CSUMC Reinforces Our Core Values

Since the conclusion of the Called General Conference, questions and concerns have been raised about the future of the United Methodist Church. While we are now in a waiting game of what is to happen with the future concerning the church and the unity of the UMC.

While this is happening, Cave Spring UMC and its pastor’s wanted to insure our church family and friends that while this period of unknown is happening, CSUMC will continue to be the church that it always has been.

This was reinforced by a letter send out to the church congregation from our Pastor’s make it known the intention and welcoming spirit of CSUMC.

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and spirit.

Friends,  

Over these last 2 days since the ending of General Conference our hearts have been heavy.  Like our Bishop, we prayed for a miracle that would expand our UMC connection to embrace all of God’s children fully.  Like many of you, we are pained and disappointed that GC 2019 failed to do that. For others, the decision of the General Conference was not a disappointment, but a proper alignment.  However, like all of you, we love Jesus and our church family. 

As one of our clergy colleagues said, “this will be lived out in the pews, not in a conference”.  This is so very true.  While the global General Conference is the only body that can speak for the UMC, and the only body to legislate our polity, the mission and ministry of the UMC originates in God and is lived out in and through the people.  The Cave Spring church family is a people seeking to “become LOVE (the love of Christ) to share LOVE (this same love of Christ). God’s love for us, embodied in Jesus, is agape. Agape is the Greek word for love with “no strings attached”.  That is how God loves us.  That is how we are to love.  That is how Jesus lived. That is how we are to live. 

    At Cave Spring UMC we get that.  That is how we live together, loving each other, welcoming all.  Nothing is going to change that, because that is who CSUMC is.  For our LGBTQI+ brothers and sisters, both inside and outside the church, we love you, and pray you feel that love from your church family.  Even though at this time, from a denominational perspective, it seems to come with a “but”, know that for your pastors and for your church family, our love for you (and for all) is agape—no strings attached. 

This is the same message of love that we have witnessed being sent via social media from United Methodist church families all over our conference and connection. There are many issues and questions still to be answered, even though GC2019 has concluded.  The Traditional Plan, which passed 53% to 47%, is headed to the Judicial Council in April to rule on its constitutionality. Churches, pastors and laity are questioning whether this “connection” is going to hold, and if they can faithfully remain connected to it. Please know that your pastors are here for you for conversation, questions or even just a hug. 

You know though, God isn’t done with us yet.  God does the very best work in the midst of our mess.  There is much to pray about in the days ahead of us, and pray we must.  There is much work to do, in reaching out to our neighbors.  There are children who will be needing their “backpack” of food for the weekend and dinner to be served at the Rescue Mission.  There are families who will need dinner and fellowship at Kids Soar and care to be shared with the homebound and sick.  There are songs to be sung and Scripture to be read. There are hands to be held, stories to be heard, and tears to be shared.  And, most of all, there is Jesus, who is standing in this rocky boat with us, and will see us safe to shore. In the meantime, let us love as Jesus commands us to: “Love one another, as I have loved you.  By this, they will know you follow me.” (John 13:34-35).

Loving like Jesus, together with you,
Pastor Denise, Pastor Joanna, and Pastor Tim

Lenten Sermon Series

Cave Spring UMC takes pride is focusing our worship and scripture study on topics and studies that speak to our everyday life.

This season of Lent, CSUMC will find inspiration for study and worship from the new study, “Simon Peter: Flawed but Faithful Disciple” by Adam Hamilton.

Hamilton’s new study is focused on, “…Simon Peter’s shortcomings are clearly on display in the Gospels, so also are his courage, his determination, his longing to follow Jesus even if it costs him his life. The early church knew how his story ended after his dramatic denial of Jesus on the night Jesus was arrested. Following Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, Peter would, in fact, become the rock upon which the church was built. he would carry his cross to follow Jesus. He would lay down his life for the gospel. While in Peter’s flaws Christians might see themselves, they might also see themselves in the moments of Peter’s courage and faithfulness, and ultimately they might see in him a picture of what they might aspire to be when empowered and led by the Spirit.”

Come and join us on the following Sundays to hear this intense story of Simon Peter:

Sunday, March 10
”Simon Peter: The Call of the Fisherman”
Luke 5: 1-11

Sunday, March 17
”Simon Peter: Walking with Jesus in the Storms”
Matthew 14: 22-34

Sunday, March 24
”Simon Peter": Bedrock or Stumbling Block?”
Matthew 16: 13-19, 21-23

Sunday, March 31
”Simon Peter: I will NOT Deny You”
Matthew 26: 31-35

Sunday, April 7
”Simon Peter: From Cowardice to Courage”
John 21: 12, 15-17

Want to take a look into Simon Peter and have fellowship among church friends?

Join Pastor Joanna for Bible Study on Wednesday mornings at 10:15 AM for discussion and fellowship based on the lectionary scripture or join Pastor Denise for Bible Study on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 PM for discussion based on “Simon Peter".

Cave Spring UMC Response to Called General Conference

Dear friends,

On Tuesday evening after the final decisions were made at the Called General Conference of the United Methodist Church, Pastor Denise sent out an email reflecting on those decisions and how they affect Cave Spring UMC.

We share this email with you in hopes of educating everyone on these decisions and informing everyone that dispite these decisions Cave Spring UMC will remain the same church that it was before this Called General Election.

If you have any questions about the Called General Election, the Way Forward, and the decisions that were made, please feel free contact Pastor Denise or Pastor Joanna.

A Note From Pastor Denise:

Friends, as I write this email, I am listening to the final moments of the General Conference.  These words are being sung: "Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me".  These last 4 days have been days of worship, prayer, praise and passionate discussions.  Although more information will be available in the days ahead, the General Conference approved the Traditional Plan.  There are continuing questions of a UM constitutional nature,  even while the clock ticks down to 6:30pm (local time), which is the closing time for the General Conference. 

My prayer at this moment is that we open all our hearts to the movement of God's great Holy Spirit, as we find our way in this challenging time for people, churches and the UM Church as a whole. As people of faith, we should always do this--but especially in times where the future is unclear.  I ask you to continue to be in prayer in the days ahead we wrestle with the impacts of the decision made at General Conference.  I pray that you will join us as we worship together as church family this Sunday, sharing in communion and community. 
I also encourage you to tune in to our Bishop's "State of the Church: Where Do We Go From Here? " live stream on Monday, March 4 at 10:00 AM  A link is available on 
www.vaumc.org . Above all, and no matter what, keep the words of Jesus in your heart in all the days ahead:  "Love one another...as I have loved you."(John 13:34)

With the grace of Christ,
Pastor Denise