In A Nutshell | September 24, 2021

Time to ‘Seal the Deal’

There are many reasons why I failed in my first job out of college as a consumer products sales representative. To begin with, it was not what I went to school for, so I was less than committed to what the position required. Secondly, I was lacking in the most essential aspect of successful sales — the ability to “seal the deal.” I could develop colorful visual materials and make effective presentations, but I just couldn’t bring myself to close the sale or “make the ask.” I would often find myself saying, “It’s okay, whatever you want to do,” instead of “this is a great product, and you really need to order 200 cases.”

It took me six years to “escape” that profession, and be blessed by a position in sports information at The College of Wooster that I truly loved. I would eventually transition into public information and spend a total of 32 years at the College, but there was always something gnawing at me, pushing me in a different direction — a position of service to the Lord our God.

My prayers were answered with my appointment as a pastor, first at East Greenville UMC in 2018, and one year later back home at Oak Chapel. I am truly blessed — far more than I deserve or could have imagined — but there is work to be done. We are fortunate to have a very hearty group of dedicated disciples in our congregation, but I think we would all agree that there is room to grow, especially when it comes to reaching out to young people and their families.

With that in mind, I would encourage you to continue to invite others to join us for worship and other activities at the church. You don’t necessarily have to “seal the deal,” just “make the ask” through an invitation, and let the Lord take over from there.

One area in particular that needs attention is our Christian Education program. Last week, we celebrated a wonderful outdoor service, courtesy of Rick and Julie Grossniklaus, as we focused on getting “Back-to-Church” — back into a routine of regular worship and service to the Lord through our service to others. We hope to see increasing numbers in our sanctuary throughout the fall and into the coming year.

Now, we want to focus on restarting Sunday School classes, beginning next week (Oct. 3) on World Communion Sunday. We hope to have at least one adult class, and we are looking to start classes for children and youth as well. The Sunday School hour (actually 45 minutes) begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes between 10:15-10:20 a.m. The adult class will have a series of rotating teachers and will begin with Philip Yancey’s fascinating study on “Vanishing Grace” — a very appropriate topic for the times in which we are now living.

Please consider joining us and encouraging your children, grandchildren, and others to become part of the process. You don’t have to make a weekly commitment – just come when you are able — and be blessed by the extraordinary and sacred Word of God.

We also have a need for active and enthusiastic servants in the church. Now that autumn is upon us, it’s time to “turn over a new leaf” and consider becoming involved in one (or more) of our church’s vast opportunities for service. It doesn’t have to be a major commitment on your part, just a little bit of participation. If you have a yearning to serve, or if the Spirit is moving you in that direction, please contact me, and I will help you “seal the deal!”

Until We Meet Again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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