Archive for October, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 4.31.57 PM“Take my grandchildren to Sunday school.”  These were the final words I was to hear from my neighbor who died of brain cancer in 2014.  How could I do that?  They lived in Japan at the time.  Their parents, as far as I knew, weren’t into church either.  This didn’t let me off the hook because a year ago the family moved from Japan into my neighbor’s home, and now her grandchildren are right across our driveway.  I see them nearly every day.  And I’ve discovered that Sunday school can happen more than just on Sundays and more than just at my church.  Right now it’s highly unlikely they would go to my church, but guess what, God brought the church to them through me and my wife.

Even though I’m committed to our United Methodist Church’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, I don’t always do a good job.  I many times get so involved inside my church, doing church stuff with church folk, that disciple making outside rarely happens in an intentional way.  I don’t know about you, but I need help.

That’s why I’m excited about the launch of regional Missional Peer Learning Groups.  These are designed to help persons like me, and church leaders and teams, with ideas, encouragement, accountability and prayer as we make all make disciples where God places us.  I encourage you to consider trying out one of these groups.  Just contact the person below and they’ll help you get connected.  Or feel free to contact me.

  • Dyer (near Chicago) – Jim Clark  (james.clark@inumc.org)
  • Fort Wayne – Steve Mekaru  (kristoshandsandfeet@gmail.com)
  • Centerville (near Richmond) – Jason  Morris (jason.morris@inumc.org)
  • Brazil – Rick Koch (rick.koch@inumc.org)
  • Indianapolis – Mike Mather (mike.mather@inumc.org)
  • Pfrimmer’s Chapel (near Corydon) – Tim Johnson  (tim.johnson@inumc.org)

Together we’re stronger!  God is doing a new thing.  Let’s not miss out!

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

 

An unexpected diversion

Posted: October 4, 2015 by efenster in Uncategorized

DSC_0932We were ninety minutes into our flight across the North Atlantic when the flight attendant urgently requested anyone with medical expertise to make themselves known to the flight crew.  For the next 30 minutes people rushed up and down the aisle carrying medical equipment to first class where a gentleman lay unconscious with no pulse.  A heart attack at 38,000 feet.

Thankfully, due to the efforts of strangers, he regained his pulse.  Understandably the plane turned around and returned to Ireland where my wife and I had just finished a two-week vacation.  Two hundred of us got an unexpected “bonus” day on the emerald island–our travel plans, so carefully worked out, got thrown out the window–all for the sake of a one man’s life.

How often Jesus reminds us the value of a single life.  I read in my devotions today “…Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matt. 18:14).  So I ask myself, am I aware of the “pulse” of those around me?  Do I really care about the strangers who have no “pulse”?  Am I willing to sacrifice all my well made plans for the sake of another who’s in trouble, who lacks the knowledge of God’s great news?  What about you?

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

P.S.  The last word we had is that the man who had the heart attack was doing okay.  Whew!