Sherri's Message
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December 22, 2016, 12:00 AM

December 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, we have much for which to be thankful. We look at our homes, our families and friends and our churches and pause to give thanks for all that has been entrusted to us.

We see so much violence in the world around us, and realize that so many people are seeking peace. That’s why we give thanks for Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the one who calls us to be peace-makers in a weary and hurting world.

John Wesley called his followers to do no harm, to do good and to stay in love with God. As we journey through the Christmas season, I pray that you will find many ways to do good, not only to those whom you love, but also to the stranger, the marginalized and the outcast. When we love all of God’s people, we do the work Jesus calls us to do.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve the Cornerstone District and so blessed by all of you.

Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year,

Sherri

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June 9, 2016, 1:07 PM

June 9, 2016

I’ve always enjoyed going to Annual Conference.  It’s a great time to connect with old friends and meet new people.  The preaching is inspiring, the music is awesome and the ordination service always moves me to tears  - especially when people respond to the Bishop’s call to serve.  

Annual Conference is also challenging.  We discuss policy and funding and the budget. Often those conversations generate what appears to be a lack of trust among colleagues.  Instead of engaging in conversation that seeks first to understand, then be understood, some tend to make assumptions – and they often assume the absolute worst.  Others tell only one side of the story. This does not build up the Body of Christ.

When we bicker and assume that people have a hidden agenda, we fall prey to the world’s culture of mistrust and negativity and we harm the Body.  People are watching to see how we treat one another.  Why would they want to be part of us if we can’t even treat one another with care and respect?  

Paul encourages the Corinthians to, “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you (2 Cor. 13:11).”  I love the passion of God’s people.

Passion can be a great thing; but it can also wound and destroy.  I want to encourage us not to assume, but to have conversations with a variety of people with differing perspectives  - not to prove a point or win, but to seek understanding and build relationships.  

Prayerfully yours,
Sherri
 




April 28, 2016, 8:24 AM

April 28, 2016

Today's reading (April 27) from 60 Days of Prayer for General Conference references John 7:37-39.  In the  text Jesus shouts, “All who are thirsty should come to me! All who believe in me should drink! As the scriptures said concerning me, ‘Rivers of living water will flow out from within him.’” 

 

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre comments on the effect of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Like a river of living water, the Holy Spirit transforms the life and ministry of those who receive the Spirit. She notes that persons will not only be sustained, but will also pour out the Holy Spirit upon others. 

 

Tuesday night at the Ministry Strategy Plan meeting, we spent some time talking about how we measure deeper discipleship. I suggested that while we can’t quantitatively measure discipleship, we certainly can qualitatively measure it.  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that when the Holy Spirit flows in and through our lives, we exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  We know when there is a “Good Spirit” in a congregation and when there is not;  It’s palpable – we can feel it.  

 

In a culture that seems to value negativity and tearing down rather than building up, I pray that we, as United Methodist followers of Jesus, will allow the Holy Spirit to flow in us, allowing it to change us, so that we show evidence of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. As we have been transformed, may the fruit of the Spirit flow through us so that all will know God’s love and grace. T

 

he song, “I’ve got a River of Life” comes to mind. (Here’s a link if you don’t know the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS9aPQ3Ss1o )  

 

May we not only receive abundant life, but share it too.

 

Prayerfully yours,

Sherri




April 21, 2016, 12:53 PM

April 21, 2016

Greetings! Spring is here! I pray that you are having a good week and have had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather that we've been experiencing in Western New York. 

I want to remind you about an important event happening in our Conference and in the Cornerstone District.

I know that you believe, as I do, the importance of prayer to us as followers of Jesus Christ and as members of The United Methodist Church.

Saturday, April 23, is designated as the Upper New York Annual Conference's Day of Prayer for General Conference 2016. Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St., is Cornerstone's "official" Day of Prayer site; the church will be open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

You do not have to sign up for a specific time to participate in this Day of Prayer - go to Fredonia First at any time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

If you are unable to go to Fredonia First to pray, please take time during the day on Saturday to pray for all delegates to General Conference, the Upper New York Annual Conference delegation and the work that will be before the General Conference on May 10-20 in Portland, OR. 




April 14, 2016, 1:55 PM

April 14, 2016

Thank you again to the local pastors who met with me on Tuesday morning.  It was truly a time of holy conversation and I was blessed by our time together.

Thank you also to Pastor Nettie Puleff and the congregation of Fredonia First for their hospitality.  

During the course of our conversation, I believe I “stepped on the third rail” on the subject of churches and chicken barbeques. I’d like the opportunity to share a little bit more about what was behind that statement.

Many of our churches have forgotten that their primary mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. They have made keeping the church open the focus of ministry rather than introducing people to Jesus, nurturing them in the faith and deploying them into the world to build  up God’s kingdom.

Churches have a big problem when fund raising events take priority over disciple making. Dinners and other events can be great opportunities for relationship building and outreach to the community. However, when the purpose is solely fundraising, it diverts our time and talents away from our primary purpose of disciple making.

Many churches have also moved away from a Biblical understanding of stewardship. I want to encourage all congregations to ask why they engage in dinners and other activities and not just do them “Because we’ve always done it that way.”

God has abundantly blessed us to do the ministry we are called to do. All that we are and all that we have comes from the hand of God. Are we willing to invest our time, talents, gifts, service  and witness in disciple making? That’s really the question.

If you were offended by my comment on Tuesday morning or something I’ve written today or you have questions, please – let’s find a time to continue the conversation. I really do want to hear from you.

I’m praying for all of you and ask that you keep me in your prayers as well.

Grace and peace,
Sherri 

 


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