you are reading this, I hope that you consider yourself a friend of Holy Cross
United Methodist Church, and have an interest in our effectiveness in sharing
the love of God in meaningful ways among each other, and out into the wider
world. If that is true, I would like to
invite you to play an even greater role in helping this happen—and I’m not
talking about giving more money.
We have an element in our Sunday morning
worship services called God Sightings,
in which I pass along stories others—like you—tell me about where and how they
have perceived God at work in, around, and through them in recent days. There are some weeks I have several such
sightings to share, other weeks none. I
want to exhort you to ensure that there is always
a sighting to behold when we gather to worship.
What is a God Sighting, you may ask?…thank you for asking. Such a sighting is any event or awareness you
have which enhances your belief that God is alive and active in this
It might be something as simple—yet
overwhelming—as a brilliant sunset that calms your heart after an anxious
It might be something as awe-inspiring as
calling someone just when they needed to hear from you. I have read accounts of people on the verge
of suicide who found new hope because someone called them at that exact
moment. Coincidence: I think not!
It might be something as personal as a song
coming on the radio which reminds you of a friend you had not thought of for
years who you then reach out to through Facebook with whom you are able to
reignite a treasured relationship.
It might be something as meaningful as being met
in the depths of grief by a quiet assurance that “you will get through this”
which gives you the confidence to keep on keeping on.
The great value of sharing these God Sightings in worship is that the
claims for faith which I make in my sermon get ‘fleshed out’ in your living, lending
credence to all that has been said. Think
of it this way: if my sermon is the lecture portion where faith is described, God Sightings are the lab portion where
that faith is experienced.
I want to earnestly request you to first of
all be aware of God’s activity in your life; then, I want you to share with me
how you see that happening so that I can share it with the whole body of
believers. I am confident that the more
we share, the more yet we will begin to share and, as a result, more people
will be touched and blessed because such stories speak to our hearts in ways
mere sermons often cannot.
If you have a God Sighting which you would like to share, please send them to me
at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail
mail to: Pastor Gary, Holy Cross UMC, 1200 W. Hammer Lane, Stockton, CA 95209.
Thank you—in advance—for all you will share
from here on…
WORSHIP REMINDER: Our worship and livestream on Sunday, June 27, will take place at 9:00 A.M. in our sanctuary and on our website. Then, beginning at 10:00 A.M. in both of those places, we will make available the Service of Ordination and Commissioning from the Annual Conference Session, a chance to celebrate those whom God has called into ministry. This grand time of worship will feature a sermon by Bishop Minerva Carcaño—always a source of inspiration of blessing.