~Staying Connected~

….A newsletter from the desk of Pastor Steve-Orono United Methodist Church….

September 2018

     It occurred to me recently that we have a mighty wide range of ages when it comes to our grandchildren.  In September, our eldest grandkid will be a junior in college, while the youngest will be in kindergarten.  More specifically, the grands include: junior in college, two in 9th grade, and the others in 7th, 5th, 3rd, and kindergarten classrooms in just a matter of days.

     When I think back on all the years we’ve spent with our grands, certain “phases” standout. One in particular: the “WHY” phase.  You parents and grandparents know what I’m talking about, right? It usually strikes when the young’un is around 3-4 years of age.  Virtually after every statement you make, the kiddo will reply with “WHY?”  Here’s an example from my experiences with Aidan, our eldest grandson.  Me: “I’ve got to mow the lawn.” Aidan: “Why?” Me: “Well, because the grass is getting longer.” Aidan: “Why?” Me: “Umm…because it’s growing.” Aidan: “Why?” Me: “Because the soil has stuff in it that helps it grow.” Aidan: “Why?” Me: “Errr…because of the sun and rain this week.” Aidan: “Why was the sun and rain here this week?” Me: “Hey, let’s go watch Curious George for a while!”

     Yep, the “WHY” phase can be a bit frustrating to maneuver through with a 4 year old.  And guess what? Your pastor is about to pepper you with his own “WHY” questions!  First, a bit of background: Recall that in April of 2016 as we returned to fulltime status (with Alton UMC) church members and attendees completed a survey, which resulted in our church establishing 3 specific goals: 1) Increase education opportunities for all ages 2) Increase and stabilize church finances 3) Increase children’s ministry participation by 15% for 5 consecutive years.  We have met these goals through programs, including stewardship and after school opportunities.

     As we continue to embrace these goals, we also wish to provide opportunities for feedback from the church family that help us greatly in meeting needs and interests, while strengthening the ministries of our church. With this in mind, I am going to be asking everyone during worship a couple of Sundays in September to fill-out a questionnaire, requesting answers to the following questions:

  • What brought you here (to Orono UMC)?
  • What keeps you here?
  • Why is this place important to you?
  • How would you explain what Orono UMC is like to a friend?

     Again, the answers to these questions from all in the church family will help us understand what makes us tick, what is important to people, and how we can stay agile and relevant to our church family and community in 2018. 

     Consider this message a “heads-up” before we dive into this questionnaire in September; I invite you to be thinking between now and then how you would answer these questions.  Your feedback is important and appreciated!


-Sharing Scripture-

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)