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2017: The Year of the Swollen Heart

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Reflections from Rev. Charles E. Broome, Senior Pastor

My heart swelled, the tears began to flow, and overwhelming anguish rushed in.

In the life of any church, there will always be the start of life, the fulfillment of life, the decline of life and the end of life.  Additionally, within life, we all have valleys of pain through which we will travel.  This year, we have had our share of these, and we have also had gross exaggerations of these too: multiple accidents that led to many surgeries and months in the hospital and rehab; the untimely death of an adult, the untimely death of a child, the untimely death of an infant.  As we remember these things, our hearts swell, the tears begin to flow, we remember the anguish and thank God for the strength, comfort and peace He gave to us.

 

My heart swelled, the tears began to flow, and overwhelming encouragement rushed in.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon and said, “One small step for a man, and one giant leap for mankind.”  This year we have seen giant steps of faith, where many people have stepped from their comfortable pews into incarnational ministry.  Some of these saw a need in someone’s life and filled that need.  There has been an influx of new volunteers in all our ministries: children, youth, adults, Wednesday Night Bridge, and Altar Guild, just to name a few.  Many of these saw a gap and volunteered to fill it; while others were asked and answered the call.  Meanwhile, many of our longtime teachers and mission leaders continue to be steadfast and faithful to their classes and mission interests year after year.  As we remember these people, our hearts swell, the tears begin to flow, and we are overwhelmed with encouragement.

 

My heart swelled, the tears began to flow, and overwhelming gratitude rushed in.

Every church needs strong lay leadership to be successful.  As I look back over the history of Kingswood, and more specifically since my arrival in 2015, I am very grateful for the ways in which our lay leadership has led us and has risen to meet every challenge along the way.  The Church Council, Trustees, Finance Committee along with Stewardship and the Endowment/Legacy Committee, and Staff Parish Committee have done great jobs fulfilling their respective responsibilities.  Additionally, the staff has done their responsibilities with excellence and to the glory of God.  As we remember all these people, our hearts swell, the tears begin to flow and overwhelming gratitude rushes in.

 

My heart swelled, the tears began to flow, and overwhelming pride rushed in.

As a child growing up in a small town, high school football was king.  In 1967 we came to big Atlanta to play Westminster for the Class “A” state title.  After we beat them 20-0, we yelled, “We’re from Thomson; couldn’t be prouder.  If you can’t hear us, we’ll yell a little louder!”  Well, after this year, I can truly say, “I’m from Kingswood; couldn’t be prouder.  If you can’t hear me, I’ll yell a little louder.”

This year the church took a step of faith and approved a bigger budget.  We have received more funds than we spent, and have met the needs of the church.  After a very successful Stewardship Campaign an even larger budget was approved for 2018, which reflects an increase in everyone’s faith, and a desire that Kingswood be positioned to do even greater things for the furthering of the Kingdom of God.  Our debt associated with the construction of the Community Life Center is now down to $478,942.  At the end of 2016 this debt was just shy of $800,000.  The payoff of this debt is clearly in sight, and, O, what a joyful day that will be.  As we remember all that has been accomplished, our hearts swell, the tears begin to flow and overwhelming pride rushes in.

 

Rev. Charles Broome

Author: Rev. Charles Broome

Rev. Broome is Senior Pastor of Kingswood United Methodist Church.