You probably noticed that there were a few changes to our pastoral staff over the summer. Rev. Luis Perez has moved into the full-time leadership of our Asbury campus. Rev. Robert Ortiz has moved from Asbury onto the Basse Rd campus to take over Missions and Outreach. And I have moved from Missions and Outreach to Congregational Care. The first thing that I’d like to say is thank you. Thank you to each of you that have contributed your time, energy, and gifts towards Missions and Outreach while I have been in that position. Thank you for your commitment to loving our neighbors well. Also, thank you to Pastors Robert and Luis for bringing their experience and excitement into their new roles. I know that these ministries will thrive under their leadership and with your continued faithfulness to the mission of Alamo Heights United Methodist Church.
I, too, am excited for my new role. While it has been a number of years since our church has had a staff person dedicated to Congregational Care, our church community has continued to extend care to one another. We have a number of ministry partners dedicated to “watching over one another in love,” as John Wesley phrased the practice. We hope now to embrace these partners and to create an environment in which care of neighbor can be both easily extended and sought.
When you think about the greatest stories ever told, you know that there is a pattern. The characters are pushed inevitably towards challenges on their path as the world around them changes. They are forced to face their own loss and change. Generally, the challenges are overcome, and the characters grow towards a better understanding of themselves and their role to play in the world around them. Even when the challenges get the better of them, the characters are compelled to face new realities. In a sense, we are all part of a grand story. God spoke the world into existence, telling an amazing story of creation, love, and connection. God continues to speak, giving us life and giving each of us a role to play. Each of us are characters in God’s story, moving the plot along towards the redemption and restoration of all things. Each of us face challenges, seek resolution, and hope to grow as we move forward. And as those people that follow the Christ, our path of growth is one toward greater love of God and neighbor.
Congregational Care at AHUMC will seek to help each of us to personally and communally understand our place within God’s story of redemption. Even in God’s story, we will face challenges. We will find, though, that we have a community of caring people around us to face them with. We will also face seasons in which we have the capacity to offer our love and care to our community. I would like to invite you to join me in discerning our place in God’s story.
Please know that we want to offer our prayers and support to each of you when you face the challenges of life. In order to do so, we do need you to notify us when care is needed. I also want to know if you have love to give. We need people to make phone calls, become Stephen Ministers, and – when safe – visit with ailing members of our community. If you are in need of care, or have care to offer, please let me know. You can call me at the church or contact me through the Care page of our website: www.ahumc.org/care. I hope to hear from you soon!
May you know grace and peace!
Rev. Ryan Jacobson