A letter from the pastor...
By the Reverend Steven Kim
“Love and Nurture”
These days I’ve been involved in a process called ‘EM 360’ initiated by the New York Annual Conference. ‘EM’ stands for ‘Efficient Ministry.’ It is an 8 month-long process of which the goal is to enhance the efficient leadership of the clergy and thereby build up a model for efficient ministry. Weeks ago, I attended a retreat at Camp Olmsted as part of it. Camp Olmsted is one of the Methodist retreat centers, which is located near West Point by the Hudson River.
In one of the sessions, a participant shared with the group the four essential ingredients of efficient leadership. They are: Love, Listen, Nurture and Lead. She also addressed that a failure that many leaders commit in common is for them to try to lead people while skipping the first three elements beforehand. Her words deeply challenged me to reflect on my own leadership as a pastor.
A similar challenge is also found in Jesus’ words for Peter in John 21:15-17: “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' Peter said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'”
With his imminent passion ahead, Jesus commissioned Peter to his leadership over the faith community at another level. But, Jesus didn’t do so without checking out Peter’s commitment to love and nurture first. In other words, Peter should show his love (listen) and nurture the faith community first in order to make sure his leadership is efficient.
I believe this is a rule of thumb for everybody. That is because each of us performs leadership in life, big or small. A parent is a leader at his/her home. An office manager is a leader in the office. A businessman is a leader in the hierarchy of the organization. Church members, let alone a pastor, are also leaders in their positions. Even though you are not a church officer you are still a leader because people around you look up to you in terms of faith.
These days it is my morning routine to take a walk early in the morning and water the plants in the yard when I come back home. (I don’t have a sprinkler system). When I water them the plants look fresh, but if I fail to do so, they wither by the hot sunlight. I need to hear of their thirst, so to speak. That way my morning routine of watering the plants becomes a perfect reminder of efficient leadership.
My dear friends, the Bible says that God has called each of us to be a good steward of His. In other words, we are all leaders in one way or the other. My prayer is that we continue to grow in love, listening, nurturing, and leading. God will bless your life and mine in abundance. Amen.
SUMC PRAYER CHAIN
Our prayers go to God for the following:
- We thank God for the folks who have given their lives in service to our country. We thank God for all who work at keeping our country free and safe.
- We ask God for good test results for a procedure that Karen Donohue is having today.
- Rich Diaz gives thanks to God for all the service people that are currently serving our country here and far away. May they come home safe to be with their families as soon as possible.
- Our prayers are with Bishop Thomas Bickerton and all clergy working in our conference.
- Barbara and Ken asks for prayers for the family of Lois Ruhl, who passed away last week after a long illness.
- The Yamitelli family asks for continued prayers for Christine and Anthony as we wait for biopsies.
- We are asking for prayers for Barbara Thomas who is in the ICU at St. Charles Hospital. We ask that Barbara's health be restored soon. May all who are caring for her know she is a woman of strong faith and is so very loved by her church family.
- Our prayers continue for Peter Bambola as he deals with his health issues.
- We hold in prayer Michael, Stu Fitz, Young Rok, Pastor Steven's Mother, Celie and Bob, elderly aunts, Barb and Kev, Carolyn, Rev. Susumo Ando, Chris and Ed Brown, Jolanda Rice, Diana Speta, Betty Bolden, Peter Bambola, Karlann Paden, Rosie, Murray and Anne-Marie.
- Ruth Ferraro is asking for prayers for Maryann Kowalewski from the Port Jefferson Station Methodist Church who fell and broke her pelvis. Maryann is home. We ask God for a speedy recovery.
Faithfully, Sue Steares
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