September 2013

Dear Christ Family,

Summer is almost over and it is time to get back to our fall activities. We have been busy meeting and planning and planning and meeting. Special thanks to all of you who have so diligently given of your time and service. I look forward, with great anticipation, to our future together as pastor and congregation. I have found that so many of you are extremely gifted and talented in so many areas.

First of all let me say that I know that CHANGE IS DIFFICULT FOR MOST!!!! We have all been in a season of change and will continue to be for some time. However, we must remember that God is with us, even (and especially) in the midst of change and transformation. We must believe and trust God together.

Many of you already know that we have changed our Sunday morning time schedule. This decision had to be made because I also serve as pastor at Simpson UMC located at 8519 Clark Avenue, also in Cleveland. Christ and Simpson are considered to be a part of a two-point charge within our United Methodist system. Each church worships on Sunday morning and has separate committee meetings.

Everything has basically been pushed back one hour for Christ. The task was given to and the decision was made by the combined Staff Parish committees of Christ and Simpson UMCs. Both churches were accustomed to meeting for Sunday morning worship at either 10:30 am or 10:45 am. The committee needed to come to a compromise about how to set times that would be somewhat accommodating and acceptable (not perfect) for the most part for both. I want you to know that this decision was not made lightly or in a matter of minutes.

There was a process involved that included many, many ideas, suggestions and configurations. One suggestion was to have Simpson meet in the afternoon just like First Hispanic UMC did when Rev. Nazario was here. Simpson cannot do that because they have another church that rents their building during that time and that church cannot meet in the mornings. There were separate meetings, emails, more emails and eventually another combined meeting with Simpson UMC to come to the decision that was made. It was a very stressful, frustrating and at times painful process. The new times were chosen in order for our church to still be able to do all the wonderful things on Sunday morning that you have been doing over the past years as well as still be able to have the pastor present after worship. Some configurations included cutting the lengths of some of your Sunday morning activities and rescheduling all meetings to weekday evening hours. That was unacceptable for some on the committee.

Therefore, each church had to come to a compromise and sacrifice their usual Sunday morning schedule. Simpson UMC now will worship at 10:00 am and Christ will now begin worship at 11:30 am. Once again, know that each church is making a sacrifice. Please also know that the Staff Parish committees have worked extremely hard over the summer on this problem. I want to personally thank them for their dedication in serving the church on this, at times, very stressful committee. We will trust that God is moving by His Spirit and the best is yet to come!!!

Be Encouraged and Hopeful for the future with Jesus!!!

Pastor Darlene Robinson