First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Rev. Rebecca Voss




Dear First Family of Faith,

It will be so wonderful to see you face-to-face (or at least eye-to-eye) as we finally are able to gather to worship in-person again! So much has changed in the world in the past 13 months since you were last able to worship together. There are parts of each of us that have forever been changed. We have a great opportunity to rediscover and redevelop our relationship with God and one another.


Before we can begin this renewal process, it's important to remember the times and traditions that we enjoyed as a congregation. Many of them may continue, some may be delayed or modified, and a few of them will need to become sweet memories. It's too early to tell which are which, so we need to have patience and grace as we learn and discern together. Here are some more re- words and ways to help us:


Return to God. In Jeremiah 24:7 God says, “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord: and they will be My People, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” I know many of you faithfully join worship online or meditate on the scriptures, songs, and sermons in the bulletins you've received each week. Hopefully you have taken time to continue and even deepen your prayer life and study of scripture and inspirational works alone or through our Zoom Bible Studies. Some of you needed to step back from serving in mission due to health concerns as other could step up safely to serve more people in need. Whether your faith has become stronger or feels a bit shaky after 13 months apart, it's always a good time to return to God as our source of hope and meaning. We must return to God in our hearts in order to have a great return to worship in our building.


Renew your mind. Romans 12:2 teaches us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect work.” Some of our priorities and practices as a church may need to be transformed. Are we willing to put our customs and preferences to the test and see what God's good, pleasing, and perfect will is (and isn't)? Before we can be renewed, God often has to remove some things in our lives.


Reunite with one another. The pandemic has kept us physically apart, but political posturing and pride have probably been more devastating in separating people. We will probably never all agree on public policies, but we are called to come together in Christ. As spiritual siblings there will likely be squabbles, but as we mature in our faith, we'll practice more humility and openness to God and each other. As Colossians 3:15 says, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.”


We'll continue to offer online worship every week for those who are unable to join us safely or live too far away to attend. But I'mexcited and eager to finally be your in-person pastor too! God is on the move, and helping us to reimagine a stronger mission and future together!


Joyfully in Jesus,

Pastor Rebecca