Pastor's Note
A word from Reverend, Mark Buenafe, Senior Pastor

From previous Lenten experiences, besides the special worship and doing the Giving Up/Giving To discipline, God also brings up an added reflecting time which basically agitates personal status-quo thinking and routine. I am thankful for such experiences as it provides pauses to clarify and redirect.

For this year, this has been rethinking the why which redefines the do. Three areas of ministry have been highlighted in these reflections:

First is our children's ministry primarily through the TGIF Kids Club. I have mentioned many times the wisdom and genius of rethinking a children's ministry outside of traditional Sunday School. The fact that we devote a weekday after school program for Children's Education is just amazing. I have been blessed by the leadership of Len Bryant who has taught for many years and been a helpful substitute when I am not there. I delight in personally developing supplementary lessons that have included Bible Verse remembering through ‘A Joy to Be a Person of God,' kinesthetic activities, and incorporating the Upper Room which introduces the children to actual open Bible use and their own devotional time with God.

The second is our FLOCK ministry. Another wise ministry strategy of geographical small groups with the vastness of our membership throughout Mariposa and Madera Counties. We both suffered and were blessed during the Pandemic as this was my first in-person connection with the congregation during the time of limited social gatherings. I believe that this is an untapped resource that has the potential to grow and expand. The blessing of the short-term Fun & Fellowship gatherings are a hint of this.

Third is being your pastor amid all the changes the church and world are going through. Besides the TGIF Kids Club and FLOCKS, I am thinking and praying about our other ministries as well. I am in the tension between passive acceptance of the way things are and the pro-active conviction of being the church designed to be a change force in the world. Gods grand design in being the body of Christ also includes being empowered by God's Spirit to still be able to do.

And yes, there is always more that could be done. With God working in our lives both as the Church and in our relationship with Him and one another, there will be the opportunity and blessing to make the Mariposa United Methodist Church even better than it already is.

We can do this courageously and confidently because God is always with us.
Let us fervently pray for God's leading in both what to do and who to be as God's Church.
Rejoice, be grateful, continue to give kindness, share God's Love and Hope.
We go the distance with God always with us.

By God's grace,
Pastor Mark

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