By Pastor Mark Woodward
Maple Leaf Parish Spring Valley: Faith, Cherry Grove, Fountain, Preston (and Lenora) United Methodist Churches
Here is an old photograph from about 1890 of pioneer people standing in front of the historic Lenora Church. It must have been a church picnic, a holiday of some sort as the people came together for this photo. I am impressed with the clothing, the bonnets, the hats – the people coming together in front of their church building on a summer day. Someone is holding the American flag on a pole, which makes me think it might have been a Fourth of July picnic.
This picture was taken about 122 years ago, during a completely different era in the history of our country. Off to the right on the edge of the photo, one can see a portion of a wooden spoke wheel from a buggy or carriage. These are pioneer people who took the time to worship and to gather in front of their church building.
I want us to pause and think about the importance of faith, worship, commitment and involvement in our modern world of 202 In these post-pandemic days, it is time for us to reclaim and refocus our priorities and like the people in this picture place more emphasis on faith, worship, commitment and involvement in our local churches.
Circuit Riders like Revs. John Dyer, Moses Mapes, Thomas Kinsman and other early Lenora Church pastors (as well as others) placed great emphasis on faith, worship, commitment and involvement – something that we need to reclaim in our modern society.
In these days, let us really think about what is important to us. How do we give of ourselves in living and sharing the Good News of our faith?
Recently, Rev. Charles Stanley stressed how important it is for us to strengthen the local church and to foster spiritual vitality and energy. Perhaps this is an essential time for renewal and for reclaiming the power of faith, worship, commitment and involvement?
In looking at this old picture once again, I am reminded that the people of the mid-1800s often had revival gatherings and tent meetings. In fact, a very large tent meeting once was held in Lenora in the 1860s, led by a variety of early Methodist circuit riders and evangelists.
In these post-pandemic days, I believe the time is here once again for renewal and rededicating ourselves to matters of faith, worship, commitment and involvement. Yes!!!! This is a time for renewal and to refocus our priorities.
As a modern day circuit rider who travels all over Fillmore County as part of the Maple Leaf Parish, I invite people to join with these early pioneer Christians and claim for ourselves and our local churches a time for RENEWAL and REVIVAL to strengthen our local churches and to live and share the Good News of Jesus Christ all to the glory of God!