Memories of Moments

Last week on a Thursday morning I was writing a description of our ministry here at the Neighborhood Services Center of First United Methodist Church for the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. 
One of the questions I was responding to was — Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you? I was sitting behind the computer screen thinking of the many moments and memories I have of ministry with those who are poor, homeless, addicted, mentally ill, and battling hardship and disease. I was thinking about the many things that I could write about — how in those simple and gentle moments I look out at the people in our social hall and get a vision of the Kingdom of God.
And then the moment came as I sat there thinking, trying to shut out the sounds of our active ministry. One of our office volunteers was praying with a man who is sick and lonely and in need of friendship. It was a simple, thoughtful, and compassionate prayer that honored the man’s request and the needs he had shared. These are the moments that carry me and keep me going. These are the moments that remind me of why we do this ministry. We are doing something beautiful for God!

Course of Study for Local Pastors

Last week I was in Claremont, CA for five days. I was taking it easy while Karla was in class at Claremont School of Theology. Last year she went to licensing school and now she is in what is called the Course of Study for Local Pastors. This year was her first year of a five year program. Two weeks every summer. It is an intensive program with lots of reading and papers to write. I took a one day break from my leisure to attend class with Karla. What a rich day. Eight hours in class. The afternoon was particularly engaging. It was a class on Leadership taught by Bishop Grant Hagiya. Bishop Hagiya is the Bishop of the Cal-Pac Conference of the United Methodist Church. This conference takes in southern CA, part of Nevada, and Hawaii. Bishop Hagiya is a great teacher and very approachable. It was an opportunity for me to look at my leadership styles in an intentional way and think about what works in my setting here.
The last two days of our time in Claremont, the weather turned extremely hot. When we left on Saturday it was 115. We were delighted to be coming home to Salinas and the wonderfully moderate weather we have here. Thanks be to God!                                                          Steve

Pastor Steve Lundin