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Dr. Shield's Blog

Times of Transition

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

It was a time of transition. The people of Israel had spent many years in exile in Babylon. Now the prophetic voice was sounding once again, calling the people to look forward to salvation. God was promising to restore the people to their ancient home, where he would renew his covenant with them and where they would be witnesses to God’s saving grace. Times of transition may include both grief and hope, fear and joyful expectation, death and new life.

Many centuries after the prophet spoke of the renewal of God’s people, God brought his prophetic promises to fulfillment by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. When Jesus preached his inaugural sermon, he chose to read from the opening verses of Isaiah 61: “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news . . .” (Luke 4:16-21). Jesus used the image of release from the Exile as a picture of the salvation that he was bringing to the world. Through the deliverance brought by Jesus, God is moving the world through a great transition toward the New Creation.

In this past year, Trinity UMC has experienced significant transition. We have begun enjoying the fruit of our recent capital campaign, which greatly enhanced our ability to do innovative ministries such as our new Generations service and other events in Vivion Hall. We have experienced grief as we have said goodbye to Rev. Vicky and Joe Peters, who retired, Darlene Snyder, who moved to Houston, and, soon to depart, John and Aly McClure, who will be resettling in Pearland. We have also said goodbye, because of death or departure to distant cities, to some of our finest long-term disciples. The church owes a great debt of gratitude to all of these faithful witnesses.

At the same time, we have welcomed new and younger families, with new young adult ministries and small group opportunities. We have welcomed Rev. David Johnson to our ministry team, along with his bride, Sarah, and their beautiful children, Elisha and Lauryn. We have been blessed to welcome Stephanie Denham as our new Children’s Ministry coordinator, Angela Fryar as my Administrative Assistant, and Carolyn Edward as a new member of our custodial staff.  These transitions will help us move into the future well-equipped to fulfill our mission.

We are living through times of tremendous transition in our culture and politics and economy, while here in Beaumont we are experiencing a changing context of ministry. In this holy season, as we prepare for the celebration of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am confident that the Holy Spirit will lead us through every time of transition into deeper transformation, so that we will be able to help people to Know God, Be Transformed, and Love. Let us join the prophetic chorus: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with garments of salvation!”

Grace and peace,

Bob Shield

 

Posted by Bob Shield at 1:59 PM