Pastor's Notes

Dear Friends,
 Why do we exist as a church?  Why should you and I support the mission and ministry of Canton United Methodist Church?  To balance a budget?  Should balancing the budget be our primary concern?
 I am not in the business of balancing budgets or managing money.  I am in the business of changing lives for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ - that is it.  I have no other reason to exist.  If we are not doing that as a church, we need to get out of the way and let someone else have our spot.  Maybe someone else can do it better than us and try to respond to the call to make disciples.
 The other day, I saw a commercial for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.  It’s the hospital Danny Thomas founded to work with very sick (usually cancer) children.  It is a massive hospital that treats thousands of children and employs thousands of people.  I can only imagine what the yearly budget is to run this healing place.  
 As I watched the commercial, I heard nothing about the size of their buildings.  Not one time did the commercial mention how much the CEO received as a salary.  Not one time did I hear anything about what the utility bill runs.  They simply told the story of one three-year-old boy and how the hospital helped this dangerously ill little boy go from being near death to having an energetic, vigorous life.  During the commercial I saw pictures of him with tubes and wires in him and nurses gathered around him.  I saw the faces of worried parents with caring staff and doctors reading through charts.  Finally, I saw a little boy on a swing set in his back yard, laughing and loving life.  Not once did I think about budgets or numbers.  I just saw a little boy getting well and I liked that.  I think we all want to support a place that makes three-year-old boys well.  They showed me and told me the story of their mission.  They got my support.
 I know that our church changes the lives of many people.  I have the opportunity to enjoy the hugs of our children when we feed them physically and spiritually.  I see the smiles on their faces and hear their joyful noise every Wednesday night.  I visit with people in support groups and grief groups.  I have an opportunity to lead adult studies.  I enjoy time each Sunday with Confirmation students who really want to know more about Jesus.  I know we make a difference with each blanket given to a young person at Keystone.  I am convinced that we make a difference.  We are about more than balancing budgets.  We are bearers of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a hurting world.  I can support that.  Can you? 
 Join me in telling the story of the ways we make a difference.  It’s swells the heart and helps people understand that we are accomplishing our mission and changing lives for Jesus Christ.
 In the Master’s service, Steve