Beaverton First United Methodist Church
Monday, September 25, 2017
Thinking . Loving . Praying
 

 Thinking, Loving Praying.  Those words are everywhere at Beaverton First these days.  They are on our new T-Shirts, at the top of every Sunday’s bulletin and you see them all over our newly redesigned web site (check it out at www.beavertonumc.org). What do they mean?  They are “short-hand” for our Mission and Vision statements.  About a year ago, your leadership spent a lot of time asking you, in many different ways, what was important to you about the church you call home and family.  You responded and those responses became our Mission and Vision Statements.

 

Our Vision: Here at the heart of Beaverton, Christ calls us to feed our community; body, mind and Spirit.

 

Our Mission: Knowing that our works change our community and ourselves; we seek to ensure that no one in the Beaverton area goes hungry, investigate the teachings of Christ through research and communion with others, and respectfully share the love of God with all.

 

Thinking, Loving Praying.   Thinking – we are a Christian, Protestant, United Methodist faith community.  We, first and foremost, follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, a human/Divine person who challenged all of the preconceived notions of his time.  We are also influenced by all of the great protestant teachers; people like Martin Luther who risked his life to say that no one human organization should be all powerful – only God should have that job!  And, we choose to be led by the theological understanding of John Wesley, another rebel who said “But as to all opinions which do not strike at the root of Christianity, we think and let think.”   We practice our faith in a long line of people who believed that God gave us a mind for a reason, and that part of our journey of faith is to be in dialogue with God.  Here, every Bible study, small group and class, every sermon and prayer will invite you to think, question and talk about God, Jesus, faith, and your place in the scheme of this vast universe God has created. 

Thinking, Loving Praying.  Loving – In answer to those testing him, Jesus affirmed that the greatest commandments are these… "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)  The obvious take-away from that simple verse is that we were put on this earth to care for one another.  Feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit the imprisoned. (adapted from Matthew 25:31) This is Jesus’ definition of love, agape love, the love of God for all God’s people.  When we love like this we are truly doing God’s work – truly sharing Christ’s love with all. 

Thinking, Loving Praying.  Praying – Sometimes we treat God as if God were Santa Claus and prayer were the way to get what we want.  Praying for God to bring you material wealth is rarely fruitful.  Yet prayer is strong and powerful.  We pray for others when we know they are in need, we pray for ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors, world.  We pray for situations in our control and out of our control.  We pray knowing that God hears every prayer, but also knowing that God’s answer may not be exactly what we wanted.  We pray and all our prayers are added to the prayers of others and that strength is made whole and holy by God’s strength.  We are God’s partners when we pray.   Prayer is strong and powerful.  It can change lives.  Maybe yours. 

 

As you can see Thinking, Loving Praying  is just a quick way of saying that we’re going to ensure that no one in the Beaverton area goes hungry, investigate the teachings of Christ through research and communion with others, and respectfully share the love of God with all.  When you see those three words you can think to yourself, “What can I do to help?”  “What’s my part in Thinking, Loving Praying?”  Because Jesus calls all of us, not just a few, to give whatever we can, whenever we can of our heart, soul, mind and strength to His work here in Beaverton. 

 

Thinking, Loving Praying.  It’s just what we do!