February 14, 2019

Dear friends and fellow disciples,
I’ve been at the coast for a few days this week, spending time with a group of pastors of mid-sized and large churches in North Carolina. It’s a tradition Haywood began some years ago, and what a blessing this group is to me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend a few days relaxing, learning, and having rich conversations with these very talented folks. There are many gifted pastors leading wonderful churches all around us! I am also grateful to be a part of a connectional church that values close colleagues. We can support and encourage each other, and that is a gift.

 A few things of note in the coming days:  
SATURDAY: Valentine's Parents' Night Out hosted by WPC Youth
Drop off the kids for an evening of pizza, games, and fun with our youth, while you enjoy a Valentine's date! This service is being offered by donation – we invite you to pay what you can. All proceeds will benefit youth summer trips and weekly activities. Sign up now ! Contact : Alex Stayer-Brewington
Dr. Damon Tweedy at Aperture on Wednesday, February 20
Dr. Tweedy will read from his bestselling memoir  Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine , and discuss his experiences grappling with race and bias in the health care system. Come for dinner at 5:45pm, then stick around afterward for this important conversation. Register now.
Spring Women's Retreat, March 29-31
Relax, learn, and enjoy fellowship and the beauty of the beach! This year's Retreat program will be presented by a dear friend of mine and Carrie’s: Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana, who is a terrific author, preacher, and workshop leader. Stop by the Mission Center to get a registration form with all the details. Contacts Dawn Lamont ; Diana Monroe
Thinking Ahead to Sunday: On Jeremiah and Trust
I commend to you two of our readings for Sunday: Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:5-10. Jeremiah pushes all of us who “trust in mere mortals and make flesh our strength,” and calls us to trust in God and God alone. In an anxious age, it’s tough to figure out who we can truly trust. I suspect that all of us, deep down, know the answer is God. But, knowing we are called to trust in God and learning to practice that trust each day, can be very different things. I confess that most days I fail. As we move towards Sunday, I'd encourage you to think a little bit about all of the things and people you place your trust in. Who are they? Why? What does that mean? What does that say about your values? The prophet says, "Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit."

Amen, friends. Amen. I'm so glad we can gather and work through our discipleship together.