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Looking Ahead in 2023

Looking Ahead in 2023


Hi Edgemont! You may notice, there is a pretty big gap between postings. We got really good at using the blog along with our email to communicate regularly during the pandemic. Then, as things changed and in-person ramped back up, this kind of was pushed to the back burner. For that, I am sorry. It is a great way to keep in touch and to share thoughts from myself as well as from others in the congregation. One thing you are going to see from us this year is a revival of regular blogs. Would you like to be a part of this? Be looking for more information coming out in the coming weeks.


Now, for this particular entry, I wanted to look forward with all of you a bit to some of the topics I will be preaching on throughout this year. One of these series comes from some of the continuing education I have been doing through our conference in a program called Flourish. So, we are going to take several weeks to look at flourishing, what it is and what it is not. If Jesus came saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” then we ought to take seriously what this full life looks like. So we are going to take a 5-week look at having life to the full or flourishing.


As we then head into the season of Lent, we are going to take a long look at ourselves and our church. During some of the continuing education I and some of our leaders have been undertaking this past year, we were introduced to the three Vs of a church: Vibe, Values, and Vision. Each one of these play a critical role in how effective a Christian and church are in faithfully ministering to its community. We are going to take a look at each of these, both personally and as a church, while asking God to help direct us as we seek to begin developing and casting a new vision for us as Edgemont UMC. We will dive deeper into each of these areas as we prepare for this sermon series.


After Easter, we are going to study what I consider to be the least talked about of Paul’s big three from 1 Corinthians 13. Love is always at the forefront of the conversation; faith is not too far behind. Hope, however, is not talked about as much. I am especially thinking of the biblical principle of hope, not just the vague “I hope this works out” that we so often use. Hope is critical for us as Christians and a Church in moving forward following Christ in a world where disappointments can overwhelm us.


Throughout the year, we will also be having conversations to go along with these sermons which

will then give way to some of our later sermon series. I am excited to think about the vision that God is going to give us as we allow the Holy Spirit to search, convict, and enlighten us to how we can truly live out God’s calling in the community. Maybe God is already doing so for you! If so, please share with me, shoot me an email at henry.prater@umcna.org and we can set up a time for a fuller conversation.

I hope you will plan to join us as we prepare ourselves for this new year serving God, our community, and one another at Edgemont UMC.


Pastor Henry





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