Dear Church Family, Someone recently asked me, "What's on the horizon for Brentwood United Methodist Church?" In this week's enote, I'd like to share with you several things that "are on the horizon." Before I do, it should be noted that major things are always happening at BUMC. This is a big place with many vibrant ministries. For example, our youth are having an excellent summer, growing in faith and serving God in exciting ways. This Friday the youth Sonshine Choir begin their annual tour. Our children just finished another exceptional Vacation Bible School, including raising significant funds to help drill a fresh water well in Sierra Leone, Africa that will transform a community. Two weeks ago, on a miserably hot vacation weekend, we raised a large Communion offering to help feed hungry children and senior adults at a United Methodist ministry in East Nashville. And throughout July, we will collect school supplies for hundreds of needy children through our "Christmas in July" ministry. By the grace of God and the vibrancy of our congregation, these kinds of stories occur all the time at BUMC. But beyond the big but normal activities that constantly happen around our church, here's what I see coming in the next couple of months.
SLI Rollout: After months of hard work, our SLI team will be rolling out a tentative MAP (ministry action plan) to our key leaders in late August. The MAP will include a values, mission and vision statement, along with ministry strategies for 2013. After receiving feedback from our leaders, SLI will make revisions and adjustments. Eventually, our Church Council will approve a final MAP which will then be shared with the entire congregation. Our goal is to finish phase one of the MAP by the end of the year. At that point, all our major ministries will begin working on their own specific MAP for their various work areas (youth, music, children, discipleship, missions and outreach, etc). These crucial MAPS (ministry action plans) will continually evolve as our leaders adopt ongoing dreams and plans for BUMC. This is the most important development that I see coming in the months ahead, and it will make a positive impact on BUMC for many years to come. Honduras Mission Project: Before long, you will be hearing about an exciting new ministry partnership in Honduras. BUMC will be involved in building a new hospital that will make a significant difference in the lives of many people. Be on the lookout for how you can support this important ministry. We still need another physician to go on the mission trip in early September. If you are interested and would like more information contact Mike Dennison at email@example.com. Disciple Bible Study: This fall we plan to restart our DBS program. As many of you know, DBS is an intensive, nine-month Bible study. It incorporates daily individual readings along with a weekly group-life component. We hope many of our members and friends will participate in this life-changing experience. Find out more at information tables in the Narthex on Sundays July 15 & 22 and information sessions on Sunday, July 22 at 8:30 & 11:00 am in room A291, or by clicking here.
On a personal level, two new things are on the horizon for me. First, I've been accepted into the 2012-2013 class of Leadership Brentwood. I look forward to this opportunity to get better acquainted with our community. Second, I'm about to begin work on a new publishing project. When I came to BUMC, my publisher kindly agreed to put my writing contracts on hold for one year during my start-up. Now that I've begun my second year, I've agreed to write a new book called The Answer to Bad Religion Is Not No Religion but Good Religion. Some pastors like to golf or garden for a hobby. I like to write articles and books. I look forward to working on this new project as my personal time permits. Finally it was good to receive Nathan Paul and Doug and Faye Koppang as new members. Welcome to our church family. In Christ's Love and Service, Martin