Where Do Pastors Seek Guidance?
Rev. Lara W. Franklin

At first glance, the answer might seem easy - God, right? Well, yes, but when was the last time you logged into God, typed your question and received an immediate response complete with not only an answer to What? but also How? When? and Why? If only prayer life were that simple and straightforward! Maturing faith asks more of us: patience, discernment, openness to God's guidance through our relationships with others, being willing to sit with answers unknown - or as the poet Rilke put it, "to learn to love the questions."

I subscribe to a professional development group called the Congregational Consulting Group (CCG), an organization of some of the best church consultants in the country that were drawn together through the Alban Institute. They publish weekly, and their work informs my ongoing education, professional development, and personal growth.

Susan Beaumont is one of the consultants of the CCG. Last week she published a piece entitled "Five Assumptions Failing Us Now." By now, she means NOW...in this season of online worship, in consideration of how we "return" and what this experience will and might mean for congregations like ours. I found it very helpful in my own discernment process as we live into each day of this pandemic journey. I confess, most days I have more questions than answers, and I often wish I could simply pray to order a blueprint of each step forward. But none of our lives work that way, and I am learning every day to sit with unknown answers while learning to love new questions.

I shared the article with the Administrative Leadership Team and the staff last week, and they responded to it also. Susan asks more questions than she offers answers; some answers simply aren't yet ours to know. As we live each day, may we have the courage to ask the questions, to be open to transformation by the events and opportunities before us, and emerge stronger and more Christ-like for having "lived along some distant day into the answers." (Rilke)

I encourage you to read Beaumont's article which I have linked below to the CCG website. You may also subscribe to the CCG newsletter by clicking "subscribe" on their webpage if you deem what you find helpful. In any case, you know now a little more about where pastors like me seek guidance through the power of God's Holy Spirit working through others with particular gifts and insights. It's not some tightly guarded secret; I invite you to read, learn, and pray alongside me.
Peace and grace to you from your Vicar. I am blessed and humbled to be your pastor.

Much love,
Pastor Lara
Apple Corps meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning for casual fellowship. Class begins at 9:45.
The Zoom Meeting ID is 293-856-379 or click the link below to go directly to Zoom.
Branches meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 213-928-173 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
Genesis meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning. The Zoom Meeting ID is 937 5166 7725 or click the link below to go register and go to Zoom.
"I CONNECT" meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 963-430-720 or click the link below for Zoom.


Journey meets via Zoom at 9:30 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 429-051-096 or click the link below for Zoom.
New Beginnings meets via Zoom at 9:45 every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 387-197-129 or click the link below for Zoom.
The Way meets via Zoom at NOON every Sunday morning.The Zoom Meeting ID is 450-965-323 or click the link below for Zoom.
Sunday School for preschool and elementary school meets via Zoom at 9:45. To maintain a secure site for our children, please email Ms. Robin for login information before Sunday.

New: Life Lessons from GENESIS 12 weeks
     September 15th to December 1st
The book of Genesis brings us back to the beginning of the Bible. We learn how we were created, the origins of sin and how to best relate to God. Genesis chronicles stories of deceit, jealousy, human failure and the love of God to use flawed people to carry out God's promises; both then and for us today. Each week of this study will explore thoughtful questions, inspiration, reaction and devotional ideas.Join this men's group study on Zoom. Study guides are available. We start at 7:20am each Tuesday at this link: 
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy
Please continue to check the Facebook Prayer Page for daily updates or concerns. To be redirected to the Martin UMC Care Team Prayer Ministry page, click here:


Martin Community: Glen Dow, Barb Herbison, Jane Hopton, John Longyear, Melissa Norton, Dottie Rust, Marcie Smith, Lee Swann, Jim Swinford


Family & Friends: Jean & Steve Bostick, Skip Bradford, Ryan Campanaro, Bev Mann's family: Carol & Terry, Gwen Caylor, Cory Chalk, Christine, Jill Davis, Amy Ellis, Janny Galloway, Heath Hinton, June Ivey, Gloria Jackson, Diane Kunce, Mark Leake, Linda and Larry Lewis, Lucille Magus, Danielle Marie, Sue Traver, Deb & Al Viney, Glendora Waldrup, Kathy Walton

Our love and sympathy is extended to David Medina's brother, Domingo and the Medina family on the death of Domingo's wife Kathy.


Names remain for two weeks unless otherwise requested.