Dear Friends and Family of Pearson United Methodist Church,
One of the things that’s often said at Pearson is that “God didn’t bring us this far just to bring us this far.” We knew that would be true when Pastor Doug and I (Pastor Michael) came to Pearson in the summer of 2016, as a part of a two-year program with Mosaic Ministries. Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed so much abundant life together, as people engaged with faith and with one another.
That two year period is drawing to a close this June. Both Pastor Doug and I are graduating from seminary this spring. As many of you already know, Doug will be returning to his home state of Massachusetts this June. (He’ll have more information about his own plans in the coming weeks). What was less clear was where I would end up. Many of you also knew that I would be available to be sent by the Bishop and the Cabinet of GNJ to a pastoral appointment.
We understand too that we are not a congregation that exists by itself. We are a connectional church, all of us part of something much bigger than any one of us. Over the past months and even years, our Bishop and Cabinet have begun to discern that God was calling us as the United Methodists of Greater New Jersey to do something new, bold, and risk-taking in the city of Trenton. They began looking for leaders who could cultivate a new non-profit organization that could organically connect with residents and lays the groundwork for an innovative worshipping community. In essence, people to help start a new mission outpost in Trenton that could eventually start a new church.
The Cabinet believe that I am one of the people God is calling to lead this new initiative. I have been appointed to the full-time position of Managing Director of the Trenton Mission Initiative, to begin work on July 1st, 2018.
When I was approached by the Cabinet, they said that the appointment was unusual enough that they were doing something unusual. The wanted wanted to make sure I could buy in personally before they appointed me. And I need you to know that after prayer and thoughtful consideration, I said yes to this special challenge and opportunity. I have loved being one of your pastors; it’s been tremendous fun and incredibly spiritually enriching. This decision isn’t one I take lightly. But I felt I needed to respond in obedience to the call to be in transformative ministry the poor and marginalized people, as well as the call to help advance the mission of the United Methodist Church by exploring new models for church ministry.
All of this is big news. It’s exciting and bittersweet for me. I imagine you may have questions. Over the coming months, we’ll have the opportunity to go over them together.
But even before all that, I want to take the opportunity to give thanks. I have so much much to be thankful for. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be a pastor of PMUMC these last two years. I am thankful for the chance to learn from you, listen to you, strive with you, grow with you, pray with you, and dream about what God has next for us as a congregation. I see growth all around, and new opportunities to reach out in faith, hope, and love. I am thankful for the movement of the Spirit that I’ve been privileged to witness, and the new futures that God is making possible. I am thankful that we as a church are ready to receive new pastors. We hope to bring on an appointed pastor who is able to stay for years to come, as well as another Mosaic pastor who can continue providing excellent ministry for our children, youth, and missions ministries. I believe that the words of Scripture can be spoken over us: that we can be confident that ‘God, who began a good work in us, will carry on until the day of completion in Christ Jesus.’
So I invite you to pray for Doug and I as we prepare for a new chapters of life and ministry. I invite you to rejoice and give thanks for all that God has done among us. And I invite you to pray for our church, and the new leaders God will bring to us, so that we can all face the future with joyful boldness, with that simple truth in our hearts: God didn’t bring us this far, just to bring us this far! In Christ, Pastor Michael Reed
Feb. 3, 2018
Job Listing: Church Administrative Assistant Pearson Memorial United Methodist Church seeks an office administrator, part time. An ideal candidate possesses proficiency in Word, Publisher, Excel, Facebook, Google docs, Google calendar, and website applications (eg. Weebly.com); financial and church database comprehension and capability; excellent organizational skills; professional conduct with ability to maintain confidentiality; Christian faith and character. Approximately 10 hours weekly over two or three days, to be determined with successful candidate. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018.
To apply, please send cover letter with salary requirement and résumé by email to: Pastor Michael (email@example.com); or by regular mail to: Pearson Memorial UMC, c/o Pastor Michael, 71 Pearson Drive, Hamilton NJ, 08610.
Job Type: Part-time Required education: High school or equivalent Required license or certification: Driver's License As this position includes work with vulnerable sectors of the population, a criminal record check will be required for any successful candidate.
Pastors' Report 2017
Nov. 1, 2017
Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches; if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). We know that God is the source of everything good, and we are grateful for the good fruit of God growing up all around us! I (Pastor Michael) have heard someone say that fruitful church ministry requires tending the 'vine branches' of life in Christ (as coworkers with God in God's vineyard [1 Cor 3:9]), and making sure the branches have a strong 'trellis' -- the support structure upon which the branches grow. At Pearson, we've been working together to strengthen our collective spirituality and corporate infrastructure.
We're tending to the vine branches: this year in our worship services, we've explored the magnificent scope of the Bible, and discussed a wide range of contemporary issues and challenges. During Lent, we journeyed through Exodus with the people of Israel; after Easter, we talked about "How to Get Happy," as we learned from witnesses to Christ's resurrection; this past September, we took a prophetic look at Revelation, and talked about God's vision for the church -- that we be a people characterized by worship, word, community, and mission. We've celebrated nearly a dozen baptisms, as well as many other personal victories in the life of our congregants, and joyfully welcomed scores of children among us, through our Sunday School, VBS, and Kids Club Ministry. Our youth group is growing, with regular Sunday meetings and monthly big events! We've also been working to raise up new leaders from members of our own congregation. Some of these leaders are now leading small groups, and 40-50 people -- some of them new or non-Christians -- meet throughout the week in homes, sharing a meal, developing relationships, and exploring the essentials of the Christian faith. And of course, we are blessed by the continued ministry of our FROGs, Young at Heart Ministry, church choir, Loving Hands, as well by our Roast Beef Dinners, Flea Market, and Food Pantry. God is at work!
As for the trellis, we've worked hard at keeping our support structures strong. Some of this includes a bit of rebranding. In the past year, we've updated our logo, letterhead, and newsletter. We're now communicating and advertising over Facebook and email; we've relaunched a new website, added a church calendar, and upload weekly sermon audio recordings. After months of exploration and conversation, we are now able to accept online donations. We have updated much of our office technology and sanctuary audio-visual equipment to meet the needs of 21st century life. Our finance team is hard at work to keep our budget aligned with our future ministry goals, and we are finding a new vision as a congregation: to be a forward looking, spiritually-vital church that brings the good news of Jesus Christ to our Hamilton community.
God has been good to Pearson in the past year! We're excited to keep seeing future growth and more fruit. Jesus explains the purpose of the vine and the branches: "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). May we remain together and grow together in Christ, and know the joy of the Lord!