Personal Blog: "In the Hope Blog"
Facebook Page: Scott Carlson
Twitter Feed: ScottDCarlson
The South West District of the Wisconsin Annual Conference is located in the South West Corner of the State of Wisconsin. We are located in a beautiful part of the state, filled with coulees, farming land, towns and cities. Even more than a beautiful landscape, we are a part of the state filled with terrific people.
As I am traveling throughout the South West District, I am meeting United Methodist people from all different settings and churches. But one common theme I am coming across is that the people called United Methodist are yearning to grow in faith. They are yearning to experience God’s love in ways that is real and authentic. They are working to grow in faith. They are learning how to share their love for God with the people around us, who have no faith community to call their own.
Most churches in our district are facing challenges of one kind or another. Yet what is exciting to me is to see these churches looking to God and to the service of God to meet those challenges. I am excited by the many ways the churches of our district are reaching out in mission and ministry beyond their doors.
We have a church in our district that invites the whole high school over, following their football games. They are showing God’s love by literally feeding and caring for the high school youth of their community.
We have several churches that open up their Vacation Bible School to children of the surrounding community. Several of those churches are seeing over a hundred children from the community come to church, who previously had no church home, and they are now being invited to build a relationship with God and the church.
We have several churches that serve free meals to their community, and it is opening new doors of relationships, whereby others can experience God’s love.
United Methodist Worship attendance has grown 14% in the last ten years in Dane County. We are the only mainline denomination to experience such growth in Dane County (or any county in Wisconsin) within that timeframe.
Through worship, through Bible Study, through support groups, through reaching out to the world in mission, we show God’s love for the world.
The people of our world are looking for honest, authentic, faith filled people who are showing God’s love. When we strive to live our faith; when we strive to experience an ongoing relationship with God, others see it and are drawn to it.
God is calling us, as United Methodist’s in the South West District, to live our faith. May we do it well. Welcome to the South West District.
In the hope Jesus offers us,
Rev. Scott Carlson