I am honored to have the opportunity to share some thoughts with you as we move toward the liturgical season of Lent which begins on Feb. 26. Our Lenten focus for 2020 will be Claiming Resurrection as we observe the passion of our Lord and Savior and celebrate Easter—the most holy day of the year for us as Christians.     

As I pen these words, Dr. Baker is among a group of pastors and laity (including David Mohr from Marvin) teaching discipleship to pastors in the African nation of Tanzania. I can hardly wait to hear the stories he will bring back to us.

Through the remainder of February, we will continue our sermon series entitled Rooted as we address each of Marvin Church’s core values known as the Marvin Way. I hope you will strive to be in worship each Sunday morning that you might understand more fully what it means for each of us to be the people of Marvin.

As we move into the new year, I want to share with you my thoughts on three matters important to all of us.

First, I ask you to join me in celebrating our church’s generosity in the month of December which enabled us to finish 2019 in the black. Your gifts along with our staff’s holding the line on expenses allowed us to cover our ministry and mission outlays for the year past. Thank you again.

On a more somber note, we were saddened to hear of the shooting in the West Freeway Church of Christ at the end of the year. Some of you may have seen my interview on church safety on KETK 51 on Jan. 5. Please be assured your church holds your safety as one of our highest priorities. We have a safety team and we are constantly reviewing our safety policy and procedures. Additionally, we have uniformed off-duty officers on site on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Further, we have more than 80 security cameras in place. 

And finally, I want to talk with you about a recent proposal on the organization of the United Methodist Church (UMC). Many of you may have understood that a separation of the church has already been approved and that it is a “done deal.” This is simply not so. Many news outlets have put out misleading or even false information. Here’s is what we know to be the facts:

A group of 16 individuals including bishops and leaders of various advocacy groups met for nine days back in December before negotiating a proposal entitled the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation.

This proposal along with a number of other proposals will be submitted to the regularly scheduled General Conference of the UMC which meets in Minneapolis in May later this year.

Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones has stated that there are significant questions to be answered as to proposed implementation of this plan and it has yet to be reviewed by our Judicial Council to rule on its constitutionality.

Please be assured your pastors and church leaders are actively monitoring developments and we will keep you our members aware of what’s going on. As I previously shared with you, we need to trust in God’s provision for our denomination and we need to remain in a spirit of prayer.

Back here at Marvin, we have a wonderful year ahead of us. Sarah Scott has started as our new Children’s Ministry director and we are moving toward finalizing our decision on a new Student Ministry director. I ask you to join me in being excited about what lies ahead and the exciting things we have planned for this coming year.

Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight (Proverb 3:5-6).

See you in church