Pastor’s Letter for the October, 2017 edition of Trinity Tidings
PARSON TO PERSON
When I was ordained as an elder in full connection in the Detroit Annual Conference in 1986, I accepted the responsibility to preach the Word of God, lead in worship, read and teach the Scriptures, and engage the people in study and witness. As part of my acceptance of my call to ministry, I also accepted the responsibility to lead people in discipleship and evangelistic outreach that others might come to know Jesus Christ and to follow Him. I understood that my role as an Elder involved my participation in a fourfold ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. With regard to my role in the area of Service, I was to embody the teachings of Jesus in servant ministries and servant leadership, and to build the body of Christ as a caring and giving community, extending the ministry of Christ to the world. The words of John Wesley have always been meaningful to me, especially when he said, “The world is my parish.”
Over 38 years of ministry I have always believed in protecting the sanctity of the pulpit from political agendas, and to my knowledge, I have been faithful in that regard. But when there are issues in our community and in our world that are not simply political, but also involve moral issues, I have a duty to engage in establishing and defending the Kingdom of God from that which is evil.
It is my conviction that the presence of a Medical Marijuana Processing Plant, as well as Distribution centers in our community puts our community at moral risk.
I do realize that there are persons who truly need and may benefit from the use of medical marijuana. The use of medical marijuana has been approved by the state of Michigan, and there are already places where people who need it may get it, provided they have the proper credentials. The fact that the state of Michigan has approved the use of medical marijuana does not mean that we should allow a processing plant and distribution centers to exist in Chesaning! There are some serious environmental concerns that exist in places that have opened the door to these facilities. The use of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and other dangerous chemicals bring certain risks to the area around the facility. Air and water pollution should be a concern for us all.
Communities that have opened their doors to these facilities have often seen increases in crime which should be a concern for a community of our size. In addition to that, there is a strong possibility that there will be a proposal on the Michigan ballot in the next year or two to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Should this legislation pass in our state, Chesaning would become a major distributor to the region around us. I am certain that this is NOT the type of identity we want for our community.
More important, what is the message we are giving our children should we allow this industry in our community? As parents and grandparents, we have told our children that the use of marijuana is wrong for them; yet now we may have a processing plant right down the street. The presence of such a facility in our midst will send an inconsistent message to our children.
There is a cost to allowing the presence of such an evil to exist in our midst. We have the opportunity to resist this evil, and to take a stand for Jesus Christ, witnessing to the faith we hold dear. As your pastor, I consider this an opportunity that God has given us to bear witness to our community that we stand for the Kingdom of God. This is the reason that I have added my voice opposing the presence of this facility in Chesaning! Whether you happen to agree or disagree, you know that my door is open and I welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you.
WHAT 2 WATCH 4!!!!!
Sunday, Oct. 1—Annual Charge Conference @ 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 3—6 p.m.—Finance Committee
Wednesday, Oct. 4—7 p.m.—Trustees
Saturday, Oct. 7—3 p.m.—Laier/Schneider wedding
Sunday, Oct. 8—7 p.m.—DEFYING GRAVITY Study
Monday, Oct. 9—6:30 p.m.—Lay Leadership Committee
Wednesday, Oct. 11—6:30 p.m. Shepherding Committee
7:00 p.m. All Committees
8 p.m.—Administrative Council
Sunday, Oct. 15—Crossroads District Conference @ Court Street
Monday, Oct. 16—7 p.m.—SPRC
Sunday, Oct. 22—7 p.m.—DEFYING GRAVITY Study
Saturday, Oct. 28—United Methodist Women—BAZAAR
Sunday, Oct. 29—Trunk or Treat
7 p.m.—DEFYING GRAVITY Study
DEFYING GRAVITY STUDY BEGINS OCTOBER 8 @ 7:00 P.M.
As part of our preparation for the 2017/18 Pledge Campaign, Pastor Tim will be offering a 4 part study entitled “Defying Gravity.” Written by Tom Berlin, our study book helps us to consider the kind of “pull” money has on us. In a culture where we are told that more is better, how do we detach ourselves from the “pull” of money? Our study begins on Sunday evening, October 8 at 7 p.m. Please sign up and fill your heart with a right spirit for how we handle our money. The study will be held on Sunday evenings, October 8, 22, 29, and November 5.