Some of my favorite places to visit are lighthouses. They have always held a certain fascination for me. Perhaps it is the idea of a light in the midst of a storm or a constant light to guide ships safely to shore. They also come in an endless variety of sizes and shapes, but always with the same purpose of being a beacon of light to those in need and preventing them from being lost at sea. Lighthouses make me think of Jesus. The picture below says it all:
In the May/June newsletter, I explained about Chapel UMC being an Oasis church. Since that time, the East Ohio Conference (EOC) has requested we join together in unity under the title of being a Lighthouse Church. Lighthouse churches are dedicated to The United Methodist Church and are welcoming for those seeking a new church home. The clergy and lay leaders of these congregations are committed to offering hospitality, a place to heal, and opportunities for folks to be part of their new church home. In addition, there will be ongoing training and educational opportunities offered by the EOC for Lighthouse churches.
Oasis now describes small groups that ideally meet outside the church walls on neutral grounds, where clergy and members can meet for continued discussion, healing, connection, prayer, and study. During this somewhat stormy time as some pilgrimage to find a new church home, the Lighthouse church and Oasis group resources are designed to help people connect to a United Methodist church. No one will be lost or abandoned and will be guided safely to shore with Jesus the light of the world, a beacon of hope at our side. For more information, visit eocumc.com/lighthousechurches.
Here the words of the psalmist, filled with hope and blessing:
“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”Psalm 84:1-5 (NIV)
With a Grateful Heart to be on the Journey with you all and in the Love of Christ,