October Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

October may very well be my favorite month of the year!

I enjoy watching the leaves change from summer green to the red and yellow and golden hues of autumn.  I enjoy the crisp air at night while still basking in the warmth of these Fall days.  I enjoy the honking of geese migrating in their grand “V” patterns and the sight of blackbirds flocking by the thousands.  I enjoy the crunch of leaves underfoot as I walk the Ice Age Trail and Farmers’ Markets full of harvest produce.  And I enjoy the taste and the smell of pumpkin spice in so many seasonal dishes.  Even when indoors, I enjoy this time of year with football games being played and championship baseball being decided.

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September Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”  1 Peter 5: 7-9

 I guess this passage kind of says, “With God’s help, take care of yourself.”

Recently, I’ve had a number of folks offer me that advice.  I’ve heard it from my church family, from fellow pastors, even from Diana’s nurses and therapists.  And it is good advice which I need to heed.  (And I am trying to!)

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August Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

Well, some of you might have thought that it would never happen!  We’ve talked about it, and talked about it, and talked about it a little more.  For years we’ve recognized the need for an elevator at Asbury Church, but we could never seem to make it happen.  It just didn’t work into the finances of our church!

But miracles do happen!

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July Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

I’ve always found summertime and the church to be an interesting pair.  Summertime is a time of leisure; a time to kick back, take a vacation, get out in the garden or on the lake.  It’s a chance to enjoy a break in the foreboding Wisconsin weather.  Similarly, in the church, we see many of our usual ministerial activities and offering put on hold from June through August.  No Sunday School, Youth Group takes a break, the Choir is on leave, and there are fewer Study Groups meeting.  It’s almost like ministry as we know it, is suspended!  For many churches, worship attendance suffers as people are pulled in different directions.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not standing in judgment!  We all need a break from our routines in life – even church related routines!  I will be the first to admit that I enjoy a great vacation as much as anyone else!

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June Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

Well, this is going to be a June, unlike any I’ve faced before.  There are some major milestones being reach this month in the Jewson family which are reasons to celebrate!  Yet, circumstances temper my celebratory mood.

On Sunday, June 16th, I will be ordained as an Elder in our United Methodist Church at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay.  It is a long road to ordination in our denomination.  I am honored that my colleagues on the Board of Ordained Ministry have affirmed my calling and have found me “effective” in ministry.  I am humbled that Bishop Jung and others will lay hands upon me and pray over me as they welcome me into the Order of Elders.

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May Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29: 11-13

Providing us hope and a future!  That is at the core of what our God is all about.

When troubles weigh heavily upon us, it does us well to keep this simple truth in mind: That in God, there is found hope and a future.

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April Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

As I write this, we are in the early days of the Season of Lent.  We are also just a few weeks removed from a most divisive Special Session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (see related article).  I have just returned to my office after a meeting with my Circuit Leader and dear friend, Pastor Steve Scott where we shared our observations about the state of our greater UM Church and the potential implications the decisions and tone of the Special Session may have upon the Church we love.

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March Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

As I turn the calendar to the month of March two thoughts quickly come to my mind.  My first thought is a prayer.  A prayer for Spring to quickly arrive!  (From my office window I can see Lloyd Coulthard blowing snow from our church’s sidewalks even as I write this.)  My second thought is “Wow” the season of Lent is upon us!  Seems like we just packed away our Christmas stuff.

Actually, my thoughts of Spring and Lent are closely related.  The word, Lent, comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means “Spring.”

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February’s Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

“The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to receive and act on a report from the ‘Commission on a Way Forward’ based on the recommendations of the Council of Bishops. The 32-member Commission was authorized by General Conference 2016 and appointed by the Council of Bishops to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.” (emphasis mine) – From the United Methodist Church website.

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January Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering

Well, it seems hard to believe, but another year has closed and a new one is beginning!

I look back to 2018 with great fondness.  What a year it was for Asbury Church!  We celebrated 60 years worshiping God together!  Wasn’t it great to hear some of the stories our most senior members shared!  One could feel their passion for this church and the many ministries it engaged in over these many decades – the struggles in tough times as well as the many successes along the way.

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