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Letter from the Pastor

To my brothers and sisters of Long Ridge UMC;

"It was the month of Kislev in the twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.

3 They told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.  (Nehemiah1:1-4).

During the second Temple period (≈ 445BC) the prophet Nehemiah, cup bearer to the king of Persia, hears of the state of his beloved homeland and his fellow Jews; and his heart breaks.  Verse 4 from above tells us; When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.   

My brothers and sisters, what does our heart break for?  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was once quoted as saying; “if a person has not found something worth dying for, they are they are not fit to live”.  While I certainly do not advocate dying, I am asking you to reach deep down inside of yourselves and answer that question; “what does your heart break for”? 

This is what I would like to explore with you this year; what does our heart break for?  It isn’t until we know for whom or what our heart breaks for that God can reveal where in our community and with whom our ministry needs to be done.  My dream for us is to be a vessel to our community, to reach out beyond our walls, out to those who are hurting both physically and spiritually, and show them the love of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Author Joseph Daniels tells us “one of the greatest challenges to the church in the 21st century is its lack of connection to its community.  For too many churches today have become drive in, spiritual social clubs and not the agents of community vitality and life transformation”.  

You’ll be hearing much more about this as the year progresses, but for now; what does your heart break for?  I’d love to know.

Grace and peace.    

pastor ed

see you on Sunday


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