Grace's Spiritual Leader
Rev. Rafael Cubilette, OSL
Secretary - Cheryl Riehle
Custodian & Maintenance - Joe Hoffman
Treasurer - George Louthain
Choir Director- Elizabeth Spees
Bell Choir Director- Judie Batterman
Christian Education - Sandi Tennessen
“Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth...My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” ~1 Corinthians 1:26-2:5
"Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many... If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it." ~1 Corinthians 12:14-26
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up!” ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Beloved Friends, Sisters, and Brothers in Christ,
I want to thank all of you, beautiful and faithful people of God, for the many ways you allowed me to be your Pastor. As the years go by, I will look back fondly on our time together, because you all made a difference in my life and my family lives; I trust the same will be true for you.
Let me start with the prayer that we prayed together so many times at the start our committee meetings.
Let us pray:
Eternal God, in your wisdom, you have surrounded us with gifted people. Please help us to recognize, affirm, and give thanks for every gift you have placed among us. Teach us how to work together for the common good. Show us how to flow into the places where our gifts are needed and when to ask for help from others. Thank you for making us interdependent. Amen.
In four years, I've watched children grow up. I've baptized, I've confirmed, I've received new members, I've visited touristic and historical places with seniors on the move, performed a mission trip, parades, marriages, too many funerals. I've visited nursing homes, hospitals, and shut-ins. I've been involved in many community boards and committees. I've engaged in ecumenical groups and activities. Together, we realized a few dreams, lived through a few trials, and persevered.
While I am leaving you, there is one who remains constant: Jesus Christ. Jesus has been here from the beginning and will be with you for the rest of the time. If through the power of the Holy Spirit, you allow Jesus to guide (you), our Grace UMC congregation will always have a mission. It may not look like the church we have today caused by COVID-19. There may be difficult decisions that need to be made. But a passion for our Lord and Savior will see you through all your future trials. This passion guided the earlier congregations of Grace UMC, a love that allowed them to navigate their trials. They managed and flourished; so can we.
The biblical record is full of stories about people who faced harder trials than we. A few times, the people of Israel were exiled from their land, every time they returned. When Elijah was on the run from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, he prayed, "I've been very passionate for the Lord of heavenly forces because the Israelites have abandoned your covenant. They have torn down your altars, and they have murdered your prophets with the sword. I'm the only one left, and now they want to take my life too."
The Lord heard Elijah's prayer and encouraged him with these words: "I have preserved those who remain in Israel, totaling seven thousand–all those whose knees haven't bowed down to Baal and whose mouths haven't kissed him." When Elijah had done the math, it looked to him like it was all over. God's math was different from Elijah's. God made a way where there was no way, and God will do it again for people who have faith.
I hope you have a beautiful future. I hope that you take care, love, and support your new Pastor, Stephanie Taylor and her son, Noah as you have done with my family and me. I hope that under new pastoral leadership, you find a way to connect with the neighborhood and invite more people to join you Sunday morning and on mission projects. Finally, I share with you the blessing, "The Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other." Go out, joyful, and smiling!
“I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.” ~Joshua 1:19
Your servant in Christ,