This is a copy of the first edition of my ministry newsletter, which was sent out today. I will post my newsletter to this blog in the future. If you would like to receive the newsletter by email, please let me know by email at micahbales at gmail dot com.
Grace to you, and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You are receiving this message because I believe that you would like to be kept informed about my traveling ministry in Great Plains Yearly Meeting, which has begun this month in Wichita, Kansas. In the coming weeks and months, I will be producing a regular newsletter to keep Friends informed of the work of God in our community. For this first edition, let me explain the nature of my ministry and how you can personally get involved:
For the next six months, I will be carrying out a ministry of intervisitation among Friends in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas – primarily within Great Plains Yearly Meeting, but also reaching out to other Friends in the region. I intend to spend time with each monthly meeting in Great Plains Yearly Meeting, deepening my relationship with Friends and seeking to be of service in building up the Body of Christ in our local meetings and communities. Additionally, I will aim to be of service to our neighbors in Manhattan, Lawrence, Topeka, and Lubbock, encouraging them in their journey and seeking increased fellowship and cooperation between these meetings and Great Plains Yearly Meeting. Finally, as way opens, I will look for ways to lend encouragement and support to isolated Friends, helping them to find the material, human and spiritual resources they need to thrive.
The needs of Friends will vary from place to place, but I hope that some of the fruits of my ministry might be: the strengthening of the existing meetings of GPYM; a greater focus on intervisitation within GPYM; encouragement for our pastoral leadership; increased outreach in local communities; a focus on encouraging youth and a new generation of leadership; encouraging the growth of new meetings where there have not been any before; and outreach to other meetings in the region.
I plan to meet with as many individuals and households as I can, visiting families in their homes and seeking opportunities to share fellowship and worship. I hope for a time of intentional listening – praying with individuals and families, meeting with Friends for worship, and participating in the community life. I plan to be engaging in this ministry full-time in Wichita from now until early April. During this time, I hope to be in ongoing conversation with Heartland and University Friends, listening together for how God is guiding us as a body and seeking to be faithful to God’s plan for this ministry, now and in the future.
I hope that Friends throughout the yearly meeting will take on this ministry as their own, and I was pleased when Great Plains Yearly Meeting endorsed my ministry at yearly meeting sessions this past June and took this work under its care. I pray that we can foster a culture of regular intervisitation throughout our yearly meeting, and I invite Friends to join with me in visiting other meetings.
Ways you can get involved:
*Pray for your meeting and for Great Plains Yearly Meeting.
*Pray for me and my ministry of encouraging Friends to be attentive to God’s call for us.
*Let me know that you’re praying for me, and let me pray for you, too.
*Invite me to meet with you and your family and tell me about how God is working in your life and how you feel God is leading us as Friends.
*Tell me about specific ways I can be of service to you and your meeting. This could be anything: from helping you move or helping your child with his or her Spanish homework to helping with Sunday school or bringing a message at your meeting.
*Prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to visit another Friends congregation. You might visit on your own, accompany me as I travel, or ask another Friend from your meeting to travel with you. I would welcome anyone who wishes to join me in visiting another Friends meeting.
I look forward to serving Christ together with you as we seek to live God’s justice and love.
Your fellow servant in Christ,