By Jessica Brodie
Autumn is just beginning to blanket the South, tendrils of cool breezes whispering their promise here and there—this season is over, and the next is on its heels.
In many ways, it reminds me of what is going on in our churches right now. After an unsettling time of discernment and separation, with many wondering what’s next and where to turn, our next steps have become increasingly clear—we are to press on in faith together as we all engage in God’s work in this world.
Like the sweeping winds of autumn, God’s Spirit is blowing upon us all. A fresh wind guiding us forward, it beckons us toward new and exciting opportunities.
Throughout this paper, you’ll see so many stories about exactly this, from the vibrant new foster family support ministry at Hopewell United Methodist Church in Simpsonville (Page 1) to a new partnership spearheaded by Virginia Wingard Memorial UMC, West Columbia, to help their local elementary school in the name of Jesus (Page 8).
When the Lord God breathed life into the first people, we transformed from the dust of the ground into living flesh made in the image of the Almighty (Genesis 2:7). On the day of Pentecost, God breathed again, and the Holy Spirit filled the disciples, a Spirit alive in each one of us today (Acts 2:1-4).
That breath, that Spirit within us all, spurs us on to a bright tomorrow, a tomorrow filled with new ministries and new hope, awake and refreshed and ready to do all the Lord calls us to do.
Jesus told his disciples to pick up their cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24). Today we have that same command. Let’s pick up our crosses and follow our savior, shouting out an invitation to everyone in our midst: Come! See! Experience the living God for yourself.
Together, we are alive in Christ and filled with the Spirit of God. Like autumn invigorates us for earth’s fresh new season, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to do the same in our lives as followers of Christ.