March Message from Rev. Coplin & Newsletter

Dear Church,

“Connectionalism” is a word that we don’t hear in our day-to-day, yet it names a vital part of who we are as Methodist. Not long after Monica and I joined a Methodist congregation, we witnessed the power of connectionalism firsthand. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we saw UMCOR orchestrate a vast network of volunteers-reaching beyond Louisiana and the UMC itself-to aid in cleanup and rebuilding. This experience of our connection, among many others, both inspired and paved the way for me to attend seminary and enter ordained ministry in the UMC as an Elder, all thanks to the support and resources provided by our Methodist connection.

Our Book of Discipline beautifully articulates this sense of unity, stating, “Connectionalism is an important part of our identity as United Methodists. It is a vital web of interactive relationships that includes the agencies of the church… with the purpose of equipping local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry throughout the world, all to the glory of God.” Many of you have experienced this principle in action through ministries like Cursillo and The Happening, which foster deep spiritual renewal and leadership within our church and across denominational lines.

I am pleased to share that through our connection, First UMC of Many has received a transformative opportunity: a $50,000 grant from the Louisiana Conference of the UMC, dedicated to establishing a firm foundation for our church’s revitalization. This grant is not mere financial aid; it is our Annual Conference’s affirmation of our church’s potential to flourish in the 21st century.

However, it is crucial to recognize that this grant is not the solution to our challenges. This is simply the starting point in our work to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. The Louisiana Annual Conference Office of Congregational Vitality pledges to walk with us in this journey, promising a partnership aimed at fostering true and sustainable revitalization. Pieces are falling into place, but we all have our part to play. I invite each of you to reflect on how we can contribute to this shared endeavor. Whether through volunteering, participating in church ministries, offering new ideas for community engagement, or simply offering a warm invitation to friends and acquaintances, your active involvement is crucial.

Friends, we are well poised to navigate the challenges ahead. As we begin this new chapter, we hold fast to Jesus’ promise to be with His church always. With God’s grace and mutual collaboration, we will witness these hurdles transformed into milestones, marking our progress towards fruitful ministry for the wellbeing of our congregation and Sabine Parish.

In grace and gratitude,

View Full Monthly Newsletter, March 2024

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