New Beginnings

Last February, I received a phone call from my friend and district superintendent, Dr. Brian Clark, telling me that I was projected to be appointed as the Lead Pastor at Royston First United Methodist Church. I did not know much about Royston First UMC at that time – other than Brian had served here in the early 2000s. But he was excited for me and shared about his wonderful time in ministry at the church. I quickly learned the reason for his excitement, and my family and I are blessed to be at Royston First UMC as I get to be your pastor. We are grateful for each of you and the hospitality we have received. I am especially grateful for Ann McCauley, Ernie Graham, Missy Hart, David Jordan, and Sallie Watkins who have worked hard behind the scenes to welcome us, prepare the way for us, and help lead the church through this time of transition. Thank you!

This month, we will be kicking off a message series in our worship services titled Miracles. Throughout this series, we will be studying some of the miracles of Jesus and discovering the amazing work of God that still happens all around us today. Frederick Buechner, an author and theologian, once said, “It is not the objective proof of God’s existence that we want but the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.” I believe we experience miracles when we experience the presence of God. But we have to be prepared to experience God and we have to be willing to participate in what God is doing. As I said on my first Sunday with you, God calls each of us into this journey of faith and we must be willing to take that step of faith. Together, we can witness and experience some amazing things. As Joshua told the Israelites, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you,” (Joshua 3:5). How are you preparing for the amazing things God is doing among you?

I look forward to meeting each of you over the next few weeks. One of my primary goals for this summer is to meet every person who considers Royston First UMC their home church. I have prayed for each of you and my hope is to be able to shake your hand, learn your name, and hear your story. I believe every one has a story and every story matters to God, so it matters to me.

Finally, as I begin this new season of ministry with you, I want to ask you three questions:

  • What is one thing I need to know about this church?
  • What is one way that we are going to reach new people?
  • What is one dream you have for our church?

I will be asking these questions over the next few weeks, but you can e-mail me at matt@roystonfirstumc.orgif you would like to share your responses. Or give me a call at the church; we can grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat and talk about the amazing things God is doing in this church and in your life.

Grace and peace,