Knowing Christ and making Him known, serving Christ by serving others


“Immediately (Jesus) made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up to the mountain to pray.” Matthew 14:22-23

“The bow cannot always remain bent, nor can humans in frailty subsist without recreation.”
Miguel de Cervantes

The Preacher reminds us for everything there is a season; a time to be born, a time to die. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Ecclesiastes 3 has great wisdom, and in sharing it the Preacher intends to display the need to claim the rhythms of life. maxresdefaultTo see that there are complimentary experiences, opportunities that will test as well as affirm us, and to submit to the needs of the spirit and its desire to rest and recover as well as meet the demands of the day. God felt it was so important that this demand became a Commandment; remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. We are a people who cannot move indefinitely; we must stop, clear our heads, and make sure that we are intentional about our own health and spiritual well-being.

Along with the duties of day to day church work, we pastors must also navigate difficulties and demands that go unnoticed in the general life of the community. It is a wonderful privilege to celebrate the joy that a faith community has when it is alive with excitement and hope! But the church also encounters unhappy people; broken and hurt souls who need God’s healing but are more than willing to project their hurt on others; those who grapple with their sorrows and can find no relief, and those whose emotional expectations will never be met by the church and its leaders. And often it is tasked to the pastor to “make these things right.” Sometimes our best efforts go unrewarded. Clarity is required to keep the power of community moving forward, and every once in a while some rest is needed to restore the weary soul.

The SPRC has graciously granted me an eight-week sabbatical in which I will be engaging my spirit in a wonderful program called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero. Pete argues that one cannot be a spiritual person while indulging in emotional immaturity; if we are angry, manipulative or demanding, our idea of spiritual health will always be compromised by our own self-centered behavior and sabotaged by that weakness. Other congregations that have engaged in this program have experienced an exceptional transformation in their motivation for ministry. It is my goal to be the best leader for you that I can possibly be, so I will be intentionally working on my soul and engaging in healing rest and study to help me give my heart, soul and joy to this wonderful work we do here at SHUMC! 


Our future is emerging and the Lord is calling us into His embrace of a glorious tomorrow! This I say with absolute certainty; Jesus is here and believes in us! And what we are going to accomplish in the coming years will be a witness to God’s kingdom! I long to be at my best for you, and with some rest and study we will hit the ground running this fall with the light of Christ’s love as our beacon!

There are two things I would ask of you during this time; first, pray for me and my spiritual growth. Second, stand firm in the good works that we are doing; welcome the stranger, share the love in our service and grace, and don’t be discouraged. God is doing a marvelous work in our midst; with patience and grace it will be revealed.

Keep praying, keep serving and may our hearts be one as Christ is lifted up at Shepherd of the Hills UMC!! It is a privilege to serve you amazing servants of God…

In love and appreciation,
Rev. Michael





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