Dear Suamico UMC members and friends,
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
By the time you read this letter, I will have moved to the church parsonage. My wife, Cindy, and I can’t thank enough the Trustees and volunteers who have worked hard to make the parsonage greatly improved. I thank people who donated their time, skills, work, and money for the upkeep of the parsonage. I was touched by your Christian love and hospitality and I thank you.
Our church’s SPRC (Staff Parish Relations Committee) is like the Human Resources Department in a company. SPRC has done a great job filling all church staff positions. We have a new music director, Haley Steele, a new pianist, Eva Finke, a new custodian, Don Treml, and a new pastor, me. If you are happy with our service to the congregation, please let SPRC members know (Marcia Ellis, Dale Waugh, Julie Scheel, Dominic Petit, Mike Karnowski, David Longsine). In case you feel that our church staff needs improvement in certain areas, please let us know in a kindly manner. We would appreciate your feedback and we will do our best to improve the situation. If you would prefer to talk to SPRC members, please focus on the issue, not the person, as Henry Ford once said, “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.”
As far as our church’s building project is concerned, I would say to you, “To begin is half done.” Our Building Committee and Church Council have done a superb job to get the ball rolling. I can almost see the ground being broken and smell the cement being poured. As you know, every worthwhile endeavor requires prayers, human effort, and monetary support. As your pastor, I would say to you, “Please help your church with what you can.”
Antoine de St-Exupery said, “A pile of rocks ceases to be a rock when somebody contemplates it with the idea of a cathedral in mind.” Building a new sanctuary is an exciting and joyous undertaking. May God bless us having fun building our new sanctuary!
Finally, let me remind you of Jesus’s saying in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” Our church members should reach out to all kinds of people and invite them all to be a part of God’s great big family. Let people know that our church welcomes people from all walks of life.
What does God want from us? “Do Justice; Love Kindness; and Walk Humbly with God!” - Micah 6:8
Grace and peace to you all!
Dear Suamico church members and friends,
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
I have been here at Suamico church for a few weeks, and I already feel how much you love your church and how hard you work to love God and to love people. I also feel very thankful to you for the kindness and hospitality you have shown Cindy and me. I thank God for you.
When I stop by the parsonage from time to time, I see people from our church fixing up the parsonage and beautifying it. I can’t help but thank you, Trustee members, volunteer workers and generous givers for the donation of your time, work, and money for the upkeep of the parsonage.
Summer in Wisconsin is absolutely beautiful. Let us seize the moment to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, for summer does not last long. The Bible says in Genesis 2:3, “God rested from all the work on the seventh day.” Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 6:31, “Come away to a deserted place and rest a while.” When we stop and smell the roses, we can see the things we did not see while we were busy.
We often think that vacations are a luxury that only privileged people can afford. But vacations are a necessity for the health of our mind, body, and soul. There are many ways to rest and enjoy life without costing much money like riding a bicycle, reading favorite books, or taking a nap, etc.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer.” When we rest, God heals our body, restores our soul, and rejuvenates our spirit. There is a healing power in rest.
“Rest and be thankful.” – William Wadsworth
Many blessings to you and your loved ones!
Dear Suamico UMC members and friends,
I would like to thank you for inviting me to be your pastor. I also want to thank Pastor Eric for his five years of service to Suamico congregation. In addition, I thank Pastor Randy for his interim ministry which has been a safe, sturdy and graceful bridge over the gap of pastoral transition.
As your new pastor, I will serve you with respect and kindness so that you may have a healthy and happy church life. I would like to learn what your concerns and wishes are for Suamico Church. I will listen and learn from you.
I know that you all love your church. Suamico congregation has overcome many obstacles and challenges over the past 130 years and is still standing strong. Now we have an exciting and yet challenging task of building a new sanctuary. I pray that we may work together as a unified church to make our dream come true.
As St. Augustine said, “Without God, we cannot; Without us, God will not.” We need God for vision and spirit. God wants us for cooperation and collaboration. I believe that “If we do our best, God will do the rest.”
I pray that God may bless Suamico congregation as we embark on a new journey together as a team, loving God and loving people. “For all that has been, Thanks. To all that shall be, Yes.” - Dag Hammarskjöld
Your servant in Christ, Pastor Jerry
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In my short time with you, I have been impressed by your participation and dedication to church ministries and activities. I have witnessed abundant kindness for one another in worship, fellowship, and administration. No one can question the devotion you have for your church.
I encourage you to continue your unselfish caring, especially weeks and months from now, when into your building project differing opinions about “old” and “new” may emerge. Remember that your faith and the spiritual wellbeing of your congregation surpasses all earthly things. As you have welcomed me, Vickie, and Rachel, please share the same loving grace to Rev. Jerry Cho and his family when they join you in July. No matter where we find ourselves, our spiritual journey still continues in One Spirit.
~ Privileged to serve with you in the Kingdom of God, Pastor Randy
Building Update On Thursday, February 22 the District Committee on Church Location and Building met to review our plans for the new sanctuary. Our meeting included a tour of our entire church campus, a presentation on our reasons for the new sanctuary, and a review of the building plans. The meeting went very well, and the Committee voted unanimously to approve our plans for the new sanctuary.
Detailed information regarding the new sanctuary along with FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) will be distributed in a few weeks. At the same time, the Current Sanctuary Group is working on alternatives for the current sanctuary, which will be presented on May 1 st . A church conference to vote on the new sanctuary will be scheduled this spring, and you will be receiving more information on that soon.
In order to make communication as smooth as possible, I ask that questions on the new sanctuary or the current sanctuary be directed to Dominic Petit, our Building Chair. He will be happy to show you the plans and answer any questions. I look forward to our congregation moving forward with the new sanctuary as we work together on Building Our Faith and Our Future.
In Christ, Pastor Eric
Lent begins on Wednesday, February with an Ash Wednesday service. Ash Wednesday focuses on our sinfulness and our mortality - we’re not perfect, and we’re not immortal, both of which are part of being human. Ashes are a traditional sign of this.
Ash Wednesday is also the beginning of Lent. This is an explanation of Lent from umc.org, the official website of the United Methodist Church:
“Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.”
We can best prepare ourselves for Lent by making a commitment to a concrete spiritual practice. Here are some examples:
1. Practice the presence of God in your everyday life. This is what prayer is. Tell God what’s on your mind. Seek his help, and expect to receive it. Say short prayers throughout the day, such as “Help me”, “I thank you”, “forgive me”.
2. Give up something for Lent. Typically this is something pleasurable but not helpful. Examples might be alcoholic beverages or some unhealthy food. The point is not that these are sinful things. Rather, giving them up reminds us that Jesus gave up his life for us. The focus is on sacrifice.
3. Add something for Lent. Have a time of grace at mealtime if this is not part of your devotional life. Spend more time with family. Reach out to the poor in some concrete way through giving or volunteering
4. Fast. Pick a meal to give up once a week. Use the time to pray.
5. Read a gospel passage every day. The gospel of John is a great book to read during the week because of its personal focus on our relationship with God.
6. Attend church every week, including the special services of Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday - as you are able.
Any of these practice will help us grow closer to God. The message series during Lent will focus on building our relationship with God. I invite you to participate by committing yourself to Lenten practices and attending weekly worship.
See you in church, Pastor Eric