~ By Rev. William C. Bills
A member of one of my former churches is a paramedic. She once told me that almost half the people transported to the hospital had to go because they were not taking their medications as directed. When a doctor writes a prescription the directions are usually specific, saying something like, “Take one tablet twice daily with food.” Sometimes, though, the prescription may only say, “Take as directed.” In those cases we may either have to listen carefully to the doctor’s verbal instructions or we may need to read the instructions that come with the medication very carefully. Failure to take the prescription as directed can render the medication useless. Sometimes failure to take the prescription as directed can make one sick. In some circumstances, failure to take medication as prescribed can lead to dire consequences!
On Sunday, October 2, University UM Church will receive our Vital Church Initiative Report. Along with that report will come affirmation for five things our church does well. Then, five concerns will be noted. Prescriptions for each of those five concerns will also be given. I don’t believe this necessarily means that our church is sick. I do think, though, that our church, and any other church for that matter, can be better. We have been engaged in a long process of health screening. Sunday, October 2, we will receive our five prescriptions. If taken as directed, our church will be more healthy and be assured of living a long and full life!
The Vital Church Initiative team arrives on site early on Friday, September 30. The team will be with us for the weekend. Friday interviews will be conducted with the staff, volunteer leaders, the pastor, the pastor’s wife and a focus group of active church attenders who are not leaders.
Saturday, a workshop will be offered for the entire congregation. This workshop is NOT a repeat of the workshop which was offered last week. Saturday’s workshop will specifically address the “Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations” (Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Risk-taking Mission and Service, Intentional Faith Development and Extravagant Generosity). The workshop will also help us address our willingness and ability to implement change. The Saturday workshop will also help prepare us for receiving our prescriptions the next day, after the worship service is concluded.
Please plan to attend Saturday's workshop from 10:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A complementary lunch will be provided. Childcare is also available. If you haven’t made a reservation for lunch, please call or email Kim Depew in the church office (517-351-7030 or firstname.lastname@example.org). I hope you will be in worship Sunday for the reading of our report and prescriptions. The results of the Readiness 360 survey will also be available on Sunday. As soon as we receive it we will also make available the report from our twelve mystery worshipers.