September 2019 Connection

Great Things Happen Here

As a congregation we are fortunate and blessed to have such dedicated and spirit-filled lay leadership. This past summer we had a successful VBS led by Jessica Smith and Christy Waters that reached beyond our walls and into our community and touched the lives of children from all walks of life.
As we worshiped in one service, many experienced the richness of song and spirit as individuals collectively celebrated their faith. We were inspired by Common Grace by holding our second annual Worship in the Park. The result of this was once again, several families are now worshiping with us at GBUMC.
Thanks to the dynamic leadership of Shelly Rice, Jennifer Lengyel and Val Wise the new Christian Education Program coined “J.A.M.” (Jesus and Me) will launch on Rally Sunday, September 8. The Christian Education Training session and Christian Education Picnic on Sunday, August 11 attracted a number of people who responded to the urgent need to implement an organized program that requires very little time or preparation on the part of those in the classroom. Most of the work is done for the classroom managers ahead of time by a new member who has recently joined the church.
We all expect that Great Things will Continue to Happen Here. What do I mean by that?
  1. . We will continue to grow in worship attendance which positively impacts education, outreach and community involvement
  2. We will continue to reach and minister to those who are home-bound, sick and those in nursing homes.
  3. We will, together, discover ways to raise incoming funds to meet all identified ministry needs in the congregation.
  4. We will continue to offer leadership training to those called to serve in leading this church forward.
  5. We will support the Vision team as it continues to create a path for continual spiritual growth.
I ask all of you now to prayerfully be open to God’s prompting how these needs can be met.
Great things have happened and will continue to happen as we truly believe God has a purpose and plan for this congregation.
I invite each and every one right now to move into the GREAT zone starting today.
Julius E. Del Pino, Ph.D.
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May 2019 Connection

A Note from our Seminary Intern

Hey Church!
Can you believe 8 months has passed by us already? Sunday May 12 will mark an end to my time as a seminary intern at Grand Blanc UMC. It has been an incredible experience for myself and my family. We are thankful for the ways in which you have fully embraced us and accepted us into this community. To my Wednesday night class who have journeyed through The Good and Beautiful Life, we have had a great experience learning to be more like Jesus, thank you for the laughs and teaching me how to walk alongside others. To the congregation, thank you for helping me to find my pastoral voice. The sermons I delivered have been both challenging and transformative for myself, revealing the ways God is moving in my heart to walk alongside his people. To Nan Rahn and Laurie Tritten, thank you for sharing your wisdom and helping oversee my time here. To Dr. J., thank you for being an amazing mentor, an honest spiritual leader, and a courageous senior Pastor, our church is lucky to have had you appointed here.
As for me, I have a year left in seminary and expect to graduate Spring 2020. I plan to continue working as a Hospice Chaplain locally out of our Flint office. My family and I have been in the Grand Blanc community going on seven years and we love it here, so we are staying put. Finally, we plan to stick around and attend Grand Blanc United Methodist Church. We look forwarding to continuing to see what God has in store for this church and finding our place in that.
In Christ
Eric Carlson

A Note from Dr. J.

Easter Sunday has come and gone.  As we continue to glow in the spirit of Easter, we are looking forward to the warmth, joy and carefree days that the spring and summer seasons will bring. But first, wonderful memories rest gently in our minds of the powerful and spirit filled worship experiences on Easter Sunday.  The children were present leading us to celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus. Both the choirs, Common Grace and the Chancel Choir, inspired us to believe that hope is the foundation of great faith. The ushers were present in full force to greet you with love and compassion. The Tech Team ensured all those who spoke would be heard. Susie, the Co-Chair of Worship and the Arts went beyond what was expected of her to execute worship events that will linger warmly in our hearts.  The decorations of the altar and communion table were vivid reminders of the glory of the resurrection of our Lord!  And of course, we have been profoundly blessed having our very first Seminary Intern, Eric Carlson, offered a unique morning prayer that was interactive, joyful and Holy. He and his family have touched our hearts and inspired us to believe that we can be a Church that meets the needs of young families. We can be a church unafraid to be inclusive in loving all of God’s people.  We will have an opportunity to express our gratitude to Eric, Sarah, Bennett and Drake on May 12, his final day of internship. Come to church that Sunday and feel the glow of the spirit once again at work in our lives and in worship.  Let’s shower our joy upon Eric and his family for their service and presence in the lives of Grand Blanc UMC!
Your Pastor
Rev. Julius Del Pino
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passion 2018

March 2018 Connection

passion 2018
The Lenten journey is a season that invites us to speak to God and to receive the Easter experience into our
lives. As we prepare to make that journey in 2018, I would remind us of what happened at that first Easter. Because of Easter, Jesus Christ is alive in the world, present in every heart, ready to transform lives, and opens the gates of eternity; that is the foundation and conviction of the Christian faith. To be sure, without the resurrection of Christ there would be no Christian church. 
The longer I live with the Easter narratives, the more I believe they become blurred by the very brightness of that experience of the living Lord. My faith tells me the countless ways that there was not the slightest doubt, in those early Christians, about the central truth they lived and proclaimed. Death could not defeat Jesus. The greed and political mockery could not destroy his faith. Hate could not break him. Christ lives! Scholars and
preachers alike agree to a miraculous event following the crucifixion that radically changed the lives of the disciples.
My own belief is rather simple. I believe that something happened that changed the disciples from cowards into young men of grace, power, and faith. How did they change? They changed through their encounter with the living Christ.
The religious scene has changed over the years. I am amazed by the increasing number of Christians who claim to have all the answers to perplexing questions of our time. To offer neat, shallow, pat answers to the
ultimate mystery of religion is not faith at all, but an affront to all that is sacred and holy.
I do not have all the answers to what happened inside the tomb on that Easter morning. I don’t think anyone else does either. If you have to know every single detail and have all the facts about the tomb and the dead Jesus, and what eternity is like in minute detail….with complete accuracy, then you are encouraged by this pastor to return to those passages that detail this amazing story for new insights and learning.  Easter is not about what happened to the corpse of Jesus in a tomb, but what happened in the life of Paul and the other disciples and apostles afterwards, and what can still happen in you and in me because Christ lives. Easter is not magic but miraculous, not chemistry, but mystery.
As we take that journey to the cross, may we come to truly believe that Easter happens in us when we believe that the future is still open. The resurrection is God’s stand against despair, greed, dishonesty, and helplessness – the resurrection says God’s tomorrow is not confined to yesterday’s tragedy, but is open, free, moving and alive.
Please believe me. The Easter experience is filled with profound mystery as well as with deep commitment to the reality of Christ’s miraculous resurrection. Believe it! Celebrate it! Live it! Come to church during Lent so that you can genuinely celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday morning.
Yours in Christ love,
Julius E. Del Pino
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vision tiles 2018

February 2018 Connection

vision tiles 2018
Next Steps for Church Revitalization
First, I wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.  I am so thankful to be able to lead you in this new year as we become more faithful in our discipleship walk.  God has blessed us beyond measure, and I believe new and abundant blessings will be showered on us in 2018. By now many of you have read or heard about our meeting in homes to hear from you what your hopes and dreams are for your church. Questions for discussion will include, but not limited to the following: Why do we need Christ?  Why do we need the Church?  Why do we need this church, GBUMC, in particular?  Your answers will help us form a vision statement that will be a light for the future.  Please make every effort to attend one of these zone home gatherings. What you believe is the driving force behind the ultimate vision. 
The purpose of the Vision Workshop is to create a vision statement unique to GBUMC.  Once crafted, the vision statement will function as the basis of all decision-making and ministry assessment for this congregation. While at the workshop, participants will be encouraged to do the following:
    1. Pray and Listen to God about the future
    2. Dream together about what God wants this congregation to be in our community
    3. Develop the seeds of God’s vision for the church’s future
    4. Learn to understand the difference between mission and vision
    5. Identify church values
    6. Become familiar with life cycle of a congregation
The church leadership and your pastor are encouraging every person to please be a part of sculpting your church’s vision by attending these events on Saturday, February 24 and Saturday, March 24th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Patty Dennis, who trained at the Lombard Institute and has been mentored by Naomi Garcia, will lead us.  Please be prayerful from now up until the workshop times as we prepare to be involved in this visioning process.  Your spoken dreams and hopes are needed as we are lead by the Spirit to transform peoples lives. 
Faithfully and lovingly,
Your Pastor,
Julius E Del Pino, Ph
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