The Winds of Change Are Blowing

By Rev. Keith Turman | 2023-07-25 | 4 min read

I love a good breeze—especially at the very beginning, when it slowly and gently moves the world around me. I imagine you know what I’m talking about. We feel it most when the air is stagnant and still—when it’s too hot to move but the beads of sweat show up on the forehead anyway. The wind changes things. It stirs and alters my physical existence—but it affects my spiritual condition too. The wind fills me with hope and inspires me to move. And this is a good thing, especially when things need to change. Change is like the wind. And it’s blowing again. I know it stresses some of you out, but I’ve always loved it. My high school bedroom changed on a monthly basis. There are only so many places to move your boom box and weight bench in a room ten feet square, but I would always find a way, because the change seemed to always but an extra skip in my step. I never want to lose my skip, and I don’t want my church to either.

Many of you have inquired about our Wonderful Wednesday program, and lately, your questions are often phrased with a certain degree of concern. You’ve noticed that the wind has calmed considerably—our sails aren’t as full as they used to be. Our program staff has also noticed this change, so we’ve been asking lots of questions too. And the questions are big—not only the ‘why is this happening’ question, but also the ‘why do we even do this’ question. Jimmy Dean offers wisdom in this season of discernment. He said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can always adjust my sails to reach my destination.” Knowing our destination is critical to the process. What we’re ultimately after is the fulfillment of our stated mission to “welcome all, to grow in faith, and to engage the world.” Wonderful Wednesdays have historically been a time when all generations can come together for friendship around the dinner table, and for participation in a wide variety of opportunities to grow in faith and life. It didn’t take long for us to conclude that this program is still vital and needed. So, we’ve decided to adjust the sails—to move the furniture around a bit.

Sunday nights at FUMC have become noticeably busy. Many families are already at the church because of our vibrant youth programs and children’s ministries. So, beginning September 17, we are transitioning our traditional Wednesday night programming to Sunday nights, in hopes of connecting more and more people to faith formation opportunities. Our vision is to create a vibrant intergenerational community on Sunday nights, where everyone can not only connect in fellowship, but also participate in a program or class. We envision Bible studies, book studies, membership classes, Journey Groups, training events, worship experiences, etc. etc. So, when we ask you, let us know what you would like to lead or teach. And when we ask you, let us know what you’re hungry for—what topics or issues you would like to see on the menu.

And speaking of food, the Wednesday evening meal is moving to Wednesday lunch. In addition to those of us who are newly retired, there are many of us who find it challenging to drive at night, so our weekly lunchtime event in the gym may prove to be a perfect option. In addition to great food and companionship, faith formation opportunities will be offered on either side of the meal. And that’s not all. Once a quarter, like a blast from the past, Wonderful Wednesday will happen in the evening, featuring a fantastic meal and a ‘you won’t want to miss it’ program.

I’m sure these changes are hitting some of you with hurricane force, but I’m also sure that some of you have already started skipping. Either way, I hope that you will contact Alex Medford at amedford@fumc-waynesville.com or Terry Bevill at tbevill@fumc-waynesville.com. We’ve got lots of work to do!

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