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New Perspectives by Amber Hirsch
posted on March 07
I have recently started a new yoga practice at a great place here in North County. This has been instrumental for me in these days following the Special Session of General Conference. I’ve been using this time to quiet my mind, pray for our church, and open my heart to where God is leading me regarding this painful situation.
One of my yoga instructors provides a theme for our classes each month for students to focus on during our practice. March’s theme is “NEW PERSPECTIVES.” That seems particularly fitting for me (and our church) this month. I would invite you to join me in prayer and meditation on new perspectives for the United Methodist Church.
As you may know, I am not only your District Lay Leader, but also a choir director at St. Mark’s UMC in Florissant. I want to share with you some benefits of SINGING. My hope is that the physical and mental benefits of singing can help in some small way to improve your mood during this time of uncertainty in our church. It doesn’t matter if you are a good singer or bad…only that you sing! In the words of John Wesley, “Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature.”
· Singing strengthens the immune system
· Singing is a workout (strengthens your diaphragm, stimulates circulation, aerobic benefits)
· Singing improves your posture
· Singing helps with sleep
· Singing is a natural anti-depressant (releases endorphins)
· Singing lowers stress levels
· Singing improves mental alertness
· Singing boosts your confidence
· Singing broadens communication skills
It is my sincere hope, that these simple suggestions of prayer, meditation, and singing will bring you comfort, joy, and clarity of mind during the coming weeks.
Please take note of the upcoming meetings with Bishop Bob Farr regarding the outcome of General Conference 2019. These meetings are open to all—both clergy and laity in the Missouri Annual Conference. The first is a Q-and-A Webinar with Bishop Farr on Tuesday, March 12, at 3:00 p.m. Click here to register. The second opportunity is a face-to-face meeting where he will cover what happened at the Conference, what did not happen there, and what it could mean for local churches in Missouri. The Gateway Central District Conversation will be held in Bridgeton at Arlington UMC on Saturday, March 23 at 10:00 am. I will be there, and I hope to see you there too.
I would like to leave you with an exciting announcement! Our Mission Council has been working hard to develop a brand-new Social Justice Grant Application for ministry in the Gateway Central District. We are in the final stages of crafting the application and will send out more information on how and when to apply this spring.
With hope and love,
Gateway Central District Lay Leader