Pastor Thom's Message Blog

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Pastor Thom Bryant

Connecting - October 2020


Coming Together

Fall is arriving! Weather is cooling, leaves turning, my corn dust allergy turning my voice another stage deeper... all the signs are there. This summer was one that I am sure no one will soon forget, no matter how we might try. There have been so many unknowns and divisive issues. All during a time when a pandemic has us physically separated from the people and places that bring joy, offer consistency, and give the encouragement needed to get through a "normal" day of being human let alone times like these.

I yearn for the day when we can all really gather together as a community again. It has honestly been in every waking thought of every single day since we closed the sanctuary. Sunday morning worship has been a transformational and key component of my life for 12 years now. It is what has given me every single thing that I have. My sobriety, my health, my wife's health, purpose, friends, and balance all stem from Sunday morning... in a church... with other people.

I thank each and all of you for your grace and support over these past months in trying to figure out what to do, try, and never mess with again. Thank you for your love and understanding as Jess and her excellent team took on the task of making sure that children in our community have a safe and fun place as their parents navigate changes in their own work and lives. Thank you for the prayers and cooperation as we worked our way through so many changes, false starts, nervous moments, and all of the week to week (sometimes day to day) uncertainty of everything. Thank you most of all for being you.

Your unique perspective, experience, participation, and personality are a priceless and irreplaceable part of this beautiful body of Christ that is Van Meter UMC. Whether you live in Van Meter or are one of the many that normally join from a surrounding community... you make us US!

I wish I could say with confidence a date on when our reunion celebration can take place, but I've learned by now that is not up to me. What I can do is tell you that starting October 4th the worship video will be available a 9AM every Sunday morning to make sure there is a consistent time along with a consistent message. I will also be offering fellowship times and Bible studies via Zoom. I will continue to pray, research, hope, and discern how I can do the best possible to foster spiritual growth and discipleship in this time full of unknowns.

This month's series is titled Won’t You Be My Neighbor? It’s not just a title to create an earworm either. This might be the most timely series I've ever been blessed to lead and teach. Have you ever heard me say how "God is always in the timing"? There's a reason for that... God is ALWAYS is in the timing.

Thank you again for your time, grace, love, patience, prayers, trust, and most of all... being YOU! None of this is easy, but we can still have fun and be who we are no matter the circumstances. I don't just believe that, I know it. I know it because I know that no matter where we are or what might separate us, the best of it is... God is with US!