Dear Friends,

I heard a story about a Midwestern town that was experiencing a bad drought. Crops were dying, and the livelihood of this little farming community was severely threatened. The pastor of the local Methodist church decided to hold a prayer service to pray for rain and invited everyone in the town from all the churches to come. They were asked to bring with them symbols of their faith that God would deliver them. So, people showed up with an assortment of crosses and prayer books and Bibles and hymnals. Members of the nearby Catholic church brought their rosaries and statues of the Virgin Mary and anointing oil. They all came forward with these symbols that expressed their faith in the power of God to direct their future in a hopeful way.


At one point a little girl came forward, and slowly opened her symbol of faith. It was a brightly colored umbrella. Many stood aside and marveled at what they thought might have been the greatest expression of faith and assurance that God would indeed provide for the future of their community.

What is the best symbol for your faith? We could list some of the usual suspects of symbols that have indicated faith down through the centuries. But what is the symbol you might uniquely come up with to show that God is working in our church and guiding us toward a powerful and productive future?

Might it be a microphone, as we proclaim the saving good news of the Gospel to as many as we can? Might it be a miniature house, as we provide housing to the homeless and support systems for them to obtain permanent housing? Might it be wrapping paper, as we help the needy in our community have a Christmas that might not otherwise have one? Might it be a frying pan, as we help feed those who are hungry in a variety of ways? Might it be prison bars, as we minister to those who are incarcerated?

Might it be an umbrella, as we expect God to shower us with blessings that we then shower on others? Might it be a pledge card, as we expect God to lead us out of our mortgage indebtedness and toward a future to which he is calling us?

What is your symbol that God holds your future and the future of Southport United Methodist Church in his hands? Think about it. In your mind, grab hold of it. And let us move forward together, with God's direction, toward that glorious future that awaits.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane