Pastor’s Note

Pastor’s Note

Each week Lead Pastor Andy Bryan shares what’s on his heart. His messages both inform and inspire. Subscribe and stay ‘in the know’ about all things Manchester UMC!

God’s Voice - The voice of God speaks, and sometimes speaks in unexpected and surprising ways.  Which begs the question: How do we know? There are a lot of voices clamoring for our attention, right? How do we…
Read more
God is Everywhere - God is everywhere. The Bible contains the stories of God and God’s relationship with the world. As one reads these stories, one cannot help but be amazed by the variety of ways God shows up…
Read more
UMC Separation Plan - On Friday, January 3, news broke of a new proposal to be presented to the United Methodist General Conference. The proposal came from a task force of 16 United Methodists from a diverse array of…
Read more
A Baby - The closer we get to December 25th, the more the excitement elevates! Anticipation builds throughout the weeks, there are smiles on more and more faces, and the general mood seems to lighten. At the same…
Read more
God’s Peace - As we journey through the Advent season, there are so many wonderful ways to celebrate. There are concerts and special events; there are seasonal decorations to put up, gift shopping to do, parties for hosting,…
Read more
Gifts in White Weekend - We are at the high point of the “if you really love them you will buy them a very expensive Christmas present” season. Ads for jewelry, fancy cars, and high-end electronic devices saturate our senses.…
Read more
The Joy of Human Love - One of the hymns I find myself singing just lately is “For the Beauty of the Earth.” (I actually alternate between the tune we have in our hymnal and the tune of the choral arrangement…
Read more
Rejoice! - This coming weekend is a confluence of a whole bunch of churchy stuff. It is “Reign of Christ Sunday,” the final Sunday in the Christian calendar year. The week following begins the season of Advent,…
Read more
Our Bicentennial - Manchester UMC was formally organized in 1826. Of course, Methodists had been meeting in the area for a few decades before that, even before Protestantism became legal on this side of the Mississippi in 1803.…
Read more
100 Percent - As was announced in worship this past weekend, almost two-thirds of Manchester UMC’s households have made a financial commitment for 2020 so far. Prior to the weekend, there were 436 commitments made; there are 730…
Read more
Joy Undiminished - We are starting a new Sunday Worship Series this week that I am really excited about. “JOY UNDIMINISHED” will take us through a sketch of the book of Philippians for the next four Sundays. Paul…
Read more
Photo of a child with a handfull of dandelions in a bouquet Dandelion Bouquet - Editor’s Note: Rev. Stephanie Lendt is our guest columnist for this issue. We welcome her comments! The most beautiful bouquets I’ve ever received were delivered years ago, personally, from the hands of my children. Children…
Read more
Look Up-Go Beyond - This weekend, Manchester UMC has an opportunity to celebrate generosity. Our “Look Up—Go Beyond” campaign for 2020 will include the dedication of our pledges in our four worship services. Financial generosity is an important part…
Read more
Life That’s Really Life - The third weekend in our Defying Gravity series will focus on how we can align ourselves with God’s desires for our lives. Simply put, aligning with God means living generously.    First Timothy gives direction…
Read more
The Next Step - The priorities that the world asks us to align with are not always the same priorities God has in mind for us. Yet the gravity of these priorities is powerful. Sometimes it’s only when we…
Read more
Defying Gravity - Over 400 people are signed up for Defying Gravity small groups! AAAHHH! I’m so excited I could … fly? Over the next four weeks, Manchester UMC is focusing on a truly church-wide theme, using a…
Read more
Kitchen Cabinets - I was at a workshop about congregational hospitality. The speaker had started a mentorship ministry in his congregation; long-time members served as mentors for newer members. They were paired up for months, and even years.…
Read more
Zacchaeus Week - Great news, everybody! It’s Zacchaeus Week! Sunday morning’s scripture will feature everyone’s favorite wee little man, featured in Luke 19. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love the Zacchaeus story?   He’s the guy who dared…
Read more
Homecoming - It feels good to come home. I don’t necessarily mean one particular location. I mean “home.” The place where you are known. Where you are welcomed without condition or expectation. I believe that you are…
Read more
Gifts Given Freely - Bishop Robert Schnase once said that he couldn’t recall ever hearing someone during a funeral service ever say, “They were such a devoted and faithful follower of Jesus … but they were just so stingy!”…
Read more
Generation Communication - I was speaking to a group of middle school students over a year ago and I mentioned that I had shared something on Facebook. A young man raised his hand and I called on him.“What’s…
Read more
Defining Words - “Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43) The word “great” is an exceedingly common word in the New Testament. It is the Greek word megas, from which we have…
Read more
Five Essential Practices - At a recent gathering of Manchester leaders, I was asked about my expectations of church members. It was a great question, a really good way to think about our pastoral transition. As the Lead Pastor…
Read more
Photo of an open door to illustrate how God invites us to follow Jesus. An Open Door - One of my favorite memories from my ordination service was a line from Bishop Greg Palmer’s sermon. He pointed at those being ordained and announced to the congregation, “These people are being ordained today, but…
Read more
eNews Sign-Up - Stay in the know on all things related to Manchester UMC! Sign up for weekly editions of eNews, distributed via email on Fridays. You'll also receive Pastor's Note, the weekly blog from Lead Pastor Andy…
Read more