Last Sunday evening I attended the district worship event in Sun City Center. The Bishop preached on the following text from Isaiah 43:19 (NRSV), and I shared it last night at our leadership meeting:
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
As we go through times of transition, and even times where it feels like a desert or a wilderness, both as a church and as individuals, it is helpful to remember that God is here and is in this. God does not change, but God continually changes us, and transforms our world.
Last Sunday we announced that Scott McQueen will be stepping down from his position as our Director of Family Ministries. Scott has been on staff at Riviera for over 20 years. He has helped form our children and youth in their faith, and we love him, and are grateful for the ministry he has done here. This is a big change, both for us and for him and his family... AND we know that God is in this. God will be with the McQueen family and will bring them into new places of serving and living out their faith, and God will be with Riviera UMC to provide and begin something new.
That same chapter of Isaiah 43 begins with the words
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Please be in prayer for the McQueen family, and for our church, but trust that God is with us all and will get us through. And who knows what new thing God may do in the midst of this?
December 9th will be Scott's last Sunday, and we will have a potluck after worship to celebrate and give thanks for all that God has done here through his ministry and to bless him on his future path. (a link to sign up is found below).