From the Pastor’s Pen

As I sit down to write this article, several things come to mind. First, I am incredibly blessed to serve Lakeview as your pastor. This church has shown a lot of heart for “the least of these.” You are always looking for new Outreach opportunities and that is exactly what a church is supposed to do.

It’s not just about what we do internally as a congregation, which is important, but as it says in the left column, “The Church Has Left the Building.” That’s what makes a strong congregation. By giving, we also receive.

As Luke writes, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Think about that. We have been blessed by already paying our Ministry Shares in full for 2018. We have grown substantially over the past three years. Our attendance is now 22nd out of 62 in the district. We are now 7th in profession of faith.

It’s not about numbers, but numbers are an indicator of our congregational health. We are ALIVE AND WELL. And even better, THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Christ has called us to never tire of loving each other and looking for new ways to share the good news.

Hispanic-Latino Ministry

Nestor Perez and Pastor Ray have been in conversation with our Blue River District Superintendent regarding a possible Hispanic ministry at Lakeview. There are some 81,000 Spanish speaking

persons in Lincoln and not one United Methodist congregation serving them. The Conference and, perhaps the Nebraska United Methodist Foundation have grants to help with start-up. This is an exciting opportunity for Lakeview.

Outreach is Expanding

The Outreach Team at Lakeview is expanding it’s ministry. We will be gathering personal items for both men and women. We do request travel sizes which are much easier to put in a purse or other bag.

Shampoo and crème rinse, bar or liquid soap, washcloth or handiwipes, deodorant, comb and/or brush, hand and/or body lotion, socks, gloves. Comb and/or brush, Toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, Kleenex (travel size), feminine products, diapers and baby wipes. Also gallon zip lock bags or used purses for women.

Lakeview One Hundred Club

Lakeview One Hundred Club

You may be asking yourself, what is the 100 Club? Simply it means we join we 47 other United Methodist Churches in the Blue River District that have paid one-hundred percent of their Mission Shares as of January 2. One of the essential ministries funded through our giving is the World Service Fund.

The World Service Fund is the essential core of our global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. By giving to World Service we empower United Methodist evangelistic efforts…stimulate Bible study and spiritual commitment…encourage church growth and discipleship…and help God’s children everywhere. In the coming months we will be highlighting other core ministries funded by our mission shares. Your giving changes lives.

From the Pastor’s Pen

From the Pastor’s Pen

As I write this article we are in the midst of some very cold weather. This past week wind chill readings have been as low and minus 20 degrees. As I sit at my desk and write this article it is a perfect 72 degrees in our home. My heart and my mind turn to those who do not have heat or adequate food for themselves and often for children. In Matthew 25, Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me. The people questioned Jesus and his reply was “as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you did it to me.’

I am thankful, grateful, and humbled (and yes, proud) of the way you have cared for those in need. This congregation, that is not large in numbers, compared to some other congregations in this town has a huge collective servant’s heart. You continue to look for new opportunities to serve God’s children. I believe Jesus would say, “Well done good and faithful servants.” I would say it’s an honor to be your pastor.

From the Pastor’s Pen

From the Pastor’s Pen

Growing up in a farming community I learned a few lessons that apply to our faith and discipleship. First is that farming takes hard work. Second, farming takes a lot of faith. God doesn’t just miracously give you an abundant crop. Farming is a partnership with God.

For example, you are not going to get a crop unless you plant. And you can’t plant unless you harvest. It’s also true that sometimes a crop doesn’t produce as we had hoped. Drought, hail, too much rain and weeds can diminish, or even destroy, a crop. But those things don’t keep us from tilling the soil and planting still more seeds.

It’s the same with our discipleship. Matthew 28:19 says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….”

Have you ever grown a crop whether wheat, corn, beans, or even garden vegetables without planting? Highly unlikely.

There is a process to farming, whether in soil or in a soul. You cannot plant what you do no sow. What does this mean for us as a church? Simply, it means that first of all, church is not a place we go on Sunday morning. That’s worship. Church is more than that. We can never afford to be satisfied with the gathering unless we also scatter. Part of being the Church is the gathering for worship, study, fellowship and outreach. But gathering a crop of corn in a bin will never produce a harvest. Those seeds have to be scattered. That’s where we come in as the Church. We gather together certainly, but we are called to scatter the seeds in others. Scripture says some “seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Will you commit to being both a gatherer and one who scatters? God will provide that harvest.

Roca Berry Farm

Roca Berry Farm

After church service on October 29th a few kids from the youth group took an outing to Roca Berry Farm. Jack, Christopher, Samantha, and Aubree made the trip. Based on the smiles in the pictures below, I think they had a great time.

Haunted House

The kids visited a few haunted houses. Including this one!

end of the slideThere were plenty of slides to go down, and some not so graceful landings.
Goat stealing a snackNext, they went into the petting zoo where the goats would steal the food directly out of the vending machine. Samantha had a hard time keeping them away.
Moon bounceOf course you have to get on the moon bounce.
riding the zip lineThe unanimous winner for best activity was the zip line. All four kids went down! Here is Jack zipping towards the bottom.
kids showing off their pumpkinsEveryone had a fun time and got to take home a pumpkin.

Happy Halloween!

From the Pastor’s Pen 7/2017

From the Pastor’s Pen 7/2017

Three years ago on the first Sunday in July I was richly blessed. That was my first Sunday out of retirement and my first Sunday at Lakeview United Methodist Church. I had filled the pulpit a couple times for Pastor Call, so I had some knowledge of this church and the devotion of it’s people. I have served churches across the state and have never lived anywhere we didn’t love. Yet, to be part of this congregation of God’s people is amazing. Over these three years you have about tripled in attendance. You have started new ministries that many would have said was impossible.

What makes this so wonderful is that YOU did it! Not the Pastor or the District or the Conference! It was you, the people of God at Lakeview. You had a vision of what could be and you refused to listen to voices that said we were too small. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

I have many “favorite” Bible verses, but above them all is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I can’t wait to see what dreams you have for what is no longer a small church. You are vibrant and vital and God is using you. An old spiritual says, “It’s not the preacher nor the teacher…” It is YOU a body of believers actively engaged in ministry to God’s people.