Note from Pastor Jana 1 A few years back, three Wesley Foundations came together for a leadership retreat. We had a lot of things planned for them. One was that we did some coaching. Rev. Dee Dee Autry led them in the Nehemiah Response. It was a helpful tool and reminder. It was a model that looked at where you were, where you wanted to be, setting a vision and celebrating accomplishments, and then seeing the transformation. This model is rooted from Nehemiah. You may be familiar with the story of Nehemiah. If not, here’s a very brief summary, Nehemiah was a Hebrew in Persia. He got word that the wall around Jerusalem was broken down and the gates destroyed. So, Nehemiah prayed to God. Then, he asks the King of Persia if he can go and fix this situation. It wasn’t easy, but it seemed as people united together to build the wall. After he leaves, things go awry. Nehemiah returns to find the walls strong but the people weak. So, he works on teaching them and reestablishing their relationship with God. That is very much a reader’s digest version. But, you have understanding and some context of this book of the Bible. The creators of this model share that Nehemiah’s first response was to seek out God and see the situation from his perspective. Nehemiah took time to survey the site when he got to his destination. Nehemiah was not looking for a “quick fix.” Nehemiah desired to be patient and to wait, being careful to align with God’s vision. I am looking forward to August 20th. We will gather on Saturday morning. We’ll have time to be in prayer, set vision/goals, and plan. We have some time before that session, so I have a few asks of you. First, make a commitment that you will be there. Second, begin praying daily for Wesley UMC and for this time together. Third, listen to what God is calling our church to do. Let’s start asking the questions and preparing our hearts. “What is it God wants to accomplish through you?” “How are you preparing yourself to meet that challenge?” Andy Stanley says, “Vision is a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be. Vision is a preferred future. A destination.” May God give us vision and may we be fueled with conviction to reach the destination.

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