Below is a brief recap of some of the ministry opportunities during the month of April. Thank you for praying so diligently and bodaciously for this ministry.
April 4-8 – I had an opportunity to go with a group of educators to Parris Island, South Carolina to view firsthand how Marines are made. I wrote a blog about it that was posted on April 13. It was a very interesting and informative trip. I learned a lot. It gave me a greater appreciation for the men and women who serve in our armed forces. As I said in the blog, if we were as persistent and disciplined in making disciples as they are making Marines, I believe we would live in a different world!
April 10 – I had an opportunity to preach at a great African-American Church here in Montgomery, Community Christian Church. Rev. Paul Gourdine is the pastor. The worship was exciting and all of the people most gracious.
April 16 – Bishop Paul Leeland invited the lay leaders of each local church and the delegates to Annual Conference to a meeting at Blue Lake. We had over 350 lay people present. He asked me to give a one hour presentation on the stewardship program Transformed Giving and Treasures of the Transformed Life. He asked every local church in our Annual Conference to consider using this stewardship study during the year.
April 17 – Preached three worship services at Dauphin Way United Methodist Church in Mobile. Dr. Jeff and Robin Wilson are co-senior pastors at Dauphin Way. Their church was finishing the study of Treasures of the Transformed Life and were making their commitments on Palm Sunday, April 17. Dauphin Way is one of the great churches of our Annual Conference. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to minister in that congregation through the six week study of Transformed Giving and to preach on Sunday. Jeff and Robin are giving superb leadership.
April 19 – Family Promise is a great non-profit group here in Montgomery who has a wonderful ministry. They have a fund raiser where people serve as waiters at restaurants and the tips go to Family Promise. For the second year in a row I joined Mayor Todd Strange and a couple of other folks who didn’t know anything about waiting tables, and we worked at Mr. G’s. So many people came out and we raised a lot of money for Family Promise.
April 21 – Was invited to help pray for pastors as they prepared for worship experiences during Holy Week and Easter. We met at Trinity Presbyterian Church. The ministers were from all denominations and it was a good time for the pastors to relate to each other, and to pray for each other. Dale Huff, former pastor at First Baptist and I were the “old guys” who have been through a lot of Easter experiences and were invited to lead in the praying.
April 26-28 – About five or six years ago a few of us pastors of the largest United Methodist congregations met to discuss way in which we could learn from each other and offer synergy to the carrying out of the mission of Christ in the world. We expanded that group to the top 100 pastors. We met in Kansas City at Church of the Resurrection. It was a very intense but productive three days as we had several bishops who met with us, along with a group of lay persons and pastors who have been selected as an Interim Operation Team to help begin implementing the Call to Action Report for the United Methodist Church.
April 30 – Preached Saturday morning at Pastors’ Conference at Fresh Anointing House of Worship. Apostle Kyle Searcy is the lead Pastor. The Conference was sponsored by the University of Mobile. Saturday afternoon traveled to Dallas, Texas to preach at First United Methodist Church Arlington, Texas on May 1st and preach and teach at the Evangelism Conference and Preaching Academy May 2-4.
Please continue praying for our Board of Directors, Linda Poole, and me. You can stay updated on future opportunities through the website. The number of people receiving these blogs increases each week. If you feel that receiving the blogs each week would be helpful to someone, have that person send us an email address.
Thanks for your prayers and support.
For the Cause of causes,
John Ed Mathison