A Season of First Sundays – Pastor Stacey

It’s finally happening! After years of prayer, planning, and fundraising, Melissa UMC is opening the doors of our own church building. I’d like to be the first to invite all of you: come worship with us!

Beginning this Sunday, April 25, we will be moving to an expanded worship schedule for A Season of First Sundays. We will have worship services at 9 and 11 am weekly through May 23. These services will also be livestreamed on Facebook live and to our YouTube channel for those of you who are traveling or feel more comfortable at home. Your reservations are requested due to the limited seating in these services and masks will be required.

Just like moving into a new home or apartment, it will take some time to get settled in this new space. In the coming weeks and months, you will see changes from week to week… stained glass, playground, portable classrooms, furniture and more. You will hear about the establishment of Connections Coffee and may have the opportunity to sample some early espresso creations. We will be talking often about new opportunities in children and youth ministries, small groups, worship and more.

Take a moment today to sign up below for the services you plan to attend in the next 5 weeks!

I am excited to worship with you during A Season of First Sundays! Come see the good work you are doing in Melissa.

Blessings,
Pastor Stacey


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Grace to Forgive – Pastor Stacey

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?” Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22

There is a children’s book that I used to read to our girls entitled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz. It is the story of a boy who had the kind of day when everything possible that could go wrong went wrong. Some days are just like that. We all have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Typically, on those days, I am as much in need of forgiveness as I need to forgive those around me.

God give us the grace to forgive.

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that Jesus asks us to do. Can you imagine Peter’s face when he thinks he is taking a leap of faith to forgive someone seven times and Jesus corrects him to say as many as 77?  In some versions of the Bible, Jesus says 70 times 7. Can you imagine forgiving someone 490 times?

God give us the grace to forgive.

Forgiveness is not about excusing bad behavior or putting yourself in a harmful situation. If you have been hurt, neglected, or abused by someone you trusted, Jesus does not expect you to continually put yourself in a harmful situation.

Forgiveness is about softening our own hearts and making room for the Holy Spirit to change our lives and maybe the lives of others. Forgiveness is about letting go of our own hurt and allowing God to begin the work of healing. Forgiveness is about a fresh start and God doing a new thing. It is about letting go of that which weighs you down and making space for Jesus to enter. Forgiveness is about growing in grace and learning to have more love for God’s world and the people in it.

God give us the grace to forgive.

If you are struggling with forgiveness for someone in your life or maybe even for yourself, give yourself a little bit of grace. Remember that God sees, loves, and forgives you. God even sees, loves and forgives those in your life that you find it hard to forgive.

As we walk through these days of Lenten preparation, may your heart be softened and may you hear Jesus whisper, “You are forgiven.”

 

Blessings, 

Pastor Stacey

 


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Living the Disciplines – Pastor Stacey

Melissa UMC has been gathered to worship outside in covered tennis courts during the month of October. The weather has been beautiful, but we have had a few challenges along the way.
  • On October 4, a group of motorcyclists were also enjoying the weather drove by during the middle of my sermon.
  • On October 11, it was very windy, which impacted both microphone sound and my Bible blowing off the stand during my sermon.
  • On October 18, a nearby construction project resumed work on a Sunday morning and we worshiped alongside the sound of a generator, sledge hammering, and welding noises.
No one seemed to mind any of these things quite as much as I did as a pastor. They are small challenges in a world that seems full of big challenges right now.

The thing that keeps us centered in the middle of life’s challenges is often the discipline to keep showing up with faith and doing our best to follow Jesus. Our disciplines of studying scripture, praying, and finding ways to be God’s love in the world can keep us grounded.

Whatever challenges you face in this day? Remember, they are no match for a God who loves you unconditionally and more than you can imagine. If the wind is too blustery or the noises of the world get to be too loud, take a deep breath. Remember that God never called you to be perfect in faith, God calls you to be perfected in love.

Blessings,

Pastor Stacey


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Laying a Firm Foundation – Pastor Stacey

I walked the foundation of Melissa UMC with Pastor Tommy a few weeks ago. We stood on the sacred space where our sanctuary will be, where our community will gather to pray, worship, and share life together. We stood on the sacred ground where our classrooms and coffee shop will be, where people will come to meet their neighbors and to make new friends. We remembered the journey we have been on in McKinney and Melissa since 2012 when the dream for this church began to be a reality. We celebrated our connectedness, even in a season of being physically distanced from one another.
 
You have the opportunity to be a part of laying a firm foundation for our new church building in Melissa. On Sunday, August 9 at noon, we will gather in person on the property (physically distanced and wearing masks) to lay blessing capsules in the foundation of our new church. You can let us know you are coming to the property or send a message to be placed on the field here: 
 
God is faithful as we continue the work of sharing love across our communities. We have much to be grateful for!
 
Blessings,
Pastor Stacey
 

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