leaders, praying about it and so on is that there is no easy formula. There is no DO THIS or DO THAT that will make us successful!
 
A few years ago I was channel surfing and I came across a group of Catholic Theologians discussing what they needed to do to make the church successful. After hearing from two or three of them sharing what they had experienced in their ministries that made them successful, one Theologian, a lady said "You know God didn't call us to be successful, He called us to serve." Wow!  I've thought of that often as we have looked for programs, ideas, and formulas that would help us grow, look good, be attractive and dynamic. You know it's not about what we do as much as it is about how much we care.  It's not about how great our programs are, as it is about who we are. It is not about me, it's not about you, it is about us-you and I together-The Body of Christ. Our change the world slogan was "Don't just go to church, Be the church". We must live the life, trying our best to be what Jesus is calling us to be.  Loving God, loving each other and others. 
 
Worship should always be a central focus of our lives.  To come to church to worship God, be in fellowship with one another and go forth to serve. What's on our mind when we come to worship?? Am I worried about who the musicians are for the day, am I concerned that I may not like the music? Am I going to be upset if all of the furniture is not in it proper place? Am I concerned that someone might have my pew and I'll have to sit by someone I don't know? There are many things that can distract us and make us uneasy at church. But if we come looking for the good, if we come in love with a little joy in our hearts, it can be wonderfully contagious. We may find we will leave with a peace and joy that passes all understanding and that's what worship should be about. Where will this church be in 15 years? You and I today, the Body of Christ, have a huge impact on where CUMC will be.
 
I will never be able to express what CUMC has meant to me. The people of the church have been abundantly gracious to Anita Kay and I. I have been privileged to serve under good pastors who have guided me in my spiritual walk and allowed me into their space in ministry. To Pastor Cheryl and Pastor Mary for letting me work closely with them and I pray you are here for time to come. Thank you CUMC for putting up with me and supporting me.
 
With Sincere Appreciation, Ray
 

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