Pastor's Page

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.  All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.  Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”  Acts 2:43-47 NRSV  
            Life is a grand adventure!  What an amazing blessing the last eleven months have been as my family and I have been woven into the family of the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church.  It is a great privilege to be your pastor and to watch as God leads us through these days into a glorious future of God’s design. 
            This month we will celebrate Pentecost – the birthday of the church – on June 9th.  If you read the account of the birth of the Church in Acts 2 you may find some familiar patterns that continue even through today.  1) The believers gathered together in the temple. 2) They listened to the teachings of the Disciples. 3) They ate meals together (sounds Methodist to me). 4) They shared their treasure and their struggles. 5) God added to their numbers those who were being saved. It is a great blessing to travel in the line of faith after these faithful ones through the ages. Those who have gone before us have been faithful and have loved and sacrificed and worshipped. Now it is our turn! 
            I am thrilled to be the pastor of the Baldwinsville first United Methodist Church at this exciting time.  I believe God is about to break out and do something “exceedingly abundantly more than all we could ask or imagine!” Eph 3:20.
In April, our Stewardship Team reported that we were running a significant deficit for the year to date.  We decided to make that information available to the members of our church family and invite all to help us discern the direction and staffing of the Baldwinsville First UMC.  To make this happen we are inviting everyone to bring a monetary gift on Pentecost to help us make up the current deficit and step up in our pledges to help our Stewardship Team set a responsible staffing budget for the balance of the year and growing forward. 
            I pray that you will come and join us for our Pentecost Celebration on June 9th.  We will receive our best gifts to meet our financial needs as a fellowship, we will offer our pledges for the coming 6 months to enable the Stewardship Team to set a responsible budget, and we will rejoice as we remember and receive a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit.  Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with renewed power and love!  Come and join us for worship this Sunday at 9:00 or 10:30A.M. - we'll save you a seat!is not noted here, and we have no way of knowing, but I can't help but notice that Matthew comes to faith very soon after the Sermon on the Mount of chapters 5,6 and 7. I can't help but wonder if Matthew was in the crowd on that hillside a couple of chapters ago. Perhaps he heard Jesus Rabbinic teaching, and found the teaching transforming and irresistible! That would make sense that days later as Jesus passes by he quickly leaves everything to follow.Take a look with me at a subtle development that usually goes unnoticed in the Gospel of Matthew. We are in chapter 9 - roughly a third of the way through Matthew's Gospel account and someone gets invited to the party! Why, it's Matthew himself!Take a look with me at a subtle development that usually goes unnoticed in the Gospel of Matthew. We are in chapter 9 - roughly a third of the way through Matthew's Gospel account and someone gets invited to the party! Why, it's Matthew himself!It makes me wonder and recreate some of the story in my imagination. I wonder what Matthew's life as a tax collector was like before this day when Jesus invites him to come and follow. Apparently Matthew was a devout Jew -- at least he carefully couches all of his Gospel account in context of the Jewish heritage.As a tax collector, he would have been outcast and hated by all of his Jewish nation, and yet he would have been rich and powerful.It is not noted here, and we have no way of knowing, but I can't help but notice that Matthew comes to faith very soon after the Sermon on the Mount of chapters 5,6 and 7. I can't help but wonder if Matthew was in the crowd on that hillside a couple of chapters ago. Perhaps he heard Jesus Rabbinic teaching, and found the teaching transforming and irresistible! That would make sense that days later as Jesus passes by he quickly leaves everything to follow.What is your salvation story? What led up to you hearing the invitation to come and follow Jesus? Perhaps today you and I will be a part of another persons call to follow our savior and friend Jesus of Nazareth!PRAYER: Lord God, thank-you for the circumstances, the sermons, the pastors and people that went into our call to follow you. Use us this day and everyday to invite others to come and follow! Amen.

In Grace and Peace, Bill Mudge