by Pastor Erik


If you’re like me, you’ve felt a growing sense of discomfort lately at Avery UMC. We are not the church we used to be. Things are different than a year ago, 2 years ago, 5 years ago.

So much seems different about Avery UMC these days. Familiar faces have left us to enter the church triumphant, while new faces continue to show up. Our younger families are more engaged through the strong children’s ministry. It seems like a new ministry or outreach opportunity is launched every month. Things really do change and develop over time.

I’ve noticed subtle changes as well. As the Pastor, I’m no longer able to be at every meeting or greet every person on Sunday. Mis-communications occur because there’s so much activity, and so many people are involved. The building is no longer quiet on weekdays, but instead used for community groups, food packing, and meetings. Outdated procedures are being updated to reflect new realities. People are yearning for new discipleship opportunities or evangelism training.

It’s hard when the place that’s supposed to bring us comfort and stability feels like it’s constantly changing. I get it; I’ve now been here long enough that some of this is hard for me too. But even with all these changes, we are still holding on to many traditions. Church holidays like All Saints Day and Christ the King Sunday will come again, as they do every year. We’ll once again let the kids dress up in Halloween costumes for worship, and in November we’ll gather for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. The United Methodist Women exhibit continued strength and commitment to missions. And we certainly wouldn’t dare think of entering 2019 without a new Flower Chart, which is posted outside the sanctuary!

As hard as change can be, let’s remember that we’re all experiencing it, even if it’s in different ways. So let’s be kind and understanding with each other, and keep an open mind about the changes as they come. Maybe the things that are new to us today will become the comforting traditions of tomorrow!