Dear Denver UMC Family,

If you know me at all, you know that I am almost never at a loss for words! However, as I sit down to try to wrap up my time in ministry at Denver UMC...I find myself staring at a blank screen, searching for words. It has been an absolute JOY to serve Jesus alongside so many wonderful friends in this corner of God’s world. As I say farewell, I want you all to know how I see Jesus in you and how I see you beautifully reflect His love in the world.

I see a faith family that loves its community well. I see a church whose heart beats for unleashing compassion through missions near and far. I see worship music that inspires hearts to praise and challenges hearts to encounter the living God and be shaped by the Spirit. I see a praying church, who trusts God and genuinely seeks His will. I see kids and youth who are leading fearless lives in pursuit of Jesus. I see Life Groups of all kinds that gather to live, to laugh, and to dive deep into God’s Word and who show up for each other every day - at baptisms, in hospitals, on playgrounds, on ball fields, and in family rooms. I see my staff friends all working tirelessly to create a space where people meet Jesus. All around, I see the Kingdom coming, one life at a time, and I am blessed to have been a small part of it. I see Jesus in you every single day, and I will miss all of you so much. 

At the same moment, I hear God’s words to Abram rattling around in my soul, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show Abram left, as the Lord had told him...and they set out…” (Genesis 12: 1-5). I doubt Abram was expecting to move and start over at age 75, but he went, in faith and obedience. We weren’t expecting to move, but as a United Methodist pastor you make a vow to go where you are sent, so the Sain’s will be moving to Midway UMC in Kannapolis. My last Sunday at Denver UMC will be June 2nd. Pastors make this vow because we believe that the church is so much bigger than any one pastor, and we trust that God is calling, shaping and working all things together for the Kingdom. I encourage you to embrace your new pastor, as he is “setting out” just like I am. Please give him the love, grace, acceptance, and encouragement that you have offered me.

Almost every Sunday, when I stand up to welcome guests to worship I say something like, “This is a GREAT place to follow Jesus.” I believe that from the deepest part of my heart. This is a GREAT place to follow Jesus, and I am grateful for you and for the way you’ve poured Jesus into my life. God has AMAZING things in store for Denver UMC, so as I set out, my prayer for each of you is that you will keep seeking the places and people to which God has called you. And when you hear God calling...SET OUT, and keep pouring out Jesus into the world.

Blessings on the Journey,

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)

It's hard to say good-bye...

Pastor Anita's last Sunday with DUMC is June 2nd. She will be preaching her final message for us at all services that day. Please join us that night from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the CORC for a casual, drop-in style send off!! Notes and gifts of appreciation to celebrate her ministry are encouraged. 
Administrative Board/Preschool Update

The Administrative Board did not meet last night and therefore did not take any further action determining the immediate future of the Preschool Ministry. We have yet to receive an architect 's report on the facility and what changes could be made to make the space compliant with current fire code. The Trustees did verify through the Lincoln County Planning Department that we did not secure a change of use permit when the Preschool Ministry began ten years ago and we are not "grandfathered" under an older code structure. As soon as the architect report is complete the Administrative Board will meet to act on this information. Thank you and please continue to pray for all preschool families, teachers, and staff as the probable loss of this ministry is a difficult development for them and the entire DUMC family.

Communion at all services this Sunday.
JOY Movie Night will feature the film "All Saints" at 7:00 PM Thursday, May 23, at The Terraces Clubhouse. Based on an inspiring true story of a tiny church that was ordered to shut down, and how the pastor and a group of refugees from SE Asia risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all. Join us and bring a friend!
Scouting for Books

Rock Springs Elementary School & Boy Scout Troop 84 are partnering for Scouting for Books 2019. Please consider donating gently used or new children’s books for K-5 grade levels to help promote literacy and Summer reading! Our goal is for every Rock Springs student to receive a book to read this summer. Please drop off your books by Friday, May 24th in the bins located in the Mission area.
East Asia Ministry Update - Dylan Thompson
Easter Parties
Our team hosted two Easter parties in the month of April. As you probably know from my previous updates, holidays are excellent opportunities for us to share the gospel. We played some fun and silly Easter games including an egg toss, Easter egg hunt, and Easter trivia with students who probably thought we were a little weird for playing these games to celebrate a holiday. After the fun was over and we were all a little sweaty, we sat down in small groups with students and showed them a video of Jesus's crucifixion as told from the perspective of the penitent thief who was crucified beside Jesus (Luke 23). The video was a sobering contrast to the lighthearted games we had just played and as I watched nails being driven into Jesus's hands I, who have read this story time and time again, was overwhelmed by the love he demonstrated on the cross. At both parties students were moved by the video and we challenged them to consider why a perfect, innocent, sinless man who could do miracles would die for the people who were calling for his crucifixion? As far as I know, none of the students who came to our parties and saw the video have decided to become Christians, but I pray that the love of Christ would be burned into their memory. I hope that at some point in their lives, maybe this month or a year or twenty years from now, they would want to experience his love.

Our deepest sympathy to  Roseann Elliott  and  Jo Cleveland  on the death of their father, David Lynn Chapman, who passed away on May 15th

   Income Received to Date:
2019 $415,399   2018 $436,213
-5% change              
(Total 2019 Operating Budget = $1,288,807)