Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Friday, April 19, 2019
We serve the Lord with love and praise.

A message from our Pastor

See What Love Can Do!

 

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 3:20-21

 

          Spring has finally arrived, and with it comes a renewed sense of hope, promise and new life. As we continue our Lenten journey and walk with Christ to Calvary, we are reminded of our Lord’s sacrificial love for us, and at the same time anticipate the powerful hope of the resurrection…the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord!

          The Apostle Paul powerfully reminds us that Christ, who bore our sins for us and has given us new life, calls us to show who we are in Christ…to do Christ’s bidding as ambassadors of Jesus… by demonstrating Christ’s sacrificial love to others.

          Our church has had a tremendous opportunity during this Lenten season to demonstrate sacrificial love to John and Jeanette Goff and their children, Hailey and Matthew. The Goff family has endured so many hardships as a result of the tornado that devastated the Elon area of Amherst County on April 15, 2018. The Goffs were living in a rental mobile home at the time of the storm and lost everything. John and Hailey both sustained serious injuries that have involved multiple surgeries. John may still lose his leg as a result of infection and is still facing additional surgery. When I met them after the storm to give them the funds our church had collected for them, they were barely hanging on emotionally and financially. When I became involved with the Amherst Disaster Recovery Group, I specifically requested to be assigned their case to continue the relationship we had started. Amazingly, through a partnership between ADRG and Habitat for Humanity, plans to build the Goffs a Habitat home on Pendleton Drive are underway.

          In the meantime, it became necessary for them to leave their current rental home as advised by both the county building inspector and the health department. Without much time to prepare, I am so very thankful to have been able to secure permission for them to reside in the unoccupied parsonage at Beulah Retreat Center owned by the Lynchburg District of the UMC.   Thanks many times  over to everyone that helped clean the parsonage and clear the lawn on Sunday, March 17, and those that helped move the family into the home on Tuesday, March 19. This was truly a community ecumenical effort with people from several area churches, Habitat for Humanity and ADRG all pulling together to love and help this family during their time of need.

          As we left the house at Beulah on Tuesday afternoon, I noticed a spring bulb in the yard that was just beginning to push its way through the dirt…a sign of hope and renewal.  In that moment, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the love of God in Christ that has been shown to this family through God’s people. That’s the “church” we need the world to see, especially during these difficult days for the UMC; that’s the Christ was are called to show to others! As signs of new life continue to blossom all around us this spring, take time to give thanks to God for the hope that is in YOU, the everlasting hope that we can share daily with others as Christ’s ambassadors.  

~ Grace and Peace,

Pastor Nancy