August Message from Rev. Coplin & Newsletter
Though this heat shows no sign of relent, this month marks the start of fall for many of our people. As we look forward to cooler days, I want to take a moment to share a few highlights from this long, hot summer. We have certainly had our struggles, but First United Methodist Church of Many continues to be a positive presence in our community and a people with whom to grow in faith.
First, I would like you to know that the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church convened in June with an emphatic message of hope. Our newly consecrated Bishop, Delores Williamston, demonstrated compassion, competence, and infectious excitement which energized laity and clergy alike. I am truly encouraged by some of her early initiatives and earnestly believe she has potential to be the leader we need right now. Please spare a prayer for our annual conference and its leadership. There is so much work to do!
You have probably noticed that we continue in a season of congregational growth. Our study on the Book of Jonah challenged assumptions and invited us to grow our trust for God’s unrelenting grace. And in the more literal sense of growth, we welcomed three new members: Chris Champion, Linda Ward, and Halley Wilson! I am beyond grateful for the presence of these ladies and the way they show confidence and dedication to the ministry of FUMC through membership. I also want to convey a special word of gratitude for our longtime member, Mrs. Janice Rike, and her astounding act of generosity in leaving her home to our church as she moved on to her forever home. Look inside this newsletter for more information regarding how this remarkable gift will grow us in our mission.
Finally, as summer break for Sabine Parish Schools draws to a close, FUMC will soon be hosting our very first D-Now retreat weekend for youth! This exciting event offers opportunity for young people to come together, grow in their faith, and build deeper connections with Christ and one another. It will be a time to celebrate, support, and encourage our youth as they launch into the joys and challenges of a new school year. This ambitious event requires many volunteers. So, to you who will lead a small group, host overnight stays, or provide copious meals and snacks that growing folk need, I give my sincere thanks. As the body of Christ, I ask that we pray for our youth and support them in any way we are able during this event.
Presently, youth ministry is our primary means of impacting our community for the Kingdom of God. We aim not only to instruct them in the ways of our faith, but also to equip them to be positive influences in their schools, neighborhoods, and families. By investing in their spiritual growth and providing them with opportunities to experience God’s love in tangible ways, we are sowing seeds that will bear fruit for years to come. So, whether you contribute directly to our youth ministry or indirectly by serving elsewhere in our church, I want you to know that you are instrumental to our mission of making disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.
In closing, I encourage you to continue in prayer for our church and to invite others to come along for the journey. May you know anticipation and joy as we worship, grow, and serve together for the Kingdom of God.
Grace and peace,