As we approach All Saints Day on Nov. 1, we celebrate and give thanks for all God’s saints and lift up the ministry and legacy of St. James UMC in Pembroke.
Grace and peace to you God’s saints.
Sunday, Nov. 1, is All Saints’ Day. On this day, we celebrate the saints of God. We give thanks for the saints who’ve gone before us, the saints who surround us in this life, and the saints who will follow us.
On this All Saints’ Day, we celebrate one of our congregations – Saint James United Methodist Church [Pembroke]. I’d like to share a bit of its story. It illustrates the way that each of our congregations is beloved of God, beloved by the congregation, and beloved by the Annual Conference. Each is unique and offers a unique ministry in the world.
Saint James United Methodist Church was founded as an African-American congregation. For over a 100 years, ministry flowed through this congregation of God’s people. Ms. Barbara Pearson is the matriarch of the church and she lovingly tells its story. The Rev. Dr. Jimmy Cummings served this church as his first pastoral appointment. He remembers riding his bicycle from house to house in the community. Once when the church was badly in need of repair, district youth came together. Native American youth, African American youth, white youth, painting, and reroofing the church.
The church has been lovingly cared for across the years. Hurricane Matthew and then Hurricane Florence devastated the building. Both storms brought torrential rain and the church was flooded beyond repair. The church will officially close on All Saints Day. In its closure as a place of worship, we find a way to tell God’s story once again. God raises up people for ministry in a particular season, blesses those people, seeds are planted and the harvest will come.
In your place, in your particular place this day, give thanks to God for the ministry for which you are a part. Indeed, you are God’s saints, living faithfully in the world and we celebrate your ministry. Together, we sing a song of the saints of God on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day.