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Dear Church Family, This week’s e-note will cover the following topics: Let Us Reason Together Launch of SLI The Called Congregation Family Additions Let Us Reason Together: Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord.” In today’s polarized world, Isaiah’s admonition is more important than ever. For example, an organization in our church recently sponsored an “Islam to Christianity” event. Numerous people in our congregation emailed me about this gathering, concerned that it might be anti-Muslim. When I contacted the leader of this event, he assured me that was not the spirit of the gathering. Although I had another commitment and was unable to attend, I’ve heard from numerous people that the session was fully respectful of Muslim believers. During the event, several people told their story of leaving Islam and coming to faith in Christ. However, they did not disrespect or condemn Islam in the least. I’m aware that even this kind of approach makes some of our members uncomfortable. If so, you will be interested to know that early in 2012, we will be hosting an inter-faith dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims in the context of mutual

respect, mutual learning, and mutual dialogue. What I’m trying to say is that our denomination and our church is a place where good people with different perspectives can “reason together” in the context of open minds, mutual respect, and Christian love— even when we have to “agree to disagree.” I love that about the United Methodist Church and about BUMC, and wanted you to know that Isaiah’s “Come let us reason together” spirit will dominate my tenure as pastor of this congregation. Launch of SLI: Two weeks ago, twelve members of BUMC began a year long journey with SLI (Spiritual Leadership Inc.). At this point there is very little to report. We spent most of our time getting acquainted with each other and our SLI leaders, and we began the process of building a trusting team. We are excited about this process but have no idea yet where it will lead us or BUMC. The team wants to keep the congregation completely informed about the SLI process. Therefore, we have created a SLI newsletter that we will update every month after our SLI sessions. To read the newsletter, please click The Called Congregation: Our “Called Congregation” initiative has already contacted over 2,000 BUMC households. Many wonderful connections and stories have occurred during this effort to contact every member of BUMC. One member said, “It is so good to get a call from the church without being asked for money.” After receiving a call last week, a long time visitor said, “It’s about time I become a member” and she joined on Sunday! Many people have shared struggles and prayer requests. We hope to complete this important initiative the first week or two of October. Your help on this project would be greatly appreciated. Please sign up right away to help complete the calls. You can sign up in the narthex this Sunday or online at Family Additions: Recent home Titans games have significantly reduced our worship attendance. (Remember, you can attend

worship on Saturday night or early Sunday morning and still see the game!) However, in spite of low attendance last Sunday, God sent us the following 23 new members: Marian Moore; Jerry and Sara Hollis; Stephen, Jessica, Madeline and Caroline Anderson; Whitney Anderson; Hal, Erin and Charlie Hoffman; Donna Holleman; Wayne Muirhead; Rick and Lisa Hamilton; Derrick, Melanie, Bradley and Drew Derringer; and Scott, Abby, Austin and Maren Grooters. Welcome to our church family. In Christ's Love and Service, Martin

e-Note from Martin - September 27 Issue