The Community of Faith

One of the things I have enjoyed the most since we moved to Royston this past June has been getting to know the community. Whether it has been going to Dill’s, walking around town, eating lunch at The Grill or Old Corner Hardware, or visiting with some of our homebound members, the love and experience of “small town” life has grabbed hold of me. I know that I will usually see someone I know, and Royston is a place where everyone cares about you and wants to be part of the community.

A healthy community is important to our faith journey. In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul writes about the importance of being together and being of one mind in a community of faith. The Ephesians were reminded in Paul’s letter about the theme of unity and harmony in Christ in all settings – including church and family. John and Charles Wesley would use this epistle from the New Testament frequently in their preaching and teaching, and it has become one of my favorite books in the Bible because it reminds us of what a community of faith should be.

During the month of August, I will be preaching through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in a series titled Community. The emphasis of this series will be on finding unity in the community of faith. Our tendency can often be to focus on what divides us (worship styles, denominations, politics, gender, ethnicity, etc.), but it is important for us to remember what unites us – the lordship of Jesus Christ and the grace of God revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. Throughout this series, I will be asking each of you to join me in praying for our community of faith and the community of Royston. Our weekly prayer calendar will be:

Week 1 (August 5-12): Pray for Franklin County Schools; all students, faculty, and staff; Royston Elementary School.

Week 2 (August 12-18): Pray for all churches of Franklin, Madison, and Hart counties; Churches in Royston (Daniel Tabernacle, Ekklesia Centre, Heritage Presbyterian Church, Iglesia Nuevo Pacto de amor, Mill Shoal Baptist Church, New Mt Zion Church of God, Royston Baptist Church, Royston Church of God, and Royston Grove Baptist Church)

Week 3 (August 19-25): Pray for the United Methodist Church; the Athens-Elberton district and North Georgia conference; our district superintendent, Dr. Brian Clark; Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson

Week 4 (August 26-September 1): Pray for the emergency personnel in Franklin County – police, firefighters, and EMT.

Week 5 (September 2- September 8): Pray for staff and leadership of our church; the ministries and mission of Royston First United Methodist; that we make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus.

I am grateful for all of you and blessed to be with you in this season of ministry at Royston First UMC. As always, I am praying for you – if there is anything you would like me to for specifically, you can e-mail me at matt@roystonfirstumc.orgor call me at 706-245-7402. I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday!

Grace and peace,