First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Friday, May 29, 2020
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Jayneann McIntosh



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January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

April 2020

May 2020

From Pastor Jayneann's Pen

Last month I was struck by Mexico’s repackaging of social distancing as a “National Distancing Healing Holiday.” In recent weeks, people have begun talking about the positive aspects of shelter-in-place orders and social distancing. While we may just want the comfort of our old routines – church on Sunday and Wednesday, etc. – more and more folks are saying in public that our “normal” was unhealthy and unjust. They’re right.

Too much of our social norms were market-driven rather than God-led. “…We normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack” (Sonya Renee Taylor).
As people of faith, we are called by God – always – to look at our lives and the lives of the world around us through Christ-tinted spectacles. This is our reason for planning a vote to become a reconciling congregation. (That vote is on hold until you can again gather but it will happen!) This is our denomination’s reason for having mission teams work alongside folks in Guatemala (and other places). Both groups benefit. This is so much better than trying to fix their problems before we listen to what their needs really are.

From serving our communities together – afar, through Mission Guatemala and close to home, through our Personal Needs Closet – and individually – and through your gifts of time and money in the ways that you serve personally or as a family, we continue to be the presence of Christ.

Still… even before the present crisis, so many neighbors, near and far, have been hurt, hated, underserved, excluded. The people of First Church have done well but we wonder about ways we have perpetuated situations that left people vulnerable.

In the coming months, we will have wonderful opportunities as we reimagine what it means to be and to do church. We will hold to the good that God invites us to continue and we will say goodbye to ways that have outlived their usefulness.

For a few years, during Annual Conference, we received t-shirts promoting Rethink Church – challenging us to rethink our assumptions and encouraging us to try new, outside-the-box ways to be and do church.

This is the opportunity God is laying before us now.

I won’t be here as you work to answer these questions as a congregation, but part of my prayer is that you will embrace this chance to repaint Wausau’s understanding of First United Methodist Church, sprucing it up to even greater depths of acceptance, justice and caring.

In the meantime, do as the CDC recommends. And, “pray without ceasing.” Laugh as often as you can. And since we will never get to relive these days, celebrate each one as the gift that it is.

And, be sure to check out Martie’s and Rebecca’s messages in the edition of The Messenger.