By Pastor Mark Woodward
Maple Leaf Parish Spring Valley: Faith, Cherry Grove, Fountain, Preston (and Lenora) United Methodist Churches
It is good to greet you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ!
Recently I was listening to some old recordings from two musical groups – The Sounds of Praise and the Spokesmen Gospel Quartet. These musical groups offered uplifting musical ministry in Southeast Minnesota during the 1990s and into the 2000s.
In listening again to their music, I am becoming increasingly aware of the need for renewal, revival and re-creation in our society right now.
In the mid-1860s there is evidence of revival, tent meetings taking place in the Lenora area of Fillmore County. Circuit Riders and traveling evangelists brought people together for “tent meetings” and revival gatherings to proclaim the good news and to bring new energy and vitality to the people and churches in the area. Reports indicate that many people attended tent meetings in the Lenora area during the early days of the Lenora Church ministry. Circuit Riders such as John Dyer, Thomas Kinsman, Moses Mapes and numerous others were deeply committed to fostering the strength and vitality of the pioneer church.
I believe in our lives today, we, too stand in need of revival, renewal and re-creation – to refocus our priorities and to encourage a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and the redeeming love of God.
The time for renewal and revival is definitely here – a time to refocus our priorities – a time to grow in our commitment to spiritual vitality.
One of the songs sung by those Gospel that really spoke to my heart proclaimed a total commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord… to live and share the Good News of what Christian faith is all about!
May this be a time for renewal, revival and re-creation. Maybe it is time to have some old fashioned “tent meetings” as the Circuit Riders once did and to focus our hearts on the transforming and life-changing love of God in Jesus Christ!
May God’s Holy Spirit bring joy and renewal today and every day!