Just wanted to say a big "thank you" to all the people from the congregation who said such nice things about the "Celebrity" sermon series. For all the verbal, and electronic comments, thank you so much. I'm glad so many people got something out of the series, and I hope that which you gleaned will serve you well, long term. Anything good you received came from God... I'm just glad I didn't get in the way.
Here's a few things to be looking for in the coming weeks:
- It appears that, finally, we will begin putting up audio files of sermons on the web, which was a long time coming. A big "thank you" to Carl Hursh who is helping us jump into the 21st Century by setting up the necessary equipment to digitally record the contemporary service. Be aware that due to copywrite issues, we will not be posting any of the fine music Shane and the band crank out next week (sorry), but we'll see what we can do about that long-term.
- Carl is also looking to set up a message board so that people can begin to converse on-line about the past week's sermon. We have no idea if there is a demand for this, but we'll give it a try and see what happens. Thanks again, Carl, for helping make the ShawneeUMC.com a cool place to surf.
- With the new weekly devotional, Charlotte Hefner is starting organize new Home Fellowship Groups that will meet once or twice a month just to get together, have a good time, and maybe delve into a little bible study via "The Next Word". An astounding 78 people have indicated an interest in this already, with little or no prodding from us, so it should be an exciting time as those new groups start coming together in the fall.
- Our video ministry is about to take a leap forward as we replace our old video scaler (it died three weeks ago) with a new video fader. An anonymous gift is making this possible, and the implication of this is that at some point in the future, we hope to be able to do more video production out of our tech ministry (i.e. DVD copies of worship services, in-house of dramas and promos, closed circuit broadcasting for overflow areas on days that we're packed, on-line video streaming, etc...). Just a neat new addition to our tech ministry!
I'll be on vacation starting later this week. Joseph has returned from his journey across the great west (rested, but with a nasty summer cold), and is now back in the big city, so we can sneak away for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure how often I'll get to this blog during that time, but rest assured, my legions of loyal readers, that there will be a post here or there, about this or that. I'm preaching an "installation service" for a good friend from seminary next week, which will require a trek to Chattanooga, so I'm sure something noteworthy ought to come out of the experience.
Just a quick word about Andy's wedding this weekend. It was just as enjoyable as it could be! The service and reception were just lovely. The setting for each couldn't have been nicer, and Andy and Melissa could not have been more gracious or thoughtful hosts. Just a blessed time for Aimee, the kids, and myself. Good luck, kids, and I hope you have a great honeymoon, and life together. We're always here for you!
I loved seeing all the family (my mom's brother, Fred, and his family, Kathy and Katy, stayed with us which was really great!) that came into town. We have standing invites now to visit relatives in California, Florida, South Carolina, and Utah, so I foresee some travel in the Bucher family future (after Eli gets a little bit older) and chances to wear out our welcome.
I finally met, face to face, the guys whose, um, "backsides" I "kicked" in our NBA Fantasy League this past winter. A big shoutout to Queen James, Young Gunns, The Sturgeon, JMo, God is a NY Knick (although I'd think God would have Jerry West, and not Isaiah Thomas, as his GM) and all the rest of Andy's frat brothers who make up the league. A big thank you for including a guy a lot older, much heavier, and much less hip than the rest of you. You got the best of me in baseball, but football's coming, and so is your judgment, and that right soon!
Finally, I want to wish the best of luck to Rev. James Lehman, and the congregation at St. John Lutheran Church in Port Clinton, as they look to start a second-site ministry on one of the large islands just off the coast PC in Lake Erie. As a former pastor at a dual-site church, it's exciting for me to hear that this kind of ministry is becoming so viable, and so mainstream, that even churches in small communities like Port Clinton, Ohio are seeing advantages to it. The idea was such a good one for my former church, and yet became so controversial (because it was so cutting edge for the time, a decade ago), that its good to see how pioneers like Goshen First UMC, and particularly the late Rev. Dick Lyndon, have paved the way for something that is effectively reaching hundreds of thousands of people with the Gospel of Jesus' love. You will all be in my prayers.
Until next time.... God Bless,